THE STORY: Shawn’s most outlandish work to date, this disturbing and anomalously beautiful play explores the role of human beings in nature and the role of nature in human beings, sexuality being, as Shawn says, “nature’s most obvious footprint in the human soul.” The play’s central character is a doctor who figures out how to rejigger the metabolism of animals. This discovery has unexpected consequences. The play tells a story about the doctor, his wife, and his lovers that is also a story about the planet we live on.
“…a nasty and erotic fairy tale that, no matter how bewitching it seems at moments, murmurs a cautionary whisper all the while: Something is very wrong in this world, it says, and life may not be any better when you wake up…[a] lyrical, creepy and richly detailed (and, oh yes, pornographic) dreamscape…if you are the least bit prudish, then GRASSES is not for you. Still, it would be a shame for anyone to miss such a thorough deployment of the powers of enchantment as is offered here.” —NY Times. “…weird, teasing and devastating…astonishing…it’s never clear what’s real and what’s a nightmare…In its loopy, tangential way, GRASSES shows how the strands of Ben’s life intertwine and corrupt each other…GRASSES OF A THOUSAND COLORS is a bewildering, labyrinthine fairy tale…it’s clear that Shawn is after something about the erosion of boundaries between human and animal, nature and society. The play is a feverish portrait of male egomania threatening to waste the planet. Shawn’s world, though, remains prodigiously fertile and whole.” —Time Out NY.