by Harold Pinter
Included in "50/60 VISION"
Center Theatre Group, 1990
"In 'THE COLLECTION,' directed by Carey Perloff, we confront the instability of truth. The pace is deliberate, the action pregnant with those notorious Pinter pauses, the air fraught with confrontation and repressed violence, the language laconic."
–– LOS ANGELES TIMES
Outstanding Direction of a Play
Best Production "The Collection"
"Are we ready for this? Thirteen plays from the '50s and '60s, undiluted, unupdated, unmolested by self-important directors and relatively untampered with?
This writer is. For one.
A look back is almost always an enhancement to looking ahead. It makes for interesting connections. And Edward Parone, who conceived and produced "50/60 Vision," the festival of so-called absurdist and quasi-absurdist plays at the Mark Taper Forum, has been picky about which ones to include (less picky about which ones to ex clude, but we can't have everything). The first three--Harold Pinter's "The Collection" and Samuel Beckett's "Play" and "Krapp's Last Tape"--kicked off the event at a press preview Tuesday, attended by an enthusiastic but smallish audience. Why?
Is anyone out there intimidated by these plays? No need to be.
If anything, the passage of time has only magnified their large quotient of humor, and changing theatrical conventions--new then but familiar now, their mold forever shattered by some of these very plays--have made them accessible. Starting with Beckett's 30-minute "Play." What comedy could be more human than that of three people standing in their funerary urns, only their talking heads exposed, endlessly regurgitating the important events in their lives--events that also happened to link them to one another and may have provoked their deaths?
In "The Collection," directed by Carey Perloff, we confront the instability of truth. James (Christopher Allport) has reason to believe that his wife Stella (Maria O'Brien) has fooled around with Bill (Michael Tulin), a young man who lives with an older man named Harry (Alan Oppenheimer).
The pace is deliberate, the action pregnant with those notorious Pinter pauses, the air fraught with confrontation and repressed violence, the language laconic.
The humor? Implicit in re-experiencing a situation where everything is visible and nothing is clear.
There are no answers. This is a theater that loves to ask questions, earthly and not-so-earthly. It is not about sets (though Yael Pardess has provided perfectly decent ones) or lights (Paulie Jenkins delivers the requisite ones) or costumes (no one looks out of place in Julie Weiss' costumes).
And it is not about directors. Perloff, Michael Arabian (he staged "Krapp's Last Tape") and Daniel O'Connor ("Play") are to be commended for the extent to which they remain invisible. "50/60 Vision" is about writers."
–– SILVIE DRAKE, LA TIMES
THE COLLECTION, Center Theatre Group, 1990. Alan Oppenheimer, Michael Tulin