Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Australia Project II: Week 1

The Australia Project is a three-week festival of America, as seen from Down Under, that illustrates our penchant for self-convinced arrogance, our drive for (self-) destruction, and our self-centered egos. The four one-acts I saw demonstrated a wide range of style, but a pretty similar view of America as a nice place to escape from or through, either as a futuristic VR version of MySpace New York (Goodbye New York, Goodbye Heart), a travel-free nation (The Port) or an emotionally stunted artist (Pinter's Explanation). The best of the bunch, Anthony Crowley's The Melancholy Keeper of the Deep, Deep Green, brings a determined American back to 1890's Australia, so that he can convince an otherwise loyal lighthouse keeper to keep the light out. Patrick (Andrew Lawton), is an innocent, wanting only to love his wife and crank out his daily routine, but the smooth, diplomatic Richard (Kevin O'Donnell) slyly changes Patrick's mind with friendship and technology. It's a clever reminder of America's imperial might, working from behind-the-scenes to affect change, regardless of the cost, but also a sad and personal story of one man, struggling to stay afloat in a sea of turbulent morality.

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