Friday, November 20, 2009

What Once We Felt

Photo: Gregory Costanzo

In the sci-fi world of Ann Marie Healy's What Once We Felt, there are no men, procreation occurs via Internet-ordered pills, Tradepacks (the service class) are dying off, and the RSS (the government, I guess) is gradually curtailing the freedoms of the Keepers (the women of privilege). Macy, a Keeper, is desperate to get her novel published--but is she desperate enough? (Her potential publisher, a specialist in "Digi-Directs," refers to people who love books as "fetishizing . . . outdated packets of information.") Healy hints at her goals when Macy's book is described as a work of "biting satire and dystopian leanings." Unfortunately, the satire is not biting enough and the dystopia is not clearly enough etched to hit home, although the play does have many interesting moments and plenty of intriguing ideas. The current production, awkwardly directed by Ken Rus Schmoll, doesn't do the play any favors; much of the potential humor is lost, and it's hard to care about any of the characters.

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