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September 19, 2002

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With surrealist paintings in the background, the stage is set for Greg Lundgren's play Manslaughter at Vital 5. Actually, it's not the stage that's set, but the seating--100 folding chairs in rows facing out into the street, where the action of the play takes place. The play relates one night in the life of a prostitute named Sherry whose usual corner is the intersection of Denny and Westlake. The actors wear wireless microphones patched through speakers inside the gallery, so you can eavesdrop on their conversations even when they take place far away across 4 lanes of traffic. Prerecorded sequences paint vivid audio images when the action moves out of sight. Add to that random passersby and the line between fake and real is blurred. John Cage scandalized the music world by composing a piece which was nothing more than silence. In the same way, sitting watching the street between scenes focuses your attention on what is always there but usually unobserved. The effect is fascinating and got me thinking, "That there Greg Lundgren is a genius." Tonight was the final run-through before tomorrow's premiere. I have a bit part in the play, which is cool in its way but also a bit of a drag--it means I won't get to experience the mindfuck that is Manslaughter in all its twisted glory.