The Performance Network Theatre presents ‘Burn This’ by Lanford Wilson. This explosive play, set in 1986 Manhattan, captures the recklessness of that decade and illuminates much more. Featuring Quetta Carpenter, Darrell Glasgow, Kevin Young, and Jon Bennett. The play contains adults themes.
The Performance Network Theatre presents “Burn This,” a dangerously sexy play by Pulitzer Prize-winning dramatist Lanford Wilson.
In a Manhattan loft in the 1980s, the story begins in a heightened, emotionally-tense scene – just after the funeral of Robbie, a brilliant, young, and gay dancer. Still recovering from the funeral while coping with nagging feelings that Robbie’s family just mourned a man they hardly knew are Robbie’s eccentric roommates: choreographer Anna and confident ad-man Larry. Anna’s boyfriend, Burton, a sci-fi screenwriter, is also in the loft in a well-meaning attempt to comfort Anna.
In the dark of the night, this trio is forced to adjust to the unexpected and explosive presence of Pale, Robbie’s coke-snorting brother, who has come to collect his younger brother’s belongings. In the face of their shared tragedy, the characters attempt to make sense of Robbie’s life, and in the process rediscover their own lives. Profane, menacing Pale is ultimately the one who challenges Anna to look past her doubts and find unconventional, unsettling love, along with re-inspired choreography. “Burn This” is an inspiring piece that pushes people to dig past the surface of others.
Playwright Wilson said “Burn This” is unlike any other love story, because the characters do not say, “I love you.” They say, “I don’t want this.” Premiering barely a year after Wilson’s passing, “Burn This” at Performance Network Theatre is an opportunity for Southeast Michigan to cultivate an appreciation for the theatrical arts and a great American playwright. Wilson waited an entire year to move the script to Broadway because he wanted John Malkovich to play the role of Pale. Performance Network Theatre’s production stars Quetta Carpenter, Darrell Glasgow, Jon Bennet, and Kevin Young. Direction is provided by Ray Schultz.
“Burn This” runs Aug. 2 through Sept. 2, with weekly performances Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m., 2 p.m. Sunday matinees, and 3 p.m. Saturday matinees on Aug. 18 and Sept. 1.
Tickets are $22 – $41, with discounts available for seniors, members, students and groups. There is a pay-what-you-can performance Aug. 2 (with a suggested donation of $15). Tickets can be ordered at the Performance Network Box Office at 734-663-0681, online at www.performancenetwork.org or at Performance Network Theatre (120 East Huron St., Ann Arbor, 48104) Monday-Saturday 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. or one hour before a performance.
About Performance Network Theatre
Founded in 1981, Performance Network Theatre has grown from a fledgling company to Ann Arbor’s only resident, professional theater. The Network reaches 40,000 patrons and children each year through the year-round Professional Series and the Children’s Theatre Network. Performance Network also presents the Fireside Festival of New Works and a series of classes on theater-related topics. The Network provides uncompromising artistic leadership in the region and produces works that engage, challenge and inspire audiences and artists.