(or; how to be forgotten)
A semi-existential quasi-historical comedy
about the 1761 Danish expedition to Arabia Felix
About the Play
It's 1761. Five researchers have been selected by the Danish government to travel to the Arabian peninsula, to "Happy Arabia." One of the researchers, Niebuhr, is a soft-spoken, self-taught astronomer and mathematician who's ready to change the world. But the world is a hard place to change, and this journey isn't as happy as its destination. Despite Niebuhr's attempts to keep the expedition running smoothly, things turn sour very quickly. The doctor is incompetent, the botanist is elitist, and the linguist ends up buying enough arsenic to kill them all. And that's hardly the worst of it. When the Narrator appears and tries to save the expedition from certain failure, Niebuhr begins to realize that this story may not belong to them anymore.
Breakdown: 3M/NB 3W/NB
Run time: 120 minutes
Developmental Workshop - The Plagiarists, 2019
Finalist - Normal Ave Playwriting Series, 2019
I’m going to miss Cairo. You know, I was just speaking with my host last night — the Frenchman — about Voltaire’s new tragedy, Tancrède. You’ve seen it? Anyone? No? Well, it was a marvelous work. I saw it in Marseilles during my travels to — from? — Rome, before we departed. What a show. I’ll remember it forever. Heartbreaking. I can’t remember the specifics of the story but they’ll come to me. Mademoiselle Clairon was enchanting. A horrifyingly talented woman. Are you familiar? Mademoiselle Clarion? Anyone? No? — Anyway, my host and I were speaking about the play — my host, the Frenchman — and wouldn’t you know it, we had seen the same performance! Can you believe it? In Marseilles. What a coincidence! We laughed and laughed — Not at the play, it was a tragedy, but we laughed last night, about the coincidence. Of us both being at the same performance. And now here we both are again, in Cairo, crossing paths on our separate journeys through this thing we call life. Makes you think, doesn’t it?