Theater for the New City presents the premiere production of two one-act plays by Walter Corwin collectively entitled An Optimistic Picture. Jonathan Weber directs.
Set in New York City, roughly during the present and shortly after, individual stories unfold as folks try frantically to connect and energize the lethargic and uncaring world that engulfs them. America's recent mid-term elections left many citizens confidently facing the future with Democrats taking over the majority in both House and Senate, and a woman, for the first time in our republic's history, assuming the office of Speaker of the House and a place in the Presidential Line of Succession. But will these hopes for a better, more caring world turn out to be a collective hallucination or a workable reality? Mr. Corwin takes an allegorical look at this generation that fought so long and hard for "change" and then seemed to fall asleep while the world spun out of control, and asks if one generation awaking the previous from its societal stupor is the norm rather than a quirk.
In An Optimistic Picture, a once successful man (David L. Greenwood) flounders through life. Now divorced and withdrawn from a world he no longer understands, his son (Giorgio Handman) tries to reconnect him with reality, while his ex-wife (Kathryn Chilson) is amazed by the changes she senses in him.
The Corot, Manet and Emanuel Leutze Code follows the travails of a government translator (Jonathan Weber) with failing eyesight and lagging spirit. His job now consists of shredding landmark documents, including the Magna Carta, Bill of Rights, and Emancipation Proclamation. Will love for his youthful assistant (Jillian Singer) help him find the courage to "shred no more"?