In Careful of Eights, Polybe + Seats Artistic Director Jessica Brater has constructed an original narrative out of In a
Garden, Look and Long, and Three Sisters who are not Sisters, three miniature melodramas by Gertrude Stein. Brater combines the plays, written during World War II and performed by the children with whom Stein was living in France, with two versions of Stein's Lucretia Borgia, which was written in 1938 (and quite possibly never performed during Stein's lifetime). Lucretia Borgia, the character (and figure of history), weaves her way through the plays past murders without murderers, people becoming eggs, and fights for paper crowns, illuminating the hidden desires of other characters. And Lucretia Borgia, the play, helps the other plays find out what they are meant to be. This haunting exploration, coupled with Jason Binnick's disquieting original music, reveals what happens when the souls of small plays are gathered together.
Polybe + Seats produces plays and projects that experiment with form and
style towards the development of a new poetics for the theater. Their name
is inspired by one of Gertrude Stein's plays, and their aesthetic is
informed by her ideas and writing for and about the theater.