Theater for the New City presents the world premiere of the chilling terrorism drama Secret Agent, a stage adaptation of a Joseph Conrad novel that tells of terrorism's disturbingly paradoxical roots. Written and directed by David Willinger.
Set in London at a time when frequent anarchist bomb-throwing attacks and
assassinations were sowing fear across Europe, Conrad's Secret Agent, published in 1906, tells of a professional agent provocateur who stages a bombing made to look like the handiwork of Eastern European extremists. This instant classic, which nonetheless has become overshadowed by his The Heart of Darkness, Nostromo, and Lord Jim, also described the collusion of a frequently passive news media.
Set in post-9/11 New York, Willinger's adaptation reveals that a government agency charged with protecting society from a rash of terrorist outrages, and with weeding out a foreign cell before it strikes again, may indeed precipitate a major incident to further increase fear among the public. It is fear of this kind that will allow it clamp down on liberties in order to achieve a primary objective, greater social control.