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Marisa Wegrzyn's Psalms of a Questionable Nature, at Walnut Street Theatre, combines a family drama with fears of biological attack.

By Philadelphia
A scene from
Psalms of a Questionable Nature
A scene from
Psalms of a Questionable Nature
In Psalms of a Questionable Nature, the latest work from Nice People Theatre Company now at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre, playwright Marisa Wegrzyn dives head first back into the sea of ambiguity and fear surrounding the possibility of a biological attack, which came into our nation's forefront in the days after September 11, while also exploring the delicate issues of family.

Psalms tells the story of two estranged stepsisters -- Greta and Moo -- trying to figure out what to do with their deceased parents' house -- and the chemical secrets that fill its basement. The parents were scientists who created an arsenal of known diseases as well as a newly designed virus. "They loved each other very much, and it's this love that happened in the basement lab," says Wegrzyn. "The girls are strangers, but the situation they have to deal with ties them together."

Wegryzn, who began writing the piece in 2002, says the work was a real challenge for her. "It's the only play I've written with two characters in real time, and there's a lot of family exposition that has to come out because this is the first time these sisters ever meet," she says. "It's a puzzle to fit it all together."

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