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About this show

A husband's search for his birth parents tests his marriage in "Dancing in the Dark" by Robert Kornfeld, directed by Tom Thornton. The protagonist is a tormented New Orleans intellectual--a professor of linguistics, whose quest is not that different from many Americans.Jason's wife, Illyria, is an attorney whose biological clock is ticking strongly. The couple are dealing seriously with the issue of finally ending their honeymoon and having children. But Jason is fearful of "unseen" genetic problems. He carries on a relentless search for his birth mother behind his wife's somewhat disapproving back. His stated obsession with genetics may be his bottom-line motive, or it may be a smoke screen for deeper, more Freudian concerns. That enigma is the nexus of a play that peers into the character and needs of the modern American couple.Jason's dilemma is explored through a series of alternately comic and serious scenes and dreams, some of which are inter spliced with chapters from his wife's dreams. In one, a bee's dance to find its mate is a metaphor foreshadowing Jason's finding his genetic parents. Jason pulls every trick in the book to seek out his birth mother, including a deception to manipulate the secretary of the agency that to placed him with his adoptive parents. When Jason ultimately meets his mother in an elders' home, she is moody and incoherent, reinforcing his fears of mental illness in his genes. She dances for him as the bee would, illustrating that his knot of feelings will not easily be untied. When she is revealed to be a normally colorful New Orleans eccentric and not insane, Jason feels comfortable in finally starting a family with Illyria.It is estimated that 2% of the U.S. Population are adoptees, so between their with biological parents, adoptive parents, and siblings, about 1 in 8 Americans are directly touched by adoption. Most adoptees and birth parents have, at some point, actively searched for biological parents or children they have been separated from. Their most common reason is genetic curiosity: a desire to find what a birth parent or child looks like, their talents or personality.

Show Details

  • Dates:Closed on
  • Location:
    Theater for the New City, Off-Off-Broadway