You think I don’t see her face in your face or his eyes in your eyes, but I do. I see all of the lives that had to fall into place to open your eyes on this earth. I see all of the faces that came before you, and they are scrambling to stay in your shadow as you move through the days of your life. I see them trailing behind you, watching you wend your way through the world and they catch my eye because they know I can see them, they reach out to me and they say, “Gradiva help us, Gradiva stay, Gradiva wait” because they know I’ve been to hell and back and they know I’ve seen what they fear and they think I can help them, they think if I help you then I can help them, but.
A new piece for Theatre For One, my favorite project out of everything I do. This one was a nighttime blur, a 3am-haven't-slept-for-20-hours idea, a musing on memory and gods and resilience and fear.
The showhas already come and gone, much like Gradiva herself. But perhaps, and for the first time with a T41 character, I'll bring her back in another script and in another place.
This question gives me pause, because the phrasing implies that Utility is a hopeless play, which I don’t believe at all. I realize the question is largely about how Amber and her family live paycheck to paycheck and about the exhausting, gendered responsibility of maintaining a house and home, but Utility is not a play about social class or feminism alone. Ultimately, it is about a woman who is reckoning with her own lost identity, who is in love with an unreliable man, and who is fighting to make life happier and easier for her family. To question the existence of hope in this play feels endemic of the male gaze, through which women can be only tragic if they aren’t completely happy, as if suffering is the only thing about them that is stage-worthy.