The Art of Blushing and The Lazarus Complex are opening this week! People have been asking about the two shows – are they the same, are they different, how do they work together?
Let’s clear it up here: These are two different, standalone shows, both drawn from writer Ben Moorad’s ongoing study of the will to live and the will to die.
If you remember, Ben’s grandfather was a psychiatrist in New Britain, Connecticut, who collected 124 stories from 1941 to 1948 of townspeople who tried to end their lives. Ben has spent the last 11 years researching and writing about these people, and presenting his findings in various forms.
This fall, the expression of this research is in the form of these two shows, each distinct and different, and also connected. You can see either one without needing to see the other (though the experience is richer when you see both). Each show runs about 70 minutes (and on Saturdays, there will be a short break between shows).
The Art of Blushing is about adolescence, displacement and the dream of the past.
Laughter is a blush of the risen blood of joy, a natural expression of youth on the cusp of something more. Laughter stirs the blood and surges as a rush of ingenuous warmth. Laughter engenders itself, for laughter makes good blood and is good blood’s spontaneous song. Pity the condescension, bloodless irony, detachment, sneers and sideways glances of the yearbook committee! Their laughter comes from the back of the throat. True laughter is an ecstasy of the body. The art of blushing is the performance of life.
The Lazarus Complex is about the magical thinking of suicide and the perseverance of the will to live.
Even those who are convinced they want to die usually betray the hope to be reborn.
Both shows are performed by Ben Moorad, joined by actors Arlena Barnes, David Bellis-Squires & Jennie Spector, and directed by Hand2Mouth Artistic Director Jonathan Walters. They also both feature a live sound score from Wilson Vediner, Courtney Sheedy, & Will Hattman (also known as Months)
The Art of Blushing is on Thursdays, 11/8 & 11/15
The Lazarus Complex is on Fridays, 11/9 & 11/16
See both together (The Art of Blushing & The Lazarus Complex) on Saturdays, 11/10 & 11/17
All shows at 7:30pm
And don't forget about our conversations after the shows on 11/9 & 11/15, with folks from the Dougy Center, Ask the Question Project, Returning Veterans Project, & Outside In.