Tragedy: A Tragedy

“Is the sense of tragedy palpable?” presses stately news anchor Frank (Frederick Ponzlov) to infield reporter John (Matthew McCray). If either man — or fellow correspondents Michael (Daniel Getzoff) and Constance (Sarah Boughton) — recognizes the question’s absurdity, they aren’t showing it. Gifted with gravitas and eloquence, the four graveyard-shift journalists in Pulitzer finalist Will Eno’s sharp satire on round-the-clock spin are honing panic that the sun has set and may never rise again. Is it true? Facts are nonexistent, but the puffery they spout to fill airtime sure sounds like a crisis. And, as Frank notes, if the morning comes, then we’ll have to pray for afternoon. Our own doubts about whether the crisis even exists cloud Eno’s meaning. But as the pressure to say something unmoors all the newscasters, their anchorman crumbles, begging for nonsense human-interest stories — even little lies. Donald Boughton’s crisply comedic staging deepens as the play eventually reveals its darker resonances: A fumbling man on the street (Jonathan C.K. Williams) first tries to will the media back to life as if they were Tinkerbells or stock market indexes. The man reminds us that if we’re united, our shared uncertainties can become our common faith.
Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Oct. 17. Continues through Nov. 16, 2008


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