An interview featured in the program for John Guare‘s Are You There, McPhee?, at the McCarter in Princeton, includes a particularly striking response from that esteemed playwright. When asked, “What would you like an audience coming to see the play to know?” Guare responds,
“I would like the audiences to be aware of the story that they live in. Are they comfortable in the story of their lives? And another level, what is a love story? It’s two people sharing the same narrative. And what is a divorce? When you realize that your partner is in a completely different story than you are, and you don’t choose to be in that person’s story anymore. You want to more on to a new chapter. We talk about lives in literary terms, “I want to move in to a new chapter.” I would like audiences to look at the story that they’re in. Sometimes it’s so much easier to look to other people’s stories and completely ignore our own story, [and not ask] if our story is giving us nourishment, if we’re interested in our own story. Horror of horrors, when we live in a story that we [realize] is not the story we intended to be in. I think it’s just to be aware of what narrative we have chosen for our lives, what narrative we have made for our lives, and what narrative we can change in our lives.”
Much food for thought.
More soon to come on the play itself.
photo by Paul Chinn/ San Francisco Chronicle