january, 2020

31janallday01febReflections in a D'Back's EyeDeanne Stillman


Show Info

How did a young man who loved John Coltrane become a mass killer? What brought a 9-year-old girl who loved baseball into his rifle sights? How does 9/11 figure into the story and can the Grand Canyon lead us out?

Directed by Darrell Larson, Reflections in a D’Back’s Eye explores America’s love affair with guns via the mass shooting in Tucson, in which Representative Gabby Giffords was wounded along with seventeen others and six were killed, including the little girl. Behind it all, there’s the diamondback rattlesnake. The d’back has all of the information and if we pay attention, the road leads back to “A Love Supreme,” Coltrane’s prayer.

The story is told by way of found texts, police reports, media coverage, and imagined dialogue. The main characters are Jared Lee Loughner, a “Joker”-like figure who lost his way, and Christina Taylor-Green, a civic-minded little girl who wandered into his path one morning at a “meet your representative” event in front of a supermarket. The collision of these two figures is set against a desert context in which elements of ancient myth and modern marketing converge. All of the characters – from the shooter and his mother to a Wal-Mart greeter and others – struggle fiercely for a connection to something greater than themselves.

“Reflections in a D’Back’s Eye” is based on the prose poem published here – https://www.gwarlingo.com/2012/on-the-anniversary-of-the-tucson-shooting-a-new-work-by-deanne-stillman/ – along with an interview about why it was written. The play was a semi-finalist for the 2019 Blues Ink Playwriting Award from American Blues Theater in Chicago and a finalist in the 2018 Playwrights Series at the Cutting Ball Theater in San Francisco. The Highways performance is its West Coast premiere.


January 31 (Friday) - February 1 (Saturday)


Highways Performance Space -- 18th Street Arts Center (1/2 block North of Olympic Blvd)

1651 18th St, Santa Monica, CA 90404

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