Plays by Robert Auletta
This collection includes two full-length plays, RED TRAIN and RUNDOWN, and five short plays, VIRGINS, THE TOBOGGANISTS, RABBITS, AMAZONS, and GUESSWORK. RED TRAIN: A theater professor is suspected in the murder of one of his students, with whom he was having an affair. RUNDOWN: The story of Pay, a Vietnam veteran, who is involved in a civilian massacre, and his best friend, Spear, a radical antiwar activist, whose activities lead to the death of two American soldiers. VIRGINS: A fantasia inspired by the robbery in New York of an armored car in which two policemen and a guard were killed. THE TOBOGGANISTS: The play introduces us to a couple, Dunn and Phia. We see them fight. We hear their pleas and curses. We choose sides. Or we don’t choose sides. And finally we come to the conclusion: this play is about earthly life. RABBITS: A couple, who not so long ago had everything, realizes that they have irrevocably lost it. And that they have nothing at all to replace it with. AMAZONS: Amazons have moved in next door to Chaz. It was fine at first, but then came the weird music, the drums, the chanting, the archery. Something must be done. GUESSWORK: A man in the wilderness comes upon an audience that forces him to confront the terror and the pain of the past that haunts him.
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“… [Robert Auletta] leaps out with a fresh vision, rich use of language and poetic imagery, a clear understanding of the vein of violence that runs beneath the top-soil of civilization. In all this, he’s often compared to early Sam Shepard, and correctly so. RUNDOWN is one of the best Vietnam era plays yet written.” —Bernard Weiner, San Francisco Chronicle
“RUNDOWN is not just another painful epic about yet another battered Vietnam vet returned from the wars. It is a probing theatrical invention that pits emotional and intellectual recall against the spectrum of forces without and within us that channel and forge our lives … What ranks this piece above the commonplace is its impressionistic style, arresting metaphors and vivid imagery. The vigorous writing speaks in human terms. The poetic drama remembers to create characters of flesh and blood while discussing ideas.” —Sylvie Drake, Los Angeles Times
“…AMAZONS, a monologue by Robert Auletta about Chaz, a man who becomes obsessed with his Amazonlike neighbors … Auletta cleverly builds his tale with humor until Chaz’s combination of hatred and fascination becomes the undoing of him and the Amazons.” —Terry Byrne, Boston Herald