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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

The Last Taboo

In a society saturated with sex, it’s surprising that people don’t talk more about elbows. 

Other body joints are openly lascivious, bending right into the sexicon: skirts ride above the knees, he has an eye for a well-turned ankle, hoochie-coochie girls are hip-shaking mamas, and lovers neck. 

But, will no one come right out and address elbow eroticism?  Is this the last taboo?

That’s why Legally Dead is cutting edge theater—blasting staid, middle-class conventions; rewriting the rules; liberating us from the bonds of the forbidden.  Never again can playwrights pretend that elbows are not part of the human body and are not central to the arms that long to hold you.

Yes, this is the play that dares to shatter convention.

Why did I take this risk?

Because it’s time—time to expose the elbow hypocrisies of American economic imperialism and its bankrupt culture of predictable sexuality.

Will Bostonians be shocked?  Damn right.  And that’s the price we have to pay in the theater. 

So, if you are easily offended by open discussion of elbow nudity—stay away.  This play is not for you. 

But, if you are prepared to enter the brave new world, if you are ready to break through to the next level, if you want edgy edginess—come on board and join the conversation. 

As an angry, young playwright, I welcome the dialogue.  Director Steve Bogart and I have worked closely with the actors—openly engaging with these taboos.  We have worked elbows into the dialogue at least twice—but with sensitivity and lotion.  Bostonians are not ready for the explicit staging of elbow sexuality.  So, the characters refer only to secret desire—the carnal lust for elbows.

Yet, the controversy rages.  How should we punctuate the one word line: “Elbows?”

Does a question mark acknowledge the shock—mirroring the audience’s latent fears?

Or, do we make a bold statement with a stabbing period?

Elbows.  They’re here.  They’re real.  Get over it.

Dan Hunter, playwright

1 comment:

  1. As Shakespeare says "Ay, marry, now my soul hath elbow-room".
    Thanks for allowing this into the flesh, Dan Hunter !
    My students and I are looking forward to a talk back with you following the matinee on Feb 24th. Quite shamelessly, weather permitting, we'll bring our exposed elbows !
    D-L Garren
    Director of the Drama Center
    Curry College