Neil LaBute, on his play The Break of Noon

Steven Leigh Morris – Stage Raw

The meister of messy and cruel romantic relationships, in works such as In the Company of Men, The Shape of Things, Fat Pig and Reasons to Be Pretty, playwright, screenwriter and film director Neil LaBute shines a spotlight on atrocious behavior. 

That is, of course a judgment, and LaBute insists he tries not to judge, but rather to examine the darkest recesses of his central characters – an aim consistent with ancient Greek scribes. Is Sophocles a misanthrope because Oedipus the King murders his dad and marries his own mother? Is Aeschylus a misanthrope because Clytemnestra murders her husband in cold blood? Is Euripides a misanthrope because Clytemnestra’s son and daughter, Orestes and Electra, murder their mother in the same pool of frigid blood?

In these plays, and in LaBute’s, nobody really wins, because the game itself is so toxic. The only victor is the fellow who finds a different playing field.

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