POST: 'Samara' - nothing is ever definite

What's it about?

In the middle of Sci-Fi Western, nowhere, a 15 year old, makes his way through the broken world of Samara for an I.O.U.

What I experienced?

PRE-SHOW:

I'm sitting my a black piece of square foam under my butt on top of a black crate. Wtf is happening. I'm looking up and I see North and South coordinates labeled on the crates crossing me - I'm also thinking that's weird as hell. This is too weird not to tell someone:

Things I know before this show starts.

Another PXP writer recently saw Richard Maxwell's work (NYC Players' Good Samaritan) and he was... pretty confused and weirded out by it - so, naturally, I go. I've been told it will likely be weird, and because I watch too many horror movies, when there is something bad somewhere you freaking go look for yourself. Okay, my butt already hurts and I've only sat on this foam-crate combo for about 5 minutes. Chances are this will only get stranger... I can't wait. 

Also I don't really know what the show is about at all since I've purely chosen it for the adventure. I did do a struggle search (aka one from the unreliable wifi on the MTA) and I know: there is a cowboy, a 15 year old kid is in it, someone owes money and someone dies. So yeah, just about every western movie plot ever written. I've personally never seen a western, but Samara does sound like some deserted ass place in Australia or someth-- and I'm being told the show is starting soon, bye!
 

POST-SHOW:

Richard Maxwell you confusing son of a bitch, I love you. 

I can see why someone could have a hard time with him and/or his plays. Someone like Richard wouldn't give a crap though, if anything he's the type of guy that would love that. Dude wants you to feel, man. So if that includes confusion and anger, I'm pretty sure he'd take it. 

I, for one, do not hate him or the play. It's probably because of high school. My senior year was filled with studying the more eccentric forms of theatre out there, and people like Richard Maxwell and Samuel Beckett (my favourite weirdo) came up a lot of the time. This type of story is one of those those perfect examples of "embrace the strange."

OKAY - Story is: a 15 yr old kid (don't think he has a name) known as a messenger is out in the what I like to imagine as being the "desert" to collect some debt from a cowboy. Said cowboy is broker than a college student, and only has 7 dollars in his wallet, far from what he owes. What he does have is an I.O.U. & 6 days worth of travel to go to collect. The kid ends up taking the I.O.U - which takes 11 days! Not 6 - and over some altercation the cowboy ends up dead during a little brawl. 

Wow, what a way to fucking start. I personally love when stories (films, shows, etc.) start after a lot of the plot has occurred. Everything is clouded with mystery and I find myself doubting everyone and everything - as one would do when you live in some bizarre post-apocalyptic world. You know something is up when a place is called freaking "Samara" - isn't that from the Ring?

And because murder isn't traumatic enough for a 15 years old, he then proceeds to have an 11 day journey in search of this I.O.U. and the person responsible for paying it, is dead. Can you say Waiting for Godot? That money is never coming - and guess what? It never does! Because it probably didn't exist when the dude responsible for it was alive and the chances of his son... (who's gender is questioned all the time for seemingly no reason at all but likely, totally has a reason because who are we talking about kids...). Anyway this dude I'm ranting about, he doesn't have the money and he and his partner can barely make it through the rainy season. 

This is the thing with stories like this... nothing is ever definite and it's filled with very few moments of genuinely intense emotion, which makes sense to me since most of life (at least city life) is spent doing trivial and superficial things. I don't know that many people who spend their day feeling emotions at the highest level of intensity - those are rare moments. The other thing about stories written and told like this.... they don't want me to lose yourself in the story, they want me to have full access to myself, so I am always aware of my thoughts and feelings. They also changed my thought about on-stage seating. I'd never thought about staging that is audience inclusive, as being exactly the opposite. From my seat I can see every detail that would usually be hidden from the audience. For example, if someone dies usually the lighting goes down and the person sneaks off but here it's clear as day. And the "bad acting" isn't necessarily that, because everything with Mr. Maxwell is intentional. 

Want to see it?

What did you experience?

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