Fund for New American Plays

The Living

Denver Center for the Performing Arts, CO

The Living was inspired by Daniel Defoe's A Journal of the Plague Year, the 1665 diaries of Samuel Pepys, and a number of other primary sources: emergency measures, medical histories, letters, sermons, and demographic reports. The play presents some of the handful of citizens who tried to save the life of London and the largely impoverished people who could not escape it; together, theirs is a story of the huge work of building a new community in the midst of frightful danger and personal loss. Their surviving testimony tells of people with deep convictions, risking and in many cases losing their lives side by side, all the while fiercely at odds as to the meaning of the plague and how to combat it. 1665, the year of the last and greatest London plague, offers compelling parallels to our own time: religious faction; economic anxiety; a national government paralyzed by debt; a suddenly burgeoning homeless population, refugees in their own land; a factious and greed-ridden medical establishment; deep rifts and suspicion between the country and the city, the comfortable and the unemployed, the healthy and the high-risk.

Anthony Clarvoe was born in San Francisco and lives in New York City and the Midwest. His plays The Brothers Karamazov (based on the Dostoevsky novel), The Living, Let's Play Two, Show and Tell, and Pick Up Ax have been produced by South Coast Repertory, Denver Center Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St. Louis, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Northlight Theatre, San Jose Repertory, Empty Space, Eureka Theatre, and many others. Mr. Clarvoe has received fellowships and grants from the Guggenheim, W. Alton Jones, McKnight, and Jerome Foundations, and the National Endowment for the Arts, as well as two DramaLogue Awards and the National Theatre Council's Stavis Award. His most recent scripts are Ambition Facing West, developed at the New Harmony Project, and an English-language version of Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts. He is a member of the Writers Guild, of America, the Dramatists Guild, and the Playwrights' Center.

Director: Nagle Jackson
Set Designer: Vicki Smith
Lighting Designer: Charles R. MacLeod
Costume Designer: Lyndall L. Otto
Sound Designer: Joel Underwood
Featured Performers: Kay Doubleday, Katherine Heasley, Sean Hennigan, Jamie Horton,
Michael Santo, William M. Whitehead
Running Dates: April 26-May 29, 1993

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