The Shape of Things: Prep List

Next week, Neil LaBute’s play The Shape of Things (2001) becomes the latest in a line of staged readings to grace the Phillips’s narrow but noble stage. Shakespeare Theatre Company‘s Alan Paul directs this one-night-only art-world drama in an art-world context. Here is our cheat sheet to prepare for the program (other than, ahem, reserve your tickets):

1. Ask yourself soul-searching questions, like “what would I do for love?” and “how far would I go for art?”

2. Visit a college art museum. In D.C. you might choose AU’s Katzen Arts Center or GW’s Luther W. Brady Art Gallery. Can you imagine a chilling saga of seduction and manipulation unfolding here?

3. Read up on art projects that involve transformations of the human body–the play made us think about ORLAN especially.

4. Watch the 2003 movie (or take a shortcut with the trailer below), starring Paul Rudd and Rachel Weisz. LaBute directs the original cast with whom he had premiered the play at London’s Almeida Theatre two years earlier.

5. Listen to some Elvis Costello. The Grammy Award-winning English singer-songwriter wrote the brooding, abrasive soundtrack for the 2003 film.

See you at the theater!

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