THE GOOD WOMAN OF SETZUANtheatre · open fist theatre company · Ages 10+ · 2hrs ·
(FRINGE PARTICIPANTS DISCOUNT CODE: “GOODWOMAN15” FOR $15 DOLLAR TICKETS!!)
The Open Fist Theatre Company will be presenting a re-imagined version of Brecht’s classic play, “The Good Woman of Setzuan.” Directed by Charles Otte with original music by Elizabeth Swados, the play is an alternately humorous and shocking look at how society deals with poverty and philanthropy. Set in an imaginary city of Setzuan, the play explores themes of good and evil; love and betrayal; and male/female identity. A young prostitute named Shen Te is given money to lift herself from the gutter, but the harder she tries to do the right thing, the more her poor friends take advantage of her good will. Brecht says, “The little lifeboat is swiftly sent down. Too many men too greedily hold on to it as they drown,” and the play illustrates the difficulty that Shen Te faces she is dragged down by her friends.
Finally she takes a bold step and disguises herself as a long lost male cousin, and in that guise she takes control of her business and puts her shop back in order. This cousin is the antithesis of all that she believes in – a callous and hard-nosed businessman who only cares about the bottom dollar. And so she is faced with a delimma: How to be a good person in the world, when the act of being good often causes your own ruin. To further confuse her life she falls in love with an unemployed but ambitious bad boy who only wants her for her money. Trying to help him and fix his broken soul she manages to lose all self respect and is forced to count on her ruthless alter-ego cousin to help her out of difficulties. By the end of the play Shen Te has so thoroughly confused her identity that that she is arrested for her own murder. Although this is a play about serious themes, Brecht uses song, dance, and style to create an often humorous and always provocative look at how humanity deals with love and social injustice.