Jackalope Theater Company, November 2013
Directed by Marti Lyons
Written by Calamity West
The Peacock transports us to December 1946, where the fiction-writing workshop at an American university is in session. Consisting of young veterans of World War II, and sons of upper class - the workshop possesses but one woman: Nan. A one-legged wunderkind who is forced by her peers to re-examine her violent fiction as a result of the recent suicide of their classmate Eleanor. Based in a world where intellectual prowess is currency, Calamity West brings us this uniquely American exploration of violence, authorial intent, and gender.
"'A story can work on many levels,' insists Calvin, speaking of his own Tolstoy-wannabe scribblings, 'You don't have to get it all in one read.' This observation may also be applied to West's densely-constructed portrait of youths chafing under postwar trauma. On the surface, it can be viewed simply as a feminist polemic of butch girls bullied by effete boys ( even the likewise repressed professor eventually demands that his star pupil write less mannishly ). Playgoers versed in scholarly fashions of the era may also recognize the literary underpinnings ( think Melville ) of the punishment inflicted on those who challenge predetermined social roles."