In his renowned work, The Glass Menagerie, Tennessee Williams wrote, “Time is the longest distance between two places.” Similarly reflecting the malleable sense of time as a function of the universe, Albert Einstein is reputed to have said “Time is an illusion.” Within the realm of drama, these two statements highlight the ways in which time can be manipulated to serve the playwright’s desires and create a more powerful dramatic work.
The next time you read a play, attend the theater, or watch a movie, take note of the ways in which time can be utilized or manipulated for particular effect. For example, consider the ways in which Inception, The Butterfly Effect, and Memento rely on their non-linear formats to heighten the impact of their respective story lines. On the stage, the musical Next To Normal and Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia also play with the traditional notions of time and existence for dramatic emphasis. Conversely, some works find their power not through manipulation, but through experiencing the story in real time.
In this issue, we are proud to bring you A Window by Donna Kaz, and Doomsday by Miles Magnesi, two plays that utilize time in distinct ways. Though quite different, each playwright succeeds in creating a world as real or unreal as they desire, using time as one of their many tools for producing an effective piece of drama. Enjoy!