RUNNING AWAY FROM THE ONE WITH THE KNIFE
AARON LANDSMAN / MALLORY CATLETT / JIM FINDLAY
As someone who has only worked outside the form of ‘plays,’ I wanted to see what it was like to make a conceptual work of representational theater. I also made the piece to address the subjects of suicide and religious faith in a way that was funny and provocative: what do you do to reckon with what someone else takes from you, when what they’ve taken is themselves.
“Running Away…” was performed by three actors, for three weeks, at The Chocolate Factory. It was super sad. I would say the audience and critical response was mixed, which is pretty normal for my work. I began writing the play in 2002, because I wanted to make a comedy about these two subjects, and it sucked. It sucked for five years, and then I got a draft I liked. And then no one wanted to do it. In 2011, when Mallory and I were starting to work together, she said, “Send me stuff you’ve written, so I know how you write.” And I sent her this and she was like, “We should do this.”
Jim Findlay, years ago, swore he’d never make a ‘kitchen sink’ set. For “Running Away…” he made a stark white installation at the Chocolate Factory that the actors moved around, wrote lists on, and, yes, included a sink that ran water at the end, and a coffee maker that brewed coffee. Mallory worked with the actors on simplicity, at the same time embracing fourth-wall or cinematic emotionality and direct address from human (actor) to human (viewer).