God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza, Translated by Christopher Hampton
A playground altercation between eleven-year-old boys brings together two sets of Brooklyn parents for a meeting to resolve the matter. At first, diplomatic niceties are observed, but as the meeting progresses, and the rum flows, tensions emerge and the gloves come off, leaving the couples with more than just their liberal principles in tatters
Directed by David Charles
Assistant Directed by Alexander Pinkett
Scenic and Costume Design by Susan Garyantes
I began my process by doing thorough dramaturgy on the piece. The author embeds the play with a lot of insight into each character. For example, if you research the different artists mentioned in the script, you will discover that the artists that Veronica favors all create violent and graphic art work. Veronica, who is supposed to be the ideal “citizen of the world,” in reality enjoys and appreciates violence. It is through the veil of a "civilized" hobby such as art appreciation, that she masks her penchant for violence.
These dramaturgical discoveries ultimately lead me to concept for the play. Traditionally, the characters are portrayed as upper class, Caucasian couples. I quickly came to the conclusion, with evidence from the text, that Michael and Veronica were in fact middle class. I therefore decided to make Alan and Annette upper class. I also decided to cast Alan as African-American. This added a whole new dynamic to the arguments between Alan and Veronica.