"Out of the City" Director's Note

From Director Christian Parker

Out of the City is deceptively simple. On its surface, Leslie Ayvazian’s fast-paced and wry play is a fizzy comedy about how things go haywire for two couples who go away for the weekend to a Poconos bed and breakfast in order to celebrate the 60th birthday of Carol, the oldest in the group.

But beneath the witty and raucous surface of the play, some deeper concerns are roiling in these characters. Of course, when people leave their familiar urban environments and immerse themselves in “nature,” sometimes things go awry. The idea of mysterious forces intervening in the lives of otherwise normal people when they go “into the woods” is wellestablished in storytelling. The Brothers Grimm used it, as did Shakespeare, and lately, Stephen Sondheim, of course.

In the case of these two couples, when they quite innocently leave the security of their busy lives in the city, very small events begin to completely upend assumptions each of them makes about the integrity of their marriages and what it means to get older.

One of the things I most love about Leslie’s writing is the sharp, spare quality of her language. We are not strictly in the realm of kitchen-sink naturalism here. As familiar as this environment and these people appear to be, there is something wonderfully heightened and theatrical about them, which is reflected in the way they speak, and how they begin to see one another.

I hope that you will find Out of the City as funny, illuminating and surprising as we have in working on it these past weeks. I’ve been blessed with a wonderful repeat collaborator in Leslie Ayvazian, and think you’ll enjoy meeting this crack cast of actors as much as I enjoyed working with them.

Out of the City raises many questions that it resolutely refuses to answer, and I trust that you will find that as entertaining and thought-provoking as I did when I first read it. With any luck it will be a theatrical antidote to a long, cold, snowy winter in which we’ve all spent too much time cooped up inside.