Cain & Cain
April 13-15, 8:00 p.m.,
April 19-21, 8:00 p.m.
The Loeb Ex
Directed by Jesse T. Nee-Vogelman ’13
Produced by Christopher M. Lehman ‘13
Only a really dark play could have a name like “Cain and Cain.” This new work—which revolves around the dynamics between a mother and her two sons Michael and Chad—features fratricide, incest, dead dogs, and extended conversations about cabbages. Writer and director Jesse T. Nee-Vogelman ’13 is the first to call his work weird. “At its heart, despite the weirdness, this is a play about relationships, and sometimes the dogs just have to die for that,” he says.
“Cain and Cain” promises to be inventive not only in its subject matter, but also in its staging. “The audience is actually in the center, and the set goes around them,” Nee-Vogelman says. “The set really lends itself to creating this place that feels like this is the only place in the world. A lot of this play is about people trying to escape from the situations they’re in and finding themselves unable to leave and unable to change anything.”
The production aims to create this same sense of confinement in the audience. “I think the audience will feel trapped in the story in a good way, but in a disconcerting way as well,” says Ben J. Lorenz ’14, who plays Michael. The enclosed quality of the narrative extends to the staging, as the set surrounds the audience and will effectively prevent anyone from walking out. “No one’s fucking leaving,” says Nee-Vogelman.
There will be no scene breaks or set changes in “Cain and Cain.” The circular staging allows multiple backdrops to exist simultaneously in different areas of the theater and for the actors to literally walk from scene to scene without going backstage. The cast seems excited about tackling the material despite the constant energy required of them to be in character through the full duration of the play. “I think it’s really helpful, I think being onstage the whole time keeps you focused,” says Darcy C. Donelan ’14, who plays the mother.
“Cain and Cain” will be odd and experimental and perhaps a little overwhelming. “I want to make a show and have people come out and say, ‘Huh,’ and maybe that’s enough,” says Nee-Vogelman.