by Yasmina Reza, translated by Christopher Hampton
February 4–18, 2012
Previews: Feb. 2–3
Johnson Theater, TPAC
Tennessee Rep Presents
God of Carnage
2009 Tony Award-winner for Best Play
The other day in the neighborhood park, little Benjamin whacked his playmate Henry with a stick, breaking two teeth. So it is important that the parents of the boys set the right example and sit down to discuss the matter calmly and reasonably, right? After all, nothing will be gained by behaving like children…
Human nature, red in tooth and claw. Yasmina Reza—the writer who drew maximum laughs from Minimalist art in Art—uses her corrosive wit to strip away the thin veneer of civilization in this Tony Award-winning comedy of manners... without the manners.
This is the one play I knew we’d do the moment we could get rights for it—sharp dialogue and characters requiring exceptional acting which make us really look at ourselves and our behaviors. Two sets of parents get together to calmly discuss the bad behavior of their young sons (one hit the other) and they soon descend into an immaturity that by contrast with what they SAY they are trying to be is perfect parody of self-important politically correct grown-ups. What are we REALLY like underneath, when on the outside we’re pretending to be adults in a civilized society? What happens if we are driven to drop the façade? What would happen if we all said what we really think, unfettered by the constraints of politeness? God of Carnage is an acting tour de force, and I am especially excited by a play that offers four meaty roles. The best part of my job is getting to work with terrific actors in amazing roles, so I look forward to sharing with you the acting talent that can drive this one home. Human nature needs to be poked with a sharp stick now and then—I Iove the way this play does that. Quite simply, this Tony winner is one of the most scathingly funny plays out there today, revealing and reveling in human nature, and one that Middle Tennessee deserves to see in its own backyard.