Curtains

ASU Tempe's Binary Theatre Looks for Answers with Earthlings, Tonight Through Sunday

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See also: ASU Tempe's Theatre Grad Cohort Presents The Fall of the House of Escher

The execution: May's script is stronger on character and dialogue than a lot of the new works we get to see, and that's what raises the stakes, makes us care, and keeps things perking along no matter what small quibbles you might have with the plot. And if you have? Honestly, can you say what decisions you'd make if you knew you and your entire species would be extinct within a month? Because that's what we have here.

One would like to think that there wouldn't be all that much rioting, looting, killing, raping and whatnot, even in the East Bronx, when humans knew those would be their final actions. What difference would money or possession make? Wouldn't you want to give away and share what others wanted to steal and see whether we could make Heaven on Earth for at least five weeks?

But those are only the initial questions, and some of the simplest ones, that Earthlings couldn't help prompting me to ask myself. As seven very different people sought shelter (and, sometimes, other goals) within St. Mark's Church, I marveled at reminders of the instinctive will to live and love and how firmly a person might hold some values even in the face of ultimate, complete uncertainty.

The timing of this production, while Darren Aronofsky's Noah is in cinemas and also during Easter season -- in fact, Earthlings drew a sizable crowd on Sunday afternoon -- is, well, timely. Later, it reminded me of the Bible story if God, instead of seeing that his creation had become wicked and told one man that most of it would be destroyed, had, let's say, told everyone he was going destroy us for no particular reason and then just watched to see what we'd do.

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Julie has written for the Night & Day events calendar section since 2005. As a student at Arizona State, she received the Glendon and Kathryn Swarthout Creative Writing Award and the Theatre Medallion of Merit.
Contact: Julie Peterson