Friday, July 27, and Saturday, July 28, 7:30 p.m.
Playcrafters Barn Theatre, 4950 35th Avenue, Moline IL
The winner of England's Evening Standard Award for Best Play and a work described as “stunning” by the New York Times, playwright Caryl Churchill's provocative cloning drama A Number will be staged locally July 27 and 28, this latest production in the Playcrafters Barn Theatre's Barn Owl Series described by the Daily Telegraph as “moving, thought-provoking, and thrilling.”
First performed in 2002 and set in a world in which human cloning is a reality, A Number explores the ethical nature of the procedure, the fragility of personal identity, and the conflicting claims of nature and nurture. The play begins with the 35-year-old Bernard confronting his father, Salter, after making a startling discovery: that he is not, as he'd originally thought, an only child, but just one of a number of clones. Salter explains that, after the death of the first Bernard, he agreed to a cloning experiment to bring his son back, and that, unbeknownst to him, the doctors had unethically made several additional clones. Yet the original Bernard, it turns out, is still very much alive, and what results in this riveting work by American Theatre Hall of Fame inductee Churchill led the Evening Standard to call A Number “an astonishing event,” its reviewer adding, “Rarely in my theatre-going experience has a new play conveyed such a disturbing or enthralling impression of domestic weirdness.”
Helming A Number for Playcrafters is Jacque Cohoon, whose previous directorial offerings for the venue have included The Dixie Swim Club, The Red Velvet Cake War, and Stocking Stuffers. The production's two-man cast, meanwhile, is composed of Playcrafters veterans Don Faust as Salter and Jordan L. Smith as Salter's offspring. Faust's recent area credits have included Playcrafters' A Woman Called Truth and Miracle on 34th Street and the Richmond Hill Barn Theatre's The Diviners, while Smith starred in M*A*S*H and 13th of Paris for Playcrafters in addition to this past February's The Nether for New Ground Theatre.
A Number will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on July 27 and 28, admission is $5-8, and more information and tickets are available by calling (309)762-0330 or visiting Playcrafters.com.