Sunday, May 4, 2008

Ink Blotter - "The Judas Tree" & Polygamy

Ink Blotter

Join us this afternoon for a live chat that should be anything but garden variety. Today's subjects are polygamy and "The Judas Tree," a play based on real-life serial killer Dorothea Puente. Our special guest today is the playwright of "The Judas Tree."

Mary Fenger Gail (pictured below) will discuss the process of adapting a play from an actual crime story. Mary will join us for the first half-hour, from 4:00 to 4:30, and she will be happy to answer your questions about the creative process of generating a surreal script from an all-too-real crime story.

"I think theater should take us to unfamiliar worlds in a magical way," Mary told the San Diego Tribune. "More magic, more madness, heightened passion, acting that's beyond verisimilitude." "The Judas Tree" certainly fits the bill. At the center of the crime musical and courtroom drama is a mystical garden where flora burst from the surface and corpses dance below, giving testimony from the grave. If you missed Diane Fanning's post on the actual woman serial killer whose crimes were discovered when authorities spotted corpses in her garden, visit here.

The New York Times calls the production "a mythical play of operatic proportion," characterizing the world premiere as "a tale of magic, murder and seduction." MultiStages Theatre says it's a "multidisciplinary feast for the senses." And audiences are responding. Opening night was a sellout. "The Judas Tree" runs through May 11 at the CSV Cultural Teatro La Tea in Manhattan. Women in Crime Ink thanks MultiStages Artistic Director Lorca Peress for giving our crime blog some play in the Playbill.

The last half of the Ink Blotter will feature a discussion of the child custody issue with the Eldorado polygamist sect. At 4:30, WCI's Defense Attorney Katherine Scardino and our Policewoman / Novelist Stacy Dittrich will heat up the discussion. The question at issue: Did the government have a lawful right and/or a moral obligation to remove children from their families? This should be a spirited chat between our former sex-crimes cop and WCI's criminal defense lawyer. If you missed Kathryn Casey's post on the polygamist sect, click here.

See you in the blue "Ink Blotter" box along the right sidebar, nearly halfway down the page.

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