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Extremities - William Matrisome

Uploaded by Brent R Goodin on May 09, 2004

Using a transverse set up, the seating for the audience was divided: half to the right and half to the left of the stage. I was in a position to look down upon the actors. As the lights dimmed and I took my seat, my heartbeat slowed and silence descended upon the audience.
William Matrosimone’s Extremities began in an unkempt living room. Lights were dim and Marjorie, the protagonist, stood motionless with her back to a macabre background splattered with grays and blacks. An unlit fire place enclosed by a solid blue grill was to her left; an old couch with blankets in disarray was in front of her; and an unfinished bottle of wine and a glass with lipstick smeared on its edge stood upright on a table to her right. The set was strewn with disorder and a morbid soundlessness.
Then, the silence vanished; disturbing ambient sounds took its place. To instill an altogether eerie atmosphere, offbeat music was incorporated alongside the incessant buzzing of an angry wasp. As unsettling as the music was, it only acted as a taster for the action that was to ensue. Marjorie (Sarah Norwalk) was the victim of an attempted rape. Whilst her attacker, Robert (Evan Powell), taunted her and forced himself upon her, she managed to wriggle free and disable Evan by spraying a chemical substance in his eyes. The struggle for power was at an end and the victim empowered was ruthless in exacting her revenge.
In Extremities, the rapist was not a sex maniac; he had a wife. He craved power not sensual gratification. By ravishing a woman’s body he hoped to efface her goodness or seize her power but in this piece that was certainly not the case. Marjorie switched roles and made the rapist pay for his actions. She toyed with him like an animal would with its prey. First, she tied him up and blindfolded him. Then she knocked him around, threatened to burn him alive in the fireplace and plant a steel hammer in the back of his head but all of those deaths were too quick, too munificent. So she tried to starve him to death and momentarily thought of burying him in the woods. While she decided how to dispose of him, her female...

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Uploaded by:   Brent R Goodin

Date:   05/09/2004

Category:   Literature

Length:   4 pages (890 words)

Views:   2163

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