From the Author:
I can site three major points of inspiration for this play.
The first is an incident in 2009 when a close friend of mine suffered her first manic attack and was admitted into the Beth Israel mental ward for two months. Like Marianne in the play, this friend's mom was bedridden and I was the only one able to visit her with some consistency during the length of her stay.
The second was my one-year stint living in a windowless-basement apartment in an industrial area of Brooklyn. I watched a LOT of television that year, slept a lot as well. Through my ceiling I could hear the foot traffic of the rest of the world above me. Through the walls I could feel the vibrations of the nearby subway line. It all continued unperturbed in my absence.
The third was a throwaway comment made by my best friend, Esther Neff, during a slightly-intoxicated late-night talk. 'Because the subconscious doesn't exist', she stated in the middle of a conversation, the topic of which I can't remember. I didn't know what she meant by it, and I didn't ask. Later that night, sitting in front of my computer, her postulate came back to me. I turned that postulate into an argument. That argument generated characters. And those characters generated the story of the play.
What connects these points of inspiration are how they speak to the tricky and insidious ways our general sense of an accepted reality can be undermined, shifted, cracked. Minds can break without warning, our identities and lifestyles can shift with continental slowness until we no longer recognize them, and whole conceptions of our psychic architecture can be undermined with a throwaway comment. NICHOLAS MAEVE MARIANNE is a story about three people whose realities are in the middle of a seismic shift. They look to each other for comfort and safety and fail to find it. That they are unable to save each other is a kind of tragedy I suppose but I'm hesitant to use any genre labels. After all, the play doesn't end in a bloody massacre; they're still as young, healthy, and intelligent as when they started. They may be shaken to their core but the future can still be what they make of it.
Reality isn't just dictated to us; it isn't a cold hard fact. It's a conversation in which everything participates.