“Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they’re not after you,” wrote Joseph Heller in his 1961 novel Catch-22.
Whether we Americans, as a lot, are paranoid is debatable. What’s not debatable is that we have an affinity for–if not an an outright obsession with–conspiracies and conspiracy theories. But why? Why, after more than fifty years, can so many among us still refuse to accept official accounts of the JFK assassination? That the moon landing was real? That Elvis didn’t fake his own death?
Falcon Theatre will open its 2018-19 season with Steven Dietz’s conspiracy-grounded thriller YANKEE TAVERN. Set five years after the events of September 11, 2001, the play uses the mother of all conspiracy theories as the conceit for a powerful and frightening drama that confronts our search for closure through endless tall tales.
Director Tracy M. Schoster wants audiences to know that while 9/11 serves as the backdrop for YANKEE TAVERN, it is not a story about 9/11. “At their base, conspiracy theories appeal to our need for a feeling of control in a world that is spinning out of control,” says Ms. Schoster. “We humans hate randomness and the arbitrary occurrences that can devastate our lives. If we have something to point to…to blame…the acceptance of these occurrences becomes easier.”
“The play’s four characters have all suffered loss, something out of their control, directly or indirectly related to 9/11…a father, a best friend, a lover, a way of life,” says Ms. Schoster. “And, rather than believing the hard reality right in front of them, they choose the easier road of conspiracy…to regain control via an explanation of the random event. It’s how they choose to focus that control that produces the consequences that drive the action of the play.”
The Miami Herald says that YANKEE TAVERN “isn’t really about what did or didn’t happen; it’s about the agony of uncertainty.” The Palm Beach New Times says that the play is “a helluva show. You’ll be scared by the intimations of Act One; you’ll be moved by the awful events of Act Two. And when the terrible day is discussed, you will hear the millennium’s fresh ghosts rattling through the walls of the theater…and feel their unhappy gaze beaming from the tavern’s smudged, stained-glass windows.”
The Falcon production features Kyle Daniels as Adam, Becca Howell as Janet, Ted J. Weil as Ray, and Terry Gosdin as Palmer.
Performances are at 8 PM on September 28 and 29 and on October 4, 5, 6, 11, 12, and 13. Tickets prices are $25 for adults and $15 for students with ID. Patrons enjoy a $5 discount for Thursday performances. Visit falcontheater.net to reserve seats.
Falcon Theatre is located at 636 Monmouth Street in the heart of the Monmouth Street Historic District of Newport, Kentucky.