Sunday, January 27, 2013


This weekend I saw Luther at Steep Theatre.  It's a very odd play.  It's about a couple who adopt a war veteran, a grown man - and they treat him like a cross between a child and a dog.  At the beginning, for example, they have a long talk about who will watch him when they go on a long-awaited vacation, and, to wake him up from a nap on the couch, they scratch his legs while he nearly slobbers and pants on them.

It takes place in something like an alternate reality where people do this thing - adopt veterans.  Some of the characters are puppets, which is pretty interesting but superfluous.  It was an uncomfortable performance because Luther (the vet) behaves like an animal sometimes, he quickly turns erratic and violent.  I think the playwrite is probably trying to make some kind of statement about the dehumanizing factor of war but the comparison to animals is unsettling.  Even the poster for the show figures a dog bowl with the name "Luther" on it.  Unfortunately, the play lacked a clear point of view and I don't think my companions and I were the only ones to leave a little confused by what we had seen.  (Especially judging by early reviews.)

The adoptive parents were well-meaning but completely unprepared for caring for their new addition. I desperately flipped through my program after the play looking for a article that would explain it all - no luck.  What are they trying to say - that we're collectively not prepared to integrate soldiers into civilian life?  Luther raised a lot of questions, but ones that made me wonder what the hell the play was about and less about how to honor and support war veterans.

1 comment:

Caitlin said...

I went to school with Joanie Schultz! :)