Deconstructing a Family Tragedy

Marilyn Pittman came from what she considered a normal Midwestern family. Her parents had been married 50 years. Her dad was a World War II veteran, and her mom was a poet who’d edited her college yearbook. Pittman had become an educator at UC Berkeley, an NPR talent consultant, and a stand-up comic. Then, in 1997, everything she thought she knew about her family – and, by extension, herself – was shattered in 1997 by the murder-suicide of her mom and dad. It’s All the Rage is the one-woman show where Pittman recounts her reaction to her parents’ death and where her questions led her. With the help of her mother’s journals and her father’s letters, she was able to understand how a once-loving relationship gradually deteriorated into patterns of hate and fear. She also discovered that her father’s time in combat had a lot to do with his violent end. Pittman found parallels in veterans returning from today’s wars in the Middle East, in the patters of domestic violence that often involve firearms. Pervasive violence was the common link between her family’s tragedy, the tragedies suffered by others, and war in general. Hence the title, It’s All the Rage.
Saturdays, Sundays. Starts: Nov. 6. Continues through Dec. 5, 2010

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