The Frightening Disappearance of the Line Between Stage and Life

The boundaries between theater and truth blur in Grand Guignol. The play is set in Paris in 1903 and follows psychiatrist Alfred Binet, who becomes obsessed with the horror shows he sees in a back-alley theater, the Grand Guignol. Binet befriends the chief playwright of the theater, Andre De Lorde, and uses his skills in psychiatry to discover how and why the man creates such chilling works of art. But by doing so, he finds himself the muse for some of De Lorde's dark tales. The shows and the theater become a great success, but Binet is left with an uneasy feeling. When De Lorde reveals that his co-collaborator is the ghost of Edgar Allan Poe — and a serial killer begins stalking the streets of Paris — Binet loses his grip on reality. He becomes unsure what is theater, what is horror, and what is real. After the show, the audience may feel the same. "This production of Grand Guignol is set in a theater, a theater of the mind. Maybe the characters' or maybe yours," says Carl Grose, the play's author.


Oct. 30-Nov. 3, 7 & 10 p.m., 2013
 
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