Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Starting on a review for C.P. Taylor's Good:

C.P. Taylor’s Good, debuted last Wednesday at Randolph Macon College’s Cobb Theatre. Good was directed and produced by Randolph Macon’s own Joe Mattys. Joe is a professor of Theatre at the College. The title of the play ties into the central meaning of the play, which are the challenges that good people face in problematic times of distress and how good people can loose their sense of morality.
The production was not the typically tragedy, however C.P. himself, describes Good as “a play with music”. The setting took place in the early 1930s and stretches through about 1940 where it revolves around the horrors of the Holocaust. The main character, Halder, tells the story through his three voices, the voice inside his head, his outside voice, as well as through memories of the past. Halder is a brilliant man, who is a professor at a University; however he becomes mad with the sound of music constantly playing in his head. There are other elements in Halder’s life that drive him to a craze, his wife who cannot follow simple directions, cannot cook, clean or care of their children therefore she was not a productive member of society. Then there is his mother who is gravely ill and needed constant assistance to live, it is her wish to overdose on medications so that she is put out of her misery. The thought was, wouldn’t it be good to get rid of them, since they were no longer productive members of society.
It is his mother’s wishes that compel him to research the topic of euthanasia, which he later writes a book about. He believes that sick people should have the option to be euthanized if they do not stand a chance at living a good life. In a sense he believed that the ill should be put out of their misery. Soon after his book is published the Nazi’s learn of his theories, they began to form an alliance of sorts with Halder. The theory was in turn used to benefit the Nazi party during the Holocaust; they put Jews, and those who had economic power into bathrooms that had poisonous gas pouring out of showerheads. After these victims had marched off to Auschwitz, the Germans were in a position to rise to power economically and socially. Halder was directly affected by this; he gained his position chairing his department at the University because the previous chair was a Jew. As the audience we are not given a linear path of Halder’s thoughts which reflects the way every human mind works. C.P. Taylor takes the audience through Halder’s thoughts thought by thought, which leads us step by step in his journey of forgetting his original morality.


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