“This play is not realism and should not be performed as such.”
That’s James Ijames in his script for Kill Move Paradise. I saw the play last night with Next Act. Loved it. Went back to the script that had been provided in the press kit and just...read...
Ijames’ prose style makes for a very sharp read in script format. He’s wields words with grace. The play is about a group of four guys hang out in an afterlife called...Kill Move Paradise. (That’s what it’s called.)
Seeing Each Other
The afterlife is...kind of dark. As the audience, we’re there to see it. Ijames talks about this in the script right after dialogue that is spoken to the audience. He says:
“We have to be willing to really see each other for a spell. Maybe a spell that feels longer and costs more than we are willing to spend.”
It might be the only place to leave Kill Move Paradise...at least for the characters.
“Daz tries to escape the space. He runs up the wall and slides down. Runs up. Slides down. Runs, slides. Runs, slides. RunsSlides...We let this happen as long as he can take it. Be generous with his agony.”
Said again: “Be generous with his agony.” (Wow.)
So...there’s this printer in the afterlife.
Here’s what Ijames says about it in the script:
“Somewhere onstage a printer spits out a name on an increasingly growing list. We used a dot matrix printer and that was fire.”
Next Act has the printer right out front and on the left. It’s right above a few bottles of water, a few bottles of Perrier and a plate of brownies. (There are evidently complimentary brownies and carbonated water in the afterlife.) The rest of the set includes a fantastic collage of stuff...a TV with a built-in VCR next to a doorless mini-fridge full of VHS tapes. A bicycle, a football, a dartboard, a clock, a wheelbarrow, an Atlantic Record 45, a pair of lime green Nikes, a saxophone right next to a painting of a guy playing a sax, another clock, a solid body electric guitar and so much more. All of it is way at the back of the stage. The afterlife is alive with...stuff.
The list of names keeps growing. We all know what it is. No need to explain it. Tamir Rice. Trayvon Martin. Reginald Doucet. And so many more. The list in the script goes on for four pages. Here’s what Ijames says about it...just before it’s read...
“The impulse will be to make the list less agonizing...It should be speaking the names as an attempt to keep those bodies alive...This list has grown each time. I have done a revision of this play and, I fear, will continue to grow. Add the names of the newly fallen. We must say their names as well.”
Next Act’s production of Kill Move Paradise runs through Oct. 16 at the space on 255 S. Water St. For ticket reservations and more, visit Next Act Online.