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Autobahn: A Short-Play Cycle

Autobahn: A Short-Play Cycle
Your Price: $18.25 CDN
Author: Neil LaBute
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 112
Pub. Date: 2004
ISBN-10: 0571211100
ISBN-13: 9780571211104

About the Play:

Autobahn is a provocative cycle of short plays by Neil LaBute set within the confines of the front seat of an automobile. The playwright employs his signature plaintive insight to great effect, investigating the inchoate apprehension that surrounds the steering wheel.

Be it the medium for clandestine couplings, arguments, shelter, or ultimately transportation, the automobile is perhaps the most authentically American of spaces. Each of these seven brief vignettes explore the ethos of perception and relationship — from a make-out session gone awry to a kidnapping thinly disguised as a road trip, a reconnaissance mission involving the rescue of a Nintendo 64 to a daughter's long ride home after her release from rehab.

The result is an unsettling montage that gradually reveals the scabrous force of words left unsaid while illuminating the delicate interplay between intention and morality, capturing the essence of middle America and the myriad paths which cross its surface.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

What people say:

"Maybe I wrote Autobahn in part because sitting in a car was where I first remembered understanding how drama worked. My mother and father certainly provided enough of that. And hidden in the spacious backseat of a late-model American sedan, I realized quickly how deep the chasm or intensely claustrophobic it was (depending on how things were going up front) inside your average American car. Cars, like most everything else have been used as covert love nests, battlegrounds, or places of refuge in the past. So why shouldn't we appropriate these intensely dramatic spaces for the theater while we're at it." — Neil LaBute from the introduction for Pleasures of Limitation

"In Autobahn, Neil LaBute has written a provocative series of playlets featuring characters seated in cars that each conclude with a squirm-inducing twist… it's a clever collection certain to please LaBute's expanding legion of devotees." — Variety

"Neil LaBute's short play cycle Autobahn doesn't finally cohere into a greater whole in the way its author may have intended, but it doesn't really matter. This series of vehicle-centered pieces isn't a single-minded convoy headed in one direction; it's a sampling of curdled joyrides and expeditions into darkness. LaBute doesn't often get credit for his wicked sense of humor, and the bulk of this show is an admirable display of uncomfortable laughs." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Neil LaBute is an award-winning American playwright, filmmaker, and screenwriter. His plays include bash, Reasons to be Pretty (Tony Award nominated for best play), In a Forest, Dark and Deep, and Reasons to be Happy. His films include In the Company of Men (New York Critics' Circle Award for Best First Feature and the Filmmaker Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival), Your Friends and Neighbors, Nurse Betty, Possession, The Shape of Things, Some Velvet Morning, and Dirty Weekend. He is a 2013 recipient of a Literature Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.

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