Shopping Cart
Your cart is empty.

        We accept PayPal, Visa & Mastercard
        through our secure checkout.

Mastercard                              

 



The Shape of Things

The Shape of Things
Your Price: $19.50 CDN
Author: Neil LaBute
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 138
Pub. Date: 2001
ISBN-10: 0571212468
ISBN-13: 9780571212460

About the Play:

How far would you go for love? For art? What would you be willing to change? Which price might you pay?

The Shape of Things is a full-length drama by Neil LaBute. Seduction is an art. After a chance meeting in a museum, Evelyn, a sexy, aggressive artist, and Adam, a shy, insecure student, become embroiled in an intense affair. Adam, under Evelyn's steady influence, goes to unimaginable lengths to improve his appearance and character just to please her. His best friends Philip and Jenny try to reach out to him, but is it too late? An intense and disturbing study not only of the uses of power within human relationships, but also of the ethics involved in the relationship of art and life.

In a modern version of Adam's seduction by Eve, The Shape of Things pits gentle, awkward, overweight Adam against experienced, analytical, amoral Evelyn, a graduate student in art. After a chance meeting at a museum, Evelyn and Adam embark on an intense relationship that causes shy and principled Adam to go to extraordinary lengths, including cosmetic surgery, and a betrayal of his best friend, to improve his appearance and character. In the process, Evelyn's subtle and insistent coaching results in a reconstruction of Adam's fundamental moral character. Only in a final and shocking exhibition does Evelyn reveal the nature of her interest in Adam, of her detached artist's perspective and sense of authority — to her, Adam is no more than "flesh… one of the most perfect materials on earth. Natural, beautiful, and malleable."

To what extent is an artist licensed to shape and change her medium or to alter the work of another artist? What is acceptable artistic material? At what point does creation become manipulation, and at what point does creation destroy? Or, is the new Adam, handsome and confident if heart broken, an admirable result of the most challenging artistic endeavor? The Shape of Things challenges society's most deeply entrenched ideas about art, manipulation, and love.

The Shape of Things premiered in 2001 at the Almeida Theatre in North London.

Cast: 2 women, 2 men

What people say:

"Any shrewd chap who finds his artist girlfriend has a video-camera in the bedroom to film the cut and thrust of their sexual action might well fear he was destined to end up as her artistic fodder. But in 'The Shape of Things', Neil LaBute's absolutely chilling report from the sex war's frontline, where stratagems for sexual humiliations are planned, Adam, the shy chap concerned, takes the video-camera, so to speak, lying down. LaBute, the remarkable American movie director and playwright whose film 'In the Company of Men' showed a sexually unappealing woman exploited by two vengeful pretend lovers, now returns to this theme. This time it's a man who's the victim of female guile…. LaBute meticulously plans that the shocking, climatic revelations should cast dark light upon his apparently average people." — The Standard

"[LaBute] continues to probe the fascinating dark side of individualism, whose ultimate evil is an inability to imagine the suffering of others.... LaBute's great gift is to live in and to chronicle that murky area of not knowing, which mankind spends much of its waking life denying. Where does truth end and fiction begin? Is the fiction more valuable than the truth? Do the results justify the means?" — The New Yorker

"What is art? What are you permitted to do in its name? …These questions are thrown up by a piece whose intricate layers of treachery are worthy of David Mamet…." — The Independent

"LaBute is a smart, ambitious writer who, at his best, dares to explore the ambivalence hiding under the weave of our social fabric. He always has a serious intellectual project in mind, and here he aims at no less than the subjectivity of love and the definition of art itself. 'The Shape of Things' is compulsively watchable." — Newsday

"LaBute is the most gifted, intelligent and wittily moral American playwright since Wallace Shawn; that is high praise, believe me. And this play marks his theatrical maturity. It's a must see." — Daily Mail

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.

Related Products

This Is How It Goes
Your Price: $18.50 CDN
This Is How It Goes
Neil LaBute
Some Girl(s)
Your Price: $18.50 CDN
Some Girl(s)
Neil LaBute
Reasons To Be Pretty
Your Price: $16.95 CDN
Reasons To Be Pretty
Neil LaBute
In a Dark Dark House
Your Price: $19.95 CDN
In a Dark Dark House
Neil LaBute
Autobahn: A Short-Play Cycle
Your Price: $18.25 CDN
Autobahn: A Short-Play Cycle
Neil LaBute
The Mercy Seat
Your Price: $17.50 CDN
The Mercy Seat
Neil LaBute
Bash: Three Plays
Your Price: $19.50 CDN
Bash: Three Plays
Neil LaBute
Fat Pig
Your Price: $17.50 CDN
Fat Pig
Neil LaBute
The Distance From Here
Your Price: $19.50 CDN
The Distance From Here
Neil LaBute