Preface, in verse, by the Bernadette Corporation
Crime or Emergency
Drama/Comedy/Shamanistic Cabaret, Flexible set, Piano Required
Crime or Emergency (not including Lost Acts): 6 men, 5 women, 1 gender neutral, 1+ crowd
Including Lost Acts: 11 men, 6 women, 1 gender neutral, 2+ Choruses/Crowds
A routine medical examination goes critical, spirals. Inner, personal violences take hold and multiply. A play meant to challenge our normalized expectations of cause and effect, to suggest post-logical incoherence as the basis of human motivation, feeling, and violence, and to threaten our Aristotelian/Stanislavskian conceptions of contemporary American theater and identity as we safely understand it. Contains impossibly expensive stage directions and early Bruce Springsteen songs.
"Kempson, a playwright of terrifying gifts, doesn't write like any of the avant-gardists you've heard before. She has a passion for finely drawn characters, a perfect ear for dialogue and a short-story writer's economy. Indeed, Crime or Emergency—despite its hipster cladding and brutal assaults on our senses—is downright literary... Kempson's text... actually does violence. Her scenes repeatedly describe people bewildered by their sudden capacity to harm—a marvelous metaphor for a young woman so frighteningly in command of devastating linguistic weapons." — Helen Shaw, Time Out New York
"A piece of hysterical realism that plays out in a doctor's office, in a parking garage, at a rodeo, on a boat, etc. As both actor and playwright, Kempson has a gift for rendering the fairly normal as intensely weird." —Alexis Soloski, The Village Voice
"It's not entirely clear what it all adds up to ..." —The New York Times.