The Persecution and Assassination of Jean-Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade by Peter Weiss
"You wanted enlightenment and warmth
and so you studied light and heat
You wondered how forces can be controlled
so you studied electricity
You wanted to know what man is for
so you asked yourself What is this soul
this dump for hollow ideals and mangled morals
You decided that the soul is in the brain
and that it can learn to think"
It's hard to not feel passionately in favor of plays that are only truly realized three-dimensionally on a stage. As captivating as the film adaptation of Peter Brook's Marat/Sade is, one can't help but recognize that this piece is meant to be a play - experienced from many angles and illuminated on all sides of you with the taut-rope heightened awareness that comes from seeing a story reinterpretted and illuminated by honest-to-god flesh and blood. Human beings are rather clever, and the more inventive we discover we can be with film, the easier it is to forget how transformative the theatre can be. So good on ya, Peter Weiss - not to knock holding the mirror up to nature, but I've always preferred a journey through the lookingglass.
[Ed. For plot, see title.]
Characters: "For Nine Men, Three Women, Bit Parts and Others"
Scenes/Monologues: Alarming, powerful monologues for both men and women. Two-person scenes are hard to come by, as the play is largely an ensemble piece.
Recommended by: Jesica
Also by Peter Weiss:
(Note that Weiss was German, and translators make all the difference.)