In Between by William Lottering
In Between is a delightfully funny, historical and artistic poke at the lives and works of artistic geniuses. The drama questions our values of beauty, self and the human condition through a modern lens. It has a fast tempo and is a good match for those who love art, history and culture.
Four artists face each other in the Conference Room. They died at different times, but because time has no meaning, it is a surprising, new experience for each of them, as if they have been snatched away or captured for a secret project. Michelangelo and Leonardo, two Renaissance opponents, meet Frida Kahlo from the 20th century and Aka Nono from the 21st century. Their misunderstandings, amazement and eventual harmony is at the center of this comedy.
Act 1: The character’s mission is explained. We introduce the famous opponents, Michelangelo and Leonardo, who suspect they have been brought together for a secret project. When Frida Kahlo is added to the group, they figure out they are in Purgatory.
Act 2: The three characters find out more about each other. Michelangelo and Leonardo begin to realize their view of the world is out of date. When Aka Nono enters, she is at first naive about their dilemma and tries to deny it, as her sense of the absurd prevents her at first to acknowledge the truth. The differences between the characters are highlighted.
Act 3: The characters get on with purging themselves. They discuss their work and personal struggles and taunt each other. The contrast between their lives and times becomes deeper.
Act 4: Aka Nono realises they are dead. Now the differences between the characters is much more obvious. As modern ideas are introduced, Michelangelo and Leonardo become more modest and aware of their limitations. In a group confession, the characters eventually realize what their work was about and what their main purpose in life was.
Keywords: absurd, comedy, history, historical, art, artists, witty
Genre: Dark Comedy, Absurd
Run time: 60 minutes
Content notes: This is an art historical farce. Bringing characters from different periods together creates opportunities for comedy and the absurd. There is, however, a serious undertone and conclusion. There is minimal swearing, which is functional, not vulgar.
Contemporary issues such as gender and race are present. It is meant to be uplifting and during readings, were viewed as positive.
A reference to the small penis of Michelangelo's David sculpture leads to a funny question. This is art historical and not meant a a reference to sex. The set can be minimalistic or extensive. There is a large flat wall in the back, used for projections to illustrate/support the climax. Lighting plays an important role - it changes as the play progresses.
Cast size: 5 actors
Male roles: 2
Female roles: 2
Trans/Non-Binary/Gender Non-Conforming roles: 1
The role of the Warden is not gender specific. The character of Aka Nono is Asian.
Frida Kahlo is in a wheelchair.
The characters are more or less the same age, as specified in the text.