A modern morality play.
Cast of the 8 microdramas: You Overslept (2W), As Close as It Gets (2M), Yes, No (1M, 1W), They Were Still Tied Till the Intermission (3M), Before the Boys Get Back (3W), Do It with Me (1M, 1W), For Sure, Maybe (2W), You Don’t Have to, Look (2M)
The series is composed of eight independently functioning micro-tragedies, forming an inventory of the Western middle class’ discredited ideals. The author somewhat subversively returns to the long-forgotten notion of virtue. By relativizing the concept, he simultaneously discredits and refreshes the very value of moral motivations in the daily life of ordinary people. In this world, the absolute is the television monitor dictating the conditions of co-habitation. It is also the only medium of communication, condemning people to a dispiriting solitude. These plays depict intimate situations between people in close relationships. What links them is the experience of the collapse – emotional, moral, or spiritual – toward which they are headed, and which together they try to defeat. The characters’ motives as well as their biographies remain hidden; all we see is what they say and do. Each of these micro-dramas has its internal language, overheard in various locations in the “Western world” – from an American supermarket, through a London pub to an Estonian hotel. In spite of the pessimism of the verdicts, the dialogues are full of word-play, humorous misunderstandings and ambiguities.
The author has granted the director substantial freedom – each play can be performed alone or in whatever assortment, the characters and their lines can even be interchanged. The Virtues of Western Civilization can also be played as a whole – which then reveals the discreet repetitions of motives and situations in every section. Hunting these down is a true intellectual feast.