Crossroads Repertory Theatre at Indiana Repertory Theatre,
Upperstage; July 29-31; directed by Dale McFadden. The theater company is from
Terre Haute, Indiana, but the 2006 play Terre Haute is about America, government and how humans can
connect anywhere. In it, playwright Edmund White imagines a series of
interviews between two characters very much like Oklahoma City bomber Timothy
McVeigh and Gore Vidal. The real-life American terrorist and writer never met,
but Vidal publicly empathized with McVeigh and the two corresponded. In the
play's fiction, the writer James interviews the killer Harrison in a Terre
Haute prison, a meeting that illustrates what the aging, intellectual
ex-patriot has in common with the young ex-soldier. They are both outraged by
American-backed assassinations and wars and the 1993 FBI siege in Waco, Texas.
Against an entrancing, almost sci-fi prison cell set,
Harrison (Drew Hampton) fairly glows in his orange prison jump suit and makes
the gray-suited James (Mark Douglas-Jones) seems like so much elderly dust.
They are a fascinating pair, young and old, in agreement and in conflict, and
strangely drawn to one another. I would have preferred a gentler arc, without
the obligatory fiery argument in the middle or the sexual implications at the
end, but overall Terre Haute is a
fascinating look at America and Americans.
Without defending violence, White bravely suggests that a
man doesn't have to be in the right to have a point of view, a perspective
worth hearing; 317-635-5252, www.crossroadsrep.com