Totalitarian Trauma | Review | Tucson Weekly

Totalitarian Trauma 

A dark drama at IT takes on sex, lies and government-speak

Anna, an editor at the Soviet-style Ministry of Information, is not one to complain and certainly not to the Director.
But the man has summoned her and is now standing much too close.
And if you must know, this new project might just be the death of her. Anna and her comrades, black markers in hand, are working like the devil cleaning up the personal letters of Russia's most famous composer.
Seems the late composer was a boisterous homosexual who liked putting pen to paper. He documented his sexual adventures at length and with explicit glee.
"It's pornography," Anna tells the Director, who clearly has a dirty mind of his own. The grim-faced worker, played by Lori Hunt, explains that the filth removal is proceeding as planned. But it's dawning on her that the Director (Roberto Guajardo) didn't call her to his office for a status report.
Something else is going on. But what?
That's the question at the heart of The Letters, a tense two-character drama that opened Invisible Theatre's 43rd season last week.
John W. Lowell's play was inspired by a biography of Tchaikovsky, whose personal papers were reportedly censored by the Soviets. The government was hellbent on scrubbing the gay away.
The play, which earned its first major production in 2009, was also inspired by the overheated reaction to Bill Clinton's dalliance with Monica Lewinsky in the '90s.
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