Magic Theatre's WHY WE HAVE A BODY

Magic Theatre presents…..
Claire Chafee’s WHY WE HAVE A BODY
Directed by Katie Pearl
Featuring Rebecca Dines, Lauren English, Lorri Holt and Maggie Mason

There came a time when the risk to remain tight in the bud
was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.
Anaïs Nin

“WHY WE HAVE A BODY pulses with life within a uniquely visceral theatrical universe,” says Loretta Greco, Magic Theater’s Artistic Director. “Much of its raw beauty is tied to Claire’s unabashed embracing of the innate absurdity of family and the messy mysteries that make up the lives of her four intrepid women. Mary, Lili, Renee and Eleanor are all explorers of a sort, trekking forward and back- each on the verge of discovery.”

When you think of about it, every one of us is on that same path, searching… always searching… for an elusive answer to who we really are. Each experience becomes part of us and even as we react to it in our own unique way, it changes us. Inevitably, we become a different person than the one who took that first step to anywhere we go. That is the thesis of Claire Chafee’s brilliantly perceptive play and that is the reason it can never become dated or passé.

Our bodies are with us always but what they want from us and how we realize their fullest potential can never be an absolute, Every day we live changes who we become. “(Our body) is the only thing we take everywhere, from birth, and therefore carries all that has ever happened to us somewhere inside,” said Chafee in discussing the underlying theme of her work. “I have always been inspired by people and characters braver than myself, who really do listen to what their hearts tell them.”

That is what each of her characters is trying to do in this exquisitely realized window into four different women’s psyches. They are all working really hard to figure out how to be themselves. If we really listen to each of them, we will hear our own anguished voices. The play is riddled with memorable quotes you want imbed in your memory and pull out to give you perspective when your life fragments. “I can see that there’s a highway, I can see that there’s a suitcase, and I get a restless feeling like I want to get born but I don’t know how,” says Lili, who has become a private detective specializing in adultery from the wife’s perspective.

“Marriage boggles the imagination,” says Lorri Holt who plays Eleanor, Mary and Lili’s mother. “How little can happen and how busy you can be.”

And she goes on to say, “All my life, I’ve had two overriding fears. One, that I would never make something of myself and the other that I would.”

The direction, the set, the four women on the Magic stage cast an unforgettable spell. Every sentence, every movement touches a universal nerve. Anyone who tries to examine the purpose and the direction of his life has asked himself these same questions. It makes no difference what your sexual preference is, what your home life was, what your education gave you ……we all are on a unique quest. No one else has lived the life we are in and so we must create our own signposts. As we watch the characters in this play carve out their identities and learn to accept who they are and where they want to go, we are given clues on how to make our own lives feel better.

“Claire’s writing is as touching and urgent now as it was in 1993,” says Greco. “And is unique in its ability to transcend the confines of the era in which it was written. We couldn’t miss the opportunity to share this with our audiences.”

To the question of your life, you are the only answer.
To the problems of your life, you are the only solution.
Jo Coudert

WHY WE HAVE A BODY continues until October 2
Magic Theatre
Building D, Fort Mason Center, San Francisco
Tickets and information:
(415) 441-8001