Page 5

We talk about money being the root of all evil. We have all these old sayings about how bad money is. But money doesn’t have to be bad. If you understand that each dollar that you earn is connected to your community in some fashion, and to your responsibility to the common good and not just your own good, then money is something completely different. But it’s gotten really separated from that. After Katrina, and packing up those things to send to the apartments, I realized that the play about money I wanted to write was a play about reconnecting money to this part of itself. And of course, that’s where all the water in the play came from. You DESCRIBE YOUR PLAY AS “An Adaptation of One Line From The Mayor of Casterbridge.” How did that come to be involved? In the first chapter of The Mayor of Casterbridge, which is a novel by Thomas Hardy, a man who’s down on his luck and very drunk goes into a bar and sells his wife for five pounds. The next day he is beyond horrified at what he’s done. So he stops drinking and becomes a different man—the Mayor of Casterbridge, right? And he searches for his wife and daughter desperately but can never find them. So it starts off with the issue of value. It starts off by equating five pounds and a person. And all those relationships, father-daughter and wife-husband, are also being bartered for that five pounds. Then what happens is the daughter comes back into his life just as he’s about to get married to a very upmarket kind of woman. And the daughter, who’s never had, as we used to say, a pot to piss in—again, what an interesting way to think about money: a pot to piss in—is now living in the lap of luxury. And there’s this line in the novel, and this line blew me away: “She had discovered that take, have, and keep were pleasant words.” All of a sudden she understands what it means to be able to have something, to take it and keep it. And so she becomes, basically, corrupted by this money. She falls in love with money. And my character falls in love with a table. Speaking of the table,you ONCE referred to Italo Calvino’s idea that every object in a narrative is A MAGICAL OBJECT … Isn’t that wild?

Dialogue 3.4: Sherry Kramer  

We talk with Sherry Kramer about THE BAY OF FUNDY and why she always wanted to write a play about money. We also find out why her stage dire...