March 23 – April 8
Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00 p.m., Sundays March 25 and April 8 at 3 p.m.
Special matinee on Saturday, March 31 at 3 p.m.
No show on Sunday, April 1.
By Neil Labute
Directed by Constance Witman
Presented by The Players’ Ring and Fearon Productions
The Mercy Seat is a 2002 play by Neil Labute that was among the first major theatrical responses to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
Set on September 12, THE MERCY SEAT concerns Ben (E. Christopher Clark), a man who worked at the World Trade Center but was away from the office during the attack, with his mistress, Abby (Morgan Gavaletz LaMontagne), who is also his boss. Expecting that his family believes that he was killed in the towers’ collapse, Ben contemplates using the tragedy to run away and start a new life with his lover.
THE MERCY SEAT continues Neil LaBute’s unflinching fascination with the often-brutal realities of the war between the sexes. In a time of national tragedy, the world changes overnight. A man and a woman explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they had lived just the day before. Can one be opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness?
“Though set in the cold, gray light of morning in a downtown loft with inescapable views of the vacuum left by the twin towers, THE MERCY SEAT really occurs in one of those feverish nights of the soul in which men and women lock in vicious sexual combat, as in Strindberg’s DANCE OF DEATH and Edward Albee’s WHO’S AFRAID OF VIRGINIA WOOLF?” —Ben Brantley, The New York Times
“Uncomfortable yet fascinating … THE MERCY SEAT makes for provocative theater — sharp, compelling and more than a little chilling.” —Michael Kuchwara, Newsday
“A nihilistic yet brutally honest work … As complex and unfathomable as human motivations … THE MERCY SEAT is haunting.” —David A. Rosenberg, Backstage