Imago Theatre has billed Stage Left Lost as an Othello that takes place onstage and off the stage – but that is just marketing, a way to catch the show in a phrase to sell tickets. Stage Left Lost is not Othello. It began as an exploration of an Othello but it has become its own thing. What is that thing is something about shifting perspectives, endings becoming beginnings and beginnings that are endings.
It’s difficult for me to say why Stage Left Lost is sort of a puzzle that shouldn’t fit together yet it does. It’s the kind of intellectual toy that you know shouldn’t make sense but it does. It reminds me of paintings by Magritte but it is not surrealism.
Frankly, I don’t know what this play is. I can tell you how I began with an ending and tried to find a beginning.
An actor friend was working on an original show and we would cross paths during rehearsals. As all director/writers we were both struggling with our work. He was having a difficult time finding an ending, and my problem was the opposite. I knew where I was ending but did not know how to get there.
Stage Left Lost begins with the death of an actress accidentally or intentionally killed by her co-lead. I return to this same scene at the end of the play. The end is both a flash back and a flash forward. In looking at the play it seems like the end scene took place before the beginning and the beginning scene took place before the end. In a linear world this impossible – yet in the world of theatre it becomes not only possible but a reality.
Stage Left Lost opens Nov 4.