|PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES captures the character
of architectural discourse -- in all its subtleties and foibles -- and gives
the public a disturbing and humorous glimpse inside today's architecture
schools. Margaret, a young Korean-American student presents her thesis for
a public swimming pool to an all male jury of famous architects. This simple
premise is a jumping-off point for a facile examination of academia, intellectual
pretension and the failure of postmodernist culture. The play asks compelling
questions about the state of the male-female power struggle, fears of disrupting
the status quo and ultimately, the importance of challenging tradition.
When the play debuted in Los Angeles in 2001, PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES
garnered praise from the following corners: In the LA Times, wrote F.
Kathleen Foley, "Safdie rivals (Yasmina) Reza in wit and often outstrips
her in intellectual heft" -- Critic's Choice. In Metropolis Magazine,
Jade Chang wrote, "Raises just about every issue that has kept design
offices, coffeehouses and university hallways in conversation for the
past century - then makes us laugh knowingly at ourselves for taking them
so seriously" Mark Jonas of Theater2K writes, "Brainy, funny,
and provocative ... Catch it -- you won't forget it." And ArchitectureWeek's,
B.J. Novitski observed, "Safdie has captured the character of architectural
discourse -- in all its subtleties and foibles -- and brought to the public
a disturbing (yet humorous) glimpse inside today's architecture schools."
A native of Montreal, and a former architecture student at Columbia University,
Oren Safdie wrote the film YOU CAN THANK ME LATER starring Ellen Burstyn,
Amanda Plummer, Mary McDonnell, and Genevieve Bujold, which has played
the Montreal World, Jerusalem, Palm Springs and Newport Film Festivals,
where it won the Jury Prize. His other plays include the critically acclaimed
JEWS & JESUS, FIDDLER SUB-TERRAIN, HYPER-ALLERGENIC, BROKEN PLACES,
LAUGHING DOGS & LA COMPAGNIE, which was developed into a pilot for
CBS/ Castle Rock.
Craig Carlisle has directed a number of productions in New York City,
including Off-Broadway productions of JOE FEARLESS at The Atlantic Theater
and SPINE at The Phil Bosakowski Theater. In LA, Carlisle's directing
credits include SIGHT UNSEEN, CHEYENNE and most recently PLANET AMERICA
by Iris Bar-Ziv. As a writer he was nominated for a 1999 Ovation Award
for his play BOB FUNK.
PRIVATE JOKES, PUBLIC PLACES is also published by Playwrights Canada
Press and recently received a grant award from The Graham Foundation.