Marley's Ghost

Marley acknowledges that "one of the curses" of a job like his is that "what is in your head is never fully realized on stage," but he ticks off a list of goals: He wants to showcase the talents of his company by taking it on an international tour, even as he vows to significantly improve the acting company's mediocre vocal skills. And, despite the fact that the father of modern drama, Henrik Ibsen, required two years--in isolation, no less--to write each of his major plays, Marley unabashedly wishes for "a resident playwright whose responsibility is to deliver a producible play for a professional theater once a year." And while he admits that his always aging acting company must take care to maintain a strong, expressive physical approach, he insists that the company's vitality lies in this core group of mature artists, who will become "a resource that no one else in this country has."

Like most of his prosaic pronouncements, these words cut both ways--making you wonder whether, five years from now, the company that Marley keeps will be the envy of theaters nationwide or an isolated anachronism that no one really wants anymore.

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