Productions Publications

Beneath the Dusty Trees – The Gary Plays

Beneath the Dusty TreesBy Murray Mednick
Introduction by Guy Zimmerman

The Gary Plays are an octet of plays portraying economic and spiritual distress in the contemporary urban wilderness of Los Angeles. The series was inspired by a friend of the playwright whose son died in a drug deal gone wrong under the “dusty trees” of the San Fernando Valley. The series begins as Gary, an unemployed actor down on his luck, visits the park where his son was shot, apparently at random. Struggling with murderous rage, he is joined by two “choral” figures, internalized voices that re-enact painful memories and goad him toward a moment of surrender. Each of the subsequent Gary Plays explores different aspects of this core relationship – Gary and his “chorus” – Mednick exploring the full range of theatrical possibilities opened by this modernist resurrection of the classical Greek chorus.

“A staging of “The Gary Plays,”…is one of the most engaging and ambitious local theater events of the past few seasons…. Mednick’s Gary is a sort of L.A. Leopold Bloom… The Los Angeles River may be a mere trickle compared to the River Liffey, but “The Gary Plays” surge with a desire to find—in the seemingly mundane wanderings of one man—the very soul of a city.”

—James C. Taylor, KCRW Theatre Talk

“A playwright’s playwright…Mednick has spent his career at the forefront of avant-garde theater.”

—Sandra Ross, LA Weekly

“Mednick’s characters lean fully into their own confusion, in search of transformation, and these plays, from the middle of his career, embrace the idea that theater, like poetry or music, is meant to inspire those it engages.”

—Guy Zimmerman, Artistic Director, Padua Playwrights

Padua Playwrights Press
Distributed by Theatre Communications Group, New York
ISBN 0-9630126-8-1