By Paul K. Bryant-Jackson, Lois More Overbeck
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Extra info for Intersecting Boundaries: The Theatre of Adrienne Kennedy
Under the entry "West Africa" she writes that during her stay in Ghana and Liberia she "started the lines of two plays, Funnyhouse of a Negro and The Owl Answers, and the lines had a new power, a fierce new cadence" (119). In the paragraph dedicated to "Africans or the masks" she explains, "Not until I bought a great African mask from a vendor on the streets of Accra, of a woman with a bird flying through her forehead, did 1 totally break from realistic-looking characters" ( 1 2 1 ) . An earlier vignette had suggested that in Florence, at the Piazzale Donatello (the location of the English Cemetery), the memory of the Georgia neighbor Sarah Clara returned, and that Kennedy named two of her heroines Sarah and Clara (35).
In a few months I would create a character who would turn into an owl" (People, 122). When produced by the New York Shakespeare Festival (Joseph Papp), Owl Answers was paired with Kennedy's A Blast's Story under the title, Cities in Bezique. Actually, Cities in Bezique was the title of a play that Adrienne Kennedy had written in 1967-68; it had been commissioned by Joseph Papp for the New York Shakespeare Festival, but Papp found it "too chaotic and abstract" and instead used this title for the two one-act plays, Owl Answers and A Best's Story (see DT, 118).
Aldredge, lighting by Martin Aronstein, and incidental music by John Morris. "She who is Clara Passmore who is the Virgin Mary who is the Bastard who is the Owl" was played by Joan Harris-, Cynthia Belgrave played the mother(s); Moses Gunn, the father(s); Henry Baker, the white bird; and Paul Benjamin, the Negro Man in The Owl Answers. Reviewers noted the similarities to Funnuhouse-. " 27 Although beginning in realism, The Owl Answers introduced other dimensions of time and space. Lee Silver wrote of Clara as "a nice student in tweed skirt and sweater, calmly reading through the screeching noises of the underground," and Richard P.