Intimate Apparel and The American Dream
Philip Kershaw is a senior theatre and history double major, and Marina di Marzo is a senior theatre and broadcast journalism double degree candidate. Here, they give some insight about Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage's Intimate Apparel, a UMD School of Theatre, Dance, and Performance Studies production that runs October 9-17.
The American Dream is the first product we ever buy. It comes in a shiny package with the promise of the world being at your fingertips if you give in to its alluring aroma. The willingness to bet on ourselves to be able to reach the happy ending that we all desperately desire is injected into our psyche from an impressionable age and never truly leaves us. But what if you don't get that happy ending? What if there are roadblocks on the pathway to the Promised Land that you cannot move?
Nottage's work highlights the ties that bind us together, the inner stitching of the American quilt whose individual panels represent a wealth of differing experiences.
This purgatory of sorts is where we find the characters of Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage's play Intimate Apparel. Something has inhibited these characters from reaching their goals. This something could be their race, gender, religion or some combination of the three. These are people who were drawn to New York City for the opportunity to build a better life, whose very different worlds are interconnected through one talented seamstress.
Nottage's work highlights the ties that bind us together, the inner stitching of the American quilt whose individual panels represent a wealth of differing experiences. The stitching in between them separates their panels and yet is the thread that ties them together. From a bird’s eye view the mosaic of panels constructs the patchwork of America, highlighting the characters’ tragic plight. It is that patchwork that brings together and separates the characters of Intimate Apparel all on one stage.