The Playwrights Database
Jane Wagner's plays including biography, theatres, agent, synopses, cast sizes, production and published dates
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Search For Signs Of Intelligent Life In the Universe
combines quantum physics with biting satire. Indeed, the very conceit of the Search for Signs of Intelligent Life is that aliens from another world have latched onto the eccentric but very in-tune bag lady Trudy to try to learn something about life here on Earth. the astonishing thing is that the conceit really works: it's not a gimmick, it's the foundation of a play of near-epic reach. Trudy channels for them a sampling of Earthlings: an alienated teenager who calls herself Agnus Angst, an upwardly mobile yuppie named Chrissy, two Manhattan hookers called Brandy and Tina. And what unfolds, for the aliens and the audience, is an organic journey into the hearts and souls of these and several other lives, randomly and inextricably linked. As the play nears its wondrous conclusion, what feel at first like half-a-dozen disparate one-act plays merge into a seamless and inevitable whole. You won't forget the long, touching saga of Lyn, Edie, and Marge, three women who become friends at the height of the feminist movement of the late sixties; nor are you likely ever to look at a can of Campbell's soup (or an Andy Warhol painting) in quite the same way after you've seen Trudy explain them to her alien friends. And it's just possible that, after you experience the extraordinary ending of the Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe, you will have a renewed appreciation for the very idea of theatre.
Samuel French, NY, -
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