shotgun archival page
To return to main site, please close this window

Marin Independent Journal, March 10, 2005


Political topics dominate two plays

-- Charles Brousse, IJ correspondent

Except at isolated moments, the Shotgun Players' production of "The Just," in a new translation by Tom Hoover and performed by a strong ensemble directed by Patrick Dooley, lacks the sense of immediacy that permeates nearly every scene of "Enemy Combatant." That is not surprising, since we're dealing with a 1947 play that Camus wrote as a kind of dramatized polemic on the question of whether murder in the interest of securing a wider justice is ever morally defensible, and whether, once committed, it must be atoned for with the perpetrator's own life.

His subject is the 1905 assassination of Grand Duke Sergei, uncle of Czar Nicholas II. The plotters are a ragtag group of Russian anarchists operating under the banner of the Socialist Revolutionary Party. Their professed objective of destabilizing the regime in order to spark a general uprising was distrusted by the better-organized Communists, who considered them self-centered romantic egotists.

Camus examines the issues in great detail - greater, in fact, than we need - but the argument has an eerie resonance at a time when we are told, in effect, that it is sometimes necessary to destroy a country in order to save it. Although neither "Enemy Combatant" nor "The Just" is free of defects, both are welcome additions to the national dialogue on these important questions.

home  |  the 2007 season  |  current show  |  news/awards  |  ashby stage  |  theatre lab
get directions  |  who we are  |  contact us  |  get involved  |  archives



1901 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94703