The Nina Variations run is over, the set struck (all of 45 minutes) and so a chapter is closed. I’ll have a broader post-mortem later, but for a show that was successful primarily because of its first rate cast and top notch writing there is no better eulogy than the text itself. So for now I leave you with some favorite lines from the show.
- “You have form enough. You have paper in front of you. You’ve twenty-six letters and thousands of days. And you have a piece of God’s own mind in your blood. A mind that knows no horizon. How dare any of us say we need more than that?”
- “How Long!? This is only one answer to that question – the question that always pours out of the mouths of the stupid people who’ve done nothing with their lives but sit back in fat contempt, smothering the dreams and ridiculing the attempts of those foolhardy – no, courageous – enough to put their desperation into words. How long did it take me to write this play? The same to it takes to write every play: one entire life. That’s how long.”
- “We are tricked by youth. It teaches us that new adventures will arrive each day. And, like misinformed children, we carry this lie onward into our lives. And what arrives instead – day after day after day – is sameness. Habit. “Form.” And, thus we have but one goal: to build a life which will accommodate boredom.”
- “If we can’t form strong opinions about something we know nothing of, how can we ever fall in love?”
- Nina:… You can’t let circumstance dictate the ending. A pencil sharpener breaking – a random event like that-
Treplev: Why not? How better to end than through chance?
Nina: But Kostya--
Treplev: What could be more like our lives?
- “What right has the future to demand ignorance of us? Out fault is in asking too little, in waiting – like foolish, obedient dogs sitting in the rain – waiting to be told our fate. We carry all the future we need – here, in our heads and hearts. So, let us invent it Nina. Let us shape it to suit our needs. So, that when we arrive… the future will be like a familiar room. Each small object in its place. Home to a thousand quiet comforts.”
- There was a time, I had quiet epiphanies.I’m hungry. I like him. The lake is lovely. That song is sad. There was a time when I was mystery, and not monologue.
- I’ve decided that critics are our salvation. They are the wisest, kindest, most caring, most committed people in all the world. They are selfless, compassionate individuals who have sacrificed their own assuredly great careers as artists – in order to give those of use with lesser talent a fighting chance.
- Nina: It’s a very good play
Treplev: Thank you. But?
Nina There are no people in it.
Treplev: That’s true. And?
Nina: And nothing happens in it.
- “And now I know, Kostya. I understand that in our work the main thing is not fame, nor glory. Not the things I dreamed about… But the ability to endure. To endure whatever trials fate has in store for you – without losing faith in yourself. I have that faith now. And I am not afraid of life.”
To Steven Dietz, who created this jewel of a script, and to Aaron Hallaway and Rachel McGinnis who dared to trust it every night, my humblest thanks. I have never been prouder of a production.