Bethlehem by Octavio Solis
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
As an FYI, this is yet another play I read for my Playwriting class, so read this review with that in mind. Some very gutty gut reactions here, and there are spoilers. Ok, cool. Let’s get it on!
*** READER BEWARE SPOILERS FROM HERE ON IN! ***
Seriously. Reading this was triggering and traumatizing AF.
OOOOKAY, now that I’ve reacted, I’m going to attempt to discuss Bethlehem from a dramaturgical perspective, lol. This play was masterfully done, and the playwright’s command of unreliable narrative was mindblowing to say the least. I really loved the amorphous, transcendent nature of characters in the play, and Solis makes sure to build a world built around the language and context of the field of surgery– organs, autopsy language, etc. There are a lot of craft-centered things done here that work so well.
As for the story, I was sick to my stomach. In the end, I honestly have no idea what happened to who in the play, not because it wasn’t clear necessarily, but because I just simply did not want to know who raped who’s sister, got raped by his father, butchered yet another innocent woman, strangled his girlfriend, raped a corpse, and then murdered yet another person, cut his heart out, and put it in a bag.
Am I the only one who was just so completely overwhelmed by the content that wading through the craft and analysis of it feels like a monumental task? Anyone? Bueller? (Did I spell that right?) Anyways… those are my thoughts. I’m so glad I don’t have wine on deck, because I’d totally just climb into the bottom of the bottle and just never come out. That’s how this play made me feel.
Rock on, READ on,