Joyce Carol Oates is not a playwright. And I mean this, after listening to two of her plays. These are both really really bad. There’s kind of a long history of established writers working in different fields. Find a successful novelist who has written a ton of work and then see if they don’t have their “poetry” phase. It’s usually very bad. There’s plenty of writers who are able to work in multiple media, but I think when someone excels at the hardest or more “traditionally” artistic fields first and then move onto the more pedestrian fields later, well I think there’s been more success.
I guess think of writers like TS Eliot also writing plays. I love his plays and it works. Or poets like Robert Penn Warren, James Dickey, Michael Ondaatje also writing novels. THAT works.
Now think of John Updike….wanna read his poetry? Nah, step back, you don’t.
Or you gonna go see Russell Crowe’s band? Oh, you’re good?
But then, how great was David Bowie in the movies he was in? I mean Labyrinth, sure, obviously, but go watch “Merry Christmas, Mr. Laurence.” He’s great!
Anyway, this play is so very bad. It’s like someone who has been reading a bunch of Tennessee Williams decided to write a Neil Simon play, but it definitely didn’t work out for them. If it’s satire, it doesn’t play, but I am NOT convinced it’s satire at all. It feels jokey and peppy, like it’s on purpose, unfortunately, because it doesn’t work.