Forty Years Ago Today
|Give or take ten months. The following is excerpted from a letter to my brother dated December 19, 1966. I was a junior at Birmingham-Southern College at the time.|
|"I spent most of my time during the week of finals completing the first draft of The Sixth Story, my first full-length non-musical play. The cast is very small and it requires almost no set.
"It is a very complex allegory that revolves around the difference in various people's ability to face reality, and the fact that there is no rationale to the selection of those who have the capability."
"The play also pictures truth as lying totally in concreteness. The metaphor is metamorphosis. Manchester Wintergray is transformed to "concrete" man through moral pain and physical death."
|Above: "Flash," played by Rand Christy (top), helps Manchester Wintergray (portrayed by Bruce Sherrill) metamorphose.|
[The ghost of Manchester Wintergray injects from his grave: Such concerns in a 22-year-old boy! And this was a year before the kid took his first LSD, for God's sake!]
Young Cruse continues tellingly:
"I had been nervous earlier about [Drama Department Chair Arnold Powell's] reaction because there is an undercurrent of homosexuality running through the whole thing. But as the play came out, the queer stuff is fairly stylized and functions mostly as an ever-present force under the surface; consequently, its effect tends to be subconscious rather than conscious."
Dream on, Howard! Probable response of audience-members when the play was staged the following spring: Somebody drag that poor playright out of the closet QUICK!!
Meanwhile, in the present: At Popimage.com the second page of "My Hypnotist" is unveiled.