I just finished reading Judith Taylor’s wonderful garden history book Visions of Loveliness: Great Flower Breeders of…
Last week I saw a play called Hurricane Diane at the Calderwood Theater in Boston.
This is a play that asks all of us to reconsider our view of nature.
It makes you think about how we may be slowly destroying the earth with the decisions we make about the landscape, about the garden, about the lawn.
Dianne, the central character, is a landscape designer from Vermont. She is really the Greek god Dionysius who returns to earth to give humans a chance to choose the right path and save the planet.
It is not easy for humans to ignore curb appeal and the kind of landsape that people will notice.
I remember seeing the wonderful play by Tom Stoppard Arcadia a few years back at the Huntington Theater, the home theater for Huntington/Calderwood productions.
A theme I found in Stoppard’s play was the role of the English landscape in the early nineteenth century. The vast, sprawling lawn was at the center of the view of nature at that time.
People in their country home relished the green lawn that made a setting for the house.
This play says loud and clear we need to address how we landscape now more than ever.
The lawn of course plays a big part in the rethinking the landscape.
The author Madeleine George wrote the play in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy in 2012.
Diane has to deal with four New Jersey women who show greater or lesser interest in saving the environment while they seek that ideal curb appeal.
Diane is however insistent that we must first get rid of the lawn.
That is not easy for people (i.e. the four suburban women) to take.
The five actors in the play do a wonderful job of presenting the seriousness of the issue, but at the same time help the audience enjoy the ride.
The play, as a work of art through its writing, acting, set design, and visual effects, does a tremendous job.
Every gardener will love this dramatic plea for using the earth now in a way that will benefit humanity for generations to come.
George, the playwright, provides plenty of humor in the dialog to make for an enjoyable experience. There’s no intermission, which is totally understandable, given the pace of the show.