Jon Robin Baitz
- Title: A Fair Country
- Author: Jon Robin Baitz
- ISBN: 9780822215554
- Page: 155
- Format: Paperback
It is 1987 and Gil Burgess, a young archeologist, is alone in the Mexican jungle at dusk when his estranged mother, Patrice, suddenly arrives The rift between them goes back to 1977 when Gil was a teenager living with his parents in Durban, South Africa We go back to Durban where Harry, Gil s father, is a U.S Information Officer The political situation in South AfricaIt is 1987 and Gil Burgess, a young archeologist, is alone in the Mexican jungle at dusk when his estranged mother, Patrice, suddenly arrives The rift between them goes back to 1977 when Gil was a teenager living with his parents in Durban, South Africa We go back to Durban where Harry, Gil s father, is a U.S Information Officer The political situation in South Africa takes a huge toll on his family, and Harry is desperate to get a new post Patrice is close to having a nervous breakdown, and Gil bears the brunt of her condition since Harry travels frequently Things come to a head when Gil s older brother, Alec, a budding radical and Columbia Journalism major, comes for a visit When he arrives, Harry is offered a cushy cultural affairs job in the Hague if he ll provide his superior with a list of Alec s friends in the anti Apartheid underground Harry refuses, but as tensions threaten to tear his family apart he reconsiders Two years later, the Burgesses have moved to the Hague, but their problems follow them Gil, withdrawn from his parents, is desperate to escape Patrice verges on alcoholism, and Harry continues to try to ignore the problems around him Alec arrives for a New Year s visit after first stopping in South Africa Upon his arrival, an angry Alec reveals that he was expelled from South Africa for his own protection All of his friends in the South African underground are dead or in prison, and Alec has received death threats Harry s deceit is soon revealed and the family is finally ripped apart despite his best intentions Alec leaves, telling Harry that he just killed him Gil, seeing his opportunity and unforgiving of his father, leaves with Alec Now, ten yearslater, Gil is back in the jungle, and a poacher prowls the area looking for artifacts to steal Alec has indeed been killed while working on an article in South Africa, and Harry has recently died Though defenseless, Gil and Patrice scream into the night to try and frighten the poacher In doing so they find they may still have each other.
Recent Comments "A Fair Country"
Here’s how memorable A Fair Country is: When I sat down to write this review about a week after finishing the play, I drew a complete blank as to the plot. If someone had walked up to me on the street and asked if I had read this play, I probably would have said no.So yay for plot summaries on , which jogged my memory enough to offer these thoughts: Another play about a dysfunctional family. This one, with its subplot of betrayal and political maneuvering, could have been really engaging. Inst [...]
Contrived. I just really couldn't see what Baits was trying to accomplish in writing this. But then, I generally have trouble with political plays, so maybe it's just me.
I haven't read this play since my first year at JMU, when I was cast in it. I'd like to revisit it, now that I'm older, to see what speaks to me now. I gave it a five-star rating because I met some amazing people while working on this show, including my best guy friend. My favorite line from this play is "If I had to listen to Philip Glass all day, I'd want to give blow jobs in the bike room, too." Sigh. Memories.
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