Craig Wright is one of the most widely produced, consistently entertaining playwrights of his generation. The three plays gathered in this volume—Melissa Arctic (winner of the 2005 Helen Hayes Award), Orange Flower Water, and The Pavilion—are all set in the fictional town of Pine City, Minnesota. The plays share a focus on love and relationships and feature a consistent undercurrent of observation and speculation about the nature of time. Melissa Arctic brings Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale into the present, retaining the original’s captivating mix of the comic and tragic. A brutally frank exploration of marriage, Orange Flower Water examines the irresistible lure and poisonous effects of unrealistic expectations within love, and portrays the inescapably compromised contours of relationships founded on adultery. The Pavilion, a lyrical and rueful homage to Our Town, is a meditation on dashed dreams and unquenchable hopes, set at a twenty-year high school reunion. In all three plays, Wright shows himself to be one of the most perceptive and engaging playwrights working today.
“Masterly, affectionate.” —New York Times on Melissa Arctic
“Wright’s poetic exploration of the hope and pain of first love lifts this gentle work to soaring heights.”
—Time Out New York on The Pavilion
“Homes in on seemingly mundane behavior and then shocks us by revealing it in its most intimate, corrupting detail . . . the battles waged by the husbands and wives have a reality and depth far more lethal than the verbally polished outpourings of Edward Albee’s married couples.”
—Chicago Sun-Times on Orange Flower Water