Flow my tears, fall from your springs!
Exiled forever let me mourn;
Where night's black bird her sad infamy sings,
There let me live forlorn.
On April 3, 1998 I had the good fortune to attend Stage Left Theatre's presentation of Phil Dick's Flow my tears, the policeman said. Adapted by Linda Hartinian, I was impressed by how closely the play followed the story line of the book.
Jason Taverner (played by David P Bryson) and Heather Hart (played by Jennifer Bradley) above opened with a rollicking song and dance routine; while through a smokey view to her room Alys Buckman (Marguerite Hammersley) was seen taking the soon to be fatal dose of KR-3.
The entire play took place to a packed house of perhaps 50 people, on about the smallest stage that I have ever seen. There was no trouble running into PKD list member Tom Gaulkin and friends.
As the play progresses, Jason Taverner makes the same odyssey as in the book. We have the near fatal attack by Marilyn Mason (Cameron Feagin, who appears only on the video monitors), waking up no longer a TV personality but now an unknown with no ID, and the encounter with Kathy Nelson (Adria Dawn) who provides him fake ID and a promise of secrecy from the police in exchange for a promise of sex.
As in many of Phil Dick's books, a situation is set up where the world literally falls apart. But Jason Taverner barely misses a step. In the face of utter confusion, he concentrates on the problem of surviving minute by minute in a world suddenly turned malevolent.
Of course, he is brought almost immediately into police hands in the person of Felix Buckman (Alex Blatt, shown with Marguerite Hammersley, above).
It was really enjoyable watching David Bryson bring Jason to life. In his encounter with potter Mary Anne Dominic (played by Patricia Kane) Jason lashes out "Fear can make you do more wrong that hate or jealousy. If you're afraid you don't commit yourself to life completely; fear makes you always, always hold something back." And perhaps what I liked most about the play was that projection of fearlessness in the face of complete chaos.
Hark! you shadows that in darkness dwell,
Learn to contemn light.
Happy, happy they that in hell
Feel not the world's despite.