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“Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them” Is Savage Satire by Christopher Durang

The "Why Torture Is Wrong" cast includes (from left):  Rachel Klem as Hildegard, Jeff Alguire as Zamir, Jennifer Evans as Loony Tunes, and Larry Evans as Leonard (photo by Ghost & Spice Productions)

The "Why Torture Is Wrong" cast includes (from left): Rachel Klem as Hildegard, Jeff Alguire as Zamir, Jennifer Evans as Loony Tunes, and Larry Evans as Leonard (photo by Ghost & Spice Productions)

Chapel Hill, NC-based Ghost & Spice Productions will present Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them, another savage satire by 62-year Montclair, NJ-born playwright and screenwriter Christopher Durang (Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, Beyond Therapy, and The Marriage of Bette and Boo), on April 29 and 30 and May 5-8 and 12-14 at Common Ground Theatre in Durham.

According to Dramatists Play Service, Inc.:

“Christopher Durang turns political humor upside down with this raucous and provocative satire about America’s growing homeland ‘insecurity.’ Why Torture is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them tells the story of a young woman suddenly in crisis: Is her new husband, whom she married when drunk, a terrorist? Or just crazy? Or both? Is her father’s hobby of butterfly collecting really a cover for his involvement in a shadow government? Why does her mother enjoy going to the theatre so much? Does she seek mental escape, or is she insane?

“Honing in on our private terrors both at home and abroad, Durang oddly relieves our fears in this black comedy for an era of yellow, orange and red alerts.”

Why Torture Is Wrong made its Off-Broadway debut, directed by Nicholas Martin, on April 6, 2009 at the Joseph Papp Public Theater/Newman Theater, where it played through May 10, 2009. The play was nominated for the 2009 Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding New Off-Broadway Play and the 2009 Drama League Award for Distinguished Production of a Play.

In reviewing the show’s Off-Broadway debut, the New York Observer raved, “Christopher Durang, our Poet Laureate of the Absurd, has written a smashing new play.” Bloomberg News added: “You may laugh yourself silly at this silly symphony whose every movement is a scherzo.” And New York Newsday asked: “Is there a living playwright more willing to take on the big-picture questions with such unwavering trust in the power of the truly silly?”

In its preshow publicity, Ghost & Spice Productions asks:

“What’s funnier than torture? Nothing! Married during an alcohol and roofie-induced blackout, Felicity wakes up in a strange bed with an even stranger man: Zamir (it’s Irish!). Is her new husband a terrorist or just crazy? Or both? Almost as funny as the [George W. Bush] Administration that made it possible.

“The cast of Why Torture Is Wrong, and the People Who Love Them will feature company members Jeff Alguire, Jennifer Evans, Lenore Field, Rachel Klem, and Amanda Watson, with guest artists Larry Evans and David Klionsky. Company member Rus Hames will direct.

“With its ‘small-but-mighty’ approach to theater, Ghost & Spice Productions puts special emphasis on high standards of acting and directing while minimizing production costs. Its rich storytelling brings audiences varied, engaging, and affordable professional theater.

Ghost & Spice Productions presents WHY TORTURE IS WRONG, AND THE PEOPLE WHO LOVE THEM, at 8 p.m. April 29 and 30 and May 5-7, 2 p.m. May 8, and 8 p.m. May 12-14 at Common Ground Theatre, 4815B Hillsborough Rd., Durham, North Carolina 27705.

TICKETS: $16 ($14 students and seniors), except half-price Thursdays May 5th and 12th.

BOX OFFICE: 888/239-9253,, or

SHOW: or





The Play: (Dramatists Play Service, Inc.) and (Internet Off-Broadway Database).

The Playwright: (official website), (Wikipedia), (Internet Broadway Database), (Internet Broadway Database), and (Internet Movie Database).


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