“Extracted” praised for ‘precise comic sensibility’

OK, this is in the form of a rejection notice. But keep in mind that most theatres, in their rejection notices, never say anything specific at the work — they’re usually just form letters, which I don’t mind. But this one from a New York theatre was different:

“Thank you for sharing your play EXTRACTED with us at [name of theatre]. We quite enjoyed the play’s precise comic sensibility and symbolic meditation on contemporary America.” Then came “I’m afraid it’s not a perfect fit for [name of theatre] at this time.” Not a hit, but some nice words that the theatre didn’t have to say.

Here’s the synopsis of the show:

EXTRACTED

A dark allegorical tale about modern politics and immigration. An American truck driver sleeping in his cab at a truckstop in southern California is awoken by two teenage girls, Sam and Libby. He thinks they’re truckstop prostitutes and tries to run them away. Instead, the one explains that she has rescued her sister from drug gangs in Los Angeles and is trying to take her home to safety in New York. The rescued sister is our allegorical Statue of Liberty. In fact, she has not been rescued; she has been drugged against her will, for reciting — and practicing — the poem at the statue’s base: “give me your tired, your poor . . . ” As the roadtrip across North American unfolds, we see that the older sister is not, in fact, a protector and rescuer, but rather her kidnapper, who is trying to brainwash her. Along the way, the keep running into another truck driver, who is taking the same route across the country, and a mysterious woman. In the climactic scene, Sam has hired a tattoo artist to blot out “The New Colossus” poem that Libby has tattooed on her. Just then the two mystery figures burst in — revealing themselves to be special agents for the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who are mounting a hostage rescue and extraction to take Libby to safety in Canada. They are joined by a Mexican intelligence agent, as well, who they had previously met along the way at a truckstop. Cast: Eight — Five female (including who can pass for teens, and one Latina adult), three male.

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