Linda Libby, in her Southwestern College directing debut, is playing with fire.
The award-winning actress is bringing to Mayan Hall Max Frisch’s fiery masterwork, “The Arsonists.”
Also known as “The Firebugs,” the 1958 play deals with the dangers of complacency and denial.
Disguised as door-to-door salesman, arsonists terrorize a town, weaseling their way into people’s homes and setting them ablaze with oil drums. At the center of the play is Biedermann, a well-off businessman who, guarded by his success, thinks he will never be deceived, until the arsonists knock on his door.
Wrapped deep in metaphor and allegory, this pungent political parable serves as a cautionary tale, with its message burning bright: do not conform against the face of terror.
Libby said that it is the plucky and offbeat nature of the play that made her choose to direct it.
“I’m drawn to edgy theatre that entertains and engages the audience,” she said. “I chose this play because it’s funny and startling. The issues come straight out of today’s headlines.”
Absurd in its delivery, the dark comedy of Frisch’s words do not eclipse his serious reflections about human nature. These issues, says Libby, will appeal and engage the SWC audience.
“I think the students and community will love this play because it shines the light on the gullible side in all of us. At first it’s very funny. Until it’s not.”
“The Arsonists” runs March 15 – 20 at Mayan Hall. Tickets are $8 for students.