In 2004, Marconi and Tiny, two Portland, Ore., radio DJs, were fired for playing audio of the beheading of American Nick Berg in Iraq on the air and making jokes about it. The general reaction was that there wasn't anything funny about a beheading.
But Head, a new comedy being staged by Alley Repertory Theater, is giving it a shot anyway.
Written by local playwright Oliver Russell Stoddard and directed by Julia Pachoud Bennett, the play takes place in the aftermath of a beheading in Iraq. In the play, the ghostly head of a murdered truck driver from Idaho named Tommy confronts Ahmed, his killer, with demands to return his body.
But Tommy isn't alone. Other notable headless historical figures like Marie Antoinette advise Tommy in a 12 step-style program intended to help him accept his predicament. Tommy doesn't want any part of that noise, though, and is perfectly content to keep haunting Ahmed.
The play was well received during a summer reading, in part because of its brazen use of absurdities to broach sensitive topics that would be otherwise unapproachable. The play will run at Visual Arts Collective through Saturday, Nov. 19.