via The Daily Beast:
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A new play featuring the third U.S. president, and the authors of “War and Peace” and “Tale of Two Cities” ruminates on what makes us human—our aspirations or our actions?
In a compact 85 minutes, “The Gospel According to Thomas Jefferson, Charles Dickens, and Count Leo Tolstoy: Discord” ambitiously wades through life’s most primal, yet endlessly perplexing concepts (morality, mortality, etymology) from the prism of the three eponymous philosophers. That director Matt August’s ebullient and incisive production doesn’t locate the answers that have been eluding us since time immemorial is unsurprising. After all, “Discord” is more a series of conversations than revelations.
Taking a chapter out of Jean-Paul Sartre’s existential masterwork “No Exit,” playwright Scott Carter’s brisk and poignant theological romp opens with a triumvirate of deceased, perennially recognizable figures—Jefferson (Larry Cedar), Tolstoy (Armin Shimerman), and Dickens (David Melville)—ensnared in a white room with nothing but a desk, three chairs, and their consciousness.