God of Carnage
by Yasmina Reza
Directed by Patrick Spradlin
Photos by John Erickson Photography
The characters in God of Carnage all have good intentions. They are faced with a fairly terrible incident
involving their children, and they are seeking a way both to understand what happened and to find a
good path forward.
Where things go off the rails is when ego becomes involved in the discussion. What could be a polite,
civil conversation about a relatively commonplace event devolves into something entirely different
when each of them inject their own personal feelings, insecurities, and need to be ‘right.’
God of Carnage was written in 2008, nearly a decade before political upheavals in our country seem to
have reduced the vast majority of our citizens to characters depicted in this play. We appear to have lost
the ability to discuss, in polite and civil terms, problems that are facing all of us. Instead, our egos take
hold and we exhibit childish behavior similar to what is in Jasmina Reza’s comedy: name calling, insults,
fits of bad behavior, petulance and stubbornness, the need to be ‘right’ regardless of the outcome.
The behavior in this play never really rises to the level of vitriol we are witnessing daily: violent protests
about policing and election results, court battles over seditious behavior, gun violence perpetrated by
individuals who seem to harbor deep-seated grievances and can find no other way to air those
grievances except through the barrel of a weapon. But the genesis is similar to what unfolds onstage.
I don’t think Reza intended her play to be a commentary on venomous political discourse; when
directing it, I did not endeavor to bend it in that direction. But given current context, I cannot help but
see it partially in that light. You may see it that way, too. But what I hope is that you see it as a fine
example of one of the functions of comedy: to expose bad behavior, and make an example of it so as to
correct that behavior.
Buckle up. It’s a bumpy ride. And these four stellar actors bring their A games to the work, as you will
see. And if it only strikes your funny bone, and not your cranium, that’s just fine. It IS a comedy after all!
Box Office: Nancy Jendro
House Manager: Nancy Jendro
Ushers: Julie Virnig,
Photos: John Erickson Photography
Special Thanks to:
Joey Yow and Lucy Peterson from CLCPAC for their time and talents.
Leon Dahlvang and the rest of the CLC Graphic Arts Dept. for their printing services.
Produced by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
This activity is made possible in part by the voters of Minnesota, through a grant from the Five Wings Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund.