ACT OF GOD
MURDER AS A FINE ART
SEASON IN HELL
season in hell
A one-character, one-act play with a single set.
Synopsis: Season In Hell is a portrait of the poet as angel and monster. At the end of his brief and turbulent life, Arthur Rimbaud, the great French poet, comes to terms with his past, his sexuality, his genius and his demonic search for spiritual truth. As he lies dying, Rimbaud relives his pitiless voyage of discovery and, summoning ghosts from the past, renews a dialogue with those forces that shaped his life.
He recalls his early childhood in a small town in France in a loveless family; his terrifying experiences during the Paris Commune of 1871 where he came truly to know himself; his discovery of poetry and his particular genius which set him free from his provincial past and catapulted him to the highest reaches of the French literary and artistic circles.
He experiences once more his frenzied search for the ultimate truth using drugs, alcohol, alchemy and any other means to free his soul. He seeks to find understanding and, perhaps, peace from those he injured and betrayed in his manic search for the absolute and sublime. At the end, when he has reached the end of his journey and has discovered the truth, he stands in the midst of flames as he burns his work, destroying all he has created and, at the very height of his artistic and poetic powers, abandons literature forever and leaves France to spend the rest of his life a restless, tragic traveler.
Season In Hell had a workshop production at the Embassy of France in May, 1994 and was produced by SCENA Theatre at the Warehouse Theatre in Washington, D.C. September-October, 1998 with Kryztov Lindquist as Arthur Rimbaud. Directed by Robert McNamara.