She Looks Good in Black: Our Playwright and Her Work

Sarah J. Mann is an Australian ex-pat best known for taking jobs away from hard working American citizens in the twenty years she has called the United States her home. Additionally she is an actress, playwright and poet who has returned to the Salem area from a brief stint in London, England during which she studied the fine British art of apologizing to people who were actually at fault. Her chapbook You Are Not Buffalo was published by YesNo Press in January of 2015. Her tryptic of plays The Apartment Complex was awarded the Robert C. Hamlet Best New Play Award for it's installment 12-B.

She Looks Good in Black was conceived whilst Sarah was studying a strange combination of Eugene O'Neil and Forensic Pathology at The University of Maine at Orono. The impressively mustachioed Professor Richard Brucher suggested during a discussion of Mourning Becomes Electra that a better title might have been She Looks Good in Black. She immediately requested permission to take that title for her own and the story itself followed fully with that incantation. Particularly striking to her was the concept of Lavinia transforming herself through the death of her Mother, discovering and relishing a comfort with her sexuality, long since lost. Academic criminology came in to play by Sarah's study of The Psychopath Test. There is a question on the test, a hypothetical regarding a woman's husband's funeral, that is statistically given the same answer by every subject who fails. What joins together these minds in drawing the same conclusion is a mystery, but the consequences of that response are catastrophic.  That same year it was mounted academically and received awards for play-writing, direction, acting and sound design respectively. 

Now, five years later, Exiled Theatre's undertaking of the play fully explores the transformation of self through loss and the startling ease with which we will move to extremes to ensure that transformation's permanence.

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