In a ranch house deep in Texas Hill Country, a once tight-knit group of friends reunites to bury one of their own. But as they look backward through their lives, it becomes clear they’ve lost more than just their old pal. In this haunting new play from Anne Washburn, the boundaries between then and now grow disarmingly blurry as these estranged friends confront their slippery past.
Tim: Offstage sounds and conversations are also prominently featured in the play. Do you think the silent retreat contributed to this?
Anne: I think when there is no conversation, the ear becomes more attuned to other sounds. And thirsty for them.
TheaterMania sits down with the cast, Anne Washburn, and our Associate Artistic Director Adam Greenfield to explore the mystery behind Antlia Pneumatica, and why we're so haunted by memories of the past.
I thought long and hard before quoting Nietzsche in this introduction, but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that particular, delightfully unsettling character of Anne Washburn’s work owes much to the striking collision of rational and the irrational impulses in it.
Anne Washburn possesses an uncanny genius for conjuring theatrical worlds that arrest and fascinate, even on unfamiliar wavelengths. A master of the gradual release of information, she trusts her audience enough to disorient us, for a time, charting her course with quiet precision even as she leads us down the rabbit hole. Here’s a gloss of her projects to date.