Pedophilia is one of this society's ultimate taboos and not often dealt with on stage or screen. Based in both Charleston, South Carolina and London, England, The Works tackles the issue Lilita, running at the New York International Fringe Festival, Aug. 16-26. The idea for Lilita was first sparked by "Lolita," Vladimir Nabokov's infamous novel of a middle-aged man's lust for a pre-pubescent girl. The book spurred playwrights Tracy Keeling and Mary Cimino into further explorations of the word "nymph" used so readily by Nabokov's Humbert Humbert to describe the young girl he desires. What they found was the original demon-seductress, Lilith, the legendary first wife of Adam thrown out of the Garden of Eden for refusing "to lie beneath him."
Combining the image of this powerfully erotic woman with the young innocent girl on the brink of developing sexuality, Keeling and Cimino have sculpted the story of an adolescent developing in a society where the sexuality of youth is constantly celebrated, but guilt is placed heavily on carrying through with the desire created.
Tickets are $12. Charas/El Bohio's Teatro 214 is located at 605 East 9th Street. For information and reservations, call (212) 420-8877 or (888) FringeNYC. The New York International Fringe Festival is on the web at http://www.fringenyc.org.
-- By Christine Ehren