Maybe those "Harry Potter" books would never have been written if today's world were that of Closet Land, making its New York debut May 23-June 18 at New York Performance Works. The play, by Radha Bharadwaj, creates an unnamed country where a children's book author, seeking to help children survive abuse through fantasy, is kidnapped and tortured by her government for writing secret political messages and corrupting young minds. Closet Land became a feature film in 1991 with Madeleine Stowe as the writer and Alan Rickman as the government agent. In 1998, Bharadwaj adapted and directed "Basil" starring Christian Slater, Jared Leto and Derek Jacobi.
Jeremy B. Cohen (Chicago's Naked Eye Theatre Company) directs Rana Kazkaz as the author and Allyn Burrows as the government agent.
Designing Closet Land are Ted Fevre (sets) and Jaymi Lee Smith (lighting).
Tickets are $30. New York Performance Works is located at 128 Chambers Street. For reservations, call (212) 532-8887.
-- By Christine Ehren