“Gary is a thief in the British sense where ‘thief’ covers a lot of things,” explains Lunney, who, like his wife, Jan Maxwell, has done several Barker pieces for the Potomac Theatre Project, helmed by PTP’s co-artistic director Richard Rinagnoli.
“Gary is a working-class poor guy who does petty thefts and burglaries — and then decides that he can be really famous if he murders a baby,” says Lunney. “In fact, he can be the most famous if he murders a baby. He gets what he wants, and then, using the speak of social-workers, he becomes a trustee at the prison where he has been and gets released. He goes through hell and comes out at the other end, believing that he is a prophet who will speak to the world to better their condition.”
“I think the bottom line is he doesn’t know what he’s going to say to the world,” says the actor. “He just feels he has something to say, and that’s where the piece ends.”
Gary the Thief runs 27 minutes and shares the bill with another Barker play, the 25-minute Plevna: Meditations on Hatred starring Alex Draper. It’s to be performed Thursdays through Saturdays at 7:30 PM and Sundays at 3 PM through July 16, spinning in rep with two Alex Cranmer-starred shows: David Rabe’s A Question of Mercy and Snoo Wilson’s Lovesong of the Electric Bear.
— Harry Haun