Photo by Aubrey Reuben
General examines the economic, personal and emotional reasons that guided Gen. Arnold's decision to leave the Continental Army, of which he was a most esteemed leader, and defect to the British side. Nelson, in a much more historical frame of mind here than with his intimate coming-of-age plays (Madame Melville, Franny's Way), paints the nation's early leaders (such as Arnold and George Washington) as conflicted men with conflicted feelings about war. Arnold, in particular, is corrupt and not above profiting from his position in a time when colonists are dying. The play premiered in London in 1996, and examines the idea of morally corrupt soldier politicians profiting and losing in a world where loyalties change like the wind. The General from America continues through Dec. 22.
— By Christine Ehren