The Feb. 3-March 4 production reunites much of the creative team (including director Mark Wing-Davey) from the Playhouse's critically acclaimed production of The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer.
"How do people become capable of things they never thought possible?" production notes ask. "What would bring a woman to kill her own child? As 1:23 explores, the answers are rarely simple. When the show begins, a mother appears on a television screen, pleading for the return of her two young children, the incidental victims of a carjacking. But as the details are examined more closely, her story begins to fall apart and the nondescript black carjacker she blames for the crime materializes only as a figment, a threat or an angel of society's collective imagination. In another time, a police sergeant begins an interrogation of another woman, who is being questioned in a Texas station regarding the drowning of her five children. Calmly and with almost no emotion, she describes how, one by one, she took each of them and placed them face down in a bathtub full of water."
This theatrical "collage" is inspired by several true cases and "combines remarkable flights of fancy with actual testimony from police transcripts."
The play "offers an examination of the shades of gray within the darkest side of human behavior," according to the Playhouse.
This is the second Playhouse world premiere for playwright Carson Kreitzer. Her The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer was produced in 2003 and was winner of the Lois and Richard Rosenthal New Play Prize, and went on to win the American Theatre Critics' Steinberg Citation and the Barrie Stavis Award and is published in Smith and Kraus' "New Playwrights: Best Plays of 2004" and by Dramatic Publishing. Kreitzer's other works include Self Defense or Death of Some Salesmen, The Slow Drag, Valerie Heroin/e (Keep Us Quiet), Freakshow, Slither, Dead Wait and Take My Breath Away.
The creative team includes co-set designer Douglas Stein, lighting designer David Weiner, sound designer and composer Marc Gwinn, video designer Ruppert Bohle and production stage manager Jenifer Morrow. Additional members of the 1:23 creative team include co-set designer Peter Ksander and costume designer Kaye Voyce.
Kreitzer said in a statement, "Working with Mark [Wing-Davey] was the most intense learning experience I've ever had as a playwright, and always just tremendously fun. …The production [of Oppenheimer] went beyond what I ever could have envisioned, and also felt like the most accurate and true version of a script of mine I have ever witnessed. I am delighted to be working with Mark again, and particularly on this script, which was so influenced by our past collaboration."
Opening is Feb. 8. For more information visit www.cincyplay.com.