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Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Islanders: Word for Word Acts Out Andrew Sean Greer's Short Story at Z Space

Posted on Tue, Mar 8, 2011 at 5:00 PM

The Islanders - MARK LEIALOHA
  • Mark Leialoha
  • The Islanders

The Blaskets are a small cluster of hilly islands in Ireland, where until recently villagers are said to have lived out their ancient ways without modern influences. Two old friends are there on a trip whose purpose is unclear. They're in a car. It's raining heavily. One friend has a leather bag that's a seemingly endless storehouse of items: an overcoat, multiple homeopathic remedies, pillows, a huge orange scarf. The other friend has a guidebook that tells travelers what's not there (a bridge) as well as what might be there (the Tinkers, mysterious people who roam about conning tourists -- sometimes luring them to be robbed, beaten, or worse). It's The Islanders, a short story by Andrew Sean Greer about the bonds of love and friendship in the face of mystery and danger. And starting Wednesday, it's also a play by Word for Word.


Since 1993, the troupe has transformed fiction into performance, staging written works by Tobias Wolff, Amy Tan, and Daniel Handler, among others.

In fact, Handler (who's done a few things you might recognize under the name Lemony Snicket) will appear in conversation with Greer after Friday's performance. Watch the clip of the two authors above as they talk about Greer's novel, The Story of a Marriage, in the Cliff House. (See whether you can focus on them instead of the waves crashing into Seal Rock.)

Once Word for Word is done with The Islanders on Saturday, the troupe is headed for what it describes as a "tour de France." We trust that its members will bring guidebooks and avoid hilly roads in the rain.

The Islanders runs Wednesday, March 9, through Saturday, March 12, at Z Space. Admission is $15-$40.

For more events in San Francisco this week and beyond, check out our calendar section.

Follow us on Twitter at @ExhibitionistSF

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