ACT's fifth production of its 1988 Mainstage Season will be Principia Scriptoriae by Richard Nelson. Translated from Latin as "the principles of writing," it is a story of two young men — Bill Howell, an American, and Ernesto Pico, a Cambridge-educated Latin American — both writers, who are jailed in an unidentified country in Latin America in 1970. In Act One, as the two prisoners discuss politics, writing, sex and family, we watch their relationship strengthen in the face of torture and the growing fear of being killed. Act Two begins 15 years later at The Writers Committee for Human Rights meeting in the same country. Both men have survived the torture, but their friendship is strained as they find each other on opposite sides of the negotiating table. Underlying the play’s treatment of the two writers’ friendship is an investigation into their responsibilities as writers.
About the Play
About the Production