The Debate over Courtney O'Connell of Columbus, Nebraska

As anyone who has ever been on the receiving end of a let's-just-be-friends speech knows far too well, the only thing worse than being dumped is the knowledge that a former flame has quickly found comfort in the arms of someone new. Being such a common trauma, the relatable pangs of a discarded heart have been the subject of endless works of art, often involving scenarios where the hero must rescue his/her beloved from the clutches of an egregiously flawless suitor whose apparent perfection obviously hides unworthy intentions. Such is the case presented in The Debate Over Courtney O'Connell of Columbus, Nebraska. Written by emerging playwright Mat Smart (and a recipient of the 2010 McKnight Advancement Grant), The Debate Over Courtney presents a challenge waged by a woman's former beau against her current fiancé. Invoking an obscure Nebraska statute known as the Morgan Morality law, which gives a woman's first intimate partner the right to publically debate future suitors, the desperate ex determines to cite any evidence, no matter how ridiculous, to win back the lady's affections. With Brian Balcom at the directorial helm, fresh off the fraught romantics of See You Next Tuesday from last year's Fringe Festival, The Debate Over Courtney looks to demonstrate that absurdity remains one of love's most enduring arguments.
Mondays, Thursdays, Sundays, 7 p.m. Starts: May 19. Continues through May 29, 2011

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