Posted in Productions

The Inside Job

The Inside Job

This darkly comedic play is about a disgraced corporate executive and his socialite wife. The couple opens their home to a mysterious young woman, who, it turns out, has old scores to settle. Zimmerman casts a stark light on contemporary American mores, using an intense, language-based approach in which the music of everyday speech plays a larger role than situation or plot.

“The play is about the terror of downward mobility,” explains Zimmerman, “the panic of losing ground. I’m also interested in how it feels to live in an America that is becoming truly authoritarian.”

The Inside Job takes place in a suburban condo whose current tenants, Max and Victoria, are “downwardly mobile.” Max’s career ended abruptly in an Enron-type scandal, and to pay legal bills he was forced to sell their lavish home in the hills. The couple’s fall from grace has been tough on Victoria, such that she hasn’t spoken a word in two months. Max is desperate to redress this problem in time for an important party, where he believes they can get their lives back on track. The play opens as Max arrives home with a young woman named Heidi, whose name was the last word to leave Victoria’s lips. As it turns out, Heidi knows more than Max initially suspects, and what she reveals sheds light on an American landscape in which terror is active and at large.

The Inside Job opened at 2100 Square Feet Theatre, Los Angeles, Ca., in Octorber of 2003. It was directed by the playwright and produced by Daniel Millner, with set by Jeffrey Atherton, lights by Robert Oriol, costumes by Tina Preston, original music and sound design by Robert Oriol, and the following cast:

MAX THORNE Barry Del Sherman

VICTORIA THORNE Jessica Margaret Dean

HEIDI Holly Ramos

NOTES ON THE PLAY

When Guy first gave me a copy of The Inside Job, it disturbed and fascinated me. In the tradition of Padua, the style is stripped down and compressed. First and foremost, it seemed to be about demons and angels on the contemporary American scene. The unraveling of Enron was an obvious catalyst. What I found most compelling about the play was how unrelentingly non-penitent the characters were. What they really wanted was back in the game, no matter how unethical that game may be.

The Inside Job takes place in a suburban condo whose current tenants, Max and Victoria, are “downwardly mobile.” Max’s career ended abruptly in an Enron type scandal, and to pay legal bills he was forced to sell their lavish home in the hills. The couple’s fall from grace has been tough on Victoria, such that she hasn’t spoken a word in two months. Max is desperate to redress this problem in time for an important party, where he believes they can get their lives back on track. The play opens as Max arrives home with a young woman named Heidi, whose name was the last word to leave Victoria’s lips. As it turns out, Heidi knows more than Max initially suspects, and what she reveals sheds light on an American landscape in which terror is active and at large.

Since I first read the play eight months ago, two other great unravelings have increased the play’s power and poignancy. One is George Bush’s war in Iraq; the second is Gray Davis’ recall in California, which many view as having been set in motion by Texan power companies. Along with Enron, these social crises are statements about the condition of the American psyche at the beginning of the 21st Century – what Guy has called the “Tex-ification” of the American mind. This is the true subject of the play. Combining influences such as Pinter, Carol Churchill and Thomas Bernhard, The Inside Job puts pressure on the theatrical form to see what it can reveal about life as it is being lived here and now.

Daniel Lynch Millner, Producer