Writer and performer Wallace Shawn’s landmark play was first produced in 1996 at London’s National Theatre under the direction of David Hare and starring Mike Nichols and Miranda Richardson, all of whom later created the film version. For its New York premiere in a long-abandoned men’s club downtown, Mr. Shawn took on the role of the title character, Jack. Haunting and unnerving, The Designated Mourner is his meditation on the loss of humanity in a world going mad.
“The designated mourner. I am the designated mourner. I have to tell you that a very special little world has died, and I am the designated mourner. Oh yes, you see, it’s an important custom in many groups and tribes. Someone is assigned to grieve, to wail, and to light the public ritual fire. Someone is assigned when there’s no one else.”
First TCG Edition: 2010