Exercises in Anxiety A play about today’s times

Year of writing: 2010
The play Exercises in Anxiety, subtitled »a play about today’s times«, cuts into the psychopathy of the present with an extraordinary sharpness.
Total cast size: 12 (5 f, 7 m)

+ a voice from a CD player

class and cultural criticism of the society, current social picture of the world

The script Exercises in Anxiety is structured as a series of seemingly unconnected scenes with a group of characters in a range of different settings. The protagonists are ordinary people, having seemingly everyday conversations, whilst addressing important, big issues, such as poverty, alcoholism, violence, death etc. Occasionally, the scenes are interrupted by so called relaxation techniques which are meant to help the individuals tackle challenges of the modern life and relieve them of anxiety. The script lays bare just how grotesque and tragic the state of modern society and world is.

MIDDLE-AGED MAN IN A SUIT: I have money. And if you have money, you always know what’s good. And if you have a lot of money, you have a lot of good taste. You think I know cognacs? Bullshit. I just say: Give me the best you have. And they say: That’s this and this. And I say: Too cheap. And they say: What about this? And I say: How much? And they say: Two thousand. And I smack my lips and say: That must be a cognac that is good enough for me. And then you tell me I have good taste and that I know my cognacs. Bullshit. I know money. Is it good?

Erica Johnson Debeljak

Exercises in anxiety

Language of translation: English

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