McMillan Park Controversy Inspires Faulkner-based Play

Jog Provokes Bloomingdale Resident

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Political activism, particularly against big real estate developments, is usually measured by numbers—how many sign a petition, demonstrate, come to a hearing, or get arrested. And while the opposition numbers are building against the District Government’s plan to destroy the historic McMillan Park Sand Filtration Site, the controversial plan has already realized one distinction—it’s inspired a serious stage-play.

Tarpley Long, a psychoanalyst and actor who lives in Bloomingdale has written Dark House, a re-imagining of William Faulkner’s novel Absalom, Absalom! into 1960s Washington with the ruthless land developer Colonel Sutpen driven to purchase McMillan Park from the DC government and turn it back into a public park. Dark House, which opens this weekend at Capital Fringe Festival, is full of Faulkner’s mix of classism, racism, sexism, miscegenation, incest, murder, and suicide.

“I had just reread Absalom, Absalom! and was jogging by McMillan Park when the whole play downloaded in an instant,” Long says. “I want to bring Faulkner’s timeless and compelling story to today’s play-goers and readers by moving it to today’s Washington and tying to this hot political controversy.”

“We are thrilled that our efforts to save McMillan Park have inspired our neighbor, Tarpley, to be so creative,” said John Salatti of Friends of McMillan Park. “We invite everyone to see Dark House and be equally stimulated while supporting the arts in the community.”

Dark House is directed by Tracy McMullan and will be shown at the Capital Fringe venue at Fort Fringe, 612 L Street, NW (near the Convention Center) as follows: Friday, July 12: 7:15 pm, Friday, July 19: 6:15 pm, Sunday, July 21: 12:45 pm, Wednesday, July 24: 6:00 pm, Friday, July 26: 8:00 pm, and Saturday, July 27: 11:45 pm.

Learn more about Dark House on Twitter: @DarkHousePlay

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