In his introduction to the published edition of the play, Michael Feingold wrote: “I’ve admired many of Harry Kondoleon’s plays in the past, without being able to ‘place’ them, but Andrea Rescued, which left me dumbfounded with delight and amazement, has supplied the missing clue: Kondoleon is a teller of fairy tales, who, born into our unmagical era, has learned to weave his enchanted happenings out of the horrid, technologized, consumerized ugliness of our banal lives. The magic of Andrea Rescued, with its human dogs and its walking dead and its apotheosis of the spirit in a puppet show that goes up in flames, is magic in a state of joyous, retributive anger; magic that uses its seven-league boots to take giant, violent steps against our civilization and the way we solve the dismal problem of our lives. it’s a brand of magic, too, that seizes all the banality of the theatre and sets it alight by crushing it against its silly, banal self. Every twist Kondoleon works on the masks and conventions that poison our stage with dullness is more brilliant than the one before, and the open invitation to the audience in the last speech is glorious and remarkable even as a step in that sequence. All of which is to say that he is a poet in the theater and a wit on the page, and what makes him both is his blazing vision of the life behind this one, the life we ought to be living and are not. It’s a life of passion, and Andrea Rescued, so knowingly subtitled ‘an act of faith,’ is a passion play, a working of dramatic miracles for an age that no longer believes in such things. It has the necessary element of art: Transcendence.”
Andrea Rescued was originally scheduled to premiere as part of Double Image Theatre mini-festival, “Plays by Harry Kondoleon,” at John Jay College in New York City in June of 1982, on a double bill with The Fairy Garden.
The cast was:
Andrea Rescued…..Rosemary Foley
Plain Blame…..Nancy Daniels
Chuck Blame…..Jeff Reade
Brink Heartache…..Jerry Beale
The director was David Kaplan. The stage manager was Patrice Thomas.
Just before opening, Andrea Rescued was cancelled. It has never been professionally staged.
In 1987 Mark McMurray’s Caliban Press published an art-book edition (limited to 175 copies) entitled Andrea Rescued: An Act of Faith with illustrations by Alison Seiffer.
For a PDF of the full text of the play, click here.
If you’ve ever seen or worked on this show and would like to share your experience, please comment below.