Christopher Durang storylines inspire a wide range of reactions, from Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize nominations to attempted censorship and controversy, but that’s the life of a man willing to amplify the already absurd. The Garden State native certainly turned the absurdity knob to 11 when he wrote The Actor’s Nightmare and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You, which play as a double bill starting Nov. 2 at the Performance Loft in Redlands. “Sister Mary Ignatius takes a comic look at religious fundamentalism and the personal guilt, shame and hardship that can come from believing one’s faith is infallible,” says play director Chris Beach, while Nightmare director Carey Curtis Smith adds, “The Actor’s Nightmare has new relevance considering the anxiety of our recent times. We are all living in a time of social and economic improvisation. No one seems to know what is next and which part to play.” The 60-year-old Durang is an absurdist playwright willing to tackle the most sensitive subjects of our time, from religion to child abuse. His works have been staged in playhouses across the country, including on Broadway.
Chris Durang’s The Actor’s Nightmare and Sister Mary Ignatius Explains It All For You at the Performance Loft, Mitten Building, 345 5th St., 3rd Floor, Redlands, (909) 748-6262; www.performanceloft.org. Mon, Nov. 3, 4, 9, 10 and 11, all shows 8PM. $5-$20. (sneak peak Mon, Nov. 2, 7:30PM. $20).