A young man’s quiet life in an Oklahoma community is upended when his former middle-school art teacher arrives seeking to rekindle the searing relationship they once had.
From the Writer – Steven Fechter
Award winning author of The Woodsman
Every play I write begins with an impulse to simply tell a compelling story. And so it began with Lancelot. In writing Lancelot I was able to bring together themes that interest me a great deal. Those themes include the role of the artist in society, the Outsider who breaks social and sexual boundaries, and male identity in America.
Lancelot is set in the American West – Oklahoma to be exact, where I have some family roots. I have set a number of my plays in small rural towns in the Midwest and West. If you’re an Outsider the stakes always seem higher in a small town than in a big city. The Outsider just sticks out more. The things that attract me about the West are its rugged, desolate, and bleak landscapes peopled by tough, gritty, bruised characters.
In Lancelot the protagonist is Ryan. He works hard, goes to church, and plays by the rules. On the surface Ryan represents the ideal young man of the Western heartland. But underneath Ryan typifies a very different American male icon – the artist as outlaw and sexual rebel. Whether he is able to reconcile those two opposing sides of American maleness is the play’s big dramatic question. Ryan, a survivor of a catastrophic childhood trauma, was able to remake himself into what he believed would be a normal decent man in the eyes of the community. When one day the past catches up with him, Ryan must make the most difficult choice of his life.
A young man’s respectable Midwestern life is rocked by the return of the high school art teacher who seduced him. Tempted by the artistic life she reignites in him and the sexual taboos he buried, he struggles to protect the crumbling veneer of a respectable life.