Nashville Scene Review: Posterity
Nashville Rep’s Posterity Is a Carefully Crafted Showdown
The Doug Wright-penned play is onstage now at TPAC
by Martin Brady | Nashville Scene
Playwright Doug Wright’s Posterity, now on the boards at Tennessee Rep, is a work that pits two great artists against each other in a revelatory, psychological pas de deux.
Wright’s opus traverses a largely successful path, which will be good news to locals on the theater scene, since Posterity was nurtured during the author’s stint as the Rep’s Ingram New Works Fellow three seasons ago. The payoff here is the Rep receiving the honor of presenting the first regional mounting of the play, following its relatively brief 2015 off-Broadway run.
The setting is Kristiania (now known as Oslo, Norway) in the year 1901, where we’re introduced to the first of Wright’s key personages — Gustav Vigeland, a 32-year-old sculptor with a big career ahead of him. At curtain’s rise, Vigeland is in his studio, fashioning the likenesses of two models, a buff young man and a much older woman, both all-but-completely naked. Enter Sophus Larpent, Vigeland’s agent, a proper gent who has big news but is appalled at the sight of his own cleaning woman posing for his client. He fires her for this social infraction, whereupon Vigeland hires her for himself. Thus is the sculptor foreshadowed: The committed artist exhibiting his easy disdain for convention.