Love is a drug-induced psychotic state, right? But what if the drug isn’t pheromone-and-dopamine based but a product of Big Pharma? That’s the question explored in Lucy Prebble’s The Effect, by the author of Enron (big hit in London, not on Broadway) that will have its North American premiere in March at the downtown Barrow Street Theatre. The Effect won the 2012 UK Critics’ Circle Award for Best New Play.
The production represents a collaboration between partners Jean Doumanian, Scott Morfee, Tom Wirtshafter and Patrick Daly on the Yank side; and producer Tim Levy, who runs the North American operations of the National Theatre, on the UK side.
The producers stress that the all-American production will be staged by David Cromer, a certified MacArthur Foundation genius and Barrow Street regular, having directed two highly regarded long runs at the Greenwich Village space: a revival of Our Town and the North American premiere of Tribes.
In The Effect, Connie, a psychology student, and Tristan, described as “a charming drifter,” sign on for a clinical trial for a new antidepressant super-drug. Cut off from the outside world, the couple experience increasing ants-in-pantsitis as their doses are increased. As the trial’s supervising doc and her superior observe the illicit relationship, the ethical and financial implications of the trial get all twisty.
The Effect had its premiere at the National Theatre in 2012, in a co-production with Headlong. Prebble, also the author of the television series Secret Diary of a Call Girl, currently is developing a comedy series with Sarah Silverman for HBO.
Additional production details for The Effect will be announced sometime before the opening.