Aunt Dan & Lemon is a story about admitting who you really are.
Aunt Dan & Lemon is a story about the cruelty in the world that we’d rather not acknowledge.
Aunt Dan & Lemon is a story about the formative experiences of a young girl named Lemon, who is exposed to an uncensored reality from a young age. Many of her adult opinions stem from the relationship she had with her mother’s estranged friend Aunt Dan, who presses Lemon’s mom to admit that we are mostly indifferent to the horrors of the world, and would rather other people do our dirty work. This clarity and and assertion shapes Lemon’s world view to be one that is startlingly bleak, exceptionally candid, cynical,and self-aware.
It’s a dark space, most movement we see is in the shadows. It is movement, rather than lighting, that directs our gaze. When people (there are people) speak, their faces are illuminated, harshly, so we can see every detail.
Time adheres to emotion. The fury or satisfaction of a character can direct time to speed up or slow down. Time is non-linear. It is largely at the whim of the recollection our our guide.
It’s hot, and damp, and sticky. It seems the air never has enough oxygen for everyone to breathe easily. This climate has the effect of excusing people from rushing from place to place. They take their time, but when they speak, it’s as though they only had a minute left to live.
The mood is one of trepidation. It’s also disorienting. At times funny, it is also charged and startling, and still.
Our world is a series of glimpses through keyholes, secret spaces that exist only after they’ve been recounted to us with startling candor.
At its lightest moments, the tone of this planet is deliberate. Staccato fury is punctuated by intended, uncomfortable beats and pregnant pause. Punishing, unforgiving and relentless are words that come to mind.
This is a private, insular world. There are knowledge classes as much as their are wealth classes, and we get to witness their intermingling. Shame isn’t attached to the overt fetishization of money, valor isn’t attached to its possession, and an opinion is as dangerous as a rope.
Within this world, there are strange rituals of social arrangement. They are liberal with little to no sense of decorum. The most naive inhabitants of this world paradoxically seem to possess the most couth. The system is a bit inverted in that we can expect to hear the most truth by those that seem to lack a sense of propriety. This becomes a pattern. In many, this world’s inhabitants are like us, but getting to the point where we can admit that is, frankly, the whole point of the play.
In this world, no one has power. That’s why everyone in this world is so angry. Sex holds more power than money. Cleverness might provide a path for an option outside of monotony. One might have the power to foist the responsibility for our well-being into another’s hands. Others have the power to disregard it.
Language is copious, but true. For the most part, people in this world are honest. If they are not, they are weak -and not because they intend to lie, but because they aren’t capable of seeing truth. In many ways, language here unfolds with singsong and callback, and is punctuated by an occasional crack of the whip -a statement that could knock the wind out of you. That’s when were allowed pause to digest.
One could say that this is a world in which nothing changes. It’s our eyes that gradually adjust to the dim light of this planet’s atmosphere. The inhabitants of this world haven’t changed. They’re quite self-assured monsters. We start with questions and end with questions. We start with condemnation and end up ashamed. We’re all complicit, of course.