Incendiary, written by Dave Harris, is having its world premiere run at the Wooley Mammoth Theater in Washington, DC through June 25. In Harris’ tale, the moment the curtain opens the audience enters the frantic world of Tanya, a 53-year-old mother determined to free her son Eric from death row.
Tanya hasn’t been allowed to visit Eric in 10 years, but she unabashedly conceives a plan to ensure she visits him on his 33rd birthday, also his scheduled execution date. Her plans include four must do’s: One, purchase as many different types of guns as she can afford; two, visit the law firm of Markus and Marcus to prepare her will; three, visit her exercise guru for endurance training; and four, get a new hair style.
Though she refuses to reveal to Manny, her cousin and a backstreet gun seller, why she wants him to sell her so many types of guns, he delivers and Tanya writes him a check. Task one is done.
The second must do is a visit to Markus and Marcus, two lawyers who attract clients with a comical commercial message that has the audience roaring. The lawyers draft Tanya’s will and she checks number two off her list.
With two more tasks pending, Jasmine, her daughter, reveals messy family relations. Jasmine stoically tries to tell Tanya how she feels, the things her psychiatrist told her, how she remembers her childhood, that she is in love with a man that loves her. Tanya responds to nothing Jasmine says, her only concern is Eric.