Jetlag – by Sarovar Banka
Synopsis: Presented in a fractured form, Jetlag unfolds as mystery that explores the psychological effect of emotional longing, dislocations of time and space that are both literal and metaphoric, and the events and influence of people in our lives that result in our failure or success. In the center of the play is a love triangle: a trio that is so wrapped up with each other that perhaps the parts are interchangeable.
As the action begins, Stephen, a documentary filmmaker who returns to an apartment in New York and sleeps on the couch. It is late at night and he is seemingly alone. In the morning, we meet Andrea, an actress who is cooking breakfast for Stephen. She and Stephen behave with familiarity, but there are awkward moments between them and discontinuities in their stories that leave us with questions. Are they are lovers or not? What has happened between them?
Another question arises in the following as Stephen accidently encounters Brian, another documentary filmmaker, in a coffee shop on a trip to L.A.. Their dialogue seems cordial at first but there is something beneath the surface of their interactions. Brian seems to be succeeding, while Stephen is struggling in their profession. Is it merely jealousy?
As the play progresses, the action alternates between Stephen and Andrea as they explore the boundaries on their fragile relationship and from Brian and Stephen as they come to the root cause of the animosity between them. In each scene, we learn something more of these characters shared histories, the work they have done, a significant event in their past, and in the middle of it a reconciliation takes place. Or perhaps it is a betrayal?
Jetlag attempts to create drama from an elemental source: the audiences uncertainty about the relationship between the characters, which ultimately becomes an important question for the characters themselves. At the climax, we discover the almost impossible center of their confusion, but even this resolution is temporary, and as in a documentary film, the truth is always a matter of perspective.
Setting: A New York apartment, A Los Angeles coffee shop/ hotel bar
Time Period: Contemporary
Cast Size: 3
Casting: STEPHEN, a man in his mid-thirties, a documentary filmmaker.
ANDREA, a woman in her mid-thirties, an actress.
BRIAN, a man in his mid-thirties, a documentary filmmaker.
No ethnicity requirements- has been played multiple ways in workshops.
This Play Is: unpublished
Production History: 2007 Lincoln Center Director’s Lab- discussion workshop
2008 Ten minute excerpt staged reading- Indo-American Arts Council’s South Asian Sampler at the Lark theatre. Q and A following.