Cornerstone Theater Company's new play "For All Time" uses the U.S. criminal justice system as subject and backdrop, and the company's ongoing method of culling through hours of interviews to find raw material and develop a script found a voice not often heard -- a former Manson family member.
For this production, volunteer inmates at the California Institution for Women in Chino were taught Cornerstone’s interviewing technique to gather story content. Evidently, one inmate spoke to either Susan Atkins, Leslie Van Houten, or Patricia Krenwinkel, one of the three former “Manson Girls." Based on the script’s dialogue and she became a character in “For All Time,' according to the LAT blog Culture Monster.
“The dumbest question I've been asked, and I'm asked almost daily, is 'Are you one of the Manson girls?'" says a character just named “Girl” who goes on to say, “Well, I'm no girl, and I'm certainly not Manson's girl! You know, in here they all assume I'm an OK person. People on the outside assume I'm evil, cold-blooded, a monster.”
“For All Time” is the third production in Cornerstone’s Justice Cycle, a four-year, six-play survey of laws shaping, and sometimes disrupting, communities. In this series, and all original Cornerstone productions, the identity of an interviewee is often known.
In this case, as the LAT reports, “For All Time” playwright K.J. Sanchez and director Laurie Woolery made a promise not to identify those interviewed.
“For All Time” runs until November 23rd at Shakespeare Festival/LA.