An Exploration of Trauma Unknown, or Unremembered

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Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Keith Nobbs (left) and Jeremy Strong in 'The Great God Pan' at Playwrights Horizons. Keith Nobbs (left) and Jeremy Strong in The Great God Pan at Playwrights Horizons. (© Joan Marcus)

How would you react if you were told that, as a child, you had been the victim of a horrible crime, one of which you have no memory? Playwright Amy Herzog has tackled an unspeakably difficult topic in her play The Great God Pan, now in a production at Playwrights Horizons.

The young man at the center of the play must face claims about his past which he cannot verify but must nonetheless confront. A subject as volatile as the one at the center of The Great God Pan requires a deft touch to avoid being maudlin on one side, or perhaps preachy on another. Does Herzog’s work strike the right note? New York Times theater critic Charles Isherwood weighs in.

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