On one side of the stage, a coach is trying to direct a dancer into making correct movements. On the other side of the stage, a comedienne stumbles through a mildly amusing stand-up routine about fires. After thoroughly establishing their separate spheres, the dancer walks over to the comic and asks, “How do you think we’re doing?”
The comedienne tries to figure out the dancer’s meaning before answering, “We’re doing, I guess, what we’re doing. We’re doing what we can … We’re trying.”
This exchange from writer David Kranes’ short play How About These Fires … ?! was singled out by director Carol McVey as the overarching theme and purpose of Book Wings, an international collaboration between the University of Iowa’s International Writing Program (IWP), Department of Theatre Arts, and the Moscow Art Theatre School.