he Doctor Will See You Now

Theoretically, these numerous episodes from Schweitzer's life, coupled with abundant evidence of his contradictory nature, should provide sufficient grist to produce good drama. However, because Yule has chosen to convey all this information through a long A at times rambling A reminiscence, the tensions inherent in Schweitzer's life are left to the imagination when they should be brought to life on-stage. Had Yule constructed his narrative around one, two, or even as many as three significant events, delved deeply into the details of each, and allowed those concrete details to illuminate the themes of Schweitzer's entire life, the show may have resonated with much more power.

In his program notes for this show, New Theatre artistic director (and director of this production) Rafael de Acha writes, "To take a play from idea to page to stage is, at best, a daunting and foolhardy proposition." Daunting, yes. Foolhardy, no. If the South Florida theater community wants to become a major player on the national scene, then new works should be encouraged and developed. Yet Schweitzer offers an example of just how arduous the development process can be. Despite its lovely set design, mostly seamless direction by de Acha, extensive research by Yule, and an enthusiastic performance that offers an often inspiring and moving glimpse of a compelling historical figure, Schweitzer still needs to be poked, prodded, and shaped into a gripping evening of drama. The five-week-long run at New Theatre enables Yule and de Acha to gauge what works and what doesn't work before a live audience. The next step -- turning an unsparing editorial eye to another draft of the play --

still remains to be taken.

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