The year is 1964 and first-time film director Alan Schneider is about to embark on a project combining the talents of Buster Keaton and Samuel Beckett. When Alan visits the home of Keaton to discuss the project, titled simply Film, he discovers the former star engaged in an imaginary card game with the long-deceased Irving G. Thalberg.
It doesn’t take long for Alan to realize that he has entered into an altered universe resembling the surreal world of the Buster Keaton film, a world where doors solve problems and card games provide lessons in life. Alan turns to Beckett for help in making sense of this world, only to find that Sam is perfectly at home in it.
The Stone Face tracks Alan’s journey through the maze that is the world of the Keaton film, a world which, as the making of Film progresses, also takes on elements that might be found in a Beckett absurdist play. By examining the making of Film, as well as the comedy of the Keaton film, the play examines the process by which we create art in general as well as the process by which we live our lives.
Sherry MacDonald is a graduate of the MFA Creative Writing Program at UBC. Her plays include The Duchess of Alba, Cowgirl Jane, Iraqi Karaoke, Til Death Do Us Part, Those Are the Rules and Glen Echo Stop. Sherry is also a filmmaker and has screened films at the NSI Film Exchange Festival, Boston Film Festival, Tehran Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, and the Women In Film Summer Shorts Festival. Sherry has worked as a producer, and has served as Drama Editor at Prism International literary magazine. She lives in Vancouver.