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Harrison, Jordan

Entry updated 26 October 2021. Tagged: Author, Theatre.

(1977-    ) US filmmaker and playwright active from around 2005; as with many contemporary dramatists, his works tend to juxtapose various non-mimetic topoi (see Fantastika) into sometimes jangly narrative conveyances, but with very considerable energy. In his second play, Kid-Simple: A Radio Play in the Flesh (performed 2002; 2004 chap), a young woman's Invention – a device that can hear what cannot be heard – leads to the theft of sound by a Mysterious Stranger from another world, which she must enter on a rescue mission. The Museum Play (performed 2002; 2009 chap) describes rather metaphysically what happens after the mastodons escape the Museum (see Zoo); Finn in the Underworld (performed 2004; 2008 chap); Futura (first performed 26 October 2010 TBG Arts Complex,New York) puns on its title, the name of a font whose use in a particular fashion takes the cast into the Near Future; Hans Christian Andersen's The Flea and the Professor: A Musical Adaptation (performed 2011; 2013 chap) is a Beast Fable [see The Encyclopedia of Fantasy under links below]; in The Grown-Up (performed 2014; in Humana Festival 2014: The Complete Plays omni 2014) a ten-year old is given a magic device that allows him to visit – or perhaps only to see (see Time Viewer) – the future.

Of direct sf interest is the Near Future Marjorie Prime (performed 2013; 2016), whose 85-year-old protagonist, suffering from mild but progressive dementia, is given an AI-operated Avatar, a companion called Prime capable of retaining and recycling her past (see Clichés), which she may or may not wish to have embodied for her without remission. The play was filmed as Marjorie Prime (2017) directed by Michael Almereyda. [JC]

Jordan Harrison

born Bainbridge Island, Washington: 1977

works (selected)


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