Why We Have a Body

Why We Have a Body
Why We Have a Body.jpg
A poster for the re-release of Why We Have a Body at Magic Theatre
Written byClaire Chafee
CharactersLili
Renee
Mary
Eleanor
Date premiered1993
Original languageEnglish
GenreComedy

Why We Have a Body is the first play by Claire Chafee. It premiered in 1993 at the Magic Theatre in San Francisco, California, and was labeled as a lesbian play. It was then produced for Off-Broadway theatre and was staged in Canada and Australia. In 2011 it was revived at the Magic Theatre. Chafee received the George Oppenheimer Award for Best Emerging Playwright from Newsday.

Plot summary

There are only four characters in the play. Lili, a private detective, is attracted to Renee, a straight paleontologist who is having trouble with her marriage. Lili's sister, Mary, has schizophrenia and as a result, she robs 7-Eleven stores. Mary lives with Lili briefly, until their mother, Eleanor, returns from Central America, and Lili starts an affair with Renee. While this is happening, Mary is arrested for robbery. There is a focus on how their mother's constant traveling has affected the lives of the two sisters.

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