Cuban Theater Digital Archive

Any Place But Here

Play script


Tommy hates his job as a bartender, but also loathes coming home. His wife Veronica is pregnant with another man's child, and can only confide in Lydia, her friend at the textile factory. Lydia's husband Chucky has lost his job, and is in no hurry to find a new one. All four characters are trapped – desperate for comfort or release. The women long for escape; but the men hang on with increasing desperation. In this savagely comic drama, set in an American landscape of economic desolation, the two troubled couples struggle to find meaning, hope, and connection, in a world bereft of all these things.

While Svich’s use of language in Any Place But here is typically economic and it never achieves her trademark lyrical power, this early script clearly demonstrates Svich’s defining relationship to landscape. Although the location and content are primarily domestic, the four characters inhabit an urban squalor dominated by the workplace (factory, bar). The natural world is in decline: trees have been chopped down; the water where they used to skinny-dip is now polluted, they go “months, weeks” without seeing a sunrise, and the only moon is in the “Moonglow” Tommy sings just before Veronica abandons him. But, as in many of her works, this harsh and demanding landscape plays a central role. And characters, oppressed by the landscape they inhabit, yearn for comfort or release. In the end Lydia must leave all remnant of her past behind, and begin the difficult journey of re-definition – in search of a new memory.

(Information taken from Kugler, "Caridad Svich: Language and Landscape.")

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