Written by Harry Clark
2M, 2W, Single Set

“Roberto Duran—Manos de Piedra, Fists of Stones. God, what theater, turning away from Sugar Ray Leonard in the eighth round telling the ref: ‘no mas, no mas.’”

Professor to Philip

The show must go on! Must it?

An aging musician, a cellist, on stage—a cell phone rings—Sarabande from his beloved Bach Suite—walks off stage, never to return. Professor is the cellist, Connie his brilliant student, Shirley a violin colleague from his earliest beginnings, and Philip the stagehand with artistic aspirations. All make their way backstage to the green room of Carnegie Recital Hall as the stunned audience is turned away mid-performance.

The same green room where I made my cellistic debut in New York, and where the Professor and Shirley made their trio debut 50 years earlier with the Professor’s brother as pianist.

Is there ever justification for walking off stage and not returning to complete one’s duties? If so, why? This is the question posited in Sarabande for Ezra. I’ve set the Professor’s hometown in Baltimore. He teaches at the Peabody Conservatory of Music. Yes, my first important music school, my first time in a big city, and I’ve used many of these seminal memories. I’d like to think that I’ve gotten certain things right about musicians—our craft, our calling, the joy and sorrow of something so near and dear.

And, Ezra?

Well, you need read the play for this.