Kushner’s The Illusion is an adaptation into modern prose the 17th century Pierre Corneille classic tale. The story follows the rich and elderly Pridamanta of Avignon as she searches for the son she banished 15 years earlier. At the opening of the play, Pridamanta’s been directed to the cave of Alcandre, a mysterious and powerful sorceress who claims to be able to conjure images of the missing young man. Throughout the play, Alcandre presents three different episodes from the son’s life, all with the same two women and three men. But something is begins to feel amiss. Each time a new conjuring occurs, the people remain the same but their situations change in ways that do not quite add up. Compounding this mystery, their locations, their costumes and even their names shift. Pridamanta clearly recognizes her son each time, but the younger man is never called by his actual name, which we never learn because Pridamanta can’t seem to remember it! As the images conjured up become increasingly sinister, Pridamanta becomes more determined to rescue her son from what looks like inevitable tragedy. In the end, most of what Alcandre reveals turns out to be illusion. The way Pridamanta responds to what she sees is, of course, the heart of the tale.
CHHS Fall Play
The Illusion - Tickets On Sale Now