Alia Shawkat, Search Party star and the iconic Maeby from Arrested Development, is set to make her stage debut this October at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. But she’s not doing an ordinary play. Instead, the actress is engaging what might best be described as endurance theater, performing the same scene 100 times in a row over the course of 24 hours. We are tired just thinking about it.
As per Vulture, Shawkat will be starring in The Second Woman, a performance piece created by Australian theater directors Nat Randall and Anna Breckon. The piece consists of a scene adapted from the 1977 John Cassavetes film Opening Night. It’s a two-hander, and so Shawkat will perform the scene with 100 different male-identifying actors, a mix of professionals and amateurs. The play will also be filmed, with projections shown above the stage.
“I couldn’t be more excited to make my stage debut in The Second Woman,” Shawkat said in a statement. “It’s a show that encompasses all the themes of art that I am most interested in being a part of.”
The whole thing is rather meta: Opening Night stars Gena Rowlands as Myrtle Gordon, a theater actress performing in a show called Second Woman. Myrtle goes through a slow mental breakdown throughout the film, descending into alcoholism. And yet she still pulls off the play.
Shawkat’s scene is eight minutes long, and includes a man bringing her takeout and a glass of wine, so presumably she’ll at least get to eat a bit (and after hour eight or something maybe she’ll get real wine). It’s an emotional scene, eight minutes of dissecting a romantic relationship. At the end of each rendition, the male actor is given his choice of two lines: either “I love you,” or “I never loved you.”
It is unclear whether the actress will get a bathroom break.
The Second Woman debuted in Sydney to great acclaim. It sounds exhausting for the actors, but if anyone wants to send us some tickets… we’re interested.