“Dramaturgically, It Needs Work” says Performance Studies Minor Giving Unsolicited Notes on Eulogy
by Rebecca Salzhauer.
KENT, Conn. - Grieving family members found themselves shocked this past weekend when NYU Performance Studies Minor Evelyn Hurley halted the funeral of local pediatric dentist Maureen Davidson to offer dramaturgical feedback on her husband Al’s eulogy, eyewitnesses confirmed.
“I could see the threads of what he wanted to say, but quite frankly, it was unfocused and trite,” noted Hurley, who was seen typing furiously on a MacBook Air during the memorial service. “Beyond being sad that your wife died, I needed to know: Why this eulogy now?”
Hurley continued talking down the eulogy before handing each attendee a copy of major dramaturg Elinor Fuchs’ seminal text EF’s Visits to A Small Planet. On top of this, Hurley later cold-called Davidson’s six-year-old grandson Jared to describe the “climate” and “topography” of Davidson’s eulogy. Attendees of the service were understandably upset.
“She kept asking me to squint at the play,” said Sheila Goldstein, Davidson’s eighty-six-year-old friend from the board of Temple Beth-Elohim. “I just lost a good friend, I just got my cataracts done, and I’m going to Florida next week. I don’t have time to fix any complications. Just let the man mourn his wife.”
Hurley persisted, attempting to begin a Lerman Method critique by having a still-tearful Davidson ask questions of the audience on the impact of his speech. Davidson refused.
“I was appalled. I’ve never seen this woman before in my life,” noted Al Davidson, who expressed concerns about his own memory, in relation to his wife’s battle with Alzheimer’s. “I kept asking how she knew my wife, and she began ranting about how she took one class on the ‘The Performativity of Theatrical Performance Ideology’ and that she was ‘qualified to be here’.
At press time, Hurley was seen asking for Mr. Davidson to share a new draft of the heartfelt eulogy on a GoogleDoc, so she can see it and make comments. In the meantime, he said that Hurley offered to share a folder of articles with him that might “help specify things before revisions" and better aid the "next performance".