I have finally dug up my review of the play I think you are interested
in-- though other plays have been suggested. I saw this production at one
of the theatresof the University of Washington, and reviewd it in the
Seattle Weekly of October 3, 1990.
Some extracts from my rather unfriendly review:
Tom Dulack's Incommunicado, a play about the imprisonment of the
poet Ezra Pound, comes to town with impressive credentials. Winner of an
award from the Fund for New American Plays sponsored by the Kennedy
Center... it moved to the Kennedy Center after opening in Philadelphia in
January, 1989. . . . splendidly acted and produced. But it should not be
mistaken for a factual account of Ezra Pound's experiences. As the
play's producing director says,s "We don't do history."
. . . Tom Dulack's script focuses on Pound's relations with the
black MP who guards him. . . While some of Pound's guards were black,
there is no record of the poet's having learned to regret his racial
prejudices, as he does nin the play. In life, Pound shared the unthinking
attitude, common among people of his class, of friendly but insulting
condescension toward blacks, and the guards, feeling sorry for their
elderly prisoner, violated regulations by doing little favors for him, as
the play shows.While in prison, Pound suffered a breakdown, but not, as
Dulack has written it, as result of the execution of his black
fellow-prisoner,Till.. . . Pound's quoting of "Pull down thy vanity" .
.does not reflect a sudden consciousness of his blindness about race.
[After some discussion of the danger the play raises of justifying
the charge that Pound is a victim of Jews,the review says---]
In the play, Pound's anti-Semitism is countered by a weak,
sentimental and unnecessary paean of praise for Jews, voiced,
unconvincingly, by the black MP. . . .His function is to lead Pound to
suffer intense remorse for his mistakes.Nothing like these conversations
could have taken place in actuality, and the real Pound seems never to
have felt the slightest regret about anything but his failure to make his
[I hope this is the information you needed -- and more -- and that
this is the right play.]
On Wed, 23 Dec 1998, tompare wrote:
> Does anyone have any information about a play, advertised in the New
> Yorker several years ago, concerning Pound in Pisa? I read the notice,
> planned to see it if the opportunity arose, and missed it. I would like
> to contact the author but don't know his name (or the play's title,
> etc.). I would appreciate any help you could offer.