How do you know who you are?

Gabriel Mann and James Carpenter star in A Number

Who are you?  How do you know?  What is your essential “you-ness”?

If you found out tomorrow that you were a clone of someone else, would that change you life?  What if there were 37 other clones exactly genetically identical to you?  At what point do you stop being you and become somebody/something else?

These difficult themes are the heart of A Number, now at the Knight Stage 3 of the Lesher Center.  A father (John Carpenter) is confronted by the son he gave up for adoption as well as two clones of the son (Gabriel Mann in all 3 roles).  None of the “sons” are entirely certain of who they are or why they exist.  The father questions who is really his son, what it means to be a son or father.

Staged in the round, on a simple ovoid platform with white carpeting, white chairs and a white table, A Number is intensely focussed on the debate for every second of its short one hour. The four scenes are separated by short blackouts, just long enough for Gabriel Mann to add a coat or take off a hat and become a different version of himself.

Written by Caryl Churchill, considered by many to be one of the greatest living playwrights, A Number is not only engrossing while it is on, but leads to long discussion afterwards on the meaning of individuality and what it is to be human.

At the Lesher Center until next Sunday.

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