Stanford University

News Service



Mandy Khoshnevisan, publicity coordinator, Drama Department: (650) 725-5838, (650) 814-2980 cell,
John Sanford, writer, Stanford News Service: (650) 736-2151,

Relevant Web URLs:

Opening Wednesday, play presents a quarantined foursome during Great Plague

The Great Plague of London, which wiped out some 15 percent of the city's population during the summer of 1665, is the backdrop against which Naomi Wallace sets One Flea Spare, her Obie Award-winning play about class, love, sex, disease and death.

A Drama Department production of the play opens at 8 p.m. tonight in the Nitery Theater. Additional performances are set for 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday; 8 p.m. and 11 p.m. Saturday; and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Tickets are $8 and can be purchased at the door. To make reservations, call 725-5838 or send an e-mail to (The play is not suitable for young children. It contains erotic scenes and explicit language.)

Written in 1996, One Flea Spare is about a wealthy, estranged couple (junior Aaron Kabaker and senior Kendra Arimoto) who, after having been quarantined in their home for 28 days, are about to be released when a couple of interlopers -- a foul-mouthed sailor (junior Chris Babson) and a strangely intuitive 12-year-old girl (junior Jennifer Carr) -- sneak in, condemning all four to another month of imprisonment.

Confined to two small rooms and guarded by the unscrupulous Kabe (freshman Misan Rewane), the quartet finds itself interacting with unnatural intimacy.

Director Arden Thomas, a doctoral student in drama, said she was intrigued by the play's subtle politics. "One of the most exciting things about the play for me is the way Naomi Wallace interrogates the relationships between the diseases in the 'body politic' and the diseases of the body," she said, adding that Wallace treats the often-graphic subject matter with a style that is "extremely erotic and sensual -- at once shocking and tender."

On Thursday, drama Lecturer Katherine Romack will lead a post-performance discussion. A specialist in 17th-century literature and culture, Romack takes a particular interest in Renaissance and Restoration drama, performance history and feminist cultural studies. She is currently completing a book titled Women and Representational Practice, 1630-1670.



© Stanford University. All Rights Reserved. Stanford, CA 94305. (650) 723-2300. Terms of Use  |  Copyright Complaints