BecauseHeCan logoBecauseHeCan
by Arthur Kopit

October 17 - November 8, 2003
Directed by Lance Garrett

Identity theft is certainly nothing new. However, computers have made it much easier, and in Arthur Kopit's techno-thriller BECAUSEHECAN it is about as simple as a few clicks of a mouse.

Carpenter Square Theatre presents the Oklahoma premiere of BECAUSEHECAN October 17 - November 8, 2003 at Stage Center, located at 400 W. Sheridan in downtown Oklahoma City.

Joseph and Joanne Elliott are a successful New York couple. He is a book editor at Random House who also teaches writing at the New School. Joanne works at the famed auction house Sotheby's. They are both on their second marriage, but they seem to have found the perfect match this time around.


 The only hitch in their wedded bliss seems to be Joanne's somewhat obsessive ex-husband, but what they don't know is that a young man by the name of Costa Astrakhan has been working obsessively at his computer to damage their lives. At the play's start, an FBI criminal investigation is already underway. The questions that the federal agents are asking don't make any sense to Joseph. They keep referring to names and words that leave him baffled as to their relevance. Joseph feels thrust into the midst of a Twilight Zone episode.

As the play continues, we see how the Elliotts' past contact with Costa Astrakhan could destroy their future. Four years ago, a precocious fifteen-year-old Astrakhan enrolled in Joseph's college writing class, and he attended a party at their home to which all the students in the class were invited. Beyond this, the facts get blurry. Astrakhan may or may not have had an affair with Joanne. Being jilted may or may not be all in his mind, but whatever the case, his wicked, ingenious mind is set on attacking the Elliotts. He never needs to leave home to do it. All he needs is access to his computer.


When BECAUSEHECAN premiered at the 1999 Humana Festival at Actors Theatre of Louisville before moving to New York, it played under the title Y2K. At that time, news stories reflected the fear of computers crashing because of a date change, but Kopit's play explores the possible damage when the computers stay on.

Instead of the Y2K scare, the inspiration for his play came from the political arena, in particular when Kenneth Starr tried to subpoena the records showing what books Monica Lewinsky had bought. Kopit condemns the impulse to "define the totality of a person's life by a certain aspect [of that life]." He sees this as a step in intimidation, the kind of intimidation that Joseph Elliott falls victim to in his play now titled BECAUSEHECAN
"Nobody should worry when you buy books that your choice of literature will be used against you, as if what you read or saw or like to hear defined you in some way," Kopit has said. "What can they derive from that? And if they know things about us based on data, what happens when they start falsifying the data, and you cannot prove they have falsified it?"

Financial assistance has been provided by the Oklahoma Arts Council, the National Endowment for the Arts and the Allied Arts Foundation.



Costa Astrakhan   John Brumley

Joseph Elliot

  Terry Veal
Joanne Elliot   Erinn Maxwell
Orin Slake   Rick Cheek
Dennis McAlvane   Rory Littleton


Director   Lance Garrett
Set Design & Tech. Direction   Rick Cheek
Light Design & Light Board   Steven Gillmore
Costume Design   Corey Martin
Sound Design   Emily Etherton
Stage Manager & Sound Operator   Adrian Thompson
Running Crew   Mikie Park
Set Construction   Rick Cheek
Steven Gillmore
Erinn Maxwell
Set Painting   Corey Martin
Bob Bates


Taylor Etherton - Kyle Watson - Scott Weaver - Jon Womastek - Chris Crane - Kyle Coker - John Spence - Kyle at New Age Computer Service - Rhonda Clark - Steve Morris - Stow's Office Furniture, Inc.

Opening Night Party Sponsor -
Cast Sponsor - Eddie Weeden

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.


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