Theater: Scary Bedtime Story

Good drama and absorbing theater are often intermingled and sometimes confused with each other. In solid drama, the playgoer is frequently told truths that he either has forgotten or never knew. In effective theater, the playgoer is sometimes seduced by the winning way in which lies can be told onstage, and by emotionally charged sophistries. This brand of engrossing theatricality is precisely what one gets in Child's Play, a melodramatic first play by Robert Marasco, 33, that resembles nothing so much as a scary bedtime story.

The setting is a Catholic boys' school. The boys are seemingly possessed by a plague of...

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