‘Latitude’ – Without Debate, a Deep and Daffy Discourse

By Ernest Kearney   —  “Latitude,” written, directed, designed and produced by Aaron Francis is a daffy and delightful intellectual discourse between two migrating ducks that have dropped out of the southward-bound flock to take a break and bob on a wide expanse of ocean while pondering what lies, in the depths, beneath them.

Puppeteers Monica Howe and Joe Jordan, in modified Bunraku style visible to the audience, expertly render their floating canard characters, who come across as Abbott and Costello engaging in an epistemological debate on the intellectual virtues that one would normally encounter, only, if plowing through Linda Zagzebski’s voluminous Virtues of the Mind.

Starting from the basic premise (“What value is knowing the truth?”), the two fowls apply the ability to recognize salient facts, show sensitivity to details and demonstrate perseverance in their pursuit of truth (“Nothing is ever learned in vain.”) 

They also challenge each other to avoid the intellectual vices of cowardice, conformity (“The flock is a trap”), and the danger of epistemic insouciance.  This discussion leads to the discovery of jellyfish gliding on the currents beneath feathery bottoms, which in turn leads to a discussion of heady topics such as free will and the tastiness of fat worms.

 As the hour proceeds, the comic chattering wanes somewhat, and the arguments circle around.  But still, thanks to an abundance of cleverness on behalf of Francis, Howe and Jordan, the show is great fun and displays far more intelligence than you’ll find in a dozen combined seasons of Fox News.

Latitude is a testimony to the fact that intelligence and imagination are bunkmates, and with a little trimming and some punching up this show could truly soar.



The Broadwater (Second Stage)

6320 Santa Monica Blvd.


Tuesday June 25 2024, 8:00 PM | 50 mins

Friday June 28 2024, 10:30 PM | 50 mins


For Tickets and Additional Information Go To: wwwhollywoodfringe.org


Ernest Kearney - author
Written by

An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at TheTVolution.com and workingauthor.com. Follow him on Facebook.

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