The Connection



  • A controversial play by the US dramatist Jack Gelber (1932 - 2003), which helped to create the off-Broadway theater of the 1960s. Apartly improvised play about drug addiction, it was first producedin New York in 1959 by the Living Theatre.

    The story, such as it is, concerns the making of an avant-gardedocumentary film, also called The Connection. The producerand scriptwriter have gathered in a slum apartment to meet a groupof drug-users and a jazz combo, all of whom will feature in the film.They wait for Cowboy, their supplier, who finally arrives with a stashof heroin; one character takes an overdose that puts him into a coma,from which the others help to revive him. Eventually the producer,anticipating the reaction of the theater audience, complains aboutthe lack of action, saying that he should have brought some girls.The original production used a number of devices to break the traditionalbarriers between the audience and the action, including having thesupposed drug addicts beg from theatregoers during the interval.