( 1956- )
Naomi Iizuka was born in Tokyo, Japan. She graduated from Yale with a BA summa cum laude in literature in 1987 and followed that with an MFA in playwriting from the University of California-San Diego in 1992. She was commissioned by En Garde Arts of New York to write a site-specific piece, and her short play Scheherezade was part of "Pieces of the Quilt," an AIDS benefit theatre event produced by the Magic Theatre in San Francisco in Spring 1996. She is a member of the Playwrights Center in Minneapolis and currently resides in that city.
Iizuka works outside the conventions of traditionally structured, linear theatre, and her work is a fluid exploration of issues without regard to the constraints of time or space. In her surreal drama Marlowe's Eye, the historical figures of Christopher Marlowe, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Ruth Riddle are melded into an investigation of the problematic relationships among religion, sex, obsession, and political power. Marlowe, the English poet and playwright, and Ruth Riddle, a survivor of the conflagration at the Branch Davidian compound in Waco, Texas, move in and out of the same netherworld that is part sterile hospital, part prison, part ambiguous hell. They are joined at times by their accusers, principally the figure of Queen Elizabeth I and two Puritans, who function as guards and as a chorus. The charges of blasphemy leveled against Marlowe are superimposed over his glorification of homosexual desire and his ultimate assassination, conflating sex and politics into a nightmare vision of the uses and abuses of power. Iizuka's fracturing of time and space allows her to juxtapose Mar