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11

SUNDAY

There’s a famous story about Japanese playwright Kobo Abe: He was allowed to graduate from medical school only on the condition that he promise never to work as a doctor. Abe’s play The Green Stockings, currently being produced by the Tsunami Theatre Company, meshes his medical background with his edge-of-the-abyss worldview to tell the story of a man whose obsession with women’s underthings leads to his participation in a bizarre experimental surgery. (Man, the unnamed protagonist, is persuaded to have his intestines altered to enable him to eat animal fodder, which his doctors hope will end human hunger.) Tsunami’s production is as elaborate as it is beautiful: Cream and gray linoleum squares and Ben Casey-era medical paraphernalia are sheltered by a sheer white scrim, which is both projected onto and backlit to suggest an outdoor scene. The production’s sound design is intricate: Electronic-music samples are spliced with sounds that suggest a film auto-advancer and rotary-phone pulses, lending a vintage science-fiction atmo, and the effects are interspersed with dialogue to apprise us of how Man’s intestines are progressing with their new food. Catch this tidal wave at 2 and 7:30 p.m. (see City List for other dates) at the Writer’s Center, 4508 Walsh St., Bethesda. $15. (202) 299-0320. (Janet Hopf)