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Sunday, March 03, 2013

ASK THE DETECTIVE - March 8, 2013

An evening of stories, conversation and questions with David Prum, an actor and private investigator who has been working in and around Boston for over 25 years, and has a unique perspective on crime and criminals. Prum's work – mainly for public defense attorneys, with the occasional salacious surveillance – has touched on all aspects of crime in the Boston area, from the obscure to the well known, and he brings a deeply humane mixture of humor and realism to stories about people who are usually either glamorized or dismissed.

Enlivening the rich texture of Prum's stories about his years out on the streets and in the courts is his perspective that the basic human desire for self-dramatization – which drew him to theatre and which shapes the way many of us live – is the engine behind many criminal acts. "An underappreciated aspect of crime," he says, "is its narrative quality." Criminals' often inhuman behavior is driven by the very human desire to have a role in a real life story, on a large social level, or in the life of the person they're committing the crime against. Or, as Prum also says, "a lot of crime is just bad performance art."

After an introductory talk about the life of a private investigator, Prum will be interviewed about several cases by John Thompson, who is currently working for Prum, and writing a book about him called Exile Street. Following the interview, Prum will take questions from the audience. The evening will end with Prum singing "The Lush Life." This event is supported by a grant from the Somerville Arts Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council. $5 donation to the Café.

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