The Conduct of Life, content-wise, is about as far as you can get from the saccharine offerings that dominate the holiday season. But its performance during this time (by local company Nova Arts Project) only serves to reinforce one of its points: that darkness in the human world exists, whether we choose to distract ourselves or not. Nine-time Obie winner Maria Irene Forness play is set in an undisclosed Latin American country thats ruthlessly run by a military dictatorship. The one-act show explores sadism in multiple forms, but centers mostly on sexual horrors, including rape and sex slavery crimes that become all the more horrible when the government implicitly endorses them. Bring a sense of history, but, needless to say, dont bring the kids. 8 p.m. today and Friday. Barnevelder Movement/Arts Complex, 2201 Preston. For a full schedule, call 713-623-4033 or visit www.theconductoflife.eventbrite.com. $15.
Fri., Nov. 30, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 1, 8 p.m.; Thu., Dec. 6, 8 p.m.; Fri., Dec. 7, 8 p.m.; Sat., Dec. 8, 8 p.m., 2007