The Private Lives of Eskimos – Ken Urban

Originally produced by the Committee Theatre Company at the Linhart Theater in New York City, September 12, 2007.

 

Original Cast:

Marvin Michael Tisdale
The Woman Carol Monda
Detective/Christine/Eskimo Melissa Miller
Tom/Cop/Eskimo Andrew Breving 


Director
:  Dylan McCullough

Marvin:  a disaffected urban dweller in mourning, 30s
The Woman:  a mysterious older woman, face unseen, 40s
Christine:  Marvin’s girlfriend, 30s
Tom:  Marvin’s coworker, 20s
Cop:  male, who loves/hates donuts
Therapist:  female, who might be in the wrong profession
Detective:  female, who is not, in fact, a detective, but a VBP (Very Bad Person)
The Eskimos:  more like diseased yetis or Teletubbies gone wrong
Elizabeth:  Marvin’s sister, a voice on a cell phone

 

Publication:  Urban, Ken. The Private Lives of Eskimos. New York:  Dramatists Play Service, 2014. Drama Library Stacks PS3621. R34 P75 2014.

 

Setting:  An East Coast city; the present [Fall (September to December)].

Language:  Contemporary

TOM

Jesus, Marv, you’re totally crazy. I love it, I love it. You remind me of this bro of mine at school. He would say the craziest shit, especially if he was toasted and dud, he was always toasted.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Marvin’s sister has died in a terrorist attack on a train and he was the last person she spoke to by cell phone.  Unable to function, he turns to his girlfriend, his coworker, and a therapist to no avail.  When he loses his cell phone, he calls and gets a mysterious woman on the other end who refuses to return his phone.  When she ends up calling him back, they begin an odd, somewhat abusive relationship via the telephone.  By the time a so-called Detective shows up claiming to be looking for the woman, Marvin realizes something strange and possibly sinister is going on.  As if that’s not enough, a trio of Eskimos (who bear no resemblance to real indigenous peoples) continually show up without warning spouting spam whenever Marvin’s agitated.  In a play that is already chock full of enough drama, the trio adds nothing substantial to the story and come off more as postmodern stylistic flourishes than as authentic manifestations of Marvin’s inner state.  One of the difficulties of the play is that it seems to be an unholy mix of styles:  realistic drama meets surrealist, absurdist black comedy.  That said, there are some truly effective moments.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.14-15:  Christine is trying to interest Marvin in dinner but Marvin ignores her. She is frustrated with his inability to move on after his sister’s death. Starts with

CHRISTINE

I could throw my jacket on
get you a burrito
‘cause I know you like burritos
get you a burrito from the Mexican place
the one we always go to
where we went on our first date

and ends with

Marvin?

Bangkok. You like that one.
White rice?
No, brown.
Brown rice.
Yes.

p.20-21:  Tom tells Marvin about this cooking show (Bobby Flay’s Throwdown) that he watched on the first day Marvin returns to work after his sister’s death. Basically, Tom is serving Marvin notice that he’s no longer needed. Starts with

TOM

I said, I saw this cooking show last night. But it wasn’t like a stupid gay-ass cooking show, it was like pretty awesome, you know. An awesome cooking show. This guy he finds the person who people say are like the best at something.
like this woman makes the best hamburgers

and ends with

 

And that hamburger lady, she lost it ‘cause it was like her birthday and she was all excited she was getting this documentary made about her. But she got slammed.
Bobby fuckin’ slammed her.
Tom loves that. SLAM.

                                                Tom looks t Marvin. Marvin is visibly shaking.

Hey. You OK, bud?

p.62:  The Detective comes to see Marvin after having found the Woman based on his information. When Marvin questions her about what happened, the Detective tells Marvin she used to write short stories that everyone tried to read more into than was there.  Starts with

DETECTIVE

(No accent.) It all ends now, understand?

Marvin nods vigorously. She lets go. He collapses to the floor.

(Accent returns.) Hey, Marv. Can I tell you something? That OK?

Marvin nods yes.

and ends with

As I always say, ambiguity is the refuge of the indecisive. Ambiguity is for pussies. That’s what I think.
Clarity, Marvin, clarity. Got me?

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.16-18: Marvin sees a therapist, not the best therapist in the world. Starts with

MARVIN

Um. Are you gonna ask me something, doctor?

and ends with

THERAPIST

Start the new medicine right away, OK?

p22-24: Marvin calls his lost cell phone from a pay phone and speaks with the woman who has it. He does everything he can to get her to give it back.  Starts with

WOMAN

Hello?

and ends with

MARVIN

Hello?
Hello?
HELLO?

p.55-58: Marvin finds out the truth about the Woman, that she was a con artist, who used him but not as horribly as she could have. Starts with

WOMAN

Marvin, you had me worried sick. I’ve been calling for hours.

and ends with

WOMAN

Marvin?
Marvin?
MARVIN!
Shit.

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Claudia, l. R. (2007, Sep 12). Must check this out! eskimos speak spam! who knew? New York Times, p.E4.

Stasio, M. (2007, Sep 17-23). The Private Lives of Eskimos, Variety, p.53.

 

Lizards – Megan Mostyn-Brown

Originally produced at the University of Minnesota’s Guthrie Theatre on April 11, 2007.

 

Original Cast:

Victor Ricardo Vazquez
Jesse John Skelley
Phoebe Valeri Mudek
Ronnie Amanda Fuller
Sebastian Jake Ford
Mallory Caroline Cooney

 

Director:  Josh Hecht

 

Phoebe:  23, married, Valium addict, lost
Jesse:  23, Phoebe’s husband, passive aggressive, a fixer
Mallory:  26, shy, nervous, making a big change
Sebastian:  25, laid back, pothead, thinks he’s a loser
Ronnie:  25, Punk, sassy, former Jersey girl, in love with Sebastian
Victor:  28, nervous, sweet, making a big change

 

Publication:  Mostyn-Brown, Megan. Lizards. New York:  Samuel French, 2007. Drama Library Stacks PS3613. O788 L59 2007.

 

Setting:  Various locations in New York City and the Bronx

Language:  Contemporary

RONNIE

Yes but I don’t have a fancy pants art history degree. In fact I don’t have a degree at all. And for the record, nobody expected anything more from me than managing the Sunglass Hut at the Short Hills Mall. So really my situation is a big step up for my lack of education and trashy Jersey background.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Phoebe was saved from a near-drowning by an acquaintance and has spiraled into a drug-aided depression, turning away from her husband Jesse and towards her rescuer Sebastian.  Victor loses his job as a science teacher and meets Mallory who has been contemplating taking a trip to Rio. Sebastian has broken up with his girlfriend and is unaware that his friend Ronnie suffers from an unrequited love for him. They all teeter on the brink of change, uncertain of the path they must take to find happiness and fulfillment. Will they, like some lizards, adapt to their surroundings? break off a symbolic tail to escape? or regenerate a lost limb in order to survive?

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.7-9:  Victor deals with his rowdy class, giving a talk on reptiles.  He discovers at the end of the lesson that the class gecko Jimmy is dead.  Starts with

VICTOR

Okay…okay settle down… I said settle down… yes Shanikwa I know it is hot I opened the windows that’s the best I can do… now everyone take out your notebooks and a pencil… Daytwon put away your makers and take out a pencil… a pencil Daytwon not a pen… thank you… now today we are going to continue our lesson on lizards… Yesterday we learned that lizards are what? Anyone? Anyone?

and ends with

VICTOR

Yes Stasia the Komodo dragon may attack people but there are none of them in the Bronx so you have nothing to worry about…now where was I? I don’t remember and we only have five minutes left so I’ll leave you with this lizards regenerate…

[lines cut]

Uggh…just…just draw in your notebooks until the music teacher arrives or something…Fredrick bring me Jimmy…no Jimmy the gecko…it’s time to feed him…he’s not what? He’s not moving?

p.31-32:  Sebastian visits Phoebe at her job at Whole Foods.  She asks him to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning.  Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Okay… ummm… It was cloudy so there was barely anyone at the beach. In fact we were going to go to Atlantic City instead but Ronnie really wanted to swim and it wasn’t training so we drove to Sea Isle. We stopped at that liquor store off the Parkway with that guy who looked like he was in ZZ Top. And when we got to the beach Victor mixed cocktails. [lines cut] Ronnie and Jesse stood up. And then I ran in. Swam and grabbed you from behind pulling you off of Victor. Holding you. The lifeguard was there too by that time. He gave you a paddle board and the four of us swam to shore. I helped you to the blanket while Victor threw up salt water and gin. Ronnie started crying and Jesse held you.

p.44-45:  Jesse confesses his fears about his wife Phoebe and talks about their honeymoon to Loch Ness.  Starts with

JESSE

She’s disappeared…not literally… I mean she’s still at home… a human being sitting there… but she’s gone… the Phoebe I knew is gone… inside I guess… I mean I look at her… into her fuckin’ eyes and there’s nothing there… I mean there’s something there but nothing I recognize… and I keep thinking about our honeymoon… [lines cut] anyway I guess I just keep hoping that happens with Phoebe, cuz she’s lost… and I can’t seem to find her there… in all that denseness beneath her eyes… and I hope whatever it is comes to the surface… I just want her to come to the surface…

p.46-47:  Sebastian calls his ex-girlfriend on the phone. Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Hey Sheryl… it’s me Sebastian… I know… I know you told me not to call you… which is probably why you’re not picking up… or maybe you’re not home… but I’d like to think that you are there sitting on your pink couch listening to this- Dammit.

[lines cut]

Me again… I think you’re answering machine is fucked- anyway what I want you to know is that I saved this this girl at the beach a few months ago… She was drowning and I swam out and I saved her… [lines cut] I’m not just a waste of space… and I just want you to think about that because I don’t think Phil the party promoter or whatever his fucking name is woulda done something like I did… cool… ummm call me back… Bye….

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.15-17: Mallory visits a travel agency to book a trip to Rio. Jesse tries to talk her out of buying a one-way ticket. Starts with

JESSE

Hello Ms. Daniels. I’m Jesse.

and ends with

MALLORY

Yeah.

p.31-35: Phoebe and Sebastian have been meeting to talk. During one of their talks, Phoebe asks Sebastian to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning. After he tells her the story, Phoebe realizes that her husband didn’t try to save her from drowning but Sebastian did.  In her desperation, she decides to make a play for him. He tries to convince her that she has good things in her life and, in the end, rejects her.  Starts with

PHOEBE

(As if realizing it for the first time.) But he didn’t jump in.

and ends with

SEBASTIAN

Fuck me.

p.57-60: Phoebe and Jesse argue and festering resentments surface. Phoebe reveals her resentment of Jesse because he was always there when she wanted to do things on her own. She tells Jesse that she wants to end things between them. Then, despite that, she seems surprised when he tells her to go. Starts with

PHOEBE

I don’t want this anymore.

and ends with

JESSE

Try swimming. You seem to have luck figuring your life out there.

The Secret Lives of Losers – Megan Mostyn-Brown

 

Originally produced as part of the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s “Festival of N.O.W.” on February 10, 2006.

Original Cast:

Neely Anna Safer
Ale TJ Chasteen
Sylvia Angela Cristantello
DJ Patrick Du Laney
Nelson Jason Reynolds


Director
:  Meredith McDonough

 

Neely:  19, works at Amoco, sarcastic, lost
Alex:  19, small time drug dealer, Neely’s best friend
Sylvia:  19, overly friendly, small town girl, Alex’s new interest
DJ:  29, copy from Chicago, overweight
Nelson:  15-17, Neely’s brother, crystal meth addict, sweet but out of control
Sophia:  Alex’s baby, should be a doll in a car seat
Jessica:  Alex’s ex-girlfriend, voiceover

 

Publication:  Mostyn-Brown, Megan. The Secret Lives of Losers. New York:  Samuel French, 2007. Drama Library Stacks PS3613. O788 S4 2007.

 

Setting:  Small town Illinois, the present

Language:  Contemporary

NEELY

And Jessica’s cousin, the lesbo, she fucked Alex Scarandado, the guy with the cleft chin who was on the wrestling team, in the parking lot at 31 Flavors on Saturday and now she’s questioning her sexuality once again.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Neely is a 19-year-old high school graduate who works at an Amoco gas station and takes care of her younger brother Nelson–a crystal meth addict who loves “Wheel of Fortune”–now that their mother has left to find herself in exotic lands.  Neely’s best friend is Alex, a small town drug addict taking care of a baby he does not want while waiting for the baby’s mama to return from college; he can’t admit to himself that she has abandoned her baby and him. Into Neely’s dead-end world comes DJ, a cop from Chicago, escaping heartbreak in his past, to challenge her to do something about her future.  The characters in the play are, as the title suggests, losers, people left behind while everyone else goes to college or joins the military or does something to get out of their particular nowheresville.  If you’re looking for an uplifting, satisfying ending, this play doesn’t provide it.  Sometimes people are so damaged they can only make incremental changes, and those changes aren’t necessarily positive.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.70-71:  Neely confesses to DJ why she began stealing things.  You can cut DJ’s lines to create the monologue.  Starts with

NEELY

Okay so ummm… Right after my mom left Mrs. Finklestein baked us a ziti… She’s one of the neighborhood ladies without husbands or children who does that, bakes for us because we have a bad situation and I thank her fer the ziti and she smiles at me like I know she’s gonna go to her Stitch n’ Bitch meeting the next day and talk about how sad we are and she turns her back and I took it.

and ends with

NEELY

No, You know, I always felt like- Naw I- I always hoped that when I died they’d open my closet and everyone’d find all their lost shit and this flood of great memories will wash over them as they remember how special these things were to them and in the midst of it they’d umm… think of me and what they have and not what I don’t have.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.12-15: Neely confronts Nelson about taking off from school and gets him to promise not to cut back on the crystal meth and stay the entire day in school. He’s watching “Wheel of Fortune”. Starts with

NELSON

(To the television.) Oh shit, oh shit, oh shit you are such a fuckin’ dumbass Dave from Utah you shoulda guessed fuckin’ “P”…

and ends with

NELSON

Yeah, yeah promise with a big “P”. No trouble. Later. Later skater.

p.31-33: DJ and Neely go to the park after having dinner on their first date. DJ gives her a crayfish in a terrarium as a gift because he says it reminded him of her. Starts with

NEELY

Thanks fer the meal.

and ends with

DJ

Thanks.

p.66-68: Neely has lost her job at the gas station for stealing. Nelson has gotten the closet open where she hid all the things she’s stolen from neighbors. She goes up on Alex’s roof to think. She and Alex talk and she confesses that she had always thought they’d end up together. Alex shuts her down using his baby and Jessica, the baby’s mama, as an excuse and Neely strikes back. At the end of the scene Alex hears Jessica on the answering machine and goes into the house. Neely takes Sophie and leaves. Starts with

NEELY

Do you even love Sophie?

and ends with

ALEX

She apologized Neely. I told you. She said she’s comin’ tomorrow if she doesn’t have to work on a project- but I feel like tomorrow’s gonna be the day- (Realizes he is alone.) Neely!

 

The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow: An Instant Message with Excitable Music – Rolin Jones

Premiered at South Coast Repertory Theater in April, 2003; subsequent New York production opened in September, 2005 at the Atlantic Theater Company.

 

Original Cast:

 

Jennifer Marcus Melody Butiu
Mr. Marcus/Mr. Zhang William Francis McGuire
Preston/Terrence/Col. Hubbard/Dr. Yakunin/Voice of Computer Translator J.D. Cullum
Adele Hartwick/Ms. Zhang Linda Gehringer
Todd/A Boy Daniel Blinkoff
Jenny Chow April Hong

 

Director:  David Chambers

 

Jennifer Marcus:  22, Asian-American
Mr. Marcus/Mr. Zhang:  early 50s
Preston/Terrence/Col.Hubbard/Dr. Yakunin/Voice of Computer Translator:  late 20s, early 30s
Adele Hartwick/Ms. Zhang:  late 40s, early 50s
Todd/A Boy:  early 20s
Jenny Chow:  early 20s, Asian-American

 

Publication:  Jones, Rolin. The Intelligent Design of Jenny Chow:  An Instant Message with Excitable Music. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3610.O62777 I68 2006.

 

Setting:  A second-story bedroom, Calabasas, California; now, right now

Language:  Contemporary

TODD

I know your mom’s a raging pain and all, but it’s not all bad, ya know. I mean, c’mon, you got Tivo.

Genre/Style:  Dramatic comedy

Plot:   Jennifer is a 22-year-old engineering genius who was adopted by an American couple as a baby in China.  Jennifer’s agoraphobia causes her to clash with her over-achieving adoptive mother and spurs her to search for her birth mother.  In order to do so, she spends her time re-programming obsolete missiles for the Department of Defense in exchange for robotic parts she then uses to build an android replicant of herself that she dubs Jenny Chow.  Once Jenny Chow is complete, Jennifer sends her on a mission to make contact with her real mother in China.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.11-12:  Jennifer Marcus is on her computer, emailing someone.  It’s the opening scene.    

JENNIFER

(To the audience). Dr. Yakunin says I can trust you. But just because you have a reference like that doesn’t mean we’re going to work together or that I don’t have other options, okay? Let’s just say, I’ve done some research and I know your competition. Ramirez? Bloomstedt? Okay? So I’m not going to take a lot of clandestine bullshit, alright? [lines cut] That was stupid, ‘cause hey, you know, I’ve had dreams of sleeping with my dad, who hasn’t? But they’re never sexy and it’s fucking gross, you know? Okay, weird. I’m a weirdo. Soooo we got off track for a sec, and now we’re gonna get back on it. (She sprays the computer with disinfectant. To the audience.) I see you’ve made some creative investments in the last year. Money in Chilean bonds, a racehorse named “El Jefe.” In your line of work I guess you just don’t have time to master the basics of money management. Laughing out loud!

p.13-14: Jennifer is working at her computer again. She’s communicating with an unknown person.     

JENNIFER

(To the audience.) Okay, so this firewall is serious. Have you installed it yet? (Pause.) Yes, go ahead, check. (A “hacker alert” noise from the computer. To the audience. Pause.) Oh, that’s cute. (She types in something and the “alert noise stops. She sprays the computer screen with disinfectant. We hear a “blip” noise from the computer. To the audience, annoyed.) Yeah, I’m here. Installed? Goooood. You never know which one of the big boys might be listening in, right? CIA? NSA? We have to be careful, oh, and uh, yeah, we need to stick to what we’re good at, okay? [lines cut] Oh yeah, and I’m rich. Not super rich. Just regular rich. I feel it’s important that you know a little about me, and trust me, okay, you’ll need it for the job. This isn’t your average runaway case, okay? (We hear a “boink” noise from the computer. To the audienceI.) Christ. Can you hold on for a second? (The music cuts out again. Jennifer types into the computer.) Hello Preston.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.65-68: Jennifer confronts Jenny after she returns from China and blames her for things going wrong with her birth mother. In a fit of anger and disappointment, she sends Jenny away.  Long scene.  Starts with

JENNY CHOW

Jennifer.

and ends with

JENNY CHOW

I am very beautiful.

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Hodgins, P. (2003, May 05). `Intelligent design’ hits its marks // the relationship between genius and madness is probed by a fine new theatrical voice. Orange County Register.

Shirley, D. (2003, May 05). THEATER REVIEW; ‘jenny’s’ instant message; dazzling stagecraft illuminates the world of a computer-obsessed, ingenious recluse in ‘jenny chow.’. Los Angeles Times, p.E1.

 

Hearts like Fists – Adam Szymkowicz

Opened at Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, August 3, 2012; subsequent New York production opened on December 1, 2012 by Flux Theatre Ensemble at the Secret Theatre.

 

Original Cast:

Lisa:  Lauren Dobbins Webb
Peter:  Rick Steadman
Doctor X:  Keith Allan
Nina:  Alysha Brady
Sally:  Jennifer Lee Weaver
Jazmin:  Alina Phelan
Nurse: Grace Eboigbe
Stage Ninja 1:  Dan Wingard
Stage Nina 2:  Pierce Baird

Director:  Jaime Robledo

 

Lisa:  a crimestopper, female
Peter:  a heart doctor, male
Doctor X:  eveil but misunderstood, male
Nina:  a Crimefighter, female
Sally:  a Crimefighter, female
Jazmin:  a Crimefighter, female
Nurse:  a nurse, female
The Commissioner:  played by the actor who plays Doctor X
Man:  played by the actor who plays Peter
Woman:  played by the actor who plays Nurse
Girl:  played by the actor who plays Jazmin
Carson:  played by the actor who plays Doctor X
Ed:  played by the actor who plays Peter

Note:  Actors can be any race.

 

Publication:  Szymkowicz, Adam. Hearts like Fists. Dramatists Play Service, 2013. Drama Library PS3619.Z965 H43 2013.

 

Setting:  New York City; now

Language:  Contemporary

JAZMIN

I’m going to be late to my date. But I ran out of fabric softener. Should I go get the fabric softener and be a little later and then carry it around on the date? Or should I just go without it and have clothes that aren’t as soft?

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   [From the published text.] A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love.

Lisa, who is so beautiful she causes men to fall to their deaths, falls in love with Peter, a doctor who is obsessed with creating an artificial heart so that no one suffers a broken heart.  She also happens to be the only civilian to survive a fight with arch villain Doctor X—who was once an ordinary doctor who fell in love with a one-night stand and got his heart broken, so now he poisons couples in their sleep.  As a result of Lisa’s fight with Doctor X, she’s asked to join the Crimefighters, a trio of female superheroes who fight crime by night and are nurses by day.  Will Lisa and Peter find happiness?  Will Peter perfect his artificial heart?  Will Doctor X ever find the woman with a face like a plate and end his reign of terror?  Will the Crimefighters be able to stop Doctor X and find happiness of their own?  All will be revealed…

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p. 7:  Prologue.  Doctor X monologues regarding his origins as a super villain.  It was all because of the woman with a face like a plate. Long monologue. 

Spotlight on Doctor X, a truly terrible creature with sunken eyes and deep scars all over. Disfigured, stethoscope around the neck, wearing a doctor’s lab coat, carrying a doctor’s bag.

DOCTOR X

I have a face like a bowl of worms. Squirming around the ticks, the scars, the moles. It’s disgusting. A face like this. It’s absurd, without meaning or purpose. And I honestly can’t say if I’m an experiment gone awry or if I was just born this way. [lines cut] I didn’t know you weren’t drunk on me. How could I have missed the diagnosis? How could I have avoided the bald shock, the morning discovery, to wake up and find your note? And now I can’t remember anything except you. Your face everywhere I go. You will pay. Everyone will pay. You will all pay dearly.

p. 17-18: Peter and Lisa are on a date when the Crimefighters approach Lisa about joining their group. While they’re in the bathroom conferencing, he debates the merits of getting involved with her. In fact, he is terrified of the idea of falling in love with her.   

PETER

She will hurt you. She will break you over her knee. She will hurt you and she will tear you and she will rip you apart. Who are you that you think you can withstand her? You are just a man. You are a vulnerable man with tiny veins and blood rushing through your too fast. [lines cut] She will break you. She will hurt you and tear you and break you and pull you until there will be nothing of you left. She will—

Peter stands. He takes his coat and leaves the restaurant.

p. 23: Lisa is reeling from her first rejection. Short monologue.

Lisa walks down the street in a fog. Sound of men whistling and catcalls. She keeps walking. A car screeching and a huge crash as the car hits something. Car alarms.

LISA

Sorry. (Lisa continues to walk. As she speaks, there may be more catcalls, sounds of men walking into posts and mailboxes.)  What is this feeling, so unpleasant, like my insides rotting or my outside melting? There is a bad taste in my mouth that won’t go away. I feel itchy and oversized and everything is crawling. Is this what rejection is? [lines cut] He knows I’m no good. I could have fought Doctor X harder. I could have climbed the fire escape faster maybe. Or I could have tried harder to love them back. If I had made myself maybe or—

p. 48: Peter has completed his artificial heart. Moderate length monologue.

 Peter in his workshop in the hospital, takes an artificial heart out of a box. It beats. 

PETER

Here you are, my spare heart. Mother said, always have a spare. You never know, she said. Do everything twice. Just in case. Always have an extra pencil. Always bring an extra sandwich. And give it away if you can. To the kid with the torn jacket who smells like pee. [lines cut] You will be the circulatory saver of this world. But right now, I’m the one in need of your help. I’m the kid with the torn jacket, except the jacket is a heart. Tomorrow, they will crack my chest open and put you inside, and then I will never need to be afraid again.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 21-22: The origin of Doctor X, supervillain. Starts with

Nurse moves into another scene where Doctor X is in the bed. Nurse gets under the sheets with him. This is a flashback. They are post-coital. .

DOCTOR X

Well, that was—

and ends with

DOCTOR X

No, I won’t. I won’t let you go. Never let you go. Never. Never. (Nurse gets up and walks away. The flashback ends. We are in the present and Doctor X is in his bed. He awakes alone.) Where did you go? How could you go? I was holding so tightly. You will pay! You will all pay! No one will have love unless I have love!!! You hear me?!! You hear me, world?! (Doctor X gets his doctor’s bag. He loads a syringe, tests it and exits into the night.)

p. 27-28: Lisa and Nina are on patrol. Nina confesses she let Doctor X get away the last time she and the other Crimefighters faced him. She fears their next meeting..  Starts with

Nina and Lisa scour the streets in full Crimefighter getup. Normal city noises.

LISA

There aren’t any accidents.

and ends with

LISA

Yes.

p. 49-51: Doctor X has been captured and hospitalized. Nina, who is fascinated by him, guards his room. Of course, he manipulates her and makes his escape.   Starts with

Nina stands in the room of Doctor X. She stares at him. He does not seem to notice.

DOCTOR X

Right there. Could almost touch her. Face like a plate.

and ends with

DOCTOR X

Sorry. (Doctor X leaves. Nina sobs.)

 

Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism:  (Note:  arti­cle title links are to the online ver­sions, mostly UW-only restricted unless des­ig­nated as open access.)

Sundermann, E. (2012, Dec 05). Hearts like fists hits hard. [open access] The Village Voice, p.1.

Webster, A. (2012, Dec 06). Avengers with motives personal, professional and just because. New York Times, p.C5.

A Bright New Boise – Samuel D. Hunter

 

Boise

Commissioned and first produced by Partial Comfort Productions at the Wild Project in New York City, September, 2010.

Original Cast:

Will                       Andrew Garman
Pauline                Danielle Slavik
Alex                     Matt Farabee
Anna                   Sarah Nina Hayon
Leroy                  John Patrick Dougherty

Director:  Davis McCallum
Set Design:  Jason Simms
Costume Design:  Whitney Locher
Lighting Design:  Raquel Davis
Sound Design:  Ryan Rumery and M. Florian Staab
Video Design:  Rocco DiSanti

 

Publication:  Hunter, Samuel D. A Bright New Boise. Samuel French, 2011. Drama Stacks PS3608.U59496 B75 2011.

 

Setting:  Breakroom of a Hobby Lobby in Boise, Idaho

Language:  Contemporary

PAULINE

Ah, there we go. These two guys, they never say their names on the air for some reason. Everybody has guesses of what their names are. I think they both sound like they’re kinda high, so I call this one Woody and this one Harrelson. Get it?

Genre/Style:   Serio-Comedic

Plot:  Will begins working at a Hobby Lobby in Boise, Idaho, running from a recent incident involving a young man’s death in a religious cult Will belonged to in Couer d’Alene. Hoping to reconnect with Alex, the teenage son he put up for adoption years ago—and who happens to be a seasonal worker at the same Hobby Lobby—Will spends his time writing an End of Times novel online using  Hobby Lobby’s WiFi after hours and praying for the Rapture to occur so that he can escape his meaningless life.       

 

Review of the Production:  Rooney, D. (2010, Sep 22). A teenager’s summer job leaves a lifelong impact. New York Times, C8.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

The only person who has any monologues is Pauline, an older character in the play.

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p.21-23:  Will tries to convince Alex that he’s his father. Alex doesn’t buy it and wants to have a blood test done.  [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

ALEX

How did you find me?

and ends with

ALEX

If I ask you to quit and move out of Boise, would you?

(WILL doesn’t answer, staring down at his shoes.)

I gotta clock in.

p.56-58:  Alex and Will take the first tentative steps towards understanding one another and building trust. Will tells Alex about Daniel Sharp’s death and, in turn, Alex tells Will about the abuse and heartache he’s suffered in his young life.  [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

ALEX

STOP. (pause) If your church was so amazing, why did that kid die?

and ends with

ALEX

Because you told me about Daniel Sharp.

p.65-67:  Alex’s foster brother Leroy, who is an MFA student and also works at the Hobby Lobby, is angry because Alex has begun to hang around Will and has also begun to question his place in the world and to believe, like Will, that his life is meaningless without God.  [part of a longer scene] Starts with

ALEX

You think I’m stupid.

and ends with

LEROY

Okay. Just give me a minute. I’ll go talk to Pauline and then I’ll take you home, alright?

 

 

Crooked – Catherine Trieschmann

crooked

Premiered Off-Broadway at Women’s Project in April 2008; first performed in a workshop production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004.

Original Cast:

Laney                    Christin Milioti
Elise                      Betsy Aidem
Maribel                  Carmen M. Herlihy

Director:  Liz Diamond
Set Design:  Jennifer Moeller
Costume Design:  Ilona Somogyi
Lighting Design:  S. Ryan Schmit
Sound Design:  Jane shaw

 

Publication:  Trieschmann, Catherine. Crooked. Samuel French, 2009. Drama Stacks PS3620.R54 C76 2009.

 

Setting:  The Water’s House, High School Stadium Bleachers, and Church Sanctuary in Oxford, Mississippi; the present

Language:  Contemporary

LANEY

I admit, I might meet some resistance, some prejudice. Maybe I’ll get thrown out of the church, and Maribel and me will have to move to another town. But when my memoirs are published, other fourteen-year-old holiness lesbians will read them and won’t feel so alone.

Genre/Style:   Serio-Comedy

Plot:  Laney, a precocious 14-year-old girl with dystonia, moves to Oxford, Mississippi with her soon-to-be divorced mother.  She makes friends with 16-year old Maribel, who is chubby, socially awkward, and overly zealous about bringing people to Jesus. Over the course of their friendship, Laney falls in love with Maribel and decides to become a holiness lesbian.

 

Review of the Production:  James, C. (2008, Apr 21). Troubles of teenagers, faithful and cruel. New York Times.

 

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.16: Maribel explains why she doesn’t mind being sinned against in high school because eventually her tormentors will get theirs in everlasting hell. (Laney’s lines can be skipped.)

MARIBEL

I get sinned against all the time in this school—Deedee Cummings pulled down my pants in gym class today—but I don’t mind because I know that the things of this earth, they’re not lasting. (paus) You think that I’m a real freak, don’t you?

[lines cut]

But there has to be punishment for people who sin and sin and keep sinning. If there isn’t everlasting hell, then Hitler and Stalin and Deedee Cummings will never get punished for what they did. All the people in this school who ignore you will never get punished either.

p.16-17:  Laney tells Maribel about having dystonia and why she doesn’t mind that people ignore her because that reveals to her how shallow people are. (Maribel’s line can be skipped.)

LANEY

It’s the muscles in my back. They’re working against one another. It’s called dystonia. Having a humpback is called kyphosis. I don’t have kyphosis. I have dystoni8a. It’s different. It’s temporary. I’m glad I have it.

[lines cut]

Here, nobody talks to me. But I haven’t changed. My essential personality hasn’t changed. So I know the reason they don’t talk to me is because of my dystonia, and I’m glad I have it, because now I know how shallow people are. It’s a good thing to know, don’t you think?

p.33:  Maribel prays for Jesus to forgive her and to come into Laney’s heart so that she can be saved..

MARIBEL

Dear Jesus, it’s Maribel. Maribel and my friend Laney. I ask that you forgive me of my sins, for thinking so much about Marcus Grayson and being fingered. I pray that you forgive me for wanting to kill Melissa Jenkins and Deedee Cummings. I pray that you’ll help me to forgive them. Forgive me for the hatred in my heart. [Lines cut] I pray that you enter Laney’s heart, dear Jesus, so that she won’t have to suffer everlasting hell, because Lord, she is so beautiful and full of gifts, like her writing, and I know that you’ll want to keep her near you always. Lord, I know you have mysterious ways and that I can’t know your every hair, the way you know my every hair, but I know that you don’t say no, so Lord, I’m asking that you forgive me, forgive me, not for myself, but so Laney might be healed by you too. Amen.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p.17-20:  Laney meets Maribel on the bleachers during lunch for the first time.  They share parts of their lives:  Maribel’s religious upbringing and Laney’s writing.  [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

MARIBEL

Does it hurt?

and ends with

LANEY

No one’s ever quoted me before!

p.30-33:  Maribel tries to get Laney to confess her sins and take Jesus into her heart.  At the end of the scene Laney suddenly kisses Maribel. [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

MARIBEL

Are you ready now?

and ends with

MARIBEL

Do you know what it is?

(LANEY shakes her head.)

It’s the holy ghost.

(LANEY leans in and kisses MARIBEL on the mouth. It is sweet and gentle and a beat too long.)

p.49-53:  Maribel gets upset with Laney over a romantic story she wrote about Maribel. Laney panics and lies and tells Maribel that the story was inspired by Marcus looking at Maribel at the buses after school.  Starts with

LANEY

Hey.

and ends with

MARIBEL

For the harm we’ve done to God. For the harm we do each other.

p.60-62:  Laney and Maribel get drunk on wine at a sleepover and Maribel tells Laney she is going to ask Marcus to go to church with her.  Laney panics because she lied to Maribel about Marcus’ interest in her.  Starts with

LANEY

I thought the wine was supposed to turn into blood.

and ends with

LANEY

I think he definitely might.

Billboard – Michael Vukadinovich

billboard

World premiere in New York on January 12, 2007 at 59E59 Theaters.

Original Cast:

Andy                     Ken Matthews
Katelyn                Sarah K. Lippmann
Damon                 Joey Piscopo

Director:  Tania Inessa Kirman
Set Design:  Zhanna Guvich and Gaetane Bertol
Costume Design:  Carla Bellisio
Lighting Design:  Colin D. Young
Sound Design:  Elizabeth Coleman
Video Designer:  David Kreger

Publication:  Vukadinovich, Michael. Billboard. Samuel French, 2008. Drama Stacks PS3622.U85 B5 2008


Setting: 
Katelyn and Andy’s apartment in Los Angeles.


Language:
  Contemporary

DAMON

People like god damn Charles Manson get tattoos on their foreheads. Sure he could play the guitar, but all those murders? That’s something to think about.


Genre/Style:
  Serio-Comedy

Plot:  Andy, a recent college graduate, gets paid a large sum of money to advertise an electronics company by getting a tattoo of its logo on his forehead. His girlfriend Katelyn decides to create an art project about him which forces him to reconsider what he’s done. 

Review of the Production:  McElroy, S. (2007, Feb 2). ‘Billboard.’ New York Times, pp.25.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.25-26: Katelyn explains how she dealt with bad dreams as a child by drawing and why she began drawing again after her father died. (very long monologue)

KATELYN

(To the audience) On the plane I sat next to this little girl and her mother. The little girl was drawing with crayons for most of the trip. Pictures of her house and family and pets. Drawings from a child’s mind. Every once in awhile she would start drawing on the plane, either on the window or the tray, wherever. And her mom would say to her, “Stop drawing on the plane honey. If you can’t stay between the lines at least stay on the paper.”

[lines cut]

Telling someone your dreams are one thing, but to draw them another. The difference between Freud and Picasso. Those monsters and creatures that made me so scared in bed the night before looked so cartoonish and ridiculous when I drew them out and explained them to her. They were exposed. Out of their darkness. In the light. After only about three or four visits my nightmares stopped completely. They moved from my head to the paper and they were filed away in a cabinet forever. A few years later, after my father died, I began to draw again. This time for myself.

p.32:  Damon tells how he first met Katelyn. (long monologue)

DAMON

The first time I met Katelyn was at my dad’s funeral five years ago. Andy waited weeks before he introduced me to her. That’s how I knew it was serious. The girls he didn’t care about he’d let me meet right away. It was an unusual first meeting of course, but the thing was that while I was feeling awful about my dad, she was the only one who said anything to me that made me feel any better. Here, my friend’s new girlfriend, made me feel better than any of my family or friends with just a few words. Sometimes a stranger can do so much more for us than those close to us.

[lines cut]

Without Andy and Katelyn I don’t think I would have dealt with any of it very well. Sometimes when I imagine my own funeral—I’ll probably die of cancer because everyone dies of cancer—I think of how cool it would be if everyone bought paint and wrote messages and drew pictures all over my casket like kids do on their friend’s casts after they break a bone. They could write stories or draw memories and it might help people cry. How absurd that we need help crying! But the tears would mix with the pain and the result might be amazing.

p.68-69:  A monologue about art and relationships. (very long monologue)

ANDY

(Alone, to the audience) One day at the Getty, Katelyn got mad at me because I refused to admit that the giant, chaotic, splashy Pollock deserved to hang next to, or even in the same room, as the Monet. I’ll admit, there is something to the Pollock. There is emotion and maybe, somewhere in all of the drippings and splattering, maybe there is even something being communicated.

[Lines cut]

But we’ll be fine. Because before I left it alone I took one long, deep look at the Pollock and the art spoke to me. For a moment, in the chaotic splash of color, I saw Katelyn and it was the most beautiful painting in the museum. In any museum. And I knew it was good. There was none of this other shit that blinds us from the art of it all. That distorts how we see things. Because really, in the end, we’re all standing in front of the same canvas, squinting our eyes, trying to figure out what the hell it means. Hopefully to see something we recognize.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

pp.16-19: In the past, Andy and Katelyn spend a rainy day in bed listening to every Beatles album in order and talking about their future.

KATELYN

Magical Mystery Tour. Everyone says Sgt. Peppers is so progressive, but Magical Mystery Tour was just as ahead of its time.

and ends with

KATELYN

Do you really think we’ll last?

p.22-24:  Katelyn is angry with Andy because she thinks he called out Questa (the name of the company whose logo he has tattooed on his forehead) instead of Katelyn while they were having sex.   Starts with

ANDY

What did…

and ends with

ANDY

In the morning you’ll probably think this whole conversation is stupid. Isn’t that what always happens when you get like this? You’ll get up early. Make the coffee. We’ll have that awkward first eye contact and nothing will have to be said. Understood, but not said. And we’ll drink coffee.

p.33-36:  Katelyn tells Andy that she is going to put the portrait she painted of him in a show at the gallery where she works.  He is not happy with her decision.  Starts with

KATELYN

I’m going to put it in the show.

and ends with

ANDY

I don’t look like this.

p.44-46:  Katelyn decides to make Andy the focus of a new art project in which she documents his daily life and then exhibits him in a show and tell at the gallery.  Starts with

ANDY

You didn’t even tell me you were going to do this.

and ends with

KATELYN

Wearing hats now?

 

Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen – Kathryn Walat

victoria-martin

First produced by Women’s Project in New York City, 2007.

Original Cast:

Victoria Martin                                 Jessi Campbell
Peter                                                  Zachary Booth
Jimmy                                                Adam Farabee
Max                                                    Tobias Segal
Franklin                                             Matthew Stadelmann

Director:  Loretta Greco
Set Design:  Robert Brill
Costume Design:  Valerie Marcus Ramshur
Lighting Design:  Sarah Sidman
Sound Design:  Daniel Baker

 

Publication:  Walat, Kathryn. Victoria Martin:  Math Team Queen. Samuel French, 2007. Drama Stacks PS3545. A4325 V53 2007.

 

Setting:  Longwood High School; January through June

Language:  Contemporary

FRANKLIN

Yeah. Like that part near the end where Anne Frank starts intercepting Morse code signals from Germany and almost gets brainwashed into being a Nazi. Right Max?

Genre/Style:   Comedy

Plot:  Popular high school sophomore Victoria Martin joins the all-male math team.    

 

Review of the Production:  Genzlinger, N. (2007, Jan 25). The math rookie is a girl, A big problem for the geeks. New York Times, pp.E8.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.14-15: Victoria tries to make excuses for bombing at the first math meet, everything from getting her period to the fact that the kid sitting next to her kept clicking his retainer. (long monologue)

VICTORIA

I’m popular. Like totally, undisputedly popular. Like, I walk down the hallways, and even though I’m a sophomore, there are seniors—senior guys, with deep voices—who say: Hey. Sometimes they say: Hey, Vickie, what’s up? Like, they know my name.

[lines cut]

…And when I was in the girls’ bathroom and I totally just got my period, and had to ask one of them for a pad, they just giggled. And so I had to stuff all of this scratchy school-grade toilet paper into my underwear and meanwhile, I almost missed the sophomore round of questions, because they put all the room numbers in Roman numerals. For fun. And when I finally got there, I was sitting next to this kid who kept clicking his retainer and it was driving me crazy, and I was like—(Suddenly the rest of the team is there. She turns and speaks to them.)

I don’t do headgear, OK?

p.26-27:  Peter gushes over the changes to the Math Team since Vickie became a member.

PETER

In case you need to review the facts. Number one: As unofficial Math Tam captain and the senior on the team, I am the most mature member of the team. Number two: This is my last chance ever—ever—to prove our awesome collective mathematical brainpower at States!!!

[lines cut]

And at the meets, while she’s working on her problem set, she always gets this funny look on her face, just when she gets a problem, and she knows she’s got it, and I know she’s got it, and we’ve totally got it—and that’s when I think:  This is awesome!

Because the Longwood High School Math Team has started to win again. But this time? Math Team is—different. Better. Like, it’s more than just math.

p.34-35:  Victoria talks about her dad during her driving lesson with Peter. (long monologue)

VICTORIA

My dad was supposed to teach me how to drive. But he’s in California right now. He got this awesome computer-programming job. He used to work from home, designing software, but my mother says he wasn’t any good because he never thought about the people who would be using the software. He’s the smartest man my mom ever met. But at the end of the day, which is like my mom’s favorite expression:  “At the end of the day…” his brain wasn’t enough.

[Lines cut]

I just wanted to survive. To make it through the school year to the summer, when I could go to California, where no one would know who I was. Except my dad. Who knows what I like without even asking, like pizza with sausage and broccoli, and reruns of “The Honeymooners,” and numbers. I guess what I really like are numbers. But then I would think numbers are stupid to like. Because, in high school, what can you do with numbers?

p.60-61:  Jimmy talks about the worse Monday in his life: the first day of school after the Saturday of the big game when he pissed his pants before telling his hero, Scott Sumner, that his girlfriend, Victoria, was out kissing another boy outside the gym.

JIMMY

In case you’re like totally retarded and don’t remember? Tuesday comes after Monday. Even if it’s the worst Monday of your life. I’m talking about two days after the Saturday night of the big game, where you wet your pants and then because of some major cognitive malfunction, instead of running out of the building and continuing to run away, into the night, not stopping until you reached the safety of your mother’s kitchen, you instead thought it was more important to go back into the gym, right up to Scott Sumner—who hadn’t even wiped off the sweat of victory yet—to tell the Longwood High School basketball superstar that his girlfriend is kissing another guy, right outside the gym.

[lines cut]

But, I am very happy to remind you that Tuesday does come, even after the darkest Monday of your very limited high school life. And after Tuesday, it was Wednesday. And I don’t think I need to tell you that Wednesday is the day of the Math Team meet that’s going to decide if we’re going to States.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p.20-23: Peter gives Victoria a ride home after school. Starts with (VICTORIA is waiting for her ride. She reads from The Diary of Anne Frank.)

VICTORIA

“Let me put it more clearly, since no one will believe that a girl of thirteen feels herself quite alone in the world. I know about thirty people whom one might call friends… but it’s the same with all of them, just fun and joking, nothing more. I can never bring myself to talk of anything outside the common round… Hence, this diary.”… [Lines cut]

and ends with

VICTORIA

I don’t need my books either. I don’t even need to study to pass my classes. I’m not stupid, you know. And you know something else? I am so not quitting.

Even if that’s what all you nerds want me to do. You think you losers are the only ones who can do math? I can do math. I can do Math Team. I’m popular, but I am also totally, totally smart.

p.39-41: Franklin and Max are studying for their SATs.  Max is struggling with the realization that he likes his best friend in a non-platonic way.   Starts with

FRANKLIN

God, why do the SATs have to be so stupid?

and ends with

MAX

I just think it might be nice. For us to do something besides homework together.

p.55-58:  Max and Victoria bond in the aftermath of Max having confessed to Franklin that he likes him and Victoria having kissed Peter behind the gym during the big game. Both are struggling to figure out where to go from here.  Starts with

VICTORIA

Here.

and ends with

MAX

Really—you should read that. It’s my favorite book.

p.74-78:  Victoria’s second driving lesson with Peter during which they discover that they have deep feelings for one another.  Starts with

VICTORIA

What, are you kidding? I thought I was going to die. Why are you—you think that’s amusing? I’m serious, Peter, I almost stopped breathing and dropped dead, on the spot.

and ends with

PETER

Pi.

Birds of a Feather – Marc Acito

birds

First produced by the Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia on July 15, 2011.

Original Cast:

Silo, Lola, Bombshell, Porkey, Gayest, Preening,            Dan Crane
Announcer, Grown-Up Tango

Roy, Pale Male, Bombshell, Betty, Gayer, Bored,             Matt Dewberry
Teen Tango, Chastity Wright

Birder, Gay, Fat Cat Senator, Man in Coveralls,                 Eric Messner
Wanna-Be, Richard Cohen

Zookeeper, Paula Zahn, Female Birder                                Jjana Valentiner

 

Director:  Shirley Serotsky
Set Design:  Robbie Hayes
Costume Design:  Deb Sivigny
Lighting Design:  Andy Cissina
Sound Design:  Veronica Vorel

 

Publication:  Acito, Marc. Birds of a Feather. Samuel French, 2013. Drama Stacks PS3601.C53 B57 2013

 

Setting:  New York City, in and around Central Park; early 21st Century

Language:  Contemporary

SILO

(to ROY) What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

Genre/Style:   Comedy

Plot:  Tells the story of Roy and Silo, the two male Chinstrap Penguins who fell in love and raised a chick in the Central Park Zoo.  Their story inspired the children’s book And Tango Makes Three, which became one of the most banned books ever.  As a contrast, the play also relates the story of Pale Male and Lola, two Red-Tailed Hawks who built a nest on the side of a Fifth Avenue apartment building.  Pale Male became a cause célèbre when his nest was removed at the behest of a few building residents and protests ensued.  Pale Male and Lola have also been the subjects of a number of children’s books, none of which have been banned.

 

Review of the Production:  Horwitz, J. (2011, Jul 13). Tales of hawks and penguins take flight in hub theatre’s ‘birds’. The Washington Post.

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

p.14-15: Silo yearns for the outside, admires Pale Male, and bemoans being a penguin. 

SILO

I ask every bird who comes back from the Outside to tell me what it’s like. And they talk of things called trees that extend up, up, upper still, opening onto an Everywhere of Blue where something called clouds swim on the wind. I want to see the thing they call grass and flowers and garbage. And bugs and crumbs. But most of all, I want to know everything about the bird they call Pale Male.

[lines cut]

 

But underneath my slick plumage lies a cushion of air that keeps me buoyant, floating safely between the predators above and below. And in that narrow pocket I tuck away my secret self.

p.33:  Roy is talking to his daughter, Baby Tango. 

ROY

I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those annoying parents who goes on and on and on about his darling sweet snooky gookum light of his life reason for his existence, but seriously, take a look at this child.  Is she not the most adorable lovable huggable creature ever ever ever ever ever in the history of the world since before the invention of time? I thought so.

[lines cut]

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m actually the strong one. It’s true. It comes from being very superficial. Things don’t bother me much because I don’t think much. It’s a fool-proof system-designed by a fool. I highly recommend it.

p.41-42:  The Birder is a character who’s a birdwatcher watching Pale Male and Lola.  He’s a bit lonely and socially awkward.    

BIRDER

Every week all spring, a new batch of birds shows up-two hundred and seventy five different kinds. I’ve lived here my whole life, I’ve never noticed. Most New Yorkers tune out, y’know, put on that New York face…

[lines cut]

I once saw a mourning dove pretend to have a broken wing to distract an owl away from its nest. And I actually watched this little plover deliberately act insane just to confuse a raccoon, which is exactly what you should do when you’re getting mugged.

p.43-43:  Birder remembers watching the Twin Towers fall on television.  Likens people in the buildings to birds.

BIRDER

Watchin’ those chicks perched on the edge of the nest, hopping up and down, trying to work up the courage to take a flying leap into the unknown, I can’t stop thinkin’ of those people who were t rapped in the World Trade Center. The ones who decided they’d rather leap to their deaths than burn alive. [lines cut] Two virtual strangers who found themselves standing above the world in a broken window, fire blazing at their backs, the wind whipping past their faces as they stared out at so much blue. And I imagine them turning to each other and saying, “Let’s not die alone.”

p.51: Zookeeper talks about the experience of being single.

ZOOKEEPER

Sure, I’ve been over to the model boat pond a couple of times, but I’d never seen Pale Male that close. It was like meeting the Pope or the president. He was so mesmerizing. Those intense eyes. That proud chest. His whole demeanor was so…masculine. Almost alluring.

Okay, I seriously need to get laid.

[Lines cut]

I know it’s counter-productive, but when you’re single, you don’t have someone else to torture, so you torture yourself.

 

Representative Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p. 11-14: Roy and Silo discuss their relationship and Roy’s desire to have a chick. [Part of a longer scene.] Starts with

SILO

(to ROY)  What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

and ends with

ROY

I beg to differ.

p.26-30: Lola confronts Pale Male about their relationship and the way he treats her; Pale Male explains that’s the way of hawks and he also complains about Silo and Roy having a chick and how it’s not natural.   Starts with

LOLA

How many children do you have?

and ends with

LOLA

I choose to believe otherwise.

p.73-75:  Silo breaks up with Roy, telling him that he’s fallen in love with a female penguin from San Diego.   Starts with

SILO

You sick?

and ends with

ROY

This isn’t the world-wide-world. It’s a prison.