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.

 

 

Scab – Sheila Callaghan

 scab

First performed at Women’s Expressive Theatre, New York City, 2002.

Original Cast:

Anima, 23-year-old woman                                                      Shannon Burkett
Christa, 22-year-old woman                                                     Sasha Eden
Jenna/Angel One, 20s-30s woman                                          Flora Diaz
Alan/Artie/Davie/Angel Two                                                     David Wheir
Mom/Kellee/Maryandrogyne                                                    Anne Carney

Director:  Hayley Finn
Set Design:  Margaret Eunbyul
Costume Design:  Sarah Beers
Lighting Design:  Stephen Brady
Sound Design:  David A. Gilman

Publication:  Callaghan, Sheila. Scab, a Comic Drama in Two Acts. Samuel French, 2009. Drama General Stacks PS3603.A442 S33 2009.

Setting:  An apartment in Los Angeles; an apartment in New Jersey; a bar in LA; seminar class in LA

Language:  Contemporary

Anima

No, that’s what I needed, my lollipop roommate straddling my line of vision twice a day so I could check out her lacey underpants

Genre/Style:   Dramatic comedy

Plot:  Anima’s sphere of desperation and self-destruction is invaded by the arrival of her perky new roommate, Christa.  Anima, whose father has just died, is an MFA acting student who has had a month long affair with Alan, a professor in her department.  Christa is a first-year PhD student in history.  The two young women become entrapped in a profound and intimate relationship, compounded by Christa becoming involved with Alan and Anima falling for Christa.

Review of the Production:  Weber, B. (2002, Mar. 11). Roommates’ Yen for the Same Man, and Other Problems. New York Times, pp. E5.

 

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.27:  Anima is telling Alan about her trip home to attend her father’s funeral.

Anima

Don’t worry it was all very appropriate, grandmother sang a little tune called “How I wish God would Take me too” and danced a jig before all the dearly-beerlies, and oh man the cold cut plattrs fruit baskets condolence cards…

[lines cut]

It was wild.  I felt for a second my dad WAS the president. Assassinated. By his fellow countrymen. Bastard capitalist corporate American dream, live it love it fuck it in the ass or it will fuck you ha ha ha – you think I’m crazy, don’t you/

p.38-39:  Anima is drunk in a bar. 

Anima

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and move and inespresso ada-mahble…That’s Shakespeare. I know more. I played Hamlet once in college. It was for a video project but I was good. No one could believe a chick Hamlet could be so goddamn good.

[lines cut]

Get off me. My friend is picking me up. My roommate. My new roommate. She’s brilliant. She’s going to be a doctor soon. She analyzes women. Not a fucking shrink. She just does, then she makes history out of it.

(She drinks. A beat.)

No, but thanks. She’ll be here any minute. Because I know. She takes care of me.

p.22:  Anima has been trying to explain who Alan is to Christa after he drops by and Anima refuses to see him. Alan appears and speaks, unseen by the women.

Alan

I am thirty-two, nine years older than you. I have penetrated nineteen women, not including you, with my average sized penis. I played the viola all through college and a bit professionally before graduate school, I floss my teeth to NPR twice a day, each night I use lotion from a little blue jar to keep me from getting wrinkly.

[lines cut]

You eat rare meat, you listen to top forty radio, you never read the paper, you drink Bud Ice and you’ve only slept with two men, one of whom was gay. What on God’s good earth ever made you think it would work between us?

 

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.

39-41: Christa and Alan are together after having left a karaoke bar. Starts with

CHRISTA

Oh God, it hurts…

and ends with

CHRISTA

Okay.

(They kiss again and don’t stop.  Christa drops her shoes.)

p.50-52:  Christa confronts Anna over not going to class, something she learns from Alan. Anima accuses her of taking his side in their breakup, unaware that Christa and Alan have had sex the previous night.  Starts with

CHRISTA

How are the donuts.

and ends with

ANIMA

Tue s malade, ma petite plante. I will heal you.

Anima tears off her bandage and drips some blood into Susan’s soil.)

p.62-65:  Anima confronts Christa about her sleeping with Alan, unaware that it’s Alan, and then makes a pass at Christa.   Starts with

ANIMA

Do you love him, Chris?

and ends with

CHRISTA

Okay.

 

 

Flies – Oliver Lansley

fly

First performed at the Tobacco Factory’s Brewery Theatre, Bristol, on October 4, 2011.

Original Cast:

Dennis                                              Oliver Hollis
The Fly and other roles                 Paul Mundell

Director:  Emma Earle
Composer:   Kid Carpet
Design:  Zoe Squire
Lighting Design:  Anna Barrett
Animator:  Becca Rose
Costume Supervisor:   Bianca Ward
Stage Manager:  Katie Barrett

Publication:  Lansley, Oliver. Flies. London:  Oberon Books, 2011. Drama General Stacks PR6112.A57 F58 2011.

Setting:  The play opens in a Winter Wonderland, a fantastical dream version of Antarctica with snow, polar bears, etc.  The play takes place in various locations:  an airplane, a dentist’s office, an apartment, a therapist’s office, etc.

Language:  Contemporary

DENTIST

Unfortunately Mrs. Wilshire was in the middle of having her teeth X-rayed and she did not take kindly to a strange man running in screaming, locking the door nad immediately collapsing into a foetal wreck.

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  Dennis, a dental assistant, suffers from acute Pteronarcophobia, a fear of flies.  Through a non-linear structure and absurdist situations, the play explores the root of Dennis’ fears and his attempts to deal with his phobia through to a startling solution/conclusion.  Although there are a host of other characters besides Dennis, these other characters may just be figments of Dennis’ fevered imagination.

 

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.17-18:  The FLY reveals why flies behave as they do.

FLY 

I took a shit on your foot…
I know it’s what we ‘do’—I know it’s an action I am genetically predisposed to undertake—but I just wanted you to know that this was different.
I wanted you to know that on this occasion, this specific act of defecation was for one reason and one reason only and that is that… I don’t like you.

[lines cut]

He takes a big sigh as if relieved of a burden.

Ahh, I’m glad I got that off my chest—feels good to clear the air doesn’t it?

p.19:  DOCTOR diagnoses Dennis’ condition and its possible causes, each cause more ridiculous than the last. 

DOCTOR

After the… incident, the patient has been referred to me for examination and assessment. I am to determine whether or not this man poses a threat…

He stops the tape, rewinds it and plays it back.

(DOCTOR on Dictaphone.)  …Poses a threat… poses a threat… poses a threat…

Note to self, I do not like the way my voice sounds on an audio tape—a.) Investigate whether this is the way my voice sounds to other people, b.) Get Janet to look into other forms of audio recording…

[lines cut]

However in my professional opinion I believe they did. Some, if not all, of the above… Note to self. Probe deeper re. clowns, parents, paedos… Peadofly!

p.24-25:  DENNIS explains what true flies are; despite his revulsion, he also seems fascinated by them.

DENNIS

It is the presence of a single pair of wings that distinguishes true f…flies from other insects with the word in their name. May…f…lies, Dragon…f…lies, Damsel…f…lies, Snake…f…lies, Saw…f…lies, Caddis…f…lies, butter…fl…lies… [Lines cut] These help keep them steady and balanced, making them very…agile and able to manoeuvre themselves into intricate flight patterns, they can hover, they can spin, they can even go backwards.

p.47:  PILOT announces an emergency landing on a flight to Antarctica.  Long monologue. 

PILOT ANNOUNCEMENT

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking, I am very sorry to report that we shall be performing a premature landing for today’s flight to Antarctica, this is due to someone attacking another passenger with their complimentary copy of Whizz magazine which can be found in your seat backs.

[Lines cut.]

Boo Dennis, boo to you. Booo.
Everybody please Boooooooo. Not only has he spoilt it f or himself  but he’s spoilt it  for the rest of us, thanks a lot buddy…you’ve let us all down…literally.
Boo.

 

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. 36-40:  DENNIS goes to a travel agency to buy a ticket to Antarctica because he’s discovered that there are no flies in Antarctica.  Starts with

TRAVEL AGENT

Hello there sir what can I do for you today?

and ends with

DENNIS

Can I just buy a plane ticket please?

p.49-51:  DENNIS decides to become a spider in order to confront his fear of flies. Starts with

DENNIS

I have been thinking a lot about what the Doctor has said, about confronting and defeating my fear. About the best way forward, my best chance of doing this.
And I have decided to become a spider…

[Lines cut.]

Perhaps I had underestimated the power of my own convictions but within days thick coarse  black hairs started to appear on my body. At first they hurt as they pierced through the surface of my skin but soon I don’t notice, I become numb to it, almost finding the pain comforting. In less than a week my arms are virtually covered in them.

and ends with

FLY

Dennis…? Dennis…? DENNIS?

p.52-56:  DENNIS goes in for a last session with the DOCTOR after he has transformed into a spider. The DOCTOR seems transformed as well, becoming an amalgamation of the fly and other characters in the play.   Starts with

DOCTOR

Dennis, how are you?

and ends with

DOCTOR

We have to find a way through this. You can’t let this beat you. You must confront it, beat it, otherwise your life will always be dictated by this fear. You have to take ownership of it, find a way through it. You have to defeat it or it will defeat you.

 

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

 

(October 6, 2011 Thursday ). Frightening, funny and fly infested; Flies, Brewery Theatre. The Bristol Post.

Hood, K. (October 15, 2011). Flies making a fair buzz. [open access] remotegoat.com

Pearce, E. (October 7 ,2011). Flies-The Tobacco Factory, Bristol. [open access] thepublicreviews.com

 

Mirror Mirror – Sarah Treem

mirror

First performed at the Yale School of Drama on November 11, 2005.

 Original Cast:

Gretchen Black – 17, Most popular girl in school.                     Corena Chase
Badger Biers – 17, Gretchen’s boyfriend.                                   Allen Read
Most popular boy in school. Captain of the football team.    
Costen Lyons – 18, Badger’s best friend.                                  Jacob Knoll
     Richest boy in school.
Libby Sunday – 17, Gretchen’s new best friend.
                       Alexis McGuinness
     Hoyt’s ex-girlfriend. Valedictorian. On scholarship.
Hoyt Monroe – 18, Tortured teenage artist.
                               Richard Gallagher
     Libby’s ex-boyfriend.
Laurel Buchanan – 16, Hoyt’s best friend. President
               Bridget Jones
     of the drama club. Costen’s second cousin.
Honey – 15, Stage manager in the drama club. Nerd.
               Lauren Worsham
Donnie – 17, Actor in the drama club. Ronnie’s best friend.    Alexander Rubin
Ronnie – 17, Actor in the drama club. Donnie’s best friend.    Paul Spera
Roy/Rose White – 16, New girl. This is a boy’s part.                 Blake Hackler

Director:  Nick Avila
Set Design:  Sara Clement
Costume Design:  Mike Floyd
Lighting Design:  Bryan Keller
Sound Design:  Sharath Patel
Dramaturgy:  Rachel Rusch
Stage Manager:  Adam Ganderson

 Publication:  Treem, Sara. Mirror Mirror. Samuel French, 2010. Drama General Stacks PS3620.R442 M57 2010.

Setting:  A private high school in the South. A gym. An auditorium. A bathroom. Fall, present day.

Language:  Contemporary

GRETCHEN

(considers that) No, not in the same way. Bodies heal. Babies can be aborted. But reputations? That shit never goes away. Your children’s children pay for that. (beat) So did you get a look?

Genre/Style:   Dramatic comedy

Plot:  A year ago Roy disappeared.  This homecoming, his sister’s boyfriend, the captain of the football team, is about to propose to her even though he’s hiding a secret.  When a mysterious girl appears, Roy disguised as Rose, the insular world of a private high school in the South is turned upside down.  Loosely based on Snow White, the play feels like a darker version of your typical teen drama with some mystical 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.9:  Gretchen talks to the bathroom mirror during homecoming after having seen something disturbing in it.  (long monologue)

GRETCHEN

Don’t you pull that shit with me. I will break you.

When I was a child I had a beautiful mirror. Gilded and very old. It was my great grandmother’s mirror. Brought over from Vienna on a first class steamer. The mirror hung in the grand hallway. I cleaned it incessantly. Every time I passed it.

[lines cut]

What do you supposed I did? I broke the mirror. Smashed it in, late one night, with the heel of my shoe. Then I picked up the shattered pieces of glass and sewed them into my skin. And from that day forth, I’ve carried them with me wherever I go. And everyone everywhere always asks me about my skin. They want to know what makes it shimmer so.

(GRETCHEN looks down at her feet. She smirks at the mirror.)

(a threat) What do you think of my shoes? Are the heels too high?

p.48:  Honey tries to explain to Rose (who is Roy in disguise) what it was about Roy that she loved. 

HONEY

No. It was something else. He went around smiling at people—indiscriminately and for no good reason. Like w were all children again. It freaked a lot of people out. [Lines cut] And Badger Biers sort of smiled back. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I went home and wrote twelve pages about it in my journal. If Roy hadn’t gotten sick I would have asked him to Homecoming.

p.53-54:  Hoyt gives his reasons for why he believes love is a disease. (very long monologue)

HOYT

This has nothing to do with Libby. Love is a disease. It’s chemical. They’ve proven it. It’s just hormones. That stimulate euphoria. In this one tiny section of the brain. The same tiny section that lights up when people snort coke.[Lines cut] And thus he perpetuates the ultimate cosmic joke. That love makes life worth living. Which we all read. And believe. Because we’re children and stupid. And then we grow up and fall into the exact same trap. And spend the remainder of our lives in perpetual rehab with the rest of humanity.

 p.67:  Libby riffs on her anorexia and her intelligence. 

LIBBY

 I can honestly believe whatever I want, Hoyt. You have no idea how powerful I actually am. I can stay up for three days straight on nothing but whipped cream, coffee and suger-free jello. Do you know how many calories that is, Hoyt? [Lines cut] And I can think about food almost every moment of every day so can you imagine how much more I would know if I never had to eat again? No, of course you can’t. Because you’re not nearly as smart as me.

 

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. 15-19:  Libby finds Gretchen in the bathroom during homecoming.  Libby’s wearing one of Gretchen’s hand-me-down dresses; Gretchen wants it back. In the end, she leaves Libby in the bathroom in her bra and underwear.  Starts with

LIBBY

Gretchen! There you are. What’s that smell?

and ends with

GRETCHEN

Grow up. Wear a thong.

p.27-29:  Honey meets Rose for the first time and reveals what happened to Roy, who is disguised as Rose.   Starts with

HONEY

One two three. One two three. One two three.

and ends with

HONEY

I’m sorry Rose, you seem really nice and all but you’ve got a mouth as dirty as a sailor and it makes me kind of uncomfortable—being a dweeb and all—so I’m gonna go now.

p.66-68:  Hoyt confronts Libby about her anorexia and confesses that he still loves her even though she’s now dating Costen.   Starts with

LIBBY

Is she crazy?

and ends with

LIBBY

I like being light, Hoyt. I want to be lighter. I want to be so light I could step into the air if I were ever in trouble and fly away.

p.69-73:  Roy confronts Badger in the Boys Locker Room and tries to get Badger to admit that he loves him and wants to be with him as a gay man instead of marrying his sister, Gretchen, and living a lie.  Starts with

BADGER

Maggot, maggots, maggots.

and ends with

BADGER

My locker is number 27 if you need some clothes. Please—don’t follow me.

 

 

 

 

Shivered-Philip Ridley

Automotive-assembly-line

First performed at the Southwark Playhouse in London on March 9, 2012.

Original Cast:

Alec—a  20-year-old soldier                      Robbie Jarvis-Dean
Ryan—a twelve-year-old boy                    Joseph Drake
Jack—a twelve-year-old boy                     Joshua Williams
Lyn—Alec and Ryan’s mom                       Olivia Poulet
Gordy—in his twenties, a con man           Andrew Hawley
Evie—Jack’s obese mother                      Amanda Daniels
Mikey—Alec and Ryan’s dad                     Simon Lenagan

Director:  Russell Bolam
Scenic and Costume Design:  Anthony Lamble
Lighting Design:  Richard Howell
Sound Design:  Tom Gibbons

Publication:  Ridley, Philip. Shivered. Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2013. Drama Library Stacks PR6068.I292 S38 2013.

Setting:  Draylingstowe in Essax, an automotive factory town that has gone bust.

Language:  Contemporary

Jack

No, mate!  My legs’re fucking hurting.  I can feel the veins knotting together like… like knotting-together stuff.  They hurt!  Fuck!

Genre/Style:   Dramatic/comedy

Plot:   Ryan and Jack are two twelve-year-old boys looking for aliens.  Ryan’s  brother, Alec, was a soldier whose beheading by the enemy was filmed and shared on the internet.  Ryan’s dad, a former automotive factory worker, has gone missing; and his mother can’t cope with their son’s death.  The play is fragmented and the scenes are out of order, reflecting the fragmentation of modern-day life and illuminating often-overlooked details with the benefit of hindsight.  The first act works better than the second, but the language and themes remain affecting.  Although the boys are twelve in the play, teens or college aged actors would be appropriate as the subject matter is quite mature.

 

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:  Jack tells Ryan what happened to this girl at school who didn’t want to watch the video of Ryan’s brother being beheaded.

JACK     

There was this girl. Gemma Burns. She’s the year above me. She said she thought watching something like that was disgusting. She don’t watch anything. Not even  bullfights or dogs being sick. She’s a right stuck-up cunt.  [Lines cut] Reece Jackson said they should break into Gemma’s bedroom one night and hold her down like they did in the toilets, only this time make her watch the film of her throwing up while watching your brother’s head being cut off. I said, if they did that, I’d like to be the one to film it. (Slight pause.) I think it’s a fake anyway.

p.33:  Gordy tells Lyn what happens to greyhounds once they stop racing.

GORDY

You know what happens to greyhounds when they stop winning races. They’re killed. That was my job. I’d take them to the wood at the back of the stadium. I’d tie their leads round branches. Leave them to hang.  [Lines cut] Next time I did it, word had spread. There were twice as many people. I charged them money. Every time I did it the audience grew. I made more money from killing the dogs than my neighbor did from racing them. (Slight pause) Wanna meet later?

 

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. 10-12:  Ryan and Jack are watching the canal and waiting for the alien monster to appear so that Ryan can take a picture of it.  Starts with

RYAN

Okay… If anything comes out of the canal—We’re ready!

and ends with

RYAN

I see it! (Jack and Ryan scream.)

p.27-29:  The first time Jack and Ryan meet.  Jack is hiding out from a group of bullies and Ryan is trying to find evidence of aliens to prove his dad isn’t crazy.   Starts with

JACK

What are you doing?

and ends with

RYAN AND JACK

RAAAAHHHH!!!

p.38-40:  Jack and Ryan are again waiting for aliens.  Ryan shows Jack how to draw aliens.  During their lesson, Jack convinces Ryan to look at the video of Ryan’s brother being beheaded. At the end of the scene Ryan beats Jack unconscious and leaves him.  The beating leaves Jack brain dead.   Starts with

JACK

You mean… aliens look like snakes.

and ends with

JACK

Fuck me, no need for that, mate. Jesus. (Struggles to get up.) Help me up, mate… Come on… My bones are bending in this position—Shit! Shit! (Ryan picks up a piece of rubble.) Come on, mate.   (Ryan strikes Jack with rubble.) Mate, what’s that for? Come on! (Slight pause. Ryan strikes Jack again.) There no need for—Mate! Don’t! (Ryan hits Jack some more. Jack is screaming now.) Stop it, mate. It’s fucking hurting… Don’t! Mate! Let’s do some drawing. (Ryan continues to strike Jack.) Let’s do… some drawing…

 

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

Bowie-Sell, D. (2012, Apr 2). Shivered, Southwark Playhouse, review. [open access] The Telegraph.

Costa, M. (2012, Mar 15). Shivered—review. [open access] The Guardian.

Purves, L. (2012, Mar 15). It’s grimmer down south; Philip Ridley’s violent new Essex drama leaves Libby Purves unmoved. The Times (London), pp.12.

Taylor, P.  (2012, Mar 15). Shivered, Southwark Playhouse, London. [open access] The Independent.

 

36 and Counting!

Status

June 27 marked a year since I began That Unforgettable Line, and I’ve posted information on 36 plays.  I’m hoping to add 50 plays this next year!  If you’ve found the blog useful in your studies or discovered a new play, or if you have a play suggestion for the site, leave a comment.  Thanks.

The Bad Guys – Alena Smith

badguys

First performed on June 6, 2012 by the Second Stage Theatre.

Original Cast:

Noah—a filmmaker (31/32)                           James McMenamin
Paul—a bartender (23)                                 Raviv Ullman
Fink—a banker (31/32)                                 Michael Braun
Jesse—a drug dealer (31/32)                      Tobias Segal
Whit—a Marine (31/32)                                 Roe Hartrampf

Director:  Hal Brooks
Set Design:  Jason Simms
Costume Design:  Jessica Pabst
Lighting Design:  Seth Reiser
Sound Design:  Ryan Rumery
Stage Manager:  Kyle Gates

Publication:  Smith, Alena. The Bad Guys. Dramatists Play Service, Inc., 2013. Drama Library Stacks PS3619. M537 B33 2013.

 

Setting:  A brick patio and the surrounding lawn outside a large house in upstate New York.  One afternoon in September.

Language:  Contemporary

FINK

(furious) He’s an ignorant Podunk tweaker with A.D.D.!

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedic

Plot:   Noah has directed an independent film exposing childhood secrets his friends and family would rather leave buried.  On the eve of his escape to LA, Noah, his stepbrother, and two childhood friends wrestle with betrayals old and new.  The play explores the meaning of and the bonds—and limits—of male friendship.

 

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.21-22:  Jesse blows up over the losses his family has sustained due to the bursting of the housing bubble and rails against the government bailout of big banks.

JESSE    

Fuck society. I’m talkin’ about my family. You know Fink was the one who kept telling my dad to build those shitty spec houses! Oh, everyone’s doing it. Easy money. Get in the game, Glen. ‘Cause houses aren’t for living in anymore. They’re for flippin! Like burgers. But then the big burger bubble blows up. [Lines cut] An appetizer—no, an appeteaser. That’s what they call it at Applebee’s, right? And you know what they call it at KFC. (Beat.) A Double Down. Yup. That’s what we did here, America. We just doubled the fuck down on this bullshit.

p.35:  Whit recounts losing his best friend, a fellow Marine, in the Iraqi war.

WHIT

He was my best friend. Kid from Concord, Mass.—on his third tour—supposed to go home in a month—and then he got shot. And he died. And when he died, I died too. (Beat.) And then I realized—things are different when you’re dead. Things don’t hurt as much. [Lines cut] So, you know—if you want to ask me whether this is a good war—I honestly gotta tell you, I don’t know. But for me, while I was out there—that didn’t matter. What mattered was that I was doing my job. Being a good Marine, taking care of my guys. What mattered was that I was strong. So for me—this was a good war. And that’s about all I can say on the subject.

 

 

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. 9-11:  Noah explains to Paul that he made his movie so that he could forget about the past and escape from his childhood home.  Starts with

NOAH

(Grudging.) Okay, fine. We can have one beer. But then we have to get out of here. If my mother comes back, she’ll go into hysterics again. I don’t’ know how that woman is going to survive without me.

and ends with

NOAH

Yeah, I’m working on losing them.

p.25-27:  Fink explains that he and his friend Ash are soulmates and how Noah betrayed their friendship by snitching on Ash back when they were kids.  Fink doesn’t realize that Noah’s movie is about that very incident; Paul tries to keep it from him.   Starts with

PAUL

[Right.] (Beat.) How come nobody ever found out Ash was there?

and ends with

FINK

(Laughing.) So ridiculous! No—but I like that. Loyalty. That’s good.

 

 

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

Isherwood, C. (2012, June 7). Boys being boys, with beers and guns. The New York Times, pp. 6.

Stasio, M. (2012, June 6). The bad guys. Daily Variety, pp. 3.

Vincetelli, E.  (2012, June 5). Unexpectedly wise ‘guys’. The New York Post, pp. 32.