Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them – A. Rey Pamatmat

pamatmat

Received its world pre­mier at the Humana Fes­ti­val of New Amer­i­can Plays in 2011.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Edith  (12, Filipino-American, a girl, Kenny’s sis­ter)                       Teresa Avia Lim
Kenny (16, Filipino-American, a young man, Edith’s brother)        Jon Nor­man Schnei­der
Benji (16, any race, a friend)                                                          Cory Michael Smith

Author’s Note:  The play should be per­formed by young-looking adult actors, not actual teenagers.  The adults in the play can be por­trayed with pup­pets, pro­jec­tions, or some­thing else non-human.

Direc­tor:  May Adrales
Scenic Design:  Brian Sid­ney Bem­bridge
Cos­tume Design:  Con­nie Furr Solo­man
Light­ing Design:  Jeff Nel­lis
Sound Design:  Ben­jamin Mar­cum
Prop­er­ties Design:  Joe Cun­ning­ham
Media Design:  Philip All­geier
Fight Direc­tor:  Drew Fracher
Stage Man­ager:  Kim­berly First-Aycock
Dra­maturg:  Michael Bigelow Dixon

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Pamat­mat, A. Rey. Edith Can Shoot Things and Hit Them. Samuel French. 2012.  Drama Library, PS3616.A3567 E35 2012

Set­ting:  A remote non-working farm out­side of a remote town in remotest Mid­dle Amer­ica in the early 90s.

Lan­guage:  Contemporary

KENNY

I have this spe­cial glue that will keep a dress stuck on you for a week, and if you try to take it off, it will rip off your skin. So either put one on for a cou­ple of hours, or plan on hav­ing one stuck to you for days.

Genre/Style:  Darkly comedic drama

Plot:  Edith and her brother, Kenny, try to sur­vive on their own in a farm­house in the coun­try after the death of their mother and their father’s appar­ent aban­don­ment.  The basic premise is a lit­tle shaky—that a father would aban­don his school-aged chil­dren to live with his girl­friend in the same town—as is some of the plot­ting, but the char­ac­ters are engag­ing and they draw you into the play.  Par­tic­u­larly affect­ing is the bud­ding rela­tion­ship between Kenny and Benji.

 

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

p.14:  Benji explain­ing why his mother has kicked him out of the house.  [Kenny’s line can be cut.] 

BENJI

I’m doing my chores—washing din­ner dishes. I go in my room when I’m done and she’s sit­ting there hold­ing the tape and the note. Her face is all twisted. Dis­gusted. And then she yells for my dad and brother, and when they come in, she shoves the note at me and goes:  “Read it. Aloud. To your father.”

And I read. And she shakes and cries. And my bother swears. And my dad just stands there. I get to the end and I hear this…this crack sound. And she snapped it in half. Your tape.

[Lines cut]

[KENNY

Don’t be sorry.]

BENJI

My dad goes, “I’m going to make sure Mom talks to you tomor­row.” But I don’t want to talk to her. I don’t want to go home, to…with her. I want her to leave me alone.

p.39:  Edith explain­ing to Benji how he needs to take care of him­self and learn to be like her.  [Benji’s line can be cut.]

EDITH

[I just do.]

Some­times I go to Dina Osheyack’s house, and her mom is always there. She teaches us how to do stuff, helps us do our home­work. And it’s fun, even though Mrs. Oshey­ack can be really annoy­ing. She wants to see Dina all the time and hear all about school and stuff. But Mrs. Oshey­ack? She’s always telling Dina what to do—pick this up and throw this out and show Tom some respect, he has cross coun­try tomor­row! [Lines cut]

[BENJI

No.]

Right. You’re almost as smart as me, and I don’t need any­one. So just do what I do, and you’ll be fine. Show her you’re fine. Live here and be like me.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:  (Note:  This play has a num­ber of three-person scenes as well as the two-person scenes below.)

p.23–24: Kenny and Benji dis­cussing words for var­i­ous sex acts.  Starts with KENNY and BENJI in the barn, sit­ting in the hay. BENJI pulls a dic­tio­nary out of his bookbag.)   

KENNY

That’s what you brought?

and ends with

BENJI

That’s what I mean. There are words for it. And not just crass words or words they use at my mother’s church. These words…“fellatio” is sci­en­tific. It’s not—there’s no. It’s not con­demn­ing peo­ple who do it, and it’s not glo­ri­fy­ing them either. No bias. There’s a sci­en­tific word for it, because it is a sci­en­tific fact that it hap­pens. And since it hap­pens it needs to be named. And so it is.

(KENNY kisses BENJI)

p.37–38:  Edith wants Kenny to ask Benji to come to her recital  [Starts with

BENJI

So…uh, what are you doing tonight?

and ends with

KENNY

Bye, whore. I’ll pick you up in twenty min­utes, whore.

p.55–56:  Edith and Benji are sit­ting in an ice cream shop after Kenny has just stormed out.  The kids have been hid­ing out since Edith shot her dad’s girl­friend by mis­take with her pel­let gun.  Starts with

EDITH

I wouldn’t have shot her if I knew who she was.

and ends with

EDITH

Even if she loves you, her love doesn’t mean any­thing. When it mat­ters, it doesn’t mean a thing.

 

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

Cox, G. (2011). Trio of shows shines at Humana fest. Vari­ety, 422(10), 23. (Review of pro­duc­tion at the Humana Festival)

Hub­bard, R. (2012, Mar 18). The­ater review: ‘edith can shoot things and hit them’ is reward­ing but uneven. Saint Paul Pio­neer Press.

Osborne, B. (2011, Nov 04). ‘Edith can shoot things’ tar­gets hope­ful audi­ence: Uncon­ven­tional but fairly func­tional unit formed by trio. The Atlanta Jour­nal — Con­sti­tu­tion.

Royce, G. (2012, Mar 19). ‘Edith can shoot things’ misses. Star Tri­bune.

Schnei­der, R. (2011). 35th HUMANA FESTIVAL OF NEW AMERICAN PLAYS. Plays Inter­na­tional, 26(7/8), 48–51.

She­ward, D. (2011). Less Is More at Louisville. Back Stage (19305966), 52(15), 12–13. (Review of pro­duc­tion at the Humana Festival)

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