Received its world premier at the Humana Festival of New American Plays in 2011.
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.
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.]
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.
Don’t be sorry.]
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.]
[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]
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.)
That’s what you brought?
and ends with
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
So…uh, what are you doing tonight?
and ends with
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
I wouldn’t have shot her if I knew who she was.
and ends with
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)