After. – Chad Beckim

after

First pro­duced by the Par­tial Com­fort Pro­duc­tions at The Wild Project in New York, Sep­tem­ber 2011.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Susie (Asian, early 30s)                                              Jackie Chung
Chap (Any eth­nic­ity, 40s-50s)                                     Andrew Gar­man
Monty (Latino, mid 30s)                                              Alfredo Nar­ciso
Liz (Monty’s sis­ter, early 30s)                                     Maria-Christina Oliv­eras
War­ren (Indian, early 30s)                                           Debargo Sanyal
Eddie (Latin, mid to late 30s)                                      Jeff Wilburn

Direc­tor:  Stephen Brack­ett
Scenic Design:  Jason Simms
Cos­tume Design:  Whit­ney Locher
Light­ing Design:  Gregg Goff
Sound Design:  Daniel Kluger
Fight Direc­tor:  David Anzuelo
Dra­maturg:  John M. Baker
Stage Man­ager:  Tara M. Nachtigall

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Beckim, Chad. After. Samuel French, 2012. Drama Library PS3602. E327 A38 2012.

Set­ting:  Var­i­ous locations

Lan­guage:  Contemporary

WARREN

A lit­tle too slim for me. I like ‘em thicker than that, but she’s def­i­nitely cute. And she def­i­nitely likes you. No woman ini­ti­ates con­tact like that with a man with­out lik­ing him. Unless she’s a prostitute.

Genre/Style:  Drama but with comic moments that arise out of character

Plot:  DNA evi­dence has just exon­er­ated Monty and he is released from prison after sev­en­teen years.  He now has to adjust to life on the out­side after hav­ing spent half of his life incar­cer­ated. Although the play cov­ers the stan­dard ex-con just released from prison and is now cop­ing with life on the out­side moments, by look­ing at those moments in a fresh way, the play­wright avoids stereo­types and clichés.  How­ever, an act of vio­lence near the end of the play intro­duces a new char­ac­ter who isn’t really ger­mane to Monty’s growth and the play slips a lit­tle into melo­dra­matic territory.

 

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.22–23:  Susie explains why she doesn’t like Axe guys. 

SUSIE

I don’t get that, you know? Like, you’ll see these good look­ing guys, well groomed, well main­tained, together, the kind of guy that you see and secretly think, “He looks like a nice guy to talk to,” only then they walk past you and they smell like they just got stuck in a cologne thun­der­storm. [Lines cut]

I’m sorry. I talk too much. I say too much dumb stuff. And I forced that tooth­brush on you. I’m work­ing on it, but it’s… The deodor­ant aisle is that way. (She points.) Two aisles down.

p.26:  War­ren bitches to Monty about the doggy day care busi­ness he owns and operates.

WARREN

Yep. We chauf­feur dogs here. I can’t get over that. I under­stand the brush­ing and wash­ing and feed­ing and all that. But chauf­feur­ing? Like they’re kids com­ing home from a field trip?

[Lines cut]

When I was a kid we had a yel­low lab. Lived out­side. Ate dry food—and take it from me? Avoid that wet stuff, dude. That wet stuff makes them shit pud­ding. But my dog. Didn’t even need to be chained up. Came and went as he pleased. And he seemed per­fectly happy-lived until he was thir­teen, I think.

p.41:  War­ren tells Monty how his dad got the nick­name, Destroyer of lives.

WARREN

My father really is the destroyer of lives, though. That was his nick­name for him­self when I was a child.

I got this record—“Shamu and Friends”—for my birth­day one year? It was all of the char­ac­ters from “Sea­world” singing songs about the sea and about the envi­ron­ment. [Lines cut]  And I wouldn’t talk to him for a week, and finally a week later my mom came home with a new record and hands it to me, and it’s “Sig­mund the Sea Mon­ster,” which is not even nearly the same thing, and she’s like, “This is from your father and me.” And when I told her that it wasn’t the same one, my father laughed and said, “I am the destroyer of lives.” Because he is.

p. 61–62:  (This mono­logue is fairly long, per­haps two min­utes long or more in its entirety.)  Monty laments the death of the one of the ser­vice dogs he trained in prison and the loss of his life, and rages about the state’s offer to pay him resti­tu­tion and the apol­ogy the vic­tim of the rape he was accused of wants to make.  [Chap’s line can be cut.]

MONTY

Rip­ley was a good dog, man.

[CHAP

She was.]

MONTY

A good dog. No, a great fuck­ing dog. The best. I taught her to sit. I taught her to stay. I taught her to lie down. I taught her to shake—even though I wasn’t sup­posed to. I taught her to nudge someone’s hand when they were scared or angry or anx­ious or just, just shut the fuck down. Me. I did that.

[Lines cut.]

The only fuck­ing good thing I ever did is gone, and you come here telling me that the good news is that they want to pay me for miss­ing my prom and col­lege and keg par­ties and my first apartment?

Fuck them.

Fuck the dude that killed my dog.

And fuck Laura Miller.

(A long beat. He turns to the win­dow.)

Show your­self out, man.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:  

p. 39–41:  Monty con­fesses to Susie why he’s never asked a girl out or gone shop­ping or tied a tie.  Starts with

MONTY

I lied to you.

and ends with

SUSIE

Huh? Of course. I just—I thought I saw some­one I knew. (She grabs the bas­ket and looks at the list.) Okay. First up. Deodorant.

p. 16–18: Monty receives a visit from the chap­lain from the prison and explains for the first time how it feels to be out­side.  Starts with

CHAP

You’re sleep­walk­ing?

and ends with

CHAP

I know.

 

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. (2011, Sep 22). After the hard life of prison comes the hard life of the out­side world. New York Times.

Jones, C. (2012, Sep 07). Plumb­ing depths of bit­ter­sweet free­dom. Chicago Tri­bune.

Soloski, A. (2011, Sep 28). Sprung awak­en­ing. [open access] The Vil­lage Voice.

Vin­cen­telli, E. (2011, Sep 22). Leaves Nice ‘After’-Glow. New York Post.

 

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