All-American – Julia Brownell

all-american Received its Off-Broadway pre­miere at the Duke on 42nd Street by Lin­coln Cen­ter Theater/LCT3 on Novem­ber 7, 2011.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Mike Slat­tery (44)                                            C.J. Wil­son
Aaron Slat­tery (17)                                          Harry Zit­tel
Natasha Gor­don (17)                                      Sarah Steele
Katie Slat­tery (17)                                           Mered­ith For­lenza
Beth Slat­tery (42)                                            Rebecca Creskoff
Jake Myers (17)                                               Brock Har­ris

Direc­tor:  Evan Cab­net
Set Design:  Lee Sav­age
Cos­tume Design:  Jes­sica Wegener Shay
Light­ing Design:  Japhy Wei­de­man
Sound Design:  Jill BC DuBoff
Stage Man­ager:  Charles M. Turner III

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Brownell, Julia. All-American. Drama­tists Play Ser­vice, 2012. Drama Library PS3602. R745 A44 2012.

Set­ting:  A town in California

Lan­guage:  Contemporary

NATASHA

Nobody comes down dur­ing assem­bly. Except one of the jan­i­tors, this guy Eddie, but he’s got slight brain dam­age, so I just give him a blow job every now and then to keep him quiet. (Aaron pre­tends not to have a reac­tion.) Oh my god. You totally thought I was seri­ous, you thought I gave him blow jobs.

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  A for­mer NFL star dri­ves his teenage daugh­ter to become a star high school quar­ter­back while ignor­ing her twin brother and his wife.  If you like Fri­day Night Lights, you’ll prob­a­bly like this play although some of the char­ac­ter­i­za­tions are thin­ner than oth­ers and the res­o­lu­tion comes quick and rel­a­tively pain­less, give or take a con­cus­sion or two.  Aaron and Natasha are the most fully-realized and inter­est­ing char­ac­ters, and sur­pris­ingly, Katie, the female foot­ball player, is the least real­ized char­ac­ter, although she is the tit­u­lar, All-American.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Mono­logues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety. This play only has a small num­ber of brief monologues.

p. 37–38:  Natasha explains why she tried to kill her­self.  Aaron’s line can be cut.  

NATASHA

That’s the thing that’s so fucked up. It was so NOT about Jake Myers. It’s just—ugh—nobody gets it.  I took a bunch of pills and it was lame, okay? [Lines cut] And that actu­ally made me the most sad, that I was six­teen and I should be car­ing about my stu­pid foot­ball player boyfriend dump­ing me but instead I was like, wor­ry­ing about my mom being in a wheel­chair. But nobody knew about that, so every­body assumed I like, took all these pills and had to get my stom­ach pumped because—

[AARON

                –Because Jake Myers dumped you.

NATASHA

Exactly.] Because not being able to give crappy head to Jake Myers any­more is obvi­ously the biggest tragedy of my life.

 

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:  

p. 7–9:  Aaron and Natasha meet while cut­ting a school assem­bly.  Starts with

NATASHA

Hey. (Aaron nods his head.) You’re new, right? You’re in my cal­cu­lus class.

and ends with

NATASHA

I thought you didn’t like it when peo­ple asked questions.

p. 20–22:  Katie con­fesses to Aaron that she wants to quit play­ing foot­ball.  Starts with

AARON

I can’t really imag­ine any world where play­ing foot­ball is fun.

and ends with

KATIE

Yeah.

p.36–38:  Natasha con­fesses to Aaron the real rea­son why she tried to kill her­self.  Starts with

AARON

I don’t feel like playing.

and ends with

AARON

Yeah. Con­stantly. (Beat.) But hon­estly? The fact that you’re… you are smarter and cooler and bet­ter than any­one at this school… That’s not some­thing to be embar­rassed bout. I think it’s pretty awe­some. Because I mean… you say that nobody gets it but… I get it. (Natasha kisses him.) You know, there’s no bet­ter turn-on than say­ing you give crappy head. (Natasha smiles. A beat. They start to make out.)

 

 

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

All-american. (2011). Daily Vari­ety, 313(29), 10.

Ish­er­wood, C. (2011, Nov 08). A grid­iron fam­ily: The star quar­ter­back is just daddy’s lit­tle girl. New York Times.

She­ward, D. (2011). All-american. Back Stage (19305966), 52(45), 40.

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