Received its world premiere at 59E59 Theater in New York City on February 7, 2012.
Meena Pierotti Marin Hinkle
Phil Gray Stephen Kunken
Allison Elizabeth Rich
Simon Michael Bakkensen
Frances Marylouise Burke
Richard/Ed Paul Niebanck
Director: Ethan McSweeny
Set Design: Lee Savage
Costume Design: Andrea Lauer
Lighting Design: Matthew Richards
Music and Sound Design: Lindsay Jones
Stage Manager: Jennifer Rae Moore
Meena Pierotti: Managing Editor, Piggeries, American Cattle & Swine Magazine
Phil Gray: Schmidt Pharma researcher
Allison Hardy: Phil’s boss
Simon: Meena’s boss
Frances: A widow in need of new underwear
Richard: Marketing executive
Ed: Schmidt Pharma researcher
Publication: Fodor, Kate. Rx. Dramatists Play Service, 2012. Drama Library PS3606. O36 R8 2012.
Setting: A Midwestern city; the present
You know how I know that people don’t hate their jobs because of corporate crap? Because I have been through every piece of corporate crap there is. I could pull a mile of red tape out of my ass and use it to tie a bow around all the forms I have to fill out today, but I love my job, Phil. And that’s just in my blood—
Plot: The Managing Editor, Piggeries, of American Cattle & Swine Magazine signs up for the clinical trial of a drug to treat workplace depression. A funny and pointed stab at Big Pharmacy and our drug-dependent culture and its quest for happiness in the form of a pill. And, surprise, surprise, this play actually made me laugh out loud.
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. 10: Allison addresses the annual Schmidt Pharma stockholders meeting.
Wow, great presentation. Thanks, Carl. It’s always good to hear about what’s going on in the Cardiology Business Unit. They’ve got a lot of heart over there. For those of you who haven’t heard me speak at a shareholders’ meeting before, I’m Allison Hardy, MBA, team leader of the Neurology Business Unit here at Schmidt Pharma. [Lines cut] I assure you that Intend to personally see to it that all goes well. Now ask me some questions so I can stay up here a little longer. I love it up here.
p. 25: Phil tells Meena he had a dream inspired by reading her published prose poem on feet.
Actually, I had a dream after I read it. I was back in Chicago, in the emergency room at Hartnett Hospital, which is where I did my internship. And I walked out into the waiting area and I looked at all the people. [Lines cut] But in this dream I was back at Hartnett and the waiting room was really crowded, and everyone in there was barefoot. Like in your prose poem. And somehow seeing their feet, it made me feel some compassion again. It made me want to be of service to them.
p.40–41: Allison explains why they’re pulling the plug on a heartbreak pill study and how they’re already planning the long-term revenue stream for the workplace depression pill.
Anyway, they’re going to pull the plug on that study and I’ll tell you why: because there’s no long-term revenue stream. Ed Morgan has no foresight. [Lines cut] Oh my God, Phil, are you crying? Stop. Who broke your heart? I’ll wring her neck. Aw, Phil. C’mere. Buck up. (Allison gives Phil a hug with a few good slaps on the back. She notices the vial in his hand.) What’s that?
p. 13–14: Allison explains to Phil why he can’t take his document hutch (shelf) off his work module (desk). Starts with
and ends with
I took it off. (She shrugs.) I’m management. My life isn’t easy, Phil, but it really has its satisfactions.
p. 42–44: Ed accidentally gives Phil a potentially fatal drug they’re developing to cure heartbreak. Starts with
and ends with
I’m going to call an ambulance. I think that’s the right thing to do.
p.46–48: Allison tells Phil that the company is pulling the plug on the workplace depression drug and that he’s fired. Starts with
Oh look. You didn’t die.
and ends with
Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism: (Note: article title links are to the online versions, mostly UW-only restricted unless designated as open access.)
DZIEMIANOWICZ, J. (2012, Feb 08). Looking for a fix: Two atires send up pill-popping & beauty-chopping. New York Daily News.
Feingold, M. (2012, Feb 15). Rx: A prescription for laughter. [open access] The Village Voice.
Isherwood, C. (2012, Feb 08). Dr. feelgood isn’t feeling quite like himself. New York Times.
Vincentelli, E. (2012, Feb 09). Just what doctor ordered. New York Post.