The Bad Guys — Alena Smith


First per­formed on June 6, 2012 by the Sec­ond Stage Theatre.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Noah—a film­maker (31/32)                           James McMe­namin
Paul—a bar­tender (23)                                 Raviv Ull­man
Fink—a banker (31/32)                                 Michael Braun
Jesse—a drug dealer (31/32)                      Tobias Segal
Whit—a Marine (31/32)                                 Roe Har­trampf

Direc­tor:  Hal Brooks
Set Design:  Jason Simms
Cos­tume Design:  Jes­sica Pabst
Light­ing Design:  Seth Reiser
Sound Design:  Ryan Rumery
Stage Man­ager:  Kyle Gates

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Smith, Alena. The Bad Guys. Drama­tists Play Ser­vice, Inc., 2013. Drama Library Stacks PS3619. M537 B33 2013.


Set­ting:  A brick patio and the sur­round­ing lawn out­side a large house in upstate New York.  One after­noon in September.

Lan­guage:  Contemporary


(furi­ous) He’s an igno­rant Podunk tweaker with A.D.D.!

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedic

Plot:   Noah has directed an inde­pen­dent film expos­ing child­hood secrets his friends and fam­ily would rather leave buried.  On the eve of his escape to LA, Noah, his step­brother, and two child­hood friends wres­tle with betray­als old and new.  The play explores the mean­ing of and the bonds—and limits—of male friendship.


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.21–22:  Jesse blows up over the losses his fam­ily has sus­tained due to the burst­ing of the hous­ing bub­ble and rails against the gov­ern­ment bailout of big banks.


Fuck soci­ety. I’m talkin’ about my fam­ily. You know Fink was the one who kept telling my dad to build those shitty spec houses! Oh, everyone’s doing it. Easy money. Get in the game, Glen. ‘Cause houses aren’t for liv­ing in any­more. They’re for flip­pin! Like burg­ers. But then the big burger bub­ble blows up. [Lines cut] An appetizer—no, an appeteaser. That’s what they call it at Applebee’s, right? And you know what they call it at KFC. (Beat.) A Dou­ble Down. Yup. That’s what we did here, Amer­ica. We just dou­bled the fuck down on this bullshit.

p.35:  Whit recounts los­ing his best friend, a fel­low Marine, in the Iraqi war.


He was my best friend. Kid from Con­cord, Mass.—on his third tour—supposed to go home in a month—and then he got shot. And he died. And when he died, I died too. (Beat.) And then I realized—things are dif­fer­ent when you’re dead. Things don’t hurt as much. [Lines cut] So, you know—if you want to ask me whether this is a good war—I hon­estly gotta tell you, I don’t know. But for me, while I was out there—that didn’t mat­ter. What mat­tered was that I was doing my job. Being a good Marine, tak­ing care of my guys. What mat­tered was that I was strong. So for me—this was a good war. And that’s about all I can say on the subject.



Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes:  Scenes con­tain the first person’s lines and the last person’s lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the scene in its entirety.

p. 9–11:  Noah explains to Paul that he made his movie so that he could for­get about the past and escape from his child­hood home.  Starts with


(Grudg­ing.) Okay, fine. We can have one beer. But then we have to get out of here. If my mother comes back, she’ll go into hys­ter­ics again. I don’t’ know how that woman is going to sur­vive with­out me.

and ends with


Yeah, I’m work­ing on los­ing them.

p.25–27:  Fink explains that he and his friend Ash are soul­mates and how Noah betrayed their friend­ship by snitch­ing on Ash back when they were kids.  Fink doesn’t real­ize that Noah’s movie is about that very inci­dent; Paul tries to keep it from him.   Starts with


[Right.] (Beat.) How come nobody ever found out Ash was there?

and ends with


(Laugh­ing.) So ridicu­lous! No—but I like that. Loy­alty. That’s good.



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. (2012, June 7). Boys being boys, with beers and guns. The New York Times, pp. 6.

Sta­sio, M. (2012, June 6). The bad guys. Daily Vari­ety, pp. 3.

Vincetelli, E.  (2012, June 5). Unex­pect­edly wise ‘guys’. The New York Post, pp. 32.


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