Hearts like Fists – Adam Szymkowicz

Opened at Theatre of NOTE in Los Angeles, August 3, 2012; subsequent New York production opened on December 1, 2012 by Flux Theatre Ensemble at the Secret Theatre.

 

Original Cast:

Lisa:  Lauren Dobbins Webb
Peter:  Rick Steadman
Doctor X:  Keith Allan
Nina:  Alysha Brady
Sally:  Jennifer Lee Weaver
Jazmin:  Alina Phelan
Nurse: Grace Eboigbe
Stage Ninja 1:  Dan Wingard
Stage Nina 2:  Pierce Baird

Director:  Jaime Robledo

 

Lisa:  a crimestopper, female
Peter:  a heart doctor, male
Doctor X:  eveil but misunderstood, male
Nina:  a Crimefighter, female
Sally:  a Crimefighter, female
Jazmin:  a Crimefighter, female
Nurse:  a nurse, female
The Commissioner:  played by the actor who plays Doctor X
Man:  played by the actor who plays Peter
Woman:  played by the actor who plays Nurse
Girl:  played by the actor who plays Jazmin
Carson:  played by the actor who plays Doctor X
Ed:  played by the actor who plays Peter

Note:  Actors can be any race.

 

Publication:  Szymkowicz, Adam. Hearts like Fists. Dramatists Play Service, 2013. Drama Library PS3619.Z965 H43 2013.

 

Setting:  New York City; now

Language:  Contemporary

JAZMIN

I’m going to be late to my date. But I ran out of fabric softener. Should I go get the fabric softener and be a little later and then carry it around on the date? Or should I just go without it and have clothes that aren’t as soft?

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   [From the published text.] A superhero noir comedy about the dangers of love.

Lisa, who is so beautiful she causes men to fall to their deaths, falls in love with Peter, a doctor who is obsessed with creating an artificial heart so that no one suffers a broken heart.  She also happens to be the only civilian to survive a fight with arch villain Doctor X—who was once an ordinary doctor who fell in love with a one-night stand and got his heart broken, so now he poisons couples in their sleep.  As a result of Lisa’s fight with Doctor X, she’s asked to join the Crimefighters, a trio of female superheroes who fight crime by night and are nurses by day.  Will Lisa and Peter find happiness?  Will Peter perfect his artificial heart?  Will Doctor X ever find the woman with a face like a plate and end his reign of terror?  Will the Crimefighters be able to stop Doctor X and find happiness of their own?  All will be revealed…

 

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. 7:  Prologue.  Doctor X monologues regarding his origins as a super villain.  It was all because of the woman with a face like a plate. Long monologue. 

Spotlight on Doctor X, a truly terrible creature with sunken eyes and deep scars all over. Disfigured, stethoscope around the neck, wearing a doctor’s lab coat, carrying a doctor’s bag.

DOCTOR X

I have a face like a bowl of worms. Squirming around the ticks, the scars, the moles. It’s disgusting. A face like this. It’s absurd, without meaning or purpose. And I honestly can’t say if I’m an experiment gone awry or if I was just born this way. [lines cut] I didn’t know you weren’t drunk on me. How could I have missed the diagnosis? How could I have avoided the bald shock, the morning discovery, to wake up and find your note? And now I can’t remember anything except you. Your face everywhere I go. You will pay. Everyone will pay. You will all pay dearly.

p. 17-18: Peter and Lisa are on a date when the Crimefighters approach Lisa about joining their group. While they’re in the bathroom conferencing, he debates the merits of getting involved with her. In fact, he is terrified of the idea of falling in love with her.   

PETER

She will hurt you. She will break you over her knee. She will hurt you and she will tear you and she will rip you apart. Who are you that you think you can withstand her? You are just a man. You are a vulnerable man with tiny veins and blood rushing through your too fast. [lines cut] She will break you. She will hurt you and tear you and break you and pull you until there will be nothing of you left. She will—

Peter stands. He takes his coat and leaves the restaurant.

p. 23: Lisa is reeling from her first rejection. Short monologue.

Lisa walks down the street in a fog. Sound of men whistling and catcalls. She keeps walking. A car screeching and a huge crash as the car hits something. Car alarms.

LISA

Sorry. (Lisa continues to walk. As she speaks, there may be more catcalls, sounds of men walking into posts and mailboxes.)  What is this feeling, so unpleasant, like my insides rotting or my outside melting? There is a bad taste in my mouth that won’t go away. I feel itchy and oversized and everything is crawling. Is this what rejection is? [lines cut] He knows I’m no good. I could have fought Doctor X harder. I could have climbed the fire escape faster maybe. Or I could have tried harder to love them back. If I had made myself maybe or—

p. 48: Peter has completed his artificial heart. Moderate length monologue.

 Peter in his workshop in the hospital, takes an artificial heart out of a box. It beats. 

PETER

Here you are, my spare heart. Mother said, always have a spare. You never know, she said. Do everything twice. Just in case. Always have an extra pencil. Always bring an extra sandwich. And give it away if you can. To the kid with the torn jacket who smells like pee. [lines cut] You will be the circulatory saver of this world. But right now, I’m the one in need of your help. I’m the kid with the torn jacket, except the jacket is a heart. Tomorrow, they will crack my chest open and put you inside, and then I will never need to be afraid again.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 21-22: The origin of Doctor X, supervillain. Starts with

Nurse moves into another scene where Doctor X is in the bed. Nurse gets under the sheets with him. This is a flashback. They are post-coital. .

DOCTOR X

Well, that was—

and ends with

DOCTOR X

No, I won’t. I won’t let you go. Never let you go. Never. Never. (Nurse gets up and walks away. The flashback ends. We are in the present and Doctor X is in his bed. He awakes alone.) Where did you go? How could you go? I was holding so tightly. You will pay! You will all pay! No one will have love unless I have love!!! You hear me?!! You hear me, world?! (Doctor X gets his doctor’s bag. He loads a syringe, tests it and exits into the night.)

p. 27-28: Lisa and Nina are on patrol. Nina confesses she let Doctor X get away the last time she and the other Crimefighters faced him. She fears their next meeting..  Starts with

Nina and Lisa scour the streets in full Crimefighter getup. Normal city noises.

LISA

There aren’t any accidents.

and ends with

LISA

Yes.

p. 49-51: Doctor X has been captured and hospitalized. Nina, who is fascinated by him, guards his room. Of course, he manipulates her and makes his escape.   Starts with

Nina stands in the room of Doctor X. She stares at him. He does not seem to notice.

DOCTOR X

Right there. Could almost touch her. Face like a plate.

and ends with

DOCTOR X

Sorry. (Doctor X leaves. Nina sobs.)

 

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

Sundermann, E. (2012, Dec 05). Hearts like fists hits hard. [open access] The Village Voice, p.1.

Webster, A. (2012, Dec 06). Avengers with motives personal, professional and just because. New York Times, p.C5.

Victoria Martin: Math Team Queen – Kathryn Walat

victoria-martin

First produced by Women’s Project in New York City, 2007.

Original Cast:

Victoria Martin                                 Jessi Campbell
Peter                                                  Zachary Booth
Jimmy                                                Adam Farabee
Max                                                    Tobias Segal
Franklin                                             Matthew Stadelmann

Director:  Loretta Greco
Set Design:  Robert Brill
Costume Design:  Valerie Marcus Ramshur
Lighting Design:  Sarah Sidman
Sound Design:  Daniel Baker

 

Publication:  Walat, Kathryn. Victoria Martin:  Math Team Queen. Samuel French, 2007. Drama Stacks PS3545. A4325 V53 2007.

 

Setting:  Longwood High School; January through June

Language:  Contemporary

FRANKLIN

Yeah. Like that part near the end where Anne Frank starts intercepting Morse code signals from Germany and almost gets brainwashed into being a Nazi. Right Max?

Genre/Style:   Comedy

Plot:  Popular high school sophomore Victoria Martin joins the all-male math team.    

 

Review of the Production:  Genzlinger, N. (2007, Jan 25). The math rookie is a girl, A big problem for the geeks. New York Times, pp.E8.

 

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.14-15: Victoria tries to make excuses for bombing at the first math meet, everything from getting her period to the fact that the kid sitting next to her kept clicking his retainer. (long monologue)

VICTORIA

I’m popular. Like totally, undisputedly popular. Like, I walk down the hallways, and even though I’m a sophomore, there are seniors—senior guys, with deep voices—who say: Hey. Sometimes they say: Hey, Vickie, what’s up? Like, they know my name.

[lines cut]

…And when I was in the girls’ bathroom and I totally just got my period, and had to ask one of them for a pad, they just giggled. And so I had to stuff all of this scratchy school-grade toilet paper into my underwear and meanwhile, I almost missed the sophomore round of questions, because they put all the room numbers in Roman numerals. For fun. And when I finally got there, I was sitting next to this kid who kept clicking his retainer and it was driving me crazy, and I was like—(Suddenly the rest of the team is there. She turns and speaks to them.)

I don’t do headgear, OK?

p.26-27:  Peter gushes over the changes to the Math Team since Vickie became a member.

PETER

In case you need to review the facts. Number one: As unofficial Math Tam captain and the senior on the team, I am the most mature member of the team. Number two: This is my last chance ever—ever—to prove our awesome collective mathematical brainpower at States!!!

[lines cut]

And at the meets, while she’s working on her problem set, she always gets this funny look on her face, just when she gets a problem, and she knows she’s got it, and I know she’s got it, and we’ve totally got it—and that’s when I think:  This is awesome!

Because the Longwood High School Math Team has started to win again. But this time? Math Team is—different. Better. Like, it’s more than just math.

p.34-35:  Victoria talks about her dad during her driving lesson with Peter. (long monologue)

VICTORIA

My dad was supposed to teach me how to drive. But he’s in California right now. He got this awesome computer-programming job. He used to work from home, designing software, but my mother says he wasn’t any good because he never thought about the people who would be using the software. He’s the smartest man my mom ever met. But at the end of the day, which is like my mom’s favorite expression:  “At the end of the day…” his brain wasn’t enough.

[Lines cut]

I just wanted to survive. To make it through the school year to the summer, when I could go to California, where no one would know who I was. Except my dad. Who knows what I like without even asking, like pizza with sausage and broccoli, and reruns of “The Honeymooners,” and numbers. I guess what I really like are numbers. But then I would think numbers are stupid to like. Because, in high school, what can you do with numbers?

p.60-61:  Jimmy talks about the worse Monday in his life: the first day of school after the Saturday of the big game when he pissed his pants before telling his hero, Scott Sumner, that his girlfriend, Victoria, was out kissing another boy outside the gym.

JIMMY

In case you’re like totally retarded and don’t remember? Tuesday comes after Monday. Even if it’s the worst Monday of your life. I’m talking about two days after the Saturday night of the big game, where you wet your pants and then because of some major cognitive malfunction, instead of running out of the building and continuing to run away, into the night, not stopping until you reached the safety of your mother’s kitchen, you instead thought it was more important to go back into the gym, right up to Scott Sumner—who hadn’t even wiped off the sweat of victory yet—to tell the Longwood High School basketball superstar that his girlfriend is kissing another guy, right outside the gym.

[lines cut]

But, I am very happy to remind you that Tuesday does come, even after the darkest Monday of your very limited high school life. And after Tuesday, it was Wednesday. And I don’t think I need to tell you that Wednesday is the day of the Math Team meet that’s going to decide if we’re going to States.

 

 

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.20-23: Peter gives Victoria a ride home after school. Starts with (VICTORIA is waiting for her ride. She reads from The Diary of Anne Frank.)

VICTORIA

“Let me put it more clearly, since no one will believe that a girl of thirteen feels herself quite alone in the world. I know about thirty people whom one might call friends… but it’s the same with all of them, just fun and joking, nothing more. I can never bring myself to talk of anything outside the common round… Hence, this diary.”… [Lines cut]

and ends with

VICTORIA

I don’t need my books either. I don’t even need to study to pass my classes. I’m not stupid, you know. And you know something else? I am so not quitting.

Even if that’s what all you nerds want me to do. You think you losers are the only ones who can do math? I can do math. I can do Math Team. I’m popular, but I am also totally, totally smart.

p.39-41: Franklin and Max are studying for their SATs.  Max is struggling with the realization that he likes his best friend in a non-platonic way.   Starts with

FRANKLIN

God, why do the SATs have to be so stupid?

and ends with

MAX

I just think it might be nice. For us to do something besides homework together.

p.55-58:  Max and Victoria bond in the aftermath of Max having confessed to Franklin that he likes him and Victoria having kissed Peter behind the gym during the big game. Both are struggling to figure out where to go from here.  Starts with

VICTORIA

Here.

and ends with

MAX

Really—you should read that. It’s my favorite book.

p.74-78:  Victoria’s second driving lesson with Peter during which they discover that they have deep feelings for one another.  Starts with

VICTORIA

What, are you kidding? I thought I was going to die. Why are you—you think that’s amusing? I’m serious, Peter, I almost stopped breathing and dropped dead, on the spot.

and ends with

PETER

Pi.

Flies – Oliver Lansley

fly

First performed at the Tobacco Factory’s Brewery Theatre, Bristol, on October 4, 2011.

Original Cast:

Dennis                                              Oliver Hollis
The Fly and other roles                 Paul Mundell

Director:  Emma Earle
Composer:   Kid Carpet
Design:  Zoe Squire
Lighting Design:  Anna Barrett
Animator:  Becca Rose
Costume Supervisor:   Bianca Ward
Stage Manager:  Katie Barrett

Publication:  Lansley, Oliver. Flies. London:  Oberon Books, 2011. Drama General Stacks PR6112.A57 F58 2011.

Setting:  The play opens in a Winter Wonderland, a fantastical dream version of Antarctica with snow, polar bears, etc.  The play takes place in various locations:  an airplane, a dentist’s office, an apartment, a therapist’s office, etc.

Language:  Contemporary

DENTIST

Unfortunately Mrs. Wilshire was in the middle of having her teeth X-rayed and she did not take kindly to a strange man running in screaming, locking the door nad immediately collapsing into a foetal wreck.

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  Dennis, a dental assistant, suffers from acute Pteronarcophobia, a fear of flies.  Through a non-linear structure and absurdist situations, the play explores the root of Dennis’ fears and his attempts to deal with his phobia through to a startling solution/conclusion.  Although there are a host of other characters besides Dennis, these other characters may just be figments of Dennis’ fevered imagination.

 

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.17-18:  The FLY reveals why flies behave as they do.

FLY 

I took a shit on your foot…
I know it’s what we ‘do’—I know it’s an action I am genetically predisposed to undertake—but I just wanted you to know that this was different.
I wanted you to know that on this occasion, this specific act of defecation was for one reason and one reason only and that is that… I don’t like you.

[lines cut]

He takes a big sigh as if relieved of a burden.

Ahh, I’m glad I got that off my chest—feels good to clear the air doesn’t it?

p.19:  DOCTOR diagnoses Dennis’ condition and its possible causes, each cause more ridiculous than the last. 

DOCTOR

After the… incident, the patient has been referred to me for examination and assessment. I am to determine whether or not this man poses a threat…

He stops the tape, rewinds it and plays it back.

(DOCTOR on Dictaphone.)  …Poses a threat… poses a threat… poses a threat…

Note to self, I do not like the way my voice sounds on an audio tape—a.) Investigate whether this is the way my voice sounds to other people, b.) Get Janet to look into other forms of audio recording…

[lines cut]

However in my professional opinion I believe they did. Some, if not all, of the above… Note to self. Probe deeper re. clowns, parents, paedos… Peadofly!

p.24-25:  DENNIS explains what true flies are; despite his revulsion, he also seems fascinated by them.

DENNIS

It is the presence of a single pair of wings that distinguishes true f…flies from other insects with the word in their name. May…f…lies, Dragon…f…lies, Damsel…f…lies, Snake…f…lies, Saw…f…lies, Caddis…f…lies, butter…fl…lies… [Lines cut] These help keep them steady and balanced, making them very…agile and able to manoeuvre themselves into intricate flight patterns, they can hover, they can spin, they can even go backwards.

p.47:  PILOT announces an emergency landing on a flight to Antarctica.  Long monologue. 

PILOT ANNOUNCEMENT

Ladies and gentlemen, this is your pilot speaking, I am very sorry to report that we shall be performing a premature landing for today’s flight to Antarctica, this is due to someone attacking another passenger with their complimentary copy of Whizz magazine which can be found in your seat backs.

[Lines cut.]

Boo Dennis, boo to you. Booo.
Everybody please Boooooooo. Not only has he spoilt it f or himself  but he’s spoilt it  for the rest of us, thanks a lot buddy…you’ve let us all down…literally.
Boo.

 

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. 36-40:  DENNIS goes to a travel agency to buy a ticket to Antarctica because he’s discovered that there are no flies in Antarctica.  Starts with

TRAVEL AGENT

Hello there sir what can I do for you today?

and ends with

DENNIS

Can I just buy a plane ticket please?

p.49-51:  DENNIS decides to become a spider in order to confront his fear of flies. Starts with

DENNIS

I have been thinking a lot about what the Doctor has said, about confronting and defeating my fear. About the best way forward, my best chance of doing this.
And I have decided to become a spider…

[Lines cut.]

Perhaps I had underestimated the power of my own convictions but within days thick coarse  black hairs started to appear on my body. At first they hurt as they pierced through the surface of my skin but soon I don’t notice, I become numb to it, almost finding the pain comforting. In less than a week my arms are virtually covered in them.

and ends with

FLY

Dennis…? Dennis…? DENNIS?

p.52-56:  DENNIS goes in for a last session with the DOCTOR after he has transformed into a spider. The DOCTOR seems transformed as well, becoming an amalgamation of the fly and other characters in the play.   Starts with

DOCTOR

Dennis, how are you?

and ends with

DOCTOR

We have to find a way through this. You can’t let this beat you. You must confront it, beat it, otherwise your life will always be dictated by this fear. You have to take ownership of it, find a way through it. You have to defeat it or it will defeat you.

 

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

 

(October 6, 2011 Thursday ). Frightening, funny and fly infested; Flies, Brewery Theatre. The Bristol Post.

Hood, K. (October 15, 2011). Flies making a fair buzz. [open access] remotegoat.com

Pearce, E. (October 7 ,2011). Flies-The Tobacco Factory, Bristol. [open access] thepublicreviews.com

 

Pageant Play – Matthew Wilkas and Mark Setlock

crown or tiara isolated on a white background

World premiere during the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts, on July 5, 2008.

Orig­i­nal Cast:

Marge/Pinky’s Mother                                 Daiva Deupree
Pinky                                                              Jenn Harris
Bobby/Buddy                                                Mark Setlock
Bob/Gunnar                                                  Matthew Wilkas

Pinky:  30s, mother of Chevrolet
Marge (Bobbi-Jo):
  30s, mother of Puddle
Bobby:  30s, pageant coach
Bob:  30s, pageant coach
Gunnar: 30s, husband of Pinky
Buddy:  30s, husband of Marge (Bobbi-Jo)
Pinky’s Mother:  30s (in flashback), drunk

Direc­tor:  Martha Banta
Set Design:  Luke Hegel-Cantarella
Costume Design:  Jessica Riesser-Milne
Lighting Design:  Thom Weaver
Sound Design:  Bart Fassbender
Dance Consultant:  Isadora Wolfe
Stage Manager:  Rafi Levavy

Pub­li­ca­tion:  Wilkas, Matthew and Mark Setlock. Pageant Play.  Dramatists Play Service, 2010.  Drama Library PS3623. I5453 P34 2010.

 Set­ting:  The American South

Lan­guage:  Contemporary and everyone speaks with a Texas accent

MOTHER

If you lose one more time, little darling of mine, I’m going to go and buy that little doggy anyway, and I’m gonna let you play with her for a day or two. And then I’m going to have your cousin Leon shoot her and make her into a hat. (Mother pats Pinky on the head, downs her drink and just before she exits shouts:)  This flashback is over!

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   Pinky, a wealthy Texas socialite and pageant veteran, will do anything to fulfill her unfulfilled pageant dreams through her daughter, Chevrolet.  Marge, a newcomer on the scene, just wants to win enough money to bail her husband out of jail.  Unfortunately, she does that by kidnapping a little girl and entering her in pageants.  And Bobby and Bob, two pageant coaches, are swept up in the two women’s plots and ambitions.  Although child pageants are easy to parody, the play still manages to fascinate when it explores the truly bizarre and surreal lengths parents will go to in order to win.  Marge’s story is refreshing in its departure from the normal reasons why mothers push their daughters into the cubic zirconia world of child pageants, but the flashbacks explaining Pinky’s motivations feel unnecessary—alhough they’re both humorous and grotesque—because her motivations are exactly what we imagine them to be.  The decision to portray the children as empty ball gowns emphasizes their position as objects and keeps the focus on the parents as the source of drama in the play.

 

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.15:  Marge tries to bond with Puddle by suggesting they move to Maine after the pageants are over. 

MARGE

Hey, I was just thinking, Pud, about how maybe afgter we win all the money we need, how would you like to go and live with me in someplace like Maine?  [Lines cut] And we can play princesses too. I love princesses. (Beat.) But take your time, Pud. You’ll come around. I know you will.

p.27-28:  Marge (Bobbi-Jo) explains to her husband, Buddy, how she kidnapped Puddle to enter her in pageants in order to raise money to bail him out of jail.  Long monologue.

MARGE

[Exactly.] So, I walked up and I overheard one of the Barbie girls talking to a little girl and her mother about the pageant. And I pretended I was reading a flyer, but I was really listening, see? And the Barbie girl was saying, “You can win thousands of dollars!”  [Lines cut] And I don’t know what came over me, but I… I went to her. And I picked her up. And I walked her out the door. And into the parking lot. And I put her in the car. And I drove away with her.

 

Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Scenes: 

p. 7–9:  Pinky and Marge meet after Puddle wins the Gingerbread Regional Pageant’s Top Crown and Pinky gives Marge some unwanted advice.  Starts with

PINKY

Congratulations!

and ends with

PINKY

What time is it?  (Pinky looks at her watch, and then takes Marge’s hand.) OK, you know what? You’re coming with me. Pinky’s gonna show you how it works.

p. 20-22:  Marge questions Bobby and Bob’s idea to cut Puddle’s hair like Tom Cruise’ in Top Gun for the pageant. Bob finally admits Pinky paid them to sabotage Puddle in the upcoming Texas Twinkle pageant.  Starts with

MARGE

Are you guys in some sort of a cult?

and ends with

BOB

What I’m saying is, what if we did something to stop her? (Beat.) Quick! Pass me that swim cap and that tub of latex make-up. If Bobby wants her to have Tom Cruise hair, she’s gonna have Tom Cruise hair.

p. 30-32:  Bob decides to leave Bobby and their business and strike out on his own after he helps Marge and Puddle win the Texas Twinkle pageant.  Starts with

BOBBY

Well, I managed to smooth that over. Complete disaster averted, thank you very much.

and ends with

BOBBY

You’re fat!

 

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

Berson, M. (2010, 21 July). Review: ‘pageant play’ is a hoot—full of lone star beauty-contest lunacy. [open access] Seattle Times.

MacDonald, S. (2008, 6 July). Reviews:  Pageant play. [open access] TheaterMania.

Murray, L. (2008, 6 July). Pageant play debuts at berkshire theatre festival:  Witty comedy is refreshing and breezy summer treat.  [open access] Berkshire Fine Arts.

Rizzo, F. (2008, 7 July). Pageant play. [open access] Variety.

Mistakes Madeline Made – Elizabeth Meriwether

mistakes

Originally produced in New York City, April 23, 2006.

Original Cast:

Beth (late 30s to early 40s)                          Colleen Werthmann
Edna (23)                                                       Laura Heisler
Wilson (late 20s)                                           Thomas Sadoski
Buddy (late 20s to early 30s)                        Ian Brennan
Drake/Jake/Blake (20s)                               Brian Henderson

Director:  Evan Cabnet
Set Design:
  Lauren Helpern
Costume Design:
  Jessica Wegener
Lighting Design:  Tyler Micoleau
Sound Design:  Drew Levy
Prop Design:  Faye Armon
Stage Manager:  Hannah Cohen

Publication:  Meriwether, Elizabeth. Mistakes Madeline Made. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3613.E756 M57 2006.

Setting:  A basement office in an apartment building in uptown Manhattan, the year 2006.

Language:  Contemporary

BETH

Right. We’re not just buying duplicate sneakers, we’re George’s first line of defense against the whole world! We get in there, we get our hands dirty, we get things done, we buy sneakers, we buy toothpaste, we make sure nothing bad can ever happen to this family. Every day. And I don’t know about you, but I think that’s what life is all about.

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   Edna, a recent college graduate, works in a basement office as part of a team of personal assistants to a very wealthy family.  Edna, dealing with the death of her brother, a journalist who died reporting in the Middle East, develops Ablutophobia, the fear of bathing.  Although the play flirts with ideas such as the personal becoming the political, complacency in the face of crises, at its heart, it’s really just about a young person trying to make her way in the grown-up world and works best when it tackles that idea without any philosophical or political overlays.  It wants to be a play about Big Ideas, but the structure and the story can’t support the weight of those ideas.  The play also would have worked better without the parade of New York writers Edna sleeps with, who are instantly forgettable.

 

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.22-23:  Wilson tells Edna about his dissertation.  Edna’s lines can be cut. 

WILSON

Leibniz’s perceptual monads. The definition of the soul. Tiny bubbles of soul. (Revving up his engine.) Vrrrooooo… (In a funny mechanical voice.) The soul is the tiniest place that is capable of memory—the soul is any tiny space where multiple moments of time can exist at once. (He snorts.) NEERRRD

[Lines cut]

WILSON

[Lines cut] This is the nature of our power—just by ignoring it, we can kill it… Ffff! Dead… So what do we choose to forget? (A moment.) I don’t know. I don’t have a thesis.

p.24-25:  Buddy, Edna’s brother, has taken up residence in her bathtub after returning to the US from a trip to the Middle East where he reported on the conflict.  Edna’s lines can be cut. Long monologue.

BUDDY

I can’t stay here and have all these little conversations—these little topics, here’s what I think and my ceiling’s been leaking, and what do I want and I love my new cell phone and that’s a picture of my dog, and everyone loves my dog, and do you want to see more pictures of my dog and these little conversations I have to have—I want to kill secretaries. It’s normal. It’s normal, after your first big trip it just takes some time to readjust.

[Lines cut]

BUDDY

[Lines cut]  I know the sound she’d make. And he hits her again and she’s laughing because she loves Derek Jeter, and he hits her again, and blood’s coming out of her mouth, and I opened the  kitchen drawer. And then I closed it. And then I started yelling. I think I started yelling. And I came here. Because I was yelling. I think I was… yelling.

 

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 7-9:  Beth makes Edna write an email apology to Judith, their employer, because Judith believes Edna didn’t make double-sided copies for her the day before.  Beth also instructs Edna in the proper procedure for making George’s after school snack.  Wilson’s line can be cut. Starts with

BETH

Don’t there seem to be a lot of car bombs? Maybe they should put all the cars in a parking garage instead of leaving them on the street? Or. I don’t know. I’m no expert. God, what a mess.

and ends with

BETH

Right, right. I’m going to say something:  I don’t think you’re ready for snack time yet. But we’re gonna get there and I’m going to make sure we do. ‘Nuff said.

p. 20-22:  Edna and Wilson confess their hatred of Beth and destroy handfuls of handiwipes which leads Wilson to tell Edna a story about a woman he met on an airplane whose nephew was in the Armenian army and wanted her to send him handiwipes.  Starts with

WILSON

Tweet, tweet!  (Wilson runs in. Edna is caught with piles of handiwipes in her fists.)

and ends with

EDNA

Yeah, I have that.

p. 23-25:  Edna confronts Buddy about his Ablutophobia and he tells her why he’s been staying in her bathtub.  Starts with

BUDDY

Look at us! We’re a country of babies and secretaries–

and ends with

BUDDY

Yeah?

 

 

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

Gates, A. (2006, Nov 12). Young heroines, at work and at play. New York Times, pp.CT11.

MacDonald, S. (2008, Aug 07). A polished glimpse of life’s dirty details. Boston Globe, pp.D7.

Metz, N. (2012, Oct 11). Neo-futurists’ ’44 plays’ connects presidents; uneven ‘mistakes madeline made’. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.

Sanchez, A. (2008, Oct 05). ‘Madeline’ decries complacency. Albuquerque Journal, pp.F3.

Zinoman, J. (2006, Apr 25). Romance finds the lovable weirdo. New York Times, pp.E5.

Kitty Kitty Kitty – Noah Haidle

kittykittykitty

Produced at the 2004 Summer Play Festival in New York City.

Original Cast:

Kitty                                                                     Michael Goldstrom
Kitty Kitty
                                                            Kel O’Neill
Kitty Kitty Kitty  
                                                 Micahel Stadlemann
Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty, Mr. Person 
                    Chris Hogan
Mrs. Person, Cat   
                                             Mia Barron
Scientist  
                                                            Conor Barrett

Director:  Carolyn Cantor

Kitty:  A suicidal housecat. Lost the will to live until he falls in love with his clone.
Kitty Kitty:  Kitty’s clone. Looks exactly like Kitty, but doesn’t love him.
Kitty Kitty Kitty:  Kitty’s clone. Doesn’t look exactly like him. Is a little slow
Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty:  Kitty’s clone. Stupid.
Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty Kitty:  Kitty’s clone. Full-fledge retarded. Totally incomprehensible—speaks in grunts and yells.
Mr. Person:  Kitty Kitty’s owner, who is really lonely.
Mrs. Person:  Kitty Kitty’s other owner. Kind of a bitch.
Scientist:  A good-hearted scientist who had the vision to clone the first housecat.
Cat:  A stupid cat who lives on the Jersey Shore and can’t remember what he ate for dinner.

Publication:  Haidle, Noah. Kitty Kitty Kitty. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3608. A52 K58 2006.

Setting:  A secret island off the coast of New Jersey; a gated community in New Jersey

Language:  Contemporary

KITTY KITTY

You don’t love me. You love yourself. The hand jobs we gave each other were wrong on a level reserved for Greek tragedy. It’s my guess that people will want to do studies about us. I read about a pair of identical twins from Arizona who were separated at birth but who both became bus drivers and had wives named Kim. Isn’t that amazing? And w’ere not just identical twins. We’re clones.

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   Kitty, a suicidal housecat, falls in love with his clone, Kitty Kitty, who, unfortunately, doesn’t love him back.  After being rejected by Kitty Kitty, Kitty creates more clones hoping to find true love again.  The results are disastrous as well as humorous.  Definitely not a serious look at cloning a la A Number by Caryl Churchill, but rather an examination of love and obsession, and the role narcissism might play in determining who we love.  And, of course, it’s also about cats giving each other hand jobs.

 

 

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.10-11:  Kitty tells Kitty Kitty how he used to write poetry and how he’s going to write a love poem to Kitty Kitty, whom he has falling instantly in love with. Very short monologue.

KITTY

I used to write poetry. You know, like about my life and everything. What I was feeling.  [Lines cut] But you’ll learn. You’ll learn to talk. You’ll learn to move. You’ll learn that you’re in love with me too.

p.18-19:  Kitty writes a message to put in a bottle for Kitty Kitty expressing his love and including a love poem for him. Long monologue.

KITTY

Dearest Kitty Kitty,

It’s me, Kitty. I’m writing you a message in a bottle. Pretty  cheesy, right? I escaped from the laboratory and am floating in the Atlantic Ocean hopefully towards where you live. I feel like Mark Wahlberg at the end of The Perfect Storm; did you ever see that movie? I think it’s underrated, and that Diane Lane is terrific in anything. Anyway, just before he drowns Mark communicates through voiceover with Diane and says that all there is, is love.

[Lines cut]

I wrote you a poem. It’s my first love poem so it might not be any good:
This is for a cat named Kitty Kitty
I think he is very pretty pretty
He makes me blush
And makes me gush,
All of the tears in my eyes
The joy he provides
To my insides
Is enough to fill my lungs as I drown

 

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 7-8:  Kitty is depressed and suicidal.  The Scientist is preparing to clone him. Starts with

SCIENTIST

Here, kitty. (He makes kissy noises people make to pets and babies.) Here, kitty kitty. (More kissy noises. Kitty wakes up but doesn’t move.) I brought you a saucer of milk. A nice saucer of milk for you. (Kissy noises.) You must be hungry. Come on, kitty kitty. (Kitty goes to the saucer of milk but doesn’t drink.) What’s wrong? Do you think the milk is poisoned? Is that what you think? Here, I’ll drink some first so you know it’s not poison milk. (He drinks some. Puts it back down.) Mmnnnnnnnmmm. You see, it’s fine. (Kitty reluctantly begins lapping up the milk.) Did you know     in ancient times there were food tasters who made sure important people’s food wasn’t           poisoned? I bet you didn’t know that. I bet you didn’t. (He pets Kitty, who doesn’t purr.) Can I get     a little purr? Just a little one? Puuuuuuuur.

and ends with

KITTY

It’ll be so good to be dead.

p. 23-26:  Kitty tries to win Kitty Kitty back  Starts with

KITTY KITTY

Do you know what I am?

and ends with

KITTY KITTY

Goodbye.

p. 27-29:  Kitty writes a suicide note in the sand, meets another cat, and decides that instead of killing himself, he’ll create another clone to love.  The Mr. Person and Kitty Kitty lines in the scene can be cut.  Starts with

CAT

                What are you writing?

and ends with

KITTY

Another clone. Why not? There’s no one around to screw it up. I’ll teach him to love me. Here I come, Kitty Kitty Kitty.

 

 

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

Reel, J. (2009, 16 July).  Clones and Lust:  ‘Kitty Kitty Kitty’ conveys important ideas about love and narcissism in an entertaining way.  [open access]Tucson Weekly.

Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead – Bert V. Royal

dogseesgod

Had its world premiere at the 2004 New York International Fringe Festival.

Original Cast:

CB                                                Michael Gladis
CB’s Sister  
                                Karen DiConcetto
Van 
                                              Tate Ellington and Daniel Franzese
Matt 
                                             Jay Sullivan
Beethoven 
                                 Benjamin Schrader
Tricia
                                            Bridget Barkan
Marcy 
                                          Stelianie Tekmitchov
Van’s Sister                                
Melissa Picarello

Director:  Susan W. Lovell

Publication:  Royal, Bert V. Dog Sees God:  Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3618. O8928 D64 2006.

Setting:  A neighborhood

Language:  Contemporary

TRICIA

And speaking of her fashion sense, why is she always wearing that shirt that says WWJD?  What the hell is that supposed to mean? Who wants jelly doughnuts?

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:   The Peanuts kids have been reimagined and are all grown up in this unauthorized parody—and, boy, do they have problems.  CB’s dog has just died and he begins questioning the existence of an afterlife; his sister doesn’t know who she is; Beethoven is being bullied; Van is a pothead; Marcy and Tricia are sex-starved mean girls; Van’s Sister is an institutionalized pyromaniac; and Matt has anger management problems.  Although the play doesn’t quite manage to seamlessly integrate all of its concerns, themes, and genres, it is an entertaining “What would happen if” look at its source material that draws upon the lives and problems of contemporary teens.

 

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.7-8:  CB writes a letter to his pen pal about the death of his dog.  Depending on the requirements, the monologue can begin at the beginning of the play, or where it does here.

CB

My dog died. I don’t know if you remember, but I had a beagle. He was a good dog. My best friend. I’d had him as far back as I could remember, but one day last month, I went out to feed him and he didn’t come bounding out of his red doghouse like usual. [Lines cut] My parents called a center and they came and took him away. Later that day, they put him to sleep. They gave me his corpse in a cardboard box. When my dog died, that was when the rain cloud came back and everything went to hell…

p.24-25:  CB’s sister performs from her one-woman show, Cocooning into Platypus; really bad.

CB’s Sister

Metamorphosis. Transformation. Evolution. Change. Evolution.  Change. Changing evolution. I am a teenage caterpillar. I know of these things. For soon, I’ll spin a cocoon. [Lines cut] If I stay in my cocoon longer, I’ll  change from a butterfly to a swallow and then from a swallow to a duck and then from a duck to a platypus. It’s all just a matter of time. And time I have. I will wait to become a platypus. I will be an extraordinary creature.

p.35:  Van’s Sister explains to CB why she set the red-headed girl’s hair on fire in class.

VAN’S SISTER

[I am.] I was pregnant. (Beat.) Don’t worry. It wasn’t yours. I had just gotten an abortion the day before and the next day in Biology, we were ironically learning about reproduction. I’m listening to Miss Rainey talking about fallopian tubes, the uterus, eggs and I’m feeling sick to my stomach already. [Lines cut.] No matter how hard I try. Bitches like that make me sick. They’ve made me sick. I’m officially sick, psychotic, unrepentant and unremorseful. I’ve been branded a sociopath and I have no choice but to believe it.

 

Representative Scenes:  There are a number of short, two-person scenes in this play and a number of scenes with substantial two-person interactions.

p. 8-9:  CB and CB’s Sister at CB’s dog’s funeral. Starts with

CB

                Mom will kill you if she sees you smoking.

and ends with

CB’S SISTER

He was your fucking dog. You fucking say it.

p. 10-12:  CB and Van sit on a brick wall and discuss the afterlife.  Starts with

VAN

You wanna hit this?

and ends with

CB

Like what?

p.22-24:  CB visits Beethoven in the music room during lunch and Beethoven confronts CB about the way he and his other friends have bullied Beethoven over the years.  At the end of the scene, CB kisses Beethoven.  Starts with

CB

                Maybe if you didn’t act so—

and ends with

BEETHOVEN

                Me too.

p.34-36:  CB visits Van’s Sister in the institution and asks why she set fire to the little red-headed girl’s hair.  Starts with

CB

Hey, why’d you do it?

and ends with

VAN’S SISTER

Hey, Blockhead! You forgot your scarf!

 

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

Blanchard, J. (2006, Jul 20). Pointed peanuts parody ; blistering satire ‘dog sees god’ inventive in short work at studio. Washington Times, pp. B05.

Calhoun, A. (2004, Sep 15). Good grief, C.B., you blockhead, is it really bye-bye to the beagle? New York Times, pp. E3.

Clear, M. (2010, Aug 12). Grownup Peanuts. St.Petersburg Times,pp.B2.

Dunham, M. (2009, Sep 05). ‘Peanuts’ gang encounters tumultuous teendom in play: Satisfying: “dog sees god” explores world of teenage angst. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.

Henerson, E. (2008, Jun 13). ‘Peanut’ Gang up to new tricks in ‘Dog Sees God’. Daily News, pp.L8.

Moore, J. (2007, May 04). ‘Dog sees god’ a comic coming-of-age. Denver Post,pp.F6.

Munro, D. (2013, August 25). Theater Review: ‘Dog Sees God: Confessions of a Teenage Blockhead’. Fresno Bee, The: Blogs (CA).

Ouzounian, R. (2009, Mar 26). Gawd, this quirky show is as lovable as snoopy. Toronto Star, pp.E8.

Staton, J. (2013, August 22). Review – ‘Dog’ puts comic strip cast in perspective as teens. StarNews (Wilmington, NC).

Thielman, S. (2005, Dec 16). Review, the ‘peanuts’ gang as adults: Good grief. Newsday, pp. B17.

Toscano, M. (2009, Dec 03). ‘Dog sees god’ serves up roasted ‘peanuts’. The Washington Post, pp. AAVE.21.

Voorheis, M. (2013, Aug 15). A darker charlie brown tale opens at browncoat. McClatchy – Tribune Business News

Zinoman, J. (2005, Dec 16). Aargh! the ‘peanuts’ gang hits a rocky adolescence. New York Times, pp. E2.

Hot Mess – Ella Hickson

hotmess

First performed at the Hawke & Hunter Below Stairs Nightclub, Edinburgh, on August 6, 2010, as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Original Cast:

Twitch             Gwendolen Chatfield
Polo                 Michael Whitham
Jacks               Kerri Hall
Billy                 Solomon Mousley

Director: Ella Hickson

Twitch: Twenty-five, gamine—Polo’s twin sister
Polo: Twenty-five, cool and caustic—Twitch’s twin brother
Jacks: Twenty-six, well-tanned and big-breasted
Billy: Twenty-four, American, good-looking

Publication: Hickson, Ella. Precious Little Talent & Hot Mess. Nick Hern Books, 1011. Drama Library PR6108.I32 P74 2011.

Setting: Hayling Island, an island in the Solent, the strait that separates England from the Isle of Wright; the present

Language: Contemporary and graphic at times, but rich and poetic ; a few English slang terms but nothing that impedes understanding

POLO

Come on then, Jaqueline! Get some bloody crotch-swatches out. It’s not a celebration unless half the island can see your ovaries!

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  Polo and Twitch are twins who were born with only one heart between them; the physician gave it to Twitch, so she can’t stop falling in love and Polo was left heartless:  a fitting metaphor for the split between excessive romanticism and cynicism.  Over the years Twitch has had a series of unhappy relationships and horrible things keep happening to the boys and men she falls in love with.  The play, which unfolds like a peculiar thriller, does not make clear who is responsible for the horrible things happening:  Twitch or Polo.  Rather than providing any answers about anything:  either the mystery of the deaths or whether it’s better to love openly or to keep your heart to yourself, the playwright seems more interested in just exploring ideas without coming to any conclusions.

 

 

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. 111:  Polo tells the story of how the first boy who ever made out with Twitch ended up being electrocuted the night of the school disco.  

POLO

Peter Harris, sixteen years old, behind the bike shed of the Island Academy. It was the day before the school disco. I’d spent two weeks looking for the right dress for you, the right shoes, the right hairband.

[Lines cut]

–two hundred and thirty volts, saw our Petey flying through the air—quite the spectacle, turned his hair into the short and curlies that he’d so enjoyed exploring the day before. And try as they might, they just couldn’t make it straight again.

p. 129:  Polo tells the story of Nathan Harvey, a college boy who broke Twitch’s heart and ended up scalding his foot in the bath.  

POLO

Nathan Harvey, university. No place for someone with a heart like Twitch’s. There was no fresher fresher; she was a certified first-timer. Nathan, poor schmuck, had no idea what he was unlocking.  [Lines cut]

The sole of his right foot:  scalded, scarred, third-degree. Freak accident, should have tested it with his toe, no one knows how it happened—but Nathan Harvey never walked the same again.

p.136:  Jacks spies on her father who has just gotten a blow-job; the woman who gave it to him has scraped her knee.

JACKS

There’s a trickle of blood running right the way down the front of her leg. Dad’s licking the corner of a napkin, bends down and wipes her knee. She must have been kneeling on some glass or something.   [Lines cut]

Mum always says you can’t afford to have bare legs after thirty. Mum says he’ll still be hers, whatever happens. Doesn’t matter how long it is or who he’s with—says she’ll always be his wife and he’ll always be her husband. She says there’s honour in it. She’s a mug, my mum.

p.140:  Twitch tells Polo about how she found Billy lying at the edge of the sea, presumably dead; this is after Billy has made it clear to Twitch that he’s not interested in love.

TWITCH

His eyes are still, in the dark all their colour has gone. The moon reflects in a single spot in each one, like someone’s frozen stars into the middle of marbles. I slide my hand into his palm and it’s cold. [Lines cut] It looks like half his body is dancing. I can’t move him, he’s too heavy, it’s like he’s full of sand. I lay my head on his chest and I can hear the stones moving beneath him. I put my ear to his lips but the oly thing moving is the sea.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  The play is comprised of short scenes, usually with two characters, so there are a lot of scenes to choose from.

p. 85-87:  Polo and Twitch recount the circumstances of their birth.  Starts with

POLO

They didn’t know that they were in for a duo.

and ends with

TWITCH

Love.

p. 90-93:  Polo returns to the island after being away for a year.  Starts with

JACKS

Pooooolooooooooooo!

and ends with

POLO

(with aggression). Neon cunting whore!

Silence descends for several seconds.

Come on! It’s fucking party time!

p.105-108:  Polo and Twitch’s reunion.  Starts with

TWITCH

Hello, Polo.

and ends with

POLO

(jolts his head away, they do not touch). Come on!

p.123-126:  Twitch confesses to Billy that she loves him.  Starts with

TWITCH

I get very—attached. I have trouble— letting go.

and ends with

BILLY

Twitch, I’m leaving.

 

 

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

Gardner, Lyn. (2010, Friday 13). Hot mess. [open access] The Guardian.

Jones, Alice. (2010, August 11). Hot mess, hawke & hunter. [open access] The Independent.

McMillan, J. (2010, Aug 28). Review: Hot mess. The Scotsman.

Rx – Kate Fodor

rx

Received its world premiere at 59E59 Theater in New York City on February 7, 2012.

Original Cast:

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

Language:  Contemporary

ALLISON

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—

Genre/Style:  Comedy

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.  

ALLISON

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.

PHIL

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.

ALLISON

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?

 

Representative Scenes:  

p. 13-14:  Allison explains to Phil why he can’t take his document hutch (shelf) off his work module (desk).  Starts with

ALLISON

Hey! Phil!

and ends with

ALLISON

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

ED

I’m late.

and ends with

ED

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

ALLISON

Oh look. You didn’t die.

and ends with

PHIL

              OK.

 

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.

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.