Moonfleece – Philip Ridley

moonfleeceProfessional world premiere at Rich Mix in London, Wednesday, March 3, 2010.

Original Cast:

Link (15-year-old boy)              Reece Noi
Tommy (18-year-old boy)          Bradley Taylor
Gavin (17-year-old boy)            Ashley George
Curtis (18-year-old boy)            Sean Verey
Alex (18-year-old girl)                Krupa Pattani
Jez (17-year-old boy)                David Ames
Sarah (17-year-old girl)             Emily Plumtree
Nina (20-year-old woman)        Sian Robins-Grace
Zak (22-year-old man)               Beru Tessema
Wayne (21-year-old man)          Reeda Harris
Stacey (20-year-old woman)     Alicia Davies

Director:  David Mercatali
Set and Lighting Design:  William Reynolds
Costume Design:
  Ellan Parry
Sound Design:   Ed Borgnis
Stage Manager:  Heather Doole

Publication:  Ridley, Philip. Moonfleece. Methuen Drama, 2010. Drama Library Stacks PR6068.I292 M66 2010.

Setting:  A derelict council flat on the top floor of a tower block in East London; the present.

Language:  Contemporary

NINA

Listen, sweetie! I’ve just made my way up an Everest of Dog Turds to get here. I did that because I thought you wanted a séance.

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   Curtis, a young right-wing, British National Party (BNP) activist, arranges a séance because he has been seeing the ghost of his brother, Jason, who supposedly died while exploring the Colombian jungle.  The political meets the personal as Curtis confronts the truth about what really happened to his brother and why.  Not everything in the play works:  some of the characters feel superfluous and you question whether such a group of people would ever interact with one another given the extremes they inhabit on the social-political spectrum.  Since Moonfleece was written for young theatre practitioners and theatergoers, there are many parts for college age actors.  A production of the play in the West Midlands was banned after it was scheduled to run because some felt that the play’s themes of homophobia, fascism and the BNP were not “suitable for a community setting”.

 

 

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.19-20:  Curtis explains to Link why the derelict flat will always be his place, even if Link currently squats there. Long monologue.

CURTIS

Jesus Christ, ain’t you heard anything I’ve said, you bloody stupid—? Listen! My gran was the first person to move into this tower block. They were still laying cement. If you go to the basement there’s handprints in the floor. My gran’s.  [Lines cut] –Don’t you dare refer to this flat as yours! Hear me? Don’t dare! It’ll never be yours. It’ll never be anyone’s except mine. Even when they dynamite the place—and it’s nothing but rubble—the rubble that makes up this flat will have my name running through it!

p.23-24:  Alex tells Curtis the reason Sarah stopped talking to him was because they saw him at a fascist rally.

ALEX

No reason? You want the full essay or just the bullet points? You lied! You’re full of hate! You preach hate! Your views stink! You’re a pig! You’ll breed pigs! You want me to carry on? [Lines cut] Then what happens? A family day out with smiley grannies and toddlers chanting, ‘England for the white!’ I was standing next to her when she heard you speak. Her world fell apart.

p.85-86:  Stacey talks about the troubles she encountered trying to bury her sausage dog, Banger, and how Curtis’ stepfather, Mr. Avalon, came to her aid. Long monologue.

STACEY

It’s like when my sausage dog died. I loved that sausage dog. Banger its name was. And one day I looked in its little basket and Banger was as stiff as a board. I cried and cried. Dad wasn’t much help. He said we should use it as a draught excluder. I got no sympathy at all. [Lines cut] And that’s when this man comes out the shop next door. A white man! This man pays the lovely Pakistani gentleman the money I owe him and takes me into his own shop. And who’s answering the phone? Wayne. Cos the man who paid for my drink was none other than Mr. Avalon. So you see, sweetheart, if it weren’t for my dead Banger I’d never have met Wayne.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  This play has a lot of characters and no scene breaks but there are a few sections of the play where only two people interact that could be done as a scene.

p. 17-20:  Link questions Curtis about his family after learning that Curtis and his family used to live in the flat Link now squats in with Zak.  Starts with

LINK

So … why’s ex-girlfriend Sarah coming here?

and ends with

CURTIS

Jesus Christ, ain’t you heard anything I’ve said, you bloody stupid—? Listen! My gran was the first person to move into this tower block. They were still laying cement. If you go to the basement there’s handprints in the floor. My gran’s.  [Lines cut] –Don’t you dare refer to this flat as yours! Hear me? Don’t dare! It’ll never be yours. It’ll never be anyone’s except mine. Even when they dynamite the place—and it’s nothing but rubble—the rubble that makes up this flat will have my name running through it!

p.74-77:  Zak tells a fractured fairytale about Curtis’ brother, Jason, which exposes the truth about why Jason disappeared and later died.  A long scene. Starts with

ZAK

The King’s death sent the Queen mad. She started to bring wolves into the castle. She cried, ‘My precious wolves. They are all I need.’

and ends with

ZAK

 …’Yes.’

 

 

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

Allfree, C. (2010, Mar 09). Putting the BNP on stage. The Independent, pp. 14.

Akbar, A. (2010, Mar 30). Banned, the play that took on the BNP; Dudley council accused of caving in to far right after pulling plug on ‘moonfleece’. The Independent, pp. 2.

Blacker, T. (2010, Mar 31). Nobody has the right to be spared offence. The Independent, pp. 38.

Edgar, D. (2010, Apr 10). Comment: Panic and folly: A farce: The ban of moonfleece is the latest example of an ill-founded censorious attitude stalking britain. The Guardian, pp. 36.

Iqbal, N. (2010, Mar 30). Misguided moonfleece ban is an affront to theatre. guardian.co.uk

Marlowe, S. (2010, Mar 05). Moonfleece. The Times, pp. 68.

Martin, D. (2010, Mar 04). Moonfleece. [open access] The Stage.co.uk

Orr. J. (2010, Mar 08). Review:  Moonfleece. [open access] A Younger Theatre.com

Philip ridley jmoves beyond shock tactics in moonfleece. [open access] (2010, Mar 01) metro.co.uk

Taylor, P. (2010, Mar 04). Under the skin of the racists; Theatre moonfleece rich mix, London. Independent Life, pp. 16.

Cock – Mike Bartlett

cock

First performed at the Royal Court Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, London, on November 13, 2009.

Original Cast:

John                      Ben Whishaw
M                            Andrew Scott
W                            Katherine Parkinson
F                             Paul Jesson

Director:  James Macdonald
Designer:  Miriam Buether
Lighting:  Peter mumford
Sound:  David McSeveney

Publication:  Bartlett, Mike. Cock. Methuen Drama, 2009. Drama Library PR6102.A7838 C63 2009b

Setting:  The present.

Language:  Contemporary; lots of run-on thoughts, long pauses, breaks in character’s lines, and moments when they say nothing

M

What are you? Most people seem to come together pretty well, their atoms hold, and you can look at them and go oh, that’s my mate Steve, that’s the queen, but you, you don’t seem to have grown coherently

You’re a collection of things that don’t amount

You’re a sprawl

A mob.

You don’t add up.

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   John, who has been in a long-term gay relationship with M, meets and falls in love with a woman, W, and has to decide who he is and who he wants to be with.  The play is staged without furniture or props so that all of the audience’s focus is on the action of the drama unfolding in front of them.  Most of the scenes in the play are short and sparse, leaving a lot of room for an actor’s interpretation.  The only scene that feels a little unreal in the play is the Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolfish dinner party attended by John, M, W, and F, M’s father.  It seems highly unlikely that John would agree to have his two lovers meet face-to-face to hear his decision over dinner.  Add to that M’s father, and the scene threatens to tip the play from realism to near farce.  Also, even though the other characters allude to their befuddlement as to why they want him so much, I’m not quite convinced that John is worth all of the soul-searching, heartache, and turmoil that he causes his two lovers.  In a play where characters fight not to be defined by their sexuality, but their identity, there is very little on view in John’s case.  We never even find out what he does.  A lot of his charm would have to depend on the actor portraying him because, as written, he appears childish, indecisive, completely self-absorbed, and a bit of a cipher. Of course, both M and W have some unpleasant character traits as well.  W comes across as combative, defensive, and overly solicitous of John, who doesn’t seem worthy of her fierce loyalty; M is controlling, belittling of John, and fights dirty by inviting his dad to dinner, but he’s also genuinely hurt by John’s betrayal and seems to honestly love him.

 

 

 

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.33-34:  W explains why she hates weekends. John’s line can be cut.

W

It’s weekends that are the problem. Weeks are fine, they’re great. Friday-night parties, after-work drinks this is when you’re in your element, you can do what you want, but it gets to Saturday afternoon…. [Lines cut] What would it be like, could we spend our whole lives togtehr , and looking I’m going to be honest shit—Jesus I’m really talking here.

[JOHN

It’s fine.]

W

I mean I’m so jealous of the ones that I think are really in love. [Lines cut] …I’ll never do it again I would rather be on my own that do that however fucking lonely I get. Ha!

p.87-88:  John talks about coming out and being defined by words and how it’s not about the sex of the person you love but who they are.  M’s lines can be cut.

JOHN

You want to know what I am okay okay I don’t know okay.

When I was at uni and I finally decided I’d do it and come out, all these people hugged me and were proud of me and said how brave I was and suddenly people were touching me… [Lines cut] Gay straight, words from the sixties made by our parents, sound so old, only invented to get rights, and we’ve got rights now so

[M

Some rights, not enough and…how did we get on to this?]

JOHN

They’re horrible horrible words what they do how they stop you

[M

 / ‘horrible words’]

JOHN

and I can see now I can see tht it’s about who the person is. Not man or woman but What they’re like. What they do. [Lines cut] So why are you telling me that what I sleep with is more important tha[n] who I sleep with?

p.90-91:  M tries one last time to keep John.

M

So the dessert was cheesecake here it is:  cheesecake. I made your favourite John your favourite in all the world, a nice cheesecake I think it was going to be a tactic a final gesture in case things   hadn’t gone well…[Lines cut] There’s your cheesecake, if you feel like staying with me for a bit you could have some we culd share a piece if you like but you’re going with her aren’t you so you should probably fuck off now, and me and Dad’ll eat it instead. Bye.

p.93-94:  W tries one last time to convince John to leave with her.  John’s line can be cut.

W

So I’ll go for ever, and me wearing your shirt, in a hotel in Paris, walking around glimpses of what’s between my legs,

[JOHN

/ Fuck]

W

all of that and everything else in the future, all leaving, all going, me pregnant eating biscuits and then the hospital bed, everything you described to me, everything we imagined, you holding my hand, and Jack’s born and grows up there he is…[Lines cut] …and you’ll be left with him. Just him.

[Lines cut]

Bye.

 

 

Representative Scenes:  All of the scenes in the play before the dinner party at the end are two-person scenes, either M-M or M-F, so there are a lot to choose from.

p. 14-17:  John has returned home with a gift of teddy bears after having left M.   M is suspicious and John finally confesses that he’s slept with someone else, a woman.  Starts with

M

So what have you done?

and ends with

JOHN

I am.

It was a week ago.

p.43-47:  John meets W to tell her they can’t see each other anymore because M knows.  Starts with

JOHN

I don’t know how to explain this but the thing is you have to stop following me.

and ends with

W

So?

Sugar.

What are you going to do?

 

 

 

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

Benedict, D. (2009). COCK. Variety, 417(3), 40.

Billington, M. (2009, Nov 19). Reviews: Theatre: Cock: Royal court, london 3/5. The Guardian, pp. 38.

Hemming, S. (2009, Nov 21). Cock. Financial Times, pp. 14.

Letts, Q. (2009, Nov 19). Quentin letts first night review [edition 2]. Daily Mail, pp. 30.

Sierz, A. (2009). A compelling combination of sharp writing and acting talent. Stage, (6709), 19.

Soloski, A. (2012, May 23). Cock: Fight club. [open access] The Village Voice, pp. 1.

Spencer, C. (2009, Nov 19). First night cock royal court tame tale whimpers to the end. The Daily Telegraph, pp. 35.

Taylor, P. (2009, Nov 23). A brilliant study in bisexuality. The Independent, pp. 16.

Goldfish – John Kolvenbach

goldfish

World premiere at South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, California in March, 2009.

Original Cast:

Albert (19-years old)                     Tasso Feldman
Leo (Albert’s father)                       Conor O’Farrell
Lucy                                               Kate Rylie
Margaret (Lucy’s mother)            Joan McMurtrey

Director:  Loretta Greco
Set Design:  Myung Hee Cho
Lighting Design:  Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz
Sound Design:  Michael Hooker
Costume Design:  Alex Jaeger
Dramaturg:  John Glore
Stage Manager:  Julie Haber

Publication:  Kolvenbach, John. Goldfish. Dramatists Play Service, 2010. Drama Library PS3611.O583 G65 2010.

Setting:  Northeastern United States; the present.

Language:  Contemporary

MARGARET

Go away. I will make do. I’ll drink quickly to minimize my suffering. (She sips.) Look at you. I am flabbergasted by how beautiful I used to be. You are the picture of Youth and Ripeness; I could kill you.

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   Albert, a 19-year-old boy, grows up taking care of his father, Leo, who has a gambling problem.  Trouble ensues when Albert leaves home to attend a liberal arts college and Leo has to manage on his own.  A poor, intelligent outsider in a college full of wealthy kids, Albert meets Lucy, who has problems of her own dealing with her drunken mother, Margaret.  Through these two, the play explores the dynamics of family and falling in love.  While some of the early scenes between Lucy and Albert feel a little too cute, the scenes at home with Albert and Leo seem heartbreakingly real; even when the plot veers into potentially melodramatic territory, and despite a too pat ending, the authenticity of that particular father-son relationship keeps the play on track.

 

 

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.34:  Albert tells his father about the Dean calling him into his office after Leo called him to explain that Albert wouldn’t be returning to school.  The Dean thinks there’s been some calamity in the family; in reality, Leon gambled the money away.

ALBERT

She lets me into his office. I sit down. He’s sort of a walrus. He asks me if I watch baseball. I tell him it’s winter. There’s silence for a while. He says, “Your pugnacious father called this morning.” OK. So you’re alive. [Lines cut] I told him no, things were fine. He said you “concurred.” Then he asked me how I would define “fine” and I said that if I had a baseball bat I would bash his fucking head in for him.

p.35:  Albert explains to Leo what it was like being in college, being the poor, smart kid in the middle of all the rich, not-so-smart kids.

ALBERT

I thought I’d be obvious. You know? I thought I’d have a big arrow over my head, pointing me    out. This is the kid. A big orange arrow. It wasn’t like that. They don’t care. They don’t notice you.  You sit in the back and keep a low profile, the teacher doesn’t know you exist. [Lines cut] The fuzzy old bastard hands you the exam and gives you a look. A look like, it’s you and me, Albert Ledger. You and me and a bunch of stone morons.

p.51:  Albert tells Leo about he rides the train pretending to have a job when, in reality, he was fired a month ago.

ALBERT

I ride the train. I don’t have a job. I pretend I do. I put this on. (Beat.) I went in that first morning. A month ago. I made it ’til lunch. The guy looks at me like I’m another asshole he has to deal with, like I’m the kid who gets his coffee and screws up the purchase orders. [Lines cut] Lucy thinks I’m Albert Ledger. I convinced her. I insisted. That I’m unbound. That I’m just about to be. (Beat.) I don’t wanna talk to her. I don’t want to talk to her anymore.

 

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 15-17:  Albert and Lucy meet for the first time in the library on a Friday night.   Starts with

LUCY

(Pause.) Can I ask you a question?

and ends with

ALBERT

I know your name.

p.29-32:  Albert and Lucy are in bed in his dorm room when he gets a call about his father. Starts with

LUCY

(Into her pillow.) Oh my God what are you doing you sociopath what time is it, if you’re studying I’m going to kick you in the head, why do you let me smoke so much my mouth is a dead animal, whose shirt is this, what time is it? Who drank my water, the fucker.

and ends with

ALBERT

(Into the phone.) Answer the question. Is he alright?

p.45-47:  Lucy tries to convince Albert to marry her.  Starts with

LUCY

Is he alright?

and ends with

ALBERT

For how long?

 

 

 

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

Boehm, M. (2009, Mar 20). THEATER; the middle class rises once again; john kolvenbach plots it all out in ‘goldfish,’ his play at south coast repertory about a dream of triumph. Los Angeles Times, p.D16.

D’Souza, K. (2009, Oct 15). Review: ‘goldfish’ family drama at magic theatre in san francisco. San Jose Mercury News.

Farrell, J. (2009, Mar 27). ‘Goldfish’ swims through blossoming romance. Press – Telegram.

Hodgins, P. (2009, Mar 20). Review // new play ‘goldfish’ is not so odd. Orange County Register.

Hodgins, P. (2009, Mar 24). Review // ‘goldfish’ makes waves. Orange County Register.

Hurwitt, R. (2009, Oct 16). Theater review:  Tragicomic ‘goldfish’. [open access] SFGate.com.

Ng, D. (2009, Mar 24). Review:  ‘goldfish’ at south coast repertory. [open access] latimes.com.

Verini, B. (2009, Mar 23). Review:  “goldfish”. [open access] variety.com

Treefall – Henry Murray

treefall

World premiere by Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles on July 30, 2009.

Original Cast:

August (16-year-old boy)                                                  West Liang
Flynn (18-year-old boy)                                                    Brian Norris
Craig (14-year-old boy)                                                    Brian Pugach
Bug (17-year-old girl masquerading as a boy)                Tania Verafield

Director:  John Perrin Flynn
Set Design:  Stephanie Kerley Schwartz
Lighting Design:  Leigh Allen
Sound Design:  Joseph “Sloe” Slawinski
Costume Design:  Lauren Tyler
Stage Manager:  Amanda Mauer

Publication:  Murray, Henry. Treefall. Dramatists Play Service, 2010. Drama Library PS3613. U758 T74 2009.

Setting:  A mountain cabin in the Pacific Northwest after an environmental catastrophe takes place.  A few scenes take place in areas near the cabin.

Language:  Contemporary

CRAIG

(Holding Dru like a baby and playing Mommy) Mr. Bug, please excuse this silliness. My sons have a tendency to forget their place. It’s been hard raising them by myself. My husband, he had quite a nice penis but he died in a stampede at a grocery store during a food shortage. It was tragic really–

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   Three boys live together in an isolated cabin in the Pacific Northwest after an unspecified environmental disaster seemingly has caused a large majority of the population in the world to perish, particularly the adults.  The boys ritualistically re-enact a life they can barely remember, a life of normalcy where a family means a daddy and a mommy and a child.  Into their world comes a stranger who disrupts their carefully crafted but slowly failing life.  Just as it’s only a matter of time before one of the dying trees around their cabin falls on and destroys their home, even without the appearance of Bug, the boys’ fragile family structure, which was already showing stresses and cracks, was doomed.  There’s a bit too much quoting from Romeo and Juliet; and Craig pretending to be his doll, Dru, is extremely annoying, despite him being the most fully realized character, almost preternaturally wise in some ways while being unbelievably naïve in others.  However, weaknesses in the script aside, there are affective, simple moments that resonate around the principal question of the play:  what makes a family?

 

 

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.39:  Craig reads a comic book and explains about Superman and vampires to Dru, his doll. 

CRAIG

(As Dru) Here’s Superman holding up a bridge with one hand and a bus full of people in the other.   (As Craig) He must be quite strong. (As Dru) Well, look at those muscles. (As Craig) He does have nice muscles. [Lines cut] (As the doll) I’m just a doll. But there’s the question of goodness, isn’t there? Vampires are basically selfish creatures who are afraid to die. (As Craig) That’s not fair. Vampires are ordinary people who could die except…they… Nobody really wants to die.

               

 

Representative Scenes:  Most of the scenes in the play are for three or more characters but there are a few that are just two people.  

p. 29-32:  August and Bug spend some time together and August tries to seduce Bug. Starts with

AUGUST

What’s it like east of here?

and ends with

AUGUST

You made whiskey come out of my nose.

p.39-41: Flynn tries to explain human anatomy and the differences between boys and girls to Craig. Starts with

CRAIG

(As Dru) Here’s Superman holding up a bridge with one hand and a bus full of people in the other.   (As Craig) He must be quite strong. (As Dru) Well, look at those muscles. (As Craig) He does have nice muscles. [Lines cut] (As the doll) I’m just a doll. But there’s the question of goodness, isn’t there? Vampires are basically selfish creatures who are afraid to die. (As Craig) That’s not fair. Vampires are ordinary people who could die except…they… Nobody really wants to die.

and ends with

CRAIG

Come along, Dru. Mommy doesn’t want to miss this.

 

 

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

Brandes, P. (2009, Aug 6). Theater review: ‘Treefall’ at theatre theater. [open acces] LA Times.

Buzzelli, M. (2009, Aug 3). Rogue Machine’s treefall @theatre theater:  A brilliant new work from henry murray. [open access] Eye Spy LA.

Morris, S. L. (2009, Aug 5). Treefall and the chairs:  Beyond world’s end. [open access] LA Weekly.

Orloff, P. (2009, Aug 28). ‘Treefall’ at rogue machine. [open access] Culture Spot LA.

Sokol, R. (2011, Feb 7). Intriguing, uneven ‘treefall’ not begging to be heard. [open access] SF Examiner.

Spindle, L. (2009, Aug 5) Treefall. [open access] Backstage.com.

Trenchard, C. (2011, Feb 7). In treefall, a young cast rises at new conservatory theatre. [open access] SF Weekly.

Pretty Theft – Adam Szymkowicz

prettytheft

Originally produced by the Flux Theatre Ensemble in New York City on April 24, 2009.

Original Cast:

Marco                                                                   Todd d’Amour
Waitress/Ballerina                                              Candice Holdorf
Psychiatrist/Ballerina                                         Lynn Kenny
Suzy                                                                      Maria Portman Kelly
Joe                                                                        Brian Pracht
Bobby                                                                   Zack Robidas
Allegra                                                                  Marnie Schulenburg
Allegra’s Mom/Supervisor/Ballerina                Cotton Wright

Director:  Angela Astle
Choreographer:
  Ashley Martinez
Set Design
Heather Cohn
Lighting Design:  Andy Fritsch
Sound Design:  Kevin Fuller
Costume Design:  Becky Kelly
Stage Manager:  Kate August

Allegra:  18
Suzy:  18
Joe:  20s to 30s
Marco/Allegra’s Father:
  30s to 40s
Ballerina 2/Allegra’s Mother/Supervisor/Patient/Customer 2 & 4:
  30s to 50s
Ballerina 1/Psychiatrist/Patient/Waitress/Customer 1 & 3:  30s to 40s
Bobby/Intern/Joe’s Father:  20s

Publication:  Syzmkowicz, Adam. Pretty Theft. Samuel French, 2009. Drama Library PS3619.Z965 P74 2009.

Setting:  Multiple:  a group home, a diner, a hotel room, a mental asylum, a living room; the present

Language:  Contemporary

BOBBY

No, it’s not that. It’s just… We’re young. I want to fuck other girls. I want to be free to do that at school. There’s lots of different kinds of girls out there and most of them I’ve never even kissed. I’m sorry. Now you’re mad at me.

Genre/Style:  Serio-Comedic

Plot:   18-year-old Allegra takes a summer job at a group home and falls under the wing of Suzy, a likeable bad girl.  When Allegra’s unlikely friendship with Joe, an autistic group home resident, goes awry—sabotaged by Suzy—she and Suzy steal Suzy’s mom’s car and take off for parts unknown.  On the run, they fall afoul of Marco, a self-described art thief and admirer of young girls.  An exploration of theft in its many permutations, Pretty Theft works best when it focuses on the two girls’ love/hate relationship and on the fragile friendship between Allegra and Joe, an innocent soul who’s a casualty of Suzy’s careless machinations.

 

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.  There are a number of monologues for both men and women in the play.

p.29:  The Supervisor of the Group Home explains how she deals with Joe’s theft of little items from the other residents and the importance of his treasure box. 

SUPERVISOR

(as she takes objects out of Joe’s box)  We no longer wonder where the pens go, the pads, the rubber bands, the paper clips and Mrs. Thompson’s dentures. All of us know they’re in Joe’s box. When he first came here, we tried to get him to give back his pilfered items. But that was a disaster.

[Lines cut]

The only thing I leave in the box, is his ballerina doll. A gift from the former supervisor, now deceased. He likes it. I’ve always felt there’s no harm in it. I’ve always felt there’s no harm in him. His mother disagrees.

p.32:  Allegra visits her unconscious and dying father in the hospital and angrily confronts him over his dying. 

ALLEGRA

And I’m working at this like group home with Suzy Harris. We hang out a lot. You know who she is? I think you’d like her. She’s a lot of fun. She was supposed to come here with me today but… she couldn’t make it.

[Lines cut]

I miss you.

I’ve always missed you. I’m sorry. I don’t want you to die. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. Oh, Christ, I’m so sorry. Please don’t die. You’re so small. Please, Daddy.

p.69: Joe, in a straitjacket, explains the difference between people like him who are damaged and people who are untouchable, perfect. 

JOE

Some people get locked up and some people never do. If you try to kiss the staff they will lock you up. It is illegal. Many men in suits never go to jail. That’s because that’s because that’s   because they aren’t me. They aren’t broken. [Lines cut] Like doctors who can fix you. Except they don’t need fixing. Not the super untouchable. They have legs like razors and eyes that magnetize. They are pretty. They are everything. Like Allegra. I wonder if Allegra is super untouchable.

 

 

 

Representative Scenes:  Of the two-people scenes in the play, a number of them are fairly brief and unsuitable for substantial scene work.  Some of these short scenes could be combined to create a longer scene with a more appropriate narrative arc.   

p. 30-31 and 33-34:  Scenes Ten and Twelve can be combined to form one scene. Suzy goes to the movies with Bobby, Allegra’s boyfriend, and attempts to seduce him.  Starts with

BOBBY

                This sucks

and ends with

SUZY

(Following him out) Wait for me. I still need a ride. Hey, mush-mouth. Wait for me.

 

 

 

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. (2009, Apr 28). Being nice can also take you too far. New York Times,pp.C4.

Harcum, C. (2009, Apr 28). Pretty theft. [open access] nythatre.com.

Peikert, M. (2009, Apr 28). Pretty theft. [open access] backstage.

Snyder, S. (2009). Stealing hearts and minds:  Emotional theft neither pretty, nor petty. [open access] The Villager 78(47).

Sobel, J. (2009, Apr 26). Pretty theft by Adam Szymkowicz. [open access] Blog Critics.

Beachy Head – Hannah Barker, Lewis Hetherington, Liam Jarvis, Emma Jowett, and Dan Rebellato

beachyhead

Originally produced by Analogue at South Hill Park on July 21, 2010 prior to a 4-week run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.  A revised version was first performed on February 2, 2011 at the Drum Theatre, Theatre Royal Plymouth.

Original Cast:

Dr. Rachel Sampson                                        Hannah Barker
Stephen 
                                                           Sam Taylor
Amy                                                                    Emma Jowett
Joe                                                                    Lewis Hetherington
Matt                                                                   Dan Tobin

Director:  Liam Jarvis and Hannagh Barker
Original Music:  Simon Slater
Multimedia Design:  Thor Hayton, VI Creative Media
Lighting Design:  Edmund McKay
Sound Design:  Alexander Garfath
Stage Manager:  Simon Wheeler

Publication:  Rebellato, Dan, and Analogue. Beachy Head. Oberon Modern Plays, 2011. Drama Library PR6035.E36 B43 2011

Setting:  Eastbourne District, East Sussex in the South of England; present day.

Language:  Contemporary

AMY

Stephen was very private.

He didn’t share what was in his head.

I think he must have felt very alone.

And maybe on top of that cliff most of all.

It must have felt like the loneliest place on earth.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   A month has passed since Stephen committed suicide by jumping from the Beachy Head cliffs. His widow, Amy, fights to understand why with the help of a hospital pathologist and two documentary filmmakers, Joe and Matt, who, unbeknownst to Amy, Joe and Matt accidentally filmed Stephen as he leapt to his death.  The play examines the effect one person’s act can have on the lives of the people around them as they struggle to understand what might, in the end, be unknowable.  A large part of the plays theatricality comes from multimedia effects that the text tries to describe, but sometimes it’s still difficult to imagine what’s happening on stage.  However, some of the most evocative images come from the text itself devoid of any stagecraft.  In the end, the play feels like an honest exploration of a difficult subject divorced from melodrama or sensationalism.

 

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:  Rachel, a pathologist, explains the statistics of death and suicide in Joe and Matt’s documentary.

RACHEL

People are dying all the time; that’s just how it is. If we were to, what, take on every case, we’d be overwhelmed. Emotionally I mean. Look, the population of the world is let’s say around 6.8 billion.

And around 57 million people die each year. So with 57 million people dying each yar that means someone dies roughly every half a second.

[Lines cut]

One death in around 9000 is a suicide. It’s slightly over that, I forget the exact figure—it’s on the World Health Organisation website. But for the sake of argument let’s say it’s 1 in 9000. So 1 in every 9000 half seconds is a suicide. Which means that, on average, someone will kill themselves in the next hour and a quarter.

p.64:  Rachel is being interviewed for the documentary.

RACHEL

If you find yourself thinking, this is someone’s son, this is someone’s lover, of course you won’t cut them open. You have to appreciate that bodies sometimes  are just bodies. Wherever they were found, whatever they did, whatever their plans and projects, their intimacies, their darkness.  [Lines cut] Sometimes for a second you catch yourself looking at a room of people as populated by a series of organic composites in varying states of decay. But that’s just stuff and we’re not just stuff.

 

Representative Scenes: 

p. 32-34:  Joe and Matt debate whether they should delete the footage of Stephen’s suicide, and in the end, decide not only not to get rid of the footage, but also to make a documentary film about his suicide. Starts with

JOE

                It seems disrespectful somehow.

and ends with

JOE

It could be extraordinary.

p. 60-63:  Joe and Matt argue about when they’re going to tell Amy that they have the footage of Stephen’s jump; Joe is delaying and Matt wants to tell her right away.  Starts with

MATT

Okay, Joe, look at me.

Look at me.

She trusts us.

and ends with

JOE

Are you coming back?

p. 67-70:  Joe tries to get Amy to talk about Stephen’s last moments; Amy finds out about the footage.  Starts with

JOE

                Put yourself there, Amy. Imagine him.

and ends with

JOE

                I’m so sorry.

 

 

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

Bassett, K. (2009, Aug 16). A tale of suicide, sadness and life on the edge. The Independent on Sunday, pp.60.

Brown, A. (2009, Aug 23). The fatal attraction of beachy head. Sunday Times, pp. 13.

Controversial play takes a leap of faith.(2011, Mar 19). Western Mail, pp. 37.

Gardner, L. (2009, Aug 10). Review: Unhappy endings laid bare in a chilling show: Edinburgh theatre: Beachy head pleasance dome, edinburgh 4/5. The Guardian, pp.32.

The last eight seconds of a man’s life is a pivotal moment in play.(2011, Jan 28). The Western Morning News, pp. 21.

McMillan, J. (2009, Aug 15). Reviews: Beachy head/ daniel kitson/ suckerville: Finding closure. The Scotsman, pp.13.

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.