First produced by the Partial Comfort Productions at The Wild Project in New York, September 2011.
Susie (Asian, early 30s) Jackie Chung
Chap (Any ethnicity, 40s-50s) Andrew Garman
Monty (Latino, mid 30s) Alfredo Narciso
Liz (Monty’s sister, early 30s) Maria-Christina Oliveras
Warren (Indian, early 30s) Debargo Sanyal
Eddie (Latin, mid to late 30s) Jeff Wilburn
Director: Stephen Brackett
Scenic Design: Jason Simms
Costume Design: Whitney Locher
Lighting Design: Gregg Goff
Sound Design: Daniel Kluger
Fight Director: David Anzuelo
Dramaturg: John M. Baker
Stage Manager: Tara M. Nachtigall
Publication: Beckim, Chad. After. Samuel French, 2012. Drama Library PS3602. E327 A38 2012.
Setting: Various locations
A little too slim for me. I like ’em thicker than that, but she’s definitely cute. And she definitely likes you. No woman initiates contact like that with a man without liking him. Unless she’s a prostitute.
Genre/Style: Drama but with comic moments that arise out of character
Plot: DNA evidence has just exonerated Monty and he is released from prison after seventeen years. He now has to adjust to life on the outside after having spent half of his life incarcerated. Although the play covers the standard ex-con just released from prison and is now coping with life on the outside moments, by looking at those moments in a fresh way, the playwright avoids stereotypes and clichés. However, an act of violence near the end of the play introduces a new character who isn’t really germane to Monty’s growth and the play slips a little into melodramatic territory.
Representative Monologues: (Long 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: Susie explains why she doesn’t like Axe guys.
I don’t get that, you know? Like, you’ll see these good looking guys, well groomed, well maintained, together, the kind of guy that you see and secretly think, “He looks like a nice guy to talk to,” only then they walk past you and they smell like they just got stuck in a cologne thunderstorm. [Lines cut]
I’m sorry. I talk too much. I say too much dumb stuff. And I forced that toothbrush on you. I’m working on it, but it’s… The deodorant aisle is that way. (She points.) Two aisles down.
p.26: Warren bitches to Monty about the doggy day care business he owns and operates.
Yep. We chauffeur dogs here. I can’t get over that. I understand the brushing and washing and feeding and all that. But chauffeuring? Like they’re kids coming home from a field trip?
When I was a kid we had a yellow lab. Lived outside. Ate dry food—and take it from me? Avoid that wet stuff, dude. That wet stuff makes them shit pudding. But my dog. Didn’t even need to be chained up. Came and went as he pleased. And he seemed perfectly happy-lived until he was thirteen, I think.
p.41: Warren tells Monty how his dad got the nickname, Destroyer of lives.
My father really is the destroyer of lives, though. That was his nickname for himself when I was a child.
I got this record—”Shamu and Friends”—for my birthday one year? It was all of the characters from “Seaworld” singing songs about the sea and about the environment. [Lines cut] And I wouldn’t talk to him for a week, and finally a week later my mom came home with a new record and hands it to me, and it’s “Sigmund the Sea Monster,” which is not even nearly the same thing, and she’s like, “This is from your father and me.” And when I told her that it wasn’t the same one, my father laughed and said, “I am the destroyer of lives.” Because he is.
p. 61-62: (This monologue is fairly long, perhaps two minutes long or more in its entirety.) Monty laments the death of the one of the service dogs he trained in prison and the loss of his life, and rages about the state’s offer to pay him restitution and the apology the victim of the rape he was accused of wants to make. [Chap’s line can be cut.]
Ripley was a good dog, man.
A good dog. No, a great fucking dog. The best. I taught her to sit. I taught her to stay. I taught her to lie down. I taught her to shake—even though I wasn’t supposed to. I taught her to nudge someone’s hand when they were scared or angry or anxious or just, just shut the fuck down. Me. I did that.
The only fucking good thing I ever did is gone, and you come here telling me that the good news is that they want to pay me for missing my prom and college and keg parties and my first apartment?
Fuck the dude that killed my dog.
And fuck Laura Miller.
(A long beat. He turns to the window.)
Show yourself out, man.
p. 39-41: Monty confesses to Susie why he’s never asked a girl out or gone shopping or tied a tie. Starts with
I lied to you.
and ends with
Huh? Of course. I just—I thought I saw someone I knew. (She grabs the basket and looks at the list.) Okay. First up. Deodorant.
p. 16-18: Monty receives a visit from the chaplain from the prison and explains for the first time how it feels to be outside. Starts with
and ends with
Select Bibliography of Reviews and Criticism: (Note: article title links are to the online versions, mostly UW-only restricted unless designated as open access.)
Isherwood, C. (2011, Sep 22). After the hard life of prison comes the hard life of the outside world. New York Times.
Jones, C. (2012, Sep 07). Plumbing depths of bittersweet freedom. Chicago Tribune.
Soloski, A. (2011, Sep 28). Sprung awakening. [open access] The Village Voice.
Vincentelli, E. (2011, Sep 22). Leaves Nice ‘After’-Glow. New York Post.