Crooked – Catherine Trieschmann

crooked

Premiered Off-Broadway at Women’s Project in April 2008; first performed in a workshop production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004.

Original Cast:

Laney                    Christin Milioti
Elise                      Betsy Aidem
Maribel                  Carmen M. Herlihy

Director:  Liz Diamond
Set Design:  Jennifer Moeller
Costume Design:  Ilona Somogyi
Lighting Design:  S. Ryan Schmit
Sound Design:  Jane shaw

 

Publication:  Trieschmann, Catherine. Crooked. Samuel French, 2009. Drama Stacks PS3620.R54 C76 2009.

 

Setting:  The Water’s House, High School Stadium Bleachers, and Church Sanctuary in Oxford, Mississippi; the present

Language:  Contemporary

LANEY

I admit, I might meet some resistance, some prejudice. Maybe I’ll get thrown out of the church, and Maribel and me will have to move to another town. But when my memoirs are published, other fourteen-year-old holiness lesbians will read them and won’t feel so alone.

Genre/Style:   Serio-Comedy

Plot:  Laney, a precocious 14-year-old girl with dystonia, moves to Oxford, Mississippi with her soon-to-be divorced mother.  She makes friends with 16-year old Maribel, who is chubby, socially awkward, and overly zealous about bringing people to Jesus. Over the course of their friendship, Laney falls in love with Maribel and decides to become a holiness lesbian.

 

Review of the Production:  James, C. (2008, Apr 21). Troubles of teenagers, faithful and cruel. New York Times.

 

 

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.16: Maribel explains why she doesn’t mind being sinned against in high school because eventually her tormentors will get theirs in everlasting hell. (Laney’s lines can be skipped.)

MARIBEL

I get sinned against all the time in this school—Deedee Cummings pulled down my pants in gym class today—but I don’t mind because I know that the things of this earth, they’re not lasting. (paus) You think that I’m a real freak, don’t you?

[lines cut]

But there has to be punishment for people who sin and sin and keep sinning. If there isn’t everlasting hell, then Hitler and Stalin and Deedee Cummings will never get punished for what they did. All the people in this school who ignore you will never get punished either.

p.16-17:  Laney tells Maribel about having dystonia and why she doesn’t mind that people ignore her because that reveals to her how shallow people are. (Maribel’s line can be skipped.)

LANEY

It’s the muscles in my back. They’re working against one another. It’s called dystonia. Having a humpback is called kyphosis. I don’t have kyphosis. I have dystoni8a. It’s different. It’s temporary. I’m glad I have it.

[lines cut]

Here, nobody talks to me. But I haven’t changed. My essential personality hasn’t changed. So I know the reason they don’t talk to me is because of my dystonia, and I’m glad I have it, because now I know how shallow people are. It’s a good thing to know, don’t you think?

p.33:  Maribel prays for Jesus to forgive her and to come into Laney’s heart so that she can be saved..

MARIBEL

Dear Jesus, it’s Maribel. Maribel and my friend Laney. I ask that you forgive me of my sins, for thinking so much about Marcus Grayson and being fingered. I pray that you forgive me for wanting to kill Melissa Jenkins and Deedee Cummings. I pray that you’ll help me to forgive them. Forgive me for the hatred in my heart. [Lines cut] I pray that you enter Laney’s heart, dear Jesus, so that she won’t have to suffer everlasting hell, because Lord, she is so beautiful and full of gifts, like her writing, and I know that you’ll want to keep her near you always. Lord, I know you have mysterious ways and that I can’t know your every hair, the way you know my every hair, but I know that you don’t say no, so Lord, I’m asking that you forgive me, forgive me, not for myself, but so Laney might be healed by you too. Amen.

 

 

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.17-20:  Laney meets Maribel on the bleachers during lunch for the first time.  They share parts of their lives:  Maribel’s religious upbringing and Laney’s writing.  [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

MARIBEL

Does it hurt?

and ends with

LANEY

No one’s ever quoted me before!

p.30-33:  Maribel tries to get Laney to confess her sins and take Jesus into her heart.  At the end of the scene Laney suddenly kisses Maribel. [part of a longer scene]  Starts with

MARIBEL

Are you ready now?

and ends with

MARIBEL

Do you know what it is?

(LANEY shakes her head.)

It’s the holy ghost.

(LANEY leans in and kisses MARIBEL on the mouth. It is sweet and gentle and a beat too long.)

p.49-53:  Maribel gets upset with Laney over a romantic story she wrote about Maribel. Laney panics and lies and tells Maribel that the story was inspired by Marcus looking at Maribel at the buses after school.  Starts with

LANEY

Hey.

and ends with

MARIBEL

For the harm we’ve done to God. For the harm we do each other.

p.60-62:  Laney and Maribel get drunk on wine at a sleepover and Maribel tells Laney she is going to ask Marcus to go to church with her.  Laney panics because she lied to Maribel about Marcus’ interest in her.  Starts with

LANEY

I thought the wine was supposed to turn into blood.

and ends with

LANEY

I think he definitely might.

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.

Birds of a Feather – Marc Acito

birds

First produced by the Hub Theatre in Fairfax, Virginia on July 15, 2011.

Original Cast:

Silo, Lola, Bombshell, Porkey, Gayest, Preening,            Dan Crane
Announcer, Grown-Up Tango

Roy, Pale Male, Bombshell, Betty, Gayer, Bored,             Matt Dewberry
Teen Tango, Chastity Wright

Birder, Gay, Fat Cat Senator, Man in Coveralls,                 Eric Messner
Wanna-Be, Richard Cohen

Zookeeper, Paula Zahn, Female Birder                                Jjana Valentiner

 

Director:  Shirley Serotsky
Set Design:  Robbie Hayes
Costume Design:  Deb Sivigny
Lighting Design:  Andy Cissina
Sound Design:  Veronica Vorel

 

Publication:  Acito, Marc. Birds of a Feather. Samuel French, 2013. Drama Stacks PS3601.C53 B57 2013

 

Setting:  New York City, in and around Central Park; early 21st Century

Language:  Contemporary

SILO

(to ROY) What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

Genre/Style:   Comedy

Plot:  Tells the story of Roy and Silo, the two male Chinstrap Penguins who fell in love and raised a chick in the Central Park Zoo.  Their story inspired the children’s book And Tango Makes Three, which became one of the most banned books ever.  As a contrast, the play also relates the story of Pale Male and Lola, two Red-Tailed Hawks who built a nest on the side of a Fifth Avenue apartment building.  Pale Male became a cause célèbre when his nest was removed at the behest of a few building residents and protests ensued.  Pale Male and Lola have also been the subjects of a number of children’s books, none of which have been banned.

 

Review of the Production:  Horwitz, J. (2011, Jul 13). Tales of hawks and penguins take flight in hub theatre’s ‘birds’. The Washington Post.

 

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: Silo yearns for the outside, admires Pale Male, and bemoans being a penguin. 

SILO

I ask every bird who comes back from the Outside to tell me what it’s like. And they talk of things called trees that extend up, up, upper still, opening onto an Everywhere of Blue where something called clouds swim on the wind. I want to see the thing they call grass and flowers and garbage. And bugs and crumbs. But most of all, I want to know everything about the bird they call Pale Male.

[lines cut]

 

But underneath my slick plumage lies a cushion of air that keeps me buoyant, floating safely between the predators above and below. And in that narrow pocket I tuck away my secret self.

p.33:  Roy is talking to his daughter, Baby Tango. 

ROY

I promised myself I wouldn’t be one of those annoying parents who goes on and on and on about his darling sweet snooky gookum light of his life reason for his existence, but seriously, take a look at this child.  Is she not the most adorable lovable huggable creature ever ever ever ever ever in the history of the world since before the invention of time? I thought so.

[lines cut]

But I’ll let you in on a little secret. I’m actually the strong one. It’s true. It comes from being very superficial. Things don’t bother me much because I don’t think much. It’s a fool-proof system-designed by a fool. I highly recommend it.

p.41-42:  The Birder is a character who’s a birdwatcher watching Pale Male and Lola.  He’s a bit lonely and socially awkward.    

BIRDER

Every week all spring, a new batch of birds shows up-two hundred and seventy five different kinds. I’ve lived here my whole life, I’ve never noticed. Most New Yorkers tune out, y’know, put on that New York face…

[lines cut]

I once saw a mourning dove pretend to have a broken wing to distract an owl away from its nest. And I actually watched this little plover deliberately act insane just to confuse a raccoon, which is exactly what you should do when you’re getting mugged.

p.43-43:  Birder remembers watching the Twin Towers fall on television.  Likens people in the buildings to birds.

BIRDER

Watchin’ those chicks perched on the edge of the nest, hopping up and down, trying to work up the courage to take a flying leap into the unknown, I can’t stop thinkin’ of those people who were t rapped in the World Trade Center. The ones who decided they’d rather leap to their deaths than burn alive. [lines cut] Two virtual strangers who found themselves standing above the world in a broken window, fire blazing at their backs, the wind whipping past their faces as they stared out at so much blue. And I imagine them turning to each other and saying, “Let’s not die alone.”

p.51: Zookeeper talks about the experience of being single.

ZOOKEEPER

Sure, I’ve been over to the model boat pond a couple of times, but I’d never seen Pale Male that close. It was like meeting the Pope or the president. He was so mesmerizing. Those intense eyes. That proud chest. His whole demeanor was so…masculine. Almost alluring.

Okay, I seriously need to get laid.

[Lines cut]

I know it’s counter-productive, but when you’re single, you don’t have someone else to torture, so you torture yourself.

 

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. 11-14: Roy and Silo discuss their relationship and Roy’s desire to have a chick. [Part of a longer scene.] Starts with

SILO

(to ROY)  What are they staring at? If they want to see a show, they should go to Times Square. Phantom’s on twofers.

and ends with

ROY

I beg to differ.

p.26-30: Lola confronts Pale Male about their relationship and the way he treats her; Pale Male explains that’s the way of hawks and he also complains about Silo and Roy having a chick and how it’s not natural.   Starts with

LOLA

How many children do you have?

and ends with

LOLA

I choose to believe otherwise.

p.73-75:  Silo breaks up with Roy, telling him that he’s fallen in love with a female penguin from San Diego.   Starts with

SILO

You sick?

and ends with

ROY

This isn’t the world-wide-world. It’s a prison.

 

 

Scab – Sheila Callaghan

 scab

First performed at Women’s Expressive Theatre, New York City, 2002.

Original Cast:

Anima, 23-year-old woman                                                      Shannon Burkett
Christa, 22-year-old woman                                                     Sasha Eden
Jenna/Angel One, 20s-30s woman                                          Flora Diaz
Alan/Artie/Davie/Angel Two                                                     David Wheir
Mom/Kellee/Maryandrogyne                                                    Anne Carney

Director:  Hayley Finn
Set Design:  Margaret Eunbyul
Costume Design:  Sarah Beers
Lighting Design:  Stephen Brady
Sound Design:  David A. Gilman

Publication:  Callaghan, Sheila. Scab, a Comic Drama in Two Acts. Samuel French, 2009. Drama General Stacks PS3603.A442 S33 2009.

Setting:  An apartment in Los Angeles; an apartment in New Jersey; a bar in LA; seminar class in LA

Language:  Contemporary

Anima

No, that’s what I needed, my lollipop roommate straddling my line of vision twice a day so I could check out her lacey underpants

Genre/Style:   Dramatic comedy

Plot:  Anima’s sphere of desperation and self-destruction is invaded by the arrival of her perky new roommate, Christa.  Anima, whose father has just died, is an MFA acting student who has had a month long affair with Alan, a professor in her department.  Christa is a first-year PhD student in history.  The two young women become entrapped in a profound and intimate relationship, compounded by Christa becoming involved with Alan and Anima falling for Christa.

Review of the Production:  Weber, B. (2002, Mar. 11). Roommates’ Yen for the Same Man, and Other Problems. New York Times, pp. E5.

 

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.27:  Anima is telling Alan about her trip home to attend her father’s funeral.

Anima

Don’t worry it was all very appropriate, grandmother sang a little tune called “How I wish God would Take me too” and danced a jig before all the dearly-beerlies, and oh man the cold cut plattrs fruit baskets condolence cards…

[lines cut]

It was wild.  I felt for a second my dad WAS the president. Assassinated. By his fellow countrymen. Bastard capitalist corporate American dream, live it love it fuck it in the ass or it will fuck you ha ha ha – you think I’m crazy, don’t you/

p.38-39:  Anima is drunk in a bar. 

Anima

What a piece of work is man, how noble in reason, how infinite in faculty, in form and move and inespresso ada-mahble…That’s Shakespeare. I know more. I played Hamlet once in college. It was for a video project but I was good. No one could believe a chick Hamlet could be so goddamn good.

[lines cut]

Get off me. My friend is picking me up. My roommate. My new roommate. She’s brilliant. She’s going to be a doctor soon. She analyzes women. Not a fucking shrink. She just does, then she makes history out of it.

(She drinks. A beat.)

No, but thanks. She’ll be here any minute. Because I know. She takes care of me.

p.22:  Anima has been trying to explain who Alan is to Christa after he drops by and Anima refuses to see him. Alan appears and speaks, unseen by the women.

Alan

I am thirty-two, nine years older than you. I have penetrated nineteen women, not including you, with my average sized penis. I played the viola all through college and a bit professionally before graduate school, I floss my teeth to NPR twice a day, each night I use lotion from a little blue jar to keep me from getting wrinkly.

[lines cut]

You eat rare meat, you listen to top forty radio, you never read the paper, you drink Bud Ice and you’ve only slept with two men, one of whom was gay. What on God’s good earth ever made you think it would work between us?

 

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.

39-41: Christa and Alan are together after having left a karaoke bar. Starts with

CHRISTA

Oh God, it hurts…

and ends with

CHRISTA

Okay.

(They kiss again and don’t stop.  Christa drops her shoes.)

p.50-52:  Christa confronts Anna over not going to class, something she learns from Alan. Anima accuses her of taking his side in their breakup, unaware that Christa and Alan have had sex the previous night.  Starts with

CHRISTA

How are the donuts.

and ends with

ANIMA

Tue s malade, ma petite plante. I will heal you.

Anima tears off her bandage and drips some blood into Susan’s soil.)

p.62-65:  Anima confronts Christa about her sleeping with Alan, unaware that it’s Alan, and then makes a pass at Christa.   Starts with

ANIMA

Do you love him, Chris?

and ends with

CHRISTA

Okay.

 

 

Mirror Mirror – Sarah Treem

mirror

First performed at the Yale School of Drama on November 11, 2005.

 Original Cast:

Gretchen Black – 17, Most popular girl in school.                     Corena Chase
Badger Biers – 17, Gretchen’s boyfriend.                                   Allen Read
Most popular boy in school. Captain of the football team.    
Costen Lyons – 18, Badger’s best friend.                                  Jacob Knoll
     Richest boy in school.
Libby Sunday – 17, Gretchen’s new best friend.
                       Alexis McGuinness
     Hoyt’s ex-girlfriend. Valedictorian. On scholarship.
Hoyt Monroe – 18, Tortured teenage artist.
                               Richard Gallagher
     Libby’s ex-boyfriend.
Laurel Buchanan – 16, Hoyt’s best friend. President
               Bridget Jones
     of the drama club. Costen’s second cousin.
Honey – 15, Stage manager in the drama club. Nerd.
               Lauren Worsham
Donnie – 17, Actor in the drama club. Ronnie’s best friend.    Alexander Rubin
Ronnie – 17, Actor in the drama club. Donnie’s best friend.    Paul Spera
Roy/Rose White – 16, New girl. This is a boy’s part.                 Blake Hackler

Director:  Nick Avila
Set Design:  Sara Clement
Costume Design:  Mike Floyd
Lighting Design:  Bryan Keller
Sound Design:  Sharath Patel
Dramaturgy:  Rachel Rusch
Stage Manager:  Adam Ganderson

 Publication:  Treem, Sara. Mirror Mirror. Samuel French, 2010. Drama General Stacks PS3620.R442 M57 2010.

Setting:  A private high school in the South. A gym. An auditorium. A bathroom. Fall, present day.

Language:  Contemporary

GRETCHEN

(considers that) No, not in the same way. Bodies heal. Babies can be aborted. But reputations? That shit never goes away. Your children’s children pay for that. (beat) So did you get a look?

Genre/Style:   Dramatic comedy

Plot:  A year ago Roy disappeared.  This homecoming, his sister’s boyfriend, the captain of the football team, is about to propose to her even though he’s hiding a secret.  When a mysterious girl appears, Roy disguised as Rose, the insular world of a private high school in the South is turned upside down.  Loosely based on Snow White, the play feels like a darker version of your typical teen drama with some mystical moments.

 

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.9:  Gretchen talks to the bathroom mirror during homecoming after having seen something disturbing in it.  (long monologue)

GRETCHEN

Don’t you pull that shit with me. I will break you.

When I was a child I had a beautiful mirror. Gilded and very old. It was my great grandmother’s mirror. Brought over from Vienna on a first class steamer. The mirror hung in the grand hallway. I cleaned it incessantly. Every time I passed it.

[lines cut]

What do you supposed I did? I broke the mirror. Smashed it in, late one night, with the heel of my shoe. Then I picked up the shattered pieces of glass and sewed them into my skin. And from that day forth, I’ve carried them with me wherever I go. And everyone everywhere always asks me about my skin. They want to know what makes it shimmer so.

(GRETCHEN looks down at her feet. She smirks at the mirror.)

(a threat) What do you think of my shoes? Are the heels too high?

p.48:  Honey tries to explain to Rose (who is Roy in disguise) what it was about Roy that she loved. 

HONEY

No. It was something else. He went around smiling at people—indiscriminately and for no good reason. Like w were all children again. It freaked a lot of people out. [Lines cut] And Badger Biers sort of smiled back. It was the most incredible thing I’ve ever seen. I went home and wrote twelve pages about it in my journal. If Roy hadn’t gotten sick I would have asked him to Homecoming.

p.53-54:  Hoyt gives his reasons for why he believes love is a disease. (very long monologue)

HOYT

This has nothing to do with Libby. Love is a disease. It’s chemical. They’ve proven it. It’s just hormones. That stimulate euphoria. In this one tiny section of the brain. The same tiny section that lights up when people snort coke.[Lines cut] And thus he perpetuates the ultimate cosmic joke. That love makes life worth living. Which we all read. And believe. Because we’re children and stupid. And then we grow up and fall into the exact same trap. And spend the remainder of our lives in perpetual rehab with the rest of humanity.

 p.67:  Libby riffs on her anorexia and her intelligence. 

LIBBY

 I can honestly believe whatever I want, Hoyt. You have no idea how powerful I actually am. I can stay up for three days straight on nothing but whipped cream, coffee and suger-free jello. Do you know how many calories that is, Hoyt? [Lines cut] And I can think about food almost every moment of every day so can you imagine how much more I would know if I never had to eat again? No, of course you can’t. Because you’re not nearly as smart as me.

 

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. 15-19:  Libby finds Gretchen in the bathroom during homecoming.  Libby’s wearing one of Gretchen’s hand-me-down dresses; Gretchen wants it back. In the end, she leaves Libby in the bathroom in her bra and underwear.  Starts with

LIBBY

Gretchen! There you are. What’s that smell?

and ends with

GRETCHEN

Grow up. Wear a thong.

p.27-29:  Honey meets Rose for the first time and reveals what happened to Roy, who is disguised as Rose.   Starts with

HONEY

One two three. One two three. One two three.

and ends with

HONEY

I’m sorry Rose, you seem really nice and all but you’ve got a mouth as dirty as a sailor and it makes me kind of uncomfortable—being a dweeb and all—so I’m gonna go now.

p.66-68:  Hoyt confronts Libby about her anorexia and confesses that he still loves her even though she’s now dating Costen.   Starts with

LIBBY

Is she crazy?

and ends with

LIBBY

I like being light, Hoyt. I want to be lighter. I want to be so light I could step into the air if I were ever in trouble and fly away.

p.69-73:  Roy confronts Badger in the Boys Locker Room and tries to get Badger to admit that he loves him and wants to be with him as a gay man instead of marrying his sister, Gretchen, and living a lie.  Starts with

BADGER

Maggot, maggots, maggots.

and ends with

BADGER

My locker is number 27 if you need some clothes. Please—don’t follow me.

 

 

 

 

The Bad Guys – Alena Smith

badguys

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

Original Cast:

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

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

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

 

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

Language:  Contemporary

FINK

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

Genre/Style:  Serio-comedic

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

 

Representative Monologues:  Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.

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

JESSE    

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

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

WHIT

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

 

 

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

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

NOAH

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

and ends with

NOAH

Yeah, I’m working on losing them.

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

PAUL

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

and ends with

FINK

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

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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.

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.

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.