The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity – Kristoffer Diaz

diazWas first produced by Victory Garden in Chicago, IL. on September 25, 2009.  Subsequently produced by 2econd Stage Theatre in New York City, May 20, 2010.  The play was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

Original Cast:

Vigneshwar Paduar                                    Usman Ally
Chad Deity                                                   Lamal Angelo Bolden
Macedonio Guerra                                     Desmin Borges
Everett K. Olson/Ring Announcer           James Krag
Joe Jabroni/Bill Heartland/Old Glory       Christian Litke

Vigneshwar Paduar (also known as VP) – A young Indian-American Brooklynite. Charismatic, natural, effortless.

Chad Deity (also known as Chad Deity) – The African-American champion of THE Wrestling. Confident, handsome, not a very good wrestler.

Macedonio Guerra (also known as The Mace) – A Puerto Rican professional wrestler. Good at what he does, undersized, our hero.

Everett K. Olson (also known as EKO) – The Caucasian owner of THE Wrestling. Brash, confident, ostensibly our villain.

The Bad Guy – A nondescript professional wrestler (non-speaking; also plays Billy Heartland  and Old Glory.)

Director:  Edward Torres
Scenic Design:  Brian Sidney Bembridge
Costume Design:  Christine Pascual
Lighting Design:  Jessie Klug
Sound Design:  Mikhail Fiskel
Projections:  John Boesche
Properties Design:  D.J. Reed
Fight Director:  David Wooley
Stage Manager:  Tina M. Jach
Dramaturg:  Erica L. Weiss


Publication:
  Diaz, Kristoffer. The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Samuel French, 2011. Drama Library PS3604. I182 E43 2011.

Setting:  A wrestling ring

Language:  Contemporary with street-wise poetic bent

VP

Motherfucker, you step on my sneakers again and I will fuck your ass up.

Me and my whole country got the capabilities.

Long-range nuclear missile status, doggy.

We the new Superpower.

We make your Jordans, train your doctors, AND help desk your ass when your Mac breaks down.

New Superpower, suckas. Get your ass up off my street with that shit.

(back to the phone)

Nah, pero Mamita, oye what I’m saying about India:  Kama. Sutra.

Genre/Style:  Comedy.  Unlike most theatrical comedies, this one actually made me laugh, maybe because I watched The Wrestling when I was a kid (and, yes, we called it The Wrestling) and know who Jimmy “The Superfly” Snuka, Ricky Steamboat, and Ric Flair are.

Plot:  The wonderful world of THE Wrestling, where a Puerto-Rican professional wrestler whose specialty is losing to the talent recruits an Indian-American kid to battle Chad Deity, the African-American champion of THE Wrestling.

 

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.31-32:  Eko, Mace, and VP discussing VP’s and Mace’s wrestling promo to promote The Fundamentalist and Che Chavez Castro, their new wrestling identities.  Chad Deity appears with a loaf of raisin bread.  [VP’s line can be cut.] 

CHAD DEITY

The government demands that there be a minimum number of raisins in raisin bread.

(all eyes on CHAD DEITY)

It’s true. Says so right here on the back of The Champ’s bag of raisin bread.

[VP

You know, we’re actually in the middle of something—]

 CHAD DEITY

[Don’t worry—you’re not bothering The Champ.]

You see, brother, most people find the government’s involvement in raisin bread allotment kind of ridiculous. But not Chad Deity, no way, baby. Chad Deity knows that it is not ridiculous. [Lines cut]

And you, Mace, of all people in this room, should understand the American Dream, particularly as relates to raisin bread, because your people fought, and protested, and boycotted for the right to pick grapes.

p.15:  Mace is explaining the popularity of Chad Deity’s powerbomb move.

MACE

People love the powerbomb. They love the power, the beauty, the implausibility of it. People know that the powerbomb requires me and The Champ to unite to make it look like he’s murdering me., when in actuality I’m doing what I can to make him look like the all-world fighting machine he’s made out to be, and he’s doing what he can with his limited capability to make sure I don’t break my neck, and so at the bottom of what we’re doing is we’re both trying to ensure that neither one of us gets hurt. That fact is is powerful and beautiful and, like I said, one of the most profound expressions of the ideals of this nation.

p.34:  VP trash-talking Chad Deity

VP

We got a Black world champion and he’s rich and he God Blesses America, and he talks vociferous and he’s non-threatening unless you yourself are a threat to that which he God Blesses, and you ain’t a threat because you’re physically imposing or because you might pull off your fucking dashiki—or whatever the fuck you terrorist types wear—and bomb an arena full of God-fearing, Chad Deity-fearing, tax-paying, ticket-buying Americans, but you’re a threat because Chad Deity drew a fucking line in the sand and instead of stepping over that line so Chad Deity could pick you up, powerbomb you, pin you,, you held your ground and didn’t speak and dared that dude to meet you on your side of his stupid fucking line of fiction.

 

Representative Scenes:  (Note:  This play has a number of three-person appropriate scenes as well as the two-person scene below.)

p.12-13: Mace explains why Chad Deity is the most popular wrestler on The Wrestling. Starts with  

MACE

Here are the facts about Chad Deity, organized in handy numbered outline form.  Number one:  Chad Deity is extremely muscular

and ends with

CHAD DEITY

Not even remotely important!

 

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

Brantley, B. (2010, May 21). Body slam to the american dream. New York Times. (Review of Second Stage production)

Lemon, B. (2010). The elaborate entrance of chad deity, second stage, new york. FT.Com (Review of Second Stage production)

McNULTY, C. (2011, Sep 09). THEATER REVIEW; ‘chad’ is ready to rumble. Los Angeles Times. (Review of Geffen Playhouse production in Los Angeles)

Preston, R. (2010, Apr 12). “Chad deity:” A body slam from the gods: “the elaborate entrance of chad deity” at mixed blood is rock-’em-sock-’em theater, with insight into cultural stereotypes. McClatchy – Tribune Business News. (Review of the Mixed Blood Theatre production)

Royce, G. (2010, Apr 08). From the wrestling ring to the stage: “chad deity” looks at geopolitics and stereotypes through the lens of professional wrestling. McClatchy – Tribune Business News. (Review of the Mixed Blood Theatre production)

Vincentelli, E. (2010, May 21). WHOMP! OOF! WRESTLING PLAY PACKS A PUNCH. New York Post. (Review of Second Stage production)