Lizards – Megan Mostyn-Brown

Originally produced at the University of Minnesota’s Guthrie Theatre on April 11, 2007.

 

Original Cast:

Victor Ricardo Vazquez
Jesse John Skelley
Phoebe Valeri Mudek
Ronnie Amanda Fuller
Sebastian Jake Ford
Mallory Caroline Cooney

 

Director:  Josh Hecht

 

Phoebe:  23, married, Valium addict, lost
Jesse:  23, Phoebe’s husband, passive aggressive, a fixer
Mallory:  26, shy, nervous, making a big change
Sebastian:  25, laid back, pothead, thinks he’s a loser
Ronnie:  25, Punk, sassy, former Jersey girl, in love with Sebastian
Victor:  28, nervous, sweet, making a big change

 

Publication:  Mostyn-Brown, Megan. Lizards. New York:  Samuel French, 2007. Drama Library Stacks PS3613. O788 L59 2007.

 

Setting:  Various locations in New York City and the Bronx

Language:  Contemporary

RONNIE

Yes but I don’t have a fancy pants art history degree. In fact I don’t have a degree at all. And for the record, nobody expected anything more from me than managing the Sunglass Hut at the Short Hills Mall. So really my situation is a big step up for my lack of education and trashy Jersey background.

Genre/Style:  Drama

Plot:   Phoebe was saved from a near-drowning by an acquaintance and has spiraled into a drug-aided depression, turning away from her husband Jesse and towards her rescuer Sebastian.  Victor loses his job as a science teacher and meets Mallory who has been contemplating taking a trip to Rio. Sebastian has broken up with his girlfriend and is unaware that his friend Ronnie suffers from an unrequited love for him. They all teeter on the brink of change, uncertain of the path they must take to find happiness and fulfillment. Will they, like some lizards, adapt to their surroundings? break off a symbolic tail to escape? or regenerate a lost limb in order to survive?

 

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.7-9:  Victor deals with his rowdy class, giving a talk on reptiles.  He discovers at the end of the lesson that the class gecko Jimmy is dead.  Starts with

VICTOR

Okay…okay settle down… I said settle down… yes Shanikwa I know it is hot I opened the windows that’s the best I can do… now everyone take out your notebooks and a pencil… Daytwon put away your makers and take out a pencil… a pencil Daytwon not a pen… thank you… now today we are going to continue our lesson on lizards… Yesterday we learned that lizards are what? Anyone? Anyone?

and ends with

VICTOR

Yes Stasia the Komodo dragon may attack people but there are none of them in the Bronx so you have nothing to worry about…now where was I? I don’t remember and we only have five minutes left so I’ll leave you with this lizards regenerate…

[lines cut]

Uggh…just…just draw in your notebooks until the music teacher arrives or something…Fredrick bring me Jimmy…no Jimmy the gecko…it’s time to feed him…he’s not what? He’s not moving?

p.31-32:  Sebastian visits Phoebe at her job at Whole Foods.  She asks him to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning.  Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Okay… ummm… It was cloudy so there was barely anyone at the beach. In fact we were going to go to Atlantic City instead but Ronnie really wanted to swim and it wasn’t training so we drove to Sea Isle. We stopped at that liquor store off the Parkway with that guy who looked like he was in ZZ Top. And when we got to the beach Victor mixed cocktails. [lines cut] Ronnie and Jesse stood up. And then I ran in. Swam and grabbed you from behind pulling you off of Victor. Holding you. The lifeguard was there too by that time. He gave you a paddle board and the four of us swam to shore. I helped you to the blanket while Victor threw up salt water and gin. Ronnie started crying and Jesse held you.

p.44-45:  Jesse confesses his fears about his wife Phoebe and talks about their honeymoon to Loch Ness.  Starts with

JESSE

She’s disappeared…not literally… I mean she’s still at home… a human being sitting there… but she’s gone… the Phoebe I knew is gone… inside I guess… I mean I look at her… into her fuckin’ eyes and there’s nothing there… I mean there’s something there but nothing I recognize… and I keep thinking about our honeymoon… [lines cut] anyway I guess I just keep hoping that happens with Phoebe, cuz she’s lost… and I can’t seem to find her there… in all that denseness beneath her eyes… and I hope whatever it is comes to the surface… I just want her to come to the surface…

p.46-47:  Sebastian calls his ex-girlfriend on the phone. Starts with

SEBASTIAN

Hey Sheryl… it’s me Sebastian… I know… I know you told me not to call you… which is probably why you’re not picking up… or maybe you’re not home… but I’d like to think that you are there sitting on your pink couch listening to this- Dammit.

[lines cut]

Me again… I think you’re answering machine is fucked- anyway what I want you to know is that I saved this this girl at the beach a few months ago… She was drowning and I swam out and I saved her… [lines cut] I’m not just a waste of space… and I just want you to think about that because I don’t think Phil the party promoter or whatever his fucking name is woulda done something like I did… cool… ummm call me back… Bye….

 

Representative Scenes: 

p.15-17: Mallory visits a travel agency to book a trip to Rio. Jesse tries to talk her out of buying a one-way ticket. Starts with

JESSE

Hello Ms. Daniels. I’m Jesse.

and ends with

MALLORY

Yeah.

p.31-35: Phoebe and Sebastian have been meeting to talk. During one of their talks, Phoebe asks Sebastian to tell her the story of how he saved her from drowning. After he tells her the story, Phoebe realizes that her husband didn’t try to save her from drowning but Sebastian did.  In her desperation, she decides to make a play for him. He tries to convince her that she has good things in her life and, in the end, rejects her.  Starts with

PHOEBE

(As if realizing it for the first time.) But he didn’t jump in.

and ends with

SEBASTIAN

Fuck me.

p.57-60: Phoebe and Jesse argue and festering resentments surface. Phoebe reveals her resentment of Jesse because he was always there when she wanted to do things on her own. She tells Jesse that she wants to end things between them. Then, despite that, she seems surprised when he tells her to go. Starts with

PHOEBE

I don’t want this anymore.

and ends with

JESSE

Try swimming. You seem to have luck figuring your life out there.

Privilege – Paul Weitz

privilege

Originally produced by the Second Stage Theatre in New York City, April 25, 2005.

Original Cast:

Porter (16)                                       Harry Zittel
Charlie (12)                                      Conor Donovan
Anna (early 40s)                               Carolyn McCormick
Erla (early 30s; Latina)                      Florencia Lozano
Ted (mid 40s)                                    Bob Saget

Director:  Peter Askin
Scenic Design:  Thomas Lynch
Costume Design:  Jeff Mahshie
Lighting Design:  Jeff Croiter
Original Music and Sound Design:  Lewis Flinn
Stage Managers:  Gerald Cosgrove and Michael McGoff

Publication:  Weitz, Paul. Privilege. Dramatists Play Service, 2006. Drama Library PS3573. E4314 P75 2006.

Setting:  An expensive Upper East side apartment, New York City, and a modest apartment on the Upper West Side, New York City, 1987.

Language:  Contemporary

PORTER

It’s my room and I’ll fart if I want to. (Sings.) It’s my party and I’ll fart if I want to, fart if I want to, fart if I want to…

Genre/Style:  Comedy

Plot:  The lives of two teenagers on the Upper East Side change dramatically when their father is convicted of insider trading.

 

Representative Monologues:  All of the monologues in the play are under one minute.  (Mono­logues con­tain the first few lines and the last few lines; please con­sult the pub­lished text for the mono­logue in its entirety.)

p. 15:  Porter questions attending Brown University.

PORTER

What’s the big deal about Brown? What if I don’t want to go to Brown? What if I’d rather go to Apex Tech? What if I’d rather learn a valuable trade, like washing machine repair? [lines cut] Of course I’d have to change my name, you can’t have a doorman named “Porter.” I’d have to change it to “Joe”—or “Jimmy.”

p. 23:  Charlie writes a letter to the Times.

CHARLIE

So I think I should write a letter to the Times. You want to hear my first draft? (Charlie takes out a piece of paper and reads.) “In this land, we are innocent until proven guilty. Our forefathers fought for various rights, such as that of a man’s innocence until guilt is proven. [Lines cut] I guess I have to take out that last part. Well, what do you think?

p. 30:  Erla explains the reality of the boys’ new situation to them.

ERLA

No, Charlie, we’re not a team. You two are a team. [Lines cut] You have computer games, you have waterskis, you have servants. You have become accustomed to the idea of people serving you.

 

Representative Scenes:   The play is mostly made up of scenes between the two brothers so there are many scenes to choose from.

p. 5-6:  Charlie and Porter are supposed to be packing for Antigua and end the scene discussing farts. Starts with

CHARLIE

Oh God, I’m so bored.

and ends with

CHARLIE

If I showed you a ten, you would die immediately.

p. 21-22:  Porter and Charlie discover the extent of their father’s crimes in the New York Times. Starts with

PORTER

What? What about the Times?

and ends with

 PORTER

Yeah, it sort of does. “Assistant D.A. Theresa Novalis believes the government case is strong. ‘It’s about time,” she says, ‘that the party ended.’ “

 

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

Gluck, V. (2005). Privilege. Back Stage, 46(19), 40.

Isherwood, C. (2005, Apr 26). Daddy’s rich (mama’s good looking) and trouble’s an insider trade away. New York Times (1923-Current File), pp. 2.

Kershner, J. (2011, Feb 27). Review: Clunky at times, but a rich story is told in ‘privilege’. McClatchy – Tribune Business News.

Pincus-Roth, Z. (2005). Paul pushes play on ‘Privilege’. Daily Variety, 287(19), 27.

Rizzo, F. (2005). Privilege. Variety, 398(11), 74.

Stevens, A. (2005, May 06). Conor donovan and harry zittel. New York Times, pp. 0-24.

Wolfe, A. (2005). Money changes everything. New York, 38(16), 73-74.

After. – Chad Beckim

after

First produced by the Partial Comfort Productions at The Wild Project in New York, September 2011.

Original Cast:

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

Language:  Contemporary

WARREN

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. 

SUSIE

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.

WARREN

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?

[Lines cut]

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.

WARREN

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.]

MONTY

Ripley was a good dog, man.

[CHAP

She was.]

MONTY

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.

[Lines cut.]

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 them.

Fuck the dude that killed my dog.

And fuck Laura Miller.

(A long beat. He turns to the window.)

Show yourself out, man.

 

Representative Scenes:  

p. 39-41:  Monty confesses to Susie why he’s never asked a girl out or gone shopping or tied a tie.  Starts with

MONTY

I lied to you.

and ends with

SUSIE

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

CHAP

You’re sleepwalking?

and ends with

CHAP

I know.

 

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.

 

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)