Premiered Off-Broadway at Women’s Project in April 2008; first performed in a workshop production at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2004.
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
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.
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.)
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?
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.)
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.
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..
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
Does it hurt?
and ends with
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
Are you ready now?
and ends with
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
and ends with
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
I thought the wine was supposed to turn into blood.
and ends with
I think he definitely might.