Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Playwright Portrait, Gary Sunshine, Excerpt from Good Deeds for a Weary World


The Playwright Gary Sunshine, 2006
pswb©2011



GOOD DEEDS FOR A WEARY WORLD

MIKEY, standing next to the destroyed flame broiler, speaks to THE EMPLOYEE.

MIKEY
The flame broiler.
It's the heart of this.
The heart.
Maybe you could have done something.
Cause did you HEAR IT? HUH? Squeaking or grinding or.
Did you ask, like, did you say ¡Hola¡, Flame Broiler, how can I help you? Cause we all need you to suck the fat and the gristle and the sores out of the patties and leave nothing but the taste behind?
You could have asked, Can I restart you? Or grease you up? Reposition the element? Jigger your chains? Can I cool you down, is that it, are you overheated from all the hard work you've done for us? What can I do, Flame Broiler, you could have asked this in my absence, you could have gently asked the machine, YOU COULD HAVE ASKED!
But I'm sorry.
I'm out of line.
I've got a lot.
There's a lot.
Did a piece of your brain die?
Did the fence rip through your scalp when you crawled into this country?
Were you brilliant before?
Were you beautiful before?
Did you deteriorate?
Because you didn't tell me. When I hired you. You never said. You didn't say that was your plan.
To deteriorate.
Nobody ever says.
You understand, though. I'm going to have to.
EMPLOYEE
Fire me?
MIKEY
Kill you. No. I meant. Lay you off. Cause there’s no work.

FROM THIS JOAN by Gary Sunshine

JOAN
Adrienne’s teaching me to be guiltless.
HOWIE
A little guilt never hurt anybody.
JOAN
And frank.
HOWIE
Which I find to be very sexy.
JOAN
And liberal.
HOWIE
Oh how unique, a liberal Jew from New York--
JOAN
--I was completely dependent on my husband for everything but money and I refuse to get into that situation again--
HOWIE
--Your husband’s dead, dear. (Beat.) Look. I know what it’s like for you. I can see. Down here, older. By yourself. You feel like no matter where you go, you never leave any footprints. You’re still alive but there’s hardly any trace of you. But I could be your footprints, Joan. Let me change the way you walk on this earth.

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