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Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Playwright Portrait, Daniel Talbott 2006, Excerpt from Slipping, x

Playwright Portrait, Daniel Talbott, 2006,
Excerpt from Slipping

I loved him.
Short silence.
When we did.
When it felt right.
The few times.
It felt like kids. Like little kids.
Like eating dog food or stealing shit from a store.
I’d think about him.
I’d think about the ocean.
About the sun.
His skin.
Changing behind the passenger door of his car.
Stuffing himself inside his wet suit.
His navel. His abs.
I’d think about sharks.
The water.
How deep it was.
I’d imagined cuts all on his body.
Him swimming out to sea…
His blood mixing with the salt and the tide.
Short silence.
I’d think of a shark falling in love with him the way I did.
His body. His blood.
Short pause.
I’d listen to it devour him.
His screams being sucked up into the surf and air.
Sinking together. To the bottom.
Into the darkness.
Short pause.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Playwright Portrait, Lynn Nottage, Excerpt from Ruined

Playwright Lynn Nottage, 2010

He called me a filthy dog, and said I tempted them. Why else would it happen? Five months in the bush, passed between the soldiers like a washrag. Used. I was made poison by their fingers, that is what he said. He had no choice but to turn away
Do you know what I was doing on that morning?
I was working in our garden picking the last of the sweet tomatoes. I put Beatrice down in the shade of a Frangipani tree, because my back was giving me some trouble. Forgiven? Where was Fortune? He was in town fetching a new iron pot.
"Go," I said "Go, today man or you won't have dinner tonight!" I had been after him for a new pot for a month. And finally on that day the damn man had to go and get it. A new pot. The sun was about to crest, but I had to put in another hour before it got too hot. It was such a clear and open sky. This splendid bird, a peacock had come into the garden to taunt me, and was showing off its feathers. I stooped down and called to the bird. "Wssht, Wssht." And I felt a shadow cut across my back, and when I stood four men were there over me, smiling, wicked schoolboy smiles. "Yes?" I said. And the tall soldier slammed the butt of his gun into my cheek. Just like that. It was so quick; I didn't even know I'd fallen to the ground. Where did they come from? How could I not have heard them?
One of the soldiers held me down with his foot. He was so heavy, thick like an ox and his boot was cracked and weathered like it had been left out in the rain for weeks. His boot was pressing my chest and the cracks in the leather had the look of drying sorghum. His foot was so heavy and it was all I could see, as the others..."took" me. My baby was crying. She was a good baby. Beatrice never cried, but she was crying, screaming. "Shhh" I said. "Shhh." And right then...
(A moment)
A soldier stomped on her head with his boot. And she was quiet.
(A moment. Salima releases-)
Where was everybody? WHERE WAS EVERYBODY?!

Monday, May 28, 2018

Playwright Portrait, Jean Reynolds 2006, Excerpt from Dance With Me, x

The Playwright Jean Reynolds, 2006

Dance With Me
by Jean Reynolds

(Ruth and Grace drink tea)
It was on our honeymoon.
(RAY enters during speech)
Raymond and I were at a small hotel on a point overlooking a lake. One night there was a gathering. A crowded room. I was by a window looking out into the night. I saw the room reflected in the window. A woman watched me. I had seen her on other evenings playing cards. I watched her watching me. I was afraid to turn around, afraid to see, afraid of what she would see. She crossed the room and stood behind me. Our eyes met in the glass, caught. She whispered something. Her breath was warm. It was a foreign country.

What foreign country?
(He waits for an answer)
What foreign country?


What are you up to?

Up to?


Talking. Ah, talking. I envy you. Women know how to talk to each other.

Sunday, May 27, 2018

Playwright Portrait, Neil LaBute, Excerpt from The Mercy Seatx

click to enlarge
The Playwright Neil LaBute, 2008
with Edwin Booth as Hamlet
©pswb 2010

The Mercy Seat

Ben Harcourt: Jesus…you think I was born this way, like some cut-throat pirate of the high seas? Huh? Hell, I’m just trying to muddle through, that’s all, just muddle my fucking way through to middle age, see if I can make it that far. You like trivia so goddamn much, well here’s a little tidbit for ya…I’m faking it. Okay? Totally getting by on fumes. I put my game face on and go out there and I’m scared shitless. (BEAT) I’ve screwed up every step of my life, Abby, I’m not afraid to admit it. Happy to, actually, I am happy to sing it out there for anybody who wants to hear. I always take the easy route, do it faster, simpler, you know, whatever it takes to get it done, be liked, get by. That’s me. Cheated in school, screwed over my friends, took whatever I could get from whomever I could take it from. My marriage, there’s a goddamn fiasco, of which you’re intimately aware. The kids…I barely register as a dad, I’m sure, but compared to the other shit in my life, I’m Doctor-fucking-Spock. No matter what I do or have done, they adore the hell out of me and I’m totally knocked out by that. What kids are like. Yeah… (BEAT) And you, let’s not forget you. Us. Okay, yes, I haven’t done all that I’ve promised, said I’d do, I fuck up along the way. Alright. But I’m trying, this time out--with you, I mean--I have been trying. Don’t know what it looks like, feels to you, but I have made a real go of us and that is not a lie. It isn’t. And sothen, yesterday--through all the smoke and fear and just, I dunno, apocalyptic shit--I see a way for us to go for it, to totally erase the past… (BEAT) And I don’t think it makes me Lucifer or acriminal or some bad man because I noticed it. I really don’t. We’ve been given something here, a chance to…I don’t know what, to wash away a lot of the, just, rotten crap we’ve done. More than anything else, ...that's what this is. a chance. I know it is.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Sunday, May 20, 2018

Playwright Christopher Shinn, 2018

click to enlarge
Playwright Christopher Shinn, 2018
Alvin Johnson/J.M. Kaplan Hall
The New School

Where Do We Live
by Christopher Shinn

Stephen:  And he said, “Ooh, you don’t want to be a caretaker.”
Patricia:  Oh.  Of course.
Stephen:  And I thought -- I mean, the guy’s missing a leg, what?…
Patricia:  Of course you did.
Stephen: And he knew the facts.
Patricia: What are the facts exactly?


Playwright Gracie Gardner, JACK, Brooklyn, 2018

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Playwright Gracie Gardner, 2018

by Gracie Gardner
produced by The Hearth
Director Emma Miller
Cast Julia Greer, Abby Awe and Eva Ravenal

My sister’s the DJ.

That’s so cool!

She sucks. I’m wearing her clothes. I hope she doesn’t see me.

I thought you hated music.

Sure but I love the vibe.

You love the VIBE!? What are you, forty years old?

Oh my god back off!

I think someone stepped on my toe. I think it’s ruined.

Don’t be classist -- this is general admission.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Playwright Abby Rosebrock, Ensemble Studio Theatre, 2018

Playwright Abby Rosebrock 2018
Ensemble Studio Theatre 

by Abby Rosebrock

I would like.
To make a world. 
With no battlefields...
No prisons, or hellscapes... 
Where everyone feels wholesome, and cherished. 
And safe. 
No matter what's happened... 
Our minds are on love... 
And nobody's trash. 

No exceptions.

Director: Mikhaela Mahony
featuring Curran Connor*, Dalia Davi, Layla Khosh, Dawn McGee*, & Abby Rosebrock
Scenic Designer: Angelica Borrero  |  Costume Designer: Audrey Nauman  |   Lighting Designer: Christina Watanabe  |  Sound Designer: Almeda Beynon  |  Stage Manager: Rachel Winfield  |  Assistant Stage Manager: Patricia L. Grabb    |  Assistant Director: Harrison Densmore