Monday, November 29, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Kirk Wood Bromley, Excerpt from The Welcome Mask




The Playwright Kirk Wood Bromley, 2008
©pswbell 2010

 
The Welcome Mask

one of three plays in the trilogy, Three Dollar Bill – Plays on Being Queer and Conservative


Mom- Hi, son.
Son- Hi, mom.
Dad- Don’t you see, mother?
Mom- See what?
Dad- On his face?
Mom- I see nothing on his face.
Dad- Tell her what it is, son.
Mom- No! Let me guess. A carpeted jellyfish.
Dad- Can’t you see the mucous mysteries,
The bleak expositorial crevace,
The impractical tools, the fluffy wibbles?
Mom- A watermelon raised by wolves?
Dad- Can’t you see the plaguey clitoral hood?
Mom- The pancreas of an inside-out barber?
Son- It’s a vagina, mom.
Mom- Is it really?
I can’t say I’ve ever seen one of those.
Dad- Now you can, cuz it’s right there on his face!
Mom- It’s not as blurry as I’d pictured it.
Son- I got it from this goofy dude who lives
In a fit of grief.
Mom- Is the vaginamum
Related to the chrysanthemum?
Son- It’s a sex organ, mom.
Mom- What, like a piano
That gets softer the harder you pound it?

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Caridad Svich, Excerpt from Iphigenia Crash Land...


The Playwright Caridad Svich. 2009
©pswb2010

Iphigenia Crash Land Falls on the Neon Shell That Was Once Her Heart (a rave fable)

 
Iphigenia:
"Crash. Everything part of me is breaking. But I'm all right. Give me your hands, Cause you're wonderful."


Sunday, November 21, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Arthur Kopit, Excerpt from Wings


The Playwright Arthur Kopit, 2008

Wings
 


MRS. STILSON
 
... all around faces of which nothing known no sense ever all wiped out blank like ice I think saw it once flying over something some place all was white sky and sea clouds ice almost crashed couldn't tell where I was heading right side up topsy-turvy under over I was flying actually if I can I do yes do recall was upside down can you believe it almost scraped my head on the ice caps couldn't tell which way was up wasn't even dizzy strange things happen to me that they do!

What's my name? I don't know my name!

Where's my arm? I don't have an arm!

What's an arm?

AB—ABC—ABC123DE451212 what? 12345678972357 better yes no problem I'm okay, soon be out, soon be over storm … will pass I'm sure.

Always has.

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Monday, November 15, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Tony Kushner, Excerpt from Hydriotaphia



The Playwright Tony Kushner, 2010
©pswb 2010

Photographed at the Great Hall at Cooper Union at the podium where Abraham Lincoln delivered The Cooper Union Speech on February 27, 1860


From Act IV of Hydriotaphia, or The Death of Dr. Browne




DR. BROWNE (Glaring at Pumpkin,trying to make him squirm:)

I want to be buried deep. Very deep but...not too deep. Apart from the mob, but not in a lonely place. Avoid the usual cliches, no willow trees, though I’d like a view, for summer evenings. No pine box. Flimsy. Use that urne. Toss out the previous occupant, or better yet, throw me in there with him and let us mingle. (Little pause) No markers, or, well, maybe just a little unpretentious stone. Maybe... “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, scientist.” “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, who made his wife miserable.” “Here lies Sir Thomas Browne, no grandchildren ... BUT A GENIUS! SHAKESPEARE HAD NOTHING ON HIM!” (He is now bellowing at Pumpkin with wild hatred and immense pride:) Or maybe an obelisk! Or a pyramid! A pyre! A sea-burial, or...
GET OUT OF HERE!

PUMPKIN
I han’t following dis, Dr. Browne.

DR. BROWNE (Great delirious newfound certainty!)
I don’t need you, wretch! I’M NOT GOING TO DIE. It isn’t... conceivable! I can’t ... IMAGINE it.
IF I DIE... THE WORLD ENDS! And... (The certainty is dissipating, the hatred of Pumpkin remains:) And we’ll have no need of gravediggers then.

PUMPKIN
Ef dat happens, Dr. Browne, I findet another job.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Playwright Portrait, Neil LaBute, Excerpt from The Mercy Seat




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 so then, 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 a criminal 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.