Thursday, December 29, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Daniel Talbott, Excerpt from Slipping



Daniel Talbott,
Playwright, Actor, Dramaturge,
2006,
pswb©2011

SLIPPING
by Daniel Talbott

ELI
I loved him.
………
Short silence.
When we did.
When it felt right.
Sometimes.
The few times.
Beat.
It felt like kids. Like little kids.
Like eating dog food or stealing shit from a store.
Silence.
I’d think about him.
I’d think about the ocean.
About the sun.
His skin.
Surfing.
Changing behind the passenger door of his car.
Stuffing himself inside his wet suit.
His navel. His abs.
Beat.
I’d think about sharks.
The water.
How deep it was.
I’d imagined cuts all on his body.
Him swimming out to sea…
Confident.
Secure.
Cocky.
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.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Playwright Portrait, Martin Epstein, Excerpt from Vera Similitude


Martin Epstein,
Playwright and Master Teacher, 2006



VERA SIMILITUDE

SCENE: OUTSIDE A CLOSED SAN FRANCISCO MOVIE THEATRE SHOWING A HITCHCOCK RETROSPECTIVE. IT IS 2 AM. VERA, A HUNGARIAN GIRL-WOMAN IN A RAINCOAT DROPS TO HER KNEES AND KISSES THE PAVEMENT.

VERA:
(FACING THE HOUSE)
Cinema is the true religion of everyone I know. Regardless of how we were raised, or what we profess ourselves to be, the gods we love the most and would die for are all movie stars. If you think I'm joking, try to go three days without talking about movies. If anyone else brings the subject up, keep absolutely silent. If they persist, walk away. But prepare to be ostracized like a bad odor. I tried it once. Two days later, I was ready for the loony bin. (SHE KISSES PAVEMENT AGAIN, AS A FIGURE IN A BLACK SKY MASK ENTERS BEHIND HER) And this is why, my first day on American soil, I take this special moment to pay tribute to the star-spangled universe of celluloid bandits who stole my heart and kept it from despair through so many difficult years. Katherine Hepburn and company, god bless you. And thank you, America, for putting the idea in my head that the great adventure in this life is to find that special someone you can go to the movies with! Not just once, but over and over and over again, regardless of what's playing! (THE MASK ADVANCES) Yes, I'm talking to you, Mr. Mystery Man! (MASK STOPS) My shy, as yet invisible moving going pal--You jumbo jet sized egotist, who long long ago roared into my life and made yourself the absent center of all my sweetest dreams...(MASK ADVANCES) Shame on you! (MASK STOPS) Shame O shame for making we wait so long! (MASK ADVANCES) Shame for making me waste my time with incompetent boys from 17 different countries before I realized you just had to be an American guy! (MASK ADVANCES) Shame most of all for still keeping yourself hidden when I've practically thrown myself at your feet! (MASK ADVANCES) But be forewarned, Sir. When you finally choose to make yourself known, I'm going to punish you, and how! Even if you turn out to be as gorgeous as the Marlboro Man and twice as rich, you're going to pay for every second you kept me waiting. For every second you kept me waiting, I'm going to drag you deeper and deeper down, until you've gorged yourself on the pleasures of the damned! (THE MASK GRABS HER HAIR, PULLING HER HEAD BACK. IN HIS OTHER HAND, AN OPEN RAZOR) Stop!