Potluck

 

T H I S    W E E K

WATERSLIDES IN AUXILIARY HOSPITAL WASHROOM by Daniel Thompson

 

FIVE: 50 Plays That Should NEVER Be Performed

42. An endurance piece for girls like me

This piece can span anywhere from an hour to a lifetime

 *                *                *

A GIRL stands in regular clothing on stage

 PUMP UP music

A ritual

 

I.

GIRL takes off her clothing while doing a private dance.

GIRL puts on a pair of GOING OUT pants

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL puts on a CASUAL shirt to offset the GOING OUT pants

GIRL strikes a pose that suits the personality of this outfit.

GIRL imagines the persona that fits this outfit: this is the part that can take a while.

What is THIS girl named? What kind of apartment does THIS girl live in? Does THIS girl have friends over for wine? Or no, for beer? Or no, for sake? Friends with names like Constantine? Does THIS girl go dancing? Does THIS girl eat meat? How does THIS girl walk? How does THIS girl talk?

GIRL:
(Trying on the persona)
I was gonna just go smoke outside, you wanna…?

GIRL nods

Finally, GIRL does the squat test (squats to see if the pants allow for squatting)

The pants do NOT pass the squat test

GIRL takes off the pants

GIRL changes the song

 

II.

GIRL puts on OTHER PANTS

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL imagines the persona that fits this outfit:

What is THIS girl named? What kind of apartment does THIS girl live in? Can THIS girl name all the presidents? Does THIS girl drive a stick-shift? Can THIS girl be trusted to water the plants, feed the dog, run the business? What kind of drink does THIS girl drink?

GIRL:
I’m gonna get a beer you wanna…

GIRL squints

GIRL holds up the fabric of her shirt against the fabric of the pants

They are exactly the same color

:/

GIRL takes off the pants

GIRL changes the song

 

III.

It has come to this

GIRL puts on a skirt

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL imagines the persona that fits this outfit:

What is THIS girl named? What kind of apartment does THIS girl live in? Or wait does THIS girl live in a house? Yeah does THIS girl live in a house with a porch? Does THIS girl know homeopathic remedies and eat snacks out of plastic bags from her backpack? Does THIS girl make homemade wine? Does THIS girl stay up all night doing drugs in the woods with friends?

GIRL:
You know what, I never listen to messages on my phone, ha.

GIRL nods

GIRL does the BICYCLE TEST (spreading her legs, pretending to be on a bicycle)

The skirt passes the BICYCLE TEST

Something is wrong

GIRL looks at herself

It’s the shirt. The shirt is the problem.

GIRL takes off the shirt.

No, everything is the problem.

GIRL takes off the skirt

GIRL changes the song.

 

IV.

GIRL very warily puts on a dress

GIRL imagines the persona that fits this outfit:

GIRL cannot even bear to do another exercise

GIRL does the POCKET TEST

The dress passes the POCKET TEST (it has pockets)

GIRL nods

OKAY

 

V.

GIRL puts on makeup

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL:
(Softly)

Oh no no no.

GIRL washes off make-up

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL picks pieces of tissue out of her eyebrows

There are wet stains all over her dress now

Now it looks like she has been lactating

GIRL changes the song

 

VI.

GIRL looks at her ORIGINAL regular clothes

GIRL puts her regular clothing back on

GIRL looks at herself

GIRL imagines the persona that fits this outfit:

 This one is really difficult

 

 

After however long it takes

GIRL takes a deep breath, nods

A happy, wholesome self-loving ending!

 

VII.

GIRL heads out the door, confident!

Just when it seems everything is over:


GIRL comes back a few seconds later, remembering to turn off the pump up music

Then, when it seems everything is REALLY over

GIRL darts back in, rapidly changes her entire outfit, and heads back out the door

It LOOKS TERRIBLE. A decision anyone would regret.

 

BLACKOUT
 

 

45. A Play for children seeing a play for the first time

I.
A pizza party so that no one is hungry

II.
Half hip people wearing STREET clothing
Half Shakespeare people wearing INSANE clothing
Everyone makes a really cool beat using everyday objects (like STOMP) and also curious Elizabethan objects (like SHAKESPEARE) the audience clapping along

III.

A dance battle between the hip street people and the Shakespeare people

BATHROOM BREAK

 IV.

All the best theater magic:

A trap door
A stabbing through the heart
A floating person
Fake snow falling from the sky

V.

A big, wet smooch
 


Talkback discussion:

Whose costume do you want to try on?
Does the idea of being on stage scare you? Excite you?
Right now, are you feeling very civilized or more like an animal?

If you could put anything on a pizza, what would you pick?

 

 

 

 

Rachel Kauder Nalebuff is a playwright and the co-editor of The Feminist Utopia Project (Feminist Press, October 2015).