39 Plays that Should Not Be Performed
A collection of short plays, 2016
For about a year, whenever I had down time, I would write a short unproduceable play. I was coming to terms with being an experimental playwright and the reality that most experimental plays are never produced and that a life of unproduced work, therefore, was the life I had chosen. I was feeling pretty teenage about it and decided that if my plays weren’t going to be staged, then I should at least write more recklessly, with a total disregard for logistics.
I wrote one play meant to be performed exclusively for an audience of men named Frank. I wrote another one that required the most beautiful actress in the city to cut off all her hair on stage, every night. I wrote a tragedy starring a potted plant and a series of melodramas about my actual ex boyfriend without any attempt to mask the real details of our lives. All of these ideas were too cruel or unnecessary or too personal to stage and so not staging them was a source of relief and so I was constantly feeling relieved. Eventually I had 39.
Sometimes, people ask me if they can direct these but staging really is besides the point. I do enjoy sharing the texts.
Here is one below:
A SCIENTIST walks amongst the audience, carrying a clipboard, surveying everyone’s boobs.
Audience member by audience member, the SCIENTIST glances at everyone’s chest
and notes their boob size out loud using the size chart below
This should feel entirely matter-of-fact (as if noting eye color)
If anyone seems offended, the SCIENTIST must reassure them e.g. exclaiming
“Oh I love French apricots! Don’t we all!,” encouraging everyone in the audience to murmur in agreement.
Extra teeny: peas
Teeny: French apricots
Extra small: potatoes
Small: bunched-up gloves
Small-medium: little fists
Medium-big: chinese take-out containers
Really big: cabbages
Even bigger: heads
After recording the data for all the boobs (note: one person may have two data points)
the SCIENTIST returns to the stage.
(Looking out at the audience)
I would like to welcome one person
from each category
to please join me here on stage.
Starting with peas and French apricots on this side
and the cabbages and heads on the other.
A person from each group steps forward and onto the stage, forming a long row.
The SCIENTIST finds her proper spot in the line.
Ah. I believe I belong here—
right between the (fruit to her left) and the (fruit to her right).
We are going to create a powerful wave.
So powerful it may, as I have evidence to believe,
break through a sound barrier heretofore unreached by man.
Starting with the peas, French apricots, and potatoes
we will go in order.
She demonstrates by lifting and dropping her own breasts.
Suddenly, a dramatic and ethereal musical scale, which accompanies
THE BOOB WAVE
This happens several times, back and forth,
until the great awakening is achieved.