Creed Bowlen and Nicole Sciacca as Frank and Alex in the premiere production

World premiere sold out one day after tickets went on sale!It's been described as the perfect play for a theatre with talented young actors and limited resources -- because it has four challenging roles, a lot of big ideas, and one simple set. The healthy mixture of comedy and tragedy only adds to the play's appeal.

Simply put, it's about four gifted college students who compete in a contest of intellect, with high-paying jobs as the prize. But in the process of answering the contest's probing questions, the four friends quickly find themselves at each other's throats and in each other's beds...

Mary Elizabeth McCown as Maria in the premiere productionAdam Fox as Gregorio gives his impression of a gargoyle

The show had its world premiere in April 2000 in the Odess Theatre at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, under the guidance of internationally renowned director Karma Ibsen. The cast featured four of Theatre UAB's most talented performers and a clever use of scenic materials by designer Kelly Allison.

The response was powerful and immediate -- word-of-mouth from the first performance drove audience members to the box office, where the rest of the week's run was quickly sold out.

Because this was a premiere, the audience was given response cards on which they were encouraged to write comments about the new play. Here are few typical samples of their response:

"Seems to me every university theatre in America should be doing this play."

"I came to the show on Tuesday night because it was a class requirement. But on Saturday night I came back to see it again."

"This play has changed my life. I never thought I'd say that about a play I saw in college, but it's true -- now I have to rethink everything I learned in school."

"WOW! I loved every syllable. It is intelligent with sex and violence as an added attraction. Enticingly unpredictable!"

"This is my favorite show at UAB -- ever."

"I like that it's funny in parts and so serious in other parts. It really covers a lot of ground!"

"MAYFLIESFAST is downright subversive -- and I mean that in a good way."

And this from Ann Reynolds, then the President of UAB:

"My husband, Tom Kirschbaum, and I greatly enjoyed MAYFLIESFAST. The production was well-paced and quite riveting. Tom thought the dialogue brought to mind the plays of Stoppard. This play should have 'good legs' and a real future ..."

 

GREGORIO
No, wait, so we're born wanting to be fed when we're hungry -- what's wrong with that?

ALEX
When we're born, we demand what we want -- we scream for it! Because our fundamental programming informs us that we are entitled to what we want! THAT'S total selfishness, THAT'S our nature, THAT'S the bottom-line essence of the HUMAN ANIMAL!

GREGORIO
Okay -- don't -- don't --

ALEX
I'm not! I'm just explaining to Pollyanna here that being a cute chubby li'l baby doesn't make you an angel.

Nicole Sciacca and Adam Fox in the premiere production

MARIA
I just don't think it's right to use that ... that theory as an excuse to say "everybody's evil."

ALEX
And nobody's asking you!

GREGORIO
Alex!

MARIA
No, let me ask y'all-- do any of y'all really care about these things they're asking about? Because I thought --

ALEX
Oh, this should be fascinating. What did you think?

MARIA
I thought the point of this whole thing was to get together the smartest people in one of the best schools and have a -- an intelligent exchange of ideas about the big questions of life and come up with some ANSWERS!

FRANK
Maria -- these are questions that have been pondered for centuries. No one has answers to them.

MARIA
So maybe you'll be the ones who --

ALEX
No! The contest is not being judged by professors from the philosophy department! These are corporate headhunters! These are guys from -- Frank, did you not tell her ANY of this?

FRANK
I did. I'm not certain she --

MARIA
I understood it, I just ... I thought what you really wanted was to answer the questions.

FRANK
These judges represent the biggest and most powerful corporate entities in the world. And they use the university Scholar's Challenge events to find exceptional people capable of innovation and persuasion --

GREGORIO
Is that what they're after?

ALEX
Yes!

GREGORIO
No wonder I've been losing every day.

ALEX
That is the TRUTH, Greg! You have not applied your considerable gifts to this at all. If you put forth one ... scintilla of the effort required --

GREGORIO
Wait, doesn't a scintilla have real soft fur like a mink? I think my grandma had a coat made of scintilla.

MARIA
So Greg wasn't kidding. This whole thing really is just one big giant huge job interview.

ALEX
Oh my God. Somebody please --

FRANK
Maria -- go wait in the car.

MARIA
Wh -- are we leaving?

FRANK
Shortly. Meanwhile -- go to the car. Please.

Maria leaves.

GREGORIO
Wow, and she just goes? Just like that? I mean, I know it is absolutely no business of mine, but, man --

ALEX
Gregorio. Go to your room.

GREGORIO
Oh. Right. Thanks, sweetie. Thanks for backing me up on this.

 

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