I wrote this a tthe time of "Operation Iraqi Freedom," when many people in America were debating the limits of free speech during a time of war. The idea of writing it as a bogus Elizabethan verse play was simply to take the audience out of 21st-Century America so a larger, more universal issue could be addressed. I will always be indebted to Joel Helms, Mike Hicks, and Mark Wells for tackling this challenging script the first time.
The difference in viewpoints between these two young men escalates until they have drawn their swords and are slashing at each other. (Spoiler: It ends the way you might expect.)
The play has been performed several times in my home town since, with some intriguing responses. Many people feel strongly that it advocates one point of view, while others think it argues successfully for the opposing view. I couldn't be happier with this result! Engaging people's interest and intellect is much more interesting to me than bombarding them with my opinions.
A nice opportunity for two actors who specialize in silent expression! A pair of maintenance workers listen in escalating astonishment as their employers complain about how difficult their own lives are and how hard they work.
I imagine we've all felt like them at one time or another. In fact, this play's dialogue comes -- almost word-for-word -- from a conversation two of my employers held within my hearing at one of the temp jobs I did as a young man.
Once you've read the play you'll understand why I hasten to add that I did NOT respond the way the maintenance people in this play do.
I may have thought about it, but I didn't do it.
It's a little morality play, with a sobering question at the end.
Two desperate radicals in some faraway land have stolen a vial of deadly germs -- a few ounces of fluid that could kill millions. It's all part of a plan to blackmail the governments of the world into making peace with one another.
But can peace ever truly be attained through force?
Midnight on a deserted section of highway. Driving himself and his girlfriend back to college from summer vacation, brilliant but brooding Franklin Griffith suddenly stops the car and gets out, disappearing into the darkness.
Maria finds him sitting on the center line, staring into the seemingly-limitless gloom ahead. She tells him he can't stay there, and he says he can't leave.
In the confrontation that follows, Frank learns that Maria is wiser than he'd ever realized.
Over the years, I have somehow managed to end up in the exam room of the most incompetent and just-plain-bizarre doctors in town. This play is a recollection of some of the more noteworthy encounters I've had with people who -- in my opinion -- should perhaps be in other lines of work. Lines of work that would keep them away from other human beings.
Before it's over, though, the play becomes a big valentine to Dr. David Aizenmen, who I feel sure is the best general practitioner in the entire world even though I can't possibly verify that claim. It's simply one of those things one knows to be true without complete evidence.
In any case, all the stories are completely true and not even exaggerated for comic effect. There are lots of characters but it's written to be performed by as few as three people.