Play in the Drawer: Sheila Callaghan

Very much alive: Dead City’s Sheila Callaghan

Welcome to yet another edition featuring unproduced works by favorite playwrights, currently featuring 13P. (By the way13P, we're still waiting to hear from 6 of you). This week's excerpt is provided by the lovely Sheila Callaghan. Her plays have been produced and developed with Soho Rep, Playwrights Horizons, South Coast Repertory, Clubbed Thumb, The Lark, Actor’s Theatre of Louisville, New Georges, Moving Arts, and Crowded Fire, among others. Her full-length plays include Scab, The Hunger Waltz, Crawl Fade to White, Crumble (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake), We Are Not These Hands, Dead City (which won the Susan Smith Blackburn!), Lascivious Something and Kate Crackernuts. She is also the lead vocalist of the electro-pop ensemble If I Told Napoleon.

Of this excerpt, she writes, "My play doesn't have a title yet... this scene takes place at a strange dinner party, where the women keep dropping to the floor and rolling into the walls in their gowns for no reason."

Long silence. People eating and drinking.

WENDY reaches for the bread. RODNEY slaps her hand away.

Long silence. People eating and drinking.

Suddenly, RODNEY pushes back in his chair and begins to shout the following.

RODNEY Say. I have a funny story!

The others exclaim "Really?" "Bravo!" "Fantastic, go on!"

RODNEY (cont.) It's rather comical. I think you'll enjoy it. It's about the time I nearly lost all my money!

More exclamations.

RODNEY (cont.) It's a completely true story. I really think you'll enjoy it. I was in the war!

More exclamations.

OWEN Which war?

RODNEY THE war. The one I was in! I was in the war. And we were in this country. And there were several of us. Old Eddie and old Ronnie and old Johnnie and old Billy and old Charlie and old Artie and old Howie and old Rudy and old Jimmy and old Gary. And there was a cave. And the cave had two entrances. And we were chasing two guys. Two poop-flingers. We called them poop-flingers.


RODNEY We called them poop-flingers because after they shat they wiped their asses with their hands and then flung their shit at the walls.

Exclamations: "No!" "They didn't!" "Disgusting!"

RODNEY (cont.) And THEN they shook your hand.

More exclamations of disgust.

RODNEY (cont.) So we chasing these two poop-flingers across this prairie, well it wasn't a prairie but it was a stretch of land not unlike a prairie except there were no prairie dogs, and then the land became rocks and the rocks turned into caves, and we were still chasing, and we weren't shooting because we knew about these caves and we knew the poop-flingers were running straight into the caves, and so we just chased them for a bunch of miles, and we lost sight of them because they were pretty fast, but then old Jimmy said he saw one of them disappear into the cave with two entrances, and so old Eddie and old Ronnie and old Johnnie and old Billy climbed over the rocks to the other side of the cave, and we waited for their signal, and when they were in position old Eddie screamed POOP TUBE!!! And they ran into the cave screaming, and the poop-flinger inside freaked and started running out the other side, and me and Charlie and Artie and Howie and Rudy and Jimmy and Gary were standing there with flame throwers, and so when the poop-flinger came at us we torched him. But he was still running. And so we torched him again, and he kept running. He ran around in a little circle. And he was on fire. And his skin was melting off him. And there were screams, but they weren't his. There were other poop-flingers inside the poop-tube. They also came running out. They were on fire too. They were much smaller than the first poop-flinger. Half his size. And one really small one.

Long beat.

OWEN What happened to the prairie dogs?

RODNEY There were none. I said that already.

OWEN Right right, you did. My bad, sorry.

Long beat.

OWEN (cont.) And so how did you lose your money?


OWEN You said, before your story. You said it was about nearly losing all your money.

RODNEY Huh. I did, didn't I.

Another long beat.

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