Theater

Play in the Drawer: Sheila Callaghan

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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.

OWEN
Ha!

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?

RODNEY
When?

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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