Comic Book - developmental reading

Date:
May 16, 2018
Venue:
Location:
330 7th Ave.
New York, NY 10001,
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Description

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The first reading of my full-length play "Comic Book," recently expanded from a one-act version (which had staged readings at the Hudson Guild Theater (NY), 2015 and Theater at the 14th Street Y (NY), 2013).  Comic Book opens with Sterling, an anthropology professor, alone in a room.  His only clue is a short video.  The 30-second video involves two children and obscure action – and holds the clues to the way forward to rebuild humanity.

Wallace, a risk assessor at an insurance company and a hidden poet, strolls into the room.  Sterling informs him they are the last two men alive and they must rebuild humanity.  They argue.  Is it a hospital?  A jail?  Finally Wallace asks: if they are really charged with rebuilding human civilization, aren’t they missing something?  Just then, Lethe slides into the room.  Sterling is not surprised.  

A homeless man, Benedict, ambles into the room.  He is hungry and looking for food.  Then the orderlies – Pat and Chris – bustle in with clipboards.  So perhaps it is a hospital.  The other inmates tie them up, untie them, then tie them up again.  Which do the orderlies want?  To be constrained or free?  And which would prove that the inmates are in charge, and not the orderlies?

Benedict exits and returns as a doctor.  Lethe goes home to help with her child’s homework.  Sterling is overwrought.  There is a fight.  Lethe re-enters.  What the hell is this place?  The characters bleed offstage until only the original two men are left.  Wallace announces that he and Sterling must fight to the death.  Sterling doesn’t want to.  There is a fight to the death which is halted by the lights powering off.  

The lights power back on.  Lethe is sitting in front of the television set, eating popcorn.  She turns on the TV.  The odd video comes on.  She stands and through her action, shows us that everything we believed about where the characters are is incorrect.  They have been somewhere else entirely.  

Wallace: Liam Dick 

Sterling: Michael Gnat

Lethe: Veronica Cruz 

Benedict: David Woodrow 

Pat: Patrick Leonard 

Chris: Sam Shane 

Stage Directions: Alvin Yeap