Ice Cream Man, Blue Balls, and The Funny Thing

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If you read this blog, you know that I mainly use it to promote writing that’s excluded from the canon, but that I find beautiful or powerful or otherwise remarkable. I don’t usually use this blog for self-promotion, but a play of mine, “Ice Cream Man, Blue Balls, and The Funny Thing”, is opening in New York next week and if you like this blog, you might like the play. It’s a wide-ranging play that explores some heavy topics — racial violence, discomfort with disability, the banality of romance — and still manages to be funny. If you’re in New York, you should come check it out! You can get tickets and more information here.

If you come see it, you’ll get to hear this monologue at the opening of the third act, which is a sort of deconstruction of the romantic comedy form. And if you can’t make it, I hope you enjoy the monologue anyway:

What’s that thing Tolstoy said about happy families? They’re all the same? I don’t believe that for a minute. Actually, I don’t believe that happy families even exist, but if they do, they’re probably weird and interesting and all different from each other. What’s all the same is heartbreak. What’s all the same is that hollowed out, empty feeling you get when you’re left alone. It’s always the same, every time, and probably everyone who’s experienced it has experienced it the same way, forever.

The funny thing is I already know how this’ll go. I’ll be depressed for a while and then I won’t. And then I’ll start to forget and, soon enough, I’ll be on to the next thing, but I’m not ready for that yet. I wish I was. I wish I could just let go, but it’s a compulsion. Clinging to things.

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Drowning by María Irene Fornés

Last week, I went to see an incredible evening of one-act plays at The Signature Theater. The one that really floored me, though, was Drowning by María Irene Fornés. It’s a beautiful play and everything about the production was stunning, from the performances to the sets. If you can get to Signature before June 12, it’s well worth the (very reasonable) price of admission just to hear lines like these delivered by brilliant actors:

When I met her I asked her if it felt as good to touch her as it felt to look at her.  She said, “Try it.”

(Moves his head up and from side to side rapturously)

Do you know what it is to need someone?  The feeling is much deeper than words can ever say.  Do you know what despair is?  Anguish?  What is it that makes someone a link between you and your own life?

Come See a Minor Play this Week!

This week, a play of mine is opening in New York. It’s a decidedly minor work: a one-act play by a fledgling playwright in a small, black-box theater. That said, I’m proud of it. It’s funny and powerful and it focus on some subjects that are deeply important to me: racism, violence, and nostalgia.

If you’re in the New York area and would like to see it, “Ice Cream Man” will be at Manhattan Repertory Theatre at 9:00 pm on Wednesday, April 8 and Thursday, April 9. Email mrtreserve@gmail.com and let them know which night you’d like to come. If you can’t make it but want to support a minor work in progress, you can donate by going to https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/ice-cream-man–3/x/10085203. Donate in the next 24 hours and you’ll get your own personalized, minor poem: $10 for an acrostic, $25 for a haiku, $50 for a limerick, and $75 for a Shakespearean sonnet. How great an offer is that?