NAOMI IN THE LIVING ROOM
by Durang, Christopher
Cast 3 male 4 female
Licence UK & Ireland only
A collection of short plays by Christopher Durang.
NAOMI IN THE LIVING ROOM. Naomi, when visited by John and Johnna, her son and daughter-in-law, is alternately friendly and insulting. Johanna copes her best, but when John changes his clothes to look like Johanna, things start to unravel. Naomi barely notices any differences, but throws them both out of the house, then decides she’s had a nice time! (1 man, 2 women.) THE BOOK OF LEVITICUS SHOW. Lettie Lu is broadcasting her own public TV access show from a local motel. Based on Lettie Lu’s belief in the Book of Leviticus, the show’s interpretation of the story leads Lettie Lu to today’s segment’s activities of capturing and putting to death a homosexual and an adulteress. All in a day’s devotion to God. (2-3 men, 3-4 women, flexible casting). ENTERTAINING MR. HELMS. An extremely conservative father runs a rigid household: the Pledge of Allegiance each morning, his wife does “woman’s thing,” his daughter gets points for being glad a classmate died of a botched abortion and his son gets in trouble calling sports teams by words with double meanings (instead of Team A and B). They are all happy living in America. (2 men, 2 women.) CARDINAL O’CONNOR comes to explain briefly why birth control is always always always wrong. (1 man.) WOMAN STAND UP. A sensitive woman trying to do stand-up comedy has to bring her own laugh track, just in case. Her self-deprecating jokes turn out to be all too real, as is her pain as she senses the truth. (1 woman.) DMV TYRANT. A man goes to a woman clerk at the Division of Motor Vehicles and tries to get his license renewed with infuriating results. (1 man, 1 woman.) THE HARDY BOYS AND THE MYSTERY OF WHERE BABIES COME FROM. Frank and Joe Hardy change sweaters a lot and look cute. The word “sleuthing” excites them and they’re off to investigate what it means that Nancy Drew has “a bun in the oven.” (3 men, 1 woman.) AUNT DAN MEETS THE MADWOMAN OF CHAILLOT. Aunt Dan, the title character of Wallace Shawn’s Aunt Dan and Lemon, has a discussion with Giradoux’ Madwoman of Chaillot. They discuss it all. (2 women or 1 man, 1 woman.) CANKER SORES AND OTHER DISTRACTIONS. A man and a woman, previously married, try to reconcile over dinner, but a canker sore and a talkative waitress ruin everything. (1 man, 2 women.) MEDEA. A sketch co-authored by Durang and Wendy Wasserstein. Medea and her chorus of three woman try to figure out if it’s appropriate to kill your children to punish your husband. Jason shows up; so does a messenger with news of Lady Teazle; and a deus ex machina comes down from the sky to cheer everybody up. (2 men, 4 women.) FUNERAL PARLOR. A widow is accosted at her husband’s funeral by a very inappropriate guest. (1 man, 1 woman.) 1-900-DESPERATE. Gretchen, nagged by her mother about her empty love life, calls a romance talk line and finds only other women and one young man named Scuzzy. When a five-year-old child dials by mistake, Gretchen finds his innocent babbling preferable to all the adults. (3 women, 1 man, 1 child.) WOMEN IN A PLAYGROUND. Two women watch their children play; one of them is pretty normal, the other has a very pessimistic outlook. (2 women.) PHYLLIS AND XENOBIA. Two strange sisters bicker about who did or didn’t kill their mother, and who does or doesn’t like pudding. (2 women.) DESIRE, DESIRE, DESIRE. Another Tennessee Williams parody, from the author of For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls. Blanche DuBois, her nerves shot, is stuck in a house with a slobby Stanley Kowalski, who keeps yelling “Stella!” Stella left for a lemon Coke six years ago and never returned. Blanche tries to seduce a young census taker, but is interrupted by Big Daddy and Maggie from Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. A “tart” from The Iceman Cometh shows up as well, irritating Blanche by saying “pipe dream” instead of “illusion.” Stella comes back briefly, but departs again, leaving Blanche and Stanley stuck together for eternity. (5 men, 3 women.) ONE MINUTE PLAY. Written for a one-minute play festival at American Repertory Theatre. A young man tells his suicidal, despairing thoughts to a cheerful woman who chooses to ignore them. (1 man, 1 woman.) JOHN AND MARY DOE. John Doe introduces his idealized family: his wife, Mary, and their three children. His happy portrayal keeps turning truly dark, as he reveals that his wife has been murdered and dismembered by their insane next-door neighbor, Tommy Psycho Babbit. Then he takes it back, says he’s made it all up, and that everything is fine. Mary looks normal, but from time to time her mouth falls off and her eye pops out. John kills his children in a rage, then says he didn’t really. Mary and John go to sleep and hope Dr. Kevorkian comes in the morning. (3 men, 2 women.) GYM TEACHER. An overly macho gym teacher addresses a co ed class of seventh graders, saying inappropriate things and eventually forcing the unlucky class to play a game of “bombardment” (hitting members of the other team with volleyballs), but this time played with bowling balls. (1 man.) THE DOCTOR WILL SEE YOU NOW. A raucous Woman Singer, dressed in sequins and boa, keeps bursting into noisy song in a doctor’s office. Mr. Wilson is there to see the doctor about an allergy, but the doctor and his nurse insist he has a venereal disease and call up everyone he knows. A public service announcement. (2 man, 2 women.) UNDER DURESS. Chris and his friend Stephanie debate global warming. Stephanie’s pretentiousness irritates Chris, but they make up, and Chris composes a letter to the President about the subject. Realizing he has to go to the post office to buy a stamp, Chris is overwhelmed, but he gathers his courage and goes. (2 men, 1 woman.) KITTY, THE WAITRESS. In this giddy comedy, Mr. O’Brien goes to a restaurant on a tropical island, hoping to forget his troubles. His waitress, Kitty, who is French and preposterously seductive, is very suggestive with her body. O’Brien finds Kitty strange, and falls in love with her, but it turns out she is really a cat, not a woman. The hostess of the restaurant sends Kitty to the vet to be put to sleep. O’Brien rushes to the vet, but he’s too late. (3 men, 3 women.) NOT MY FAULT. A serious play about alcoholism, written for school audiences, to trigger discussions about addiction and denial. Jack denies he is an alcoholic, while his ex-wife says he is. He gets arrested for stealing and looks to his mother, Selina, and brother, Harry, for help. Selina drinks wine all day and is overly protective of Jack, and never calls him on the ill he’s done. Harry is sick of both his brother and mother. (2 men, 2 women.) AN ALTAR BOY TALKS TO GOD. Robert, a young man, talks in a friendly way about his days as an altar boy. He then recalls when his nephew got AIDS early in the epidemic and how fundamentalists claimed it was God’s punishment. Robert decides to go to heaven and ask God about this. Once there, God seems mean and ornery indeed and professes to give AIDS to homosexuals, hemophiliacs and Haitians in a bizarrely unfocused rage. Leaving heaven, Robert feels that whom he met wasn’t God but an impostor. Adapted from the “AIDS Speech” in LAUGHING WILD, and rewritten to be performed by 2 actors, out of context of that play. (2 men.)
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