Welcome to what I’m calling Stage Fright Friday.
This little end of the week outpost will be the new home for old pieces I wrote when I lived for a year in Charlottesville. Virginia. No Shame Theatre was lifeline and outlet both – an unparalleled chance for me to learn by working with people like Todd Ristau and Clinton Johnston who really knew their craft.
Please be kind to these old timers, they’re still doing the best they can in these changing times.
Ali – A smart and thoughtful young woman – principled and straightforward.
Johnson – A slightly sputtery authority figure.
Eric – A cool young man.
(lights up full)
Ali: You wanted to see me?
Johnson: Yes Alison, I did. Have you reconsidered my offer?
Ali: (stern) Yes Sir, I have.
Ali: And I’m afraid I still can’t accept.
Johnson: (surprised) …because?
(slightly longer pause)
Ali: Because it’s Fascism Sir, plain and simple. I refuse to be involved with anything so morally bankrupt.
Johnson: (in total disbelief) …Morally bankrupt? …Fascism? I’m not sure I/
Ali: (interrupting) Don’t patronize me Sir. You know perfectly well what I’m talking about. (begins to rant). Fascism is extreme right-wing ideology that celebrates conformity to a mythical standard of “normalcy”. It cuts through all other notions of what is right or natural. It attempts to lull us into a false sense that there is no death or decay, just your perfect – and perfectly artificial – status quo. Any natural tendencies toward variety or individualism threaten your perfect organic community and must be crushed beneath your jack-booted feet.
Johnson: (getting a word in) Now look here, I don’t even wear boots and you know/
Ali: (cuts him off, continues ranting) Your sort of Fascism promotes the idea of (counting them off on her fingers) class superiority, hybrid inferiority, persecution, territorialism, expansion, and – of course – (her sixth finger raised is a forefinger that she points accusatorily at Johnson) genocide. Oh, it wears the face of a socially acceptable, politically correct movement. Of course it claims a noble pedigree, but please! It’s a Procrustean hotbed of senseless conformity that flies in the face of science and nature. It’s a violent and elitist tradition that has traditionally be the province of pampered young men. You feel that I’m lucky to even be offered this job, because I’m a girl – a woman, but the truth is no one is lucky to have this job. This job – this working for the man, for the Fascist pig dog – this job sucks! I pity you Sir. I really do. Good day.
(Ali turns and walks to the door. Eric enters as Ali exits. She gives him a dirty look as she passes.)
Johnson: (turns to Eric and sighs) Well… your sister still won’t mow the lawn. I guess I’ll need to raise the price after all.
Eric: A cool 20, minimum. (pause) Ya big Fascist.
NOTE: Debuted June 28, 2002, performed by Bremen Donovan, Todd Ristau and Brandon Allison. Bremen’s sterling character and willingness to play the straight-woman inspired this loving diatribe.