Keep your creativity flowing with Fishamble's #TinyPlayChallenge
In these challenging times, Fishamble - along with many of our colleagues in the wider Irish artistic community - is working hard to keep imaginations lively, communities engaged - and most of all offer people the opportunity of creative expression. We asked our audiences: Would you welcome the challenge of exploring your thoughts and feelings through drama? Do you have a dramatic story that you feel the urge to work out for yourself, and maybe share with your fellow citizens?
Below is one of the chosen plays from our global submissions.
Two women sit facing the audience in armchairs, two meters apart. THERAPIST sits up straight while CLIENT slouches, feet up. Both are on the phone.
C: Sorry about that. I don’t know why Zoom makes me so uncomfortable.
T: No problem. So besides the digital fatigue, how do you think you’re handling it?
C: (laughs) Which part?
T: Any part. The change.
C: Uh it comes in waves. Like sometimes it’s fine, or even kinda nice. My mom and I made bread the other day. That was good. Like there are definitely nice moments. I don’t know maybe it’s just that it’s so constant? Like that I’m always with them?
T: It’s a really unnatural situation, to be in such close proximity to the same people all the time.
C: Yeah, no I know. But like…I don’t know. This is dumb but I was listening to this podcast the other day, just like some comedy thing, and this girl was talking about how much she loves her family. Just like gushing about them. “Wow I know this is obvious but I just love my family so much” kinda like that.
T: Okay and how did that make you feel?
C: (agitated) I mean I don’t know. Like sad I guess because I started crying.
T: And why do you think it made you sad?
C: I love my family. I’m not a psychopath. I guess I just couldn’t picture myself being that enthusiastic about it. At least not right now. (Inhales). I’m just so angry all the time. And I feel bad about it.
T: You feel bad about being angry?
C: Yes. Like guilty. I know we’re lucky that we can be together. And I could probably calm down a little more. Let things go, especially the political stuff. Not actively pick fights. The other night I told my dad that I really respected Sean Hannity’s* work as a performance artist. So like that made him pretty mad obviously.
T: Why do you think you do that?
C: Probably because I’m angry. It’s like a cycle at this point. (Pause). Our neighborhood is doing this “bear hunt” thing. Have you heard about these?
C: It’s cute. People put teddy bears in their windows and then when parents take their kids on walks they look for them. It’s like a game. I see them when I’m running. There’s this one little girl, she always wears purple rain boots even when it’s nice out, and she gets so excited when she finds one, pointing it out to her mom and stuff.
T: That sounds nice.
C: Yeah it is. Except the other day I go up to my room and I see there’s this thing on the window. It’s like…swinging slightly. So I go look and it’s this teddy bear that my mom put up. But what she did was she wrapped a string around its neck and hung it from the window. So now I’ve got this weird suicidal tableau being broadcast from my fucking window and some cute little girl in purple rain boots is gonna come along and saying “ooh look mommy a teddy bear.”
T: What did you do?
C: I took it down. She put one in the attic too. Taped its furry arms to the window. I think that one’s worse, its little nose pressed against the glass. So now when I’m running and I see the teddy bears all I can think is how they’re splayed up against a window. Trapped. Suffocating. Like please, let me out.
*Sean Hannity is a conservative pundit on Fox News
Grace graduated from Georgetown University in 2018 and since then has mostly been traveling, working, and writing. She worked as the Marketing Assistant for the 2019 Dublin Theatre Festival. Currently, Grace is back in her native New Jersey where she is quarantined with her parents, three younger brothers, and two dogs for the foreseeable future.
This play captures how I think so many of us feel trapped with our families right now. I think this could be put somewhere in an archive to show people in the future this is the kind of stuff we are dealing with in 2020. A global pandemic, identity politics, huge divides even in families, and lots of people in therapy. Would love to see more from Grace!
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