you do not look

Gerda is trying to sell encyclopedias in order to stay in America. But she keeps getting sidetracked as she tries to save a world of other women around her. As the play loops and unravels in repeating patterns of PTSD, Gerda cannot escape her own traumatic past. you do not look challenges the audience to see female trauma that is too often purposefully overlooked.
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you do not look

Recommended by

  • Jeffrey James Keyes:
    26 Jan. 2020
    You Do Not Look is powerful play, smartly executed by Callan Stout. I caught a workshop production of this well crafted play some time ago and reading it stirred up the same pool of emotions. Stout’s story is eerie and unsettling at times yet fun and introspective. I loved it.
  • Jacob Marx Rice:
    24 Jan. 2020
    A beautiful, haunting play about trauma and the ways that human connection can overcome. The play starts out feeling like a regular ghost story but blossoms into an inspiring story of the power of hope even in the face of despair. It's funny, spooky, challenging and ultimately deeply moving. An absolute pleasure to read.
  • Nick Malakhow:
    16 Jan. 2020
    A beautiful, offbeat, and at times unsettling story about how trauma haunts. Stout explores the abuse and mistreatment of women at the hands of human traffickers, and the ways these women fight to escape, pick themselves up, and reinvent their lives. In Gerda we have a compelling rock of a protagonist who is impossible not to root for throughout. Despite the heavy subject matter, this play is written with nuance and a gentle hand. The transitions, double-casting, and haunting visual landscape also make it a uniquely theatrical piece. I would love to see this on its feet!

Character Information

  • Gerda
    20’s,
    Czech
    ,
    Female
    Gerda - late twenties, from the Czech Republic. A recent immigrant, a hard worker, guilt ridden, a survivor. Uses her work ethic and drive to stay and succeed in America to ignore her PTSD. Constantly running from her own demons, both the ones that follow her and the ones she chooses to carry due to her own guilt.
  • Ana
    20’s,
    women who have experienced this are often from Northern Africa or South East Asia.
    ,
    Female
    Ana - mid twenties, she hasn't yet become a survivor, but there's still hope. She was human trafficked through the Czech Republic, women who have experienced this are often from Northern Africa or South East Asia.
  • Addie
    Late teen,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    Addie - older teen, anywhere between 14 and 17. Any ethnicity, a latchkey kid, sassy and defensive, sometimes she forgets. Sometime she understands the futility of her own situation and her inability to actually help the people she wants to, and sometimes she still thinks she can actually help the people around her.
  • Cici
    Early teens,
    Any
    ,
    Female
    Cici - young teen, any ethnicity, confident and terrified. Understands that her situation is terrible and not normal, but doesn't know that life can be another way.
  • Rocking Woman
    mature, greying,
    From the Czech Republic
    ,
    Female
    From the Czech Republic. Maybe just a shadow, or a puppet, and sound effects, or the magic of theatre. But terrifying and mysterious and ever-present.
  • Maggie/Kitty/Catarina
    Older than everyone, except Rocking Woman,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    Female
    Plays all the neighbors and women that Gerda tries to sell encyclopedia's to. She is everyone else in the world who refuses to see the troubles of others.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    The Bechdel Group
    ,
    2017
  • Workshop
    ,
    Columbia University
    ,
    2017
  • Residency
    ,
    Denmark Arts Center
    ,
    2017
  • Workshop
    ,
    Fresh Ground Pepper
    ,
    2016