Jan Kultura, Substitute Teacher, Meets The Crowd

Mister Kultura is filling in for the regular social studies teacher. The students refuse to provide their real names, identifying themselves only by such monikers as "King of My Pants" and "Unique Superstar" while a scheduled guest gives a presentation on the awesomeness of the crowdsourced economy.

[This version, uploaded December 4, 2018, was revised for sake of greater...
Mister Kultura is filling in for the regular social studies teacher. The students refuse to provide their real names, identifying themselves only by such monikers as "King of My Pants" and "Unique Superstar" while a scheduled guest gives a presentation on the awesomeness of the crowdsourced economy.

[This version, uploaded December 4, 2018, was revised for sake of greater continuity with its sequel, "Jan Kultura, Substitute Teacher, and the Matriarchy of the Ants.]

"[...]two plays that specifically spoke to economic theory, in the same way that Copenhagen speaks to physics or The Hard Problem speaks to brain science. [...]Clearing Bombs by Eric Samuelson imagines a conversation between two major 20th century economists stuck on a rooftop during WWII and passing the time with a deep but lively economic debate. Jan Kultura, Substitute Teacher, Meets the Crowd by Ian Thal is a short play that essentially presents a case study of crowd sourced creativity as a vehicle to steal ideas from people without having to pay them – well larded with good economic thinking. These stood out to me as good examples of scripts we could stand to have more of."

Pete Miller, "Why We Need Plays About Capitalism" in 2am Theatre
http://www.2amtheatre.com/2017/02/03/why-we-need-plays-about-capitalism/
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Jan Kultura, Substitute Teacher, Meets The Crowd

Recommended by

  • Emma Goldman-Sherman:
    22 Mar. 2019
    We DO need plays about Capitalism, and this one-act is a highly economically-enlightening play, but its true value does not lie in its ability to teach us but in the form of how entertaining it is! Add it all up, and it's worth quite a lot!
  • Claudia Haas:
    29 Jul. 2015
    This is one high-octane, verbally rich play. The barbs and creative reasoning (appropriate for the "creative economics" debated here) kept me riveted to the page with huge smiles and chuckles. All four characters have the smarts and are engaging and you cannot wait to hear what comes next. As the play draws to a close, you are left with, "Wait? Satire? Or is this a truth about our current economic climate?" Theatres, universities and high schools would all serve this play well. And leave everyone discussing the play.

Character Information

  • Jan Kultura
    Slavic, Slavic-Language speaker, Polyglot, cosmopolitan
    ,
    Male
    Old enough to be perceived as an adult by teenagers, but not to be taken seriously by the staff. He is an unselfconsciously bohemian immigrant, now a citizen. His clothing and demeanor indicate that he has either never quite learned to conform to the customs of his new country or that he never fully wanted to. He barely conforms to the dress code of the teaching profession. His speech and movements are affected, for while he is aware that despite his erudition, he knows that he makes mistakes, and is concerned that the slightest mistake will scandalize others – but to deliberately scandalize is not beyond him. Nonetheless, he has never mastered the use of either the definite or indefinite articles of speech.
  • Unique Superstar
    Teenager,
    Female
    Not her real name. A high school student.
  • Jackie
    20s - 30s,
    Female
    Jackie is an advertising executive visiting the school as part of her firm's pro bono work. She dresses in a manner that teenagers will appreciate as stylish and sophisticated.
  • King Of My Pants
    Teenager,
    Male
    Not his real name. A high school student.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    UptownWorks NYC
    ,
    2015

Production History

  • Fringe
    ,
    Silver Spring Stage, Silver Spring MD
    ,
    2016

Awards

http://www.2amtheatre.com/2017/02/03/why-we-need-plays-about-capitalism/