the calm before

the calm before is a two-character father-daughter drama set in Rockport, TX the night Hurricane Harvey makes landfall. Ellen desperately attempts to get her recalcitrant father, a conservative 65-year old former Navy SEAL, out. As the hurricane bears down – difficult parts of their past and their current ideological differences play out; the two brace themselves for a night of tough winds, tough love, and...
the calm before is a two-character father-daughter drama set in Rockport, TX the night Hurricane Harvey makes landfall. Ellen desperately attempts to get her recalcitrant father, a conservative 65-year old former Navy SEAL, out. As the hurricane bears down – difficult parts of their past and their current ideological differences play out; the two brace themselves for a night of tough winds, tough love, and confronting uncomfortable truths.
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the calm before

Recommended by

  • Nick Malakhow:
    7 Apr. 2021
    A taut and economically written two-hander starring dynamic and exquisitely rendered individuals placed in a perfect, tense setup. A great deal of urgency drives this propulsive play and the hurricane (literal) is an always present and well-used extended metaphor for the human hurricanes within the house. The nuanced threads of family trauma and the realities of grappling with mental health and physical disabilities as adults are woven in so carefully. I'd love to see this compelling piece staged.
  • Jason Walz:
    11 Mar. 2020
    Some of my favorite plays are ones that are about regular people dealing with the same sorts of conflicts that we all have in our lives. A father and daughter unexpectedly find themselves working out issues that have driven them apart. It's the sort of grey, murky stuff that we all deal with. The dialogue is clear and continuously moves the action forward. There really are no wasted moments and with every word we get a little better idea of the nature relationship and the looming confrontation.
  • Gina Femia:
    5 Mar. 2019
    I think this play is absolutely brilliant; powerful and suspenseful with a deep throbbing heart at its center, I can't wait to see this play produced.

Character Information

  • Ellen Mayborn
    32,
    Female
    She wears wellies the entire play. Sometimes speaks quickly. She’s like a hurricane in her own way. She has panic attacks but not in dire circumstances. Only over little things. And she can’t explain it.
  • Mitch Mayborn
    65,
    Caucasian
    ,
    Male
    Ellen’s father. He wears loafers the entire play. He has an incredible amount of volition and nerve. He’s like a hurricane in his own way. He doesn’t own a cell phone, but not because he’s a technophobe. He just can’t be bothered to adjust. He has a dry sense of humor. Temperamental but sees himself as a generous, giving man.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    The Blank Theatre
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Capital Repertory Theatre
    ,
    2019

Awards

Finalist
,
Forward Flux Three New American Plays Commission
,
Forward Flux
,
2018