MLM is for Murder (Or, Your Side Hustle is Killing Us)

FULL-LENGTH: Side hustles. It’s seems like everybody has at least one these days. For Minerva Ross, the way to escape the doldrums of her graphic design job in Washington, DC, is to write and narrate her own feminist true crime podcast about how and why women commit murder. Meanwhile, across the country, Felicity Evanston, a Mormon stay-at-home wife and mother—and Minerva’s high school nemesis—has just started...
FULL-LENGTH: Side hustles. It’s seems like everybody has at least one these days. For Minerva Ross, the way to escape the doldrums of her graphic design job in Washington, DC, is to write and narrate her own feminist true crime podcast about how and why women commit murder. Meanwhile, across the country, Felicity Evanston, a Mormon stay-at-home wife and mother—and Minerva’s high school nemesis—has just started selling ridiculously patterned leggings for the multi-level marketing company Linen & Fate, as much as a way of having something that’s just hers as to supplement her husband’s income. The two haven't crossed paths in years, but when the bubbly and unassuming Felicity snaps and realizes the only way to get ahead in a rigged pyramid scheme is to literally start killing off the competition, both women suddenly experience the kind of overnight success they’ve been so desperately craving—but risk losing their families, freedom, and very souls in the process.

MLM is for Murder is an of-the-moment dark comedy about capitalism, feminism, work-life balance, and pop culture told through parody podcasts, emoji-laden dialog, Facebook Live videos, and polyester-spandex murder weapons. It begs the question: How much are you willing to give up to get everything you’ve ever wanted?
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MLM is for Murder (Or, Your Side Hustle is Killing Us)

Recommended by

  • Dave Osmundsen:
    5 Jan. 2020
    A FABULOUS satire that has everything from Mormons to multi-level-marketing schemes to true crime podcasts to academics to corporate jobs to, yes, murder. Alternatively funny and horrifying, "MLM is for Murder" is a deceptively complex take on what happens when we choose to fight against the prescribed narratives of our lives. Bavoso is savvy enough to cast his story in shades of gray, highlighting the moral ambiguities of his characters' actions--when a character attains success, there are always consequences. A blast to read, and a play I can't wait to see staged!
  • Julie Zaffarano:
    29 Dec. 2019
    OMG, Yes! John Bavoso’s witty and compelling play is a smart and engaging commentary of our time. Fantastic mix of authentic and over the top characters. Would love to see this produced.
  • Kate Danley:
    27 Dec. 2019
    OH man... with several friends who got sucked into the Multi-Level Marketing fashion world, and several other friends who listen religiously to true-crime podcasts, this script hit all right notes for me. An absolute hoot! I'd love to see this onstage.

Character Information

  • Felicity Evanston
    20s to 40s,
    White
    ,
    woman
    A white woman. Stay-at-home Mormon mother and the latest independent fashion consultant for Linen & Fate. Outwardly bubbly and mild-mannered, she was very popular in high school. Despite her big family and community, she feels isolated and adrift.
  • Minerva Ross
    20s to 40s,
    any but white
    ,
    woman
    A woman of color, the same age as Felicity. Never fit in in her small, Utah hometown and is proud of how far she’s come—even if she desperately wants out of her ‘career.’ Easily obsessed, she’s searching for her passion.
  • Jason Evanston
    20s to 40s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A white man, Felicity’s husband. An unassuming but well-meaning man who’s happy acting out the script that’s been written for his life. Is more than a little wary of his wife’s new business venture.
  • Sienna Ross
    20s to 40s,
    Any
    ,
    woman
    A woman of any race, Minerva’s wife. Has a time-consuming job she loves, but works to find some balance. Encouraging of her wife’s passions to a point, but also concerned about how they threaten to consume her.
  • Woman
    Any,
    Any
    ,
    woman
    A woman actor of any age and race who plays a variety of characters (the FOUNDER, COWORKER, BIANCA, AMBER, etc.).

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    NextStop Theatre Company
    ,
    2019
  • Workshop
    ,
    5th Wall Productions
    ,
    2019

Awards

Finalist
,
Playwrights’ Week 2019
,
The Lark
,
2019