A Song for a Surfer

Nate and Devin are best friends and serious recreational surfers at Venice beach. Every year on the anniversary of Nate’s high school girlfriend, Katie’s drowning, he suffers from the same recurring dream: he can’t pull her out of the ocean. On the morning of the 10th anniversary of her death a mysterious young woman – Koa – appears on their door step as if she emerged from the waves and forces herself into...
Nate and Devin are best friends and serious recreational surfers at Venice beach. Every year on the anniversary of Nate’s high school girlfriend, Katie’s drowning, he suffers from the same recurring dream: he can’t pull her out of the ocean. On the morning of the 10th anniversary of her death a mysterious young woman – Koa – appears on their door step as if she emerged from the waves and forces herself into their lives. She’s a free spirit who’s surfed the whole world, drifting from the soft curls of Hawaii where you surf with the sun to the frigid waters of Scotland where you surf with magical creatures.
There’s something different about her and she seems more than reluctant to move on when Nate hangs her coat in the closet and she can’t find it. Nate is inexplicably drawn in by the very scent of her, but is too stubborn to let her in and Koa wins Devin’s heart easily.
Koa talks them into a local surfing competition, something they haven’t done since Katie’s death. During the competition, a fist fight with Nate over a wave sends Devin into a coma. While Devin lies in the hospital, Koa dreams of failing to rescue Devin from the ocean, and is scared she would make it back from the waves if she were to try again. After Nate refuses to save Devin from the waves of Koa’s dreams, she forces him to forgive himself for his girlfriend’s death in order for him to help her save Devin, and disappears back into the waves.
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A Song for a Surfer

Recommended by

  • Greg Burdick:
    2 Feb. 2018
    If you’ve ever spent time in the ocean on a surfboard, Stout’s play will call to you. Full of gorgeous, rich, sensual imagery, the play carves out heavy themes of survivor’s guilt, love and loss, and the steep price of redemption. I had never heard of the selkie prior to reading, but its inclusion is so achingly poetic, and so beautifully executed in the storytelling, I’m sure I won’t be able to keep from scanning the waterline for one whenever I hit the beach for the rest of my days. Beautiful. Haunting.

Character Information

  • Nate
    20 something,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Male
    too hard on himself
  • Koa
    20 something,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Female
    one of those girl's whose thoughts you can't read.
  • Devin
    20 something,
    Any race / ethnicity
    ,
    Male
    fun loving

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Savage Players
    ,
    2014
  • Reading
    ,
    Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative and The Vagrancy
    ,
    2013
  • Reading
    ,
    Truffle Theatre Company
    ,
    2012