Jim Shankman

Jim Shankman

Plays

  • The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will
    The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will is a two character play about a dying screenwriter who has one last pitch he must make to the man who is his oldest friend and toughest sell in Hollywood. In telling the story of a man dealing with the indignities of illness as he works on his last project, The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will plays unabashedly with the metafictional conventions of film...
    The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will is a two character play about a dying screenwriter who has one last pitch he must make to the man who is his oldest friend and toughest sell in Hollywood. In telling the story of a man dealing with the indignities of illness as he works on his last project, The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will plays unabashedly with the metafictional conventions of film storytelling that are lately the vogue in Hollywood.

    Willy Shotz is a hugely successful screenwriter. Producers kill for his stylish violence, his gritty sci-fi and his comic dialogue. But Willy has late stage cancer, which has left him with a new appreciation of life and art and a brand new screenplay about Life writ large. He has come to the office of Gabe Weiner, his oldest friend in the world, comrade in arms, nemesis, and sexual competitor, a man with whom he has a richly complicated relationship, to pitch him one last time.

    Willy is dealing with weakness, nausea, the side effects of the marijuana he smokes and an overwhelming sense of loss and sadness. Gabe for his part has seen it all, every shameful underhanded tactic ever used to sell him on a screenplay. He is a steely charmer, who dismisses his own flagrant insincerity as merely an occupational hazard. As Willy artfully pitches his screenplay he speaks to the audience, giving us to understand that this is his play. But Gabe sneakily asserts his point of view behind Willy’s back. Still he wonders why he is painting himself in such a bad light. Is Willy putting the words in his mouth? Gabe fights Willy with every word in his impressive arsenal including “intellectual arthouse comedy.” He will stop at nothing. His tough, sardonic indifference brings Willy to his knees. Willy storms out and takes his screenplay with him. When Gabe chases after him, Willy tells hime he can have the screenplay when he is dead.

    Later that night Gabe visits Willy in his Bel-Air mansion. Willy has relented and has given the screenplay to Gabe. After reading it, Gabe has concluded that Willy is contemplating suicide. He has also discovered in Willy’s screenplay evidence that Willy had an affair with his wife. A more complex and personal meeting of the minds takes place in Willy’s living room as unfinished business is transacted. When Gabe realizes Willy has already taken an overdose he struggles to save Willy but has to take an overdose himself to get Willy’s cooperation. Metafiction enters the story again as Willy and the character in his screenplay become interchangable and Gabe realizes he is becoming more three dimensional and sympathetic as a character. The scene comes to a comic climax when drugs have rendered both Willy and Gabe imcapable of making a call to 911.

    A year later in Forest Lawn Cemetery, Willy has come to visit an old flame that he and Gabe once fought over, but Gabe has come to the cemetery to visit Willy, who is in fact a ghost. From beyond the grave, Willy tries one more time to get Gabe to make his movie. He speaks of Hollywood film culture and uses the theme of the buddy picture to appeal one last time to Gabe, portraying art as a doomed but heroic adventure. As the play ends we hope Willy may have finally gotten his pitch across.
  • The Church Of St. Luke In The Fields
    Jonah and Sally are New York City prep school seniors who meet unexpectedly on a fall afternoon in the gardens at the Church of St. Lukes In The Fields, in Greenwich Village. They know each other from school. There is tension between them. He is stressed out and tightly wound. She is more vulnerable and raw. A story emerges of a delicate, risky encounter at a party that went painfully wrong. What also...
    Jonah and Sally are New York City prep school seniors who meet unexpectedly on a fall afternoon in the gardens at the Church of St. Lukes In The Fields, in Greenwich Village. They know each other from school. There is tension between them. He is stressed out and tightly wound. She is more vulnerable and raw. A story emerges of a delicate, risky encounter at a party that went painfully wrong. What also emerges is Sally’s struggle with alchohol and sex, Jonah’s struggle with an autistic sister, and the likelihood that these two high-functioning but emotionally desperate teen agers cannot connect in spite of their powerful need for each other.

    Sally has come for her weekly AA meeting which takes place on church grounds. In her frustration with Jonah she leaves him with her bottle of Jack Daniels. When a man joins Jonah on the park bench, Jonah has been drinking. The man, alone and isolated, has just lost a loved one, is full of regret and is trying to find a way to grieve. As they share the bench, Jonah begins to unwind and unravel from the alcohol. They begin to share secrets and trade stories, real and imagined, in an effort to help each other. An improbable rapport develops between them as they delv into each others lives and try to help.
    When Sally returns from her AA meeting, Jonah is asleep on the bench. They seem to know and care for each other from their time in the park. Before he leaves the man reveals to Sally an act of kindness and understanding from Jonah that has helped him to deal with his grief.

    Sally is furious with Jonah for getting drunk. In his alcohol fueled frustration Jonah declares his love for Sally, who is terrified and at the same time deeply in need of intimacy. As they struggle with their feelings, we learn of unlikely words of wisdom from the man, which lead to a tentative peace between Jonah and Sally, a peace in which there is hope for the deep connection they both desperately need.
  • Heartless Bastard
    Barry Weiss is a hot shot commercial real estate broker, arrogant, smart and tough. His girlfriend Janie is his match, a hardnosed, take no prisoners businesswoman. They are the fun couple of the new amorality, self-involved and ruthless.
    When Barry becomes mortally ill with a heart infection he ends up in the care of a wild and narcissistic heart specialist who gives him a new heart. Barry wants...
    Barry Weiss is a hot shot commercial real estate broker, arrogant, smart and tough. His girlfriend Janie is his match, a hardnosed, take no prisoners businesswoman. They are the fun couple of the new amorality, self-involved and ruthless.
    When Barry becomes mortally ill with a heart infection he ends up in the care of a wild and narcissistic heart specialist who gives him a new heart. Barry wants to get right back to work, but he is not all there. A cellphone is ringing in his head. And he hears heavy breathing.
    From a compulsion he cannot understand, Barry goes looking for the donor’s wife. He finds Lorna Lazaretto, a down and out New Jersey housefrau whose hard-edged sense of humor masks a heart full of grief. When they kiss, something happens. Barry and Lorna are attracted to each other in a way that disturbs them deeply. Is it Barry’s new heart that is working in mysterious ways?
    Back in the office Barry is a hero, but he is shaken by his encounter with Lorna and the feelings it has stirred in him. Disgusted by Barry’s new sensitivity and determined to win him back, Janie reveals she had both breasts removed during Barry’s convalescence, no reconstruction, just scars. She likes it that way. Now they are both scarred and deeply connected, and she has discovered how Lorna’s husband died. He committed suicide.
    At a double gravesite in New Jersey, Lorna tells Barry the story of her husband’s death, how he borrowed money from the mob, how he couldn’t pay it back, how they punished him by killing his son, the joy of his life, how he grew despondent and shot himself, how their fairy tale life together, money, family, genuine happiness fell apart in one horrifying year. Barry fears he will succumb to depression as well.
    Barry returns to the office but he collapses. His body has begun to reject his new heart. He goes into a fever dream of existential proportions. He recovers, but he is despondent and confused. And the cellphone is still ringing in his head. Lorna finds him at the gravesite of her husband and son. He has a gun. Lorna has several surprises for him concerning his new heart that put his struggles into even more urgent focus, and she is wearing white because she has a new job as a nurse.
    As they sit at the gravesite, they find their love for each other overcoming all arguments. Barry’s cellphone rings, but this time there is someone on the other end of the line. It’s his doctor. He’s due in the OR. He walks away from Lorna and is strapped into a gurney. Lorna follows him. She is the attending nurse in the OR. The heart surgeon enters with Barry’s new heart. The cellphone has become the heart monitor. The breathing is from his ventilator. The whole story has been taking place in Barry’s head as he lies near death on the operating table. Lorna wonders who this guy is in her OR, and she hopes he’s going to make it
  • Don Loco
    In his pajamas and bathrobe an old man named Don wanders around Little Italy on Sunday morning. He threatens an old woman on a park bench, plots to muscle in on a neighborhood business and talks about one old score he has to settle. An attendent (Or is it his son?) keeps him out of trouble and humors him. Or is he only humoring him? He says the Feds are about to indict Don for serious crimes. Is the old...
    In his pajamas and bathrobe an old man named Don wanders around Little Italy on Sunday morning. He threatens an old woman on a park bench, plots to muscle in on a neighborhood business and talks about one old score he has to settle. An attendent (Or is it his son?) keeps him out of trouble and humors him. Or is he only humoring him? He says the Feds are about to indict Don for serious crimes. Is the old man a mafia don pretending to be crazy, or a crazy old man pretending to be a mafia don?
    At dinner Don’s wife and son argue about his health. His wife thinks he has lost his mind, but his son suggests he is acting a part for the Feds, who have wired his home and his phone, in spite of seven previous acquittals on grounds of insanity. At odd moments Don leaves the table and seems to wander out into the streets to talk with his brother Benny, who repeatedly dies a bloody death at his feet. He suspects that the old woman in the park, who may be his mother, is talking to the police about him.
    Somehow Don has come up with $50,000 in cash which he wants his son to use to buy out a neighborhood social club. Did he get the money from his dead brother as he claims? Did he wander into a bank and withdraw his life savings? Or is he, underneath all the crazy talk, doing real business of a criminal nature.
    Don confides to his brother Benny that the whole “crazy” thing is an act, except that he can’t tell when he is acting anymore and when he is real. It’s like a Hollywood thing, getting so far into the part you can’t get out. And then Benny dies again at his feet. Does Don know where reality ends and fantasy begins?
    Don goes to visit the gravesite of his mistress Tina. But when his son finds him, he is not at her gravesite, he is sitting on the park bench in the middle of winter in his pajamas.
    It turns out Don is about to be indicted by the Feds and he is scared of going to jail, to “protective solitary confinement.” He will do anything to avoid that. His wife is terrified that a public trial will destroy him once and for all. Don warns the old woman in the park that he will get rid of her if she talks to the police.
    Don pays a visit to the neighborhood social club in order to “close the deal.” When he arrives there, the scene flashes back to Don’s affair with Tina, and we discover that Tina cheated on Don with his brother Ben.
    Back to the bar tempers flare when the owner resists resists Don’s offer. Don pulls out a .44 and shoots the owner point blank. He wanders out into the street where he confronts his mother and puts his gun to her head saying she must die for talking to the police. But he’s not really sure she’s there.
    In prison Don unravels. It turns out he didn’t kill the owner of the bar. That was in his mind. But he did in fact kill his mother. Haunted by a lifetime of violence, he has finally lost touch with reality. He thinks he can plead insanity and get off like he has in the past. But the judge locks him away in a mental institution, where he is left with his memories. As the phantoms of Ben and Tina make love in Don’s hospital cell, Don shoots them both as he did so many years ago in the heat of a jealous rage.
    Locked away to relive his crimes in a warped mental captivity filled with anger and regret and laced with heavy medication, Don is now in his own private Hell.
  • Daughter Of The Moon
    Daughter of the Moon
    Synopsis
    Daughter of the Moon is a comic nightmare about a teenage girl trying to find love and sanity in a toxic world of illness and obsession.
    Sixteen year old Nell is an immunological nightmare who hasn’t been out of her bedroom all summer. Suffering from a variety of chronic health issues, Nell’s life is dominated by a kind of post traumatic stress disorder that...
    Daughter of the Moon
    Synopsis
    Daughter of the Moon is a comic nightmare about a teenage girl trying to find love and sanity in a toxic world of illness and obsession.
    Sixteen year old Nell is an immunological nightmare who hasn’t been out of her bedroom all summer. Suffering from a variety of chronic health issues, Nell’s life is dominated by a kind of post traumatic stress disorder that makes her anxious and depressed. She lives on a boundary between sleeping and waking where the moon is out during the day and the sun shines at night.
    On a beautiful day near the end of summer vacation, Nell’s Mom tries to rouse her from her torpor, but when she does Nell has an asthma attack. Mom tries to soothe her with a mantra, incense and music because she fears the side effects of Nell’s many medications, but finally she is forced to resort to a gruesome World War I-style gasmask with a handpump to control Nell’s asthma. In her frustration she leaves Nell to handpump air into her own gasmask
    Nell’s best friend Emory has just been released from a psychiatric ward for drug abuse. Her boyfriend Eli has been arrested for possession and has to spend the night in jail. Nell and Emory fall asleep dreaming of movie musicals, but when Nell awakens she finds her own boyfriend Dan in her bed. She and Dan have just made love (she thinks) for the very first time and she is ecstatic. Before Dan sneaks out the two make plans to go to Hollywood where Nell will break into movie musicals and Dan will be a stuntman.
    After Dan leaves, Nell has another immunological attack and starts to scratch her skin off. Mom tries to hose her down with a high pressure hose but finally gives in to medication.
    When Nell finally summons the courage to leave her room (to run away with Dan), Nell’s Mom “equips” her with her gasmask and pump, an oxygen supply, a flak jacket, night vision goggles, a GPS bracelet, a megaphone and in doing so frightens Nell so badly she cannot go.
    Emory tells Nell that her doctors in the psych ward explained to her that there is a vicious prosecuting attorney in her head who defeats her at every turn. She needs to hire a defense attorney to fight back. Nell decides to hire a defense attorney.
    But when her attorney arrives, he is drunk, sick, exhausted, depressed, sleep-deprived, agoraphobic and he passes out on her bed. When he comes to, all he can talk about are his own immense problems. When he runs out of liquor he finds he can’t leave Nell’s room either, and he begins to detox. As Nell nurses him through his detox, they become very close and begin to learn a lot about their problems.
    Emory’s old boyfriend Eli appears at her window. He has escaped from jail and needs to hide. He has been accused of manslaughter when fighting off a prison guard who tried to rape him. Eli reveals a side of himself that clearly makes him a soulmate for Nell. He sings, he dreams of Broadway, he has serious panic attacks. Nell has learned a great deal from nursing her lawyer. She is able to talk Eli down from a suicidal panic attack and encourages him to surrender to the police. In the meantime Nell’s lawyer has recovered. He is off to represent Eli in court. Nell is now completely alone, discouraged and defeated.
    Inadvertently Mom discovers a solution to Nell’s anxieties in the magic of movie musicals, and Nell goes off to find Eli. On her way out the door she is stung by a bee and almost dies of shock, but instead she finds her strength is real and her spirit is renewed.
    Daughter of the Moon is a play about the possibility of life and love in a hostile world and about the strength we find in each other.
  • Suicide Math
    Michael and Frank are a pair of mismatched roommates at Princeton in 1972, while the
    War in Vietnam drags on overseas. Their roommate Quintus has just committed suicide leaving behind a cryptic shoebox on his desk which may contain a clue to his suicide. The box, it turns out, contains computer code for a project Quintus was working on. Frank begins to immerse himself in Quintus’ program.
    ...
    Michael and Frank are a pair of mismatched roommates at Princeton in 1972, while the
    War in Vietnam drags on overseas. Their roommate Quintus has just committed suicide leaving behind a cryptic shoebox on his desk which may contain a clue to his suicide. The box, it turns out, contains computer code for a project Quintus was working on. Frank begins to immerse himself in Quintus’ program.
    Michael is in the habit of making long distance phone calls to his brother in Vietnam as a way to deal with his anxiety about his brother’s safety. A box and a letter arrive in the mail from Vietnam, which greatly disturbs Michael, but his brother on longdistance says don’t open them. Frank delves deeper into Quintus’ program. He covers an entire wall of the dorm with computer code and flow charts, but he cannot get a handle on it. Frank becomes obsessed, staying up nights, refusing to eat. Quintus’ program consumes him.
    Very late one night a disheveled young woman shows up at the door wearing only a bedspread, carrying a bottle of whiskey. Upset and angry, she sneaks in looking for a safe place to hide and passes out on the couch. Michael wakes her to find out who she is, and an awkward but sincere pas de deux begins. Lydia has come down for the weekend from Vassar and has been roughed up by a loutish date from across the courtyard. As she drinks she tells Michael about the sister she lost to cancer. Michael tells her about his brother in Vietnam and the phone calls he makes to him. When Michael calls his brother in Vietnam it becomes apparent that his phone calls are imaginary. As they begin to open up about themselves they find they are attracted to each other’s wounds. Lydia stays with Michael.
    A couple of days later, Frank has become nearly incoherent as he continues to work on Quintus’ program. The entire dorm room is covered in computer code, flow charts, comments, mathematics, the fragile interior of Frank’s mind.
    Lydia asks Michael to show her how to make a phone call to her sister. She makes the phone call and is overwhelmed by the feelings which come pouring out. But there is more, some kind of secret that she can’t divulge.
    When Frank vents his frustration, his angry, bewildered description of Quintus’ program rings a bell for Lydia. The program’s mystifying complexity and apparent futility remind her of her own life. Frank has a moment of deep insight into the nature of Quintus’ program.
    Out of his frustration with Michael, Frank opens Michael’s letter. It’s from a soldier who explains that Michael’s brother is missing in action. With Lydia’s help, Michael opens the box of his brother’s personal effects and begins the process of coming to terms with his loss.
    Frank has finally figured out, as a result of Lydia’s remark, that Quintus was attempting to make the university’s mainframe commit suicide by working too hard on an insoluble problem. In a cryptic way the program actually was a suicide note. Franks is able to see Quintus’ maniacal genius as a warning to himself.
    Lydia begins to speak of her sister and to reveal the circumstances of her harrowing death from cancer and the shame of her own behavior in the impossible circumstances she was unable to overcome.
    As they ponder their futures, Michael, Frank and Lydia find comfort in each other and the journey they have taken together.
  • White Lightning In My Heart
    White Lightning In My Heart is a black comedy about guilt, redemption, sex and electricity. Scott Louis Beausoleil is a delusional homeless man who has been hauled into a corrupt and hostile Texas County Courthouse to defend himself for a crime he cannot comprehend. He feels a sense of foreboding, a sense that he has committed a crime that only God can know or understand. But he knows he has got to find out...
    White Lightning In My Heart is a black comedy about guilt, redemption, sex and electricity. Scott Louis Beausoleil is a delusional homeless man who has been hauled into a corrupt and hostile Texas County Courthouse to defend himself for a crime he cannot comprehend. He feels a sense of foreboding, a sense that he has committed a crime that only God can know or understand. But he knows he has got to find out what he has done and seek forgiveness. If Franz Kfaka had written a movie for the Coen Brothers it might be this play.
    The action takes place in a Texas county courthouse in the mind of Scott Louis Beausoleil, an alcoholic vagrant whose hold on reality is tenuous, hallucinogenic and somewhat prone to error. As he begins his legal defense for his heinous crime (if only he could remember what it was!), he flashes back to his last visit to his estranged wife Johnnie Sue and his ten year old daughter Rosie.
    As his defense progresses he calls to the witness stand, Jesus Christ, John Fitzgerald Kennedy and Anne Bancroft, all of whom have intimate knowledge of the story of his sad and difficult life. He also calls his wife Johnnie Sue to the stand to corroborate the facts of his life, that he has been electrocuted and struck by lightning only to be brought back to life with unusual sexual powers, that his wife has had affairs with Bobby and Jack Kennedy, that he has seen Jesus at the bottom of the deep end of the town swimming pool.
    But Johnnie Sue has a different agenda. She wants Scott to clean himself up and come home. To her mind, the only lightning that strikes him is the White Lightning he buys for $1.99 at the package store. She contradicts Scott on all the facts. The delusions of his life spill out.
    Threaded through the story is Scott’s constantly evolving account of his last visit with Johnnie Sue and their daughter Rosie. In his initial account they are glad to see him. As the play progresses his mind becomes clearer and his account of his visit is fleshed out with the details of this once-happy family. Sparks literally fly when Scott and Johnnie Sue are sexually aroused. His daughter is the true inspiration of his life and his songwriting career. We see how he was destroyed by his drinking and his descent into delusion.
    Scott Louis finally comes face to face with the facts of his heinous crime and is so overwhelmed he asks for the electric chair, which he gets, although in his own mind he has been strapped to a huge gruesome lightning rod so he can be struck by lightning. Johnnie Sue loses her mind in a manner reminiscent of Ophelia in her mad scene (probably because she once played Ophelia in the Coahoma County High School production of Hamlet Prince of Denmark for which she won the best actress award). Johnnie Sue jumps into Scott’s arms as the lightning strikes and they die together seeking redemption for their acts and a chance to start over in heaven, where they hope to go, where they hope sex is allowed and where they hope to find their beautiful daughter Rosie.
  • Alien Child

    Jonah is a bit of teenage genius. As a science project for his high school psychology class he’s rebuilding an old Wollensak tape recorder so that it will mimic the auditory world of his autistic twin sister Charlie. Jonah’s parents are at the end of their rope dealing with the constant care that Charlie requires at home. Ben believes there is hope for a cure, improvement, something. Sarah believes...

    Jonah is a bit of teenage genius. As a science project for his high school psychology class he’s rebuilding an old Wollensak tape recorder so that it will mimic the auditory world of his autistic twin sister Charlie. Jonah’s parents are at the end of their rope dealing with the constant care that Charlie requires at home. Ben believes there is hope for a cure, improvement, something. Sarah believes, to the exclusion of all else, in her ability as Charlie’s mother to keep her from harm and nurture her in the home.

    Ben and Sarah are so busy coping with Charlie that Jonah is on his own in this very charged and frightening world. His only solace is his intuitively close connection with Charlie and his ability to comfort her with his prolific storytelling skills.

    Ben and Sarah finally succumb to the temptation of a new therapist for Charlie, a therapist who is very demanding, who develops her own connection with Charlie, and who seems to be taking Jonah’s place in a precariously balanced world, leaving him feeling helpless, angry and suspicious.

    Jonah’s world is further unbalanced by a new girlfriend Sally who wants his time and attention. Alone in his family’s apartment with a girl for the first time in his life Jonah struggles with his desire for Sally and his allegiance to Charlie

    As Charlie’s therapist begins to get results, Jonah fears he is losing her. The stories he tells Charlie now take a dark and disturbing turn. He acts out against his parents by overdosing on their prescription drugs in order to experience a psychotropic state akin to autism. His parents react with disbelief and anger.

    As Jonah’s hostility and instability mount and tension rises in the household Charlie turns violent and attacks her therapist. As a result, Charlie’s therapist gets her out of the house indefinitely. As Jonah says goodbye to Charlie, he tells her a story filled with desolation and anguish.

    Now Jonah is truly alone.

    When Sally comes to visit him, he is brooding and withdrawn. In reaching out for him, Sally asks Jonah to tell her a story. Jonah begins to emerge from a deep and distant place to tell Sally a story of love and loss and understanding. His own healing process has hopefully begun.
  • Teardown
    Ben and Jenny are older than they can remember. In fact they don’t remember much at all about their lives. Ben doesn’t remember having any children. Jenny doesn’t remember him fighting in the War. On a beautiful Saturday morning Jenny is outraged when she sees a perfectly beautiful house in the neighborhood being torn down right in front of her eyes. Ben watches in fascination. He has a secret. All their...
    Ben and Jenny are older than they can remember. In fact they don’t remember much at all about their lives. Ben doesn’t remember having any children. Jenny doesn’t remember him fighting in the War. On a beautiful Saturday morning Jenny is outraged when she sees a perfectly beautiful house in the neighborhood being torn down right in front of her eyes. Ben watches in fascination. He has a secret. All their money is gone. When the contractor wanders over, he seems to fall in love with their house. He gives them his card in case they ever want to sell. As they consider the state of the house, Ben and Jenny hear voices and sounds coming from within it. When they listen closely they are struck by very powerful memories from their past, shocking memories that speak of troubling secrets they have forgotten.

    The next morning Jenny awakens to find a huge gaping hole where the front door was. Ben wanders home from the street. He has been out all night drinking. He has sold the house to be torn down and he didn’t want to be home when the destruction began. Jenny is angry and refuses to leave. As they examine the wreckage of the front door they discover pieces of their past. An autographed baseball that belonged to their son. A beautiful spangled hippie dress that belonged to their daughter. Jenny finds a set of combs she bought from a traveling salesman and secretly recalls the affair she had with him. Ben recalls a beautiful young woman he slept with when he was off building highways. Jenny refuses to leave the house until she can gather up all her memories. Ben says he will go without her.

    The next morning Ben is ready to go, but there is a man at the door in a nondescript baseball uniform. It is his son Davey, an over the hill baseball player. Exhausted physically and mentally, he wants to come home. Then Emily appears, the wild daughter who strikes a spark with her mother the moment she appears. Jenny chases her off but goes after her.

    Ben and David warily say hello and begin to get to know one another again. They have a lot of disappointments to sort through. Jenny and Emily return late at night drunk and carousing. They too have begun some kind of healing process. But the contractor returns in the night. The next day the roof and the front porch are gone. The innards of the house are exposed. Conversations run deeper. The family is drawing closer together. Old secrets are revealed. Old conflicts between Ben and Jenny find their resolution. But the contractor will not be denied. It is time to move out before the final destruction.

    In the end even the yard is gone and there’s nothing left except the subfloor and the foundation floating in the void. But Ben and Jenny have discovered the story of their life in the ruins of the house. Now they’ve got to let go of it all, even Davey and Emily, who are just as much a mess as they always were. Ben and Jenny stand on the edge of the void with a red wagon containing their remaining possessions as they ponder their next step.

    Teardown is a play about making sense of life amid the difficulties of old age and in the face of death.