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A monologue from the play by Emily Mann
ALEX ’s mother is a Famous Actress—a fact that he ﬁnds inﬁnitely oppressive—particularly as he detests the theater . . . well, the kind of theater his mother loves.
Here, he tells this to his uncle, his mother’s brother.
My mother hates me. I’m nineteen years old and a constant reminder to her that she’s not thirty-two. Her whole life is the “theatuh!” And she knows I hate the theater.
Not pure theater. I don’t hate that. I hate her kind of theater! It’s so fake! People marching around pretending like they’re in some living room.
I mean, all they do is talk and they’re boring and pathetic and old . . . and they have nothing to say. I mean, who cares, really?
The world is falling apart, or worse, the planet is dying! And these people go to the theater to be entertained by people who are just like them—or even worse, more clueless than they are!
And because the producers are so concerned about not oﬀending anybody while they pay their one hundred f***ing dollars, there is nothing controversial or worthwhile going on.
Unless, of course, it’s from England! Then, of course, like good colonialists we bow down to their British accents—anything in British accents makes Americans feel inferior, especially in the theater —
and we say it’s brilliant, even when it’s just— pretentious crap or little dramas with tiny little morals posing as great art—or those f***ing cheerful musicals!
Oh my God! I don’t know. The whole New York theater scene makes me sick. We have to have a new kind of theater, that’s all.
Something vibrant, and young, and dangerous, and alive or, you know what? Just have nothing at all! Why do we have to have theater?
I mean, I love my mother but she leads such—a stupid life! She dedicates every waking hour to something that just doesn’t matter!
And you can imagine how utterly revolting it feels to be me! Here I am at all her stupid parties full of celebrities and people who have all won prizes for something or other—you know, it’s ridiculous!
Pulitzers and Nobels, and book awards, and Oscars and Tonys and all that crap and here I am! I have nothing to say for myself;
I can’t even understand what they’re talking about half the time; and they’re all wondering how Maria could have spawned such a pathetic little loser.