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A monologue from the play by Theresa Rebeck
ROXANNE (thirties – forties)
Roxanne is the stage manager of a Broadway production of a lost play by Franz Kafka.
She is putting in a new understudy, who turns out to be a man she was going to marry who jilted her at the altar, never showing up and then disappearing.
Here, she is explaining to one of the stars in the play what has made her so upset.
You know what I hate the most about it is how dumb the story sounds.
It’s like an insult to my life, how without interest the whole “he left her when she was practically walking down the aisle.”
You try telling that story without sounding like a bad f***ing romance novel, “jilted when,” and the endless moaning about, “the flowers!” “the caterers!”
“The invitations must have cost a fortune and then he just,” all that money that’s all anyone could talk about because nobody wanted to talk about my broken heart.
It just reduces, everything, the internal story is obliterated by the external facts in such a grotesque and to have the
and not just me, but the both of us, to have that annihilated in such a careless, because that’s what,
I’m telling you I can’t even finish my sentences that’s how mad I still am about it.
Because even if there was some question there, in him, some secret that could not enter the, that is only one small piece, why should that secret become everything?
The destruction of everything? And with silence. Six years of silence. That is what I got.
He left without a word, not one word, and then there was nothing, and then he was back, and of course I found out about it in the most hideous way,
I’m at an audition, and someone I barely know starts talking about how she saw him at a reading, he’s been back for months and no even, nothing. Ever.
He’s back in the same city, he lives within miles of me and there is no, what is it, why do people think silence is such a why is it a choice?
The failure of words. Yes words f***ing fail us this is hardly news but you TRY ANYWAY BECAUSE YOU’RE STILL ALIVE AREN’T YOU.
Silence is such a defeat. Yes I do know Kafka and I know the whole story about him and Felice and I think Kafka is full of shit if you want to know the truth.
All those years he was supposedly in love with her and going to marry her but he just couldn’t pull it off, could he?
He dumps her to go off with Milena and Dora and all the other cute little literary groupies who were suddenly all hot for Franz Kafka because he was Mr. Literary Genius at the end,
and there’s Felice the whole time, when he’s nobody, just loving him and ready to marry him and does she show up in even one of the novels?
No. The only chicks who ever show up are like barmaids with whips. Oh and his sister, she gets to show up and throw an apple at him when he turns into a bug.
I hate Kafka. Why do you guys think that not talking to us, like we’re not even worth talking to, why is that such a great idea to you?
I’m not crying. Stage managers do not cry. Stage managers just take care of things, so that you guys get to go out there and do all the —
and you know what else, I was a fantastic actress. I was f***ing genius. And let me tell you something, this play would be a lot better if there were some women in it.
The law clerk couldn’t be a woman? The land surveyor? The executioner? You know how good that scene would be if the executioner were a woman?
It’s written for fifteen different actors, Kafka didn’t know anything about doubling.
The producers got the bright idea that one giant movie star Bruce could play all the parts because they are alllll men.
When it would be better, so many of these parts should be women!
The guard, the judge especially she is just mean as a snake, hot and mean, all that sh*t she says about his “papers” being “limited,”
“this material is so limited,” that is terrifying coming from a woman . . . “Limited. Constrained. Beneath contempt, my friend.”
My friend, so lame coming from a guy, but from a woman so much worse. Kafka’s trying for terror? What scares men worse than a woman seething with dismissive rage?
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