Monologue Example # 2

Monologue Example # 2 - BURIED CHILD By Sam Shepard This...

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Unformatted text preview: BURIED CHILD By Sam Shepard This Pulitzer Prize—winning play is a gothic, dysfunctional- family comic tragedy, Shepard’s 1996 revision of his 1978 play emphasizes the play’s humor, particularly in the character of Dodge, a man in his seventies who has killed a child—the “buried child” of his wife and their son, Tilden. “I think the play works because the audience is allowed into this kind of strange humor in spite of themselves,” Shepard said in an American Theatre magazine interview. “They have to laugh at this character; even though he’s killed a child. Otherwise, it’s deadly.” In this speech, Dodge breaks the family pact to reveal their long-withheld secret, He addresses the speech to Shelly, his grandson’s girlfriend, but speaks also to the reluctant Halie, forcing her to listen. DODGE: See7 we were a well—established family once. Well— established. All the boys were grown. The farm was producing enough milk to fill Lake Michigan twice over. Me and Halie here were pointed toward what looks like the middle part of our life. Everything was settled with us. All we had to do was ride it out. Then Halie got pregnant again. Out the middle :1 nowhere, she got pregnant. We weren’t planning on havin’ any more boys. We had enough boys already. In fact, we hadn’t been sleepin’ in the same bed for about six years. [. . .] Halie had this kid see. This baby boy. She had it. I let her have it on her own. All the other boys I had had the best doc- AMERICAN THEATRE BOOK OF MONOLOGUES FOR MEN 5 tors, the best nurses, everything. This one I let her have by her- self. This one hurt real bad. Almost killed her, but she had it anyway. It lived, see. It lived. It wanted to grow up in this fam- ily. It wanted to be just like us. It wanted to be part of us. It wanted to pretend that I was its father. She wanted me to believe in it. Even when everyone around us knew. Everyone. All our boys knew. Tilden knew. [. . .] Tilden was the one who knew. Better than any of us. He’d walk for miles with that kid in his arms. Halie let him take it. All night sometimes. He’d walk all night out there in the pasture with it. Talkin’ to it. Singin’ to it. Used to hear him singing to it. He’d make up sto- ries. He’d tell that kid all kinds a stories. Even when he knew it couldn’t understand him. We couldn’t let a thing like that continue. We couldn’t allow that to grow up right in the mid- dle of our lives. It made everything we’d accomplished look like it was nothin’. Everything was canceled out by this one mistake. This one weakness. [. . .] I killed it. I drowned it. Just like the rum of a litter. Just drowned it. There was no struggle. No noise. Life just left it. BURIED CHILD By Sam Shepard Twenty-two-year—old Vince has arrived unannounced at the home of his grandparents, Dodge and Halie, after six years of separation. But when he gets there, no one knows who he his. Vince’s search for self-knowledge and recognition is the heart of Shepard’s 1996 revision of his Pulitzer Prize—winning play, which originally premiered in 1978. At the end of the play, Vince disappears in the middle of the night to buy liquor with two dollars given to him by his grandfather. He returns the next morning drunk and exhausted. Here, he tells his girl- AMERICAN THEATRE 500K OF‘MONOLOGUVES FOR MEN friend Shelly where he has been, but delivers the speech out front, Shepard says, to the audience. At the end of the speech, Shelly will leave him. VINCE: I was gonna run last night. I was gonna run and keep right on running. Clear to the Iowa border. I drove all night with the windows open. The old man’s two bucks flapping right on the seat beside me. It never stopped raining the whole time. Never stopped once. I could see myself in the Windshield. My face. My eyes. I studied my face. Studied everything about it as though I was looking at another man. As though I could see his whole race behind him. Like a mommy’s face. I saw him dead and alive at the same time. In the same breath. In the wind— shield I watched him breathe as though he was frozen in time and every breath marked him. Marked him forever without him knowing. And then his face changed. His face became his father’s face. Same bones. Same eyes. Same nose. Same breath. And his father’s face changed to his grandfather’s face. And it went on like that. Changing. Clear on back to faces I’d never seen before but still recognized. Still recognized the bones underneath. Same eyes. Same mouth. Same breath. I followed my family clear into Iowa. Every last one. Straight into the corn belt and further. Straight back as far as they’d take me. Then it all dissolved. Everything dissolved. Just like that. And that two bucks kept right on flapping on the seat beside me. THREE DAYS OF RAIN By Richard Greenberq Walker fanaway, his childhood friend Pip says, is capable of changing “the temperature of every circumstance by [a] kind of tyrannical psychosocial, y0u know, fiat.” A year after he disap— AMERICAN THEATRE BOOK OF MONOLOGUES FOR MEN 5 ...
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This note was uploaded on 12/07/2011 for the course THE 1000 taught by Professor Chu during the Spring '10 term at Santa Fe College.

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Monologue Example # 2 - BURIED CHILD By Sam Shepard This...

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