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Picture, Animal, Crisscross - Collection / Anthology

Picture, Animal, Crisscross

Oliver Hailey

Collection / Anthology

ISBN: 9780822208938

PICTURE. Enlisting the help of two fellow students, Jay attempts a "de…

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Description

Collection / Anthology

PICTURE. Enlisting the help of two fellow students, Jay attempts a "demonstration" to reenact (and perhaps fathom) a disconcerting episode from his past. The action centers on a photo of a back-country East Texas wedding party, which Jay has hung over his desk, and the violence that erupts from the normally placid "Little David" (impersonated by one of the other students) in reaction to Jay's cruel taunts about the bumpkins shown in the picture. But this time, at the crucial moment, the person playing "Little David" balks at attacking Jay—so the third student (who has been assuming the part of "Al") steps into the role and sends Jay crashing to the floor. For a moment the demonstration becomes all too real—and when Jay offers the others their pay for taking part in it "Al" disdainfully passes his share on to "Little David." Then they go, leaving Jay to recall the chilling, even darker nature of the original event and to ponder the reverberations that still emanate from it. (3 men.) ANIMAL. This humorous, touching and revealing monologue is concerned with an exasperated mother who attempts to entice her twelve-year-old daughter (unseen) out of the tree (imaginary) in which she has taken refuge. In the course of her brief recital the woman, her daughter, her late husband (who fell to his death climbing a tree) and the very nature of their lives together are revealed with startling and affecting clarity and compassion. (1 woman.) CRISSCROSS. Described by the author as "a passion play in five minutes," this brilliant short play depicts the confrontation between a "Carpenter" and his hippie-like son ("Santa") whose "thing" is to carry an empty sack on his back, hoping to fill it and then give everything away. The father tries to understand his son, but he cannot; and the son, in turn, is unable to condone his father's work of building crucifixes—on one of which he must then impale his own son. If only, he muses, the boy could have been a carpenter, like his father. It would have been so much simpler for everyone! (2 men.)
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