Paper Wing, the locally owned theater company, continues in its DIY vein by sifting through more than 30 plays and vetting them down to 14 unproduced plays written by California playwrights and giving them a staged reading every Sunday, June 28 to Aug. 9.
Actors rehearse plays on Saturday, then read two of them each Sunday, one at 3pm and another at 6pm. Tickets are $5; call 905-5684 for information.
"The cast sits in a semicircle dressed in black to dramatically read the dialogue with minimal dramatic direction," reads a press release. "The playwrights get a chance to hear their work performed by talented actors on a stage and the audience is invited to participate by offering their feedback."
The best play of the series will get a full-blown production in the future.
A series like this follows in the wake of the company's mission, says Paper Wing co-owner Koly McBride.
"We want to open up our space to these works no one has seen before," she says. "We're in a position to do things a little differently because we have the other space [Fremont Street] now and can devote a long period of time [to] get independent work out there. We like to look at work we haven't seen before."
If you do too, the series begins today at Paper Wing Fremont (2115 N. Fremont St., Monterey), with a 3pm reading of Blame by Paul Heller of San Francisco, described as a surrealistic play about family guilt and a priest.
At 6pm today, Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls Go to Prison by "local TV host and trash cinema aficionado" Shane Dallmann, of Marina, billed as a sequel to a 1979 blue movie comedy.
Below is an excerpt from Mozambique, an upcoming play from King City playwright David Norum, about the inner psychological workings of disturbing police shootings, scheduled for a 6pm reading on July 5.
(A full schedule and synopsis of all the plays is included below the excerpt.)
Mozambique (A Story in Three Acts)
By David Norum
KEVIN SEAN MCNAMARA: A veteran deputy sheriff age 52. Superficially funny and glib and charming, he has special relationship with his daughter Emmie. But he also has a deep dark side.
SARAH MCNAMARA: Kevin's long suffering, supportive wife, but not a doormat. In her late 40's.
EMMIE MCNAMARA: Kevin and Sarah's 14 year old daughter. An only child. Pretty, fit, a former tomboy just burgeoning into young womanhood. A star soccer player. Idolizes her dad.
JT: age 50, veteran deputy, Kevin's former partner. Recovering alcoholic with all of the requisite baggage. Every time we see him he is wearing his holster and pistol in plain view.
SETTING: Combination Living Room/Dining room of the McNamara house in middle class suburbs in fictional Cypress County, California
TIME: Present day
Lights up on the living room/dining room. Breakfast time. The room is well appointed, clean and contemporary but homey. A woman singing happily is audible from the kitchen which is offstage There is a tan deputy sheriff uniform shirt with badge attached, a bullet proof vest and black leather uniform gun-belt with partly visible pistol hanging on several hooks next to the front door. KEVIN, a clean cut deputy sheriff, is pacing back and forth with a cup of coffee. He is wearing a dark green sheriff's uniform pants, crisply shined black boots, a white t-shirt and an unzipped lightweight dark brown windbreaker. EMMIE, is sitting at a dining table finishing her breakfast. She is dressed for school in stylish but not too feminine clothes. There is an uncomfortable silence as both are deep in thought, but still very aware of each other's presence.
KEVIN absent-mindedly sips at his cup several times, not noticing or remembering that it is empty.
EMMIE: Jeez, dad you look more nervous than I feel.
KEVIN: Ahhh.. I'm not nervous, I'm just a little excited. It's just a silly freshman soccer game. Big friggin' whoop.
EMMIE: A freshman BOY'S soccer game. And, hey, you told me the game is called futbol, not soccer.
KEVIN: You say to-pato, I say po-mato, a fart by any other name would smell as sweet.
EMMIE: You should have outgrown fart jokes when you were ten.
KEVIN: Never! Besides you better get used to lots of fart jokes now that you are playing freshman boys' futbol. Fourteen year old boys are vile, filthy, and stupid creatures.
EMMIE: I know, that's why I go for 35 year old tweakers on Harleys. Anyway if I never said it before, for the ten thousandth time, thanks dad.
KEVIN: Thanks for what? Whatever did I do to deserve this?
EMMIE: Jeez, dad you are so pathetically needy. Didn't your parents ever give you any attention when you were little. Your royal pain-ness, I would kiss your boots in thanks but you just polished them and I know you would get mad.
KEVIN: Au contraire mi amor, the luxurious patina of your salivary secretions would make mis zapatos shine tres bien like la luz del sol.
EMMIE: Is that supposed to be Spanish or French?
KEVIN: Actually it's a relatively unknown dialect from the old country, it's Franish Spench.
EMMIE: Jeez Dad!
KEVIN: There are only a few dozen of us in the world still speaking it and I want to hand it down to the next generation. So pay attention and you will be a part of living, breathing history, mija de la guerre.
EMMIE: Oh thank you Kevin Sean McNamara. Tell me, is that a Franish Spench name too?
KEVIN: Roughly translated by the idiotic Americanos when mis abuelitos came to Ellis Island from the now defunct Republic of Frain in the uh, le gran baignoire.
EMMIE: A Baignoire is a bathtub. Don't you mean bateau?
KEVIN: No I meant bathtub, we were very poor back in Frain.
EMMIE: Okay okay I give up. You win. You wore me down.
KEVIN: I always do, love. I always do. Now about those ten thousand thanks . . .
SARAH enters from kitchen singing or humming the old ditty "Don't Sit Under the Apple Tree". She picks up KEVIN's and EMMIE's breakfast dishes while dancing around the table. Her hair is brushed but not fixed and she is wearing a lightweight bathrobe with a matching lightweight night gown underneath and funny, furry slippers.
SARAH: (Brightly) Let up on the girl Kevin She is nervous enough about the game without having to put up with your foolishness.
EMMIE: I am not nervous mon cherie madame I am merely poquito excitado.
SARAH: I swear you are the worst influence on that poor girl, Kevin. Everyone in the high school is going to think she is completely insane. They already think she is a little goofy for playing boys' soccer .
KEVIN and EMMIE: Futbol!
SARAH: Okay I give up. (She spins happily on her toes and dances back to the kitchen with the dirty dishes, resuming her song right where she left off)
KEVIN: So about that ten thousand and first thanks . . .
EMMIE: Okay dad, tell me again how you convinced them to let Cheryl and me play on the boys' team.
KEVIN: Would you believe I threatened to plant a kilo of cocaine in the superintendant's car if he didn't let you play?
EMMIE: No, you are too honest to do that.
KEVIN: Well, would you believe I promised him a state championship by your and Cheryl's senior year?
EMMIE: Hey dad we're good but we're not that good.
KEVIN: Well then would you believe that since the school got rid of the girls' team and there was only a boys' team now, I reasonably, rationally and politely explained to the superintendant and his sycophantic minions, all of the legal, moral and ethical ramifications of Title Nine? How in People versus Stickagolenupyournosenhousen the U.S. Supreme Court-- all personal friends of mine from the old country I might add-- ruled unanimously that my favorite, that is to say only, daughter shall hereinafter be allowed to be the one true star of the Cypress Valley Wild Dogs Boy's freshman soccer . . .
EMMIE: Don't you mean . . .
KEVIN: I mean futbol team.
EMMIE: Well Maxwell Smart, I almost bought it except for the "reasonably, rationally and politely" part.
KEVIN: Would you believe . . .
EMMIE: I got it dad. I got it. Jeez. Now I can see how a big puppy dog like you got by as a cop all these years. You never had to fight anyone to arrest them, you just talked them nearly to death and they gave up begging for the quiet and solitude of prison. How did Uncle JT put up with you all those years?
KEVIN: JT? He's a whole lot worse. I learned all of my obnoxious behavior from the master. What about mom, how do you think she puts up with me?
EMMIE: Selective deafness.
KEVIN: (He puts his hand up to his ear like an old fashioned ear trumpet and speaks in an old man's voice) Hah?
EMMIE: Haha, okay I'll see you at five . . .
KEVIN: On the dot. If I am even three minutes late I know you will have scored five goals by then.
EMMIE: Dad I play fullback . . .
KEVIN: Okay five touchdowns . . .
EMMIE: Dad . . .
KEVIN: No, no I know. Fullback is a defensive position. The last line of defense before the keeper. You have to mark the strikers as they come downfield, I mean down-pitch, and cover the back post on corners and direct free kicks and the only way to score is on late game breakaways or on set pieces or on penalty kicks if you are so chosen.
EMMIE: Wow, not too bad for never having watched me play before. I mean "set pieces?" Have you ever even seen a soccer game? You missed all of my junior high and club games because of work
KEVIN: Are you kidding? Back in the old country I was all-Frain for ten years . . .
EMMIE: DAD !
KEVIN: I changed to the day shift just so I could see you play. I get off at four now . . .
EMMIE: "Unless I get held over."
KEVIN: No. No hold-overs on game days. I got them covered with JT and Mike and that guy
Dave. No way, no how I'd miss a single one.
EMMIE: Gotta go dad love you. See you at five.
KEVIN: Get a yellow card for me. Or two.
EMMIE: (As she exits) Bye mom. Love you both.. And make sure dad takes his meds before he comes tonight . . . (EMMIE exits as SARAH enters, humming the same song, or maybe a different ditty)
KEVIN: What does she mean by that?
SARAH: She is just kidding Kevin. What, you can dish it out but you can't take it? Since when are you so thin skinned?
KEVIN: I don't know, it just doesn't seem right.
SARAH: What, her teasing you back? You taught her well.
KEVIN: No, I mean making fun of mentally ill people. Everyone makes jokes about people being insane, you know?
June 28, 2015
3:00pm "Blame", Paul Heller: Surrealistic play about family guilt and a priest. (San Francisco)
6:00pm "Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls Go to Prison", Shane Dallmann: A sequel to the 1979 "blue" feature, 'Hot & Saucy Pizza Girls.' From the pen of Shane Dallmann, local TV host and trash cinema aficionado. (Marina)
July 5, 2015
3:00pm "I'm Just Wild About Harry", Phillip Pearce: A married couple wants more for her aging father.(Seaside)
6:00pm "Mozambique", David Norum. A cop and his family are torn asunder as the events of a shooting come under close scrutiny. (King City)
July 12, 2015
3:00pm "Big Dang Hero", Mark Cunningham: Super Heroes go to extremes to protect one of their own, even when it’s a crime. (Salinas)
6:00pm "Believers", Patricia Milton: Funny, futuristic play, with mad scientist elements. (Bay Area)
July 19, 2015
3:00pm "Le Fee Verte", Bridgette Portman: A story revolving around “The Green Fairy” and the abolition of absinthe. (Bay Area)
6:00pm "The King in Yellow", Patrick R. Golden: original Noir adaptation of Robert W. Chambers’ classic and strange "yellow mythos" stories. (Seaside)
July 26, 2015
3:00pm "The Killing Jar", Jennifer Lynne Roberts: An apprentice struggles with the artist she hopes to emulate. (Bay Area)
6:00pm "The Pennsylvanian", Jennifer Lynne Roberts: A family drama with magic realism as the lonely family home begins to disintegrate. (Bay Area)
August 2, 2015
3:00pm "Taken", Susan Jackson: A family struggles with the discovery of the body of a missing brother. (Bay Area)
6:00pm "Conversations With Lucifer", Kate Price: A modern re-telling of the Faust story. (Morro Bay)
August 9, 2015
3:00pm "Ein Nacht", Marjorie Lowry: A large ensemble cast tackles a concentration camp, WWII-era drama.(Monterey)
6:00pm "Sherlock Holmes in 'The Raven's Court", Raleigh Welch: an original Sherlock Holmes tale from a local college student. (Salinas)