1. Strange Interlude - Eugene O’Neill

    You’re my lover! Nothing else matters. Yes, I remember what Sam’s Mother said. She said, “being happy is the nearest we can come to knowing what good is.” And I’m going to bevhappy. I’ve lost everything in life so far because I didn’t have the courage to take it – I’ve hurtveveryone around me. There’s no use trying to think of others. One human being can’t think of another. It’s impossible. But this time I’m going to think of my own happiness – and that means you – and our child. That’s quite enough for one human being to think of, dear, isn’t it? Think of those afternoons together. Think of how happy we were. I’ve given Sam enough of my life! And it hasn’t made him happy, not in the least bit! So what’s the good? And how can we really know that this thinking our child was his would do him any good? We can’t! It’s all guesswork. The only thing sure is that we love each other.


  2. The Children’s Hour - Lillian Helmen

    KAREN: Why have you come here? What? You know it wasn’t true? I don’t care what you know. It doesn’t matter anymore. We’re not going to suffer anymore. Martha is dead. So you’ve come here to relieve your conscience? Well I won’t be your confessor. It’s choking you isn’t it? And you want the choking to stop, don’t you? You’ve done a wrong and you need to right that wrong or you won’t be able to rest your head again. You want to be “just,” don’t you, and you wanted us to help you be just? You’ve come to the wrong place for help. You want to be a good woman again, don’t you? Oh I know. You told us that night that you had to do what you did. Now you “have” to do this. A public apology and money paid and you can sleep again and eat again. That done and there will be peace for you. You’re old, and the old are callous. Ten, fifteen years left for you. But what of me? It’s a whole life for me. A whole miserable life. And what of her?


  3. Danny And The Deep Blue Sea - John Patrick Shanley

    ROBERTA: That’s what it is. There’s boats right up by Westchester Square. What’s that, twenty blocks? Look sometime, you’ll see ‘em. Not the real big ones, but big. Sea boats. I met a sailor in the bar one time. In the outfit, you know? I was all over him. But he turned out to be nothin – a pothead. He giggled a lot. It was too bad because… Well, it was too bad. When we got married, me and Billy, that was my husband, we smoked a ball of opium one night. It really knocked me out. I fell asleep like immediately. And I dreamed about the ocean. It was real blue. And there was the sun, and it was real yellow. And I was out there, right in the middle of the ocean, and I heard this noise. I turned around, and whaddya think I saw? Just about right next to me. A whale! A whale came shootin straight outta the water! A whale! Yeah! And he opened up his mouth and closed it while he was up there in the air. And people on the boat said, Look! The whales are jumpin! And no shit, these whales start jummpin outta the water all over the place. And I can see them! Through one of those round windows, Or right out in the open. Whales! Gushin outta the water, and then, after a while , they all stopped jumpin. It got quiet. Everybody went away. The water smoothed out. But I kept lookin at the ocean. So deep and blue. And different. It was different then. ‘Cause I knew it had all them whales in it.



    HANSCHEN: You can’t be serious. Really, Ernst, you’re such a sentimentalist. The…serene faces you see on the clergy, it’s all an act to hide their envy. Trust me, there are only three ways a man can go. He can let the status quo defeat him, like Moritz. He can rock the boat, like Melchior, and be expelled. Or he can buy his time and let the system work for him, like me. Think of the future as a pail of whole milk. One man sweats and stirs churning it into butter, like Otto for example. Another man frets and spills his milk and cries all night, like Georg. But me? Well, I’m like a pussy cat. I just skim off the cream.


  5. The Web - Eugene O’Neill

    ROSE: (scornfully)Oh, couldn’t he? D’yuh suppose they’d keep me any place if they knew what I was? And d’yuh suppose he wouldn’t tell them or have some one else tell them? Yuh don’t know the game I’m up against. (bitterly)I’ve tried that job thing. I’ve looked fur decent work and I’ve starved at it. A year after I first hit this town I quit and tried to be on the level. I got a job at housework—workin’ twelve hours a day for twenty-five dollars a month. And I worked like a dog, too, and never left the house I was so scared of seein’ some one who knew me. But what was the use? One night they have a guy to dinner who’s seen me some place when I was on the town. He tells the lady—his duty he said it was—and she fires me right off the reel. I tried the same thing a lot of times. But there was always some one who’d drag me back. And then I quit tryin’. There didn’t seem to be no use. They—all the good people—they got me where I am and they’re goin’ to keep me there. Reform? Take it from me it can’t be done. They won’t let yuh do it, and that’s Gawd’s truth.

    [TIM: Give it another trial any way. Yuh never know your luck. Yuh might be able to stick this time.]

      ROSE: (wearily) Talk is cheap. Yuh don’t know what yuh’re talkin’ about. What job c’n I git? What am I fit fur? Housework is the only thing I know about and I don’t know much about that. Where else could I make enough to live on? That’s the trouble with all us girls. Most all of us ud like to come back but we jest can’t and that’s all there’s to it. We can’t work out of this life because we don’t know how to work. We was never taught how. (She shakes with a horrible fit of coughing, wipes her lips, and smiles pitifully.)Who d’yuh think would take a chance on hiring me the way I look and with this cough? Besides, there’s the kid. (sarcastically)Yuh may not know it but people ain’t strong for hirin’ girls with babies—especially when the girls ain’t married.

    Full text


  6. Anton in Show Business - Jane Martin

    CASEY: So, the casting agent says to me, “You’re not right for it; you’re a character woman.” I die. My blood congeals. Fissures appear. It’s the actresses’ death knell. I go through menopause in five seconds. All fluids dry. I become the Mojave Desert. Character woman! I, who have screwed every leading man on the East Coast, become their mother. Vertigo. I scream out in a silent, unattending universe: “I’m too young to be a character woman!” and the echo replies, rolling out of infinite space: “They want to see you for the funny aunt at the wedding!” (She ritually disembowels herself) Bad day. I once believed I could be very good. I wanted to be so concentrated, so compressed, so vivid and present and skillful and heartfelt that any- one watching me would literally burst into flame. Combust. I never did it. It never happened. I used to think that theatre could change people’s lives. The truth is, two months later the audience can’t remember the name of the play. I mean, honestly, has anybody you know to be a sentient being ever walked up to you and said the play changed their life? No, fine, okay.You know who is changed by Chekhov? Me. I finish a play, it’s like, “Get me an exorcist!” He eats my life. He chews me up. He spits me out. I’m like bleeding from Chekhov. The audience? Who knows what their deal is? They come from the mists; they return to the mist. They cough, they sneeze, they sleep, they unwrap little hard candies, and then they head for their cars during the curtain call. And once, once I would like to step out and say to the ones who are up the aisles while we take the bows, “Hey! Excuse me! Could you show a little mercy because I just left it all out here on the stage and even if you don’t have the foggiest notion what it was or what it meant, could you have the common courtesy to leave your goddamn cars in the garage for another forty seconds and give me a little hand for twenty years of work!”


  7. The Diviners - Jim Leonard, Jr.

    DARLENE: Ick! Don’t let those worms near me. I’m not about to let them touch me. How come? Cause I don’t like worms. That’s how come. If it was me, I’d make that preacher dig em up himself and put em in the can. Who ever heard of a man askin you out to go fishin and then makin you do all the work? Worms wouldn’t bother me so much, see? But they used to be able to walk. It’s true, Jennie Mae. Don’t you guys read the Bible? (Not too happy about the fact.) Yeah, I gotta learn the whole thing. Like, say I’m sittin at the table and I want seconds on dessert, Aunt Norma says, “Give me a verse first, Darlene.” If I didn’t know the Bible I’d starve to death, see? But I been learnin who Adam and Eve are.You heard a them, ain’t you? The first people. And they’re livin in this great big old garden in Europe. And the thing about Eve is she’s walkin around pickin berries and junk with no clothes on. Listen, Jennie Mae, they were like doin it all the time. All the time, Jennie Mae. That kind a stuff happens in Europe. But like I’m sayin, this snake comes strollin up, see? And he tells her how she’s sittin there jaybird stark naked. Oh, there’s lots crazier stuff’n that in the Bible. Like there’s people turnin to stone. One minute they’re sittin there just shootin the breeze—and the next thing you know they’re all rocks! Lots a weird stuff. So anyway, this business a bein naked really sets God off at the snake, see? Cause with Eve bein so dumb she didn’t get in any trouble, but now it’s like a whole not her ball game. And God wasn’t just mad at this one snake either—he was mad at all a the snakes and all a the worms in the world. So he tells em “From now on you guys’re gonna crawl around in the dirt!” God says, “From now on nobody likes you.” God really said that. Right in the Bible. Later on he gets really mad and floods the whole world out. He kills em with water. Floods em right under. He makes it keep rainin, see? It’s in the Bible—it’s true.


  8. Courtship - Horton Foote

    LAURA: Oh, my God! That worries me so. Suppose I think I’m in love with a man and I marry him and it turns out I’m not in love with him. (A pause.) What does being in love mean? I wish I didn’t think so much. I wish to heaven I didn’t. Everything bad that happens to a girl I begin to worry it will happen to me. All night I’ve been worrying. Part of the time I’ve been worrying that I’d end an old maid like Aunt Sarah, and part of the time I worry that I’ll fall in love with someone like Syd and defy Papa and run off with him and then realize I made a mistake and part of the time I worry.. (A pause.) that what happened to Sibyl Thomas will happen to me and.. (A pause.) could what happened to Sibyl Thomas ever happen to you? I don’t mean the dying part. I know we all have to die. I mean the other part having a baby before she was married. How do you think it happened to her? Do you think he loved her? Do you think it was the only time she did? You know.. (A pause.) Old, common, Anna Landry said in the girls room at school, she did it whenever she wanted to, with whomever she wanted to and nothing ever happened to her. And if it did she would get rid of it. How do women do that? I guess we’ll never know. I don’t trust Anna Landry and I don’t know who else to ask. Can you imagine the expression on Mama’s face, or Aunt Lucy’s or Mrs. Cookenboo’s if I asked them something like that? (A pause.) Anyway, even if I knew I would be afraid to do something like that before I got married for fear God would strike me dead. (A pause.) Aunt Sarah said that Sibyl’s baby dying was God’s punishment of her sin. Aunt Lucy said if God punished sinners that way there would be a lot of dead babies.


  9. Brighton Beach Memoirs - Neil Simon

    BLANCHE: I’m not going to let you hurt me, Nora. I’m not going to let you tell me that I don’t love you or that I haven’t tried to give you as much as I gave Laurie… God knows I’m not perfect because enough angry people in this house told me so tonight… but I am not going to be a doormat for all the frustration and unhappiness that you or Aunt Kate or anyone else wants to lay at my feet… I did not create this Universe. I do not decide who lives and dies, or who’s rich or poor or who feels loved and who feels deprived. If you feel cheated that I had a husband who died at thirty-six. And if you keep on feeling that way, you’ll end up like me… with something much worse than loneliness or helplessness and that’s self-pity. Believe me, there is no leg that’s twisted or bent that is more crippling than a human being who thrives on his own misfortunes… I am sorry, Nora, that you feel unloved and I will do everything I can to change it except apologize for it. I am tired of apologizing. After a while it becomes your life’s work and it doesn’t bring any money into the house… if it’s taken you pain and Aunt Kate’s anger to get me to start living again, then God will give me the strength to make it up to you, but 8I will not go back to being that frightened, helpless woman that I created!.. I’ve already buried someone I love. Now its time to bury someone I hate.


  10. Assassins - John Weidman

    FROMME: I was like you once. Lost. Confused. A piece of shit. Then I met Charlie…I was sitting on the beach in Venice. I’d just had a big fight with my daddy about, I don’t know, my eye make-up or the bombing of Cambodia. He said I was a drug addict and a whore and I should get out of his house forever—

    I went down to the beach and sat down on the sand and cried. I felt like I was disappearing. Like the whole world was dividing into two parts. Me, and everybody else. And then this guy came down the beach, this dirty-looking little elf. He stopped in front of me and smiled this twinkly devil smile and said, ‘Your daddy kicked you out.’ He knew! ‘Your daddy kicked you out!’ How could he know? My daddy didn’t tell him, so who could’ve? God. God sent this dirty-looking little elf to save a little girl lost on a beach. He smiled again and touched my hair and off he went. And for a minute I just watched him go. Then I ran and caught his hand, and till they arrested him for stabbing Sharon Tate, I never let it go.