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"Children of Neon Lights"

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Grassmann, Bettina (Canadian playwright, 1972-____), “Children of Neon Lights,” drama in English, set in the psyche ward of a hospital the night Operation Desert Storm was launched in Kuwait, January 16, 1991,

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; • © 1996 by Bettina Grassman; • in Bettina Grassman’s Children of Neon Lights (Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada: The Author, 1996); • script/rights available from Bettina Grassman, 13 Webb Crescent, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan S7H 3L5, Canada, telephone (home) 306-373-0745, e-mail taquam@yahoo.ca. • Cited by Dan Zellner via e-mail d-zellner@NWU.EDU February 15, 1996; Zellner says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Jeremy (m), psychiatric patient; Nicole (f), psychiatric patient; Nurse (f), staff member.

§ Synopsis “Jeremy, who is depressive and suicidal, has managed to sneak a knife onto the ward and tries to slit his wrists. However, he is constantly interrupted by Nicole, who is wildly manic. She believes that she is Aphrodite and that she has started the war, to her a repeat of the Trojan War. As Jeremy, irritated, tries to ignore her or drown her out with the TV, she rants about her mythological crises, to avoid the real, painful problems in her life. She is terrified by a hole in the floor she believes is the entrance to Hades. Nicole probes him about his past and in relating a party story, Jeremy learns that they met years before, his friend humiliated her, and he did nothing to stop it. Unshaken by this realization, Nicole challenges Jeremy on his reasons for wanting to die. Finally, Jeremy confesses that he has no real reason for wanting to kill himself. He simply lost interest in life when he perceived his life is as mechanical as a neon light. Nicole condemns him for abandoning life. In her rage, she trips and falls into the hole in the floor, into what she believes is Hades. Jeremy wakes from his apathy and cares enough to rescue her from the hole in the floor, and her terror.

§ Comment “Premiered February 9, 10, and 11 [1996] at North Park College, Chicago, in North Park College’s Winter One-acts, a test site for the Playwright in Electronic Residence (PIER) programme. The programme was created by Studio Z, a nonprofit organization based in Chicago, studioz@mcs.com. Studio Z is dedicated to bringing theatre into the 21st Century through the use of communications technology. The PIER programme involves linking international playwrights with universities and theatres via the Internet. • Ms. Grassmann holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drama at the University of Saskatchewan. She wrote and directed ‘The Quantum Cat’ and the musical ‘Stitches.’ Her plays ‘Demeter’ and ‘Children of Neon Lights’ received readings at Playwrights Workshop in Montreal. A monologue from ‘Children of Neon Lights’ was published in Short Spells (Playwrights Union of Canada Press).”

§ Themes Aphrodite, Kuwait, Operation Desert Storm, psychiatric ward, reality, reason for living, suicide, Trojan War.

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted February 15, 1996, and updated September 11, 1996, September 23, 2003, August 5, November 5, 2004, by the site Webmaster.

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