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Espey, Rich (American playwright, teacher, 1966-____), “Dreamboat,” a 30-minute tragedy in English in four scenes, set in a large city, 2001,


; • © 2001 by Rich Espey; • in Rich Espey's Dreamboat (Baltimore, Maryland, U.S..A.: The Author, 2001); • script/rights available from Rich Espey, 1190 West Northern Parkway #505, Baltimore, Maryland 21210, U.S.A., telephone (home) 410-433-0128, e-mail richespey@aol.com. • Cited by Rich Espey, via ftp, January 4, 2002; Espey says,

§ Dramatis Personae Mark (m), 30, a member of Patricia’s church who is tutoring her for her GED; Edna (f), 60, a poor obese woman living in a large city; Patricia (f), 40, renting a room from Edna and intellectually limited.

§ Synopsis "Edna, an obese woman living in a small, filthy row house in a large city, rents a room to Patricia, a limited woman devoted to church and somewhat immersed in a nautical fantasy world she and her mother created when she was a child. When Edna and Patricia return from shopping, the landlady scolds the tenant for apparently having failed to purchase some much-needed rat poison. Patricia criticizes the mess in Edna’s home and poses a plan to move out. Edna balks at losing her tenant, and Patricia suggests that Edna live with Edna’s daughter, Sally. To keep Patricia from moving, Edna points out Patricia’s limitations. The two clearly need each other. Patricia’s friend Mark comes to tutor Patricia for her GED; the squalor shocks him. He finds Patricia playing with a ‘dreamboat’: a model of her ideal living arrangement. He suggests her moving into an available room at their church where she can act as churchkeeper. Edna tries to dissuade Patricia by moaning on the phone to Sally. Edna again tries to prove Patricia’s limitations by hiding the dreamboat and then helping a distraught Patricia find it. Patricia, finally having had enough of Edna’s filth, decides to move into the church. Edna, enraged, surreptitiously destroys Patricia’s dreamboat, and while Mark is helping Patricia move, Edna in desperation poisons Patricia’s dog. Edna tries to convince Patricia that her negligence let the dog eat the poison. Edna hopes to arouse Patricia’s sympathy and to convince Mark that Patricia is not capable of being a churchkeeper. Patricia decides to move anyway. Mark, while looking for Patricia’s dreamboat, discovers a photo album that reveals Edna’s daughter Sally actually died many years ago. Edna’s fantasy of continuing motherhood crumbles, while Patricia’s fantasy of independence becomes a reality. Mark, seeing Edna in desperate need of help, promises to return after having helped Patricia move. Edna, alone, consumes the remainder of the rat poison.

§ Comment "The play occurs on a unit set with no changes. Staging requires standard household furniture as well as an ‘adult potty chair’ (available from a medical supply facility or fairly easily simulated). There are four scenes of roughly equal length. This play has not been produced.”

§ Themes death, dog, fantasy vs. reality, family, filth, GED (General Equivalency Diploma), growing up, independence, mother-daughter relationship, obesity, pet, separation anxiety, squalor, suicide.

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Page mounted January 5, 2002, and updated October 10, 2005, by the Webmaster.

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