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“Solitary”


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Golden, Summer M. (American playwright, acting/comedy teacher, performer, 1942-____), “Solitary,”

a 30-minute social commentary drama in English, set in a maximum security prison, U.S.A., 2002,

1m3f (1 male+3 males or females);

  •  © 2002 by Summer M. Golden;  •  script/rights available from Summer Golden, 4114 Iowa Street, San Diego, California 92104, U.S.A., e-mail zgolden1@cox.net, telephone (home) 619-298-5844, (work) 619-647-4958.  •  Cited by Summer Golden via ftp May 1, 2002; Golden says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Ken (m), 30, prison inmate; Staff 1 (m or f), any career age; Staff 2 (m or f), any career age; Staff 3 (m or f), any career age.

  §  Synopsis “(1) Ken at first sticks to self-imposed schedule of grooming, exercise, study, and meditation. (2) Gradually he sinks into insanity. (3) Sun sets and rises, seasons change. Time becomes irrelevant. (4) Guard tells his own story in bits, throughout play. (5) Ken chokes on his toilet paper penis sculpture. (6) Guards restrain and drug him. (7) Ken is released from prison before effects of drugs have worn off. (Effects last weeks.) At this point, he is completely insane anyway. (8) On the way out of prison, he feebly attacks guards. (9) Ken is back in solitary. (10) Ken, throughout play, periodically breaks the fourth wall by randomly addressing a question to an audience member.

  §  Comment “Ken takes his own advice. At first, he tries to stick to a very regimented schedule of exercise, reading, and meditation. Gradually, however Ken retreats more and more into his mind. When he chokes on his toilet paper sculpture, Ken is medicated and placed in restraints. By the time he is released from prison, his fine thread of sanity has been permanently severed. Ken’s freedom lasts less than an hour. Solitary will become his home for the rest of his life.  •  Audience members are expected to answer Ken’s questions.  •  Two sets on stage at same time. No set changes. No special requirements. No production history.  •  Playwright interviewed five former solitary inmates, a maximum security prison guard, and many people on the street.”

  §  Themes custodianship, forced medication, guard, institutionalization, interaction, penis, prison, sanity, solitary confinement.
 

See also Summer Golden’s
 
  • The Cocktail Party,” a 15-minute bare-stage satirical comedy in English, set in a theatre, U.S.A., 2001, 1f
  • The Fantasy,” a 15-minute drama in English, set in a bedroom, U.S.A., 2001, 1m1f

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