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Burgan, Michael (American playwright, freelance writer, 1960-____), “Gigo,”

a 20-minute comedy-drama in English, set in an office building in the northeast United States, a weeknight, 2004,


; • © 1997 by Michael Burgan; • in Michael Burgan’s Gigo (Windsor, Connecticut, U.S.A.: The Author, 1997); • script/rights available from Michael Burgan, 27 Portman Street, Windsor, Connecticut 06095, U.S.A., e-mail mburgan@aol.com, telephone (home) 860-683-4272. • Cited by Michael Burgan via ftp December 26, 2003, and May 21, 2004; Burgan says,

§ Dramatis Personae Johnny (m), 35, a janitor with a beard and long, thin hair pulled back into a loose pony tail; Martin (m), 35, a midlevel worker at a large insurance company, wears a rumpled shirt and loosened tie.

§ Synopsis “On his nightly rounds, Johnny grumbles as he picks garbage off the floor of Martin's office. Martin, working late, finds Johnny behind his desk. Beset with office problems, Martin is initially not very polite. Johnny suggests that Martin's attitude is also shaped by Johnny's profession: who thinks much of their janitor? Johnny soon reveals, however, that he is not the stereotype Martin thinks he is. Johnny is a college-educated musician who embraces Buddhism; he aspires to be a Zen janitor. Johnny also surprises Martin by his knowledge of Martin's personal life: relationship problems, health issues, and a frustrated career as an author. Johnny tells Martin that he has revealed all these things by the garbage he throws away, and that Johnny searches the trash for lyrical inspiration—and insights into people. Martin, once his shock wears off, thinks perhaps he can benefit from a janitorial career, to get out of the rut his life has become, but he soon shows he does not have the soul for it. As Johnny leaves, the two men are not exactly friends, but they do understand each other a little better than before. [December 26, 2003].

§ Another Synopsis “Working late one night, Martin meets Johnny, the janitor in his building. Martin has had a bad day, and he is even less happy when he realizes Johnny has learned about his life through the garbage he has thrown away. Johnny, a Zen Buddhist and a musician, explains that our garbage reveals who we are—as a person and a society. He encourages Martin to explore his soul and pursue the writing career that he is about to abandon. The two men leave with a better understanding of each other as individuals, not the stereotypes they had been before. [May 21, 2004].

§ Comment “Very basic setting, no scene changes or special requirements. • ‘Gigo’ won the 1997 Playreaders Theatre of Waterbury (Connecticut) annual contest and received a staged reading. The next year, it was staged by Love Creek Productions in New York City. Love Creek then entered the play in the 1999 Samuel French Off-Off Broadway Short Play Festival. ‘Gigo’ was chosen as an alternate for the festival. ‘Gigo’ was a finalist in the Speaking Ring Theatre's Vitality Playwriting Contest (Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.), 2003.”

§ Themes connections, finding meaning in life, first encounter, personal growth, spirituality.

See also Michael Burgan’s

  • "500 Year, 500 Miles," a 45-minute comedy-drama in English, set in an apartment in a city somewhere in the northeast United States, Sunday afternoon, October, 1991, 2m2f
  • "Rack 'Em Up," a 25-minute comedy-drama in English, set in the heavens, eons ago, 1m1f
  • "Tommy's," a 45-minute comedy-drama in English, set in an apartment in a city somewhere in the northeast United States, Sunday afternoon, October, 1991, 2m1f

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Page mounted May 25, 2004, by the Webmaster.

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