Graham, David (American playwright, writer, 1959-____), “Ernst,”
a 50-minute black comedy in English, set in the office of a city politician, 1994,
© 1994, script/rights available from David Wesley Graham, 5959 North Greenview, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A. 60660, telephone (home) 773-728-2344. Cited by playwright via ftp September 19, 1997; Graham says,
Dramatis Personae Woody (m), political science major; Chip (m), Woody's boss, campaign manager; Ernst (m), new temp.
Synopsis “Woody is an exhausted college political science major studying World War II, who is working on the ailing campaign of an incompetent city politician. Adding to his frustration is his boss, Chip, an obnoxious, racist, sexist middle-aged hired gun, who has been brought in to run the campaign. One day, Woody comes in to find that Chip has fired the only secretary for wanting time off to tend to her sick children and that Chip has hired a new temp. Both men hope that the temp (a) is not an actor and (b) is an attractive woman. But to Chip’s dismay and Woody’s shock, the temp looks and speaks like Adolf Hitler, except that Ernst, as the temp calls himself, dresses a la The Gap. Things take an even more bizarre turn, as Ernst, who appears to be the perfect worker, begins subtly to work his own suggestions into Chip’s and Woody’s brainstorming sessions, and Ernst’s ideas sound eerily reminiscent of Der Führer’s strategies in his rise to power. Chip, however, thinks the ideas are marvelous and encourages Ernst to continue his contributions. . . . Woody learns a history lesson more horrific than a classroom would ever afford, and the cycle of evil continues.”
Comment David Wesley Graham is a Chicago Dramatists’ Workshop resident playwright.
Themes college, cycle, Nazism, politics, racism, temporary worker, World War II.
See also David Graham’s
“Midnight Snack,” a 55-minute thriller drama in English, set in in the kitchen of a run-down apartment, between midnight and dawn, 1996, 3m1f
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