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“The Box”

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Monteleone, John (American playwright, March 2, 1956-____), “The Box,”

a 60-minute hyper-real dark comedy in English set in a telemarketing office in a big city, one long day, 1987,

4m or 4f;

  •  © 1987;  •  script/rights available from John Monteleone, e-mail webmaster@hamptonswebdesign.com, P.O. Box 2723, Sag Harbor, New York 11963, telephone (home and work) 631-725-5251, Website www.johnmonteleone.com. Orders should specify preferred method of mail: (1) e-mail of an MS Word 6.0 document as an attached file, (2) regular mail.  •  Cited by playwright via ftp, July 7, 1997; Monteleone says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Rooster (m or f), head of a telemarketing company; Boy (m or f), a recent college graduate; Song (m or f), an artist and cowboy; Web (m or f), a salesman.

  §  Synopsis “Rooster, the head of the coop, a telemarketing shop where 'we sell everything here, kid-get my drift?' is a neurotic, paranoid, pill-popping, capitalist nutjob who lives for the next sale. Boy, a recent and hope-filled college graduate seeking a beautiful life through the acquisition of money and position, enters Rooster's world and, to survive, slowly transforms himself into Rooster. His transformation requires him to turn his skin green, become arrogant, take on Rooster's attitude, voice, mannerisms, et cetera; and this is both funny and frightening. During the madness, and within the struggle to survive, Song, an unemployed artist and cowboy enters. The three of them deal with the very different perspectives of their lives, as the machine slowly engulfs them. Web, Rooster's hot-shot multi-million dollar salesman, rents a closet 'on the job,' is a living corpse who progressively decays, sells his mother to survive, and expresses feelings about the glory of living in 'a box, rationalizing his slavery. Song tries to escape (but the salesman's chair is stuck to his ass and he cannot-there's nowhere to go); he learns that Web is his father! They all struggle to maintain, or escape the strangleholds of this world they have created and participate in.

  §  Comment "This is a fast-paced, physical romp into the underbelly of business ethics, its affects on our humanity and an exposé of the demands of the business world that transforms innocence into corruption.   •  The telemarketing office set is simple and a ringing phone is required.  •  Premiered with professional actors at The William Redfield Theatre, New York City on a double bill with ‘Homesick.’  • Monteleone has ten one-act plays (all listed in this website) and can be ordered as one compilation or separately. He also has six full-length plays which have received either production or professional New York City readings, including two solo works. The full-length plays are Farmland (9m2f), Prisoners in Paradise (3m1f), The Lamp (2m2f), The Loonybin (22 characters, doubling possible), Diary of a Madman adapted from the Gogol (Russian writer, 1809-1852) classic (1m or 1f), and Tragic and I'm Still Laughing (10 characters for 1 or more actors, m or f)-it is listed on this website; please inquire for synopsis. He has also written four screenplays. All of Monteleone’s plays are innovative, challenging, offer interesting story lines, are ideal for the professional theatre and wonderful for colleges (many have been produced in academic theatre) and also for high schools that are not uptight! John Monteleone has received critical acclaim as both a playwright and actor, he is a graduate of NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate program, a member of the Dramatists Guild, Actors Equity, and The 42nd Street Workshop (a cooperative of writers, actors and directors developing new plays in New York City). He holds a BFA and MA, is an Artist-in-Residence and Professor of Drama at Dowling College, Oakdale, New York 11769. His review package is available upon request.”

  §  Themes Artist, capitalism, cowboy, drugs, entrapment, paranoia, sales, telemarketing, business.

See also John Monteleone’s


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Page updated August 4, 1997, May 28, June 16, 2001, by the site Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays, Vols. 1 and 2

  (Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A.; Folkestone, Kent, U.K.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, 1999),

vol. 1 [1995] ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, vol. 2 [1999] ISBN 0-8108-3600-9

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