Other Plays by Robb Badlam
Badlam, Robb (American playwright, b. in Ogdensburg, New York, U.S.A., January 23, 1970-____), “Slop-Culture,”
a 10-minute comedy in English, set in New York, 1999,
© 1999 by Robb Badlam;
• in Dramatics Magazine, May, 1999;
• also, in Humana Festival '99, The Complete Plays, 1st edition, edited by Michael Bigelow Dixon and Amy Wegener (Lyme, New Hampshire, U.S.A.: Smith & Kraus, 1999), 358 pp., ISBN 1575252074, ISBN 978-1575252070, containing “Slop-Culture,” Anne Bogart’s “Cabin Pressure: Notes and Excerpts,” Naomi Iizuki’s “Aloha, Say the Pretty Girls,” Arthur Kopit’s “Y2K,” Frank Manley’s (adapted by Vincent Murphy) “The Cockfighter,” David Rambo’s “God’s Man in Texas,” Courtney Baron’s “The Blue Room,” Brooke Berman’s “Dancing with a Devil,” Jerome Hairston’s “Forty Minute Finish,” Julia Jordan’s “Mpls., St. Paul,” Matt Pelfrey’s “Drive Angry,” Caroline Williams’ “Just Be Frank,” Sheri Wilner’s “Labor Day,” David Henry Hwang’s “T(ext) Shirt Project Merchandising,” Tony Kushner’s “And the Torso Even More So,” Jane Martin’s “Stuffed Shirts,” Naomi Wallace’s “Manifesto,” Wendy Wasserstein’s “To T or Not to T,” Mac Wellman’s “The Fez,” Richard Dresser’s “The Car Play What Are You Afraid Of?” Neal Bell’s “Phone Plays Will You Accept the Charges?” Rebecca Gilman’s “Speech Therapy,” David Greenspan’s “Them,” Rebecca Reynolds’s “Visitation,” Diana Son’s “Happy Birthday, Jack”; • in Ten-Minute Plays from Actors Theatre of Louisville, vol. 5, edited by Michael Bigelow Dixon and Michele Volansky, foreword by Jon Jory (New York: Samuel French, Inc., ____) (#22275 anthology; single #21424);
• script/rights available from Samuel French, Inc., 25 West 45th Street, New York City, New York 10010-2751, U.S.A., telephone 212-206-8990, fax 212-206-1429; or 7623 Sunset Boulevard, Hollywood, California 90046-2795, U.S.A., telephone 213-876-0570, fax 213-876-6822; or 80 Richmond Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5C 1P1, Canada, telephone 416-363-3536, fax 416-363-1108; or Samuel French, Ltd., 52 Fitzroy Street, London W1P 6JR, England;
Dylan (m), __, _____; Brian (m), __, _____; Cindy (f), __, Dylan’s older sister; Danielle (f), __, a lost lamb who needs guidance, a spiritual castaway.
“In this tenderly sarcastic tale, a spiritual castaway must answer a loaded question about her cultural heritage. Unfortunately, her answer depends on 25 years of bad TV—as does her job.”—Actors Theatre of Louisville - Humana Festival History, http://www.actorstheatre.org/festival_history.htm, accessed July 11, 2004.
“. . . Dylan and Brian, a pair of 20-somethings [recline] on a ratty sofa, in the midst of a heated discussion over a game of television (TV) trivial pursuit. They take turns to mime characters and situations, and expect each other to guess the name of the show. Dylan first tries his hand with the popular TV comedy Gilligan’s Island and makes a spoof out of it, i.e. chaffing over falling coconuts. . . . Cindy is Dylan’s older sister. Danielle and Brian are their chums. Cindy has a temporary job, while Danielle is hoping to apply for an office job. . . . While the TV is Dylan and Brian’s window to the world, most of what they see is product-selling, audience-pleasing fiction. For Brian, who jokingly calls Danielle, Marcia Clark’s (prosecutor for O.J. Simpson criminal trial) twin, the TV has made him more aware of current events and domestic affairs. . . . So what if he is a couch-potato paparazzi? At least he keeps up with the news. . . . Cindy exudes authority and commands respect. As Cindy listens to Danielle’s concerns, she is distracted by Dylan and Brian’s chatter and intrusion. Cindy takes it upon herself to warn them to shut up and behave. Her firm and no-nonsense approach means business, and taking the cue, the irksome youths cease to interrupt her conversation with Danielle. . . . As she says, “They’ll think I’m four years old. I mean, I AM! I might as well be!” Even though Danielle is not a kid anymore, one senses that she still requires someone to mollycoddle her, and Cindy, in an endearing way, becomes her pillar of rock.
• “Dylan and Brian wear their finest bumming around-the-house clothes. In contrast, Danielle is dressed professionally, as she needs to look like a personnel coordinator. Cindy enters in a bathrobe, drying her hair with a towel. She later gets changed to go to work. . . . Although Danielle and Brian admit to have Italian and Viking roots respectively, they have both lost touch with their heritage. In depicting Danielle as a spiritual castaway who has to answer a loaded question about her cultural heritage - a short essay on her most memorable early experience - or lose a job opportunity, Badlam highlights the pernicious effects on a generation glued to the “boob-tube.” As TV buffs, Dylan and Brian are not much of a help to her. Danielle admits that an honest answer to the essay will not get her the job. Her answer is a revelation – a bulldog that pounds on Tom’s (of Tom & Jerry fame) head and makes him bite his tongue off. . . . Dylan and Brian confer over whether “Shaggy and Velma ever hooked up.” Such discussion does arguably border over the absurd. However, viewed positively in this play, ‘absurdity’ can sometimes serve as an avenue for Dylan and Brian to display their vibrant selves in spheres of creativity and unpretentiousness. Embroiled in a stressful setting where Dylan’s sister has to rush off to avoid being late for work and Danielle frets over her job application, Dylan and Brian indubitably welcome elements of promise, calm and hope to their lives, manifested through popular global icons like the Doughboy. . . . What is so beautiful about this play is that it is truthful to our times.” [Gabriel Chen]—Final Scene Project (Slop culture), http://www.duke.edu/~gwc/Final%20Scene%20Project%20(Slop%20culture).htm, accessed July 11, 2004.
• “Born and raised in Ogdensburg, New York [U.S.A.]. Graduated Colgate University in 1992. In 1998 graduated with an MFA in playwriting from Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Published short plays include ‘Guys’ and ‘Slop-Culture.’ Writing awards include: 1999 Heideman Award for’Slop-Culture,’ 1999 Semi-finalist for the Chesterfield Writer’s Film Project for Shakesepare-inspired stage play ‘Will’, and 2004 Nicholl Fellowship Semi-finalist for horror/thriller screenplay ‘Lycanthrope.’ He has worked in development for Artisan Entertainment, Mandalay Pictures, and currently works in development for Filbert Steps Productions in New York City. He is represented by H2F Entertainment.”—Robb Badlam - Biography, http://www.imdb.com/name/nm1866153/bio, accessed November 21, 2007.
• Robb Badlam was the 1999 co-winner of the Actors Theater of Louisville’s Heideman Award for "Slop-Culture."
cultural heritage, indolence, employment, television.