This Program Takes Place at the Intersection of the Frozen Food and Dairy Aisles of Your Local Grocery Store
dramatic text by Alexander kveton
performance script by john kurzynowski
this project is currently In development
Working collaboratively to create a new performance text in response to our current cultural fascination with episodic storytelling, playwright Alexander Kveton and I have continued our investigation into the realm of the absurd with the development of This Program Takes Place at the Intersection of the Frozen Food and Dairy Aisles of Your Local Grocery Store. Part theatrical deconstruction, part melodramatic fever dream – this original "audio play" draws inspiration from genre-bending television serials such as Twin Peaks and Stranger Things, as well as common dramatic tropes found within the nostalgic TV programs that dominate our contemporary viewing experience, and establishes its own cast of characters living their extraordinary lives within the confines of one single aisle in their local grocery store. How does the dramatic structure of the episodic narrative transform once it's challenged by the postdramatic possibilities of live theatre? And what happens to the familiar characters living within that narrative once they’re exposed to the unfamiliar and unsettling realities of an audio-based performance?
The following is a brief selection of dramatic text from the latest draft of the performance script –
BARRY: I like your hair.
WENDY: My hair is always like this.
BARRY: It is?
BARRY: Well, I like it.
WENDY: You do?
BARRY: I do.
WENDY: Well that’s great.
BARRY: I know. I am great.
WENDY: Just great. Just so …
The girl shakes her head.
WENDY: My feet are stuck.
BARRY: Did you spill something?
WENDY: This feels different.
WENDY: I really can’t move them.
BARRY: But it’s almost date time.
WENDY: Date time? When’s date time?
BARRY: Soon. I think. But first, I need you to know that I have many goals. A lot to accomplish. Real ambitions, you know? Get out of here. Take a road trip. See the country. Go up a skyscraper. Swim in the ocean. Drive a boat. Buy the boat. Buy a house right on the water so I can wake up in the morning and go out on my boat and come back and sit at my desk and look at the ocean as I write the memoir of my amazing life. Do you understand? Gee, where does the time go?
WENDY: I think we’re already in the ocean. The air is just a different type of ocean. It’s hard to move in here. I think in a situation like this I would dance if I could move my feet, and I’d surprise everyone around me. I don’t dance anymore. Last time I danced, well – that was a long time ago. But I admire dancers so. Their grace, their shape. It’s too late for me. It’s so sad.
BARRY: I feel like I can do anything.
WENDY: That’s just the problem.
BARRY: What’s that?
WENDY: You can’t. What else can happen, now that that already has?
BARRY: That’s a good question.
The refrigerator hums louder. The girl reaches for the boy’s shoulder.
WENDY: Hold me.
WENDY: I think that’s what keeps it away.
BARRY: Yes. Let’s.
The boy and girl hold one other.
This Program Takes Place at the Intersection of the Frozen Food and Dairy Aisles of Your Local Grocery Store is in development. Please check back soon for more updates.