Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here

WHITE PEOPLE SAY THE WORD PEDAGOGY TO ME

Jarrett Key, Apartment. 2019, silkscreen on paper. 20 × 26". In collaboration with Merrick Adams. Courtesy of the artist.

The play that follows is not Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here. The play that follows is Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here [as published in condensed form for n+1 Issue 38]. This is an important distinction because Yell: A Documentary of My Time Here was always meant to be a site-specific document of my time in the space of Yale School of Drama. I wrote this play in a fevered and manic moment of rage, the type of rage one feels after awakening to their own powerlessness. I am not stupid — I knew what I signed up for when I decided to do graduate studies at a school built upon the Quinnipiac’s stolen land. A school that boasted proudly that my “most-diverse class” was an example of the “Lupita effect.” That my cohort and myself, particularly the blacks, were inheritors of a new level of cultural capital the institution needed even if most of us paid less than our white cohort because we had inherited far less actual capital. Yet knowing this, and even knowing that I had walked out of orientation on the second day because a yale police officer, black, told me and my black cohorts that essentially our lives mattered more than the black lives of New Haven who might cause us harm, because they wanted what we had — what we had being access to “white learning” — I had stayed, believing that I could take more from this place than they would take from me. After one specific talk with the dean I realized that was foolhardy, for the age-old trap of white supremacy is that it will find a way to eat away at an individual who attempts to rise against it. David, Goliath. The only thing I could do was build a bomb, a bomb too large to carry on my own, that had to be held by the bodies of more performers than had ever been in a playwright’s thesis production at yale, that had to be witnessed by the most eyes that ever witnessed any student show at yale, for that was the only way the memory of my defiance could maybe leave a scar on the walls of a building so indebted to white supremacy. It was only ever meant to live there, yet with shifts in the world it felt as though it was time for this play, in part, to be witnessed by more eyes, held by more hands, so that perhaps the scar could be left on more walls than just those of !!!!!!!!!!.

tl;dr: i had a manic episode about school and wrote it all down.

—Jeremy O. Harris

This play should move like lightning. This play is a clown play. This play does not have characters. This play does not have a cast size. This play is angry black interiority. This is a shit play. This play is indulgent. If this play decides to have actors in it they should all wear jock straps and vintage yale sweaters.

This play is about yale, spelled !!!!!! And pronounced like an actual yell in the script. Someone should be shitting in every scene. Literally shitting. Even if the literal shit is chocolate bars heated up I want to see it everywhere.

This play is dedicated to Artaud and Reza. It’s dedicated to Adrian Piper and Adrienne Kennedy. This play is dedicated to Fred Wilson and William Pope L. This play is dedicated to every closet drama whispered aloud in a dark dank room. This play is dedicated to Brown v. Board of Education. This play is dedicated to Ms. Ruby Bridges.


Prologue ...

WHEREIN RUBY BRIDGES AND THE WHIFFENPOOFS SING “LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING” TO THE TUNE OF BEYONCE’S “EGO”

LIFT EVERY VOICE AND SING,

TILL EARTH AND HEAVEN RING,

RING WITH THE HARMONIES OF LIBERTY;

LET OUR REJOICING RISE HIGH AS THE LIST’NING SKIES,

LET IT RESOUND LOUD AS THE ROLLING SEA.

SING A SONG FULL OF THE FAITH

THAT THE DARK PAST HAS TAUGHT US,

SING A SONG FULL OF THE HOPE THAT

THE PRESENT HAS BROUGHT US;

FACING THE RISING SUN OF OUR NEW DAY BEGUN,

LET US MARCH ON TILL VICTORY IS WON.

...

...

...

RUBY’S BURNING BRIDGES TODAY RUBY’S BURNING BRIDGES TODAY IF YOU’RE FRIGHTENED STAY AWAY CAUSE

RUBY’S BURNING BRIDGES TODAY RUBY’S BURNING BRIDGES TODAY IF YOU’RE FRIGHTENED STAY AWAY CAUSE

RUBY’S BURNING BRIDGES TODAY.

...

...

little girl, do you know what you want? why you want it? What it means to want it?

Youse poor, youse ugly, and youse black. You want all this?

Youse poor, youse ugly, and youse black. little girl.

Youse poor, youse ugly, and youse black

better than you have tried and failed to hold their head high. Walk through these doors.

Youse poor, youse ugly, and youse black.

what makes you thiNk you deserve? That you should? youse poor. Youse ugly, and youse black.

The Supreme Court. They said:

youse poor, youse ugly, and youse black.

Segregation of white and Negro children in the public schools of a State solely on the basis of race, pursuant to state laws permitting or requiring such segregation, denies to Negro children the equal protection of the laws guaranteed by the Fourteenth Amendmenteven though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors of white and Negro schools may be equal.

youse poor youse ugly and youse black.

Segregation of children in public schools solely on the basis of race deprives children of the minority group of equal educational opportunities, even though the physical facilities and other “tangible” factors may be equal.

youse poor youse ugly and youse black.

The “separate but equal” doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education.

youse poor youse ugly youse black.

The “separate but equal” doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education.

poor. Ugly. BLACK.

The “separate but equal” doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education.

pooooooooor. Pour. Pore. Porn. Porn. Porn. Porn. Porn.

The “separate but equal” doctrine adopted in Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, has no place in the field of public education.

alibi. Alibi. Alibi. Alibi. Alibi. Y. L. G. U. ain’t got one.

Many Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences, as well as in the business and professional world.

Negro, porch moNkey, blackamoor, jigaboo, bamboula, bootlip, jim crow, junglebunny, coon, pickaninny, sambo, sooty, teapot, spook, UNCLE TOM, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO, OREO. Nigger.

Many Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences, as well as in the business and professional world.

poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black poor ugly black

Many Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences, as well as in the business and professional world.

youse...

Many Negroes

have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences poor ugly black

Many Negroes youse...

have achieved outstanding success in the business and professional world


ONE: WELCOME

INTERLUDE: A CONSENT CHECK-IN AMONG THE ENSEMBLE FOLLOWED BY A GAME OF “WHEN DID YOU FIRST WANNA LEAVE !!!!!!?”

THE INTERVIEW: WHEREIN INTENTIONS ARE STATED

WELCOME.

ThaNk you.

You’re welcome. Welcome. Tea? Coffee?

Yes. Um, coffee.

WE LOVE COFFEE. Good choice.

ThaNks.

Coffee is our wine here. Keeps you up keeps you going. Keeps you regular. Flowing. Ideas. It enervates. So you can INNOVATE. Get it? Ideas. IDEAS!

Yes.

You’re welcome. It’s also a diuretic. A fabulous diuretic. It agitates the epithelial tissues in your stomach and small intestine, producing in most of us a gastrocolonic response.

Wow.

Yes. Didn’t know that? You’re welcome. Welcome. There’s a lot of information like that here at your disposal. You’re welcome. Does it affect you this way?

Uh.

Coffee. Does it affect you this way?

...

Do you know... the hormone gastrin? A peptide hormone. Aids in gastric motility? An organic laxative.

No, I’ve never.

Ahhh OK. Ahhhh. Well, you’re welcome: Coffee promotes the release of gastrin which awakens the colon which is situated next to the rectum. See? Ah... Once the colon begins its contractions the rectum is awakened. It is awakened and then you defecate. Or many of us do. Do you follow?

...

Defecate is a verb... it means to expel feces from your body.

I want to write plays. I’mI’m here, is this? I want to write plays. This is the interview correct? I haven’t always wanted to write plays but I do now. I think I know. I do now. I’ve read so many and I just want to read more... And Iwhen I was young I... I have this talent. This weird gift for knowing exactly how people talk. It’s almost innate but it’s also learned because when I was younger I had this therapist who challenged me to write down difficult conversations so that I would remember them so that I collect them and arrange my thoughts about them afterwards with her. And she told me then, and I disregarded it, but she told me then that that was something I excelled at.

I was good at it. Recalling things. As they happened. I would just go into this sort of meditative state and relive it all like it was happening in front of me in a movie or something. Like VR. Then write it all down. And those recollections were my first kind of plays I guess. But I read more after those and I got better and I started thiNking about forms and structures and I decided that I wanted. Needed to come here. To do that more.

Did you read mine? The one I sent? I wrote a play about a boy and a man and woman and a body of water.

Am I in the right place? Is this? I want to write plays. I wrote you a long letter a statement. Stating my intent. I said I want to go somewhere where I can do this for real in a real way do this. Write plays? Because I don’t feel free to do that anywhere else. I feel trapped by so many things outside of my control. I don’t want to be trapped by those things anymore. Is this the interview?

Yes. This is the interview for !!!!!!!!!! Welcome. You’re welcome. DriNk your coffee.

Oh I’m so

DriNk your coffee. So you can stay regular. Regularity is the key to playwriting. I’ll have you know. Careful and conscious attention must be paid to that which is expelled, and one must expel regularly and vigorously. Especially now in these times.

Now?

Now more than ever we have to stay committed to regularity. That it’s wellfor a long time. A lot of us here had a commitment to a sort of constipation. A backed up, stifled approach to the work we were doing. There was a politeness to that way of being. A sort ofthat’s not our goal any longer. We realized that sustainability was more important than politeness, and so in order to sustain and grow, to evolve, we had to decide as an institution to let things flow here. Are you hungry?

I could eat. Yes.

Well then let some flow. Like me. Just watch. Uhhhh uhhhh uhhhhh uhh... uh uh... ahhhhhh.

Oh my god. What are you doing?

Eating.

Uck. That’s... uck.

I thought you were hungry. Not just for food but for what we have to offer. A commitment to you. Your growth. Your maturation.

Yes, but this... this can’t be real.

What’s more real that what I’m doing right now? Tell me that. Try it.

I... Uhhhh uhhhh uh... uh uh uh... Uhhhhhhh ah!

There you go. Now. If you truly want to be free. If you truly want to experience the real. Take a bite. And swallow. That’s where freedom just might be found.

...

...

Delicious. Is this what !!!!!! tastes like every day?

Yes! And, you’re welcome!


A Call

YO.

Hello? Yo.

Yo.

Yo.

Yo. Hello?

Niggas is poor here. Excuse me?

At !!!!!!!. O

Yeah. They say it’s free. But... O

NIGGAS IS POOR HERE. O

Be prepared. You writing this down? O! I

Niggas is poor. Niggas is poor at !!!!!. Niggas is black.

Niggas is black at !!!!!. Niggas is

Hello?

...

...

...

Hello?

...

...

... Niggas is poor. Pass it on. See you at !!!!!!.


ORIENTATION: IN WHICH A CISGENDER MAN IN A BALD CAP ORIENTS US TO THE SPACE

WELCOME! YOU’RE WELCOME! To your first year, here at !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Over the summer I had a moment of amazing clarity. Truly amazing clarity. As I sat upon the toilet attempting to squeeze the last bit out ... I was shaken out of that concentrate and thrust into another. And realized that. . . . . . . . . Students are niggers.

It was as though a little voice grabbed hold of me and whispered: “When you get that straight, your school will begin to make sense.” But as I sat with this thought this nugget that felt like a holy truth I had to ponder it. Because it became more important, though, to understand why they’re niggers. Why you’re niggers. Are you following?

If we follow that question seriously enough, it will lead up past the zone of academic bullshit, where dedicated teachers pass their knowledge on to a new generation, and into the nitty-gritty of human needs and hangups. And from there we can go on to consider whether it might ever be possible for students to come up from slavery.

Let’s look at the role students play in what we like to call education. At !!!!!!!!!!!!! students are politically disenfranchised. They are in an academic Lowndes County. Most of them can vote in national electionstheir average age is about 26but they have no voice in the decisions which affect their academic lives. The students are, it is true, allowed to have a toy government (a working group) run for the most part by Uncle Toms and concerned principally with theory. The faculty and administrations decide what courses will be offered; the students get to choose their own shows in a peanut gallery theater. Occasionally when student leaders get uppity and rebellious, they’re either ignored, put off with trivial concessions, or maneuvered expertly out of position. A student at !!!!!!!! is expected to know his place. He calls a faculty member “Professor”and he smiles and shuffles some as he stands outside the professor’s office waiting for permission to enter.

The faculty tell him what courses to take (even electives have to be approved by a faculty member); they tell him what to read, what to write, and frequently, the proper length of what it is they’ve written. They tell him what’s true and what isn’t. Some teachers insist that they encourage dissent but they’re almost always jiving and every student knows it. Tell the man what he wants to hear or he’ll fail your ass out of the course. Or worse, ignore you.

Yet, the fact of this master-slave approach to education is that the students take it. They fetishize it. You fetishize it. You haven’t gone through twelve years of public school and four years of undergraduate learning for nothing. You’ve learned one thing and perhaps only one thing during those sixteen years. You’ve forgotten their algebra. You’ve grown to fear and resent literature. You write like you’ve been lobotomized. But, Jesus, can you follow orders!

Students don’t ask that orders make sense. You’ve given up expecting things to make sense long before you left elementary school. Things are true because the teacher says they’re true. At a very early age we all learn to accept two truths, as did certain medieval churchmen. Outside class, things are true to your tongue, your fingers, your stomach, your heart, your genitalia. Inside class, things are true by reason of authority. And that’s just fine because you don’t care anyway. You won’t care. Miss Wiedemeyer tells you “a noun is a person, place, or thing.” So let it be. You don’t give a rat’s ass; she doesn’t give a rat’s ass. Repeat after me: Chekhov is king!

Chekhov is KING!

SHAKESPEARE IS GOD!

SHAKESPEARE IS GOD!

AUGUST WILSON WAS A BARD AMONGST US!

AUGUST WILSON WAS A BARD AMONGST US!

EVERYONE ELSE ARE JUST FORGOTTEN ANSWERS ON JEOPARDY!

EVERYONE ELSE ARE JUST FORGOTTEN ANSWERS ON JEOPARDY!

See? With little provocation or reasoning you OBEY. The important thing is to please her. Your professor. Back in kindergarten, you found out that teachers only love children who stand in nice straight lines. And that’s where it’s been at ever since. Nothing changes except to get worse. School becomes more and more obviously a prison. Jail. A Jail. That is why we give you key cards and lock you inside.

This is divergent but this is where my brain went sitting upon the toilet half a log still lodged angrily in my rectum. The result of not enough coffee... In some high schools, if your skirt looks too short you have to kneel before the principal in a brief allegory of fellatio. If the hem doesn’t reach the floor, you go home to change while he, presumably, jacks off. Boys in high school can’t be too sloppy and they can’t even be too sharp. You’d think the school board would have been delighted to see all the black kids trooping to school in pointy shoes, suits, ties, and stingy brims. Uh-uh. They’re too visible.

What school amounts to, then, for white and black alike, is a twelve-year course in how to be slaves. HOW TO BE INVISIBLE. Because only her laborthe slave’s laboris seen. Not her being, not her, not you, our slave.

What else could explain what I see in this freshman class? You’ve got that slave mentality: obliging and ingratiating on the surface but hostile and resistant underneath. Just as we like you. You’re Welcome! Welcome!


FRIENDSHIPS, BONDS, AND AFFINITY GROUPS

Hey.

Um... I, yeah. I don’t really... but thaNks.

Hey, yeah! It’s chill. I’m chill. Don’t worry bout me. I’m yeah. Move on. (clicks tongue)

Neil LaBute? Pina Bausch?

I want to manage literature. Place it into categories and manage it. Tell it to go here, go there. Do this, do that. Manage. I want to give literature a livelihood.

I like the word dramaturgy because it sounds nasty. I wanted to do this, theater, but I wanted it to be nasty. Dramaturgy is German and one time when I was an exchange student, I did an exchange in high school to Cologne. Anyway I saw a production of Raisin in the Sun that took place on the island of Lesbos and Walter Lee Younger was played by my favorite German actress, Diane Kruger, it was brilliant. They kept taking raisins out of their vaginas and placing them directly in the sun (it took place in a big big field) in the middle of a German village outside of Cologne. Then at the end the cast came out with a choir and sang “Sinnerman” as Diane Kruger tap danced in blackface on top of the raisins then after they were all smashed she invited the audience on stage to lick up what remained and I did. Changed my life. Anyway the dramaturg of that production performed anilingus on me later that night behind the theater and asked me what I wanted to do with my life and I said I wasn’t sure I really liked seeing the kind of theater I had just seen. Then he told me I should go to !!!!!! and study dramaturgy. That’s what he had done, back in the seventies. I was 16. He told me, “Ich bin ein Korporphile. Ich würde gerne deine Scheiße essen, wenn du Lust hast.” But I didn’t know what he meant so I walked home in the rain and decided then I was going to come here. He was nasty. I wanted to be nasty too.

I just love anime. I fucking love anime. My favorite show, have you seen it? You can stream it. It’s called PRETTY PRETTY KOKUJIN RUBY BRIDGES and it’s like this weird marriage of the shonen genre of anime and like the magical girl style of anime so it’s like watching this fucked up marriage of Naruto and Sailor Moon but with a black girl who looks Japanese and people who are constantly shitting in the background, like literally shitting, so it’s like WHAT THE FUCK AM I WATCHING. And it’s basically just like a story of this girl named Ruby Bridges who is like an alien from a people who are like perfect in every way except they can’t breathe the same air as these like creepy white demon things? And there’s like this school. It’s all in Japanese and the subtitles are weird so I don’t really get all of the exposition. But basically you’re watching her like train and fight her way through all these like white demons in order to graduate and survive BUT the longer she’s around the demons the more she loses some of her protection and slowly starts to go mad slash become demonic too so that’s like the main struggle of the series like will she become a demon too or will she survive till the end and graduate? It sounds lame but it’s like super cool.

Niggers? Any niggers? Niggers over here!

Cunts? Any cunts? Cunts over here!

Crips? Wibbily wobbilies? Any crips/wibbily wobbilies? Crips/Wibbily wobbilies over here!

Spics? Any spics? Spics over here!

Any Slant-eyes? Both offshore and mainland? Slant-eyes here.

Injuns slash prairie niggers? Any injuns slash prairie niggers? Sand niggers?

Fags? Dykes? Trannies? Niggers who identify as fags, dykes, or prairie niggers? Niggers who identify as spics? Fags who identify as cunts who are wibbily wobbily trannies?

It is important to IDENTIFY YOURSELVES. KNOW YOURSELF SO WE KNOW HOW TO KNOW YOU. REMEMBER THAT.


WHEREIN A PLAY IS READ AROUND A TABLE WITH PEOPLE

Ok um... Josh, will you pick up my phone. Put in my code: 2 – 6 – 1 – 6. And play the most recent voicemail from my mom? Then we start.

OK.

PICK UP THE PHONE A MAMALOGUE

...

...

She rests a phone on her shoulder against her cheekbone. She holds out a letter. The phone rings. And rings. And rings. Voicemail:

MOMHey son uh call me when you get a chance. You got a, uh, a letter? From the couh I thiNk the courts of New York . . . ? About, bout a traffic ticket that... It needs to be paid. (I thiNk it’s sixty dollarssss?) Um, and they were saying if you don’t uh, don’t come up there to set a court date that it, it could be jail time? So please call me as soon as you get this message, Son. I love you and I know it’s a tornado or something watchwarning up that way. So get in the house and stay in the house. Call me soon as you get this message, love you.

She sets down the letter. She tries again. It rings. And rings. And rings. And rings. Voicemail:

MOM.... . . . . . . . . . . Ain’t that some shit? . . . . . . That’s fine though.

(she hangs up) She sets down the letter. She tries again. It rings. And rings. And rings. And rings. Voicemail:

MOMHe “busy”... busy busy bee.... Up at !!!!!!!!!!!!!!! my baby boy . . . in Connecticut!... New Haven!...... 1. 2. Zero. D white Street.......

She calls again, this time FaceTime. It rings. And rings And rings.

MOMThis nigga bout to be at 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 SING SING (!) IF HE DON’T PICK UP. THE. DAMN PHONE!

She hangs up again.

What the hell could he be doing right now, Really? It’s late. I know they ain’t in class this late. It’s damn near six o’clock. Don’t he thiNk I got shit to do? He thiNk I sit around thiNking about his ass every second of the damn day? I miss one call from him, One: “Mom... can I like borrow like a hundred, I mean like, two hundred dollars? Please? I’m really in a bind and like, I know I know, I’m sorry but I SWEAR I’LL PAY YOU BACK”.... . . Lies. But I miss ONE CALL. I say no. All of a sudden it’s: “This is like, so unfair, like I feel like NO ONE understands what it is I do. You know? Like... I’m the first, like, I’m THE FIRST ARTIST IN THE FAMILY. Like, that’s my job! And you don’t see it like that. That it’s like . . . . OK: I’m like, a small business and you’re like I don’t know... an investor or something?”... . . . Ungrateful... . . . . Spoiled.

She calls again. It rings. It rings. It rings. It rings. VOICEMAIL:

MOMANSWER THE PHONE!

She starts to scroll through her phone.

MOMHow the hell did he even get a traffic ticket in New York? He thiNk I can’t piece together what the hell he’s been up to. He don’t have to watch my Facebook Lives for me to watch his. Kanye West. VMAs. Nonsense. He got time for so much fucking nonsense. I could be posting ads advertising my pussy as a safe space for Trump supporters who want the world to know they don’t hate black pussy just black people . . .  and he wouldn’t even know. Or care. So much fucking nonsense. All he got time for... . . . . SON !!! ANSWER THE PHONE !!! You thiNk my life is on enough of a pause for your ass that I got the luxury to be calling you like this? CAUSE IT AIN’T! I GOT KEYOSHA AND THE KIDS TO HELP OUT WITH I GOT THE SALON I GOT JOHN. I G– G– I– THE– CU– YOU KNOW? THE– JIPJAIJFIIAIOJIA 1- 2- 3- 4- 5- 6- 7- 8- 9- 10- 11- 12- 13- 14- 15- 16- 17- .... . .

I GOT THE P– P PPPPPPP P P P P . . . . . . PED– PEDDDD PEEEEEEEE– PED . . . PEDAGOGY! FUCK A PEDAGOGY! . . . . . . Ain’t that some shit?

He put it down on a piece of fucking paper. Now it gotta be in your mouth. After this little game of faux reality. This casual manipulation. the performance of intimacy. “Ok um... Josh, will you pick up my phone. Put in my code: 2 – 6 – 1 – 6. And play the most recent voicemail from my mom? Then we start.”

Pe– Ped Peda Pedaphile Pedarast Or is that Pedo Pe-do’s Pe-don’ts Pedantry Pedantic Pedal pusher Pedagogy... . . .

Theater IS DUMB. I DON’T KNOW WHY I DO IT. I DON’T KNOW WHY I FEEL TRAPPED BY THE MYTH THAT I’M AN ARTIST OR BY THE MYTH THAT MY ART MATTERS OR THAT WHAT I’M GOING TO DO IN A BIG IVORY TOWER WHERE WHITE PEOPLE SAY THE WORD PEDAGOGY TO ME (AS THOUGH IT HAS A WEIGHT OR MEANING OUTSIDE OF THAT WHICH THEY HAVE PUT ON IT) IS GOING TO MATTER TO THE MOTHER OF THE NEXT BLACK TRANS GIRL WHO DIES, TO MY UNCLE WHO HAS BEEN IN PRISON SINCE I WAS FOUR FOR ROBBING A GROCERY STORE BECAUSE HE WAS BROKE AND FELTKNEWHE DESERVED BETTER THAN TO BE POOR AND BLACK AND FROM A NO-NAME TOWN IN VIRGINIA AND DIDN’T FEEL LIKE HE WANTED TO SUCK THE DICK OF THE WHITE MAN TO TRANSCEND. I SUCK THE DICK OF THE WHITE MAN AND I’M NOT EVEN TRYING TO TRANSCEND. FUCK. I MIGHT BE HAVING A BREAKDOWN. I DON’T KNOW. FUCK.

What was I–? I

I

I was going to write a monologue about mothers. About the Orlando tragedy. Those mothers. How I dreamed about Brenda Lee Marquez McCool. How she pushed her boy out of the way, saved him from that shooter. How my mama would do that. How it almost makes me cry every time I thiNk about that. How I can feel her hands in the small of my back when I imagine it. MoNkey neurons?

How there were so many other mothers who sat in their homes the next day, in Orlando, Mickey Mouse’s shadow still dancing behind them. Mouse-y Neurons. Mothers calling sons who didn’t come home, calling sons who hadn’t texted them to say they were safe, calling sons who had texted them from bathrooms saying the shooter was outside, calling daughters who they didn’t know were in Orlando that night, calling daughters who were underage and on a graduation trip, and how when the responders were wading through the dead the surreality of the space wasn’t created by the sight of bloodied bodies piled atop each other on the dance floor as disco lights and smoke machines coughed pitiful clouds into the air, but by the sound of forty-nine cell phones crying out in the dark a mother on the other end.

How I hate that I ignore more calls from my mother than I answer. How I can’t leave !!!!!!!!!!! even though I feel unfulfilled in my second week. How that would be its own sort of tragedy for my mother, because at least for the next three years when I ignore her calls she knows where I am. How I want to KMS but I’m too much of a narcissist to go through with it. I’m too afraid of what my mama would do if I did. So I’ll just do it here. On the page and see if I still feel the same afterwards.

END OF PLAY

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Does anyone have any notes for that one?

...

...

I’m hungry.

I need a snack... Coffee?

...

...

uh uh

Are you OK?

...

...

Uh uh Uh

Uhhhhh

...

I don’t know.

...

ahhhhh. Yum!

Oh that looks good! Can I have a bite?

@ !!!!!! U WILL CRY @ !!!!!!... YOU WILL CRY. I DON’T KNOW IF IT’LL BE A DAY CRY. A NIGHT CRY. A WEDNESDAY CRY. A MONDAY CRY. A SOLO CRY. A CRY IN DUET YOU WILL CRY... @ !!!!!!... YOU MIGHT CRY FOR A REASON YOU MIGHT CRY FOR A SEASON YOU MIGHT CRY TO GET BY YOU MIGHT CRY TO JUST LIE BUT YOU WILL CRY... @ !!!!!!...


A PRIVATE MOMENT — A FRAGMENT IN PITCH BLACK OR CLOSE TO IT

You OK man?

Yeah. I’m good.

No you’re not. You’re not. And that’s OK man, because you don’t have to be good all the time. Alright?

OK.

Just remember that.

I’ll try.

Coffee?


I DIDN’T COME TO !!!!!! TO MAKE SKITS

i      didn’t       come       to
!!!!!!            to
make         skits
i didn’t          come to
!!!!!!!!!!!!
                                                       To make
                                                                          skits

i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits
i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits

i didn’t come to !!!!!! to make skits


A SKIT IN WHICH A CISGENDER MAN IN A BALD CAP EATS POOP, DONS POOP FACE, AND DANCES TO A LOOP OF AMNESTY’S “LIBERTY” TO AN AUDIENCE OF HIS SUBJECTS (SALò)

Poopy-di scoop, Scoop-diddy-whoop, Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop, Poop-di-scoopty, Scoopty-whoop, Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop, Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop, Poop, poop, Scoop-diddy-whoop. Whoop-diddy-scoop, Whoop-diddy-scoop, poop. Poopy-di scoop, Scoop-diddy-whoop, Whoop-di-scoop-di-poop, Poop-di-scoopty, Scoopty-whoop, Whoopity-scoop, whoop-poop, Poop-diddy, whoop-scoop, Poop, poop.

Here’s a list of every book I’ve read so far this year: The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness by Michelle Alexander; Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates; The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin; Freedom Is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Y. Davis; Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert; We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America by Michael Eric Dyson; Ready Player One by Ernest Cline; the bell curve: intelligence and class Structure in american life by richard j. herrnstein and charles murray; my awakening: a path to racial understanding by david duke; white power by george lincoln rockwell; white identity: racial consciousness in the 21st century by jared taylor; the ethnostate: an unbliNkered prospectus for an advanced statecraft by wilmot robertson; Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan.

Do you know what these books, each of them, have taught me? I realized, my back against a tree, a hole I had dug earlier gaping beneath me awaiting excrement I planned on burying (Many don’t know this but feces, if buried beneath a willow tree, will slowly truffle after three years of fermentation and decomposing), I realized that these books had taught me how to spot a true victim. They wear it on their face.

You wear it on your faces... Like a mask. Victim Face. We all do. It’s how we know we’re alive. Because to be alive is to be victim to some plight. Some trauma. A victim of a joke. And those with the most pronounced and worn victim faces tend to find themselves in places like !!!!!!!.

Because no joke. No plight. No trauma is greater than being victim to hope. Hope is the greatest trauma of all. The best joke because hope makes the intangible, the unknowable tangible and knowable in that intimate crawl space of your gut. And when hope meets life the tangible and the knowable object of what you hoped for is obliterated. And the aftershock of that obliterated object’s destruction is evidenced in the mangled torn-apart vestiges of your guts and spreads through your whole body transfiguring your face, your hands, your skin into the sallow twisted truth of your position as an object in reality so far from the possible objects your hope had made manifest in your gut. Victim Face is what I looked for in you when you decided to come to !!!!!!. For the face of a victim can so easily be manipulated by the promise of hope.


MASTER CLASS WITH A MASTER

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Such prolonged silence. I see some of you are eating. We don’t do that here. I may be old but I will hit you. Put your shit away. . . . I am the master teacher.... Brought to you because of my mastery and knowledge.... You are niggers. No? That is what you are because you are here.

I too was once a nigger. Bound to the laws of niggerdom. But now as you can see I am a master no longer a nigger. Or of the ilk of niggerdom... Yes? Do you have a question?

Many Negroes have achieved outstanding success in the arts and sciences, as well as in the business and professional world.

No. They haven’t. But...

A master is a master because they have learned to shed that which made them a nigger. To be a negro, to be a nigger, is to be less than human. To be a nigger is to be an obscene creature. Something one does not see. One does not think of. To be a master is to be imbued with knowledge over the nigger.

If you remember nothing else I say to you remember this: Power is knowledge, because power is power and therefore knowledge is power squared. Do you understand that?

Power is knowledge because power is power and therefore knowledge is power squared. Repeat it.

Power is knowledge because power is power and therefore knowledge is power squared. Repeat it.

Power is knowledge because power is power and therefore knowledge is power squared. Repeat it.


PRETTY PRETTY KOKUJIN RUBY BRIDGES SAVED MY LIFE

Pretty Pretty Kokujin Ruby Bridges saved my life. I want to die here. I’ve wanted to die here. Every minute of every day I’ve been here. But Pretty Pretty Ruby Bridges saved my life. She is me. I am her. We are the same. She is me. I am her. We are the same.

Pretty Pretty Kokujin Ruby Bridges saved my life. Every day she fights off the demons and breathes their air and no matter how close she gets to breaking, to becoming a demon herself, she finds a way to stay sane. To not become a demon. Every day I feel like I might just become a demon. A shit-eating demon who hoards excrement on the moon for a rainy day.


THE OPENING TITLE SONG OF SEASON 6 EPISODE 65 OF PRETTY PRETTY KOKUJIN RUBY BRIDGES WHICH MOVES LIKE HO99O9!

Theater is a political space to me; when writing a play, I write with a mission of alienating those whose presence alienates my own and those like me. While the theater of my youth, the theater of life, was integral to my growth and important to my work, I don’t want another generation of little black boys from Virginia to be deprived of theater.

Theater was not an interest or a priority for my family because it didn’t feel made in their image, it wasn’t of their ilk. My presence at the Yale School of Drama will put me in a tradition of black voices thriving in the American theater. It will allow me to one day be able to wield that same secret magic that attracted me early on, over some kid who’s never felt welcomed in a theater and had only ever felt it for a moment, in a church or on bill day. ThaNk you for your consideration.1


TWO

MARCO DANCES BY HIMSELF TO A SONG ONLY HE CAN HEAR AS HE WAITS FOR HIS PERFORMERS. WHEN THEy ARRIVE, MARCO ASKS THE PERFORMERS, IN PORTUGUESE, FOR CONSENT TO ENACT 2 GIRLS 1 CUP. THEN MARCO ASKS ONE OF HIS PERFORMERS: CUAL É A COISA MAIS OBSCENA QUE VOCÊ JÁ VIU EM !!!!!!! ?

THE SITE OF TRAUMA AND OBSCENITY IS REENACTED // YSD CYBERBULLY AFFINITY GROUP IS FORMED

Jeremy named the conversation YSD Cyberbully Affinity Group

MichaelLol.

AmautaDemented.

Jeremy loved “Demented”

Jeremy laughed at “Lol”

Jeremy sent a gif from giphy

MichaelEw. What is that?

AmautaChill with the freaky anime content.

Michael#Orientalist.

Jeremy disliked “Chill with the freaky anime content”

Jeremy laughed at #Orientalist

JeremyI learned from the Wooster Group *tongue emoji*

MichaelWait, Jer, this play.

Jeremy??????

Amauta emphasized “Wait Jer, this play.”

AmautaAre you having a mental breakdown?

Michael laughed at “Are you having a mental breakdown?”

Michaelhonestly I’m into it. radical honesty and anal play.

Michaelv downtown. #AmericanRealness

Jeremy loved “v downtown. #AmericanRealness”

Amautabut yeah I’m into it too. Feels anti-theatrical. #postEmpathetic.

MichaelWhen did u write this?

AmautaYes. This feels manic. 4 real u ok?

Michael loved “Yes this feels manic”

MichaelYeah babe. Jokes aside you ok?

Jeremylol. Yes. Now i am.

AmautaWhen the hell did u write this?

JeremyYesterday. After my meeting.

Amauta*teeth emoji*

Michael*shocked emoji*

JeremyI’m so done. Fuck it.

AmautaAdrian Piper ass.

MichaelInstitutional critique is v in.

Jeremy sent a gif with giphy

JeremyI feel like after two years of gaslighting &

Jeremypsychological terrorism I feel like its all i can write.

MichaelIt’s v choreographic. I don’t want it to look like experimental theater 101

AmautaIt will. We go to a conservative vocational school in connecticut

MichaelTrue. You should wait to do this in Berlin.

MichaelJer, are u keeping all the (REDACTED) + T stuff?

JeremyIdk. I might abstract it? It’s from my journal.

AmautaI like it. The whole play is like a diss track.

MichaelJer is truly the TaySwift of theater.

Jeremy disliked “Jer is truly the tayswift of theater”

JeremyEw. But! I do like that idea. Diss track.

JeremyBut it’s a diss track about integration maybe?

MichaelOMG I love the Ruby Bridges stuff.

MichaelI watched the ruby bridges biopic on repeat as a kid

AmautaNew Jersey freak.

Michael#NJProud.

JeremyYall wanna codramaturg?

three people stand around drinking whiskey from plastic cups. three others enter with notepads. the six stare at each other. This lasts a while. One of the three with a notepad YELLS. they yell and yell and yell and yell.


THREE

OUR THIRDS ENTER, RUNNING WITH ABANDON ACROSS AN EMPTY STAGE RIGHT UP TO AND INTO THE AUDIENCE. AMONG THE AUDIENCE... FROM THEIR GUTS THEY YELL! THEY SMILE AT THE AUDIENCE. THEN THEY YELL AGAIN!

THEY BEGIN THEIR CONSENT CHECK-IN AMONG THEMSELVES. ONE OF OUR THIRDS LOOKS AT THE AUDIENCE AND SAYS, “IF YOU CONSENT TO OUR POSSIBLE TOUCH, OUR EYES BREAKING THE FOURTH WALL, AND YOUR ACTIVE PARTICIPATION IN PART 3 RAISE YOUR HAND.”

THE SAME THIRD ASKS ONE OF THE AUDIENCE MEMBERS WITH A RAISED HAND TO PICK THEIR “FAVORITE” OF THE THIRDS. ONE OF THE OTHER THIRDS ASKS THE FAVORITE: “DO YOU HAVE A LEAST-FAVORITE PROFESSOR AT !!!!!!? WHEN DID THEY BECOME YOUR LEAST FAVORITE?”

A MANIFESTO ON THE FALSE PROMISE OF INTEGRATION, THE LIE OF BROWN V. BOARD, AND THE IGNOBILITY OF !!!!!!

I dream of nonsense, a sense of it as a space wherein the weight of my presence does not bear down so heavily upon those in my presence, so oppressed it possesses a gravitational expanse as oppressive as Jupiter, ? that they must make sense? of why the air around them feels different? mutated, muggy, malicious in its unrelenting heft. ? ? I dream of nonsense as a site for rites? unnamed? unimagined? untamed? unencumbered? unintelligible? unintelligent? undeserved? underserved? unnerving in their blinding, blistering malfeasance for all others before it. I dream of nonsense? for too much sense has been made? of my existence at the expense? of my sense of? self? my sense of any? ontological autonomy.

Black nonsense could exist, does exist, but is only celebrated in the world of music. Jazz is black nonsense. Try to make sense of it and you fail. Our voices, their runs, BLACK. NONSENSE. Rap Genius can’t decode it... make sense of our nonsense... I dare you. All of hip-hop... black nonsense.

What happens if my plays eschewed your sense making? If a play moved more like Migos than Williams? I dream of writing with a sense of NonSense, that moves with elegiac illegibility of the names of some of my favorite Soundcloud rappers. Of anime. Lil Uzi Vert. Lil Peep. Sheck Wes. Kill la Kill. My Hero Academia. Fullmetal Alchemist.

I dream of you nodding your head to my NonSense. Of This NonSense.


PRETTY PRETTY Kokujin RUBY BRIDGES SEASON 8 EPISODE 65 FROM THE DIARY OF THE PLAYWRIGHT 4/28/2018

JEREMYSo basically, I mean it started basically amicably, and then, you know, things started to deteriorate around week two of my process, after I had taken some of her notes but deeply disagreed about the notes on the second part of my second act there were no notes for the third at the time. I sent this long email to her saying that I just wanted to talk on the phone, and then she said, “Dear Jeremy, I told you that your play hurt me and would be hurtful to others and you responded and are still responding by playing the victim. (REDACTED) Over the course of our working together, I have received a strong impression that you are not genuinely open to feedback from anyone unless it’s validation and praise. (REDACTED).” She had three or four obvious sub­tweets or substatuses about me on Facebook that had been screenshotted and sent to me in the month, week, in the month after she left my production.

CBut they weren’t directly, “Jeremy Harris...”

JEREMYNo.

@ !!!!!!... YOU WILL CRY. I DON’T KNOW IF IT’LL BE A DAY CRY A NIGHT CRY A WEDNESDAY CRY A MONDAY CRY A SOLO CRY A CRY IN DUET YOU WILL CRY... @ !!!!!!... YOU MIGHT CRY FOR A REASON YOU MIGHT CRY FOR A SEASON YOU MIGHT CRY TO GET BY YOU MIGHT CRY TO LIE BUT YOU WILL CRY... @ !!!!!!... U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. U WILL CRY. @ !!!!!!!. U WILL.

CSo then you asked (REDACTED) if she could stay on the project and she said “No, not unless Jeremy was willing to take her notes”

TYeah, well, she didn’t say “No,” she said, “if Jeremy’s not going to listen to me as the master teacher at this moment about this play, then what else do we have to talk about?”

JEREMYMaybe I misunderstood something, but I always wanted to have some sort of conversation with her. For me, the only reason I’m having this meeting right now is because her actions, for me, feel as though, from my end there is literally no remorse or no interest in her deeply unprofessional behavior, because for me, it was bar none, unprofessional, it breaksI’ve studied the faculty handbook, and it does hit the business code of ethics, the main tenet of protecting freedom of expression of students, like none of that feels protected for me.

i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits I didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits i didn’t come to !!!!!!!! to make skits

JEREMYAnd also I’ve just not felt happy here since that, I don’t feel comfortable in the same way in the community as I did. And I thiNk about her way more than I should be thiNking about anyone, like way more. And so, for me, if she had just said “I’m sorry.” Like, she could’ve just sent an email, and she hasn’t done that. All I’ve gotten from her, the last conversation I had with this woman was her calling me a narcissist, essentially. Which perhaps I might be, but.

TTo be fair, I asked her to not reach out to you unless we had had a conversation prior to that. But I said to you, that she is willing to apologize, has apologized for her behavior in terms of what she feels like is triggering, and has given me permission to say that and to bring that forward. But again, and pardon me if I’m mischaracterizing this, you wanted her to address her bullying tactics and she feels uncomfortable talking about that.

JEREMYOK. Like the fact that she actually said, “I use bullying as a tactic.” Like she actually said that out of her mouth in front of multiple witnesses. She also literally said it about actors, about (REDACTED), and everyone’s acting like it is something I made up. It was something that was actively said in our group meeting about how, after our first room-run, about how we were having trouble with (REDACTED), she said, “Just bully him, that’s one of my tactics,” and she explained how she does it and then (REDACTED) was like *laughs*, “Well we can’t do that here,” and we kept going. It’s not some fabrication, you know?

CSo there was discomfort in the room, from faculty as well.

JEREMYPart of my issue with the way she articulates what happened is that she puts me in a position of power over her, somehow, as a student, and then immediately pushes that power back down and tells me, “As someone who has been observing you, I can tell you this from on high,” and I’m like you literally just said that I had some power to hurt you. It’s a really confusing positionality to have when you talk about work, but the thing that I’m in right now is that I feel like there’s no way, with this much space around it and the actions, there’s no way I can’t unsee the racialized aspects of me being the one who got so reamed for not listening, not taking the note, not bending to the will, not doing the work, for being lazy like these are all things where I’m just like, of course you tell this to the black person whose play now has won two awards, three awards, is going to be in New York, and is at the O’Neill. And I’m still lazy, and from the same draft. These things are actually a part of the DNA of this place. I don’t know what else to feel about that except for the fact that multiple lines were crossed without consequence and now I thiNk I want to see some consequencebecause when I look through the handbook, I’m like all of these things were things that didn’t go right, I don’t understand how this is OK.

Youse poor. Youse ugly. Youse black. Many negroes. Astounding. Arts Many achieved. Ugly Black Poor Arts Sciences separate but equal many negroes.

COK. And this was going to be my question, but so you do feel like there is a racial component in the dynamic between the two of you?

JEREMYI mean, I thiNk that the racial component is there in the sense that it’s... I thiNk it’s unconscious, but I do thiNk that I hit upon a lot of things as a black person that make people uncomfortable and I thiNk that discomfort manifested itself in a violent way here.

CSo maybe the racial discomfort engendered by the play, purposefully, you know, it’s built into the play, permeated the faculty-student relationship as well.

JEREMYAgain, and perhaps this just is a thing, since I got here I’ve never once felt likeI’ve felt like my decisiveness, my understanding of the work I’m trying to do, my ways of inquiry, are both, for them, not OK for a playwright to have, I thiNk that is challenging to people and I thiNk that it’s also racialized because Iagain, anyone who says I was difficult first year or that I didn’t take notes is actively being a dick because the first note I had to take was “You can’t do your play. You have to write an entirely new play.” The other two didn’t have to do that, I had to write an entirely new play from scratch after I had already written one, and I did it. And I wrote a full play by the end of the year, so I’m just like, I did so much extra work and so then when people were like, “I don’t know if this thing should happen,” I’m like, “Well, I thiNk it should and also for me it’s working right now” so I don’t know. I just rewrote a whole play. I wrote a new play for you. I’m just really confused. The only thing that people can have on me is that Drama 50 confused me. I didn’t understand why grown people had to sit in a room and make skits, and that is the one space that I actually did have a hard time. But Drama 51 was essentially a good process of me listening to all of my collaborators except for the one who everyone else had a problem with as well.

TAgain, I didn’t bring that up to

JEREMYI don’t understandagain, I feel like, I’m the only playwright in my year who takes classes outside of my discipline and does well in them, I’ve done more Cab shows my two years here than anyone else has, I’m a part of this community, and I constantly feel like I’m being told that I’m doing it wrong somehow, and I’m like, well I don’t know what the right way is. Do you get what I’m saying?

I got a big ego... Such a huge ego. I didn’t grow up in Baldwin’s Harlem but I too remember wearing a white shirt to school to prove that I was not a nigger. I knew I was black of course, but I also knew I was smart. I didn’t know how I would use my mind or even if I could but I was going to get whatever I wanted that way and I was going to get my revenge that way. I grew up in Virginia where to be a nigger is a fact no shirt can obscure. I grew up in Virginia raising my hand and opening my mouth before the other students could raise their hands, open their mouths to call me a nigger. And because I muted them they feared me, yet an afeared nigger can produce an entrancing, magnetic power, one that draws those with power towards you. One such person, a white woman, with power saw my power and shared much of hers with me. It was through her that I found an outlet for my power and I loved her. This white woman. A teacher. Who saw my power and cultivated. It wasn’t until years later that I realized that her benevolence was a curse. For in all her white generosity she never took a moment to remind me that to be a nigger who engenders fear is to be a nigger courting his own extinction. It’s too big, it’s too wide, it’s too strong, it won’t fit, it’s too much, it’s too tough.

TI do, I do. That’s what I’m telling you. The reason I brought that up was to discuss something that we had already discussed. I don’t want us to pin something solely on (REDACTED) that I feel like is a conversation we’ve been having broadly.

JEREMYThe thing that’s different is that no one else broadly has yelled at me, or

TNo, sure

JEREMYOr has sent me the texts or emails that she sent me.

TAbsolutely. And I guess, for clarity’s sake, that’s all I wanted to do. I just wanted to make sure we were talking about

JEREMYThe whole thing.

TYes.

COK. So I thiNk, then, what James has let me know is that I will put all of this together, I thiNk I will need whatever evidence you have if you could just email me if there are screenshots of things, or whatever, because that will put into context and I can type up these notes to give a sense of the timeline but it will probably be you meeting with James. So whenever it’s a faculty issuethe reason why I asked about the racial component, and this one’s a little tricky because in the university, then, if students feel they are being racially discriminated against, that goes to the president’s committee and so maybe we can talk about that little bit. I don’t know if this is an element of how things went down versus she had it out for you at the beginning (REDACTED)

JEREMYAnd I also thiNk that in any sort of conversation around this, that’s the weakest leg to stand on. I thiNk that, for me, it’s literally about her business conduct with me, and also her inability to follow the main tenet of the faculty values.

CAnd so, part of it is, whatever disciplinary actions are done for a faculty member, we can’t obviously disclose them but we can tell you we’ve met with her or we’ve done this or that. But James will ultimately have to review the case and he may need to put together a committee that will review it, and together we’ll decide. So I’ll keep you posted but I’ll certainly follow up with him later today, he knows that we’re meeting, and then we can get some next steps.

THE PLAYWRIGHT MAKES A SPEECH THROUGH INTERPOLATION BEFORE HAVING A TALKBACK WITH THE DRAMATURGS AND DIRECTOR . . .

Oh man... I didn’t prepare a speech and I’m sorry but I’m glad I didn’t because I’m not gonna do this like everybody else does it. ’Cause everybody that I should be thankingI’m really sorrybut I have to use this time. See, Maya Angelou said that we, as human beings, at our best, can only create opportunities. And I’m gonna use this opportunity the way that I want to use it.

So, what I want to say isum, everybody out there that’s watching, everybody that’s watching this world? This world is bullshit. And you shouldn’t model your lifewait a secondyou shouldn’t model your life about what you think that we think is cool and what we’re wearing and what we’re saying and everything. Go with yourself. Go with yourself.

And there’s just a few people that I want to say something to. I want to say, Mama, I love you... Amauta, Michael, Jecamiah, every student at !!!!!! Past and present. It’s just stupid that I’m in this world, but you’re all very cool to me so thank you very much. And I’m sorry for all the people that I didn’t thank, but man... it’s good. Bye.

STAND UP!

I will die for the art! For what I believe in. And the art ain’t always gonna be polite! Ya’ll might be thinking right now, Did he smoke something before he came out here? The answer is yes, I rolled up a little something. I knocked the edge off!

I don’t know what’s gonna happen tonight, I don’t know what’s gonna happen tomorrow, bro. But all I can say to my artists, to my fellow artists: Just worry how you feel at the time, man. Just worry about how you feel and don’t NEVER... you know what I’m saying? I’m confident. I believe in myself. We the millennials, bro. This is a new mentality. We’re not gonna control our kids with brands. We not gonna teach low self-esteem and hate to our kids. We gonna teach our kids that they can be something. We gonna teach our kids that they can stand up for theyself! We gonna teach our kids to believe in themselves!

If you could, could we please remain standing? If you could? Check this out. I want to read something for you. Some people find it odd that when we win anything in this game, we give praise back unto God. Well in somebody else’s game any triumph makes us feel blessed. When it’s your game, you make the rules, everything comes easy. All your friends are in key positions, so when you decide you don’t want to play anymore you never leave empty-handed. Can somebody say golden parachute? Well it’s not your game, you didn’t make the rules, so everything comes hard. As long as you’re signed to a contract, you’re going to take a minority share of the winnings. A select few of us will do well. The majority will not. So as a people, we will be considered a minority. But let’s stop and take a moment to look at yourself. There is nothing minor about you. You are a blessed people. You’re the most talented on earth and you are still grateful. That is why upon winning in their game, you always thank God. Tonight, I would like to ask one favor of you. Imagine what it would be like in our own game. Peace and love for one another.

...

...

AND NOW BACK TO THIS BITCH WHO HAD A LOT TO SAY ABOUT ME THE OTHER DAY... (REDACTED) WHAT’S GOOD?

END OF PLAY

  1. this will be in Japanese and sung 

The playwright would like to acknowledge the crucial dramaturgical contributions of Michael Breslin and Amauta Marston-Firmino.

More from Issue 38

Issue 38 Death Wish

The arc of time bends toward vindictive amnesia.

Issue 38 Death Wish

The thin blue line belts the globe.

Issue 38 Death Wish

She assumed she would not receive a stimulus check, since she had no bank account.

Issue 38 Death Wish

The act of discernment is not merely punished; it’s made infelicitous.

Issue 38 Death Wish
The Freezer Door
Issue 38 Death Wish
The Earth Dreams in Ritual
Issue 38 Death Wish
Banana Bunch Challenge
Issue 38 Death Wish

Is there a way of cultivating love of a nation that is not ultimately reactionary and violent?

Issue 38 Death Wish
The Remainder
Issue 38 Death Wish

Why do the fictions of one of our most important writers involve so much indirection?

Issue 38 Death Wish
Fire in the Hold
Issue 38 Death Wish
Electric Cars: An Update
Issue 38 Death Wish