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Dirty Story

Dirty Story
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Patrick Shanley
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0822219611
ISBN-13: 9780822219613
Cast Size: 1 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Dirty Story has long been a favourite of acting teachers for Male Monologues and Male/Male Scenes.

Dirty Story is a full-length political satire by John Patrick Shanley. A jaded novelist and an earnest grad student fight over rights to their New York City loft, in this satire featuring characters intended to represent the U.S., Israel, and Palestine. Dirty Story is "astonishing," says Tony Kushner, "The analysis of the Middle East in this play is dead on, exactly perfectly pitched."

Dirty Story is an exploration of sex, politics, and the fractious Middle East. When would-be writer Wanda seeks the advice of successful writer Brutus, she gets more than she bargained for. Of the manuscript she sent him, he tells her, "It was wretched, it was ignominious. It takes seventeen trees to make one ton of paper. You might think about that the next time you consider writing." None of this prevents Wanda and Brutus from moving in together. But the apartment becomes a war zone, with Wanda having taken over and relegating him to a small corner. When a dispute over the apartment arises, Wanda's ex-boyfriend, pistol-toting cowboy Frank, sledgehammers the door and enters with his sidekick, a British bartender named Watson, at which point the story takes a surprising allegorical turn. "Call me Israel!" Wanda says, and it suddenly becomes obvious that Frank represents the US and Watson plays England, while Wanda and Brutus' territorial hostilities are not dissimilar to a certain notorious conflict in the Middle East. Can Frank and Watson resolve this crisis? Have they any business doing so? Will it all come down to a game of poker? Cowboy Frank seems to think he has the answer: "Be like me. Do like I do. And it works."

Dirty Story premiered in 2003 at the Harold Clurman Theater by LAByrinth Theatre Company off-Broadway in New York City. Since then the play has been performed in regional and college theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 3 male

What people say:

"If you haven't read it, you absolutely have to get a copy of Dirty Story. It's an astonishing play." — Tony Kushner

"…Shanley has brought rough political theater urgently back to a town that produces so many dead revivals it would test the patience of a necrologist … that he can have us both laughing and horrified at the world says a lot…." — New York Observer

"In the appallingly entertaining Dirty Story… Mr. Shanley has expanded his focus from the intimate to the international to create one of the liveliest, boldest and — against the odds — funniest studies ever of a subject that even hard-core satirists tend to approach on tiptoe." — New York Times

"…mischievously funny and fiercely serious…." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

John Patrick Shanley is an American playwright, screenwriter, and director. Shanley has written some two dozen off-Broadway plays since the 1970s, but he is best known for Doubt, which won the 2005 Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award. He has also written extensively for TV and film, and his credits include the teleplay for Live from Baghdad and screenplays for Five Corners and Moonstruck, for which he won an Academy Award for original screenplay.

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