sex, lies, and donkeys

A few weeks ago, Adam R. Perlman ’04 mentioned Donkey Love, a one-act he just finished writing, to his blockmate

A few weeks ago, Adam R. Perlman ’04 mentioned Donkey Love, a one-act he just finished writing, to his blockmate Ben D. Margo ’04. The two didn’t waste any time moving from script to stage. Tomorrow night in the Adams Kronauer Space, Perlman’s show will open with Margo’s one-act, Kiddie Pool, in a performance the two are billing as “We Don’t Mind Sucking on Toes.” “We thought that was funny,” Margo writes in an e-mail.

Both plays are surreal, to say the least. In Kiddie Pool, the characters are never referred to by name and so instead are identified by their locations: Couch (Shawn H. Snyder ’03) and Pool (Robert A. Hodgson ’05). Margo says that he chose the title of his play because, as an actor, he has always wanted to be “playing with goop, sitting in a pool, climbing up things, fighting with swords...stuff like that,” rather than just standing and reciting his lines. “Kiddie pools are cool,” insists Margo, who is also a Crimson editor. “You never realize how cool that stuff is until you’re older.”

Unfortunately, there is no actual kiddie pool in Kiddie Pool. Margo says he was unable to find one. Instead, one character draws the pool on stage with chalk. Pool, the grown man in the imaginary kiddie pool, is then propositioned by Couch.

“I’ve got a huge cock. (silence) Do you have a big cock?” Couch asks him in the opening line of the play.

Over the course of the play, the dialogue becomes even more graphic.

“Did you ever consider the possibility that maybe one of us has an especially large asshole?” Couch asks Pool. “I mean, if we’re going to compare, let’s compare. What if I’ve got an asshole like putty? What if I’m just like this big turkey waiting to get stuffed? You ever think about that?”

When Couch mentions girls, Pool protests: “Girls can’t come in my pool. Their robot wiring would short circuit.” The bizarre conclusion of the one-act involves a female robot, “Domo Arigato Mister Roboto” and chocolate frosting.

Margo admits “not knowing much about homosexual relationships or sex” and says he is sure the audience will pick up on that fact.

Donkey Love opens with Brent (Dan O’Shea ’05), a college graduate, standing alone in his room and professing, to no one in particular: “I hate my donkey.” While his friends are lusting for Bentleys and brownstones, Brent, who says he has “given up on creating...given up altogether,” only wants a donkey.

His girlfriend, Alexis (Angela Sperrazza ’04), says he’s going nowhere. “You’re a super hero comic book rock star by night, a victim of the world by day,” she says. Brent’s best friend, an inventor named Ty (Jay Chaffin ’06), first appears on stage recounting a religious experience on the toilet. Perlman, who is also a Crimson editor, describes Ty as a “cutting edge QVC media mogul, always inventing another crowd-pleasing novelty item.” His invention du jour is the Oedipus 2000, which allows children with inferiority complexes to kill their fathers—in virtual reality.

Brent spends the majority of the show trying to answer hard questions about his place in the world—questions, he says, “like that shit they ask you in a Tijuana police station. There’s no right answer.”

Perlman hesitates to articulate the point of his one-act. “What is the play about? I hate that question,” he says, laughing, “because I don’t want to tell the audience what they should think.” Perlman does reveal, however, that the story is based on “myself, my friends...every conversation on which I’ve ever eaves-dropped while riding the subway and a bunch of thoughts I wish I’d had.”

Both scripts have evolved considerably since the early stages of rehearsal. Margo says he appreciated the luxury of workshopping his script during the staging process. “Until you die,” Perlman says, “a script is never really finished—not when rehearsals start, not when tech work starts, not when performances start.”


Written by Ben D. Margo ’04, Adam R. Perlman ’04

Directed by Adam R. Perlman ’04

Assistant Producers and Stage Managers Jennifer Y. Seo ’03 and Sarah Schacter ’05

Nov. 8 and 9 at 7:30 and 9:30 p.m.

Adams Kronauer Space