Bumbershoot – The Plays of Jeffrey James Ircink

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“Pass the Salt, Please.”

What would happen if the dinner conversation of a married couple in their 50’s resembled the script pages of a scene in an adult film? As a man and woman catch up on the day’s events, their banter morphs from “ho-hum” to “whoop-eee!” – without missing a “bite”. The scene reflects the state of sex in the America of the feminine mystique, as viewed by feminist Betty Friedan. 10-minute, mature comedy (1M, 1W, 1 Announcer)

ptsp-parkes

Dave and Linda Parke rehearsing “PTSP.” for Drakes’ Erotic Emporium in Los Angeles, Summer 2007.

BEST OF SHOWUNcover: A two-nite art exhibition with an erotic vibe – juried show, Cedar Rapids, IA, March 2007 (directed).

NEW! Short film, PASS THE SALT, PLEASE, stars Academy Award nominee Seymour Cassel and Emmy winner Fionnula Flanagan, with actors Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Radha Mitchell as executive producers. Directed by Tatjana Najdanovic. Official selection to the following 2011-12 film festivals:  Sydney International, Big Sur (Gala Finalist), Palm Springs International ShortFest (Jury Award, Special Citation – Best OnScreen Pairing), LA ShortsFest International, Rhode Island International, Milwaukee, Raindance (London), Orlando, St. Louis, Austin, Cleveland, San Jose (Cinequest, Special Jury Prize/Short Film), The Really Funny Horny Goat International Short FF (Milwaukee, Golden Horn/Audience Favorite), Wisconsin FF (Madison), Florida FF, Hawaii, Chicago International FF, ShortsUP (Romania), King Bonn New Media (China), Husseca International FF (Spain), Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, Seattle International FF, Maryland FF, WorldFest (Houston, Gold Remi Winner), Belgrade, Atlanta, Artscape (Baltimore), BendFilm (Oregon), Reggio FF (Italy), USA Film Festival (Dallas, National Short Film & Video Competition Finalist), New Orleans, NYC Short FF, Tallgrass FF (Kansas), Free State FF (Kansas) and Warsaw, Poland. Click here for Kickstarter trailer.

*  Semi-Finalist, Short & Sweet/Sydney: The Biggest Little Play Festival in the World, Australia, December, 2007.

*  Los Angeles premiere, Drake’s Erotic Emporium on Melrose in West Hollywood, Saturday, August 2007.

*  The Little Red Studio’s Erotic Shorts Festival, April 24 – May 3, 2009.

*  Performance for artists-only opening night gala, Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, April 30, 2009.

Southeastern Premiere @ City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival/“Undershorts”, May – June, 2009, Miami.

*Kaplan High School, Kaplan, LA, 9/30/2010

*Imperial Players, Imperial, Saskatchewan, Canada, 12/10/2010

Greg Ryan & Brooke Maroldi, HASHTAG MAYHEM! - 6 short, dark plays by Jeffrey James Ircink

Greg Ryan & Brooke Maroldi, HASHTAG MAYHEM! – 6 short, dark plays by Jeffrey James Ircink

*  Milwaukee premiere @ Hashtag Mayhem, an evening of 6 short, sordid plays by Jeffrey James Ircink, The Alchemist Theatre, Milwaukee, March-April 2013.

For publication by Heuer Publishing Co in Fall 2009. Contact me for copies of the play until further notice. For future reference, copies of this play and royalty information will be available through HEUER PUBLISHING CO.

“What I love about your work in this play, Jeff, is the fun, sexy, funny and ultimately very poignant writing. Congratulations, Jeff. Well done.”
Gary Garrison,
playwright, author, exec. director for Creative Affairs of The Dramatists Guild of America, artistic dir. and division head of playwriting for the Goldberg Department of Dramatic Writing at the Tisch School of the Arts, New York, on the performance of “PTSP.” at the Summer Shorts Festival in Miami, May-June 2009.

I love it, love it, love it! It’s spot on and heart-breakingly hilarious…I hope that ‘Pass the Salt, Please.’ has legs of steel!”
Donna Latham, playwright, Chicago, IL

“I love the play. I have high expectations for (its) proper performance (in order to) do it the entitled justice.”
– Casey Kasparek, Artist/UNcover organizer,
Mount Vernon, IA

“I love the play…the jewel of the Undershorts program.”
– Stuart Meltzer, Artistic Director, City Theatre,
Miami, FL

“Garcia and Trovillion reach a new level of comedy gold in Jeffrey James Ircink’s “Pass the Salt, Please.”…The sheer simplicity of it all…One of my favorite pieces of the night.”
– Alexis Scheer, The Playground

“The best pieces are Michael McKeever’s “Cravin Tutweiler: (The Real Life Story Of)” (Signature Shorts), Christopher Durang’s “Kitty the Waitress” (Signature Shorts), and Jeffrey James Ircink’s “Pass the Salt, Please.” (Undershorts). These bawdy, viciously witty, and unerringly self-aware little plays demonstrate a control of tone and speed that writers and interpreters of even very long plays should study and emulate.”
Brandon K. Thorp, Miami New Times

‘Pass the Salt, Please.’, written by Jeffrey James Ircink, is easily the most uproarious piece although the least promising on paper.”
– Bill Hirshman, Sun-Sentinel, Miami

“…”Pass the Salt, Please.” was absolutely one of the best play in Undershorts…I look forward to more of your plays!”
– CLJ, SouthFloridaTheatreScene.com

“The language is raw, yet the characters never flinch. Instead, as if to almost say, ‘There…take that!’, Ircink follows each divulged explicit sex act wish with the simple title line. The salt is then passed. The scene is reminiscent of a well played chess match.”
– Michael Martin,
Edge – Miami, FL

“Three of the better plays in Undershorts are the first three — they come at you right out of the gate, a rat-a-tat-tat of racy wackiness…’April Showers’, ‘Sodom & Gororrah: Priced to Sell’, and ‘Pass the Salt, Please.’…Trovillion is in five of the seven plays, is both hysterical and touching, combining the two perfectly in ‘Pass the Salt, Please.’
Mary Damiano, Miami Artzine

dscn6027Michael Blum and Heather Ward in “PTSP.” at The Little Red Studio’s Erotic Shorts Festival, April 24 – May3, 2009, Seattle.

“It went beautifully! Your play was a total hit!”
– Kerry Christiansen, The Little Red Studio,
Seattle, WA

“…if you see just one, the smart money says to check out Undershorts, which includes maybe the awesomest short the Miami New Times has ever witnessed – “Pass the Salt, Please”, by Jeffrey James Ircink…you gotta see it.”
– Brandon K. Thorp, Miami News Times,
June 2009, regarding City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival 2009 moving to Fort Lauderdale for its final week

“…there’s a reason it was placed at the close of the show.”
– Donn Christiansen,
director/actor, The Little Red Studio, Seattle, WA

“To this day, one of my favorite short plays ever written.”
– Michael McKeever,
 actor, playwright, Fort Laudersale, FL

“I saw the show at Little Red Studio last night. The whole evening was wonderful, but ‘Pass the Salt, Please.’ was utterly brilliant. There was so much going on in it, and just when I thought I had the couple figured out the ground shifted underneath me and I started seeing it from a different angle.”
Patti Beadles,
patron & performance artist, San Francisco

“Seriously, that show was the most fun I’ve had doing anything on stage for a long time.  Thank you Jeff, for a brilliant script…What a finely polished yet multifaceted little nugget we produced!  I miss it still.  It has been carefully stored away in one of the special keepsake compartments of my heart, to pull out and marvel at whenever I need a lift. For that, I can never thank you enough.”
Heather Ward,
the “Woman” in “PTSP.” at The Little Red Studio’s Erotic Shorts Festival, Seattle, WA

“I really enjoyed your play, best of the bunch as far as I’m concerned.”
– Gordon McConnell,
directo of “PTSP.”, City Theatre’s Summer Shorts Festival 2009, Miami, FL

“It was GREAT! I loved your script from the minute I first read it! I look forward to reading your future shows. Michael and Heather had the audience in hysterics… It seems that the three of us make a great team in making your words come to life the way you intended (i hope)…It was from what I heard from audience the *hit* of the night!…one of the best shows I ever worked on!”
– Cherilynn Brooks,
director of “PTSP.” at The Little Red Studio’s Erotic Shorts Festival, Seattle, WA

“…this was truly a wonderful experience, especially for my first theatrical outing in my new home town. Aside from the brilliance from all three of you (which was extraordinary), it was the warmth and caring with which all of you approached the material…I will cherish for the rest of my life. The hardest thing about doing this was not trying not to laugh… it was trying not to cry at the sight of your dear faces. Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
– Michael Blum,
the “Man” in “PTSP.” at The Little Red Studio’s Erotic Shorts Festival in Seattle, WA

“Pass the Salt, Please.” with Stephen Trollion and Elena Maria Garcia in City Theatre’s Summer Shorts/Undershorts 2009, Miami.

“Bringing a bit of traditional theater to the Festival stage was an experiment. Jeff, you wrote a very funny script. Cher, your casting and directing choices were excellent. Michael and Heather, you did a fine job, both here and during the run at Little Red Studio.”
Clayton Hibbert, Seattle Erotic Art Festival

“Your other plays are far and away better. This one reads like a 12-year-old’s masturbatory fantasy.”
Maria McCann, actress and friend in California

“The show really went well! Dave and Linda were perfection…All my friend’s loved the piece and Sister Unity of the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence wants a copy of the play…All in all, a great experience…a very well-written play.”
– Stephen Allen Carver,
director of “Pass the Salt, Please.” at Drake’s in Los Angeles, August 2007

“Two nights of perfection. The only thing that could make the show better is if we win Best of Show”.
Jeffrey James Ircink, writer of “Pass the Salt, Please.” and director at UNcover, March 2007. It won.

“You gotta admire someone who can do erotica without being gratuitous; it’s smart and kooky and I want to read more of your stuff.”
Dee Rich,
actress, Phoenix

“…‘Pass The Salt, Please’ was absolutely one of the best plays in UnderShorts.”
CLJ, South Florida Theatre Scene

“We are interested in discussing your play. It might be something we would be interested in sponsoring.”
John Ince, The Sex Party, British Columbia, Canada

“Pass the Salt, Please.”

Cast of Characters

ANNOUNCER: Open
MAN: 45-60
WOMAN: 45-60

The MAN and WOMAN are relatively the same age (ideal age would be mid 50’s to early 60’s); MAN is dressed in jeans, tee shirt and casual dress shirt; WOMAN is dressed in jeans or pants and top. There is no “look” for this couple; nor should they have to look like they’re a “couple” (I’d actually prefer it if they weren’t “pretty”). This play is shorter than 10 minutes if you read it straight through. So, the actors need to adhere to the beats and pauses – intentionally placed to drag out the dinner table conversation. The more gaps and holes in the dialogue, the better.

Setting

Tuesday evening. A dining room in a home. The SET consists of a small dining room table, two chairs, and place settings for two and a jug of water. When this was first staged, we used real food and I prefer that. FOOD consisted of a rotisserie chicken split in half, cottage cheese, potato salad and fresh fruit.

Time

The present.

“Pass the Salt, Please.”

(As the following quote is read by the director or another appropriate representative, LIGHTS FADE UP on scene.)

ANNOUNCER:

ANNOUNCER:
“Instead of fulfilling the promise of infinite orgasmic bliss, sex in the America of the feminine mystique is becoming a strangely joyless national compulsion, if not a contemptuous mockery.” Betty Friedan. U.S. feminist.

(Beat)

Ladies and Gentlemen:  “Pass the Salt, Please.”

(Tuesday evening. A MAN and WOMAN are at either end of a medium-sized table eating dinner. They are quiet. The tone throughout the entire scene is sedate – monotone, expressionless – as if the couple’s bored, but not necessarily with each other. They are fazed by nothing each other says – everything spoken is matter-of-factly. There is a long pause while they eat before the WOMAN speaks. NOTE:  pauses = 5 seconds, but the final discretion is up to the director.)

WOMAN:

Anything exciting happen at work today?

MAN:

Not really. Same old, same old. Why?

WOMAN:

No reason.

(Pause.)

MAN:

Pfieffer got fired.

WOMAN:

What’s that?

MAN:

Pfieffer got fired. You asked me if anything exciting happened at work today. Pfieffer got fired.

WOMAN:

Who’s Pfieffer?

MAN:

I don’t know – some guy in accounting. Could you pass the salt?

(She passes the salt. Pause.)

WOMAN:

So – Pfieffer got fired.

MAN:

Yep.

WOMAN:

What did he do?

MAN:

I told you – he worked in accounting.

WOMAN:

I meant what did he do to get fired.

MAN:

I’m not sure. I didn’t know him that well. Just heard about it.

WOMAN:

Then why’d you bring him up?

MAN:

You brought him up.

WOMAN:

How did I bring him up? I don’t know who Pfieffer is. Why would I bring up a guy I don’t even know? Could I have the salt, please? (He passes the salt.) Thank you.

MAN:

You asked me if anything exciting happened at work today. Pfieffer getting fired was exciting.

WOMAN:

How do you figure?

MAN:

Well what do you consider, “exciting”?

WOMAN:

(A moment.) A winning lottery ticket. (Beat) A new refrigerator would be exciting.

MAN:

OK.

WOMAN:

(Overlapping) Traveling – anywhere.

MAN:

(Overlapping) I got it. What about –

WOMAN:

(Overlapping) Getting fired is not “exciting”.

MAN:

What about the guys who were waiting for the Hindenburg to land in New Jersey…the ones who caught the guide ropes the crew threw out?

WOMAN:

The linesmen?

MAN:

Yeh, the linesman. Yuh suppose at dinner later that night when the linesman’s wife asked him, ‘did anything exciting happen at work today, dear?’, he said, ‘no’? (Beat) What he said was, ‘Yeh, the God damn Hindenburg crashed and burned while I was holding onto one of the guide ropes’. (Beat) That’s “exciting”.

WOMAN:

That’s a tragedy.

MAN:

It’s still exciting.

WOMAN:

So I should be excited about people burning to death.

MAN:

I’m not saying you should revel in someone else’s tragedy. Excitement can mean ‘the state of being emotionally worked up’. (Beat) I’m simply saying there’s a level of excitement to everything – however dreadful it may be.

WOMAN:

Whatever.

MAN:

Whatever. Can I have the salt? (She passes the salt. Beat.) What are you doing tonight?

WOMAN:

I may finish that book you gave me for my birthday – the one on cats.

MAN:

It’s a picture book.

WOMAN:

(Aside) Yah.

(Pause.)

MAN:

I bought two boxes of paperwhite candles from Sheila. She –

WOMAN:

Who’s Sheila?

MAN:

My boss’ secretary. You’ve met her. She hosted one of those house parties where women buy jewelry and Tupperware and – stuff.

WOMAN:

I didn’t know they still made Tupperware.

MAN:

Yep.

WOMAN:

I don’t remember being at a party with any “Sheila”.

MAN:

You met her at work, not the party.

WOMAN:

When were you at her house?

MAN:

I wasn’t at the party either. She brought’em with her to the office.

WOMAN:

Men purchase stuff from house parties too, you know.

MAN:

I know. I bought candles.

WOMAN:

I love the smell of paperwhites.

MAN:

Yah – well I thought maybe we could light a few – later on…in the bathtub. Listen to some music…glass of wine – you know.

WOMAN:

You wanna put candles in the bathtub?

MAN:

No – you and I would be in the tub. The candles would be –

WOMAN:

Oh. Right. (Beat) We’ll see…maybe. (Beat) Candles and music, huh?

MAN:

It’s a “touch”. (He salts his food. Pause.) Do we have any honey?

WOMAN:

I don’t think so.

MAN:

Would you look for me?

WOMAN:

Why do you want honey?

MAN:

I like a full complement of condiments at my disposal when I’m eating. Is there anything wrong with that?

WOMAN:

Why don’t you look yourself?

MAN:

I don’t know where you keep it.

WOMAN:

I think we’re out of honey anyway.

MAN:

Forget it. (Pause) If I had some honey right now I’d take it and – (Beat) – squirt it on your chest.

WOMAN:

Excuse me?

MAN:

Then I’d lick the honey off your tits.

WOMAN:

You’re such a pig. (Beat) How would you like it if I took some honey and squirt it on…your…dick?

MAN:

(Beat) So-o…what’s your point?

WOMAN:

Nothing. Nothing is my point.

(Pause.)

MAN:

Well are you just gonna leave it there?

WOMAN:

What?

MAN:

The honey.

WOMAN:

Maybe. (Beat) Maybe…I’d…suck it off. (The MAN begins to interject but is cut off.)  Maybe. (Beat) Suck on your balls, too. Salt, please.

(He passes the salt. Beat.)

MAN:

Never pictured you as the ball-sucking type.

WOMAN:

You never asked.

MAN:

(Beat) Not that I mind you fondling my balls, but what are you planning to do with my cock when you’re done sucking it?

WOMAN:

What do you want me to do with it?

MAN:

Well, I guess –

WOMAN:

You wanna stick it in my pussy, don’t you?

MAN:

Yeh. I wanna fuck you.

WOMAN:

Go ahead then – fuck my pussy.

MAN:

I will.

WOMAN:

How ya gonna fuck me?

MAN:

Hard.

(He reaches for the salt.)

WOMAN:

How does my pussy feel?

MAN:

Like a pussy. (Beat) Warm – and wet…like a tropical rain forest. Makes me feel…contented. (Beat) I like the timbre in your voice at that exact moment I stick my cock in you.

WOMAN:

Keep fucking me the way you are and I’ll say anything you want me to say.

MAN:

Tell me my cock’s the best cock you’ve ever had.

WOMAN:

It’s the best cock I’ve ever had. (Beat) Tell me I’m the best fuck you’ve ever had.

(She reaches for the salt.)

MAN:

You’re the best fuck I’ve ever had. Tell me I’m –

WOMAN:

The best…fuck – ever. Cum every time.

MAN:

Really?

WOMAN:

No. (Beat) Close though. (Beat) You know what I’d like?

MAN:

What’s that?

WOMAN:

I like you to do me in the ass.

MAN:

OK.

WOMAN:

Really?

MAN:

Sure. Why not?

WOMAN:

(Beat) Pig.

MAN:

That’s me.

WOMAN:

Fuck me in the ass, pig-man.

(They both reach for the salt but he grabs it first.)

MAN:

You’re a dirty little girl, aren’t you?

WOMAN:

That’s right. I’m your dirty, nasty, little bitch so you go right ahead and fuck me in the ass.

MAN:

Beg me.

WOMAN:

Please?

MAN:

Beg me some more.

WOMAN:

I only beg once. (Beat) And you’ll do it exactly the way I tell you to do it.

MAN:

Yes, ma’am.

(She reaches for the salt.)

WOMAN:

‘Cause I’m the boss of you, pig-man.

MAN:

Yes you are.

WOMAN:

‘Yes you are’ what?

MAN:

‘Yes you are, ma’am.’

WOMAN:

That’s better, asshole.

MAN:

I love how you make me feel – so…like a –

WOMAN:

A pig?

MAN:

Um –

WOMAN:

That’s because you’re my pig and all my pigs do what I tell them.

MAN:

(Beat) You have more than one pig?

WOMAN:

No – it’s an expression. (Beat. The MAN subtly emits an oink or two like a pig.) What are you doing?

MAN:

Being your little pig.

WOMAN:

Don’t do that.

(Pause.)

MAN:

I wonder how you’d look with one of those balls in your mouth – when you discipline me. You know the ones with the straps that go around your head.

WOMAN:

I know. (Beat) No.

MAN:

No ball?

WOMAN:

No ball.

MAN:

Why?

WOMAN:

You wear the ball. I’m the one doing the disciplining, remember? I say when we do it, what we do and what we wear. Not you.

MAN:

We could each wear a ball.

(He gestures for the salt, which she hands him.)

WOMAN:

Fine.

(Pause.)

MAN:

I can’t wait to fuck you in the ass.

WOMAN:

You said that already.

MAN:

I know, it’s just that –

WOMAN:

Fuck me somewhere else.

MAN:

Where else am I supposed to fuck you? I’ve already –

WOMAN:

I don’t know. Figure it out yourself.

(Beat – not a Pause – a Beat.)

MAN:

So-o-o…what are we doing after dinner?

WOMAN:

I already told you.

MAN:

The cat book?

WOMAN:

Uh-huh. (Beat) I’m a little tired actually. I may read and go to bed early. Why?

MAN:

I was just thinking we could…(Beat. He stops eating and gets a very subtle, ‘let’s have sex’ look on his face.) You know.

WOMAN:

What? Oh. Um…I’m not sure.

(Beat)

I just…I don’t think so. Thanks for asking though. Some other time.

(Pause)

I love you.

MAN:

I love you, too.

(Pause.)

WOMAN:

Pass the salt, please.

(MAN passes the salt. They continue to eat in silence. LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.)

(END OF SCENE.)
(END OF PLAY.)

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