MARK MY WORMS
MASON has been cast in a newly-discovered, never-before-seen play by the world-class absurdist LaSalle Montclare.
On the first day of rehearsal, he learns that Montclare’s estate is insisting the play be performed exactly as Montclare wrote it.
Not a word can be changed.
Problem is, Montclare was a terrible typist. Which is why the play opens with Mason holding his costar at gunpoint and
saying, “I’ve got a bun.”
Mason can’t believe they’re going to perform the play as written, typos and all, but JOHN, his director,
says the estate will pull production rights if they don’t.
And Mason is even more astounded when he hears that his next line is “Come out or I’ll hoot.”
When Mason threatens to quit the show, John points out that critics love Montclare. All his plays get rave reviews like this one:
“Montclare is a world-class absurdist with an amazing ear for language, who turns society’s foibles squarely on their heads
with devastating comic effect.” That was The New York Times.
Mason’s costar, GLORIA, arrives and loses no time in revealing she’s just read a Ph.D. thesis on Montclare
and understands him perfectly: Montclare’s unique dialogue should not be viewed within the framework of the
traditional communication paradigm.
With John insisting that every word of dialog be performed exactly as written, and Gloria sharing her new insights about
Montclare (He explores that shadowy region where humankind’s primal nebulaic plasma merges with its outward veneer
of imposed order and the primitive Uh! runs headlong into the nascent Oh!”) soon Mason is wondering if he’s the only
sane person in the room.
Which is when John mentions there’s already so much media buzz surrounding this play
that all their careers are about to go into the stratosphere. “Are you going to walk away from that?”
Let’s start over. From the hoot...
“The standout in the first group,...a bright comedy of language a la David Ives.”
- Judith Newmark, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
“...a comic romp.... [the] script would be a funny read, but on stage it blossoms into a spectacular cascade of laughs...
brilliant, daffy performances.”
- Paul Friswold, Riverfronttimes.com
“...a hilariously absurd play that examines ideas of artistic expression and merit.... genuinely absurd dialogue....
line after line of ridiculously plausible but illogical dialogue, once [the actors] get going the effect is electrifying, silly,
- Tina Farmer, KDHX
“...a delightful play.... absurd and clever script...”
- Steve Allen, Stage Door St. Louis
“...funny.... often hilarious....”
- Mark Bretz, laduenews.com
“Pepper’s play is pure, comical genius.”
“... audience members were doubled over snorting in laughter from start to finish.”
- Carole Di Tosti, TheaterPizzazz.com
- Howard Miller, TalkinBroadway.com
“...an ingenious comedic device.”
“Pepper has a keen ear for the inanities of academic-speak...”
- Ethan Kanfer, New York Theater Reviews