Betty's Summer Vacation
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Betty's Summer Vacation

Christopher Durang

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  1. 112 pages
  2. English
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eBook - ePub

Betty's Summer Vacation

Christopher Durang

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About This Book

Pitch-black humor and brutal social commentary from the Tony Award-winning playwright: "Relentlessly fierce, relentlessly funny."—Ben Brantley, The New York Times Looking for a little rest and time by herself, Betty rents a summer share at the beach. But Betty's luck turns when this sensible Everywoman gets drawn into the chaotic world of some very unsavory housemates: her friend Trudy, who talks too much; the lewd, semi-naked Buck, who tries to have sex with everyone; and Keith, a serial killer who hides in his room with a mysterious hatbox. With sand between her toes, walking a thin line between sanity and survival, poor Betty will leave her summer vacation more terrorized than tan—in this Obie Award-winning play from Christopher Durang, who "proves to be every bit as sharp and caustic as England's Joe Orton" (David Kaufman, New York Daily News ). "Not only wickedly funny but a commentary on the state of American culture."—Curtis Ellis, MSNBC "A comedian whose fury takes the form of farce."—John Lahr, The New Yorker

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Grove Press
Sound of the ocean.
A summer cottage, breezy-looking, inexpensive but functional summer furniture. Pleasant, soft colors, inviting.
An upstage door leads in from the front of the cottage. Inside there are a number of doors, leading off to bedrooms—four doors in a cluster, one by itself. (Some of the doors can be implied in an offstage hallway, if need be). There is a door off-left that leads to an outdoor deck and the outside.
Primarily a living room, but an open kitchen is also part of it.
A woman BETTY, age twenty-nine, comes in with her friend TRUDY, age twenty-eight. They are carrying suitcases.
Betty Wow. This house is great.
Trudy Isn't it? I knew you'd like it.
Betty (going off to look) Oh, and it has a great deck. And you can almost see the ocean.
Comes back inside.
Trudy I know. It's a comfy house. I love that. It's so great to be out of the city. The pace is so much slower here. Smell the air. There's salt in the air. It's from the ocean. I love the ocean. I am so sick of cement in the city. You smell the air in the city and you smell car exhaust and those fat unhealthy pretzels that those vendors sell in midtown. But here, it's all healthy. I can't wait to eat only healthy food. What is tofu exactly? Well, we don't have to eat tofu. We just have to eat vegetables and fish and maybe chicken, but not put butter on anything, well maybe on a piece of bread with some sugar on it, do you ever do that, my mother taught me to do it, isn't it gross, but it gives me energy, gee, I really love the seashore.
Betty (polite, trying not to offend) Trudy, I've told you I hoped you wouldn't talk too much on this vacation.
Trudy Really?
Trudy tries for a few seconds to be quiet. Betty looks around, checking out the various bedrooms. Trudy starts talking again pretty soon.
What day is today, Saturday? What a long ride it was in the car, traffic really freaks me out, everyone in these cars, trapped, unable to move, did you ever see Fellini's , that's what happens in the beginning of the movie, but then Marcello Mastroianni, he's so handsome, why aren't there any American men like him, I'd marry them in a minute if they'd have me, but lots of men don't like it if you talk too much, but I could probably have my mouth wired shut, at least if it was Marcello Mastroianni . . . anyway, he's in this traffic jam, and nobody's moving at all, and eventually he just rises up and floats up out of the car and it looks like he's escaping the awful traffic jam, but then it turns out someone has attached a rope to his leg, and so he's really still tied to the earth, and it doesn't look like he's going to escape at all.
Betty Uh-huh. Listening to you is like listening to the radio.
Trudy Really, I wonder if I should have a show?
Betty Now I want you to practice quiet. Pretend you're a monk or nun or something and you have to follow the Grand Silence. Can you do that?
Trudy Sure! Which bedroom should I have? Which one is closest to the sound of the ocean? I love to listen to the ocean.
Betty How can you even hear it when you're talking?
Trudy Well, I hear it right underneath my talking, it's kind of like they say, if you have a puppy and you're training it to sleep alone on a blanket, you should put a ticking clock next to it and it'll think it's its mother breathing, but I don't think a puppy is that stupid, do you, and plus it certainly wouldn't work with a human, I'd either think this is a ticking bomb, or I'd think this clock is too loud, I won't be able to sleep with this racket, maybe I should order a pizza. Isn't it scary about germ warfare?
Betty What does a pizza have to do with anything?
Trudy Well, you know if I was hungry. I don't suppose there's food here, is there? We probably have to go to the store. I love to go to the supermarkets outside of the city, the aisles are so wide and comfortable, and the checkout people say “thank you” and so on.
Betty Yes, we'll have to go shopping. I think I need aspirin. And maybe ear stoppers.
Trudy Then you won't be able to hear the ocean. I love hearing the ocean. I'm so glad to be away form the sound of the city. Car alarms. Has a car alarm ever stopped a car from being stolen? I doubt it. It just goes on and on. (she begins to imitate various car alarms) Oooooo-oooo. Oooooooo-ooooo. Waaahhhh-ahhhhh, waaaaaaaa-ahhhhh. Wuuuuuu-uuuulp! Wuuuuuu-uuuulp!
Betty Why don't you take a nap?
Trudy I just got here, I'm too full of energy. (looks toward entrance door) Oh, look, here comes another roommate, or maybe he's a serial killer, I hope not.
Enter KEIT...

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