Culture Monster

All the Arts, All the Time

« Previous Post | Culture Monster Home | Next Post »

Come up with a title for the Neil LaBute-Theresa Rebeck play

September 14, 2011 |  8:44 am

Neil LaBute and Theresa Rebeck live playwriting on Culture Monster

Neil LaBute and Theresa Rebeck took time Tuesday to write a play -- live -- on Culture Monster, based on a scenario selected by readers. Now it’s time to come up with a title.

LaBute, author of the plays “reasons to be pretty,” “Fat Pig” and “Wrecks,” and Rebeck, whose new play “Poor Behavior” will open at the Mark Taper Forum on Sunday, together created work based on a scenario chosen by our readers:

Surprise! Recently divorced Sandy and Ken are seated together on a six-hour flight across the country

The playwrights were not told ahead of time what they would be writing about, and, to add a twist, we had the writers swap genders, with LaBute assigned to Sandy and Rebeck taking on Ken. They each took turn writing lines (and stage directions), then answered questions from readers. Here's an excerpt:

SANDY: That was not an affair! One kiss in the garden shed does not an affair make ... a long kiss, i'll grant you, but still ... and yes, you DID start the divorce in the sense of calling lawyers and confiscating computers and all of that, so, please. (SHE WAITS) Where is the stewardess? Or ... whatever they're called now? Doesn't matter. Where is she ... ? (SILENCE) I guess we can ask if they'll switch us around or change seats with someone, but ... I can stand it if you can.

KEN: So I'm divorcing you because you kissed that guy once? is that the position you are taking now? That you you you kissed that guy once, and the rest of the time, in our marriage, you ran around cleaning up after me and I'm some sort of lunatic who makes things up and so even though I'm the person who is now sitting in all this seven up with no sweater, and also the person paying YOU alimony, that you are, what? that this divorce is some sort of big dumb idea of mine -- you know what? never mind. never mind.

You can read the full transcript here.

After you’ve read the play, please offer your suggestions for a title in the comments section below. We’ll gather those titles and let LaBute and Rebeck choose the one they like best.


Neil LaBute and Theresa Rebeck: Live playwriting

Neil LaBute and Theresa Rebeck want to write a play for you

-- Lisa Fung

Photos: Neil LaBute; Theresa Rebeck. Credits: Michel Spingler / Associated Press; Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times