Tracy Letts is an actor, screenwriter, and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright. If that’s not enough, he also performs from time to time with TJ Jagodowski and David Pasquesi. Thanks to David Razowsky for sharing this awesomeness!
A small black box theatre. The stage is bare except for two folding chairs, and an ornate gold Louis XIV knock-off, stage right. A dozen or so mostly Caucasian students sit facing the stage. They each have name tags in gold Sharpie.
Dry ice fills the house as DRUMPF enters to the strains of “Born This Way.”
Drumpf: Welcome to Drumpfprov. You made a great decision by coming here today.
I have the best class. I have the best rules. Believe me. You’re very fortunate. Until now, you could only learn Drumpfprov at one of my resort theatres, or from The Sharper Image.
(scans the audience) I see we have a lot of minorities. Minorities love me. Bigly. I’m tremendous with minorities. We’re going to build a wall. OK, let’s do a warm-up. Who knows one?
JANET, a slender woman in her early 20s, speaks.
Janet: I like Big Booty.
Drumpf: Disgusting. That’s disgusting. I don’t like a lotta junk in the trunk. (squints) Janice–
Drumpf: You wouldn’t be able to play anyway, Janice. You’ve got a great piece of ass.
Besides, we don’t need warm-ups. I have the best exercises. Believe me. Let’s do some scenes.
Drumpf sits in the gold chair. CLAIRE and ZOE start a scene.
Claire: Hi boss, I typed up those forms you wanted.
Drumpf: Excuse me…excuse me!
Drumpf: Can anyone tell me why this scene is a disaster?
JORDAN, a 30-something black man, raises his hand.
Jordan: There was no emotion?
Drumpf: Wrong. The boss should be a man, and the secretary is like a 5 at best. Next!
MOLLY and DUSTIN start a scene.
Molly: Dad, I’m going to school now.
Dustin: Have a good day, honey.
Drumpf: Excuse me…excuse me! You need to show her more affection. A lot more. Remember, she’s your daughter. OK, next.
DANA and JAKE sit centre stage. TOM enters, miming a tray.
Dana: I’m really enjoying this first date.
Jake: Me too.
Tom: Here’s your mojitos. Are you ready to order?
Drumpf: (turns to audience) Who has status here?
Janet: Is it Dana?
(Drumpf rolls his eyes)
Dustin: Tom does.
Drumpf: Are any of you paying attention? I have status. I have the highest status. Always. Believe me.
Now I’m gonna teach you how to raise the stakes, Drumpf-style. I call it Drumpf Stakes.
Drumpf walks centre stage.
Drumpf: Janice, get up here.
Reluctantly, Janet joins him.
Drumpf: I love cats.
Janet: Here, I brought you a kitten.
Drumpf: I don’t like cats. I think I’ve made that very clear. I’ve never liked cats.
(to audience) See what I did there? OK, now everyone pair up. I want you to look at each other and tell me who you are to each other. Go.
Sara: I’m a Harvard professor, and Matias is my student.
Drumpf: Is that a joke? Did you even look at him? You’re obviously a receptionist, and Matias is a drug lord.
Drumpf turns to MATIAS.
Drumpf: Where are you from?
Drumpf: Yeah. But where are you from?
Matias: You mean my parents? They’re from upstate New York.
Drumpf: (sighs) Fine, Lyin’ Matias. If that’s the way you want it. I’m just saying play the scene a little more real. They don’t all have to be rape scenes, but a lot of them will be.
All right, we’ve got time for one group scene.
Zoe walks on stage. She clearly mimes being a scientist, using test tubes in a lab. DANNY enters.
Danny: Hey babe, when’s dinner?
Zoe: Uhhh…soon. I’m just mixing the salad dressing.
Matias enters. He starts to speak but is cut off by Danny, who throws himself in front of Zoe.
Danny: Don’t rape her!
Jordan: Whoa, what’s with all the screaming?
Danny points at him with rage.
Danny: You’re the worst President!
SFX: (slow clap)
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Conor Bradbury is a member of Sex T-Rex, one of Canada’s foremost comedy troupes and winners of Second City’s Outstanding New Comedy Award at the Toronto Fringe. The following post is reproduced with permission.
Well it’s the end of another Toronto Fringe Festival and I’m feeling all of the feels right now. This community is so full of lovely, talented people who produce exceptional work and are insanely fun to get drunk with. This year at the Honest Ed’s beer tent there was a coloring contest, a makeshift tarp roofed bonfire, a stolen brick and far, far too many Steamwhistles. There was also a ton of sexual assault.
I know this isn’t a new development at fringe festivals (or in the theatre/comedy community in general), but it’s one that I’ve become more and more aware of over the past few years. I guess I used to think that not actually witnessing these assaults meant that they probably weren’t happening. I mean, how could a place so full of wonderful people, a place where I had always had such an overwhelmingly positive experience, also be a place where my friends were being sexually harassed and assaulted on a regular basis? It didn’t make any sense. It still doesn’t, really, but it’s happening.
Not to oversimplify things, but there are basically two categories of perpetrators: The ones you know and the ones you don’t. While there’s plenty to be said about both groups for now I’d like to focus on the ones you know.
Let me start of by saying I have absolutely no idea what the best way for a woman to react to a sexual assault is. It seems like there isn’t really a right answer and the fact thay we spend so much time focusing on the victim’s behaviour I find truly baffling and disturbing.
So that brings us to the men. It seems a lot of my male friends in the community (and I am very intentionally using the word friend when I say this) are a bit confused as to what actually constitutes sexual assault. So let me give you a few tips on how to avoid being a creep in the future.
1) Keep Your Fucking Hands to Yourself.
This covers everything between unsolicited groping to “overly long hugs.” As a general rule until you know otherwise, assume women don’t want to be touched. Because they don’t. At least not most of the time, and not by you. Physical contact is a mark of intimacy and it needs to be earned. Obviously touching can be part of flirting, but there’s a big difference between putting a hand on someone’s shoulder to gauge their reaction and grabbing their ass. A lot of what you consider harmless flirting is making women seriously uncomfortable. Which brings me to my next point…
2) Stop Assuming Every Woman Who Talks to You Wants to Have Sex With You.
They don’t. It seems like that should be obvious, but a lot of you seem to be having real trouble with this one. I don’t care who you are, how charming you think you are or how many N’s your show got. MOST people still don’t want to fuck you. If a woman laughs at your jokes, puts her hand on your arm or smiles at you when you walk by sometimes she’s just doing that because THOSE ARE THINGS THAT NORMAL HUMANS DO. Granted you’ve probably had a few too many pints and your ego is in overdrive, but you know what?…
3) Being Drunk is Not a Valid Excuse.
Everyone does dumb shit when they drink. Not everyone sexually assaults women. You are legally responsible for everything you do NO MATTER HOW MUCH YOU’VE HAD TO DRINK (believe me a recent “urban exploration” of an abandoned factory taught me that much). If you truly can’t control yourself when drinking you have three options 1) Stop drinking. 2) Drink less or 3) Treat yourself like the werewolf that you are and lock yourself in a basement until you sober up.
This is obviously a huge and complicated issue that we could talk about forever, but if my male friends could just focus on those three points I think that would be a great start. I don’t even care why you do it. You can do it because you genuinely want to make yourself a better person, or you can do it just to save your own reputation. Because you know what? This is a small community and word travels fast. There are already so many whispers out there about which men in the community to avoid and the more whispers there are the louder they get.
The Toronto community was shocked recently by the sudden passing of Second City alum, Frank McAnulty. For over three decades, he taught, directed, and performed with countless improvisers and sketch comedians, and was an active member of the comedy scene.
The outpouring of love for him has been vast and heartfelt. How do you deal with a huge loss? Turns out The Weaker Vessels, whom Frank directed, have the answer.
We can’t stop watching these bang-on bits of hilarity from The Walking Dead star, Marquand. His subtle shifts in posture, status, and vocal quality make great character studies. Enjoy!
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Cue I Got You Babe and congrats to everyone at Second City Chicago on this historic occasion. Let the funny begin!