Obsolete and Small

 

This fifteen-minute play is based upon a true case of domestic murders committed during the 1990’s in Bellevue, Washington.  The dramatic action concerns the search for peace and understanding following the murder of a family by a teenage son.

 

The play opens with a description of the attack, offered by the parents and challenged by the son.  The parents seek to learn why he committed such a crime against them, as well as against his autistic sister, and they castigate him for neither attending the funeral nor showing respect to his relatives.  Despite his recalcitrance and greed for his pending inheritance, the mother and father urge their son to confess in order to reassure their broader community that their deaths did not result from ethnic violence.

 

But in response, the son can only philosophize about evil and blame his parents for their own victimization.  This unresolved conflict brings voice to the previously silent daughter, who proclaims the truth that only hatred could have spawned such violence.

 

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Play Structure:

1 Act:  15-minute play

Cast size:

4

 

Gender:

2 female, 2 male

Period:

The present.

Location:

Ghostly arena of conscience.

Set:

Bare stage, with perhaps a few dark boxes, platforms, or catwalks, of various sizes distributed asymmetrically about the stage.

 

 

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Production History

 

Obsolete and Small received its premiere production by Love Creek Productions at the Harold Clurman Theatre in New York City on November 25-27, 1996, in its festival “Fear of God:  Religion in the ‘90’s”.  The play was directed by Gregg David Shore, with the following cast:

 

 

Teenage Son

Eric Strongbow

Mother

Scarlett Leas

Father

Douglas McKibben

Daughter

Melinda Skehan

 

 

Obsolete and Small was produced in the Mae West Fest, at the Capitol Hill Arts Center, in Seattle, WA, on July 22-25, 2004.  The play was directed by Brooke Cochran, with soundscapes and musics by Misha Burstein and sound engineering by David Day, and was performed by the following cast:

 

 

Teenage Son

Greg Bagdasaryan

Mother

Jessica Davis

Father

Jen Renee Paulson

Daughter

Kirsten Helseth