Chicken Ranch


This twenty-five-minute experimental play takes satirical aim at the social swirl of recent births of septuplets.  Three Mothers highlight the worries and excitement of having multiple births after undergoing fertility treatment, and the Father expresses his concerns and pride at his paternal accomplishment.  But the parents also double as prostitutes and client at a brothel, interweaving solicitations for sex with solicitations for help with the fragile newborn babies.


Into this mix arrives the Questioner, who interrogates the motives and insecurities at the heart of various expressions of sexuality and the procreative impulse.  The play interweaves the dilemmas of such difficult multiple births with other more taboo kinds of sexuality, highlighting common elements of fantasy, scandal, and generosity in realms that appear diametrically opposed.  In the end, the play foregrounds both the dreams and disappointments that pervade seemingly unrelated realms of sexual expression.




Play Structure:

1 Act:  25-minute play

Cast size:




3 female, 2 male


The present.


Wholesome Middle America.


A mostly bare stage.  The Questioner should sit in a large kingly chair on a platform upleft, a bit apart from the center-stage action.  The downstage area where the other characters perform should be bare or, at most, dressed in a surreal fashion with indicators of middle America.






Production History


Chicken Ranch received its premiere production in the Mae West Fest VII, on the Emmett R. Quady Stage at Consolidated Works in Seattle, Washington, on July 24-27, 2003.  The play was directed by Lauren Appel; and was performed by the following cast:



LADY Mother #1

Brynn Hambly

LADY Mother #2

Erika Swann

LADY Mother #3

Alison Cole

FAther Client

Bob Koerner


John Ulman