Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays by Eric LaneLaugh Lines: Short Comic Plays by Eric Lane

Laugh Lines: Short Comic Plays

EditorEric Lane, Nina Shengold

Paperback | April 10, 2007

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This one-of-a-kind anthology features thirty-six hilarious short plays by major American playwrights and emerging new voices, all guaranteed to send readers and audiences into peals of laughter. From the surrealistic wit of Steve Martin's "The Zig-Zag Woman" to the biting political satire of Steven Dietz's "The Spot," from Christopher Durang's wonderfully loopy "Wanda's Visit" to Shel Silverstein's supremely twisted "The Best Daddy," there's something in here to make everyone laugh. There are plays for casts of all sizes, from monologues to large ensembles, with diverse and challenging roles for actors of every age and type. Even the titles are funny: Mark O'Donnell's "There Shall Be No Bottom (a bad play for worse actors)," Elaine May's "The Way of All Fish," and Alan Ball's "Your Mother's Butt." A bonanza for theatergoers, performers, and comedy fans, Laugh Lines will bring down the house.
Eric Lane and Nina Shengold have been editing contemporary theater anthologies for more than twenty years. Eric Lane's award-winning plays have been published and performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China. Plays include Ride, Times of War, Heart of the City, Dancing on Checkers' Grave, and Filming O'Keeffe. Floating, a ...
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Title:Laugh Lines: Short Comic PlaysFormat:PaperbackProduct dimensions:528 pages, 8 × 5.2 × 0.9 inShipping dimensions:8 × 5.2 × 0.9 inPublished:April 10, 2007Publisher:Knopf Doubleday Publishing GroupLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0307277135

ISBN - 13:9780307277138

Reviews

Read from the Book

An Excerpt fromMiss Youby David Auburn(First published in Fifth Planet and Other Plays, copyright © 2002 by David Auburn)Miss You was first produced at the HBO Comedy Arts Festival in Aspen, Colorado, on January 5, 1997. It was directed by James Eckhouse. The cast was as follows:WOMAN 1, 2 Lisa EdelsteinMAN 1, 2 Jerry LevineCHARACTERSMANWOMANMAN 2WOMAN 2MAN and WOMAN on the phone.WOMAN: Hello?MAN: I miss you!WOMAN: Oh, hi.MAN: Miss me?WOMAN: Uh-huh.MAN: Really?WOMAN: Yes. Yes I do: I miss you.MAN: A lot?WOMAN: Yes.MAN: How much?WOMAN: I told you, a lot.MAN: God, I miss you.WOMAN: Mm.MAN: I wish you were here.WOMAN: Yes.MAN: I wish you were here right now.WOMAN: Mm.MAN: I wish I was there.WOMAN: Uh-huh.MAN: I wish I could be there with you: I mean, I really miss you. I have a—WOMAN: I know.MAN: I have a—WOMAN: Can you hold on?MAN: I have a little sur—WOMAN: Can you hold on a sec? I've got another call.MAN: S (ure)—(Beat. She clicks over.)WOMAN: Hello?MAN 2: Hey.WOMAN: Oh, God. Oh, God, hi! Oh, hi! God, hi!MAN 2: Hey.WOMAN: Hi, God, you called! I was hoping you'd-where have you been? Hi! Thank you for calling! How are you?MAN 2: I'm fine.WOMAN: Great.MAN 2: How are—WOMAN: Great. Wonderful. Now! Hi. When can I see you? Are you free? Are you busy? I can get time. Do you want to get something to eat tonight? Or we can cook. I can shop and we can— We can stay in. We can cook here, I've got wine. Come over. Come over now if you want. I miss you.MAN 2: Listen-WOMAN: I miss you. Yesterday afternoon was-the museum was wonderful (I can't believe I live right here in the city and I never go), and the walk, and the river. And the ice cream! Unh! Nothing has ever tasted so good to me in my life, I swear to God, it was—and drinks by the—and dinner, and God, you looked so—and last night was—MAN 2: Listen, there's some things I should do, but we ought to try to get together.WOMAN: Try? Try to get together? Yes, I think we should "try"! I mean, yes. Yes. That would be great. Tonight? Do you want to set something up for tonight? (Beat.)MAN 2: Tonight?WOMAN: Yes. We could—MAN 2: Look, can I call you back?WOMAN: What?MAN 2: I gotta call you back.WOMAN: Okay, but call me right—MAN 2: Yeah. I'll call you. I'll talk to you. Okay?WOMAN: Soon. I'll talk to you, okay—MAN 2: Bye. (Beat.)WOMAN: Bye— (She almost hangs up.) Shit— (Clicks over.) Hello?MAN: Hello?WOMAN: It's me.MAN: I missed you!WOMAN: I'm sorry. I couldn't get—MAN: I'm coming home.WOMAN: What?MAN: I'm calling because I'm coming home. It's my surprise. I'm cutting things short. I'm at the airport!WOMAN: Why?MAN: I'm about to get on an airplane.WOMAN: No, why-you're cutting things short? Can you do that?MAN: Yes. I worked straight through. I haven't slept for two days so I'd get done early because I missed you and I'm—WOMAN: Wait. Hold—MAN: We take off in ten minutes. They're preboarding now. I'm carrying my—I want to give you my arrival time so you can come get me. I've only got carry-on, so don't come to the gate, don't park, just pull up at arriving flights and I'll be—WOMAN: 'Nother call, sorry, I—MAN: Honey, wait, I'm about to board, I don't want to miss my—WOMAN: (Clicks over.) Hello?MAN: No, it's still me. Don't go. I don't want to miss my—WOMAN: Sorry, hold on. (Clicks.) Hello? Hello?MAN 2: Hey, me.WOMAN: Oh, hi!MAN 2: Hey. Listen. I—WOMAN: That was fast! You're—MAN 2: Listen, I just realized, I've got a lot of things to take care of.WOMAN: Uh-huh.MAN 2: So I think we better—WOMAN: What?MAN 2: I think we better take a rain check on tonight.WOMAN: A rain check.MAN 2: We'll do it some other time.WOMAN: You have a lot of things to take care of?MAN 2: Yeah.WOMAN: What things?MAN 2: I should get some sleep. I have to get up early.WOMAN: We spend the day together yesterday. You didn't have things to take care of. Yesterday turned into last night and it was a long sleepless night and that seemed fine with you then; it seemed wonderful to me—MAN 2: We'll have to do it another time.WOMAN: I don't have another time. This is the time. Do you see? Let's do this now. I'm sorry. I just mean, while we can. We shouldn't miss this. Yesterday came out of nowhere. We were together. It was great. I loved it. I loved being with you. I loved you. (Beat.) Did you hear me? I love you. Can you hear me? Are you there?MAN 2: Can you hold on a minute?WOMAN: What?MAN 2: I've got another call coming in.WOMAN: Don't take it!MAN 2: I have to—WOMAN: They'll call back.MAN 2: I'll just be—WOMAN: Don't— (He clicks over.)MAN 2: Hello?

Table of Contents

Introduction
Acknowledgments

David Auburn: MISS YOU

Alan Ball: YOUR MOTHER'S BUTT

Gina Barnett: ALONE AT LAST!

Glen Berger: THE GALLOWS MONOLOGUE
—FROM SIDNEY RYAN'S
GUNPOWDER AND BLOOD

David Cale: POODLES

Eric Coble: TIES THAT BIND

Sharon E. Cooper: MISTAKEN IDENTITY

Laura Shaine Cunningham: OUTSOURCED

Adrienne Dawes: HERITAGE, HER-I-TAGE, & HAIR-I-TAGE

Steven Dietz: THE SPOT

Paul Dooley & Winne Holzman: POST-ITS (Notes on a Marriage)

Christopher Durang: WANDA'S VISIT

Peter Hedges: THE VALERIE OF NOW

Mikhail Horowitz: WE CANNOT KNOW
—THE MIND OF GOD

Seth Kramer: THE TARANTINO VARIATION

Eric Lane: THE STATUE OF BOLÍVAR

Warrent Light: MARS HAS NEVER BEEN THIS CLOSE

Mark Harvey Levine: SURPRISE

David Lindsay-Abaire: HOW WE TALK IN SOUTH BOSTON

Steve Martin: THE ZIG-ZAG WOMAN

Elaine May: THE WAY OF ALL FISH

Mark O'Donnell: THERE SHALL BE NO BOTTOM (a bad play for worse actors)

Jonathan Rand: CHECK, PLEASE

Wayne Rawley: CONTROLLING INTEREST

Jacquelyn Reingold: 2B (OR NOT 2B)

Edwin Sánchez: POPS

Nina Shengold: FORTY TO LIFE

Shel Silverstein: THE BEST DADDY

David Smilow: THE FLYING WOLIMSKIES RETURN

Tommy Smith: STREAK

Richard Strand: ROSA'S EULOGY

Frederick Stroppel: CHOCOLATE

Joyce Van Dyke: THE EARRING

Daryl Watson: THE BLUEBERRY HILL ACCORD

Lauren Wilson: WEDDING DUET

Garth Wingfield: PLEASE HAVE A SEAT AND SOMEONE WILL BE WITH YOU SHORTLY

Contributors
About the Editors
Index
Permissions and Acknowledgments