Bad Boy Nietzsche! and Other Plays
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Richard Foreman has been at the leading edge of the theatrical avant-garde in the United States and throughout the world since 1968. His legendary productions, written and directed by him at his Ontological-Hysteric Theatre have influenced two generations of theater artists. This new anthology collects plays written and performed over six years, including Now That Communism Is Dead My Life Feels Empty, Maria del Bosco, Panic (How to Be Happy!), Bad Boy Nietzsche!, Bad Behavior and King Cowboy Rufus Rules the Universe.
Richard Foreman founded the Ontological-Hysteric Theatre in 1968. The theater is currently in the historic St. Marks Church, where he rehearses and produces one of his new plays each year, each play performing for 16 weeks every winter.
Well—thank God. This wasn’t my favorite dog— (A loud bell, bright lights and machine-gun fire. They all run off. Silence. Fred and Freddie peek into the room. They wait. A Deep Voice announces: “I’m losing control.” Fred and Freddie reenter, Freddie getting re-tied to the wall and Fred re-lifting the dead dog.) This wasn’t my favorite dog. (In the doorway, a dog head with a halo rises up from behind a large disk full of mystical signs. Fred runs to Freddie and whispers:) That one over
the music fades.) When the summer shower is through— So a voice within me keeps repeating . . . You, you, you, you, you . . . (She keeps singing: “YOU . . . YOU!” louder and louder, pointing to the other Ballerinas. They each slowly lift an arm and point back at her, joining in singing: “YOU, YOU, YOU,” as the propellers keep spinning. Suddenly, they stop singing and the propellers freeze.) SLURRED VOICE: Why why why Is violence The only poetry left? (The Garbagemen close the propellers
want to remember having known her. And her image appears on the waterstain of an ancient church. In a small town. But no one is noticing this special image— Our Lady of the Disempowered. Our Lady of the Broken Hearts. Our Lady of Miracles. Our Lady of the Blind, the Lame —the Broken Ankle. No one notices. (All run around the room several times, as if with broken ankles.) VOICE: Where are you hiding, Maurice? SHAUGHN: There is no story in this, except the following story. One person
deep bass): Every inner requirement is being fulfilled. (The Mountain People unchain the hands of the two women. Umberto approaches Svetlana and grabs her in a bear hug, simultaneously taking the sword from her mouth with his teeth—as if a kiss facilitated the exchange. Bells ring. Umberto bends forward to offer the sword, still between his teeth, to Luminitza. She takes it out of his mouth, and he struts slowly across the stage. With each of his footsteps there is a crash. He goes to a small,
Rufus’s scream.) BARON: PLEASE! I’m counting money here— (He continues counting as the music rises. Rufus recovers his poise, takes Suzie’s hand and dances her in a formal circle. Now it’s his turn to complain about the Baron’s distracting counting.) RUFUS: Oh shut up, Baron! (The music cuts off, and Suzie backs away, wiggling a finger to beckon Rufus to follow.) SUZIE: Coochie, coochie, cowboy? RUFUS: What? Oh no! This justifiably suspicious cowboy has always looked with rigor—before