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Dedekind


Reviews “DEDEKIND by Jeffrey Gold... is sure to hit the mark with a Lab [Theatre] audience. You know, them artsy types.”

Sa Craig Froehlich, Red Magazine

“Jeff Gold’s work is smart, original, surprising, and satisfying. He knows the theatre well, what it can do and what makes it exciting. He also has a nose for interesting characters in unique situations. His is a wonderful theatrical voice. No question about it.”

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Award-Winning Playwright Julie Jensen (Two-Headed, White Money)

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“Jeff Gold’s work has a unique and quirky feel about it. His plays get under your skin, get stuck in your teeth until you find yourself compelled to laugh... to cry. A welcome voice in the world of theater.” Playwright Jeff Metcalf, Founder, Sawtooth Writer’s Conference

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“FITCH TODD by Jeffrey Gold shows a playwright very much in command of the form—able to shape rich and dense content into a short play with mystery and humor. The payoff of this play is very strong. You know why you’ve been watching it with attention from its opening moment and feel the curtain pays all that attention off.” David Kranes, Founding Artistic Director, Sundance Playwright’s Lab


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“I was truly affected by his well written concise work. In each play, the dialogue flowed naturally, the ending gripped me and the final irony left me entertained with strong emotions.” Kristin Ettinger, Assistant Editor, Pioneer Drama Service on FITCH TODD and HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN

“I enjoyed it. Nice austere but riveting small piece.”

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Jon Jory, The Actors Theatre of Louisville on HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN

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“HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN caught our attention as an unusual, interesting and well written piece... we’d like to include it in our annual Short Play Reading Festival.” Dena Nathanson, Director, Boca Raton Theatre Guild

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“HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN takes the conflicts and hardships of daily life and presents them in the form of a Vaudeville routine, in the spirit of Samuel Beckett.” Steve Mathews, Director, Just Off Broadway Theater, Kansas City, Missouri


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Plays by Jeffrey Gold In the Pursuit of Svetla

(2001)

Horst and Graben in the Context of the Unfinished Man (2002)

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Fitch Todd

(2002)

Percolation Theory Dedekind

(2002)

(2003)

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Horst and Graben at the Chateau Godot Candycane Hurricane

(2003)

(2003)

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Execution at Paradais Island

(2004)

Displacement: A Fish in Water Story Grieving at Doors Fair Shake

(2006)

(2007)

(2004)


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Dedekind by Jeffrey Gold

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m Dramatica Press New York • Los Angeles

2010


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Dedekind © 2003 Jeffrey Gold

Dedekind is published by Dramatica Press New York (347) 788 0037 • Los Angeles (213) 787 6066 • www.dramaticapress.com

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All rights reserved. Except for short passages quoted in newspaper, magazines, radio, or television reviews, no part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, or otherwise, including photocopying or recording (visual or audio), or stored in an information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.

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This material is subject to a royalty and is fully protected under the Copyright Laws of the United States and all other countries of the Berne and Universal Copyright Conventions. All rights, including but not limited to professional, amateur, recording, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio and television broadcast, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are expressly reserved.

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Use of this material by educational institutions can be secured from the author’s publisher, Dramatica Press, or the author’s representative, Corpus Polymedia, or the author. Library of Congress Cataloging-In-Publication Data Gold, Jeffrey. Dedekind / Jeffrey Gold.—1st ed. p.cm. ISBN: 1451537840 EAN-13: 9781451537840

Cover photographs: “Dedekind” production stills courtesy of Studio 115/Lab Theatre, Department of Theatre, University of Utah Author photograph (Cover): Jennifer Arnold Author photograph (Interior): Benjamine Justine Hubert Cover design: Corpus Polymedia Text Design: Dramatic Press/Corpus Polymedia Text Font: Optima First Edition, March 2010


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For mentor, mathematician, and friend Don H. Tucker

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Introduction

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Dedekind is my distillation of everything strange in physics—quantum mechanics and relativity theory—and the self-referential theatre of Pirandello. In physics, there is a concept of self-energy. In theatre, self-energy would be something akin to a mirror reflecting a mirror into infinity—characters knowing they are characters, and, like us, being dissatisfied with what they’ve been given. Originally I was going to write a play about a set of characters who wanted the playwright to rewrite their lives. I thought it was an original idea—until someone told me about Pirandello’s Six Characters in Search of an Author—and since I value originality, my initial enthusiasm immediately evaporated. I didn’t want to recreate a concept someone had already done. Years later, knowing it still was my original idea—just not a new one—this play was born. So, here is this strange existential amalgam of absurd physics and the theatre of the absurd. SPOILER ALERT!

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In Dedekind, the playwright himself is on stage as a character: Gatwick. Rufus suspects that Gatwick is the playwright Dedekind—but isn’t sure— and Rufus wants to complain about his lot in life to the playwright, without letting Gatwick know that Rufus knows that Gatwick might be the playwright. In short, like we would like to do, Rufus is trying to learn about the nature of the reality he is in by asking god himself—and when you complain to god, or attack god—you’ve got to tread carefully. Dedekind is the last name of the German mathematician, Richard Dedekind (1831–1916). I always thought his name was unique, and in this case, his name provided a wonderful title for a quirky, science-related play. Who says I didn’t pay attention in math class? Jeffrey Gold Sugarhouse March 19, 2010

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Dedekind

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WINNER 2003 Experiments in Ink V Playwriting Competition


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Production History

Dedekind was a winner in the 2003 Experiments in Ink V Playwriting Competition, and premiered at the Studio 115/Lab Theatre, Department of Theatre, University of Utah on February 12–15, 2004.

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Dedekind was directed by Jared Anderson and produced by Cort Brinkerhoff. Cast:

Josh Pierson Nicholas Bayne Leah Langan

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Gatwick Rufus Midget

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Characters

GATWICK – The older, distinguished gentleman of the lot, in or past his fifties. He speaks in measured, drippingly wet, high-brow English. Think Jim Broadbent.

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RUFUS – The younger man in his thirties. He speaks with a rapidfire workingclass English accent with strains/hint of affectation or education, whichever is the least obnoxious. MIDGET – Shorter than the others. Almost childlike, he might appear to pull on Gatwick’s trousers in a non-literal way. He always reacts without words.

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Setting

A railway platform at the turn of the century. Dusk.

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Stage Directions Sounds of rain. Light sprinkling of thunder throughout.

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The clock need not be a working one. Canvas depicting the outline of a grantabridgian city in the far distance.

Props

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A platform. A clock. A light.

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Playwright’s Comments

The stage lighting should be warm and subdued, like a rainy day in which the sun is seen setting in the distance (horizontal light effect).

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The midget can be played by a very short actor, or an actor on their knees, and need not be a true midget. In the dialogue, a (,) represents a soft comma, a beatlet, a short but soft stop; like a comma, only faster.

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Jeffrey Gold

Dedekind A railway platform at the turn of the century. At least, it looks that way. Otherwise, the future might have briefly glanced at this place through the corner of its eye. The railway platform is adorned with an old streetlamp and an old clock. The clock moves at a noticeably faster pace than a real clock and stops moving during the character’s dialogues.

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In the background, in the far distance, is the outline of an old grantabridgian city that lies like a dragon’s tail on the horizon. We hear the sound of rain.

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Three gentlemen grace the platform. Two men are in the foreground. They are GATWICK and the MIDGET. A third man, RUFUS, stands some distance away from them, yet remains close enough to overhear their conversation.

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All three men are dressed in evening attire as befit gentlemen going out for a night at the theatre. They wear long tails and are sporting top hats. Each man is holding a big, black umbrella employed against the rain. Each, except the MIDGET, who is holding on to a big magenta balloon.

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The MIDGET looks down the tracks stage right. He then looks up at his balloon, as if checking to see if it is still there. He settles in, and then looks up at GATWICK, as if expecting him to say something. GATWICK

Of course. Sorry. The MIDGET acknowledges him. GATWICK

Where was I? Oh, yes. He’s absolutely fantastic. Very, very talented he. Just amazing what he does in histrionics. The MIDGET hangs onto every word. 15


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Playwright Jeffrey Gold at Cambridge University/Benjamine Justine Hubert

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JEFFREY GOLD

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Educated at Cambridge University, Westminster College, and the University of Utah, Jeffrey Gold was a member of the Playwright’s Group for more than three seasons, through the auspices of the Salt Lake Acting Company (SLAC) under dramaturg Mike Dorrell (BBC’s Soldier, Soldier, Pictures of a Floating World) and playwright-in-residence Julie Jensen (Two-Headed, Last Lists of My Mad Mother, Wait!). His plays IN THE PURSUIT OF SVETLA, HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN, FITCH TODD, PERCOLATION THEORY, DEDEKIND, HORST AND GRABEN AT THE CHATEAU GODOT, CANDYCANE HURRICANE, EXECUTION AT PARADAIS ISLAND, DISPLACEMENT: A FISH IN WATER STORY, GRIEVING AT DOORS, and FAIR SHAKE have garnered numerous awards, readings, and productions, including the 2002 CrossCurrents Cultural Five and Dime Playwriting Competition, 2003 Boca Raton Theatre Guild Short Play Reading Festival, 2003 Ten by Ten in the Triangle (Finalist), 2003 Shorts in Winter Playwriting Festival, 2003 Experiments In Ink V Playwriting Competition, 2004 Women in Theatre Play Reading Series, 2004 New Voices/New Words Playwriting Contest, 2004 Moondance International Film Festival Stageplay Competition, 2005 Moondance International Film Festival Seahorse Award (Finalist), 2005 Theatre Publicus Prize for Dramatic Literature (Finalist), 2006 Silver Spring One-Act Festival, and more. Jeffrey Gold was the Best of State Medal Winner in Playwriting in 2005 and 2006, and 2007.


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Dramatica Press

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A Corpus Polymedia Company

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pl Dramatica Press New York 347 788 0037 Los Angeles 213 787 6066 www.dramaticapress.com


Jeffrey_Gold_Dedekind