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Percolation Theory

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Reviews “I enjoyed it. Nice austere but riveting small piece.” Jon Jory, The Actors Theatre of Louisville on HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN

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“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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“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, Former Artistic Director, Sundance Playwright’s Lab

“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


“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 HORST AND GRABEN IN THE CONTEXT OF THE UNFINISHED MAN and FITCH TODD

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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.”

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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

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


Plays by Jeffrey Gold

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In the Pursuit of Svetla

(2001)

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

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Fitch Todd

Percolation Theory

(2002)

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Dedekind

(2003)

Horst and Graben at the Chateau Godot Candycane Hurricane

(2003)

Execution at Paradais Island

(2004)

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

(2006)

(2007)

(2003)

(2004)

(2002)


Percolation Theory

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by Jeffrey Gold

Dramatica Press New York • Los Angeles

2010


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Percolation Theory © 2002 Jeffrey Gold

Percolation Theory 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 Dramatica Press. 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. 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. Percolation theory / Jeffrey Gold.—1st ed. p.cm. ISBN: 145153972X EAN-13: 9781451539721 Umbrella vector art courtesy of www.multimedia-stock.com (contributor: clown) Author photograph (Cover): Jennifer Arnold Author photograph (Interior): Benjamine Justine Hubert Cover design: Corpus Polymedia Text Design: Dramatica Press/Corpus Polymedia Text Font: Optima First Edition, April 2010


For my father, Nicholas Gold

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Introduction

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I sometimes wonder where ideas for plays come from; in the case of Percolation Theory, I do not. It is a disturbing funhouse mirror reflection of my experiences during the rash of downsizings following that horrendous event of late 2001. This lupus in fabula comedy arrived at my mental doorstep in 2003­—right between the fraud of Enron and the spectacular meltdown of the world economy perpetrated by American banksters. In addition to the lack of ethics, working at many American companies is a relinquishing of fundamental rights as a human being and as an American. The brutality so evident at the beginning of the industrial revolution has become, over time, more insidious—hidden so it will not stick out like a sore thumb among the other advances going on around it in society. The worker goes to work, but what if the company followed the worker home? What is it like to be touched by a corporation? I suspect the feeling is much icier than the frigid reception one gets from a trophy wife with PMS after asking her to monitor her allowance following the day’s particularly notable spending spree. In short, it can’t be pretty.

Jeffrey Gold Sugarhouse April 8, 2010

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Percolation Theory

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FINALIST 2005 Theatre Publicus Prize for Dramatic Literature


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Characters TOM MORGAN – Father. Hard worker. Unfortunately the compensation for all this work has not been commensurate with the effort. To add injury to insult, he was recently downsized by the Glasgow Corporation about 7 weeks ago.

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ALATHEA MORGAN – His wife. Housewife. Strong, but knows when to step back and let Tom feel useful. LESLIE MORGAN – Their daughter of 17 years. A pregnancy waiting to happen.

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ANDY MORGAN – Their son of 20 years. Probably involved with drugs. Wears a T-shirt that proudly reads “Wiener Takes Fall”.

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SHELDON GLASGOW – The overbearing owner and chairman of the Glasgow Corporation, a Fortune 500 Company. A portly man who enjoys the best things in life, because he can afford them.

Setting A standard middle class home. Evening.

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Stage Directions

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A kitchen with an adjoining dining room and living room. The kitchen has a door and an access window into the dining room. The kitchen and dining room are on stage right while the living room is stage left. The kitchen is farther back on the stage, while the dining room graces the front of the stage.

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Props

A couch. A set of chairs. A dining table with overhead lamp. A coffee table with a “ring of peace� sculpture. A standing coat and hat rack.


Jeffrey Gold

Percolation Theory A standard middle class home. The kitchen is situated on stage right and an adjoining dining room and living room are on stage left. TOM Morgan is fussing with the place settings in the dining room. He accidentally places a fifth plate, but quickly retracts it. ALATHEA is stirring a pot in the kitchen.

ALATHEA

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ANDY, with headphones on, is looking at a magazine and going through the refrigerator.

Get out of there. We’re about to eat. ANDY

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There’s nothin’ in there anyway. ALATHEA

Why don’t you make yourself useful and get your sister.

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ANDY

Are we putting up any lights this year, or what? TOM

Or what. ANDY

You’re not gonna put up the lights? TOM

(mocking him)

I’m not gonna put up the lights. You wanna put ‘em up? ANDY

No. TOM

Ok, then. Discussion closed. ANDY leaves the stage. ALATHEA

You’re not serious, are you?

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Percolation Theory TOM

Of course I am. And frankly, I don’t want the added expense on the light bill. It’s going be a lean Christmas this year. Much leaner than last year, I can tell you that. ALATHEA

It’s going to be leaner all around, for everyone, honey. (shouting)

Leslie! Andrew! Dinner is ready. LESLIE enters. LESLIE

You always shout that dinner is ready, and we’re always at least five minutes off, mom. You’re always givin’ us a false start. ALATHEA

LESLIE

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Well, if you guys would help around here, it wouldn’t take so long. Besides, if I called you after everything was on the table, you’d be five minutes late anyway. This way everyone arrives on time. Well, I’m already here. ALATHEA

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Then I’ve trained you well. TOM

Did you get your assignments done? No. TOM

Make sure you finish them. LESLIE

I will, dad. Geez.

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LESLIE

They sit down at the table. TOM

I’m just saying... LESLIE

I know what you’re sayin’, dad, but I don’t care about school. TOM

I know you don’t. That’s why I’m bringing it up. ALATHEA

We want you to finish your education on time. You’re already a class behind everyone else.

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Jeffrey Gold LESLIE

Thanks, mom. TOM

It’s reality, sweetie. You won’t know what that is until you file your first tax return. LESLIE

They don’t teach that at school. TOM

I know. A blatant failure of the educational system. ANDY enters. ANDY

Could there be other hidden flaws in the system just waiting to be revealed? ANDY hovers around the table.

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TOM

Sure. But since you’re hardly in the system, you’ve forfeited your right to comment on it. (beatlet)

Pass the mashed potatoes, will you? I’m in the system. TOM

What system would that be? LESLIE

The penal system. ALATHEA

Hush. Now sit down and eat.

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ANDY

ANDY sits down. ANDY

I mean, look at you, dad. All this education. Where did that ever get you? TOM

Got us this house didn’t it? Your room? ANDY

Yeah, but what about now? The system is fucking you, dad. ALATHEA

Please, no language at the table.

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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

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

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