A king has a manservant, who knows his mind. A queen has a maidservant, who knows her heart. Then the king is discovered in a dalliance with the queen’s maidservant. They are both exiled, and the queen plots with the king’s manservant to have him assassinated. The whole scheme is a double-cross, wherein the servants kill their masters and take their places, only to be driven mad by the fear that the same thing will happen to them.
That, in brief, is Bombardment, but it really serves as a scaffolding on which hangs a thick collage of language, imagery, and allusion, drawing upon literature, history, culture, and psychology to plunge an audience into a deep theatrical experience that plays by its own rules.
Full length two-act drama. Two women, two men.
- Performance: July-August 1991, Stark Raving Theatre, Portland, Oregon; full production, six-week run.
- Finalist for Oregon Book Award.
- Revised in 1998.
About Writing: Bombardment
Really, my first play. I’d written “Controlled Burn”–a series of monologues, and more performance art than drama–and I thought I should try something where characters actually speak to each other. Soon, they were yelling.
Too much Shepard, Beckett, and Shakespeare working its way out, but there’s still a startling impact in actually hearing characters say these terrible things to each other. There’s two instances of actual violence in the piece, but the whole thing feels like “The Wild Bunch.” This one earned me the right to put “edgy” before my name. Killed by the critics at the time, then chosen as a Finalist for the Oregon Book Award.
In 2012, I tried an experiment where I published the entire piece on by previous blog, Splattworks, where I said theatres could produce the play for free as long as they informed me and didn’t alter the script. Received some interesting inquiries from all over the world, but no productions (that I know of). The offer still stands.
And the script follows. Note: Bombardment contains mature scenes, language, and subject matter.
Bombardment: A Drama in Two Acts