Love's Fire: Seven New Plays Inspired by Seven Shakespearean Sonnets / Edition 1

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Overview

The fruit of an extraordinary project, Love's Fire reimagines seven of Shakespeare's immortal love sonnets as one-act plays by seven of the best playwrights in America. These short gems, paired with the sonnets that inspired them, are published here for the first time.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780688161729
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.36 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Bogosian
Eric Bogosian
Eric Bogosian is the OBIE-award winning writer and performer of Sex, Drugs, Rock & Roll, and Drinking in America, as well as his plays Suburbia and Talk Radio, both made into major motion pictures.
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Read an Excerpt

BITTER SAUCE by Eric Bogosian

Inspired by Shakespeare's Sonnet 118

A couch in the midst of the small living room of a small apartment. On the couch sits RENGIN, a beautiful young woman, in a white wedding gown. She is drinking from a pint flask of bourbon. The phone rings. She doesn't bother with it. Instead, she rises unsteadily and checks herself out in a mirror.

A voice can he heard on the message machine.

HERMAN(voice): Rengin, it's me. Are you there? Please pick up if you are. Rengin? I'm sorry. Whatever I did. I'm such an ass. Please pick up. Please? OK. I'm coming home. I'm actually downstairs. If you are there, don't be surprised when you see me. Maybe you're in the bathroom. Then I understand why you're not picking up.

RENGIN has walked over to the answering machine and is watching it record the message.

RENGIN: Herman, you don't get it. You never got it. She goes back to the mirror.

RENGIN: What is this I am wearing? A white dress. Meaning what? Virginity? That the male proboscis has not slid through my vaginal lips? What bullshit! (drinks) What the fuck am I here? A human sacrifice? I am a womb being readied for impalement and fertilization. Yech!!!

She touches the bodice, feels it, as she drinks.

RENGIN: But I can't take it off. I'm drunk as shit and I can't take it off. He's got to see me like this. We should go out together like this. Maybe someplace that has a mosh pit. I should mosh in my wedding dress and then find some bikers and have three guys screw me at the same time. And make Herman watch. Prepare him...

She drinksand wails.

RENGIN: FUCKING "A," MAN, HOW THE FUCK DID THIS HAPPEN?

HERMAN enters.

HERMAN: Rengin, what's wrong? Why didn't you answer the phone?

RENGIN: I'm getting shit-faced.

HERMAN: Why, honey? You don't like your wedding gown?

RENGIN: No, I don't like my wedding gown. Hey, I have an idea. You wear the wedding gown and I'll wear the tux. And then when we go on our honeymoon I'll fuck you. How about that?

HERMAN: I think you're drunk.

RENGIN: No shit, Sherlock.

HERMAN: Why don't we go to bed? Tomorrow's a new day. C'mon.

RENGIN takes a long look at HERMAN.

RENGIN: You want some of this?

HERMAN: No. Thanks.

RENGIN: What do you want?

HERMAN: I just want to be with you, Rengin. To love you and take care of you.

RENGIN: Why?

HERMAN: Because you're you

RENGIN: Uh-huh.

HERMAN: Are we going to start this now? Again? RENGIN deflates.

RENGIN: It's not your fault. It's my fault. Everything's fucked up and it's my fault. I'm afraid, I'm afraid of you.

HERMAN: Why are you afraid of me?

RENGIN: Because you actually love me. With real love, not pornographic, catch-the-prize love.

HERMAN: And don't you love me?

RENGIN: No. No. You're right. Let's go to bed. I love you too, Herman. I really do. If we both died tonight, like Romeo and Juliet, that wouldn't be so bad, would it?

HERMAN: It would be great.

RENGIN: I really flicked up this time.

HERMAN: Hey, we all have our faults. I'm no saint.

RENGIN: You're not? I thought you were.

HERMAN: (small smile) Why don't you take the wedding gown off so it isn't all wrinkled tomorrow? They cost a lot to dry clean. And then you tell me what's bothering you.

HERMAN unzips the back.

RENGIN: Yeah... I do love you, you know. Whatever happens.

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Table of Contents

Bitter Sauce by Eric Bogosian: Sonnet 118 1
Hydraulics Phat Like Mean by Ntozake Shange: Sonnet 128 21
140 by Marsha Norman: Sonnet 140 31
Terminating, or Lass Meine Schmerzen Nicht Verloren Sein, or Ambivalence by Tony Kushner: Sonnet 75 45
Painting You by William Finn: Sonnet 102 67
Waiting for Philip Glass by Wendy Wasserstein: Sonnet 94 73
The General of Hot Desire by John Guare: Sonnets 153 and 154 and The Golden Legend by Jacobus de Voragine (1229-1298) 93
Biographies 121
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