In a Dark Dark House

ISBN 13: 9780571248261

In a Dark Dark House

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9780571248261: In a Dark Dark House
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Two brothers meet on the grounds of a private psychiatric facility. Drew, has been court-confined for observation and has called his older brother, Terry, to corroborate his claim of childhood sexual abuse by a young man from many summers ago. Drew's request releases barely-hidden animosities between the two: Is he using these repressed memories to save himself while smearing the name of his brother's friend? Through pain and acknowledged betrayal, the brothers come to grips with and begin to understand the legacy of abuse, both inside and outside their family home.

In a Dark, Dark House is the latest work from Neil LaBute, American theater's great agent provocateur. The play will have its world Premiere in May 2007, Off Broadway at New York's MCC Theater.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Neal LaBute's most recent works for the stage include This Is How It Goes (Faber, 2005) and Fat Pig (Faber, 2004), which won the Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off Broadway Play.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

In a Dark Dark House
First PartSilence. Darkness. 
A manicured stretch of lawn surrounded by trees.Several areas to sit (benches, chairs, etc.) on two levels, with stone steps leading down from one to the other. It feels well hidden from the rest of the world. It is, in fact. 
A man--DREW--staring out at the coming morning. Sound of wildlife. Maybe just a hint of traffic in the distance. 
DREW goes over and checks a high hedge, trying to look through it. He wanders down a set of steps and studies a different wall (unseen). Stands on tiptoe. 
Another man--TERRY--appears out of the forest. He stands and watches this for a moment. Silent. Finally: 
TERRY Go for it. Make it over and you're outta here. 
Startled, DREW turns around and then smiles--he takes one step forward; TERRY keeps his distance for the moment. 
TERRY Or you can fall back on your ass and I'll say I found you that way. Broken collarbone or however you wanna play it. / (Beat.) Should buy you an extra few weeks ...DREW You're funny. / Right! Hey, man, what's up?TERRY Not much 
DREW smiles at this and waves TERRY over--another step from DREW but he doesn't commit just yet. TERRY doesn't move. 
DREW No, come on, dude, seriously ... what?TERRY Nothing. Really. (Beat.) And don't say that, call me dude. Grown-ups don't use words like that--not if we can help it, anyway ...DREW Whatever.TERRY That one, either. (Beat.) Time to grow up, dude ...DREW See?! (Smiles.) You said it.TERRY Yeah, but who says I'm a grown-up?DREW True ...TERRY ... I stopped doing that shit years ago. Growing up sucks. 
The two men smile at this. DREW seems content to grin for a while, but TERRY calls it quits pretty quickly. Listening. 
TERRY The road's close ... the highway or whatever that is. Freeway. / Place is right off the exit, almost ...DREW Yeah. I noticed that--I mean, not today but, you know, like, at some point. Sitting in one of the, ahh, six hundred groups a day they make us go to here! / I heard traffic ...TERRY Huh. / ... Probably five hundred yards's all.DREW Which is really stupid, right? I'm not gonna do anything--I was just looking around--but a bunch of the people they've got in here? If they knew civilization was just over there--man, it could really get messed up in this joint ...TERRY S'pose so. Crazies all running up and down the road, dodging cars ...DREW Exactly! (Laughs.) / That'd be cool.TERRY Uh-huh. / Pretty funny ...DREW Although nobody around here likes it if you use that word, crazies. Just so you know.TERRY Thanks for the tip.DREW I'm just saying ... 
DREW shrugs--TERRY nods but doesn't say anything. 
TERRY Great. (Beat.) ... So.DREW Yep. So, so, so. (Beat) So, you gonna stay for lunch or what? I mean, they'll let you in if you want some; chow's pretty decent.TERRY Sounds good. (Thinks.) I need to be back at six, but otherwise, fine.DREW Too bad, gonna miss movie night ... It's On the Waterfront or some shit. Black and white. (Beat.) Work?TERRY Uh-uh. 'S Friday. I'm off Fridays and Tuesdays ... unless I get hooked up for some overtime, but usually no. / Fridays're mine.DREW Huh. / Then what, some lady ... ?TERRY Nah. Got a Little League game at six, I'm doing some umping this year--but I'd be happy to have a bite with you. Sure.DREW Cool. (Beat.) I think it's stuffed peppers or something today ... plus they've always got their sandwich bar. Loads of cold cuts and crap. / It's tasty ...TERRY That sounds fine. / Good.DREW Nice! (Beat.) Just like old times.TERRY Not really. Mom's cooking was the worst. / Christ help us if she did anything like a stuffed pepper!DREW True! / That's totally true ... Thank God for Swanson's, right? 
They smile at this--apparently Mom wasn't much of a chef. 
TERRY Yeah ... (Beat.) So, I'm not sure I can find the right ... whatever-you-call-it ... segue for this, so I'm gonna just jump right in--what's going on? / Huh?DREW Nada. / Nothing.TERRY Nothing's gonna come of "nothing," Drew, so try again. (Beat.) You're in the hospital, little brother, okay? The psych hospital, so don't do the whole "it's cool" thing ...DREW I'm serious, I'm just ... you know. (Tries to grin.) Anyway, this isn't the real hospital. It's only the addictions unit--for us overzealous wine drinkers ...TERRY I'm not your wife, okay, so I don't need all the bullshit excuses ...DREW ... Terry, I'm not ...TERRY I got called to come down here and do some family therapy, Drew, so don't tell me I drove a bunch of hours to have you play games with me. I got a game tonight--I need the truth from you ... (Waits.) I don't give two shits what you do with these folks up here--that is your business and if the insurance pays for this, then all the better--but do not mess around with me because I'll come over there and kick your fucking ass, I swear to God.A silence grows after this--the dynamic between these two is now pretty obvious. 
DREW Great to see you, too, man ...TERRY You're a dick.DREW Yeah. It's my specialty ... just ask Judy. She keeps a running list of my failings in her purse ...TERRY She should. / And I don't have time for your dumb-shit act, either, Drew.DREW Thanks, dude. / I know that, bro.TERRY I really do not.DREW All right, cool. I get that, and it is totally respected. / Totally.TERRY Then fine. / Drew! God ... you sound like an episode of one of those, you know ... some bad TV show.DREW What do you mean?TERRY You know, those, like, California-type television programs. With the surfer kids and that sort of deal. / 9-0-2-whatever-the-fuck-it-is ...DREW No, I don't. / Uh-uh ...TERRY Bullshit! "Dude, bro, totally ..." All your crap. I hate that. (Beat.) Did you used to do that in court?DREW Sometimes ... Forget it, man. Sorry.TERRY Don't be sorry, just stop. / Stop doing it when I'm around you ...DREW Fine. / Okay.TERRY You're not a kid, all right? You are not some teenager who can run all over doing that, because it sounds stupid. You sound childish, Drew. You just appear goofy and it's a little embarrassing ... (Beat.) You are a grown man.DREW Thirty's the new twenty ...TERRY Yeah, well, you're thirty-five.DREW So? That only makes me twenty-five then. Still young ...TERRY Right.DREW I can't help it--I've got a lot of young people working for me. They rub off on you.TERRY Yeah, and how does Judy feel about that? Having a husband who sounds like that Tori Spelling girl ...DREW We're ... I try and keep it to a low roar around her--this little midlife thing I'm dealing with ...TERRY So that's what this is? / This.DREW Hmmm? / What ... ?TERRY Why I'm here.DREW No, its ... (Beat.) What'd they say to you? I mean, do you have any idea why I'm ... What'd they say?TERRY Nothing. That you were here and in for a while, that's all. 'S court-appointed or something ... right? It doesn't really matter--you've done so much shit it all just blends ...DREW I'm sure.TERRY They said you mentioned some stuff in session that ... stuff that also would be of interest to me.DREW Ahhh. Got it.TERRY Yeah, and so I drove down. I drove here today so that we could ... you know. Talk about it.DREW ... they didn't really say "stuff," did they? No offense, but that's not very professional if they did.TERRY Drew ... don't bust my balls, okay? It was something like that ... "issues" or "problems" or some damn thing. I don't remember now. It sounded urgent so I hopped in mySkylark and dragged my ass down here for four hours. / To be with you ...DREW Thanks, man. / I appreciate that.TERRY Yeah. You know ... yeah.DREW Not that I want you to see me in this place, but hey, that's part of my recovery, to get past the whole vanity thing. Be in touch with the "real" me ...TERRY Sounds good.DREW Don't lie--that sounds gay even to me and I have a far greater threshold for that stuff than you do ...TERRY Well, that's true! 
For the first time in a while the two brothers laugh at something together. DRE...

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