A man confronts his abuser 26 years after the fact. Douglas, a White romance novelist, and Timothy, a Black college professor, have a history. Twenty-six years previously Douglas hired the 14-year-old Timothy to mow his lawn and subsequently sexually abused him for several months. In the intervening years Douglas has enjoyed increasing success while Timothy has been mired in fear and self-loathing. Now Douglas opens his door to discover the grown-up Timothy standing on his doorstep, and he has a gun. Issues of sexual trauma and white power emerge as the two men hurl conflicting memories at each other, and the tension builds to a shattering conclusion. Note: 1 in 6 men have experienced sexual assault. About 3% of American men—or 1 in 33—have experienced an attempted or completed rape in their lifetime. (source: RAINN.org)
DOUGLAS RYAN NELSON--White male, age 66, successful writer of romance novels, abuser of adolescent boys.
TIMOTHY PARKER--Black male, age 40, college professor, one of Douglas’s victims.
A simple set representing the den of the home of a best-selling author. What minimal décor there is, is masculine in the style of an English gentleman’s club. Two comfortable chairs facing each other, each with a small end table on its downstage side. Small bar or drinks cart. A door exits to a hallway that connects to the front door of the house.
Night. The present.
This play has adult language and content. It references rape and childhood sexual abuse although neither is depicted on stage. A gun is seen on stage and there is the sound of a gunshot in darkness.
RECOMMENDATIONS FROM READERS ON NEW PLAY EXCHANGE
Rachel Feeny-Williams: “On finishing this piece I had to sit back and take a breath! Don has done it again by creating a highly charged emotional scene in which Timothy stands face to face with his abuser after many years. Their conversation intertwines through the story beautifully and draws you in wanting to know more and how it ends. It offers a wonderful opportunity for two male performers to bring these incredibly charged and emotional characters to life and is guaranteed to leave the audience feeling. A wonderfully dark and powerful piece.”
Lisa Dellagiarino Feriend: “Wow, this took a couple turns I wasn't expecting! This play about a man confronting the man who abused him as a child is a quick, emotional read. Heavy but incredibly engaging, it deals not only with child abuse, but racism in America as well. With two characters and a single set, this would be easy to stage and prompt a lot of conversations on the way home. Very powerful.”
Paul Donnelly: “Timothy's return to confront his abuser offers a thoroughly engrossing, if profoundly disturbing, exploration of the effects of early sexual trauma and white privilege. The impact ratchets up as we come to know why Timothy has chosen this night for the confrontation. The last few beats are simply shattering.”
Peter Fenton: “Whoa. This one's a dark, heavy two-hander. Don Baker has illustrated a bone-chilling everyday monster with this piece and it's really not for the faint of heart, in all the right ways. Definitely worth a read when one is in the mood to explore a dark character study with themes of sexual abuse, racism, and privilege. I can see this being a very powerful theatrical experience when performed live. The monologues were especially strong. Well done, Don.”
Philip Middleton Williams: “Donald E. Baker has crafted a taut, intense, and suspenseful tale of confrontation and confession. It is made all the more so by the seemingly casual nature of the confrontation between the abuser and the survivor. It is worthy of the comparison to Rod Serling's work in the intricate depiction of the memories and realities they both recall, almost as if there could have been something more than abuse. But, as we learn, that is how the manipulator weaves his web. The build-up to the end is a masterpiece of writing, suspense, and payoff. Stunning.”
Christopher Plumridge: “Everyday monsters is deep, profound and ultimately disturbing. It’s been proven all too often that one despicable monster can create such a troubled, lost and broken soul, all the while thinking it’s perfectly acceptable behavior. All through the play the audience will be rooting for Timothy, disgusted by the nonchalant attitude of his abuser. This play is uncomfortable, yet needs to be produced and will have the audience transfixed.”
Nora Louise Syran: “Monsters have to be destroyed.” It takes such courage to read or watch let alone write a piece like this. The characters are well defined, the tension palpable, and the Greek allusions powerful. The opening plunges us, as it does Douglas, firmly into the past. And then the play does not let go. It is simultaneously disturbing and freeing. Well done.”
Morey Norkin: “Donald E. Baker’s Everyday Monsters is a powerful, disturbing tale of how power and privilege can be used to subject others to the most extreme conditions. Even when confronted by his victim, the abuser remains unmoved, comfortable in his superior position. Baker’s writing is authentic, intelligent, and intense. Even the ending will leave you trying to catch your breath.”