This Is My Office
Granted a nine month residency in an abandoned office space near Wall Street, the playwright Andy Bragen starts his year with bright hopes, but soon finds himself succumbing to doughnuts, lethargy and a paralyzing sense of deja vu. This is My Office is a metatheatrical exploration of fear, gluttony, art and a legacy of failure.
Welcome. This is my office. Well, my literal actual office is over there, see there’s my name on the door, but you get the idea. I’m in this space thanks to the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council. They bring arts downtown to the Wall Street district, filling it with cultural events, exhibitions, performances of all sorts, and artists. Like me, and my friends here. We get studios, which is to say offices, for nine months, to do whatever the hell we want to do in. Which is exactly what I’m doing. I come here most weekdays, generally during business hours. And while I’m here, I read periodicals online, check my email, and update my Facebook page. I pace back and forth, take regular bathroom breaks and tea breaks, and sometimes go out for coffee, or lunch. Pretty much what everyone does at any office, right? Or so I’m told. Truth is I’ve never really worked in an office before, aside from a home office. So office culture, or rather non-home-office culture, is somewhat foreign to me.
Not that we have that here. I mean, technically we’re in an office, but in reality it’s more precisely the memory of an office, a palimpsest of previous commerce. Is this what we’re doomed to face if the economy continues to falter, if the money moves away from New York, to the suburbs, or China? Could be. But even if the space is abandoned, it still has that office feel. Just pay attention to the details; it’s all right in front of you. The neutral carpeting, so easy to vacuum and maintain. The wide open space in the middle where the cubicles were. The kitchenette. The stockroom (I love stockrooms). The modular conference rooms, with space for hanging coats, projecting transparencies and laying out snack trays. The private windowed offices for the mid-level executives, and of course the corner office, with the East River view, and its own executive bathroom. Some bigwig was in there for sure. It’s just down that way. Never fear, I’ll take you there in a little while.
Production and Development History
Production - Brown/Trinity Playwrights Rep: July 2010
Production - Studio Roanoke: May 2011
Readings with Ars Nova and Black Dahlia Theatre.