Man and Beast

Available in Library

A darkly comic drama. Inspired by a true story.

Paul Wells loves his job as a case worker. Molding downtrodden clients into productive citizens keeps him satisfied. But when an unusual client begins to transcend his struggles in a way Paul can't, Paul's envy takes him down a road that threatens to devour his happiness and his humanity.

Read Sample

PAUL
Move! You're in my chair - move!
KEON
(Not moving) Sometimes I think you want to get me down, Paul. Get me down and keep me down.
PAUL
Get you down? I help you.
KEON
I need a friend like Lisa. What's the harm in a friend?
PAUL
I'm your friend! I have a success plan and you won't stick to it. You see yourself as this grandiose soul filled with light. How is this success? Only when you see who you really are - a guy with no friends or family, a guy who lives in a place to die in, a guy who should give up. Only when I see you seeing your life as it really is - you have nothing, are nothing - will I know we are on the road to success! I'm not against dreams, I am a fan of dreams, but only once we are being real and have a firm foundation to build on can we add in all those goodies like castles, and love, and joy! Until then you must allow your life to be as terrible as it is! And that's why I'm here! To help you achieve that!
KEON
And what of my spirit?
PAUL
Screw your spirit! Work, money, food, rent, breathe. That's all you can handle for now.
KEON
So be like you?
PAUL
You wish.
KEON
Shipwrecked at my desk. At sea in my own skin.
PAUL
I guess tis far more noble to trap wild animals in thine apartment.
KEON
I saved them! Without me they'd have died without grace or a shred of faith in the human race. We created a paradise together, a tiger and a man! I could have created a paradise for Lisa. I should get a Nobel prize or something.
PAUL
Or something.
(Keon kicks Paul's chair over violently.)
KEON
You don't know me!
PAUL
I know you. I've met a million of you.
KEON
Likewise.
PAUL
I know your beginning, middle and end, fella.
KEON
I've got a gift! I save things! Same as you! And now I'm saving me. You're fired.

Cast Requirements

3 M
2 F

Set Description

-A Social Services office that can also be a dining room
-A fire escape

Honors

Weissberger Award nominations

Production and Development History

Developed at The Lark Play Development Center (Studio Retreat); New Georges (mini workshop); Centerstage, Baltimore (First Look Reading Series).