Deathbed

Available in Library

Martha has cancer and demands attention. Danny doesn't want to deal. Thomas has things he'd like to forget. Steven loves too much. Susan feels betrayed. Martin is confused. And Ian wants to know what death is really like. Standing at the intersection of death, desire, memory and disease, how can we reasonably articulate our own pain in the face of another's suffering? Maybe it's just easier to read a book. And have a sandwich.

Clifton Guterman and Ross Bickell in Apparition Production's 2008 production, dir. Wendy C. Goldberg
Brandon Miller and Jonathan Walker in Apparition Production's 2008 production, dir. Wendy C. Godlberg
Ryan King, Brandon Miller and Emily Donahoe in Apparition Production's 2008 production, dir. Wendy C. Goldberg

Read Sample

SCENE THIRTEEN

(STEVEN revealed. Eventually, DANNY too.)

STEVEN
I can’t stop thinking about him. Everything just reminds me of him. I try to distract myself. I can’t do it. It’s very hard. There’s no way around it. I feel like I’m going crazy. Or becoming obsessive. I have to think about him. I have to. I can’t not think about him. It’s crazy.

DANNY
My wife has cancer.

STEVEN
I’m sorry.

DANNY
That’s sad right?

STEVEN
It is.

DANNY
I can’t get it out of my head. I see her. I think. Cancer. Cancer. Sick. Cancer. Sick. Sick. Death. Sick. Cancer. Death. And she wants attention. And I think. The cancer lady wants attention. And I think. The cancer lady’ll eat you up. And I think. Watch out for the cancer lady. And it’s all I can do to stay in the same room with her. When she wants me to touch her. Or talk to her. Or watch T.V. with her. Or anything.

STEVEN
That’s really sad.

DANNY
I know. And it’s not like I hate her or whatever. I love her. I do.
(beat)
It’s the cancer I don’t love.

STEVEN
You know I’m glad I met you.

DANNY
Really?

STEVEN
Yeah cause I think you’re a beautiful man.

DANNY
I don’t feel beautiful.

STEVEN
Yeah but I think you’re a beautiful man.
(beat)
And I know what it’s like. To try. And to keep trying. And the brick wall. That brick wall feeling. Over and over.
(beat)
When do we get to stop? Maybe never.
(beat)
At least you’re trying.
(beat)
At least we’re trying.
(beat)
You like handjobs?

DANNY
Sure. I guess.

STEVEN
‘Cause I’m really good at them and I could get you off in like fifty seconds flat probably.

DANNY
Fifty seconds.

STEVEN
I’m good. And also desperate.

Cast Requirements

4 Women
5 Men

Publisher

Dramatists Play Service

Press

"[Schultz] has a biting disregard for self-pity and a paradoxically spectacular grasp on grief." —Time Out NY.

See More

Press

"…a coolly thoughtful and taut meditation by the stylish playwright Mark Schultz…Mr. Schultz writes with a miniaturist's sense of scale. Following the lead of Mamet and Albee, he prunes his dialogue to one- and two-word sentences (pronouns are the first to go) and builds deceptively complex exchanges out of short, punchy scenes." —NY Times

Production and Development History

2008--Apparition Productions, New York