The Gingerbread House

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Brian and Stacey want a better life, the life they deserve. Raising two children has left them unsatisfied, running back and forth endlessly from work to Little League games. To advance their careers and penetrate the secretive ranks of "The Club," the beleaguered parents propose to ditch their little bundles of responsibility. With the aid of Brian's friend Marco acting as broker, they'll sell their kids to Albanian buyers. But as Brian and Stacey begin to enjoy the fruits of the good life, Stacey begins to suspect that happiness in her new life is just the ability to turn a blind eye to horror. And she's finding it hard to be happy.

Jason Butler Harner and Bobby Cannavale in the stageFARM's 2009 Rattlestick production, dir. Evan Cabnet
Jason Butler Harner, Sarah Paulson and Bobby Cannavale in the stagefarm's 2009 Rattlestick production, dir. Evan Cabnet
Meghan Reardon in Red Tape Theatre's 2012 production, dir. James D. Palmer
Deniz Karaoğlu, Faruk Barman and Pınar Çağlar Gençtürk in Tiyatro Yan Etki's 2012 Istanbul production , dir. Serkan Üstüner

Read Sample

ONE: I GOT AN IDEA

(BRIAN and STACEY in bed.
TV on. Canned laughter throughout.
Silence.
They both watch TV.
Long silence. Then:)

BRIAN
[I] Got an idea.

STACEY
What.

BRIAN
Hear me out. Don’t laugh. [I] Put some thought into this and. Um. I think.
(beat)
Okay. You know. We’re a little stressed. Right? Generally. I don’t need to mention. We’re a little stressed. Money. The kids. The kids? Right? And tired? A lot. And. I think. Um.

STACEY
What is it?

BRIAN
Honey. I think.
(beat)
I think we should sell the kids.

(Beat.
STACEY looks at BRIAN.
Sound (laughter) of the TV.)

STACEY
Ha. I love you.

(She returns to the TV.
Silence. )

BRIAN
Um.
(beat)
[I’m] not joking.

STACEY
Right.
(beat)
Okay. Sure. Let’s sell them. How much?

BRIAN
Sorry?

STACEY
How much we asking for. Maybe we can get a new fridge.

BRIAN
You serious?

STACEY
That’d be exciting, right?

BRIAN
Stacey?

STACEY
Brand new fridge?

BRIAN
Are you serious?

STACEY
No. Course not. Brian. Come on. People don’t sell their kids.
(beat)
Nice thought though.

BRIAN
Right.

(Silence. TV.)

BRIAN
Only. What if we could.

STACEY
What if we could what? Sell the kids?

BRIAN
Yeah.

STACEY
Sell the kids?

BRIAN
Yeah.

STACEY
Are you serious?

BRIAN
Um.

STACEY
Brian?
(beat)
Oh my God.

BRIAN
Wouldn’t it be great?
(beat)
‘Cause. Okay. Stacey. I’ve got this friend? Marco? (You remember Marco.) And he has Connections. He knows people. Right?

STACEY
Oh my God.

BRIAN
And. I talked to Marco and he’s like. People do it all the time. So. You know. If you’re thinking it’s like a big deal or whatever. It’s not. It’s really not.

STACEY
Um.

Cast Requirements

2 Women
3 Men
(2 children)

Publisher

Dramatists Play Service

Press

"A comedy of horrors … The great strength of the tension-filled Gingerbread House is its dual depiction of civilization’s cozy veneer and slimy undercurrent." —BackStage

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Press

"It's a darkly funny, sometimes chilling, comedy with shades of Edward Albee…Schultz's dialogue is whip-smart." —NY Daily News.

Production and Development History

2009--the stageFarm at Rattlestick, New York, NY
2012--Red Tape Theatre, Chicago, IL
2012-2014--Tiyatro Yan Etki, Istanbul, Turkey (under the title "Kurabiye Ev")
2013--Theater Schmeater, Seattle, WA