Plays written by Sherry Kramer
HOW WATER BEHAVES
How Water Behaves – (3M 4W) This farce (which is a bit fairy tale too) is about how hard and strange tikun olum (repair of the world) is in the connected world we now live in, and how glorious and slippery the notion of unambiguous good has become. It’s about a young couple, Nan and Steve, newly down on their luck. She’s a teacher at a private high school, and he’s just lost his job as a website builder. Christmas is coming, and his family has a massive potlatch ritual, where their large extended family meets and exchanges a tremendous percentage of their incomes, in a display of generosity… or excess…Nan isn’t sure which. It’s been hard every Christmas for Nan and Steve not to feel like poor relations at this extravagant gift exchange, but this year? To make matters even worse, Nan took out all their Christmas money from the bank, and her purse was stolen at a poetry reading. How will they manage to hold their heads up now? Like this: Steve builds a fake charity website on line, and generates emails to family and friends, telling them that a donation has been made in their name to a charity that digs wells in Africa. Nan and Steve fully intend to donate all the money they’ve told people they’ve given to charity when Steve gets a job, and the play makes sure that the audience believes this. But of course, a lot will happen before then.
Sherry Kramer’s newest plays, How Water Behaves and The Bay of Fundy, are part of her ongoing conversation with America about what money means and the shape of charity in the modern world. Earlier works include When Something Wonderful Ends (Humana Festival), The Wall of Water (Yale Rep), David’s Redhaired Death (Woolly Mammoth Theatre), What A Man Weighs (Second Stage), The World at Absolute Zero (EST Marathon), and Things That Break (Theatre of the First Amendment). She has been awarded NEA, NYFA, McKnight, Weissberger, New York Drama League, and the Jane Chambers Playwriting Awards. She teaches playwriting at Bennington College and in the MFA programs of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop and the Michener Center for Writers, UT Austin. She was the first national member of New Dramatists, and her plays are published by Broadway Play Publishing.