from Monster in a Box, written by Spalding Gray
Spalding Gray: Often, when you do a long run of a play, in this
case Our Town, you have what I like to call a unifying accident, in which
something so strange happens in the play, that it suddenly unites the
audience in the realization that we are all here together at this one
moment in time. It's not television. It's not the movies. And it probably
will never be repeated ever again. It happened as I was speaking of the
dead and I say, "And they stay here while the earth part of them burns
away, burns out....They're waitin' for something they feel is comin'.
Something important and great...." As I say this, I turn and gesture to
them, waiting, and, just as I turn and gesture, the little eleven-year-old
boy playing Wally Webb projectile vomits! Like a hydrant it comes, hitting
some of the dead on their shoulders! The other dead levitate out of their
chairs, in total shock, around him and drop back down. Franny Conroy, deep
in her meditative trance, is slowly wondering, "Why is it raining on
stage?" The little boy flees from his chair, vomit pouring from his mouth.
Splatter. Splatter. Splatter, I'm standing there. My knees are shaking.
The chair is empty. The audience is thunderstruck! There is not a sound
coming from them, except for one little ten-year-old boy in the eighth
row. He knows what he saw and he is LAUGHING!
At this point, I don't know whether to be loyal to Thornton Wilder and go on with the next line as written, or attempt what might be one of the most creative improvs in the history of American theatre. At last I decide to be loyal to Wilder and simply go on with the next line, and I turn to the empty chair and say: "Aren't they waitin' for the eternal part of them to come out clear?"
Kudos and much thanks go to Henry for this monologue, it is very much appreciated.
[ please return to the main movie monologue page ]