The four plays that comprise the inaugural night of D3C are part of a slightly larger collection, currently titled "We Lose Our Place & Begin Again", and the first play in this collection ends with the stage covered in thick, gray dust. This, of course. makes staging these plays difficult. "Tiny Hooks" was one the first plays I've ever written with a specific goal in mind: to get the stage cleaned up. It begins:
Setting: A stage covered with dust.
Two chairs tipped over and laying on the floor.
She has a blue-tooth headset in.She begins sweeping up the dust and speaking into the headset.
Simple enough, really, the actors in the previous piece leave their set behind: a table and two chairs, an ungodly amount of dust, and it's up to the next actor to set things right (or as close as possible) as she delivers a monologue on the nature and limits of mature love.
Thematically, it follows the piece before it, "We Find Our Own Level" (previously known as "Assfuck Brooklyn" for reasons of rebellious youth), in that it is tied to a very specific New York tragedy without directly addressing it. It's a part of the landscape. And in most plays, landscape and environment are characters themselves, but I like to think of them as characters the way Pinter-esque dread is its own character -- lingering just off-stage, psychologically weighing everyone down.
Now, the follow-up, the afterthought, the what-the-hell-are-we-going-to-do-about-all-that-dust fix, has become the starting point, and I get to see it stand on its own.
Dust or no, the dread's still there, I think.