I can remember the day I started to use swear words. I had been forced to sit next to one of the cool kids on the bus and I was in the 4th grade. I awkwardly sat as far against the window as possible and she talked to her friend the whole time. I can remember her calling someone a bitch. It sounded brilliant. Like verbal punching!
Needless to say, my vocabulary took a nose dive that day. I started really listening to how cussing worked. Some things sounded great together, others did not. If you used it correctly, people laughed! When used incorrectly, people laughed at you. Profanity was and is my deepest rooted “bad” habit and I will never quit. It’s just funny.
Now, 7 Deadly Birthdays takes place predominantly in a Catholic church. If we were going to swear in the script, it had to be perfectly timed and totally appropriate. Originally, I was going to challenge myself to write a play with just ONE bad word. Just to prove to myself that I could. However, the idea of writing a Wrath scene without swearing? It was just too good of an opportunity to honestly display some real life rage. Especially the rage of a woman who has just hit the age of 50, a woman who experiences hot flashes and drop of a dime mood swings. The Wrath scene just kind of wrote itself.
During Maddie’s 50th Birthday celebration, things don’t go as planned and she leaves the party in a rush. A run in with Officer Law ensues as she speeds toward Happy Hour and a Margarita full of self-pity.
At this point in her life, Maddie has let some things go to the wayside. Certain things aren’t important anymore and she is getting fed up. She starts to make excuses, blame others for her shortcomings and for the first time, we see her really start to crack. If you like David Mamet, you will love this scene.
I’m not going to lie, if I was to perform one scene from this play, Wrath would be it. Like Maddie, I too have a habit of not paying my parking tickets. Or renewing my tabs. I just can’t bring myself to pay $150 for a mother fucking bumper sticker.
Don’t even get me started.