Playwrights' Perspectives

An Excerpt from God's Ear By Jenny Schwartz


Jenny Schwartz’s 2007 play God’s Ear floored audiences nationally and internationally, establishing her place among the most innovative and virtuosic writers in the contemporary landscape.  The story of how the death of a son shatters a marriage, this haunting, funny play manages to turn language into a spectacle, a reward unto itself, while also accessing the sharp yearning in the hearts of a family coping with loss. In this scene, Ted is on an extended business tripaway from his wife, Mel.

MEL: How was your flight?

TED: What do you care?

MEL: Come back.

TED: And then what?

MEL: And then you'll say, "Why? Why are you always so mean?''

TED: You used to be so sweet.
You used to say "Gesundheit" to the dog.

MEL: And then we'll kiss.
And then I'll scratch your back.
A little higher. There.
Right there.

And then you'll hold me.
And protect me.
And I'll forgive you.
And you'll understand me.

And I'll never stop loving you.
And you won't ever think of leaving me.
And I'll laugh at all your jokes.
And you'll never disappoint me.

And you'll swoop down and save the day.
And I'll bend over backwards and light up the room.

And we'll thank God.
And God will bless America.
And with God as our witness, we'll never be starving again. 

And the fog will lift.
And we'll see eye to eye.
And the cows will come home. 
And we'll dance cheek to cheek. 

And we'll face the music.
And smell the coffee.
And know where to turn.
And which end is up. 

And the dogs will stop biting.
And the bees will stop stinging.
And this too shall pass.
And all good things.

And we'll make love.
The old-fashioned way.
With one hand tied behind our back.

And hell will be freezing.
And pigs will be flying.
And Rome will be built.
And water will be wine. 

And truth will be told.
And needs will be met.
And boys will be boys.
And enough will be enough.

And we'll cross that bridge.
And bridge that gap.
And bear that cross.
And cross that t.

And part that sea.
And act that part.
And turn that leaf.
And turn that cheek.

And speak our minds.
And mind our manners.
And clear our heads.
And right our wrongs. 

And count our blessings.
And count our chickens.
And pick our battles.
And eat our words.

And take it slow.
And make it last.
And have it made.
And make it fast. 

And take it back.
And see it through.
And see the light.
And raise the roof.

And make the most.
And make the best.
And work it out.
And mend the fence.

And wait it out.
And play it down.
And live it up.
And paint the town.

And take care.
And eat right.
And sleep well.
And stay calm. 

And have fun.
And have faith.
And face facts.
And move on.

And own up.  
And come clean. 
And start fresh. 
And take charge.

And stand tall.
And save face.
And steer clear.
And live large.

And then we'll kick up our heels. 
And have it both ways.
And take a deep breath. 
And take it like men. 

And sit back.

And ride off into the horseshit. 

For richer, for poorer.
In sickness and in health.
And the fat lady will sing.
With bells on.