Power Plays: Three Plays by Mike Moran
2002 by Mike Moran
The Story of the Little Man
“There’s a little man living in my
head,” Aaron says, starting the story.
A would-be writer, Aaron, and his
actor-friend, Clark, work together to develop a story of a demon-like little
creature that has taken root in Aaron’s head.
Or perhaps the little man is a concoction of Clark’s cooked up to
brutalize his friend. Or perhaps Clark
isn’t even there at all, and the whole thing is a way for Aaron to brutalize
Although originally developed and
written prior to the publication of the Chuck Palahnuik novel and its later
film version, The Story of the Little Man is in the same vein as Fight
Club. The playwright is firmly of
the opinion that Carl Jung would be thrilled.
This play is performed by two men
who are in their late twenties/early thirties.
It runs roughly ten-to-twelve minutes.
Set is a kitchen table and chairs, and a refrigerator (or suggestion
Originally produced in July 2002 by
City Theater, Wilmington DE.
The story of Lyle is told/enacted
by two actors: a man and a woman of any age.
Lyle was a chicken-farmer who lived
back in the hills a ways. He bred and
raised the prettiest, proudest, award-winning-est Golden Pencilled Hamburgh
Chickens you ever saw. But Lyle’s sense
of dedication and responsibility when it seems that a giant might be coming
down from the hills to eat him up—well, shouldn’t it be directed more towards
his wife and baby then to his chickens?
And besides, is there even really a giant? What is it that Lyle might really be afraid is going to eat him
Cartoonish while riding the edge of
a nightmare, Lyle runs approximately ten to fifteen minutes. Set could be an empty stage. A rumble of thunder and lights up-and-down
are the only technical requirements for this work.
Contol starts with a man
hitting a woman across the face. This
is Thom. Thom is going to attempt to
explain to you as the audience how he will never ever do anything of that sort
In a vicious world, learning how
not to strike—even to strike back—is a difficult lesson.
As each of the four characters
speak, it becomes evident that what actually happens depends on the control one
has over one’s self, control one has over others, and perhaps most importantly,
the control one has over the interpretation of a past experience.
David Gothard, international
theatre and film director/producer, former director of Leicester Haymarket
Theatre and Riverside Studios, London, says about the playwright’s story, “Control”:
“Nothing beats the intimacy that is strangely [this author’s] when, for
example, the two men, one better than the other, confront each other over the
peeing. But the intimacy of the empathy
is astonishing. [This writer’s]
instincts for intimacy permeate [his] creative writing and make it very
seductive. The frontiers of intimacy
are the shock. Perhaps they are tragic
but they can be made to be comic. … [The writer, through this story, has] the
ability to celebrate lack of control and can dare to defend it as essential to
life which it helps define. The story
is close to being fantastic.”
Control is a cast of four:
THOM, who is in his mid-thirties; ANNE, who is also in her mid-thirties; CHAD,
who would be in his early-to-mid twenties; and KID, who should look about
fifteen or sixteen. The set constraints
are entirely up to the designer—it’s written to be inexpensively staged. It runs about twenty-five minutes.