a white haunting
Darren - Black, he/him
Tchai - Asian, he/him
Pizza Person - person who delivers pizza
Ghost - more entity than person
DARREN: I don’t invite a lot of people over, y’know.
TCHAI: What’s that supposed to mean?
DARREN: It means I like you. It means this actually means something to me. Does it mean
something to you? If it doesn’t I need to know now. So we don’t go any further. I hope you understand. I’m sorry but I just need to be upfront. I’ve learned that’s the best way.
TCHAI: Oh! Oh, no, just like, um, I like you, too, Darren. And this does mean something to me.
DARREN starts to get closer to TCHAI, probably leaning in for a kiss. In the window behind DARREN, a face appears in a white mask. Instead of reacting to what DARREN is initiating, TCHAI notices the face.
TCHAI: What the FUCK!
DARREN: WHAT? WHAT?
TCHAI: Did you not - NO! OUTSIDE!
TCHAI points. At this point, the face is gone.
Darren has invited Tchai, his date, over to his home for the first time. They’re flirting, dancing, and discussing the morality of pineapple pizza when things start to go sour: the pizza person acts really weird; the power goes out; Tchai lets his nerves get to him; and last but not least, a masked intruder wielding an axe accidentally gets invited in. As the danger they’re in becomes impossible to deny, Darren and Tchai find themselves at odds on the pressing matter of how to survive the night. While Darren insists on fighting back, Tchai seems more interested in understanding the intruder’s hidden motives.
Finalist for publication/featured on the “Table Work Press Recommends” - Table Work Press 2019
Finalist, Princess Grace Playwriting Fellowship 2022
...at once hilarious and urgent, entertaining and deeply distressing... [the] exploration of the way whiteness permeates spaces inhabited by queer people of color is rigorous and complex, and your work manages to be deeply thought-provoking and inciteful without becoming didactic. “I felt attacked by this play. I am angry at this play. I needed this play. It articulates something that hasn't ever been articulated before for me"
- Table Work Press
"so much happens?"
"felt like reading cat in the hat"
OCTOBER 7-22, 2022: a white haunting, production with MAP Theatre [ticket link]
New Queer Works Development Session/Workshop, The New Cosmopolitans, May 2022
Workshop Reading* - Parley Productions, December 2019
acknowledgements + inspirations
in the interest of acknowledging that this play-thing would not be here without these works, individuals, and support:
this play would not be (and would not have been) as deeply lived in/fleshed out without the radical interrogation, support, and work of the team behind the first Parley workshop. To Marquis J Wright, Maya Burton, Racquel West, Patrick Tolden, Aaron Jin, Denny Le, and Rebecca Tourino Collinsworth: thank you.
Get Out (Jordan Peele)
Funny Games (Michael Haneke)
When They See Us (Ava DuVernay)
*a "workshop reading" is a term coined by Parley Productions to describe their presentation process at the end of a workshop. half-way between a staged reading and a full production, it has staging, actors with scripts in hand, and like, a $100 budget.