My Friend Dahmer by Jake Arky

In 1976, two suburban Ohio boys became friends. One grew up to be an underground cartoonist, the other grew up to be one of the most notorious serial killers in United States history. When Derf first encountered Jeffrey Dahmer, they were both outsiders, geeks and weirdos who were bullied and ostracized from the social circles of jocks and cool kids. Through the years, Dahmer becomes less of friend in Derf’s eyes—he’s a mascot, an object of ridicule. Fun afternoons to the fishing holes fill up with horrific memories of blood and guts. Trips to the mall transform into a game where Derf and other nerds get Dahmer drunk so he can pretend to have epileptic fits in public. No one seems to notice how teenage Dahmer lives completely alone: abandoned by his family, neglected by his friends, and invisible to his community. By senior year of high school, Dahmer is left to his own devices in the middle of the woods where no one sees his crippling isolation or smells the rotten stench emanating from the basement. As far as Derf and the rest of his friends are concerned, Dahmer disappeared after graduation…only to resurface in the most horrific of ways a decade later. This is a story of how friends make monsters.
Jake Arky is the Associate Director of Education-Playwriting for TheatreWorks and the co-founder of So Say We All, a non-profits arts production and education organization specializing in the literary and storytelling arts. He is the author of the plays Nosh, The Shift, Brothers of Astoria, Sexbot 2600, Issei/Nisei, The Lookout, and The Birthday Girl. He’s the two time recipient of the Utah Theater Association’s award for Best Original Play and he received the New American Voices Honor at the 2009 Great Plains Theater Conference in Omaha. Since completing his degree at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts Jake has worked with The Cherry Lane Theatre, The La Jolla Playhouse, The Playwrights Project of San Diego, ’06 Ensemble, Dragon Theater, and 68Cent Theatre Company. Jake is honored to have his play, My Friend Dahmer (based on the graphic novel by Derf), recognized as a 2014 National Playwrights Conference Finalist during their 50th anniversary season. Jake currently resides in San Francisco, California.
CURRENT CITY: San Francisco, CA