A Modern Revenge Comedy.
EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR is a contemporary Southern “revenge comedy” that disarms stereotypes of abuse with wild humor. BEAR is part “I Love Lucy,” part Jacobean revenge tragedy, and part feminist power ballad. Set in the North Georgia mountains, the ever-sweet Nan finally flips the story on her abusive husband, Kyle, taking back her life. With the help of her colorful friends, her idolization of Jimmy Carter, and one violent Shakespearean stage direction, this play ain't over till the bears are in pursuit.This is a play I’ve always wanted to write – a violent play that glitters. A play that calls out the insipid denigration of women in America by laughing at idiots… before leaving them for dead. The moral of the story is “freedom at all costs”, but the play has little morals. This play is mean and beautiful, uncalled for and giddy, feminine and genderless. The play equates things that aren’t the same: women=deer, environmentalism=feminism, violence=peace, love=Clorox, freedom=karaoke. The aesthetic of the (EXIT, PURSUED BY A BEAR) is part I Love Lucy, part Jacobean revenge tragedy, part feminist manifesto, part beautiful ballet, part nature special, and part 80's power ballad. I love my home-state of Georgia, and its mountains (where I spent many a summer as a child) are rough, worn, shady, lush and vibrant... and yes, there's a bear.
Elizabethan/Jacobean Revenge Tragedies:
Dramas in which the dominant motive is revenge for a real or imagined injury; it was a favorite form of English tragedy in the Elizabethan and Jacobean eras and found its highest expression in William Shakespeare’s Hamlet. In revenge plays, the option of forgiveness is not taken, and even if justice is done and the revenger dies to expiate his deeds, revenge plays close with a sense of futility, waste and loss.
By William Shakespeare
A really mean and jealous king (Leontes) thinks his pregnant wife (Hermoine) has cheated on him and her just-born daughter isn't legitimately his. He spends the first part of the play in full-on man-mongrel-mode, declaring all women shifty-eyed whores. Thanks. He publicly accuses her, imprisons her, and murders her (well, she freaks and dies on her own out of "shame"). His only son, Mamilius, dies from grief over his mother's predicament.
He orders the murder of any body else he doesn't like, including his infant daughter: he orders Antigonus (a decent guy) to take the child to Bohemia and leave her somewhere where she'll likely die. Antignous reluctantly does this, and as he drops the child in the woods, a bear chases him off and eats him. This is the famous stage direction in Act 3:
(Exit, pursued by a bear.)
Alas! A Shepherd finds the baby girl, saves her, and raises her.
Sixteen years later, the girl (Perdita - meaning "lost" in Latin) is about to marry the son of the guy Leontes nearly executed. Leontes (now repentant and haunted by his past misdeeds and the revealed purity of his perfect dead wife) is reunited with his daughter, realizes she is alive, berates himself some more until Paulina (a court lady) reveals that the "dead" Hermione is actually still alive (hidden all these years). It all ends up okay. Except for the guy that got eaten by the bear.
Synopsis and history:
Women - Violence and Hope
New York Times - 12/14/11
An exhaustive government survey of rape and domestic violence released on Wednesday affirmed that sexual violence against women remains endemic in the United States and in some instances may be far more common than previously thought.
Nearly one in five women surveyed said they had been raped or had experienced an attempted rape at some point, and one in four reported having been beaten by an intimate partner. One in six women have been stalked, according to the report.
Domestic Violence Facts - feminist.org/other/dv/dvfact.html
" Domestic violence is both a national and a worldwide crisis. According to a 2000 UNICEF study, 20-50% of the female population of the world will become the victims of domestic violence.1
Within the United States, one out of every four American
women will experience violence by an intimate
during her lifetime. One out of every six women will
during her lifetime.4 "
Sign's of An Abusive Relationship - www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm
"The most telling sign is fear of your partner. If you feel like you have to walk on eggshells around your partner—constantly watching what you say and do in order to avoid a blow-up—chances are your relationship is unhealthy and abusive. Other signs that you may be in an abusive relationship include a partner who belittles you or tries to control you, and feelings of self-loathing, helplessness, and desperation."
HOPE... A Modern Women's Movement
Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn.
"We will try
to lay out an agenda for the world's women focusing on three particular
abuses: sex trafficking and forced prostitution; gender-based
violence, including honor killings and mass rape; and maternal
mortality, which still needlessly claims one woman a minute.We will
lay out solutions such as girls' education and microfinance, which are
working right now.
So let us be clear
about this up front:We hope to recruit you to join an incipient
movement to emancipate women and fight global poverty by unlocking
women's power as economic catalysts.That is the process under way—not a
drama of victimization but of empowerment, the kind that transforms
bubbly teenage girls from brothel slaves into successful businesswomen.
Half The Sky Movement - www.halftheskymovement.org/
"Humor masks a lot of anger, and it’s a means of breaking up others’ pretenses and of not being pretentious yourself." - Wendy Wasserstein
All North Georgians
Nan Carter– 27, female, pretty and quick, like deer
Kyle Carter– 28, male, a big messy boy, like a dumb dirty dog
Simon Simone – 27, pretty and strong and bitchy, like a slim cat
Sweetheart/Trisha/SuperKyle* – female stripper, dressed as the incredibly hot version of Kyle
*Definition of "Superego": According to Freud's psychoanalytic theory of personality, the superego is the component of personality composed of our internalized ideals that we have acquired from our parents and from society. The superego works to suppress the urges of the id and tries to make the ego behave morally, rather than realistically.
A small, musty 1-bedroom house in the North Georgia mountains: the front door opens near a tiny kitchen with st icky floor and a breakfast bar.
The living room has a ratty recliner, a folding tv-dinner table, and a tv in the corner. The back wall is mostly a large glass sliding door onto the backyard and tiny patio.
It’s all in a style just old enough to be in poor taste – fake wood, something dark inside. Not messy, but impossible to get really clean.
Outside, trees shade their world.
Mounted Doe for opening image:
Needn't be a full body.
This is something to think about as far as tone and extreme characterization:
Pageant Talk - Saturday Night Live
American Black Bear
The American black bear (Ursus americanus) is North America's smallest and most common species of bear. It is a generalist animal, being able to exploit numerous different habitats and foodstuffs. The American black bear is listed by the IUCN as Least Concern, due to the species' widespread distribution and a large global population estimated to be twice that of all other bear species combined. The species is not overly dangerous to humans, but has been responsible for a few deaths, as well as property damage and livestock predation. The American black bear has been the source of inspiration for numerous popular cultural depictions of bears, including the Teddy Bear and Winnie the Pooh.
State site: http://www.georgiawildlife.com/node/1390
DEER and HUNTING IN NORTH GEORGIA
Most common American deer.
GA Deer Hunting
Firearms Season: Oct.-Jan
Quota: No more than 12 per season
* i.e. Kyle has no license and even if he did he's be hunting illegally in terms of number and time.
"With one of the highest annual whitetail harvests in North America, Georgia is a reliable place to fill your freezer with venison." http://www.northamericanwhitetail.com/links/
Born in Plains, Georgia he was a peanut farmer and naval officer.