Getting it Straight
by Sharon Pollock
Published by Playwrights Canada Press Toronto ON.
Number of Acts: 1
Length: 70 mins
Total actors required: 1
Eme, diagnosed as a schizophrenic, has fled an institutional outing to a rodeo by requesting a visit to the ladies. In making her get-away she fears she has injured her nurse escort. She hides amongst the litter of lost items and garbage under the bleachers of the grandstand. In her mind's eye shesee others with whom she interacts. Her mind is filled to overflowing with bits and pieces of fragmented memories, dreams, nightmares, stories from childhood; she relives domestic and institutional experiences. Bizarre events and global tragedies compete with images from TV, radio, newspapers and magazines. All are interspaced with moments of lucidity. Eme thinks of “the real and unreal shuffled like a deck of cards!" "Play the hand!” she says. She is determined to “get it straight”. But in her struggle to figure it out it seems as if true madness lies in the outside world while her perception of it represents a greater sanity. Terrifying scientific advances, an horrific discovery in her husband's briefcase, and her fear for her own and the world's children compel her to take some kind of action.
Eme's monologue is a free flowing stream of consciousness with little punctuation in the text.