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Overheard at The Swan...

image: foodinthe416.blogspot.com

A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.

Overheard at The Swan

Margo and Kalia, both in their early 60s, wipe up leftover wine sauce with pieces of bread. A bowl of discarded mussel shells sits between them. Their hair is casually arranged and has seen the benefit of many years of good shampoo.

Margo: No.

I just have no interest.

Kalia: The Arab Spring, The Occupy Movement, what’s happening in Istanbul right now, those all showed up on Facebook and Twitter before they showed up in mainstream media. The world’s stories are happening on Facebook, and they’re happening in real time. This is a chance to be a part of them.

If you want to know what’s really going on, if you want to see the news as the people who are making it do, you have to be on some kind of social media.

Margo: But how do you know it’s for real?

You can lie on Facebook.

Kalia: You can lie on TV, too. Happens all the time.

“I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”

Pause. Margo swirls a pieces of bread in the bowl. She takes a bite, chews, swallows.

Margo: This is going to be my last year at the hospital.


Every day, just by being there, there are so many stories. So many heightened emotions, so many people feeling extremely happy or extremely sad.

And I’m there for all of it.

And then I walk home from work, I pass a million people, I’m painfully aware of how they all have stories, too. It’s overwhelming.

So when I go home, I don’t want any more other people’s stories. 

I don’t want to be part of the news.

Kalia leans back, observing Margo.

Kalia: Okay. Suit yourself.

But the world is changing.

Margo waves her hand in the air.

Margo: Whatever.

Kalia laughs.

Are we getting more wine?


Aurora Stewart de Peña is half of the theatre company Birdtown & Swanville (the other half is Nika Mistruzzi). You can follow her on Twitter at @Aurorahhh.

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