I spent a solid few hours conceiving of a brand new play, and was really surprised when people I know at the A.R.T. (box office staff) and the Huntington (coat check temps) rejected it outright.
In the play, there’s a little sports fan, maybe 8 years old, who gets himself worked into a lather in the days leading up to the big AFC football matchup, then sees his hopes dashed in a few painful hours watching the actual game.
He turns to his Dad for emotional support, but can’t find the old coot anywhere in the house. Finally, he hears something weird going on in the bathroom. Someone is being strangled! The little boy kicks open the bathroom door to find his Dad weeping bitterly over the football loss, his face pressed into a towel to squelch the sobbing.
The Dad has no choice but blame someone for his emotional weakness, and goes to his local congressperson to protest “That damnable NFL and their violent, and yet inexplicably magnetic, product!” He’s ready to sue the league for the emotional stress it’s putting on his family, especially his son (when, let’s face it, the Dad is the emotional basket case.)
The rest of the play is a courtroom drama with hearings. Then, we cut to a future that is free of tackle football and all the violent battles. But, it turns out, not free of the crushing emotional distress!
(And all the A.R.T. can talk about is the “Donkey Show.”)