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Posted: Tuesday March 29, 2016
Read the first scene of Walker’s latest play, We the Family

We the Family follows the ripple effects within two culturally and racially divergent families when their children wed. The list of characters reads like an ethnic joke, which, indeed, it is, at least in part: the son of the main characters, David and Lizzie Kaplan, a Jewish–Irish Catholic mixed marriage, marries the daughter of Jenny Lee, a Chinese Canadian widow. By the end of the play, Walker has deconstructed the dysfunctional Kaplan and Lee families and family love as well.

The review blog Novella called it “Walker’s finest work: it is both endlessly relatable and completely over-the-top; sharp yet sympathetic; dark and macabre without verging on sentimental pathos. As a family member in 2015, you must see this play.”

Here on Meta-Talon, read this excerpt from the opening scene of the play.


SCENE 1

Bedroom. LIZZIE and DAVID Kaplan in bed. DAVID on his laptop. LIZZIE beside him just watching what he’s doing. She does not look happy. He tries to ignore her, but finally relents.

DAVID
What’s wrong?

LIZZIE
What makes you think something’s wrong?

DAVID
Well why are you looking at me like that?

LIZZIE
How am I looking at you?

DAVID
Like something’s wrong. Is it about the wedding? Did I do something wrong at the wedding?

LIZZIE
I don’t know.

DAVID
What do you mean, you don’t know?

LIZZIE
Well I couldn’t keep an eye on you all night, so you probably did or said something inappropriate to someone. Look, aren’t you going to say anything?!

DAVID
About?

LIZZIE
About the wedding.

DAVID
Is there something you’d like me to say about it?

LIZZIE
Yes.

DAVID
What?

LIZZIE
Thank you. I worked my butt off for over a year to put our son’s wedding together, and I’d like you to say thank you.

DAVID
I’m sure I’ve already done that.

LIZZIE
Except you haven’t. So do it now. Say thank you.

DAVID
Okay. Thank you.

LIZZIE
No. You know what, I think I need more than a thank-you.

DAVID
Thank you … a lot? (off her look) Look, I appreciate all you did. Really I do. Even though …

LIZZIE
Even though what?

DAVID
Well in fairness, no one asked you to do any of it. Including me.

LIZZIE
You mean especially you.

DAVID
Okay can we talk about this tomorrow? I’m pretty tired.

LIZZIE
Of course you are. From all the dancing you did. All the food you stuffed into your face, all the … fun that I almost single-handedly made happen –

DAVID
Single-handedly?

LIZZIE
Well do you think I got much help from Lily’s stepmother?

DAVID
To be fair, she was probably a little overwhelmed by your enthusiasm.

LIZZIE
Watch what you say, pal. That wedding was a special event, and I am very proud of myself for creating it.

DAVID
(smiling) And yet so many others seemed completely dissatisfied.

LIZZIE
Well some people don’t appreciate innovation, do they. Most of the guests were very excited by the things I introduced to the ceremony.

DAVID
Yeah, the mikveh in the hotel pool went over particularly well.


Enticed? Wishing you could keep reading? You can! Order your copy of We the Family today for $17.95.