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Theatre from the streets

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

Overheard outside a bar across the street from the San Diego Comic Con

A rooftop Pac-Man-themed video game party. Many comic book enthusiasts and former straight-“A” students mingle, holding plastic cups of Dan Aykroyd vodka and local limited-edition pineapple beer.

Downstairs, Dustin, in his early thirties, has a Stormtrooper sticker on each cheek. He is wearing a backpack that resembles a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle half-shell and calf-length shorts with pockets on the thighs.

Darryl is wearing black pants and a jacket with the word “security” embroidered on the breast pocket. He holds a clipboard.

Dustin: Hello to you, Sir.

Darryl: Hello.

Dustin: I would like to come to this party.

Darryl: Okay.

What’s your name?

Dustin: Dustin.

Darryl: What’s your last name?

Dustin: My name is Dustin Smith-Gillis.

Darryl begins flipping through the pages clipped onto his clipboard.

Dustin: That’s Dustin Smith-Gillis the first. I’m going to name my son Dustin Smith-Gillis the Second.

The legend begins.

Dustin laughs.

Dustin: Ha, ha, ha!

I’m not on your list.

Darryl: No, you’re right, you’re not on the list.

Dustin: But there’s a simple solution.

Dustin takes off his Ninja Turtle backpack. He unzips it. He rummages around. He pulls out a special edition Sailor Moon Gel Pen in Mercury Pink. He hands the pen to Darryl.

Dustin: Write my name on the list.

Darryl looks at the pen.

Darryl: Man, I’m sorry, this is V.I.P. only.

Darryl and Dustin look up at the partygoers on the rooftop in time to see a woman with a 1950s fashion aesthetic pose for a digital camera with one hand on her hip and a consciously seductive smile.

Dustin: Yes, I can see that. Very Important People.

Dustin turns to leave.

Thank you for your time.

Darryl: Hey, man–

Dustin turns to face Darryl.

Darryl: I like your style.


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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