Queen Mab In Drag

category: short play
genre: black comedy
running time: 10 minutes
setting: a bar
period: contemporary

Sharon, a young woman
Clarissa, her best friend
Mab, her fiancé

Sharon meets her friend Clarissa in a bar for the first time since she mysteriously vanished over a month ago. Clarissa arrives to tell Sharon she’s been spending her time with a new lover, who is a man dressed in a ballgown and fairy wings. As Sharon listens in disbelief, Clarissa reveals that Mab, her boyfriend, is the fabled faerie queen in disguise, placed under a curse that can only be broken by Clarissa’s love. Sharon, who is herself coming down from long-term use of anti-depressants, decides to accept the impossibility of the story and the three lunatics head off to create chaos together.

author’s comments:
I wrote the words, “Queen Mab in Drag” in my common-place book probably six or seven years before this play was written, along with a couple of lines about the Queen of the Faeries being banished to the modern world and trapped in the body of a man. Love, of course, would somehow save the day. Like many things in my common place book, however, these notes were soon buried under others, and it wasn’t until watching Tim Bauer’s Three Little Words in the spring of 2010 that I remembered my little idea and decided to resurrect it for the San Francisco Theater Pub’s first annual “Pint Sized Play Festival,” which called for short pieces set in bars. I figured the faerie in drag joke could only be funny for ten minutes and somehow it seemed even funnier if it took place in a phenomenally banal setting- like your local dive bar. Sharon and Clarissa emerged from my own experience with anti-depressants and the crazy stuff that runs through your head while you’re either getting on them or coming off of them. The idea that all three characters might be crazy, or manifestations of the same personality, didn’t come about until the second draft, after Rob Ready, who created the role of Mab for SF Theater Pub, spurred me to take a closer look at the more sinister possibilities of the script. Not that this is a sinister show, in my opinion. It’s mostly just fun. But the kind of fun that scares you because you may have been, or currently are, one of these people.


San Francisco Theater Pub, August 16, 23, 30, 2010 at the Café Royale in San Francisco, California. Directed by Julia Heitner; Stage Managed by Meghan O’Connor. Cast: Ashley Cowan (Clarissa), Lila Davidson (Sharon), Rob Ready (Mab)

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