The Death of Ruby Slippers

category: full-length one act
genre: black comedy
running time: 80 minutes
setting: Various Locations In San Francisco and the Southwest Desert
period: Contemporary

Gareth, a homosexual
Clay, his boyfriend
Aiden, Gareth’s admirer
Noel, Aiden’s friend
Brooke, a waitress
Van, a bartender
Wendy, a woman sitting on a bench
Samantha, a lesbian
Ruby, a drag queen

Lovers Gareth and Clay are drinking in an empty bar when Clay decides to murder the owner, Ruby, and take the bartender, Van, hostage, in a desperate attempt to save his deteriorating relationship with Gareth, who is also seeing Aiden, a much younger man. After renting a van, Clay and Gareth kill Noel, Wendy, and Samantha, and take Aiden hostage, as well as coffee shop waitress Brooke, and drive towards Mexico, where Clay plans to escape with Gareth. When they stop to bury the bodies, Gareth kills Clay, allowing Brooke, Aiden, and Van to escape. Haunted by the ghost of Ruby, he flees into the coming dawn, crashing the van purposefully, and turns into the leader of the Wild Hunt, a force of vengeance and judgment composed of the ghosts of all who have died, with Clay’s specter as their quarry.

author’s comments: 
I wrote huge chunks of this play years before I wrote the rest of it, and it sat in a file of notes and fragments until finally finding its shape and drive once I created and added the character of Aiden, who became the heart of the piece and the balancing point/exterior perspective in the relationship between Gareth and Clay which is the subject of the piece. A meditation on love, and specifically the cycles through which all relationships pass again and again until the cycle is broken (assuming it can be), it’s both a very dark comedy and maybe one of the most brutally honest things I’ve ever written on the subject of desire, passion, sex, sexuality, and romance. It’s also most certainly one of the queerest things I’ve ever written, and is probably the only time I’ve ever written from a perspective of “gay rage”, exploring the various movies, books, and historical anecdotes (particularly around Leopold and Loeb) that influenced my early days as a homosexual. The piece immediately garnered a lot of attention due to its violent and irreverent attitude. Time will tell if we’re at a point in queer conversation and aesthetics where there is a place for it.

Staged Readings:

No Nude Men Productions, November 7, 2019, part of the San Francisco Olympians Festival at The EXIT Theatre, San Francisco, California. Directed by Laura Domingo; Art Direction by Cody Rishell. Cast: Leticia Duarte (Brooke), Vince Faso (Van), Tyler Hall (Aiden), Heather Kellogg (Wendy), Derek Kingsley (Ruby), Eliot Lieberman (Gareth), Jordan Ong (Noel), Meira Perelstein (Samantha/Stage Directions), Nick Trengove (Clay).

Theatre Rhino, July 7, 2020, on Zoom. Directed by Nick Trengove. Artwork by Cody Rishell. Cast: Eliot Lieberman (Gareth), Shane Novoa Rhoades (Clay), Justin Patrick Lopez (Aiden), Dekyi Rongé (Brooke), Vince Faso (Van), Sal Mattos (Ruby), Bryan Munar (Noel), Celeste Kamiya (Samantha), Heather Kellogg (Wendy), Alex Herlihy (Stage Directions).

The Skeleton Rep, October 15, 2022, on Zoom. Directed by Ria T DiLullo. Stage Managed by Callie Considine. Cast: Darryl Banks (Van), Jessica Carmona (Samantha), Kayleigh Watson (Wendy), Aaron Banes (Noel), Sam Given (Ruby), Xavier Reyes (Clay), Daniel Scarantino (Aiden), Josh Walden (Gareth), Miranda Wilson (Brooke).