Kicking and Smiling by Melissa Major


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Passion. Art. Love. Hatred. Murder. Desperation. REVENGE.

Something has gone terribly wrong for Tish and Manno, a couple of young, vibrant visual artists. We find them in their warehouse torturing an older woman tied up in a chair. What could lead them to become torturers? Who is the woman they have tied up in a chair and what has she done to deserve this? Right before the knife is about to pierce the woman for the fatal incision, they have a change of heart. The gag is taken out and everyone's secrets are spilled.

Kicking and Smiling takes on a spellbindingly passionate debate on the value of art to the individual, a culture and society pitted against social services. How does art help define a culture? And is it a necessary component or a luxury? Here the debate has life-threatening consequences. Can the woman talk her way out of the binds? Or does she believe her argument strong enough to die for?

Winner of the York University President’s Prize for Playwriting.


CHARLENE – Female, mid-to-late forties, filthy, wild looking

MANNO – Male, early thirties, vibrant & attractive

TISH – Female, early thirties, Manno’s wife, also vibrant & attractive

DRIVER – Male or female, any age

Keywords: art, visual art, social justice, fight scenes, political, controversy

Year Printed: 2012
Running TIme: 40 minutes
Acts: 1
Male Cast: 2
Female Cast: 2