Ruth & Robert & Robert & Ruth by Mary Humphrey Baldridge


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Image: Copyscript

Ruth is writing a series of articles on rape for a downtown newspaper. Robert teaches "troubled teens". At the top of the play, Addy, who teaches with Robert, pays a surprise visit to Ruth at work and we learn there has been a shooting at his school, and he, Addy, was shot - and he's in love with Ruth. At home, Robert looks for television coverage of the shooting and we learn Robert thinks Ruth is on the verge of a nervous breakdown. She's seeing things and hearing things (distant gunfire); she's obsessed by the women she's writing about. As for Robert: "I don't do any teaching, not in the normal sense of the word. I'm at one end of a long rope, holding on for dear life so they won't slip and fall into the abyss, and they're at the other. But their combined weight's too much - even when i'm successful, when one of them escapes - Jerome or Luis or Felipe or - it looks like - gets a job, check out clerk, big fucking deal! Next thing I know, dead. Stray bullet, stolen car, AIDS. Burnt to death in a fucking fire!" Robert seeks solace with Louise but cannot leave Ruth. The day of the shooting, he leaves Ruth to have dinner with Louise. Ruth leaves her home to work on her series about rape. Spaulding appears and it's possible he's stalking her. Ruth and Robert's final confrontation ends in violence - or does it?

Year Printed: 2012
First Produced: 2005 at Femfest, Winnipeg, MB.
Running Time: 80 minutes
Acts: 1
Male Cast: 1
Female Cast: 1
Keywords: Contemporary, investigation of a marriage, rape