Love Child

By Daniel Jenkins
and Robert Stanton

 

Real and theatrical worlds collide in a zany backstage story about actors staging a ridiculous updating of Euripides’ Ion, which certain audience members find so moving that they are compelled to leap into the action.

 

Review

“Rollicking! Delicious! Half the fun is seeing if you can keep up…!” — The New York Times

“A sophisticated story of betrayal, deceit and love. Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton have given themselves an enormous challenge: They play all the characters in this backstage farce. Their bodies, voices and rubbery faces are the only tools they use to create an entire world. Their performances have the same deranged wit as their writing.” — Variety

Love Child is birthed before our eyes in a labor of love…. Two protean actors play all 20 or so roles in a frenetic backstage farce that would leave a full cast panting for breath. Adorably madcap…an even more compressed version of The 39 Steps… Jenkins and Stanton are always fun to watch and envy: These are two talented bastards!” — Time Out New York

“Daniel Jenkins and Robert Stanton expertly play about twelve characters between them in this bare-bones but hilarious farce!” — The New Yorker

“Explosive! 85 frenzied minutes of pure silliness! You probably won’t have to take your mood elevators after seeing them!” — Village Voice

“An extraordinary pearl. Jenkins and Stanton make the versatile shape-shifters of The 39 Steps look like pikers. The overlapping plots are so ornate and clever, the performances (under Carl Forsman’s nimble direction) are so appealing, that Love Child invites repeat viewings. Once your ribs recover, you may want to treat yourself again.” — Theatre News Online

“It’s difficult to find nouns to describe Love Child. Adjectives are easier–hilarious, frenetic, and brilliant are just a few which come immediately to mind. I doubt that there are many plays running in New York which deliver such satisfaction in such a short period of time. I’ve seen Love Child twice now, and feel like I could go back again and again, always finding something new!” — Stage and Cinema

Available for licensing through Playscripts.

 

Analysis:

Dramaturgy: Great Roles. Great Material

  • Two actors, 22 characters, split-second timing
  • Playwrights, well-known Broadway actors:
  • Daniel Jenkins – Mary Poppins, Big River, Big, Angels in America
  • Robert Stanton – Mary Stuart, Coast of Utopia, All in the Timing

Story Elements: Universal Appeal

  • Hilarious backstage farce/play-within-a-play
  • Modern updating of Greek myth Ion (Euripides) – search for identity

Cost: Simple Production, Huge Value

  • Two actors, one understudy
  • Unit set: six chairs
  • Modern dress, no costume changes, no wigs and makeup.

Marketing: Audience Tested

  • New York Stage and Film workshop, summer 2005, 3 performances
  • Primary Stages, fall 2008, 20 performances – sold out
  • Off Broadway, New World Stages, fall/winter 2009, limited run
  • The commercial production ran at New World Stages in New York City and has had productions in New Orleans, Sacramento, Denver and Asheville, garnering rave reviews and nominations and awards.