To Be Frank by
2015 Recipient of the Sherwood Collins
Playwriting Contest by the Massachusetts Educational Theatre Guild.
Sensing the death of the fishing industry,
18-year-old Frank Asher realizes he has to save himself. Ungoverned by
morality, this pathological liar's ambitious escape plan stretches the
stories and sympathies of his entire family, town and history; but it might
just be crazy enough to work.
FRANK: 18, male
AVA: 18, female
LLOYD: 18, male
: 40-50, female
BANNERMAN: 35, female
MONICA: 17, female
GALLAGHER: 30, male
RACHEL: 21, female
TRISTIAN: 19, male
PARKER: 27, male
ENSEMBLE: A Gruff
Voice, Fisherman 1, Fisherman 2: 30-60, male, Fisherman's Wife: 30-60,
female, Suit: 30-40, male or female
Left to the discretion of the director
A Note About the Set
The set remains constant throughout the play, and thus, only
appropriate areas of the stage are lit for certain scenes. Because one of
the main aims of the play is to get the audience to empathize with
pathological liars, and pathological liars believe their own lies, in scenes
where the audience is aware that Frank is lying, elements of the set change
to fit his falsehoods. During these moments, the set is altered
appropriately as the scene continues.
Read an Excerpt
<Tristian is cleaning tables. Lloyd is sitting
Weird Tom is also present.>
<Already speaking.> ...and so I
says, are you a girl, or a buoy?
Weird Tom smiles.> It is strange
seeing you here though, I don�t know if I�ll ever get used to it.
TRISTIAN: <To Weird Tom.>
Give him a day.
remember when my uncle used to take the both of us out as little
kids, you remember that? With the gray skies and the blue waters�
water is usually the same color as the sky, Lloyd.
know and that is a shame!
that that was something you weren�t all pouty about; you were good
at it! Like way better than you are at this job- missed a spot- and,
and I know that you and Weird Tom don�t usually take what I say very
seriously, but I feel like you made a mistake. Man, you were made
for the sea, and you choose something you could do anywhere-
TRISTIAN: It wasn�t a choice it was a sentence.
<With mock grandeur.>
Oh, excuse me kind table-faring, sir. Allow me
to take your burden as you tell the story of your �judgment day�.
emerges and Lloyd and Tristian freeze.>
Judgment day is a little joke we have that
refers to when boys figure out if they�re going to be a fisherman or
not. You�d probably think it strange for such an important day to be
thrown at you all at once, but fisherman fathers are notoriously
cold and distant, even when they�re not at sea. On judgment day,
you�re either thrown a yellow jacket or thrown to the sharks. It
seems like someone scooped Tristian up, but look how he loathes
As for me, well, I�ve
never feared the sight of blood�
TRISTIAN: Ah, when judgment day arrived, my
father sat me down. He came up to me, laid a hand on my shoulder�
<Lays a hand on Lloyd�s shoulder.> and said� <Puts a
leg up on Lloyd�s chair.> Son, you are a pussy.
That and crap about how <In a
mock-voice.> �tourism is the
future, the government is cracking down on us for catching all the
cod, and I don�t know how else we�re going to make any money in this
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