The Monkeyhouse

Voices: Productions in Development

Written by David Woods

Nova Scotia has been transformed into a racist, totalitarian society modeled on apartheid South Africa by a new right-wing government called The Second Clan Under The Second Clan, Black Nova Scotians are now wards of the state with the government having complete control over their lives. They must live in designated Black communities (‘Black Districts’); they can only be employed in menial jobs; their social interactions with whites are strictly regulated. However, those who can prove their usefulness to the state can apply for a permit to live and work in ‘White Districts’. 

 

The play tells the story of Adam White- a Black realtor who is applying for his mixed-race family to continue living in the ‘White District’ of Dartmouth. Adam has to obtain 100 support signatures from white residents and submit to an interview with Victor, a supervisor at the Centre for Racial Minorities to win this permit. However, Victor is a sadistic individual who forces his Black clients into playing a game called ‘The Monkeyhouse’, where they mimic the antics of apes in order to win his approval. (Victor is also a childhood friend of Mike, the New Clan’s leader, and indulges in the clandestine sexual exploitation of ‘mulatto girls’…usually the daughters of those seeking passes with Mike. There is also a hint that Victor may also be partially Black and is living a double life).

 

The action of the play follows Adam’s attempts at mastering specific ‘monkey antics’ demanded by Victor during their meetings. In the end, Adam is trapped in a never-ending cycle of ‘playing a monkey’ to keep up with the continually changing state residency rules as well as Victor’s need to be entertained by his performance. Collaterally, Victor is trapped in the role of Relocations Officer administering the increasingly bizarre racial laws of The Second in order to maintain his freedom and hide his true identity.

 

PRODUCTION SCHEDULE

March 2023

Dramaturgy and script development workshop

(Hiring 4 actors for roles for 5 day period)

 

June 2023

Call for actors, production crew

 

July 2023

Auditions and selection of actors, production crew

 

August-September 2023

Rehearsal and production presentation at Halifax Fringe Festival (9 performances)

 

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