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Drama Women Authors

Mortified

by (author) Amy Rutherford

Publisher
Playwrights Canada Press
Initial publish date
Oct 2021
Category
Women Authors, Canadian
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9780369102935
    Publish Date
    Oct 2021
    List Price
    $18.95

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Description

A woman runs into her former abuser and is surprised by the power he still holds over her. In an attempt to uncover the truth of what happened between them, she recalls her adolescent self: a fourteen-year-old synchronized swimmer struggling to make sense of the world around her. Humorous and dark, Mortified explores sex, shame, and transformation and how we reckon with the traumatic experiences that have shaped us.

About the author

Amy Rutherford is a Canadian playwright and actress who has worked for twenty years in TV, film, and theatre with some of the country’s leading artists. A graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and the Stratford Festival’s Birmingham Conservatory, Amy has co-written several plays, including The Public Servant and Out of the Woods. She currently divides her time between Toronto and Vancouver with her partner Jonathon Young.

Amy Rutherford's profile page

Awards

  • Winner, Carol Bolt Award

Excerpt: Mortified (by (author) Amy Rutherford)

We hear a phone ringing as the Woman enters.

WOMAN
I need your help! I screwed up.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 4
Who are you?

WOMAN
Jesus!

GIRL
Relax!

WOMAN
Who are they?

GIRL
They’re, they’re my friends.

WOMAN
Well, I’ve never met them before.

GIRL
They usually disappear when you show up . . .

WOMAN
This isn’t good. I’m getting worse.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
Is she your mom?

WOMAN
No!

GIRL
She’s—

WOMAN
I’m her!

GIRL
But I’m not her.

WOMAN
(taken aback) You’re me.

GIRL
But I’m not you. Not yet. Thank god.

WOMAN
What the hell is this?

The Woman starts tearing down the cartoon penises.

GIRL
Hey!

The Girl steps in to gather up the drawings.

WOMAN
(to Girl) I did a bad thing.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 2
What did you do?

WOMAN
It’s none of your business!
(to the Girl) He’s going to call any minute.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 4
Who?

WOMAN
Nobody!!
(to Girl) It’s my fault—

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
Why is she lying?

WOMAN
What do I do?

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 2
What’s the secret?

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 4
Yeah.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
What did you do?

WOMAN
Shut the fuck up!

SYNCHRO SWIMMERS
(overlapping) Whoa. That is— I can’t believe you just said that . . . that is so . . . why would you say that?

WOMAN
(to Girl) I texted him.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
“Tested him?”

WOMAN
No, “texted.” I texted . . .

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
“Texted.”

WOMAN
It’s like leaving an e-mail—

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
E-mail?

WOMAN
Forget it. I “paged” him, okay? I told him that we should meet.

SYNCHRO SWIMMERS
Oooh . . .

WOMAN
It’s not like that.

The Woman’s phone vibrates.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 3
Oh my god, what is that?

She pulls it out of her back pocket.

What is that?

WOMAN
(to Girl) It’s him.

SYNCHRO SWIMMER 4
It’s a flashlight!

GIRL
Answer it!

WOMAN
What . . . ?

SYNCHRO SWIMMERS
Answer it!

WOMAN
I don’t want to.

The Synchro Swimmers grab at the phone, as the Woman attempts to evade them. “What is it?” “A computer?” “How do you answer it?” “It’s so tiny and flat? Somehow, in the scuffle, the phone is answered.

TY’S VOICE
Hello?

They all go dead quiet and listen to TY’s voice coming through the phone.

Princess? It’s Ty. You there?

GIRL
Yes. Say yes!

WOMAN
Yes. Hi.

TY’S VOICE
What you up to?

WOMAN
Uh, nothing. Just here with some, friends, or, (fading out) um . . .

TY’S VOICE
Hello?

WOMAN
Sorry, this feels a little weird.

TY’S VOICE
No kidding.

WOMAN
It’s been a long time.

TY’S VOICE
You haven't changed.

WOMAN
I still look thirteen?

TY’S VOICE
Nah . . . You’re still pretty.

The Synchro Swimmers shriek and giggle. A few follow the Woman offstage.

Editorial Reviews

“Taking on the suffocating feeling of a young woman dealing with sexual assault and trauma, Mortified does so with grace and humour. It is a beautiful and memorable piece of theatre that will not be easily forgotten.”

Katie Gartlan-Close, Vancouver Presents

“The very fearlessness of Mortified is the biggest strength in a play that has many.”

Janet Smith, Georgia Straight

Mortified feels whole and perfect in the same way that a body can feel whole and perfect: it’s just that organic, sensual—and complicated.”

Colin Thomas, colinthomas.ca