Everybody In This House

Everybody In This House by Laura Axelrod Laura Axelrod Play Cover

  • Full-Length: 60 minutes
  • Drama
  • 6 Characters: 3 women and 3 men
  • 3 playing areasAvailable for purchase from Original Works Publishing.

Synopsis
Everybody In This House is about a family wrecked by violence and the crisis of faith that follows. Father O’Donnell turns a deaf ear to Mary Turner’s pleas about her marriage. Several weeks later, she is dead. What happened to Mary Turner? Is Father O’Donnell responsible in some way?

The Priest soothes his own conscience by visiting the family, only to have his fears justified. He finds the reality of domestic violence, and confronts his own powerlessness in the face of evil.

Mary visits Father O’Donnell to ask about her troubled marriage. He sends her back home to pray for a resolution. Soon after, her husband John comes home drunk and wakes up his children: Dennis, Terry and Nina. After Mary and John have an argument, John forces Dennis to brutally attack Nina.

Several weeks later, Mary Turner has committed suicide. Father O’Donnell visits the children after Mary’s funeral. He would like to speak with John. Terry and Dennis scheme to get rid of Father O’Donnell so he doesn’t find anything out. When Father O’Donnell meets up with John he tells John that he would like to have a talk with him. John agrees. Terry, Dennis, and John prepare to have dinner with Father. They talk about Mary’s death. Father O’Donnell notices there is something wrong with Nina. He confronts Terry about what could possibly have happened to Nina. Terry nearly tells him, but runs out of the room before she can.

When Father O’Donnell corners her, Terry tells the story of Nina’s attack at the hands of her brother. Horrified, he runs down to the basement to check on Nina. Nina stays down in the basement because that is where Mary died. Nina decides she would rather be with her Mother than be with the violence upstairs. Nina decides to kill herself. Father O’Donnell tries to stop her, but Mary appears as a ghost. Coming up from the basement, Father O’Donnell has seen enough. With a heavy heart, he leaves the house to go seek help from the authorities.

Setting
The entire play takes place at the Turner house. There is a living room, kitchen and basement area.

Timing
A one-act drama that should last about 50 minutes.

Description
“Everybody In This House” has been called deeply disturbing and edgy. There is profanity and violence in the story.

Background
It was produced at San Francisco State University. A producer saw the show and subsequently brought it City College of San Francisco and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Reviewed by The Stage (Edinburgh, Scotland), this play was called “superbly written” and “totally uncompromising”.

Notes
I wrote “Everybody In This House” when I was 22 years old. My intention was to shine a light on misogyny. The play was my BFA thesis project at New York University. I received the John L. Golden Award for Playwright with Most Potential and the Rod Marriott Senior Playwriting Award through this play. It also got me into the one-year MFA program at NYU Tisch Dramatic Writing.

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