A Noble, Unperformable Play

I like to tell myself that I Am The Devil is a seriously flawed play. I concoct reasons for its failure, creating a mythical I Am The Devil: a noble, unperformable play.

But that’s just not the case. Every time I pick it up I get angry with myself for doubting my only solo full-length work—because it’s good! The comedy is silly, sweet, and enormously playful. The play is also very performable; it contains so many things (The Man, the beachball) that I desired and intended to see onstage.

And I really like my Satan. She isn’t typical: Alice wants the best and worst of humanity. She experiences souls, she doesn’t buy them. Alice may be a letdown for the Al Pacino fans, but she is what I want to see in an avatar of evil.

The only substantial bit of self-criticism that sticks is that the play may not be “big” enough. It isn’t a play much larger than two unhappy couples. But what makes enough enough? Would a perfect production of I Am The Devil be a waste of your time? Sometimes I want to answer that question with “yes” and be done with the play. But that isn’t a good enough answer.

So I do want to waste your time. If you have an hour or so to kill, please read I Am The Devil. And then please tell me: is it a play? Is it enjoyable? Could it live and breathe off the page?

Because I look at these pages and I can’t answer “no”.

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