A group of suburban neighbors are strangers to each other until an alien space ship crashes into their back yards. After its arrival, they get to know each other a lot better, and faster, than they ever expected (or wanted).
The broken wing of the ship seems to have a strange ability to enhance and intensify the feelings of those who touch it. And it turns their skin blue. At the end of the first act, the four main characters–Adams, Talia, Griffin, and Melanie–all touch the wing simultaneously and experience a moment of ecstatic intimacy and connection that shakes their relationships.
After the wing is gone, the characters must deal with the loss of the connection it brought, and the aftermath of knowing far too much about each other. Melanie returns to ask Griffin to come to Houston with her, but he’s committed to trying to reconnect with his wife. Talia pushes Adams away, but ultimately they find a way to move forward together, despite the scary, intense intimacy brought to them by the wing.
Distant Neighbors is a space-age love story about loneliness and longing, and the barriers we set up between us. It looks at the possibility for wonder, not just at the skies and the universe and the thought of unknown life forms, but also at the person living right next door.
Characters: (3m, 2w)
Adams: 20s-30s, a black man. A gardener and lover of the earth, with a strong capacity for wonder.
Talia: 20s-30s, a white woman. A physical therapist, who is interested in the new, and has made her fair share (or more than her share) of mistakes.
Griffin: 50s, a white man. A copier repairman with a strong desire to keep his promises and his feet on the ground.
Melanie Tomlinson: 40s-50s, woman (of any race). A NASA scientist and life-long dreamer.
Blake: 30s-50s, a white man. Talia’s ex-husband, biker, and pharmacist.
Time: Late summer.
Place: A collection of adjoining suburban back yards outside of Denver. They are normally separated by six-foot high privacy fences. Unless part of an alien spaceship were to crash into them and smash them to pieces. Which it has.
Production from Fresh Ink Theatre, Boston, 2014
Reading from New Rep, Watertown, MA, 2013.
(all images from the Fresh Ink Production, photos by Jessie Baxter)