As the play opens Rosie, riding a stick horse, and Oliver, pushing a wheelbarrow, are walking around a square stage. The fact that they are in the game of Monopoly should slowly manifest itself in various funny ways, but what starts as a cute comedy turns into an existential quest for self-meaning. Oliver, the idealistic one, believes that there must be a life beyond his own mundane existence. Rosie, the cautious one, is addicted to "passing go" and is afraid to leave the familiar. Their love is evident, and yet part of the conflict. Through the course of the play, Utility becomes meaner and nastier, ultimately leading to the play's climax. Will Rosie and Oliver stay in their confining existence, or will they "Take a Chance" at a potentially better life? About 25 minutes.
Playwright Chris Richman
Talks About "Take a Chance"
Q.: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A.: The idea started as a line jotted down on a piece of paper which read "I wish life were more like Monopoly-all you have to do all day is walk around the block." From there it really blossomed and took on a life of its own.
Q.: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A.: My favorite part is when Oliver, the idealist, is trying to convince Rosie to come with him, but she won't give in.
Q.: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A.: The characters didn't really come from anywhere, although the names "Rosie" and "Oliver" are taken from Shakespeare's As You Like It. I felt the play initially needed two cardboard cut-out characters, since they're representing inanimate pieces on a board game.
Q.: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A.: I've always been a fan of existentialism in theater and film. I wanted to write an existential play that didn't shove it down the audience's throat. I wanted a play which works on several different levels and could be appreciated by audiences of different ages for different reasons. I wanted a play which didn't wrap up nicely, because often, that's not how life works.
Q.: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A.: I hope directors and actors enjoy performing "Take a Chance" as much as I enjoyed writing it.