Cannibals Are Cooking

One Act Monodrama – Single Set – 1 Man


Description:  Edgar Rice Burroughs struggles to save his vision of Tarzan for one last time.

Photo courtesy of 10,000 Comic Books, Minneapolis, MN


Synopsis: The contract for the next RKO Tarzan picture is due, sitting unsigned on his desk. The studio has sent over an assistant producer to pick up the contract. Edgar Rice Burroughs knows he has a captive audience, so he immediately tries to convince the producer that RKO needs to film a picture depicting his version of Tarzan. Two Tarzans actually exist – the articulate, intelligent hero of Edgar’s books and inarticulate muscle man of the Hollywood films. Lured by the sums of money has received, Edgar has always endorsed contract after contract. That is, until today.

Why It Was Written: I took a playwriting class at UNLV on writing monodramas. For our final project, we had to write a monodrama, so I decided to dramatize Edgar Rice Burroughs. I had inhaled Edgar Rice Burroughs’ books when I was a kid – Tarzan of the Apes, John Carter of Mars, Carson Napier of Venus, and many others — I’m sure I read over 50 of them (although he wrote over 90).  I knew he was never happy with how Hollywood had filmed Tarzan, so that became the central conflict for the piece.

My professors liked it, and the play was performed in a one act showcase my last year at UNLV.  Then more recently I showed it to Tim Uren, a Twin Cities actor who performs solo pieces. He also is a fan of comic books and Tarzan, so he produced it as part of a solo performance showcase. Curious about what happened to Tarzan in the Hollywood jungle? You can certainly find out.

Read the First 5 Pages: Script Sample