One Act – Single Set –3 Men
Alternate Title: Three Men and a Sow Named Alice
Description: A former hog farmer is convinced his wheat is infected with microscopic flying blue pigs.
Synopsis: Frank loved raising hogs on his farm. But when the market collapsed because everyone stopped eating meat, he was forced to kill his pigs – included his prized pet sow Alice. Now Frank is broke, as he had no luck being a grain farmer. Mack is the owner and operator of a nearby grain elevator, and he’s helping Frank load wheat onto his truck. But Frank suddenly becomes strange and tries to get Mack to unload the grain. Frank is convinced the wheat is infected with tiny blue flying pigs. He saw them fly out of Alice after he shot her.
Mack and Leo (the hired man) both think Frank is crazy. But Frank won’t take Mack’s check for the wheat, which puts Mack in a big jam. Since he needs to buy the wheat before he can sell it, Mack needs to make the sale legal. Mack and Frank start fighting with their shovels, but Leo settles them down. He eventually convinces Frank to take Mack’s check. Frank endorses the check, all of which will go against his bankruptcy. While Mack and Leo leave, Frank stands in the middle of the wheat bin, slapping his ankles and arms as flying blue pigs nip at him. Or then again, maybe Frank has just gone crazy.
Why It Was Written: When you grow up on a farm and then go to college in Las Vegas, you inevitably get into a debate with someone about farm animal ethics. Either the person argues that farmers mistreat animals or that farmers should stop sending the animals to market. I wrote this play after one of these conversations, setting it during a future time where the demand for pork has completely vanished. The play is mostly comic, but Frank’s pain at the loss of his pigs becomes more and more tragic.
Hog House has been performed twice, both times paired with Grave, another one act. These plays work together thematically, as the main props in both are shovels. Hog House and Grave were performed as part of an advanced directing class at UNLV, directed by Ernie Hall. Then about a year and half later, both plays were performed together in San Jose, CA at City Lights Theatre as part of a new play series. The dilemma is that either Frank is crazy with guilt, or he is telling the truth and flying blue pigs now exist. What would you believe?
Read the first ten pages: Script Sample