TAKE ME OUT
Book by Richard Greenberg
Directed by Matthew Randall
Produced by William D. Parker
All characters except Mason Marzak should be believable as members of major-league baseball team. All characters must be comfortable with onstage nudity.
Davey Battle, Darren Lemmings's best friend, is a star player, but the team that he plays for is not as good as the Empires, which, as Davey points out, allows him to stand out more. Davey encourages Darren to keep no secrets, to live his life publicly, which leads to Darren's announcement about his sexual orientation.
Jason Chenier is a catcher who has been with the Empires for three weeks. After Darren announces that he is gay, Jason feels that he can approach him. In act 2, when Kippy is talking to his teammates about their “stray homosexual impulses,” Jason mistakenly believes for a moment that Kippy is talking to him in particular.
William R. Danziger
Takeshi Kawabata, the star pitcher for the Empires, started his first season on the team playing brilliantly, but in the second half, his game would go to pieces some time around the seventh inning. Thought to only speak Japanese, Kawabata speaks directly to the audience at the start of act 3, showing himself to be quite aware of what is going on around him and willfully ignoring it.
Toddy Koovitz, a member of the Empires, becomes belligerent after the announcement that Darren is gay. He feels uncomfortable about being nude in the locker room with Darren and resents the fact that he is made to feel this way.
Toddy is an illiterate man, given to pronouncing words incorrectly. After Shane Mungitt makes a public, very derogatory statement about Darren Lemming's sexual orientation, Toddy expresses the belief that Darren might have arranged the whole controversy to gain public sympathy.
Darren Lemming is the play's central character. He is the center fielder for the Empires, an excellent player on a team that has won the World Series twice in a row. Darren is biracial, with a white father and a black mother, and was raised in a stable middle-class environment. After a talk about authenticity with his friend and competitor Davey Battle, Darren holds a press conference, at which he announces that he is gay.
One of the Spanish-speaking members of the Empires, Martinez is always with Rodriguez and is indistinguishable from him.
Mason Marzac is an investment counselor who is assigned to handle Darren Lemming's money. He admits to having been uninterested in baseball until Darren announced that he was gay. His business association with Darren, along with his personal interest in him, draws Mason to baseball, so that by the end of the play he is an avid fan.
A good pitcher, though lacking intelligence. It is clear that Shane's skill is tied to certain psychological problems carried over from childhood: his father shot Shane's mother and himself when Shane was just a little boy, and he was trapped with their decaying bodies for three days, dehydrated when he was finally found; after that, he spent the rest of his childhood in one orphanage after another. The only thing that he ever learned to do well is pitch. Shane has such poor communication skills that during an interview with a reporter he refers to his teammates with derogatory racial slurs.
Rodriguez is never onstage without the other Spanish-speaking member of the Empires, Martinez. Their conversations together are a mystery to the other team members.
William R. Danziger, the manager of the Empires. He is known for his personal skills, his ability to be tough when he needs to be and gentle when it is called for. Although Darren Lemming is loved by his public and his teammates, he is particularly important to Skipper, who, as Kippy points out, “thinks he invented Darren.”
Kippy serves often as the narrator of the play, speaking directly to the audience and giving background details. He is Darren Lemming's closest friend on the Empires. Their conversations are philosophical. Darren describes him as “The most intelligent man in Major League baseball,” but Kippy counters that he only seems intelligent because he is not as large as Swedes usually are. When Martinez and Rodriguez speak Spanish, and when Kawabata speaks Japanese, Kippy says that he can translate what they are saying, though his translations are vague and unconvincing.
Dominion Stage is a member of Washington Area Theatre Community Honors (WATCH).
Dominion Stage is supported in part by the Arlington Arts Commission and the Arlington Department of Parks, Recreation and Community Resources, Cultural Affairs Division.