“[A]n admirable engagement of a trope we just can’t seem to leave behind.”—Washington City Paper
Jack has worked hard to develop his “real-life superhero” persona. He works out every day, hones his skills as a former member of the Coast Guard, and devotes endless hours to perfecting his costume. Now, as Nightlife—the man who brings life to the night—he’s ready to start fighting crime. Or at least… he thinks he is. With his partner and confidant, Laney—a reluctant hero named Belt with advanced martial arts training—he’s assembling a team to walk the streets at night and start attacking crime head-on. He has zeal, big muscles, and a superhero code to live up to, but not much more. When Jack and Laney start interviewing potential team members, however, the façade of their crazy ambitions begins to crumble. Deceit, lies, and secrets slowly unravel their trust, until a shocking act of real violence perpetrated by Sensei—the first hero they consider adding to the team—reveals the truth Nightlife has been hiding beneath his suddenly very flimsy mask, cape, and nickname.
Productions: Theater Alliance (DC, 2012); Taffety Punk Theatre Company (DC, 2012). Readings: Artists Bloc (DC, 2011). Workshop and reading: HotCity Theatre (St. Louis, 2011).
Below is a small Pinterest gallery that inspired the writing of the play. If you’d like to learn more about the origins of the story, too, there’s a terrific 2am Theatre podcast you might want to listen to.
About the Play
You can learn more about Reals on the New Play Exchange.