A CERTAIN FOUR-LETTER WORD by Thomas Putnam
There was a moment in the long, wonderful process preparing the one-man play UNDERNEATH THE LINTEL that is vivid in my memory, even though it was way back in 2008. We were rehearsing in what is now called the Deane Center, and was then the empty shell of the Davis Furniture building. We had fashioned a little theatre on the lower level and built a bit of a stage. At one point during the rehearsal, Bill Scott—who had designed and was running tech—loudly and passionately burst out with a few words. One of them was a four-letter word. He said there....there is the central issue in this whole story; it all boils down to this one word.
In the process of preparing this play THE MAY QUEEN, there is that same one-word issue. It is here, in this one word that sets the path for at least two of the characters in the play, and thus affecting all of them as their lives intersect in this dreary office pod.
There are a number of four-letter words in this script, most of them quite crude. But in the midst of these other words, is this one. It is only mentioned in one long passage spoken by Mike (Vincent Nance) toward the end of the play. (And btw, it is not “love.”) It all boils down to this one word. Listen for it.