Beer Girl is a comedy. The circumstances and events are not inherently comedic, but the way they play out and the way the characters interact pulls it into comedy. The circumstance of Bob’s alcoholism and obvious romantic delusions in regards for Beer Girl are not necessarily funny. The absurdity of a man crafting his perfect woman out of beer cans is. Flo has a very dry humor and sarcasm that provides a balance to Bob’s poetic and fantastical attitudes. The use of a puppet elevates what a comedy can do. The puppet can physically do things that an actor cannot. A puppet can be dead on stage until you need it to come to life, and puppets can be pretty funny without doing much of anything. The casting in this show of Bob and Flo will be essential so that the comedy is played well. I am looking for actors who have a good sense of comedic timing.
This play deals with holding onto fantasies and the power of fantasy and reality. I am reminded of swimming. You dive under the water and open your eyes, the world is different, distorted and quiet. You swim and are suspended under water holding your breath. As you run out of air your lungs begin to burn and it’s harder to stay submerged. You are forced to kick to the surface. As your head breaks the surface you gasp for air and your lungs are filled and cooled. You open your eyes and you see the world for what it is. In this play, Bob is swimming. He has dived under and found Beer Girl, something beautiful distorted by the refraction of the water. His lungs start to burn when Beer Girl is brought to life, and when she tells him they can never be together he breaks to the surface and finally sees Flo. Flo is underwater in her life before the play begins, she still sees the person she was in a relationship with, her lungs burn and she breaks the surface as soon as she hears about Beer Girl from him. When the two of them are above water again they see each other for what they are. With these new perspectives they are able to move forward in their relationship and lives.
The subject of this play is success of relationships: the relationship of Bob and Flo, and the relationship of Bob and Beer Girl. Bob and Flo had a difficult relationship because of who Bob is as a person. Bob detached from Flo and attempts to create his own perfect relationship. The theme arises as the play unfolds, it is impossible to create the perfect relationship. Bob creates Beer Girl as his perfect woman and even then cannot make it work because of his own hang ups of what a romantic relationship would involve. Another theme of the story is fantasy crashing into reality. Bob creates this fantasy, but it lives in his head. Flo challenges him, questioning his devotion to the fantasy he’s created when she is more than willing to be his reality. Beer Girl becomes a reality when she comes to life, but it is not the reality that Bob had anticipated. Beer Girl has to be the one to tell Bob that fantasies aren’t attainable, his fantasy of them being together is impossible because they can’t physically have sex. She then commits the most loving, human act in the play, and sacrifices her happiness for his, his chance to be happy with Flo in a relationship that works in the way he wants and needs.
The tempo of this piece will vary throughout. The beginning monologue will be earnest but not erratic, it a special moment in their relationship. The pace quickens when Flo arrives and the rapid fire questions and answers begin. The pace slows slightly as the plot builds to the moment when Beer Girl is animated. The tempo picks back up and chugs on hard to the end. There is no prescribed song or music in this piece. I will be adding some intro and chaser music - "Escape (the Pina Colada Song)" and “Do You Believe in Magic” respectively - to frame the piece.
The script sets “Beer Girl” in a hotel room. The main features of this room are a bed and door. For my production I would like to put it in a more abstract setting made up of a couch and a door unit, or even a set of acting blocks. This is both a logistical and stylistic choice, since I lack the budget and time to make a set. As the show is set in the here and now, the costumes will be simple and modern, Bob in sweats and a tee shirt, and Flo is more put together, like she just got off of work and came to check on Bob. I want the actors to be able to pull their costumes from their own closets. The puppeteer playing Beer Girl will be wearing all black, leggings and a long sleeved tee shirt. The spectacle element here that I would focus on is Beer Girl herself. She is made of beer cans. She is the creation of Bob and her construction will reflect his mental state and skill. The aesthetic for Beer The lighting for this show will be a simple fade up at the beginning, a flash when Beer Girl is brought to life, and a fade out at the end. I want the focus of the scene to be drawn back to the actors and the puppet.
The show begins with a long eloquent speech by Bob, declaring his love to Beer Girl in poetic language. As soon as Flo shows up he snaps into profanities, short sentences, a brusque manner. His attitudes towards the two women are easily coded in this way. He shows his level of love or interest by the eloquence in his speech. Flo more worldly in her language, she employs sarcasm and more colloquialisms than Bob. Beer Girl uses mostly nonverbal communication at first but moves into formal almost robotic speech patterns. She is very technical in her descriptions of things. This may reveal her roots as industrial objects.
Elements of a Well Made Play
The inciting incident in for the plot is when Bob, in his drunken haze, decides to build Beer Girl so he can have some company and contact with another being. There is some exposition in the beginning but it is mostly disbursed through the piece, particularly in the first conversation/ argument that Flo and Bob have after her entrance. Bob’s goal is to have a fulfilling relationship, and he is about to achieve that in the opening when he professes his love to Beer Girl and almost kisses her. The point of attack, or the first major reversal, is when Flo arrives and interrupts Bob in his pursuit. Bob and Flo argue as Bob tries to convince Flo that he is really in love with Beer Girl and going to be happy with her as a partner. Flo’s disbelief and skepticism towards Bob are his obstacles to overcome. He needs Flo to believe him, as she is his ex and she won’t leave without some kind of proof that he is truly in love with Beer Girl. Flo suggests that Bob have sex with Beer Girl if he really wants to prove his love. In his desperation to show Flo what kind of person he is with Beer Girl and the relationship they will have together, he kisses Beer Girl. The climax of the show is when Beer Girl comes to life as a result of their kiss. She soon reveals that since Bob didn’t give her genitalia, they can never have sex – a very important part of a romantic relationship for Bob – and never truly be together. In the falling action she expresses her desire for Bob and Flo to try again at their relationship, and offers herself, a can of beer, as a sacrifice for love. Bob and Flo drink Beer Girl, ending her life, and start their new life together, closing the play.
We are given a clear resolution so the plot is linear, not cyclical. It follows Aristotle’s unity of time and setting, the whole play occurring on one day in one location. The plot of the play follows a linear structure. It has two or three major French scenes. The first is the top of the show with just Bob talking to Beer Girl. Flo’s entrance marks the beginning of the next scene. One could argue that a new French scene is begun when Bob kisses Beer Girl and she comes to life, a new character has entered the world.