Canine Connection

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4 characters, (3 speaking, 1 non-speaking) Gender flexible. All characters are dogs. Approximately 8 minutes running time. Hilarious play where dogs run a radio call-in show. Perfect for middle and high school.

A radio call-in show for and about dogs, in which they discuss the challenging aspects of living in harmony with their human companions. The absurdity wears off and a debate ensues when the dogs start discussing vaccinations. This play explores the theme of misinformation and disinformation on the internet in a playful, lighthearted way.

About the Playwright:

Seth Freeman writes for the stage, print and film, and television, for which he created the series Lincoln Heights. His articles have appeared in The New York Times, Southern Theatre Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Stars and Stripes, The Hill, YaleGlobal, and numerous other periodicals. There have been over two hundred fifty productions of his plays in the U.S. and around the world. His work has received multiple Emmys, Golden Globes, Writers Guild, Peabody, P.E.N., First Amendment, and other awards. In 2019 he graduated with a Master’s degree from UCLA’s Fielding School of Public Health. He dedicates non-writing time to institutions devoted to health care, education, the empowerment of women, and human rights.

CHARACTERS

CHARLIE, program host, an erudite Airedale

MAX, former TSA officer and TV star, a confident Dalmatian

AMANDA, experienced canine and therapist, an affable Golden Retriever

VET, male or female, non-speaking

 

Place: set of a radio call-in program

(The set of a radio call-in program with a host and two guests behind microphones. The program’s theme music intro tails out.)

CHARLIE
Welcome to this week’s edition of “Dog Day Afternoon,” the podcast by, for, and about dogs. We have two very special guests this afternoon to take us through some of the more challenging ins and outs of living in constructive harmony with members of the human species. We are fortunate to have the insights of a frequent visitor to this show, Max, who for many years ran the Human Behavior division of the TSA. He then made a mid-career pivot when he
was cast as a lead on the hit TV drama, Firehouse Dog. Welcome, Max.

MAX
Woof, Charlie. Nice to be here.

CHARLIE
And along with Max, we are pleased to have Amanda, who graduated from Harvard Yard and has numerous dog years of experience as a counselor helping canines deal with the human connection. Welcome, Amanda.

AMANDA
Woof, Charlie. Thank you for having me.

CHARLIE
Although they can be trying at times, both of you are fans of humans, is that correct?

(Enthusiastic barks, yips, and affirmations: “Absolutely,” “Love humans,” “They enrich our lives.”)

CHARLIE
Okay, so let’s get right to it. Roxie writes from Minneapolis. She is struggling with a human issue that came up in her household this week. It really started, she says, when she chewed the sofa.

MAX
Been there.

AMANDA
I think we all have. Sofas are meant to be chewed.

MAX
You have to chew them to get to the soft stuffing inside the cushions.

AMANDA
And they taste great, with all the ground-in food from when the kids watch TV.

MAX
Humans have no idea how much food they leave around.

CHARLIE
Well, Roxie says that after her humans discovered what she had done, they went bananas. Not her term. I substituted bananas because we’re on the radio. But I think we can all imagine the scene. Max, Amanda, what should be Roxie’s next move?

AMANDA
The most critical thing right now for Roxie is to work on appeasement.

MAX
Exactly. You have to show contrition, look guilty, and so on.

AMANDA
They love it when we look guilty.

MAX
They think it’s cute. You can never go wrong playing the cute card. It’s virtually foolproof.

CHARLIE
But what if Roxie doesn’t genuinely feel guilty?

MAX
The important thing here is that they think that you feel guilty.

CHARLIE
So, Roxie should put on a guilty act?

MAX
That’s the idea! Act up a storm. Downcast eyes. Furtive side glances. Tuck in the tail.

AMANDA
Right. In fact, if she acts remorseful, she might begin to feel authentically remorseful. It’s a basic psychological principle.

CHARLIE
Act remorseful, then you really feel remorseful?

AMANDA
Yep. Then wait, like, six months before chewing another piece of furniture.

MAX
That’s important. Give it time to blow over. Just make do with running shoes and old jackets for a while.

CHARLIE
What about dog toys, if the house has them?

MAX
It probably does, and that’s fine. There are some excellent dog toys on the market now.

AMANDA
Nothing wrong with a good dog toy.

CHARLIE
Okay, thank you for that advice, Max and Amanda. Roxie, good luck to you.

MAX
All the best, Roxie.

CHARLIE
Our next question comes from a family dog in Redwood City, California. Zeus says that he knows that this is not a big issue, but he was wondering how to approach the question of sleeping on the bed.

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