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Meaningless

San Francisco in the late 90's: a world that now seems very far off: a world of little worry, abundant wealth, and lots of stock options.

Enter Ted, a young, gay, heartbroken (his college boyfriend has just come out as straight) man, desperate to find some purpose to his life. Moving to San Francisco with his lesbian best friend, Linda, Ted tries to "find himself," through abstinence, dot com slavery, chat room dates, anonymous sex, gay clubs, and lots of drinking.

His journeys propel him to new lows of self absorption that isolate him further from anything or anyone who actually cares about him. When the economy crashes, so does Ted. Will Ted ever stop thinking about himself? Will he survive his narcissistic journey and find some pathway towards human decency and general happiness? Or will he become just another Abercrombie body fiend cruising every night at the Bar on Castro with a Long Island Ice Tea in his hand and a sample lube packet in the other?

2M 2F (2 actors play multiple roles)

read the play online in the winter 2K3 Lodestar Quarterly

PRODUCTION HISTORY
  • World premiere August 2004 at the Bailiwick Repertory Theatre
    Directed by Lee Peters
  • Published online at Lodestar Quartelry, Winter 2003 Issue
  • Winner of Jim Highsmith Playwriting award from San Francisco State, 2003
  • Winner of Bailiwick's College/University Gay/Lesbian playwriting competition, 2004.

REVIEWS FROM THE BAILIWICK PRODUCTION
"Meaningless is a marvelous show---a perfect 20something date show...Nachtrieb is a terrific writer, fine storyteller with the chutzpah to do risky things...MEANINGLESS is a smart, well-crafted funny show with a universal appeal
Tom Williams - chicagocritic.com

"If plays can be assigned an age, this comedy is young in all the right ways. Meaningless delivers a resilient look at love as learning experience. It's a cartoon with soul...Though he's extremely adept at brand-name humor and time-capsule topicality, Nachtrieb can also get beyond the details...it's as fun as a runaway cable car!"
Lawrence Bommer - Chicago Free Press

"like a comic book...In the Bailiwick Studio's intimate confines, they generate sparkle...Ticklishly funny"
Mary Shen Barnidge - Windy City Times

"sharp sense of humor...[a] fun, funny play..."
Jenn Goddu - Chicago Reader

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