Barbara Cassidy is a theater artist born and based in Brooklyn, NY. Her plays include Anthropology of a Book Club, Manhattan Rep Theater, NY (2013); The Propositional Function, Little Theater at Dixon Place, NY (2013, work in progress); Letters to Guantanamo, Culture Project, NY (2013); Interim, Margo Jones Theater SMU, TX (2012); and Una, La Whore Del Mundo, Little Theatre @ Dixon Place, NY (2010).
Cassidy’s residencies and awards include Workspace Residency, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, NY (2010-2011); and a Brooklyn Arts Council Grant (2011). Her publications include “The Director,” a scene, DUO: The Best Scenes of the 21st Century (2009); “Interim,” New Downtown Now (2006); and “A Planetoid of Self: Mac Wellman,” Brooklyn Rail (2009). Cassidy received her M.F.A. from Brooklyn College
Photo credit: Courtesy of the Artist
Excerpt from Anthropology of a Book Club
I walk down the street. I see a woman with a child and a pit bull. I wonder why the woman has a pit bull. Why would anyone have a pit bull? With those jaws that don’t release. And with a child. Isn’t that a big chance she’s taking. But then I think, lots of people have them. Maybe there is something I just don’t get. Maybe there is something I don’t know about pit bulls. Maybe they have a nice loving playful side like any other dog. Maybe they can be especially lovely. Maybe I have a bias against pit bulls. My children are now petrified of them. Just like me. My bias was enhanced by the story of Leon’s friend’s pit bull turning on him. That story kind of freaked me out. I used to like math. No I used to be good at math. Very good. I was in the math club at school. But I didn’t love it. I liked talking about more I don’t know creative, less exact things that had various answers. I actually was more interested in things I wasn’t as good at. So stopped taking it. Mr. Calastro was very upset. He tried to get me to take Calculus but I didn’t. I never had Calculus. I now think that that is a shame. I don’t think I should have been allowed to make that decision.
I am interested in the mystery of life.
I am interested in the mystery.
I am interested.
I am very depressed. People don’t really understand why I am so depressed. I tell them it is because of Japan and they think they understand, but I don’t think they do. Or they think I am kind of making up my depression which is fine. I don’t really give a f*ck if they understand or not.
Maybe that’s not true.
There are many people dead. This is true. But this is not essentially what is depressing me. Though that is very sad. It is the apparent ease in which it happened. Watching the tsunami on the computer gently blowing and moving the boats and cars and houses gently crushing and upending. Just floating away or going under, like the way my son plays in the bathtub. Like the way it is when you take a glass of water and kill a hundred or so ants because you just don’t want them there.
So easy just a flick of the wrist.