The Ronald And Other Plays: A Political Satire of How Trump Won the Presidency
Today I’m pleased to announce the release of The Ronald And Other Plays, a collection that includes five short plays and my first full-length play, The Ronald.
The collection is available now as a Kindle ebook, and will be published as a print paperback within a week or two.
Summary of The Ronald
“Fabulously Caucasian” billionaire The Ronald decides to run for President of the Incorporated States of Freedomland. Aiding him in his quest are his sexy genius daughter, his accountant, a conservative professor, a Broadway producer, his idiot sons, a TV entertainment reporter, a pizza deliveryboy, and the Cork Brothers—a pair of 1,000-year-old vampires.
The play presents a behind-the-scenes look at a calculating narcissist’s Presidential campaign, from his decision to run, to the months leading up to the election, to the day before he takes office.
The Story Behind The Ronald
From the Preface:
As for what inspired The Ronald, that is a story all its own.
One morning shortly after the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, I awoke with a vision of how Donald Trump had won the Presidency. His strategy, his tactics, how he persuaded the electorate, how he gamed the media—it had all come to me in a dream. It was a miraculous moment of Gestalt.
Contrary to what many readers might think, these moments of divine inspiration are extremely rare for us writers. So, when a book (or in this case, my first full-length play) comes to us fully formed, we have to drop everything and write down the story unfolding within us. In my case, I’ve had short stories, articles and poems come to me overnight, which I wrote down in the course of a few hours, and which required very little editing afterwards; but I’ve never had a long work simply given to me the way The Ronald was. I didn’t write it so much as it wrote itself through me; I sensed this story floating in the collective unconscious, and it chose me to draw it out of the ether and bring it to fruition.
Two weeks later, the first draft of The Ronald was finished. I put the play in a drawer and returned to my novel-in-progress. When I took The Ronald out again a month later to reread it, I found it needed very little revision. The completed play appears here almost verbatim to the version that emerged from me during those two weeks of intense writing in November 2016.
A Short Scene from The Ronald
In the following scene, The Ronald is discussing his idea of running for President of the Incorporated States of Freedomland with his longtime trusted advisor, Harvey:
Harvey. Wait a second. Are you saying The Ronald is going to run for President? I hate to break it to you, T.R., but…you don’t have any political experience. I mean none. Not even a school board.
The Ronald. That doesn’t matter, Harv. In fact, right now my lack of political experience is a major asset. People are tired of the gridlock, tired of feeding and flying around those soft do-nothings, those losers. All of those Republitarian clowns, Harv. They’re all losers. I mean look at that fat fudgeball from…what state is he from? Oh, to hell with it, doesn’t matter. Point is, he’s a fat loser. Looks like the before picture in a weight loss commercial. Hold on, I want to get Augustina up here.
[The Ronald walks over to the gold telephone on the desk and dials a number. The Shoeshine Man scrabbles after him.]
The Ronald [speaking into phone]. Get up here, Princess. And bring those new blueprints. [He hangs up and returns to the putting green.] They’re all losers, Harv. They can’t win. But I can. Know why, Harv?
Harvey. Because you’re a winner?
The Ronald. Exactly. I’m a winner, I know how to win. And do you know how you win, Harv?
Harvey. No, T.R. How?
The Ronald. You lie. You lie and you keep lying, and when somebody says you’re lying, you turn it around and say they’re lying, that they’re part of a conspiracy by the media. It’s like Adolf said, “It is not truth that matters, but victory.” Winning. The only thing that matters is winning. There’ll be plenty of time for the truth once we win. But we have to win first. And to do that, we need a Big Lie, something—
Harvey. Hold it, T.R. Remember that article about you that came out a while back?
The Ronald. There have been so many, Harv. Which one?
Harvey. The interview with your fifth wife, who said you kept Hitler’s Mein Kampf and a book of his speeches by your bed?
The Ronald. Yeah, what about it?
Harvey. You said you didn’t have those books.
The Ronald. Nooo, Harv. What I said was, quote, “If I had those books, and I’m not saying that I do, I would never read them.” Unquote.
Harvey. But…clearly you have read them, T.R.
The Ronald. No, I haven’t, Harv. When you came up here earlier, did you pass a man getting off the elevator?
Harvey. I did. Who is he?
The Ronald. An Ivy League professor. Great guy. Hired him thirty years ago, when he was just a struggling grad student, hired him to be my personal reader. For thirty years he’s been coming in once a month. He talks to me for an hour and gives me summaries of great books. Look, he gave me this…
Summaries of the Other Plays in the Collection
There are five other, shorter plays in the collection, all of which, except The Clean-Shaven Secretary with the Pistol, have been performed for theater-going audiences:
The Clean-Shaven Secretary with the Pistol: What happens when a theatre company attempts to stage a short period drama, and the producers decide, without warning, to insert a commercial break?
Dark and Stormy Night: An autumn night, a desolate diner, and a lonely, beautiful waitress. Enter a man dressed like an L.L. Bean model and carrying a splitting maul. Is he a murderer or her romantic salvation?
Front Page Above the Fold: At a local city daily newspaper, competition between reporters for the front page story is fierce. So fierce, it’s personal.
Microbrew: Two 20-something slackers live above grandma June, but they aren’t getting anything past her. What she isn’t prepared for, however, is her grandson’s bewitching homemade beer.
Kansas City This is Former Air Force One: August 9, 1974–the day President Richard Nixon resigned his office. Oh, to be a fly on the wall during his flight home! But wait…in this play, you are.
Royalty-Free Performance Rights for Amateur Theatre Companies
All of the plays in this collection, including the political satire The Ronald, may be performed royalty-free by amateur theatre companies (high schools, colleges and community theatre groups).
By making all of the plays in this collection available royalty-free, I’m hoping to have them reach as wide an audience as possible. A portion of the proceeds from the sale of this ebook or printed book will be donated to charities.