AL, 25, a visual artist who makes small sea-themed devices out of sea-junk. She is currently a waitress and manager at the Grey Cat restaurant. Her mother is Korean-American, her father is Mexican-American, and together they own a Korean-Mexican diner called SolBam that AL has refused to work at since she was fifteen.
AMADA, 29, a tattoo artist who has waitressed with AL at the Grey Cat since she moved to Martha’s Vineyard from Puerto Rico ten years ago. An expert at Good Times.
GLORY, 18, a new waitress at the Grey Cat. Her father is a wealthy preacher of Prosperity Christianity. She is determined to have a normal summer.
JAIME, 31, the best-looking of the four Parke boys that own the Grey Cat restaurant. Would rather be sailing.
Vineyard Haven on Martha’s Vineyard.
The summer of 2011.
The play takes place behind the Grey Cat, the most popular restaurant on the island. It’s right on the water, and we can hear waves, gulls and boat sounds throughout. Large planks of old, rain-worn wood make a back deck area that comes a foot or so off the sand. A door upstage leads into the back of the kitchen and a wooden ramp leads to the parking lot stage left. A makeshift roof has been built out a few feet from the real roof over the deck, and beat up beach chairs and restaurant detritus make up areas where the servers hang out between and after shifts.
There is a battered grill in the sand, cigarette butts and weathered beer bottles strewn about. It’s a mess, but it doesn’t feel messy; it feels comfortable, lived-in, like everything – even the trash – knows its place.
A note on AL’s devices: These devices are small enough to be held in someone’s hand, but large enough that an audience can see them – the size of a small doll or action figure. Each of the devices is built from sea-junk, and has some playful mechanical function. The Butterfly, which AL is working on throughout the play, should be able to fly, but doesn’t.
Scene 1 – Neap Tide: Very early morning, on the first day of the tourist season.
Scene 2 – High Tide: A few weeks later, during lunch rush.
Scene 3 – Moon Tide: Very late night, three weeks later.
Scene 4 – Rip Tide: After the dinner shift, yet again, two weeks later.
Scene 5 – Storm Tide: Early evening, during a storm, two weeks later.
Scene 6 – Ebb Tide: The last day of the season, after the final dinner shift is done.
Tidal Devices follows three young women – AL, AMADA and GLORY – through a summer of waiting tables at the Grey Cat restaurant on Martha’s Vineyard. AL, a visual artist who makes intricate devices out of sea detritus, is forced to return to managing the Grey Cat when her mother gets sick. AMADA, a tattoo artist who dreams of her own parlor, struggles to not party away all her money. GLORY, the privileged daughter of a prosperity preacher, waits tables because she thinks it looks cool. These three very different women struggle through a summer of late nights and early mornings, new loves and old wounds, and an unending tide of hungry tourists.
Scene staged at Flux’s 8th Have Another at Jimmy’s #43. Directed by Heather Cohn, featuring Becky Byers, Sol Marina Crespo and Rachael Hip-Flores.
Staged Reading at Flux Theatre Ensemble’s 2012 Annual Retreat at Little Pond. Directed by Heather Cohn, with Becky Byers, Tiffany Clementi, Carissa Cordes, Sol Marina Crespo, Rachael Hip-Flores
Developed at Flux Sunday by Flux Theatre Ensemble, Summer 2012