Sea of Cortez and Other Plays
Writing on the play "Sea of Cortez" in El-e-phant, Sun & Moon publisher Douglas Messerli noted of Steppling's work: "In Steppling's world people are what they are, doomed to suffer their own predetermined destinies. There is no hidden money; no escape from the forces that be - natural or man-made. Guilt is inexpiable. In each scene the characters must begin all over again, the effect of which is to point up Steppling's underlying Romantic sensibility. For even while the figures of his plays have no actual hope of communication, they forever remain on the verge of possibility. Face to face the figures almost scream out not only for communication, but for a simple caress, even a touch; but the dark surrounding silence serves as a kind of coitus interruptus, and the character are forced to sink back into their determined alienation. Desire is all they are left".
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beach beats bud turns cas s i e cass ie cassie chee chuck cigarette close crossfade dark Deak dogs barking downstage dr cousa dr French dream drink e d d i e eddie stands eddie steps exits feel fortune teller fuck fuckin girl gonna gotta guess hand hear Hot Rod Lincoln Jack's John Steppling Johnny Ray junior kids laughs Lights fade Lights up slowly live Long silence MAC WELLMAN malone Mastiffs Mick Collins never night offstage paige nods Peter Gabriel preparation pulls puts r e e s a rear reesa reese looks russ s h e r SCENE Lights Sea of Cortez seated shaking sherry shit sleep smiles Sound of storm stares starts steps closer stops takes talk teela tell there's things Uh huh waiting walks watch What's Yeah