Powell, from Men on Boats, by Jaclyn Backhaus

POWELL. (gender fluid, non-binary, trans) Well. Some of you are here for sport and some of you are here for skill and some of you are here because you get a kick out of killing bears and some of you are here because it got your ass out of the army on a good note and some of you are here because you have nowhere else to go. You know why I’m here? I’m here because my friend, the fucking PRESIDENT of the UNITED STATES, needed a better knowledge of the arid lands of this nation. I am here because I was given a job. And in case you didn’t know, it’s hard for gimps to get jobs around these parts, so I am going to do this job to the best of my ability. And it just so happens that I’ve run more rivers than any of you all put together—I did the fuckin Mississippi up and down when I was 17 years old and I’ve done more tributaries than you can name on BOTH of your sorry hands. If you want to go over what we could have done to save the No-Name, then be my guest. But, instead of that, I am going to focus on the marvelous forethought we put into divvying up most of our supplies between each boat. And I’m going to thank God that none of us perished today, and that none of us broke any crucial bones. All of that is a win, in my book. We won’t make it to the end of this expedition if we focus on anything 35 other than wins. So, if you don’t want to go down to the wreckage tomorrow, then I’m sure I can rely on one of your fellow crew members to be a good sport. You got your fucking cliff, Dunn. Now how about a nice fucking rabbit dinner.

Context: Men on Boats is an anachronistic retelling of the 1869 Powell expedition, when a one-armed captain and a crew of insane yet loyal volunteers set out to chart the course of the Colorado River. The comedy premiered during the Clubbed Thumb Summerworks festival at the Wild Project in June 2015.

More information: https://www.jaclynbackhaus.com/plays-inner

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