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The Boiler Room

"His name is Reuben Gonzalez, and his instinct and his craft are on the money."

Sylvia Drake, Times Theater Writer

  • Full Length Play
  • Comedy, Drama
  • 80 minutes

  • Target Audience: Teen (Age 14 - 18), Adult
  • Set Requirements: Interior Set

  • Performance Group:
  • Community Theatre, College Theatre / Student, High School/Secondary

  • Accolades:
  • Winner! Drama-Logue Award
    Nominee! San Diego Critics Association - Best New Play
The Boiler Room is a lusty, tough-talking wickedly penetrating account of growing up in a Spanish Harlem basement. It's a claustrophobic place shared by young Anthony, his mother, Olga, and an ominous boiler that makes its own statement and its own relentless demands.

Anthony's a heartache, a street-smart, truant, stripper of cars and super thief with an unstoppable mouth and tender heart who's learned early that he must fend for himself and ignore his mother's threats. In short, a survivor. Her husband, the apartment house super, is gone. ("To the store," she's been telling complaining tenants "He had to take two trains, a bus and a ferry.")

The tough banter between her and Anthony is unsparing. These two thrive on a chaotic, darkly hilarious diet of insult and recrimination, yet you never doubt the interdependence'a kind of fond, deadly resentment. Into this skewed world arrives Olga's uppity, primping daughter, Olivia, and her lawyer-husband, Doug, presumably to rent an apartment. It's an event that Olga's been wildly anticipating. She's counting on fleeing the boiler by moving in upstairs with them, even if it means turning out Anthony. Life, of course, doesn't work out that way.

Nothing is quite what it seems in this family of talented self-deceivers. How it does work out brims with pain and blistering humor and a ruthless, ultimately cauterizing honesty. The final, uplifting scene, in which mother and daughter, chastened by near tragedy, lay down their arms and level with each other is a gem of few words and clear meaning. 

REVIEWS:

"His name is Reuben Gonzalez, and his instinct and his craft are on the money."

 Sylvia Drake, Times Theater Writer

  • Casting: 2M, 2F
  • Casting Notes: Anthony should never be cast older. He is really just a kid who watches cartoons and is trying to live up to the role of "the man of the house." He is not, by any means a hordcore gang-banger or anything resembling such. He is a kid "on the fence," a kid who can still be saved. To cast this role too old or too tough would be a major detriment to the meaning of the play.

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The Boiler Room Script Order Now

The Boiler Room is a lusty, tough-talking wickedly penetrating account of growing up in a Spanish Harlem basement. It's a claustrophobic place shared by young Anthony, his mother, Olga, and an ominous boiler that makes its own statement and its own relentless demands. Anthony's a heartache'a street-smart, truant, stripper of cars and super thief with an unstoppable mouth and tender heart who's learned early that he must fend for himself and ignore his mother's threats. In short, a survivor. Her husband, the apartment house super, is gone. (To the store, she's been telling complaining tenants He had to take two trains, a bus and a ferry.) The tough banter between her and Anthony is unsparing. These two thrive on a chaotic, darkly hilarious diet of insult and recrimination, yet you never doubt the interdependence'a kind of fond, deadly resentment. Into this skewed world arrives Olga's uppity, primping daughter, Olivia, and her lawyer-husband, Doug, presumably to rent an apartment. It's an event that Olga's been wildly anticipating. She's counting on fleeing the boiler by moving in upstairs with them, even if it means turning out Anthony. Life, of course, doesn't work out that way. Nothing is quite what it seems in this family of talented self-deceivers. How it does work out brims with pain and blistering humor and a ruthless, ultimately cauterizing honesty. The final, uplifting scene, in which mother and daughter, chastened by near tragedy, lay down their arms and level with each other is a gem of few words and clear meaning. (Los Angeles Times) One int. set.

$19.95