Shaking the Trees

Written by:

Paddy Gillard-Bentley

Cast Size:
17

Roles For:

  • Men: 7
  • Women: 10

Genre:

Drama

Themes:

Identity

Length:

90 min.

Year Written:

2021

Synopsis:

An exploration into the casualties of DNA testing. Over 30 million people worldwide have taken one DNA test, or another,. Many have made an unexpected discover concerning their identity – the man who raised them, who taught them how to ride a bike, who held them when they cried – who loved them, is not their biological father, and the family’s dirty secret – is them. Five victims – five stories of their discovery and the trauma that accompanies the realization that they are not who they thought they were. The stories weave through each other, as these five connect online, and strive to survive the revelation that, aside from what everyone else believes, this has changed them forever, and they just can’t let it go. There are people all over the world, from every imaginable walk of life, every culture, finding out the truth of their existence – and yet, the lies are still perpetuated. Shattered hearts, damaged relationship, broken families – resulting in a secret that couldn’t out last spending eighty-nine dollars for a DNA kit. NOTE: This situation affects everyone. It was written with a cast, but cultures can be changed. It’s a sexual identity-blind/physical ability-blind script. The development of this play was due to the generous support of The Region of Waterloo Arts Fund.

Characters:

FIVE STORIES MOONS AND JUNES AND FERRIS WHEELS WILLOW: 37. Sweet. Hopeful. Honest.

JUDE: 57. Willow’s Mum. Earthy. Laid back. A grown hippie.

ALAN: 60s. Willow’s Dad. Lovely and loving. Intelligent.

MR. De MILLE, I’M READY FOR MY CLOSE UP BEN: 27. Kind. A bit of a pushover – getting stronger.

RUTHIE: A self-involved – flirty woman – early 50s.

JERRY: Ben’s new found birth father. A bit of a cad. Self involved.

CLAIR: An Irish waitress who’s a good talker.

SINS OF THE FATHER MICHAEL: Smart. Inquisitive. Empathetic. Mid 60s.

AUNT PHOEBE: Michael’s Aunt. Feisty. Smart. No nonsense. In her 80s.

HARRY: Michael’s son. Sweet. Sensitive. 30s.

I WANT TO KNOW WHERE LOVE IS HELEN: Helen deals with her discovery with a bit of sarcasm. 60s.

TOXIC AMNESIA KATE: Feisty and combative – justifiably so. 40s.

JOAN: Kate’s Mum. Just horrible. Narcissist, bordering on a sociopath. 60s.

LIZ: Kate’s younger sister. Mean, under her mother’s thumb. 30s/40s.

JEFF: Kate’s brother. Less mean, under his sister’s thumb. 30s.

DANIEL: Kate’s husband of a similar age. Apologetic, but has given up.

KELLY: Kate’s new half sister – Initially keen, but this wanes quickly. 30’s

First Produced:

Received a workshop as part of Flush Ink Productions' UnHinged Festival of Disturbing Theatre - October 2021

Resources:

This play can be accessed by emailing the playwright at paddy.gb@gmail.com