KING COMA is a three-act play examining the themes of identity, personal responsibility and the power of language through heightened theatricality and magic realism. The central character is Louis Lombardo, a real estate developer who hits the skids, forced to relocate his family to the desolate town of Core, Illinois. While there, he uses his skills for language to convince the entire town that they are actually living in a Camelot-like land where “every man is king.” As the townspeople convince themselves they are not living in a grey factory town, but indeed a colorful medieval fantasyland where individual frailties are not faults but assets, the play transforms into a magical realm. What prevents Lombardo and the town from fully vanishing into escapism is Wendy, Lombardo’s daughter who is in a coma and saddled in a wheelchair and who, over time, becomes a religious shrine to the townspeople. Two actors play this character — one in a wheelchair, and another who floats above the action, both serving as the conscience of the entire play. It is Lombardo’s relationship with his daughter — the truth behind her ailment — that makes his pursuit of pure escapism fall apart, delivering the final blows of the play. Faced with reality, the town reverses back to its original state, with all involved having to once again contend with the harsh realities of living life.
In three acts.
Five men, three women, one young boy, a teenage girl and a teenage boy, townspeople, one very rude puppet.
Many opportunities for doubling.
download an excerpt (pdf)