MANNEQUINS’ DEMISE, David’s first play, a one-act, written under Eugène Ionesco’s influence, was first performed in New York City in 1965, and in many places since then in the United States and Europe. An “absurdist” drama in eight scenes, about . . . silence . . . words . . . noise . . . what? Baker’s Plays of Boston originally published MANNEQUINS’ DEMISE.


Drama is to be seen and heard, not read. The dramatic script is not a work of art in itself; it is a set of directions with which the actors and director create a work of art.

Drama depends upon the sights and sounds that spring up from the script and dance upon the stage. Just as the score for a symphony is dead until the conductor and musicians give it life, a script is dad until the director and actors give it life. This analogy is drawn because Mannequins’ Demise, and all drama for that matter, is similar to a symphony in that both drama and music have their being in, and only in performance. The script for Mannequins’ Demise is the score for a symphony; it is a musically oriented arrangement of words, and, therefore, it lives only in performance.

After reading the script, do not be discouraged. The alternating and simultaneous dialogue in Scene II when seen on the printed page is confusing. The explanation of the execution of a verbal round, Scene VII, makes, at best, dull reading. The destruction of meaningful sound, from coherent sentences to nonsense verse to noise, is not heard when the directions for it are read. The emergence of The Silent Man as he “rises” above the sinking figures is not seen on the page. But when these things, and the play as a whole are seen and heard, in performance the directions take on life, and, hopefully, become a work of art.  . . .

David Wolf Budbill
New York City




by David Budbill

4592 East Hill Road

Wolcott, VT 05680

(802) 888-3729

david at

copyright © 1965

For copies of the script contact the author.

Royalty rates are $25.00 per performance.