Killing El Cid has received substantial development under the guidance of playwright mentors Vincent Cardinal, Charles Smith and Milan Stitt. After numerous readings and workshops, the play received a studio production at Ohio University, followed by an extremely successful main stage production the following year (the highlight of the Seabury Quinn, Jr. Playwrights Festival).
It’s not easy being 18 and the school brain, just ask Jessica: Stood up for prom and eye-witness to a hate crime in one day. Frightened, the bookworm Jessica creates a fantasy lover borrowed from the pages of Corneille’s Le Cid: Rodrigo, a glorious soldier with impenetrable armor who swears to protect her from the pain and disappointments of life.
Fast-forward: Jessica is now sixty-four, retiring, and life with Rodrigo ain’t what it used to be: Rodrigo’s now a fat, flatulent, flaccid fantasy with a hankering for pastries. Unfortunately, when your fantasy has a sweet tooth, you gain the weight.
Jessica finds dieting help in Tim, a gay hypnotherapist, and Marc, his bisexual ex-lover. Rodrigo realizes that her quest to lose weight is, in reality, a journey toward living without him, and he steps up his control over her. Jessica attempts to eradicate the now-useless fantasy from her life through a burgeoning friendship with Tim and a sexual relationship with Marc, but is confronted head-on with this challenge: How do you kill a fantasy when he’s grown fond of your sticky buns?
“Killing El Cid” is a charming, and touching comedy presenting Jessica’s challenge through equal amounts of farce and poignancy (with a side of schtick). Throughout her journey she looks for love and courage in her fantasy and her newfound friends. Ultimately, however, it is her own newfound bravery and beauty that tenderly triumph over fear.
JESSICA: 64. Professor of Comparative Literature. The same actress plays 18 year-old Jessica.
RODRIGO, EL CID : Any age. Spanish soldier of 12th century, ripped from the pages of Pierre Corneille’s Le Cid. No one can see him, ever, except for Jessica.
TIM: Mid 40’s. Hypnotherapist.
MARC: 18- 21. Tim’s friend & ex-lover.
RENNIE : A gay high school boy. Played by same actor playing Marc.