Life is Mostly Straws

Photo by Haydn Díaz

“And what if he were dying very slowly before he pulled the trigger?”

Written by Richard Manley

Directed by Eric Parness


  • Tuesday, June 17, 2014 at 7:00pm

Language: English

Location: IATI Theater: 64 East 4th Street, NYC 10003

Website: FaceBook Event


David and Noah are brothers who shared a troubled childhood, during which they relied upon each other for survival.  As adults, David went into business and made a great deal of money; Noah chose academia, and became a professor of literature and a published poet. 

Although successful by all outward signs and still very close, the fear and self-doubt of their early days lie just beneath the surface of their apparent confidence.  As well, they have made words their weapon of choice.  Life is Mostly Straws is a literate play, where one character uses language like a scalpel while the other wields it like a bludgeon, but each understands its power.

The event on which the drama turns is David’s chance discovery and misinterpretation of love poems that his wife Joanna has written, which he finds while alone in Noah’s apartment.  Random coincidence fuels imagined fears, which escalate quickly into a confrontation that threatens to destroy everything the brothers consider sacred. 

“Betrayal trumps pity,” David says, early on in the first act, to justify a financial retaliation. Noah repeats the line back to David at the end of the play, as the deepest insecurities of each rise from shallow graves to attack.

About the Playwright:

After two decades of success as a copywriter and advertising executive, Richard Manley started a second career writing stage plays, which he has been doing full time for the past six years.  Pulling from many years' worth of personal journals, he rediscovered his passion for the sound of the language and its potential to entertain and provoke and inspire.  When he returned to the States from a sabbatical in Paris seven years ago, he sold his business and structured a lifestyle that would allow him to write stage plays full time.  Richard has received numerous awards and recognitions for his works: The Truth Quotient (alternate title, This Rough Magic,) Life is Mostly Straws, Quietus, An Ignorant Man, A Question of Words, Thank Emily, Apparently Not.


Grant James Varjas
Jarel Davidow
Christine Verleny
Callie Beaulieu
Sophie Hirsh

Access to the Reading:

$5 suggested donation–the wine is on us.