A play.

Two men are standing hunched over a piano. The spotlight will be directly on them and the rest of the stage will be dark. As the men slowly move farther and farther away from the piano, different parts of the stage will light up until the entire stage is lit after about five minutes. It reveals nothing, except the piano and a few chairs, a small wooden table with a pitcher of ice water and two cups.


Charlie- man
Scoot- another man

Charlie- this isn’t going so well
Scoot- what are you talking about? I don’t remember when it ever went so well. Listen, listen, listen.
C- Scoot
S- listen. This is good….
C- Scoot. Pull your head out of your ass.
S- such language. What? You think it isn’t any good.
C- read those lyrics.

Scoot does so dutifully and quietly.

C- no, read them aloud. Out loud.
S- O is Octopus and Orangutan and Olive and Orion
O is for Ohio
H is for Hercules and Heroditus and Homer and Hiram
H is for Ohio
C- Heroditus?
S- Heroditus. What? You want to change that?
C- Go ahead.
S- Go ahead what? Change it or keep it or keep reading?
C- Keep reading.
S- I is for Igloo and Ice Cream and Iceland and Iguanas
I is for Ohio
O is for….
I am starting to get the feeling that you disapprove. Am I reading into this too much? You seem a little….I don’t know…snotty and snooty and petty….I think you’re being petty now. P is for petty and C is for Charlie. So PC, Charlie.
C- Cut it out.
S- P is for petty and perturbed and petulant.
C- C is for cut it out.
S- O is for Ok.
C-so give me the rest of it.
S- the last O?
C- yeah.
S- it repeats the first O.
C- what do you mean?
S- O is for Octopus an Orangutan and….
C- we couldn’t think of any other O words.
S- I couldn’t. You weren’t really participating.
C- because I’m the music man Charlie. I come up with the melody.
S- so what have you come up with?
C (walks over to the piano and bats out chopsticks)- so what do you think?
S-f is for fantastic.
C- maybe we should choreograph the thing. It might give us some inspiration. To move around.
S- I suppose. And a 1 and a 2 and a 3 and a 4

(They begin to move around one another in a vaudeville routine, one circling the other. They begin to sing, Charlie first in a low bass and Scoot afterwards echoing out the O-H-I-O)

S- What’s the Indian word for beautiful?
S- What rhymes with beautiful?
S- What could pass for grass on the open plain?
S- what could a young man do?
C- in Ohio
S- except fall in love with you
C- with who?
S- with O
C- with who
S- with H
C- with who?
S- with I and O
C- With who?
S- with Ohio, that’s who.

They stop singing.

C- that sucks.
S- I think we might need to give the grant money back.
C- we owe it to this state.
S- f is for fraud.
C- cut it out.
S- f is for fraud and felony and fisting
C- Scoot, it’s a $500 grant. There will be no fisting.
S- I’m gentle. I wouldn’t last in the slammer.
C- the big house
S- the yard
C- the house of fist.
S-I don’t want anyone going near my rump.
S- we owe it to Ohio to complete this song.
C- what do we owe?
S- all that you are. Every pop you drank, every fair you went to, every elephant ear you ate, every cow you tipped.
C- Every girl who flashed me their panties back in school, every hayride I went on with Sarah, every bare knee, every lock of hair
S- our Ohios might be a little different.
C- Every Ohio history class. Every astronaut, every mediocre President, every Paul Newman, god bless his soul.
S- he’s not dead.
C- OK, sure. Every Johnny Appleseed, every Tecumseh, every Simon Kenton, every steeltown, every stoop, every vowel of the word, OHIO.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

One thought on “A play about Ohio, or a grant devoted to the creation of a state song”
  1. that is a great play mikey! the vaudeville routine reminds me of the time we played ping pong and rotated around each other to annoy our opponents! ha ha ha

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