Old Wounds

by Ian Cohen

Philadephia – October 2017


Harry has awoken this morning to find himself in a strange room in what appears to be a hospital.  He’s strapped to a bed, (that has more in common with a medieval torture device), and is unable to move.  He has only bits and pieces of memories; a walk with his old friend, Bennett, a dark room, and the words, “go ahead.”  What happened?  Why is he here?   And where is “here?” What is he being treated for?  Is he being treated at all?  Why has no doctor or nurse come to see him?  And what are those strange noises coming from behind the wall?  And why is Bennett just sitting there, being of no help at all?  And what about Sue?  Where is she?  Yes, they’re “on the outs,” but to not visit him at a time like this— it doesn’t make sense.  When Bennett finds the presence of a large, red canister behind Harry’s bed, a terrifying darkness descends on them both.  What follows is their journey through this unknown world that they have unwittingly become a part of; nurses and orderlies who resemble a gang of trolls, a goat that shows up out of nowhere and a potentially deadly “authorized practitioner.”  Aided by a being who travels through time and space and lives in a crack in the ceiling— Harry begins to understand his predicament.  OLD WOUNDS is an absurdist, dark comedy about aging, the blurring of fantasy and reality, love and loss, healthcare and the memories that remain with us as we fade.

Ian Cohen

Full-length plays include BERTRAND PRIEST, winner of the 2006 Kaufman & Hart Award for New American Comedy, and subsequently produced at Arkansas Rep in 2007. LENNY & LOU, world premiere, September 2004, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Washington, D.C. Nominated, Charles MacArthur Award for Best Play and Best Resident Play as part of the Helen Hayes Awards. Also nominated, American Theatre Critic’s Association’s New Play Award. HE WHO LAUGHS, workshop, Yale Off-Broadway Theater, JCC Theaterworks, New Haven, CT., December 2013; Citation, Jerry Kaufman Award, 2014.  VATTAGO, featured at undergroundzero, PS 122, selected as a PlayLabs Playwrights Center semi-finalist and winner of the Jerry Kaufman Award, 2011.  JEFFERSON STREET, finalist NAAA Playreading Contest, UK, staged reading at NYU Studio Tisch.  GOD’S CREATURES, semi-finalist, Stageplays’ International Playwrights Competition.  LITTLE UNIVERSE, screenplay, semi-finalist Scriptapalooza International Screenplay Competition.  Other plays include THE DESERT, Honorable Mention, 1999 Crossing Borders/Approaching Millennium New Play Contest, Wharf Rat Theater.  LUNA PARK, Runner-up, Jewish Ensemble Theatre Spring Festival of New Plays, One-Act plays include THE AUTHORIZED PRACTITIONER, Gallery Players New Play Festival, 2016; FANTASY, Summer Play Festival 2007, The Workshop, film, co-directed by the author and Joe Leonard for Blatantly Subtle Productions; FUCKIN WORK, Summer Play Festival 2004, The Workshop; GOING, The Workshop, semi-finalist, Chutzpah Festival, Manhattan Punchline.  Published, 2006, Playscripts, Inc.