Ben Moroski’s ‘Dog’ – Disturbing Descent into the Darkness of Denial

By Ernest Kearney — “Lights up!” a voice calls from the darkness before explaining, “That’s a theatre thing.”

Aptly enough, we are left in the dark.

DOG is one man’s roller coaster ride through his own personal hell.

Playwright/Performer Ben Moroski had thrilled and disturbed past Fringe audiences with work such as The Wake and TILT, and now DOG adds another notch to his well-notched belt.

DOG relates the efforts of an unnamed “everyslob,” a former high school football mascot, occasional druggie, dedicated drunk and persistently human car wreck as he tries to flee from a ruined relationship, a horde of atrociously bad choices and the ghost of a dead dog.

Moroski batters and bounces about the stage like a tormented whirlwind with brass knuckles in a performance that has the momentum of a bullet train on meth. He spews forth a stream of consciousness rant that is more seismic wave than stream, attempting to enmesh in his unalleviated babbling any poor soul who crosses his path – slumbering passenger seated next to him on his flight home, a disinterested bartender…

What is even more powerful than Moroski’s performance is the language of his piece.

Moroski has fashioned his work in part from continuous couplets linked together and delivered with a crepitating pace comparable to a heart going into cardiac arrest. The couplets are succinct, like a heavy metal variation of haiku consisting only of the traditional kireji phrasing yet containing an undeniably poetic quality:

“God isn’t a reliable
Action plan.
Drinking is.

He sees me
I see him see me
Like parents see you
Like they made you

National Anthem
Can’t seem to find
The flag.

What Moroski shares with his audiences, assisted by the skillful and adroit direction of Jordan Shappell, is a poignant portrait of personal pain from which there is no release, no escape but to face it and embrace it.


Platinum Medal

of HFF22…..

The Broadwater (Studio)
1078 Lillian Way
Los Angeles, CA 90038

Friday, June 10th – 8:00PM
Saturday, June 11th – 5:00PM
Saturday, June 18th – 11:00PM
Saturday, June 25th – 9:00PM

Running time 60 minutes.
Admission $10.

Tickets & Info:

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An award-winning L.A. playwright and rabble-rouser of note who has hoisted glasses with Orson Welles, been arrested on three continents and once beat up Charlie Manson. His first play, "Among the Vipers" was a semi-finalist in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition and was featured in the Carnegie-Mellon Showcase of New Plays. It was produced at the NPT Theater in Ashland, Oregon and Los Angeles’ celebrated Odyssey Ensemble Theatre. His following play, “The Little Boy Who Loved Monsters” was produced at The Hollywood Actors Theater, where he earned praise from the Los Angeles Times for his “…inordinately creative writing.” The play went on to numerous other productions including Berlin’s The Black Theatre under the direction of Rainer Fassbinder who wrote in his program notes of Kearney, “He is a skilled playwright, but more importantly he is a dangerous one.” Ernest Kearney has worked as literary manager or as dramaturge for among others The Hudson Theater Guild, Nova Diem and the Odyssey Ensemble Theatre, where he still serves on the play selection committee. He has been the recipient of two Dramalogue Awards and a finalist or semi-finalist, three times, in the Julie Harris Playwriting Competition. His work has been performed by Michael Dunn, Sandra Tsing Loh, Jack Colvin and Billy Bob Thornton, and to date, either as playwright or director, he has upwards of a hundred and thirty productions under his belt, including a few at the Bob Baker Marionette Theater as puppeteer. Kearney remains focused on his writing, as well as living happily ever after with his lovely wife Marlene. His stage reviews and social essays can be found at and Follow him on Facebook.

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