Braz, a soft gray squirrel, easily captures the heart of Ann, a nurturing teenager who wants only to please. “I love you, Ann,” Braz proclaims, “but I need you to do a few things for me. Do you think you could bring me some nuts—cashews are my fav, Ann.” But he really isn’t appreciative of her best efforts: “Peanuts! I thought I said cashews!” he complains. In this allegory Ann makes Braz very happy, seeing to his every demand, but what is this love-professing squirrel doing for Ann? Ann has to think about this when she sits with a boy named James while an enraged Braz pelts nuts at them. But Braz loves her, and she loves him…or will she decide, like James points out, that a squirrel is just a rodent with a tail. This play offers a great message for teens to not let anyone take advantage of you in the name of love. This is also an excellent play for contest use.
Playwright Gwen Hansen Talks About
“The Girl Who Fell in Love With a Squirrel”
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE PLAY?
A: There is a gray squirrel I watch from my living room. I really think he wrote the story, until the end when I had to take over and expose his true colors.
Q: WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE AND WHY?
A: “Ann, have you ever eaten acorns? Do you know how acidic they are? I really can’t go back to acorns, Ann.” Braz, the squirrel, is using one of his best narcissistic tricks to evoke sympathy for his cause—himself. Life has typical tricks to overcome caring people and convince them this is what they have to do if they love someone.
Q: WHERE DID CHARACTERS COME FROM?
A: So many news stories, so many acquaintances, are people who have ruined their lives because of their tendency to nurture and support, even to their own detriment. Oh, love. One of your favorite smokescreens is partial insanity.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: Head over heart. Head over heart. Head over heart. Think, people.
Q: ANYTHING ELSE YOU CARE TO ADD?
A: It’s a rare person who learns by the mistakes of others, and for so many reasons the heart shields itself from input from the brain. Perhaps someone, a love-struck girl for instance, will be able to say, “Just a minute. You’re not a cuddly love. You’re a rodent with a tail.”