The Work: Plays




A student of philosophy achieves his degree but discovers philosophy can't earn him a living. Decides to open a shoeshine box - survival is essential. Family and friends argue that it is demeaning to shine people's shoes. He cannot understand why. The days of servility are past, they tell him. He can't accept their arguments. If there is no other work then he must do what is needed to survive. He considers their moral arguments hollow. In the street where he sets up his shoebox he encounters further hostility - beaten up by young thugs. Undeterred, he returns, to set up his shoeshine box.


"Let me see if I understand you correctly. You think I should live on dole money which is less than I might earn from shining shoes because shining shoes is more humiliating than collecting dole money? (pause) It's not always easy to respect the intelligence of those who are near and dear to you."