Julie Marino

Playwright, Storyteller

Pattern Recognition

Pattern Recognition has grown and developed from a brief conversation into a full-fledged scenario…in fact, into a whole play. You’ll find a sample of the new iteration here.

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Pattern Recognition: The cognitive process that matches information from a new sensory input with information retrieved from memory, to form a familiar image or pattern.

When this system misfires it results in a phenomenon known as Apophenia, which is the mind’s tendency to find meaningful patterns in random or meaningless information.

Julie Marino, New York, March 2017

PART I
Damien and Odette

Projected image: a large room in a once-elegant but now run-down chateau. The old wallpaper is faded and peeling in places. Dusty portraits hang on the walls. A simple frame to one side indicates a pair of french windows. A small antique-looking desk/table stands to one side. Damien enters warily. He looks slowly around, searching.

  • ODETTE (OFFSTAGE)
    Damien?
  • DAMIEN
    In here!
  • ODETTE enters. They rush into an embrace that’s equal parts passion, nerves and relief.
  • DAMIEN
    I wasn’t sure you’d come.
  • ODETTE
    Of course I came. I had to.
  • DAMIEN
    What did you tell people?
  • ODETTE
    Nothing. You?
  • DAMIEN
    How could I explain it?
  • ODETTE
    No one would believe.
  • DAMIEN
    I scarcely believe it myself.
  • ODETTE
    This is the kind of thing that one only reads about. And even then, I wouldn’t believe it.
  • DAMIEN
    Lovers brought together by forces bigger than themselves, with a purpose even they can’t yet begin to understand.
  • ODETTE
    It would be extraordinary enough if just you or I were to experience this by ourselves.
  • DAMIEN
    But for the two of us together…
  • They gaze at each other, examine each other. ODETTE strokes his arm, shoulder, chest.
  • ODETTE
    I feel like I’m just discovering you. And at the same time I’ve known you for a thousand years.
  • DAMIEN
    I know, it all feels so unreal.
  • ODETTE
    It’s like a dream.
  • DAMIEN
    A magic dream.
  • ODETTE
    The signs were everywhere. The conductor on the train…
  • DAMIEN
    You took the train?
  • ODETTE
    Yes. You?
  • DAMIEN
    I drove.
  • ODETTE
    I thought I might see you on the train.
  • DAMIEN
    No, I wanted to experience the feeling of participating in my own destiny. Actually navigating the path.
  • ODETTE
    And I felt the need to be swept along by fate.
  • DAMIEN
    Anyway, you were saying, about the conductor?
  • ODETTE
    Yes. When he took my ticket, he stared at it for a long time. And when he gave it back to me, he looked me right in the eye. Directly. And he said very quietly, “don’t lose this.”


To find out what happens next, find your way to the first public reading of Pattern Recognition on Monday, March 20th at 7pm, at the A.R.T./New York Spaces at 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor. It’s free!


PART II
She Said/He Said

SHE walks onto a dark, seemingly bare stage. Light up around her, just barely. Until the very end, SHE and HE never look at or talk to each other. They tell their individual stories to the audience. They come within inches of each other, may even touch or even use the other person as a prop, but never look directly at each other

  • SHE
    Before we go any farther, I have to tell you, I don’t believe in fate. I don’t believe things happen for a reason. I don’t believe that there is someone that we are “meant” to be with, our “soulmate” whose life is knitted into our own, who we are destined to be with. And I totally do not believe in any sort of “cosmic scheme” or supernatural anything. I may be shallow, but I’m not stupid. So you have to believe me that what I am about to tell you is true and actually happened the way I say it did.
  • She paces in and out of the light.
  • SHE
    So how and when did it all start? Last year, mid-October. The Season. Something every night of the week if you want. This time of year, I’m usually booked wall to wall. Total social animal. Seriously. Look up “social animal” in the dictionary, you›ll find me. But as fate would have it — if you believe that shit, which I don’t — I’m free. Nothing on the calendar. On my own. And frankly I’m glad to have the night to myself. I can do a little off-the-grid exploring.
  • Vague, fuzzy colored lights up on the scrim behind her.
  • SHE
    The art scene is my playground. Emphasis on the word ‘scene.’ (beat) What, you think I’m an art lover? Oh sure, I can hold my own in a conversation. I’ve been doing this long enough sound like I know what I’ talking about.
  • But what I’m interested in isn’t what’s on the walls. It’s who’s in the room. The action. The crowd. This is how you find out where the best parties are and who’s going. They’re like foreplay for the main events. Plus, this is where serious money comes to play.
  • Light colors change.
  • SHE
    But I’m going downmarket tonight. There’s an opening I heard about downtown, I mean way downtown, where the galleries all look like hovels, and you don’t step on the roaches because who knows, they might be part of a living installation or something. But you have to keep current, you know? So I do a little research, slip on my new Giuseppe Zanotti stiletto booties, and I’m good to go. I can get in and get out fast if it looks like a total waste of time. Five minutes, I can size up a room. I’ll be the first to admit my attention span is not particularly lengthy.
  • Lights down on her, or SHE backs into the shadow. We see diffuse colors, maybe, or silhouettes. We hear sounds of a party. Edgy electronic music in the background, people’s voices. HE enters, hands in pockets. His attitude is a combination of cocky, uncomfortable and bored.
  • HE
    I’ll be the first to admit my social skills aren’t stellar. And I especially hate having to show up at these stupid openings! Like I’m on display. Shaking hands and smiling, being nice to people I don’t even know, and even if I did know them I’d want nothing to do with them anyway. All posers and wannabes. I get along much better with brushes and canvas than I do with most people. Basically I just want to paint and be left alone. I guess you could say I’m basically a misanthrope.
  • HE looks around with a mixture of disgust and disbelief.


To see how these two charmers get on, you can witness their own Beckett dystopia at the first public reading of Pattern Recognition on Monday, March 20th at 7pm, at the A.R.T./New York Spaces at 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor. It’s free!


PART III
One… Two… Infinity

We hear the waves whoosh gently at the shoreline, the occasional gull screeching, and then, a loud beer burp.

The image on the drop is a sandy beach, a dune, clear afternoon sky dotted with a few puffy clouds above.

ONE and TWO are sitting on beach chairs, gazing off towards (presumably) the water and the horizon. A small cooler sits on the sand between them.

TWO reaches down and pulls a beer from the cooler. He opens it and removes two bottles of beer. He hands one to TWO. They both open the bottles and drink in silence. ONE stands up, looks around.

  • ONE
    What time is it, man?
  • TWO
    I dunno, why?
  • ONE
    Nothing. Just wondering how long we’ve been here.
  • TWO
    A while, I guess. The sun’s over there now.
  • ONE
    Yeah. (beat) This is a decent brew
  • TWO
    Artisinal. They only make a few thousand bottles a year.
  • ONE
    Speaking of which, we should think about moving this show to the Blind Pig. It’s probably getting on towards Happy Hour.
  • TWO
    I’m not feeling the happy today, if you know what I mean.
  • They both take another drink in amiable silence for another few moments.
  • ONE
    So she really left, huh?
  • TWO
    Yup.
  • ONE
    Even the espresso maker?
  • TWO
    Yup.
  • ONE
    Bummer
  • TWO
    No shit.
  • ONE
    Just like that? I mean, didn’t she give you any warning
  • TWO
    Sort of. I guess. In retrospect, maybe I can see that she did.
  • ONE
    Yeah?
  • Big sigh from TWO
  • TWO
    You know how she was always complaining that I too busy searching for the meaning of “life with a capital L” instead of trying to find the meaning in our lives together?
  • ONE
    Not really.
  • TWO
    Well, she was. And okay, I get her point. Retroactively anyway. A little. But really, is that a reason to torpedo a perfectly good relationship? And personally, I thought the meaning was pretty clear, you know?
  • ONE (shrugs)
    I dunno, man. Women, that’s a deep, deep ocean.


I’ll say! To find out just how close these dudes get to infinity, come to the first public reading of Pattern Recognition on Monday, March 20th at 7pm, at the A.R.T./New York Spaces at 520 Eighth Avenue, 3rd Floor. Free, like free spirit!


Questions? Comments? You can reach me at julie@juliemarino.nyc