Sweet and sour, Florida-style

BSR Scripts and Sips: Jacqueline Goldfinger’s Bottle Fly’

"You take those flies, put 'em in a bottle, name 'em, throw 'em out into the Gulf." (Illustration for BSR by Hannah Kaplan.)
"You take those flies, put 'em in a bottle, name 'em, throw 'em out into the Gulf." (Illustration for BSR by Hannah Kaplan.)

I begin every play by asking three questions.

1.) What’s the story?

2.) Who do I want to fight?

3.) Who do I want to fuck?

If I want to neither fight nor fuck anyone in the story, then it’s not yet ripe for writing.

I know this is probably not the way most people write plays. Or any people. But it works for me because it keeps me honest about what speaks to me viscerally, and what story I most need to tell in the moment. Whether it's a story with the fuckers or fighters or both (which are always the most fun), I always unearth a messy, uncompromising truth that spins itself into the soul of the play.

Shadow and Soul

I love you as certain dark things are to be loved

in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

Sonnet XVII, Pablo Neruda

My work inhabits that space between the shadow and the soul. Once the soul is spun, I construct a path to the shadow of the play; the part of the play we see. Like the grave robbers and fairies cast by Victorian magic lanterns, I believe the shadow of the play is all we ever visually encounter. The substance of the play lives in the air between performer and audience. It is that thing that appears only in performance in that magical moment between breaths and bodies both onstage and off. Then it slips itself into the audience's pockets, and they carry that experience around with them. My hope is that the substance of the play stays in their pockets and informs how they move through the world, as the literal weight of a rock would change their stride.

Bottle Fly is an earthy, cruel, and hilarious multigenerational family drama of profound and reckless love. It asks questions of our deepest selves about loving others and loving ourselves and tackles the complexities of communicating that love in spoken language. In the end, language, with its inability to capture the full depth of emotion, always fails us.

Let’s see how Bottle Fly fills your pockets.


Orange Blossom


1 cup warm water

2 ounces strong black tea, chilled

1 ounce freshly squeezed Florida orange juice

½ ounce lemon juice


1½ ounces vodka

Florida Orange Blossom Honey Syrup


Prepare Florida Orange Blossom Honey Syrup in advance in this manner: In container with lid, combine Florida orange blossom honey and warm water; shake vigorously. Refrigerate for two days.

In cocktail shaker, combine black tea, Florida orange juice, ¾ ounce prepared Florida Orange Blossom Honey Syrup, vodka, lemon juice and ice. Shake and strain into Mason jar over fresh ice. Garnish with Florida orange slice.

Click below for the Bottle Fly script

Bottle Fly, by Jacqueline Goldfinger

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