Water Under the Bridge

Author Nina Gross
Greenfield, Massachusetts


Time: Present

Situation: Water Under the Bridge is one soliloquy illustrating freedom of speech in a three ring circus introduced by a master of ceremonies who declares prejudice to be null and void and who turns the audiences attention to the man in ring three (an anachronism from the master's viewpoint). The character is African-American and a member of the underclass in inner city America. He speaks his mind, unaware of the audience and of his participation in the circus. It is, therefore, a stand alone monologue. I offer it as a piece of art that I hope will provide opportunity for engagement on a visceral level.

Subject Matter: Anger, Frustration 

Note from Playwright

When I started writing the poem from which this piece is lifted, the debate over whether racism still exists was in full swing. There were murmurs from those hopeful to sweep racism aside with the claim that an African-American president was enough to prove this dynamic no longer operable. Even my own daughter accused me of being racially obsessed. “Things aren’t like that anymore, mom!” Barely visible to the racially privileged classes are uncountable indignities and dynamics which are intertwined with the lifestyle, available options, and considerations of countless people of color, perhaps especially, but not exclusively, in the less privileged classes. As a person who has lived with race as a dynamic element, I found the debate farcical and responded in kind. 

Water Under the bridge is an expression that implies that a situation or dynamic is passé and can be put to rest. Who stands to gain from the declaration that racism is null and void? What would such a dismissal mean to ordinary people whose lives and identity are and have been intertwined with this social dynamic in its many familiar forms? That is the premise at the introduction of this smaller piece of a larger piece of prosetry.



After your purchase is complete, check your e-mail for an order confirmation and invoice. (Sometimes you receive two confirmations; check both.) The order confirmation will contain a link in blue text to a PDF containing: 

  • Full Monologue
  • Character Information
  • Important Contextual Information


According to the terms of your license, you are permitted to download the PDF 2 times only. The access link will expire 48 hours after the time stamp on the invoice.

  • Price:$2.99

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  • Character Age
    Adult 40-50, Adult 50-60, Adult 60-70, Adult 70+
  • Character Gender Ident./Sexual Orient.
  • Character Ethnicity
    African/African American
  • Genre
    Poem, Drama, Performance Poetry
  • Period
  • Length
    2 min or less
  • Writer Gender Identity/Sexual Orientation
  • Writer Ethnicity
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