Cover image by Eleanor Philips


Nick Robideau
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Erica, shy and more than a little socially awkward, is in love with Dee. The problem is that her politician sister, her only and equally awkward new friend, and the nosy residents of their small town in Massachusetts don’t understand at all, because Dee … well, Dee is a Dairy Queen sign. INANIMATE is a play that explores objectum sexuality, feeling like an outsider, listening to your heart and finally, finding your tribe.

Production Info

Cast: 7 total (3 female, 4 male)
Full Length Comedy (about 90 minutes)
Multiple Sets
Contemporary Costumes

Press Quotes

“Chances are that you have had a friend who fell in love with someone you felt was, to put it kindly, unsuitable. Yet the more you listened to your friend talk, the more you saw this object of adoration through her eyes. And maybe you came not only to understand the attraction but even almost to share it. Such is the experience of listening to Erica, the enraptured heroine of Nick Robideau’s INANIMATE, the sly and very likable comedy … the 30-year-old Erica has for the first time found true romance, and — yes, yes, oh yes — she never knew it could be like this. She’d shout it from the rooftops if she could. But she fears society is not ready to accept this relationship. Erica, you see, is in love with a wonderful — wait for it — fast-food restaurant sign. A Dairy Queen sign, to be specific. Erica fondly calls it Dee, after the first letter of its illuminated name. Or rather, his name. Erica knows that ‘his energy is male.’ The category of loves that dare not speak their names, at least from American theater stages, keeps shrinking. In 2002, Edward Albee’s The Goat, or Who is Sylvia? presented a married architect’s affair with a barnyard animal as a means of exploring the limits of erotic tolerance. INANIMATE takes this investigation a step further, with a fractured lyricism all its own. The brave new world — or perhaps not so new, just previously unmentionable — that Mr Robideau has ventured into is clinically known as ‘objectum sexuality,’ or objectophilia. As Erica eventually discovers, it is a condition that now has its own websites, online forums and support groups; it has even been the subject of documentaries, such as Strange Love: Married to the Eiffel Tower. Clinical, though, is definitely not the word for INANIMATE … this play unfolds as a sort of normcore comic variation on Romeo and Juliet, which insists we regard its central relationship as worthy of high flights of poetic fancy. Such a perspective could so easily lean toward smirky voyeurism or cloying cuteness. And in the opening scenes, I worried that a perverse preciousness might dominate. But INANIMATE wins us over by contextualizing its exotic subject in the bedrock of the familiar. Subjectively, most of us went through what Erica is experiencing when we were teenagers, terrified by the insistent promptings of our libidos. And as the play progresses, and Erica confesses her once secret love, Mr Robideau drolly insinuates that all tales of coming to terms with sexuality are ‘coming out’ stories. The provincial New England that Erica inhabits is not unlike the dead-end environs of an Annie Baker play. As in Ms Baker’s The Aliens and The Flick, the outsider characters of INANIMATE are trapped in a state of protracted adolescence, equally terrified of being stuck in or ever leaving their insular Massachusetts hometown.” —Ben Brantley, The New York Times

About the Author


  • Nick Robideau

    Nick Robideau's work has been developed or performed with The Lark, Stillwrights, HB Studio, The Silent Barn, Title Point, The Brick Theater, Pipeline Theater Company, The Flea Theater, and at fringe festivals both in the U.S. and internationally. Awards include The Rita Goldberg Playwriting Prize, The A. R. Gurney Prize for Playwriting, and a Critic's Pick from the New York Times. Nick holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Hunter College and is a member of the Dramatists Guild.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/10/2020
Pages 72
ISBN 9780881458794

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:

First Produced in New York City by The Flea Theater,
Niegel Smith, Artistic Director; Carol Ostrow, Producing Director

The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
Inanimate is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC


Upcoming and Recent Productions


4/1/2024 – 5/4/2024
Theater Wit
Chicago, IL