Cover photo: Maria Baranova

No Good Things Dwell in the Flesh

Christina Masciotti
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Set in present-day Queens, NO GOOD THINGS DWELL IN THE FLESH features an immigrant master tailor struggling to convince her assistant to take over her business as she loosens her grip on the material world. When her deranged ex-boyfriend begins to stalk her in her shop, she’s forced to reconsider what her legacy can be and make peace with what can’t be fixed, salvaged, or even known.

Production Info

Cast: 5 total (3 female, 2 male, bit parts, doubling)
Full Length Drama (about 90 minutes)
Single Set
Contemporary Costumes
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Press Quotes

“Inside an unassuming storefront somewhere in Queens is a woman you wouldn’t notice if you saw her on the street … This is Agata, who at 64 is a self-taught tailor with the skill of an artist and an unforgiving eye. When her apprentice, Janice, shows off a photo of her new fiancé, the unevenness of his pant legs is a flagrant red flag. ‘If you’re ignorant on pants, you’ll be ignorant on wife,’ says Agata, a brusque Russian immigrant who married the same man twice by the time she hit 30, divorced him for good, then built an independent life. ‘Why you wanna take care of this loser?’ In Christina Masciotti’s keen and unflashy new play, NO GOOD THINGS DWELL IN THE FLESH … Agata — a survivor whose wariness of men and their havoc is a defining stance … has had only one vacation. So maybe it’s weariness that makes her hope that the talented but unserious Janice — a student at the Fashion Institute of Technology who already has a business degree — could be a worthy successor, someone Agata might simply give her thriving business to. NO GOOD THINGS is interested in what it means to lose a business that has quietly woven itself into the fabric of a neighborhood. That’s a resonant concern these days, as so many urban storefronts sit vacant. [Masciotti] is also characteristically drawn here to the richness of language, Agata’s in particular. As when she tells Janice, ‘The heart shape is kind of my enemy shape.’ Or when she orders Vlad … the handsome but unstable ex who tracks Agata down: ‘Stop creating all this situation.’ … Agata, who cares about him still, wants only to keep her distance from him, and from men in general … That’s another thing this play is about … the siren song of men and coupledom. Agata has spent her whole adult life trying not to get shipwrecked on those rocks.” —Laura Collins-Hughes, The New York Times

“As a woman with piles of hard-earned experience, and as an immigrant and a service worker who has frequently been looked right through, Agata has plenty to say, and Masciotti skillfully renders her distinctive way of saying it. I sometimes found myself thinking of Alex, the criminally charming translator who narrates Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything Is Illuminated. The novel’s vitality comes from Alex’s voice, with its buoyancy and confidence, its slightly jangly English and wonky figures of speech. Agata would no doubt class Alex as she does ‘taller men’ — ‘more stupid. Certain amount proud of themself. For nothing.’ —but her own particular idiom is likewise the bedrock and the delight of her author’s story … It brings Masciotti back to her happy place — the detailed observation of character.” —New York Magazine/Vulture

About the Author


  • Christina Masciotti

    Christina Masciotti has been described as a playwright with a "distinctive gift" by Ben Brantley of The New York Times. In New York, her work has been presented by The Bushwick Starr, New York City Players, Abrons Arts Center, New York Theatre Workshop, The Chocolate Factory Theater, The Public Theater's Under the Radar Festival, and CUNY's Prelude Festival. Domestic and international presentations include: Arts Emerson's T N T Festival (Boston); Circle X Theatre (Los Angeles); LaStarria 90's Desorientacion Series (Santiago, Chile); Theater Bonn (Bonn, Germany); the VIE Scena Contemporanea Festival (Modena, Italy); the International Theatre Institute (Athens, Greece); and, as part of PS 122's New York Express Tour, Theater Garonne (Toulouse, France), T2G (Genevilliers, France), Le Maillon (Strasbourg, France), and ZKM (Zagreb, Croatia). VISION DISTURBANCE was cited as one of the Best Plays of 2010 by Time Out New York, and monologues from her later play ADULT have been anthologized in Smith and Kraus' The Best Women's Stage Monologues of 2014, and Applause Theater and Cinema Books' Best Contemporary Monologues for Women. The original scripts for both VISION DISTURBANCE and ADULT have been selected for preservation in the permanent archives of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 2/21/2024
Pages 62
ISBN 9798888560020

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:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
No Good Things Dwell in the Flesh is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC