Approaching Zanzibar

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was

Olivia Childs

Approaching Zanzibar

See more monologues from Tina Howe


Age Range
Act Two, Scene Four
Time & Place
Olivia’s bedroom, Taos, New Mexico,
Time Period
Show Type

Monologue Context

Olivia Childs is a famous environmental artist, a charismatic woman with a strong

Monologue Text

I couldn’t take my eyes off him. He was like something out of The Arabian Nights. I kept expecting to see peacocks and jeweled elephants stamping in the distance. Finally he caught my gaze… I pressed my face against the window and whispered, “My name is Callisto!” Do you believe it? I used to call myself Callisto in those days… The train suddenly started up. We pulled out of the station. I watched him get smaller and smaller. Then I fell into a deep sleep. I began having nightmares… I was being chased down this long tunnel… I started to scream. Someone grabbed my hands. I opened my eyes. It was him! He’d jumped on the train at the last minute and was sitting across from me, eyes laughing, poppies blazing… He didn’t speak a word of any language I knew, but he held me spellbound. I never made it off the train. He wrapped me in his flying carpet and wouldn’t let me go. You’ve never seen such feverish carryings-on… He rocked me over mountains, sang me through rain forests, and kissed me past ancient cities. Oh, what a ruckus we made! Well, you’ll do it too, you’ll do it all, wait and see. We ended up in Zanzibar, island of cloves. I was so full of him, I thought my heart would burst. Zanzibar! Come on, jump with me… It was there that he taught me how to live on orchids and read the stars… Zanzibar, say it!

For full monologue text please see Howe, Tina. Approaching Zanzibar and other plays. Theatre Communications Group, New York, NY. 1995. p. 19.