Study Guide

Birdman Scene 15

Scene 15

Scene 15

  • People have come out of the first act for intermission. They're all full of praise—apparently the play is a big success so far, and we haven't even gotten to see it.
  • We pan up into Riggan's window just as Sylvia comes in to find him lying on his desk, unusually calm.
  • She talks about how wonderful the show is. He wants to tell her a funny story that starts on the night of their last anniversary, when he was caught in bed with another woman.
  • Sylvia doesn't like this but he presses on.
  • He went to Malibu and tried to drown himself in the ocean. But the water was filled with jellyfish and he ended up screaming, rolling around in the sand.
  • He tells her he loves her and he feels like he lost the life he was supposed to have. He wishes he was there for Sam's birth and for the rest of her life.
  • It's time to get going for the second act, so Sylvia leaves and Riggan practices his tongue exercises and loads his pistol.
  • It's most definitely a real pistol, not a prop.
  • He goes down and ignores any kind of makeup, just puts on the wig and bangs on the set's hotel door.
  • He enters and delivers his lines to Lesley's character about wanting to be loved by her. Mike's character, on cue, tells him that it's over.
  • When Lesley's character confirms, Riggan does a bit of improve. He says, "I don't exist," and walks toward the audience, almost in a trance.
  • Suddenly he points the gun at Mike, who jumps. Apparently this one is threatening enough.
  • Then he points it at the audience, "bang."
  • Then he points it at his head. Bang.
  • Riggan collapses and, after a moment of stunned silence, the audience erupts.
  • It's a standing ovation…and we see Tabitha sneaking out of the theater.

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