Ancient history: Stage Script: Spanish Castle Magic

This is probably the narrative equivalent of painting with your eyes closed.

 

Scene: A medieval-looking castle with modern attachments (movie posters, etc…). Dining hall. A long, wooden table. KING and QUEEN sit at the table with PRINCESS JESSICA and her suitor, LORD MICHAEL. All eat a primitive-looking feast with their bare hands. KING and QUEEN look amused as LORD MICHAEL stands before them, attempting to enthrall them with his tales and woo the disinterested-looking PRINCESS. He wears a cape and a sheathed sword around his waist.

LORD: (speaks like Errol Flynn) …so there I was in the middle of the most dangerous jungle in all of Africa, surrounded by three lions. I knew that the slightest betrayal of weakness would set them upon me. You see, m’lady, a true knight must have a heart of steel in the direst of circumstances. So I drew my sword from its sheath, raised it up to the gods, and with an earth shattering cry… “COME AND GET ME.” …I invited their atta…

PRINCESS: (yawning) And you slew them one by one. How brave and… masculine of you.

KING: Jessica, let the young man speak. Truly a man with such adventures is worthy of your time.

QUEEN: Yes, do go on, Lord Michael.

LORD: With pleasure, my lords. …I waited tensely for their attack, sword held high, but they never struck. One by one, they lay on the ground and began purring lazily. I had defeated them with my valor alone. My mind is a weapon every bit as sharp as my rapier. Exhausted, and now comfortable in the safety of their presence, I lay down among them and napped.

Princess attempts to hold in a laugh

LORD: (unabashed) With a start, I awoke to a cacophony in the trees among me. As the noise drew nearer, the lions awoke and abruptly ran off. Cowards. I rose and picked up my sword just in time to meet the herd of wild boars charging toward my clearing! I skewered all but one. This last, I looked in the eye and told, ‘run now, lest you meet the same fate!’ You see, Princess, even in mortal danger, I had the presence and fortitude to show mercy to so helpless a creature. The remaining 27 boars are the very ones I brought here, as my gift to you, my lords.

PRINCESS: (mumbling) Oh God…

PRINCESS pulls out her cell phone and begins texting someone. QUEEN elbows her in the shoulder.

KING: Bravo! And a fine feast it has been. I marvel at your skill, Lord Michael. I beg you to come hunting with me in the forest tomorrow. With you by my side, I won’t even need the royal guard!

LORD: With pride, my lord

Smiling smugly, the LORD sits at the KING’s left hand. While they chat animatedly, attention shifts to the PRINCESS and QUEEN.

PRINCESS: He’s such a pompous prig, mother. And that story… are there even wild boars in African jungles?

QUEEN: Give him a chance, darling. He’s handsome and rich, and, well… It might have been true…

PRINCESS: Don’t be ridiculous!

QUEEN: That’s beside the point, Jessica. You know how important it is to be well-protected and provided for in days like these. It’s not the good old 20th century anymore.

LORD MICHAEL lets out a hearty HA-HAHA as he stands up and shakes hands with the KING. He walks around the table to PRINCESS JESSICA and lifts her hand.

LORD: My lady, will you give me the pleasure of your company on a short walk through the courtyard?

PRINCESS: (looking at the expectant faces of her parents and smiling weakly) Um… Sure.

LORD and PRINCESS walk to the other side of the stage.

LORD: I would be happy to take you as my wife.

PRINCESS: Take me?

LORD: Surely princess, and in these evil times, I would protect you. I have slain many beasts and monsters of the night. Women stare serendipitously as I pass. You could be the lucky one, and bear their jealousy as a trophy.

PRINCESS: What an honor!

MICHAEL looks at her uneasily. An emergency weather siren sounds in the distance.

PRINCESS: The day is clear. Could it be another mass attack? I thought that most of the armies were long since destroyed. Only vestiges remain.

LORD: All but one, my lady. Check your phone.

PRINCESS: No service!

LORD: It is as I feared. I must fight them off for your king.

PRINCESS: Why don’t I have service? What the hell is going on?

LORD: The Foil Falcon Army is all that remains of the Kitchen Revolt of ’37. Their attacks are little known and documented because their swarms block all chance of phone contact. Get behind me, lady! Here they come!

(Lord draws his sword as crumpled up pieces of foil begin swinging across the stage;  screeching like nails on a chalkboard. He begins to swing wildly while ducking away from them, as the Princess ducks near him)

LORD: Ah! Cover your ears, lest they bleed!

PRINCESS: Hmm… this is strange.

LORD: Argh… They are so elusive. And the hunting dogs will be no help. Ever seen a dog’s face when it bites into foil?

PRINCESS: Yes, but… They don’t look very dangerous. Thank god we captured most of the Fork Army. They were devastating to our tomato crops.

LORD: Tomahto, princess. You know that pronunciation is impolite.(he continues to duck away and swing wildly)

Attention shifts back to the KING and QUEEN.

KING: Did you hear something?

QUEEN: Hmm… No.

KING: Must be my imagination.

Back to the LORD and PRINCESS.

PRINCESS: (now standing upright) Oh, and remember the Roller Pin Revolution? The Royal Gardener is still complaining about his flattened flowerbeds. He said he just found another one last week rolling around in his Petunias.

LORD: Really, princess. Ack! This is no time for reminiscing!

LORD MICHAEL whirls around and finally makes contact with a piece of foil. Another slowly approaches him. He lets out a high pitched scream and dives out of the way.

PRINCESS: Oh, and remember when the spatulas invaded the castle and flipped over all the furniture?

LORD: Run, princess! Their numbers are too great for me! Save yourself! The screeching is unbearable!

LORD MICHAEL runs around with one arm covering his head, not even looking now as he swings at the air above him.

PRINCESS: Well… I mean, I’ll walk inside and ask for help if that’s what you want.

LORD: I’m sorry princess! I am defeated!

LORD MICHAEL drops his sword and wraps himself up in a fetal position.

PRINCESS: (to herself) Good god. Is he serious?

PRINCESS JESSICA walks over to LORD MICHAEL’s sword. Brandishing it, she thrusts purposefully at the Foil Falcon Army hoard. Foil drops at her feet. 

LORD: Wh-what’s happening? A savior? Am I dead?

PRINCESS: I have yet to see the danger, but you are safe at my side, Lord Michael.

The attack subsides. LORD MICHAEL looks around dazedly before jumping to his feet.

LORD: Ah! You are very brave to have picked up my sword, princess. But you are lucky they did not recognize your wish to fight. They would have devoured you! (beat) I can’t wait to tell your father how I fought off wave after wave of the ferocious Foil Falcons to save his helpless and frightened daughter!

PRINCESS JESSICA shakes her head and looks up to the sky in disgust. She pulls out her phone and begins texting. LORD MICHAEL moves to follow her.

LORD: Now, as I was saying, Princess… I am also rich… I have real, stationary silverware back in my castle, for example… and very high threadcount sheets… (continues talking at her as lights fade to black)

Ancient history: Stage Script: Dogs of War

My humble attempt at war commentary. I think this was also inspired by a short play that I read involving suitcases that spoke to each other. In the play, each suitcase had a personality that sort of matched the type/condition of the suitcase. So I thought, I want to do that with dogs.

Dogs of War

 

Characters:      Tobi: a mangy Border Collie, wears spots

Floyd: a thick, jet-black Labrador

Maya: a scraggly mutt; clothes/colors mismatched

Arbusto: a tall, commanding German Shepherd

Chummy: a fat, ill-disposed Bulldog

 

Outside in a rural area. Night.

Arbusto: …and when you’ve chased them long enough, they’ll be easy picking. Just make sure you all concentrate on the same one.

Chummy: And the females are less likely to give you a fight.

Arbusto: Yeah, but don’t be afraid to take down a buck if you find one. A few nights ago I watched one mark MY yard. I couldn’t even fix it until morning.

Chummy: And there’ll be more food for all of us!

Arbusto: So there you have it, men. Er, uh… folks.

Chummy: If there’s a repeat of last night, you all better start looking for a new pack.

Arbusto and Chummy exit while Tobi, Floyd, and Maya glance at each other.

Tobi: I’m so tired of running around.

Maya: Every night I think we’ll get a break.

Tobi: But then some other animal gets on Arbusto’s bad side.

Floyd: Listen, Arbusto is right. How would you like it if wild animals were using your yard?

Tobi: Hey, I don’t like it either, but it’s our people that forced them out of the wild in the first place.

Maya: They’re so hard to control. I see new yards popping up all over the place.

Floyd: You know as well as I do, those are mostly Cat-people. No self-respecting Dog would let his person tear down a forest full of animals. That’s just bad food moderation.

Maya: That’s true.

Tobi: You’re both missing the point. The animals feel threatened, so they lash out. Take away the threat, and what happens?

Maya: Just accidents, I guess. Except for the occasional Bad Animal.

Tobi: Exactly. And I think we could all live with that.

Floyd: Are you done with your preaching? You’re hungry aren’t you?

Tobi: God, yes. My person’s put me back on the dry food diet. It’s all I can do to keep it down.

Floyd: Then let’s go. It’ll make the Big Dogs happy.

Maya: He’s right Tobi. We can’t change those things. Let’s just make Arbusto happy.

Tobi: (reluctantly) Alright… lets go.

Lights fade.

 

Scene 2: Spotlight on Tobi, Floyd, and Maya, who appear to be crouching around and feasting on a large animal.

Tobi: Floyd, you have got to stop chasing the deer the second you see it. I’m the herder. I’ll tire it out and bring it around to you. Then YOU do the dirty work.

Floyd: I can’t help chasing. It’s in my nature.

Tobi: Well it’s pretty damn stupid to have the big, dumb, slow one chasing after a lightning-quick animal.

Floyd: Watch it, buddy. We got it, didn’t we?

Tobi: Only because I told Maya to come at it from the other side.

Maya: Hey! I was gonna do that anyway.

Tobi: (smiling at her) You did great. You can be a real bitch when you want to.

Maya: (smiling back) Awe, thanks Tobi. You know, you just looked adorable with your fur all ruffled when Floy…

Floyd: (sarcastically) Great! Puppy love… You know, why don’t you two let me know when you grow up. I deserve a little credit here. I mean, I did spot the thing.

Tobi: (laughing) Haha, poor Floyd. You know I’m just pulling your tail.

Arbusto and Chummy creep onstage. Chummy approaches the group.

Floyd: Well, when you and Maya are done sniffing each others’ butts, how bout a little back scratching. I’ve got a big knot from all that running.

Tobi: Ha, that’s what your person is for. (pause) Sh… Did you hear something?

Chummy: A postman could’ve snuck up on you fools.

Tobi: Ah! I thought I smelled compost. Been rolling around in the manure again, Chummy?

Maya: Tobi, don’t.

Chummy: Better listen to her, bones. I could tear you to shreds.

Floyd: Yeah, and what would you do to me?

Arbusto: Well, well, well. (all slink back as Arbusto moves past Chummy and stares them down) Started the feast without me, did you? Very bold of you. Lets see what we have here.

Chummy: Probably nothing but a fawn.

Arbusto pushes past and looks down at the animal on the floor.

Arbusto: Well, Chummy, I think you owe our friends an apology. This is the very deer that soiled my lawn not two days ago.

Chummy: Hmphh.

Arbusto: Well, friends. I think I may have some work a little more befitting of your prowess. Listen closely.

(all lean in as lights fade)

 

Scene 3: Next night. A white wooden fence.

Tobi: I can’t believe we’re out here. This is crazy.

Maya: Deer are one thing, but bulls? This is getting dangerous. Even with Floyd here.

Floyd: I’m not scared of any cows. Slow as molasses.

Tobi: They aren’t that slow. See how it feels to have one chasing you down a hill. Those suckers can really get going.

Maya: Oh, wow. And all that momentum… If they fell they’d roll you right over. Even a big guy like you would be a pancake, Floyd.

Floyd: We’ll see about that. I bet they can’t turn very quick.

Maya: Look at those horns! They could impale any one of us with a flick of the neck

Floyd: So stay away from the horns, doofus. I thought you were some kind of tough bitch.

Tobi: Floyd, it’s not the danger I’m worried about here. Does this feel right to you?

Floyd: Sure, I guess… Arbusto said he didn’t find that buck sooner because it was hiding out on this farm. They deserve it.

Tobi: Do they? Do you really think those cattle had any control over a farm this big?

Maya: I never thought of it that way…

Floyd: Stop with your idealism, Tobi. These are Bad Animals.

Maya: I don’t remember them doing anything to us. Or Arbusto. How could they? They’re inside the fence.

Tobi: Exactly. Don’t you see, Floyd? Arbusto just wants the land so he can run around as much as he wants without being bothered. It’s all about power and greed.

Floyd: No. Chummy told us they have an escape plan.

Maya: That’s right! Tobi, what if they have an escape plan?

Tobi: Then nothing. They have never tried to hurt us before. Why would they now?

Maya: But they never got out before!

Floyd: Don’t you realize how much damage a herd of cattle could do if they were let free? They could destroy each one of our yards. And then they could destroy another pack’s yards. And another’s.

Tobi: Yeah, I heard the speech. Thanks for the recap.

Maya: Tobi, he’s just telling the truth.

Tobi: No. He’s telling us what Arbusto and Chummy think. How would they know about an escape plan anyway?

Maya: Well, Chummy said they had spies in the farm.

Tobi: Spies! Who, the sheep? And they would tell us the truth after Arbusto ravaged a whole herd of them last year?

Floyd: You think they’re setting us up?

Tobi: I think Arbusto doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about! Like I said before, it’s all about power!

Maya: He’ll exile us if we don’t do it, Tobi. Look what happened to Comet last month.

Floyd: Oh, I do miss her. She was so beautifully stubborn.

Tobi: Maybe I’d rather be exiled! This isn’t right. We can’t just start killing cattle because we think they might be dangerous.

Floyd: They probably are dangerous. They were pretty close to the sheep Arbusto slaughtered. Sometimes they even roamed the same field.

Tobi: So one sin begets another. And here we are, about to begin the process of wiping out thirty cattle, proof be damned.

Floyd: It’s for the pack, Tobi. It’s for the pack, that’s what he said.

Tobi: (reluctantly) Alright. I’m coming with you. Not because I think this is for the pack. Because I don’t want to see you dead when I wake up tomorrow and go out to get my person’s paper.

Floyd: You’re a true patriot. You’ll see. We’re doing the right thing. (walks ahead)

Maya: (to Tobi) I don’t know if you are right or not, but I really admire you right now. It takes a lot of guts to say what you really mean, especially to a bull-headed dog like Floyd.

Tobi: (smiling wistfully) We have to have an opinion. To blindly follow without questioning is worse than agreeing with Arbusto altogether. I just hope Floyd realizes it before it’s too late.

Maya: Hey, don’t talk like that. It’ll turn out alright.

Tobi: I always feel better with you here with me, Maya. You could brighten up a piece of coal.

Maya: (trying to hide a big smile) Oh, that was so bad.

Tobi: You liked it.

Fade to black

 

Scene 4: Spotlight on Floyd and Maya on the left side of the stage, standing over a downed bull.

Maya: Floyd, we did it! I don’t believe it; that was so exciting. First we were chasing one, then another one was chasing me, and POW! You come out of nowhere and take out its back legs! I thought I was done for.

Floyd: Tobi was right though, that was much harder than I though it would be. Those animals are a thing to behold when they get moving. Frankly, we were in over our heads. Why would Arbusto take a chance like this?

Maya: It’s kind of like he didn’t think it out at all

Floyd: Scary that we’re taking orders from someone so short-sighted. What if Tobi was right about everything else?

Maya: He’s pretty sharp. (looks suddenly concerned) By the way, where is Tobi? We broke apart when that bull started chasing us. He was barking like crazy, trying to get it to follow him.

(lights rise on the rest of the stage, revealing Tobi, covered in blood)

Floyd: Oh, god…

Maya: Tobi!

(both rush over to him, where he moves weakly)

Maya: What happened!?

Tobi: Farmer… shot… glad you’re okay.

Floyd: I knew that POW! was more than broken legs. I’m so sorry, buddy. You were right. Arbusto didn’t think this out at all. You were right about the whole thing… I;m so sorry. I should’ve listened.

Tobi: Stop… oaf… doing… thought right…

Maya: You’re going to be alright, Tobi. We’ll get you back to your people. I love you; I’m not going to lose you now. (looks hopefully at Floyd, who looks away)

Tobi: (smiles weakly) Oh… that… was… so bad…

Fade to black

 

Scene 5: Next night. Spotlight on Arbusto, lying alone on the ground, slumbering. Floyd enters.

Floyd: Wake up you son of a bitch!

Arbusto: (yawning) Oh… Aren’t we all

Floyd: This is no game. Tobi is dead and you are going to pay for it.

Arbusto: (laughs haughtily)  Well then, come on you overgrown beast.

Floyd and Arbusto begin fighting. Floyd pins Arbusto on the ground with a hand(paw) raised, ready to strike. Chummy enters.

Chummy: (snarling) You’d better drop that paw unless you want to lose it.

Floyd’s shoulders slump, visibly defeated. He jumps off Arbusto and turns to face them both as Arbusto slowly rises beside Chummy

Floyd: (smiling now) Nothing like a fair fight.

Chummy: You’re done for, lout.

Arbusto: Wait. (to Floyd) You insolent brute. It takes sacrifice to protect a pack. A mangy herding dog like Tobi is an insignificant loss. It was for the greater good. You don’t know anything about what it takes to lead. Now, you can fight, or you can leave forever. What’ll it be?

Floyd: What good is a world where I have to watch my back every time I go outside?

Arbusto: You won’t have to. We’ll destroy the entire farm and set up a republic. The world will be peaceful.

Floyd: Ha. What will I tell my pups when they ask what happened to all of the innocent cattle who died here?

Chummy: They were planning an escape and harbored the very deer that was terrorizing Arbusto’s yard!

Arbusto and Chummy stare at Floyd, waiting for submission. Suddenly, Maya leaps out of the shadows and tackles Chummy. Chummy, outweighing Maya by quite a bit, quickly turns the tables and bites at Maya’s face. She goes limp.

Floyd: Maya! No!

Floyd brushes past Arbusto and knocks Chummy aside.

Chummy: The price of disobedience.

Arbusto: This all could have been avoided.

Floyd: You’re right. This could have been avoided. But you insisted on blindly and ignorantly stabbing at power. You care nothing for your pack. You only care about yourself. I’m leaving and taking Maya with me.

Arbusto: Go! You of no faith! You are no patriot!

Floyd: Good luck defending yourself against the herd without anyone but Chubby here to protect you. You’ve turned the world against you, Arbusto. I hope you’re ready.

Fade to black as Floyd carries Maya off the stage

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ancient history: Stage Script: Something Amiss

A door stands on the left side of the stage. On the right side of the door, a rug lays on the floor in front of a couch. An end table sits to the right of the couch with a book bag on it. Linda, 45-ish, sits on the couch with a book. Brandon, 17,  enters stage left, rummaging through his pockets anxiously. He looks around confusedly and creeps up to the door, gently grabs the handle and eases it open.

Mae: (looks up from her book) Where were you?

Brandon: (looking surprised) Mom! What are you doing up?

Mae: Well, I couldn’t find you and I was worried. Where were you?

Brandon: Oh, uh… I just ran out to help Matt with some homework.

Mae: You know better than to leave late at night without telling me.

Brandon: I know, I’m sorry. I thought it’d only be five minutes, but (pause) um, I couldn’t find my notebook, and I was looking for it. And I realized I left it here.

Mae: You carry all your school stuff in that bag. How did you forget that?

Brandon: (nervously) Yeah, pretty funny right? (moves past her to the bookbag, looks at her, looks at it, then picks it up and turns his back to her as he rummages through it).

Mae: I think we need to have a talk, Brandon.

Brandon: (looking more alarmed and frantic while searching as she speaks. He drops the bag on the floor) Mom. (pause) You didn’t go through my stuff, did you?

Mae: No, but I think I would have a right to. You’ve been acting so distant lately, Brandon. Your father and I barely see you anymore. You’re out with your friends almost every night.

Brandon: (sighs and looks slightly relieved while still looking around for something) So, I’m not supposed to have a social life? I just want my privacy, okay mom?

Mae: (turns and looks at him quizzically as he continues to search) It wasn’t in there?

Brandon: um (pause) it was, but I’m looking for something else. Did anyone else open my bag while I was gone?

Mae: I can’t imagine why you think we would want any of your school stuff.

Brandon: Yeah. Mom, I’ll be right back. (to himself) Maybe I dropped it outside.

He rushes out the door. He pauses and scans the ground in front of him. His eyes light up as he seems to spot something and rushes to the left side of the stage and stoops down to grab something from the ground. He holds up a plastic bag filled with something leafy and green, smiling.

 Brandon: Thank God!

Screeching tires and the ‘Whooooop’ of a truncated police siren. A door slams shut. Brandon looks to stage left, mortified.

Brandon: Oh, shit. (sheepishly) Hello, officer… (fade to black)

Ancient history: Stage Script: Thanks a Lot

George, roughly 45 and stocky, sits sleepily on a living room couch. He’s watching TV while his very young nephew plays on a rug in front of him. Cheers erupt from the television as someone apparently scores a touchdown. George rolls his eyes in disgust. 

George: Ugh! Are you kidding me? That was a catch like I’m a rhinoceros.

(looks around for some distraction and sniffs the air) I wonder if the turkey’s almost ready. I’m about sick of watching this game. And I am starving. If there’s one good thing about the whole family being here, it’s that I don’t have to cook anything. I can’t wait for mom’s stuffing.

(laughing from off the stage)Meh. Sounds like the guys are back from the annual pickup “Turkey Bowl.” I’m sure they’re all going to have stories to tell about full field touchdown returns and one-handed grabs. Like any of us care.

This whole day is more trouble than it’s worth. We make awkward conversation with people we don’t like. We repeat the same god damn short story about the last year to everyone that asks. We listen as if we’re interested. And the worst part: before anyone is allowed to touch any food, we go around the table saying what “we’re thankful for.”

“I’m thankful for a miserable life.” Ha-Ha.

(George glances at his nephew, who has a delighted look on his face as he “revs” a truck on the carpet. He sighs.) He looks so happy. If he only knew what life had in store for him. Decades of heartache. Bad investments. Failed marriages. Expanding waistlines. Yet, he’s so happy in his ignorance. Why can’t we all be that way?

(the nephew holds up the truck to his uncle. George manages a smile) Vroom. Heh. Is this your daddy’s truck? (smiling genuinely now at his nephew’s turn to shyness. He hands it back) I used to play. This isn’t me. Its just, so much has happened. I used to be happy, and now I’m bitter at everything. Look at me. I’m sitting alone in here while everyone else is having fun and enjoying company.

 

It’s not really fair, that I’m here like this. They probably don’t understand. I know they don’t. None of them know what its like to cry your their brother’s shoulder when the stock market leaves you broke at 35. None of them had to move in with their sister for a month after a marriage that ended so badly they couldn’t take care of themselves anymore. None of them had parents give them an intervention when the drink took hold of their lives. None of them.

A wheel falls off of the truck the young nephew has been playing with. He immediately begins crying and holds it up to his Uncle George. George, visibly concerned, takes the truck and wheel in his hands and tinkers a bit.

Here, here. Timmy, it’s alright, see? Good as new. You don’t need to cry; I’m here to help you.

(George pauses as he mulls something over in his head) I’m here to help him. And my family has always been there to help me… I guess I’m really lucky. I’ve had someone there looking after me, caring about me the whole time. I’ve had people there. Even now, they still invite this old curmudgeon when the holidays come around. How can they do that? How is that possible? I must be the luckiest man in the world to have a family that cares this much.

From the TV: “and that’s it folks, Dallas 27, Detroit 17. From everybody here at NBC, have a Happy Thanksgiving!”

George stands up and stretches out. He looks down at his nephew and smiles as he picks him up.

Hey Timmy, let’s go find your mommy and daddy. Its dinnertime, and I think I finally know what I’m thankful for.

Ancient history: Stage Script: Overlooked

Luke and Tim, both 17, sit beside each other at the Friday night football game. A pep-rally is scheduled for next Friday at the end of the school day . As captains of the soccer team, they are expected to have a short speech prepared to introduce the team. 

LUKE: Have you thought about the pep-rally next Friday? We should do something sweet this year. I’ve been thinking about this all day. Every year it’s the same thing. We get our 30 seconds, and the rest of the assembly is all about the football team. Why are they more important than anyone else? This year it should be about us. It’s time we get back. This could be our one chance to get even. How cool would it be if this crowd was at our games?

 

Crowd roars at something on the field as Luke pauses to look at Tim’s ambivalent reaction

 

LUKE: Dude, you know no one else is going to do it. No other sport has been singled out like soccer is. How many years have we put up with their taunts every day? “Field-fairy, soccer-fag…” It happens so often we almost don’t recognize it anymore… Every time I walk into the gym… Anytime I do something stupid… Anytime I do something cool… It’s as if we’re not worthy of the oxygen they breathe. I hate coming here.

Remember yesterday when the bus full of football players drove past our soccer practice? There were probably three coaches on that bus, and they didn’t hear the things that were yelled? Nobody cares. That’s why we have to stick up for ourselves this week. It’s time we finally put them in their place.

[pause]

Did I tell you Greg spit in my face last week? I snuck out on Friday while Mom was passed out. So I’m at his party, just trying to have a good time, not doing anything to offend anyone, when they start talking about us, like they want to get me ticked off or something. Finally, I stood up for us and said something about soccer being way more difficult than football… I probably didn’t use those words, but that was more or less the gist of it. So Greg walks over with Mike and Bryan, and spits in my face. It was disgusting. Look at him, down there on the sidelines… he’s not even good.

The thing I really don’t understand is, the team sucks this year. Look at the score: 3-27. They’ve been riding on the coattails of older players for the past 3 years, and this year they’ve finally come crashing down to earth. Meanwhile, we’re sitting pretty at 3-0 on the season. You, and me, and the rest of our team have been playing together for 10 years. This is the year we’ve been waiting for all our lives. It’s time for us to really have our share of the spotlight.

So here’s my plan. You’ll have the mic first, and you say, “We’re really excited about this season,” and then you ask me, “Luke, why should everyone come to our games this year?” and hand me the mic. And I’ll look at the football team, and say, “Well Tim… (stands up) that’s because we will actually be winning our games this year.” (Luke closes his eyes, raises his hands and tilts his head back, as applause roars from the stands.)

Ancient history: Stage Script: Lunchtime Loser

This is a one-scene play written to be submitted for possible use by a summer camp for kids hosted at Westminster College.

 

5 round tables sit onstage, surrounded by chairs. Four of the tables have someone sitting at them. Mike, 14, walks on from stage right with a tray in hand. There appear to be various items of low-quality food on it, with a half-pint of milk. Mike looks around nervously and approaches the nearest table.

Mike: Do you mind if I sit down?

Seated guy: (looks annoyed) Football players only. I don’t recognize you.

Mike: Well, soccer is called football in some places…

Seated guy: Get out of here!

Mike backs away, looking slightly paler. He moves to a table where a young woman is seated.

Mike: Ca-Can I sit here?

Seated girl: (turns up her nose and begins pointing at chairs as she speaks) Well, Jenny is coming, and Kayla, and Tiffany, and Julie, and Julie’s BF Bobby. There’s no room for you.

Mike shyly looks down and moves away to another table. He approaches a person wearing glasses with his/her head in a book.

Mike: (looking hopeful) Excuse me… (pause) Um… Do you care if I sit here? (pause) Hello?

Seated person: (looks around confusedly, then narrows eyes at Mike) What!? I’m trying to do my homework. I can’t believe it’s the first day of school and I already have homework.

Mike: (tries to look sympathetic) Well, can I sit down with you? I’m just trying to sit down so I can eat.

Seated person: No. No, definitely not. I’m meeting people here to make sure I understand everything, and I need space for everyone. Plus your food will distract us.

Mike: (shoulders slumping) Sorry… (He looks around and spots his older brother seated at another table)

Mike: Jason, can I sit with you? I just need to eat and then I’ll leave. 5 minutes.

Jason: Are you kidding me? I’m not going to let anyone see me sitting with a freshman. Your friends will want to sit here, and then I’ll look like a total dork. Go find someone else to sit with, little bro.

Mike: (looks exasperated) You suck! I’m telling mom about this when we get home. I hope you get grounded for a week.

Jason: (shrugs) Whatever. She knows you’re a little dweeb.

Mike looks around sort of dejectedly, and makes his way to an empty table. He sets his tray down, but pushes it aside as he sits and stares at the table. As he stares off, two 14 year old boys and a girl approach, each with trays in hand. Mike looks up, surprised, as they sit down around him.

Boy #1: Mike, where have you been, we were looking all over the cafeteria for you.

Boy #2: Yeah, man. Did you have class with Mr. Black yet? He’s the coolest teacher I’ve ever met. Why didn’t they hire cool people in junior high? Are you going to watch the football game Friday night? My dad can give us a ride.

Girl: (eyes light up) I’ve been waiting all day to tell you, I was talking to Tina first period, and she thinks you are so totally cute. I think she’s going to the football game too. Maybe you can sit together…

All three: Ooooooooooooo (make kissing noises and start to laugh at their collective comic genius)

Mike smiles and starts eating. Lights fade to black as they chatter away.

Ancient history: Stage play script: Too Late

This was an exercise in creating a one-scene “silent etude,” a stage play script in which no words are spoken and everything is communicated via the movements of the characters on stage.

Two chairs sit side-by-side onstage. Matt and Brittany walk around opposite sides, open imaginary doors, and sit down. Matt moves as if to turn the ignition. He begins driving motions with his hands while his feet push imaginary pedals.

Brittany sniffles and wipes her mascara-smeared face as she gazes to the right.

Matt fidgets uncomfortably. He reaches at the center console. Coldplay comes on. He abruptly reaches back and the music stops.

Brittany glances at him hopefully. Matt stares straight ahead, jaw clenched.

Brittany lets out a sob and covers her eyes with her left hand.

Matt begins a rolling motion near his left shin. Brittany begins to shiver and glares at him angrily. 

Matt rolls the other way and looks at her, annoyed.

He reaches toward the center console again. The Carpenters. He quickly reaches and the music stops again. He slumps in his seat, props up his left elbow and holds his head up.

Brittany continues to sob. She leans forward with her head in both hands. Matt ignores her.

A sign is lowered onto the stage beside them. Free Choice Medical Clinic. Matt presses his foot to the floor, and pushes an imaginary gearshift into park. Matt moves to his left and stands up. Brittany doesn’t follow. He glares at her until she finally does. She walks behind him off the stage.