October 01 2012 – The Do Over

The Do Over: Part I

A pantomime. Silent movie piano over everything.

MARCUS and AMELIA. Talking, friendly.

MARCUS tries to kiss AMELIA, she recoils. Regrets the gut reaction, and the hurt it’s caused, but does not relent. She simply doesn’t feel that way about him. He is heartbroken but continues the conversation.

AMELIA bids him goodbye. They hug. He watches her leave.

An unnatural flash of light from the wings toward which she is exiting.

She is met on the other side of the stage by FUTURE MARCUS several years older and much suaver.

She falls for FUTURE MARCUS instantly. It is ridiculous. MARCUS watches, devastated.

FUTURE MARCUS escorts her offstage, hangs back as MARCUS approaches with aggressive intent, reaching into his jacket.

They both instantly pull guns on each other. THE SAME GUN!

FUTURE MARCUS gestures, “be cool”. Produces a folded up piece of paper from his pocket, drops it to the ground. Exits. Unnatural flash of light.

MARCUS picks up and unfolds paper, reads it greedily. On the paper are the plans for a time machine. MARCUS grins, nodding.

Years pass. MARCUS amasses the knowledge, skills, and materials necessary to build a time machine. I suggest a montage here.

Finally when MARCUS has reached the age that FUTURE MARCUS was, his invention is ready. He takes the plans, folds them up. He walks offstage. There is an unnatural flash of light.

He re-enters. On the other side of the stage are AMELIA and PAST MARCUS, who is the same age that MARCUS once was. The sequence from earlier repeats itself, but MARCUS forgets to be ready with the gun this time and is shot by PAST MARCUS. MARCUS sinks to the ground, AMELIA is over him, weeping. She stares daggers at PAST MARCUS, who slinks off, dazed at what he’s done.

Almost dead, MARCUS hands the folded up plans to AMELIA, who takes them, uncomprehendingly.

MARCUS dies. AMELIA weeps, clutches at his body. Feels something in the pocket of his jacket. Reaches in. Pulls out the gun. THE SAME GUN!

She looks off where PAST MARCUS exited. Lays the gun on MARCUS’s body, unfolds the plans and reads. Realization dawns. Looks offstage toward the time machine. Picks up the gun. Nods coldly and exits, gun held aloft in one hand, furiously reading the time machine plans in the other.

An unnatural flash of light.

TO BE CONTINUED!

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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September 30 2012 – Too Smart

THIS SCENE is kind of an early experiment of a scene for a longer play I’m writing with a super-talented collaborator. That fact can sit here and be interesting to those who might find it interesting.

Too Smart

AMY on a sparsely populated subway platform. STEALTH approaches from an unthreatening angle, gets her eye contact, kind of hovers as he continues moving past her. Slows almost all the way down. She is locked onto him, wondering what’s up waiting for him to talk. Finally he makes a kind of “never mind” gesture, starts to walk away.

AMY
No, what?

STEALTH stops. Turns around where he is, keeps his distance.

STEALTH
Just made a mistake. Don’t worry about it.

AMY
I’m not worried. What did you need.

STEALTH
No, it’s not like that.

AMY
Thought I was someone else?

STEALTH
In a way.

AMY
Well now I’m-

STEALTH
You’re just all wrong.

Beat.

AMY
Come closer, this is a bit shouty, wrong for what.

STEALTH (Steps in a bit)
I was gonna pick you up.

AMY
You were-

STEALTH
Yeah. But really, don’t worry, I just made a-

AMY
Are you one of those guys that tries to get numbers?

STEALTH
Not numbers. Not tries. But yeah.

Beat.

I was gonna take you back to your place, since you were on your way home from classes, I figure. We’d have some fun, I’d go on my way. All very respectful, and modern and everything. But then I got a good look at you and I knew it wouldn’t work.

AMY
Ha, okay, fuck off, goodnight.

STEALTH
No, no, MY thing wouldn’t work. On you. So I was just gonna-

AMY
Yeah? Why not.

STEALTH
Too smart.

Beat.

I’d get made, you’d tell me to fuck off. And hey, I called it.

AMY
Too smart.

STEALTH gestures: “exactly”.

How can you tell.

STEALTH
Oh. Eyes. Carriage, to a certain degree.

AMY
Like posture.

STEALTH
More than posture. But anyway.

AMY
Too smart.

STEALTH
Yeah.

AMY
Wouldn’t work on me.

STEALTH
Oh, eventually, yeah, because you want it to.

Beat.

But there’s just not enough time.

AMY
Train’s coming, that kind of thing.

STEALTH shrugs, “alas”. Starts to leave.

You could try.

STEALTH
I was really just looking for something-

AMY
But you’d prefer something more like me.

Beat.

STEALTH
That takes time.

AMY
I might surprise you. Take some time.

Rumble from the tunnel.

STEALTH
Train’s coming.

AMY
We’re getting on. I’m uptown. That’ll give you some time.

Train roars into the station.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 29 2012 – The Bit

The Bit

ADAM and FRANK. Two actors after an audition. It did not go well.

ADAM
Ah well.

FRANK
What a fuckin joke.

ADAM
No, I’m not optimistic about that.

FRANK
Absolute fucker, that time-wasting fucker.

ADAM
He was okay.

FRANK
Fuckin hack pig.

ADAM
Naw.

FRANK
Pig fucker.

ADAM
Naw, I’ve had worse, I think we just-

FRANK
That guy fucked pigs through our whole audition.

ADAM
I think we just didn’t get the bit.

FRANK
The bit?

ADAM
Was the problem.

FRANK
The bit?

ADAM
I thought.

FRANK
Well then you don’t know what you’re talking about.

Beat

ADAM
Well, no, I do.

Beat

See?

Beat

And we just couldn’t figure out the bit. And the whole thing was the bit. And we didn’t figure it out.

FRANK
I think he was too distracted to direct us properly. He just talked over us the whole time, we’re trying to figure out a rhythm, and he’s got no fuckin respect for the actors, the pig fucker, the actors who, incidentally, just met each other, like five seconds before Action – oh, I’m Frank by the way.

ADAM
Adam.

FRANK
Hi- So given all that, a director with any kind of comic sensibility would give us a chance to work it out, or let us feel it out in silence a couple of times.

ADAM
I guess.

FRANK
Fuckin right you guess, but no this guy just nattered at us the whole time, “No, ON action, no, AFTER action, no wait, no look then stand, no stand then look, no go back, no more, no less” while we’re fuckin rolling. That pig dick!

ADAM
I think it just didn’t work, sometimes it just doesn’t work.

FRANK
I think he was distracted by thoughts of fucking pigs.

ADAM
Oh man-

FRANK
I think he rolled out of his hotel bed and kissed the dainty little sow he travels with goodbye before lovingly ladling a bunch of mud over her and heading out the door to our audition.

ADAM
You really want this pig thing to be true.

FRANK
I think he was distracted by thoughts of his wild night throughout our audition. Couldn’t see we were struggling with his inept direction for all the memories of his fair Edwige snorfling hotly in his ear all the previous night.

ADAM
Don’t you think it may be – “Edwige”?

FRANK
Well, what do you call a pig?

Pause

ADAM
Don’t you think it may be more likely that we just fucked up the bit? More likely than the whole…Clive Barker scenario you’ve got-

FRANK
We nailed that bit. It just wasn’t working.

ADAM
If it wasn’t working-

FRANK
Cause of his pork…porky…pig, pig-thing sex problem he’s got-

ADAM
If it wasn’t working then we didn’t nail the bit.

Beat.

Nailed bits? Work. That’s how you know you nailed them.

Pause.

FRANK
Let’s do it now.

ADAM
What.

FRANK
Let’s do the bit now. Without Wilbur here, and we’ll nail it and then you’ll see.

ADAM
Man, it’s done. I’d like to go. I need to get back to work.

FRANK
Let’s nail the bit and then we can wait for him to come out of there and we can do it and he’ll SEE.

ADAM
Okay, later. Best of luck for the four days you’ve got in this business.

Exits.

FRANK
That’s fine, that’s great, you know maybe the reason the bit didn’t work was because of you! Go back to work. Go back to your job fucking your girlfriend the horse. Professional horse fucker! Workplace relationships almost never work, you know! Brace for emotional impact, buddy! I’ll wait here! I’ll do the bit myself! Both bits of the bit. Whatever, I don’t care.

Waits.

C’mooon, lunch. He’s gonna be so surprised.

Takes a novelty pig snout on an elastic out of his pocket, puts it over his own nose. Starts removing all his clothing.

This bit’s gonna be GOOOOOLD.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 28 2012 – The One Time

The One Time

During a sex act, in the dark, though the physical particulars are not seen, should not be explicitly simulated. Bodies obscured in the staging, perhaps, or performers standing apart and simply performing with voice only. Perhaps just voices in the dark. The focus is the voices not the bodies. Two of them.

Lights out.

Here.
Here.

Lights out.

We’re already here.

I shouldn’t be doing this.

(Grinning) That’s why you’re doing it.

This is the one time.

We’ll see.

Lights out.

No.
I need your-

(moan)
I want the lights out.

I want this to not be the one time.

I told you.

It’s my name too.

I know.

It’s not my fault he has my name.

You have his.
Lights.

You might see someone you don’t want in the dark.

Beat.

Take my

What are you-

Take them
(sigh)
Like, yes, that

Look at me

Shut up just

Look at me

Just, hands, no

Both breathing.

Just say it

(Breathing)

It’s all you’re thinking just say it

Hair

My name

Hair

Like that

(sharp exhalation)

Is that okay

Yes shut up yes

Say my name

Shut up

Say it

Shut

Say it

Uh

It’s my name

Uh!

Say it

AH

It’s mine, say it

AH
AH

Now

AH

Now

CO-

Yeah

CO-

Yeah

COME BACK!

fuck

WHERE did you-

fuck

where are you

ah

come back

ah

where are you

look at me

shut up

Both breathing
Settling

i should go

I was saying before.

Beat

Right I can do that I can just

Dressing

You think this is happening again.
Pause
I told you and I told you

It’s my name too.

Yeah. Too.
I know it’s not fair.
There’s nothing I can do for that.
Don’t make me regret this more.

I don’t know if I can just-

Then you lied to me, what am I supposed-

Maybe it changed.

Then I didn’t sign on for that.

Pause

I don’t think I can just-

Then don’t. Disappear.
Or figure it out.
I’ll be here either way. Doing my thing.
And it will never
again
be this thing.

It’s a name for fuck sake.

Yeah.
But it’s a big one out where I live.
And you just got here.
Pause
Sun’s coming up. Birds are about to start.
I need to be asleep for that.
Door locks behind you as you leave.
You don’t even have to turn around.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 27 2012 – Right Right

Right Right

A and B on the phone. B’s eyes have glazed over and the responses are automatic.

A
I mean it’s just so humiliating.

B
Right.

A
I’m a grown man.

B
Right.

A
And I know my credit’s in the toilet and they have to safeguard their interests.

B
Right.

A
Which is such bullshit anyway because they don’t.

B
Right.

A
They’ve got all the money.

B
Right.

A
It’s just so humiliating.

B
Right right.

A
Not one call for a job interview this week.

B
Right.

A
Maybe they can tell how pathetic I am over email.

B
Right right.

A
Are you even listening to me.

B
Right.

Beat.

B snaps back.

Beat.

But I should go.

A
Okay.

B
But try not to get so discouraged.

A
Right.

B
Things will turn around.

A
I’m sorry it’s always like this these days.

B
No.

A
I just don’t have anything good to talk about. The move was really hard on me.

B
Right.

A
How are YOU?

B
Good! Everything’s going really good!

A
Good.

B
Looking forward to quitting.

A
Right.

B
That’ll be a nice change.

A
Right right.

B
So yeah. Pretty good over all.

A
Right.

B
I mean…I think how bad everything is is mostly a head thing.

Beat.

A
Rrright

B
Just a way you’re thinking of everything, the way-

A
Just in my head, gotcha.

Beat.

B
Have you…ever…thought…about…talking to someone?

Beat

A
Sometimes.

B
Maybe you should talk to someone.

A
Maybe.

B
A person whose job it is. Who could…that’s all they would need to do for you.

Pause.

Well…think about it?

A
Right.

B
I have to go.

A
Right.

B
Okay.
Love ya.

A
Bye, Mom.

They hang up.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 26 2012 – The Banns

The Banns

HAROLD and ANTONIA, young, 30s, many years ago. He sits, listening to the radio, broadcast chatter at a low pleasant hum. She sits, separately, reading the newspaper.

Pause, with radio.

ANTONIA
Oh!

HAROLD
Mm?

ANTONIA
That secretary you had!

HAROLD
Mm.

ANTONIA
What was her name?

HAROLD
I don’t recall.

ANTONIA
Yes, you do.

HAROLD
Miss Bennett.

ANTONIA
Constance?

HAROLD
Connie. Constance, yes.

ANTONIA
Yes…

Pause.

HAROLD
What about it.

ANTONIA
Well it says here she’s getting married.

Pause.

HAROLD
She.

ANTONIA
Apparently.

HAROLD
Constance. Miss Bennett.

ANTONIA
Yes. Next month!

Pause. ANTONIA continues reading. HAROLD reaches out and turns off the radio. ANTONIA stops reading.

Long silence. HAROLD stares ahead.

HAROLD
Well that’s marvelous!

ANTONIA
Yes…

HAROLD
That’s fantastic news.
Just marvelous.
Next month.
Wonderful.
Miss Bennett.
Of all people.
I’m just…
I don’t know what to…
Of course, she must have changed a great deal.
Fine. Just fine.
Married.
Constance.
Next month you say.

ANTONIA
The paper says.

HAROLD
Where?

Pause.

Does it say where?

ANTONIA
It doesn’t, no. Here, I imagine.

HAROLD
Mm?

ANTONIA
Here in the city.

HAROLD
Mm. Yes of course. Who to?

ANTONIA
Oh-

HAROLD
Who is she marrying.

ANTONIA
The name here is Colin.

HAROLD
What’s the last name?

Pause.

I say what’s the boy’s last name.

Silence.

HAROLD
Well. I am so happy.

ANTONIA
Yes.

HAROLD
So happy for her.

ANTONIA
Yes.

HAROLD
What luck.
What luck for her.

Silence.

I’ll go for a walk.

ANTONIA
A walk?

HAROLD
Yes, I feel like a walk, I’ll go for one. Dinner’s not ready for a while.

ANTONIA
An hour.

HAROLD
I’ll go for a walk for an hour.
Perhaps it will become a run.

ANTONIA
You’re hardly dressed for it.

HAROLD
I have the jogging,,,the suit. In the spare room closet.

ANTONIA
It wouldn’t fit you.
Not now.

HAROLD
I’ll walk to the shops I’ll buy one there. One that fits. I’ve sat around long enough.
I may be longer than an hour.
I’ll bring home curry.

ANTONIA
Everything’s on.

HAROLD (Harsh but smiling)
It’ll all keep for a day, won’t it.
I want a run. And I want curry. That stuff in the oven will keep a day.
Perhaps I’ll bring home a suit for you, wouldn’t that be fun. A new thing to do.

ANTONIA
If you like.

HAROLD
We can match.

ANTONIA
If you like.

HAROLD
It will be good then.

Stands. Walks to the door. Stops.

When I come back that newspaper will be gone. We can go without news for a few weeks. We’ve got the radio for news.

ANTONIA
Don’t you-

HAROLD
Acceptable?

ANTONIA
If you like.

Silence. HAROLD stands at the door.

HAROLD
Marvelous news. About Miss Bennett.

He exits.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

September 25 2012 – Kim’s Overwhelming Aura

Kim’s Overwhelming Aura

KIM and ELMER, at a party. KIM seems like a charming and pleasant lady, ELMER is standing uncomfortably close to her.

ELMER
I mean do you have any idea how difficult it is to feel so close to someone?

KIM
Uh-

ELMER
Just every day all the time. I think about you so hard you kind of manifest. Like just when I’m sorting the mail. Behind and slightly above me. And just off to my left. And not full scale, either, kind of pocket sized. Not shirt pocket sized maybe, but definitely sweatpant pocket sized. Roughly smurf-sized. Three-or-so apples.

KIM
I like these shrimp things, have you tried them?

ELMER
Like the hologram of Leia, in the fourth movie.

KIM is looking ANYWHERE else.

Did you hear what I said to you, I compared you to Leia in the fourth movie.

KIM
First movie, fourth chapter.

She realizes her mistake just as it leaves her lips. ELMER’s heart grows three sizes, and he somehow manages to get even closer, despite the lack of space between them already.

ELMER
You see? You see? My god you are the perfect woman. Listen I think we need to discuss what’s happening between us.

KIM
You really smell like your drink when you’re talking.

ELMER
That’s the only reason I can even talk to you right now. Listen, I know things could be awkward if we ever…you know…

KIM
They could, they really would-

ELMER
You’ve got a kid.

KIM
But I don’t think we need to worry-

ELMER
My wife’s around here somewhere.

KIM
Because we’re both adults.

ELMER
You’re just as fuckin sexy and cool as a lady assassin.

KIM
I think there’s a really cool place to stand about two feet behind you.

Beat.

ELMER
Okay.

Beat.

Will you come with me?

KIM
Uh.

ELMER
Would that be like a date, going there?

KIM
Two feet…that way?

ELMER
Maybe if we held hands?

KIM
Listen-

ELMER
You’re not all that pretty you know.

Beat.

Like conventionally. You’re oldish, and your body is nice but you can tell you’ve had a kid. So like there’s lots of areas where you could take points off.

KIM
Okay I’ve got to see where you take this.

ELMER
But not to me.

KIM
Aha.

ELMER
Not to me, you see, that stuff…it’s not even that that stuff’s not important, but I am totally willing to waive that stuff.

KIM
Aw gee!

ELMER
Largely due to your aura. Which is overwhelming. I don’t think you understand what it feels like to be overwhelmed so systematically.

KIM
Oh, I-

ELMER
So it’s not important. Your body’s not perfect, as we covered, but that stuff isn’t important, like it shouldn’t be important.

KIM
But it is.

Beat.

I mean, I don’t think it’s shallow to need to be…attracted to a person. We have these bodies, and they’re not this other thing that we drive around, they are us, as much as our mind is, and our feelings and ideas. Like we can’t just disregard them.

ELMER
Is it that you don’t like my body?

Pause.

KIM
Yeah, it’s your body, I extremely do not enjoy it.

ELMER
Well, that’s not very polite, I totally overlook your imperfections-

KIM
Which I never asked you to.

ELMER
Is it all the hair all over everything?

KIM
No, you know it’s more the uncomfortable proximity. And the ears don’t seem to work. And just…generally…it contains…you. It’s a part of the totality of you, and I’d say overall, on a physical and emotional and kind of olfactory level, this whole you thing is not a thing I’m into. At all. Under any circumstances.

ELMER
Bet if I got you drunk enough.

KIM
I am extremely drunk right now, and if anything it only strengthens my resolve.

Pause.

ELMER
You basically just destroyed my feelings.

KIM
Is it reassuring if I say they weren’t doing you any favours, and you could look at this as a chance to start again with some new ones?

ELMER cries. He is just as close as ever but behaves as if he is alone. She watches him weep for a while. Perhaps a tray of drinks goes by and she takes one.

ELMER (Still weeping)
I’m Elmer. I’m in Communications.

KIM
Kim. Marketing.

ELMER
It was nice to finally talk to you Kim.

KIM
I’m sorry it didn’t go better.

ELMER
Are you.

KIM
Well, I’m more sorry it happened. But…

He continues to cry. She slowly creeps away.

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This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.