Archive for the ‘ plays ’ Category

The Greatest Magic Trick

Lights Up.

We see a man in a black suit and tie, with white shirt, enter stage right and stop center.  He places his hands on the sides of his head and pulls his head off and kicks it stage left.

Blackout.

Curtain.

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36.

mor(light)ning.

The Line

Lights Up.

We see a single line of blankly dressed men stretching from stage left to right.  The last two men in the line at stage left begin a dialogue.

Men 1:  I am dreading this.

Man 2:  What?

Man 1:  This (pointing toward the front of the line).

Man 2:  O, that.  Just relate your position.

The line moves forward.  When a man exits right another enters left.  The line moves continuously in this way, unbroken, across the stage. 

Man 1:  It’s not that straight forward.

Man 2:  It’s straight enough if it’s plain to see.

Man 1:  Is it plain to see?

Man 2:  From where I’m standing.

The line moves forward. 

Man 1:  Where should I begin?

Man 2:  At the end.

Man 1:  That far back?

Man 2:  They prefer you start at the end and work your way to the beginning.

The line moves forward.

Man 1:  How did you get in line?

Man 2:  I’m not sure.  I’ve never been out of line.

Man 1:  Me either.

Man 2:  I am sure they will see where we are coming from.

The line moves forward.

Man 1:  How long do you think the line is?

Man 2:  It is longer for me than it is for you since you are in front of me.

Man 1:  (Addressing the man in front of him) how long is the line?

Man 3:  (Addressing the man in front of him) how long is the line?

The question is asked of each man in line by the man behind him until the furthest man at stage right is asked, then the line moves forward and the entering man at stage left asks the man in front of him.  The question is passed forward through the line until it is asked of Man 2 again by the man behind him.

Man 2:  (Addressing the man behind him) it is shorter for me than it is for you since you are behind me.

Blackout.

 

Curtain.

“Somewhere Out There the World is the Same as It is in Here”

Lights Up.

We see a black ball bouncing across the stage from left.  There is a small boy chasing it.  The child catches the ball and runs back to left and exits.  From off stage we hear this dialogue: 

 

Voice 1:  The sky is falling.

Voice 2:  It is not falling.

Voice 1:  It is falling.  I can feel the wind in my hair.

Voice 2:  The wind is blowing.

Voice 1:  It is not blowing.

Voice 2: Your hair is moving.  The wind is blowing.

 

Two short men enter stage right.  Each man is clutching a black hat in both hands.  They are holding the hats to their chests and looking around nervously.

 

Man 1:  On air our hearts move.

Man 2:  Like a violin.

Man 1:  Yes, like the thin drawn sound of a violin string.

Man 2:  That is beautiful.  I am glad I came here with you.

Man 1:  Came where?

Man 2:  Came here…to where we are now.

Man 1:  Where are we now?

Man 2:  Here (holding his hat in front of his eyes).

 

We hear a glass break.  From stage left a tall man with a mound of dirt and a flower on top of his head enters holding up an unlit candle.

 

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 2:  Do you see that?

Man 1:  That light?

Man 2:  Yes, that light?

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 1:  No, I don’t see it and you should not see it either.

Man 2:  We should go see what it is.

Man 1:  We know what it isn’t.  It isn’t a light.

Man 2:  No, we should see what it illuminates.

Man 1:  It will illuminate nothing.

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen. 

Man 2:  I’m going.

Man 1:  I’m staying.

Man 2:  You’re going.

Man 1:  You’re staying.

Man 2:  We’re going.

Man 1:  Where?

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.

Man 2:  To the light.

Man 1:  Away from the light.

Man 2:  It could show us where we are.

Man 1:  It could show us where we aren’t.

 

The two men slowly start toward the third man.  When they are at stage center a 4th man enters stage right.  He is very tall with a set of false teeth setting on top of his head.  Man 1 looks back nervously and sees the 4th man. 

 

Man 1:  (Grabbing and turning man 2 around) look.

Man 2:  Where?

Man 1:  (Pointing) there, do you see?

Man 4:  Are you speaking?

Man 2:  What is it?

Man 1:  I know what it is not.

Man 3:  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.  Gentlemen.

Man 2:  God.

 

An APPLAUSE sign blinks over stage center.

 

Blackout.

 

Curtain.

As it is and isn’t

Lights Up.

 

A light and some of the rigging above the stage falls and crashes stage center.  A black back wall falls forward onto the stage and exposes the off stage area behind it.  Another light falls as a ladder tips over from stage left and falls into the downed rigging. Various lights blow and pop over the stage, while metal and rope fall from the rafters.

An APPLAUSE sign blinks and, then, dies over stage center as the whole stage collapses in an airy collision of dust and splinters.

 

Blackout.

 

Curtain. 

 

God’s Last Words

Lights Up.

 

At stage center we see a white dove sitting on a severed head.  From off stage we hear a dog barking.  A light falls from the rigging above the stage just missing the head and the bird is startled and flies away.  The dog continues barking.

An APPLAUSE sign blinks over stage center.

 

Blackout.

 

Curtain.

Go Sell It on the Mountain (A short play in three acts)

Overture

Black stage. Suddenly the sounds of a woman screaming followed by a baby crying, then hammering and screaming. The sounds of wood being dragged and begging. A loud thump.

Repeats three times.

Fades out.

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Virgin Birth (exits right).

Act One

The Theme from the Virgin Birth

Lights up. One man standing stage center smoking. All else in darkness. We hear a baby crying.

Joseph: Virgin my ass (flicks cigarette, exits).

Curtain.

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Crucifixion (exits right).

Act Two

The Theme from the Crucifixion

Lights up. Three men crucified, one up center, two stage left and right. All else in darkness.

Jesus: My God. My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

Thief One: Jesus Christ.

A voice off stage: Quiet up there.

Thief Two: (whispering) Be quiet. We’re dying.

Thief One: I am dying too.

Thief Two: We are all dying.

Jesus: Lord, forgive them…

Thief One: He is really losing it now.

Thief Two: Shhhh.

Jesus: For they, for they, for they know not what they do.

Thief One: Look like they knew what they were doing to me.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: Is that a chant?

Thief Two: I think it is a prayer.

Thief One: Or a poem. It could be a poem.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: O.k. it’s not poetry.

A group of black robes push forward from stage right. Pointing, laughing, whispering, owing, awing. One throws a tomato at Jesus.

Jesus: (Moans).

Thief One: And they crucify us.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

Thief One: Ask’em.

Thief Two: Ask’em what?

Thief One: Ask’em to throw one at your mouth…they might.

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief Two: Hey, throw one up here. I’ll try to catch it with my mouth.

The crowd looks at each other.

Thief Two: Jesus. I’m famished.

Jesus: What?

Thief One: Hey, how does it work?

Thief Two: How does what work?

Thief One: Crucifixion. How do you die from it?

Thief Two: I think you suffocate.

Thief One: No, that’s burning.

Thief Two: What’s burning?

Thief One: You suffocate when you burn to death.

Thief Two: That doesn’t sound right…How’s that?

Thief One: The fire consumes the air around you…You can’t breath.

Thief Two: If I were burning to death the last thing I’d be worried about is breathing.

Thief One: My cousin was crucified and my aunt said they broke his legs.

Thief Two: After?

Thief One: After what?

Thief Two: After they nailed him up?

Thief One: They didn’t nail him…They tied him up.

Thief Two: What! That soldier told me it was for my own good…so I wouldn’t slide off.

Thief One: We’ll probably starve to death.

Thief Two: I wish they’d throw a tomato at my mouth.

A Roman Soldier crosses stage left, pushes into crowd.

Soldier: Move along here. Nothing to see. Move along folks…Go on home.

Thief Two: They look so small from up here.

Thief One: It’s the angle.

Jesus: The angel? Where?

Thief One: Angle. God, you’d think he’d learn to listen.

Soldier: Quiet up there…you two. Quiet up there…get on with it.

Thief Two: How’s that? Who’s he talking too?

Thief One: Us.

Thief Two: What’s he going to do? Crucify us.

Soldier: (stabs Jesus in side) There ye go. That’s better.

Jesus: (bleeding) Ooooo.

Thief Two: Lord, have mercy.

Jesus: (slumping) What?

Thief One: That’s just mean.

Soldier sits down and takes his lunch.

Thief Two: Just like that. All in a days work.

Thundering.

Thief One: What did you do to get here?

Thief Two: O, I; well I, I stole a healthy piece of bread.

Thief One: You get to eat it?

Thief Two: Slightly. I dropped it running.

Thief One: Shame.

The crowd moves back on stage left. Pointing, Laughing, etc. etc.

Thief One: Maybe they’ll throw another tomato.

Thief Two: What about you?

Jesus: Ooooo.

Thief One: What?

Thief Two: What’d you do?

Thief One: O, I stepped on a rich man’s shadow.

Thief Two: And?

Thief One: And what.

Thief Two: That’s it. You stepped on someone’s shadow?

Thief One: It was a healthy shadow.

Thief Two: A wealthy shadow.

Soldier Holds hand out for rain, crosses right. Exists.

Thief One: (looks up) Looks like rain.

Jesus: It’s finished (dies).

Starts raining. Thieves collectively start lapping at rain.

Thieves One and Two: Umm, good. Umm, tastes good…good…

Curtain

A child: (crosses left to center, clears his throat and stomps on the stage three times) The Theme from the Resurrection (exits right).

Act Three

The Theme from the Resurrection

Lights up. We see a small group of people standing around a black hole in the ground. Some are smoking; others are stomping there feet and blowing into their hands-trying to stay warm. One is wearing an “I was at the crucifixion and all I got was this lousy t-shirt” t-shirt.

Person One: God, he’s not gonna show.

Person Two: He might…It’s not impossible.

Person Three: My brother cut a chicken’s head off once and it ran around in the yard all day…six, seven hours maybe.

Person Two: See.

Person Four: How longs it been?

Person One: Couple two, three days.

Person Three: He’s dead.

Person Five: Did any of you see the crucifixion? I heard he put on a show.

Person Six: Seen one crucifixion, seen’em all.

Person One: I heard it got rained out.

Person Two: It did, but it was pretty much over with…so whatever.

Person Six: He went out like a bitch…”Father, Father…why hath thou forsaken me” and shit…God, there was two other people hanging up there with him.

Person Seven: Maybe he didn’t see’em. He was out front, maybe he couldn’t see the other two.

Person Six: What? He could see’em…He kept going “What…What’d you say?” when they’d say something. Why ain’t we standin’ around their holes?

Person Three: Dogs probably ate them.

Person One: Hell, we probably ate them.

They all laugh.

A detuned piano slowly plays “Go Tell It on the Mountain” as lights fade to black.

Curtain.

The End.