Dramaturgy Project 1

A short ( 10 minute) play by Alex Christmas.

Characters:

Amanda: 20 year old white female college student who is trying to bond with her new step brother, Isaiah.

Isaiah: 23 year old black male, college graduate in liberal arts, lives and works in hometown. Tries to bond with new step sister Amanda, even though she irritates him.

Dave: A super serious cool guy turned poet who is incredibly over the top. His flair for the dramatic often leaves his audiences very confused.

Amy: A small timid girl with an annoying voice.

Blair: The event organizer, she is happy and trying to cover her stress with a chill vibe. It’s not working.

Maggie: A tap dancing teen who has been on stage since the moment her mother could put her up there.

 

Setting:

A dimly lit small poetry slam. There is a microphone and stand sitting in front of a bar stool. There is a raised platform, only a few feet wide underneath the overhead light. Down stage, people sit and stand in the darkness facing the rickety stage. Each table has small bowls of snacks and refreshments. Amanda and Isaiah sit together in the audience.

 

 

Lights come up on the first poet

 

Dave:

When I was young in the jungle, I found myself raised by a cat. The nuances of the plants, the streams, the fight for life all bubbled up and resounded in me. The me that was me, but not only he, was he and was me, as I slept in a tree. The cat that raised me was now filled with hunger instead of love and my body became something of nutrition as opposed to life. My cat was my mother and in her I saw myself. One who’s love ran out as she got hungry.

 

Audience Snaps

 

Amanda and Isaiah are sitting in the audience at a small table. He is invested she is annoyed.

 

Amanda:

(Whispering quietly to Isaiah)

Did he just say his mom tried to eat him? Why is she a cat?

 

Isaiah:

(looking around to make sure no one is eaves dropping on their conversation and returning the whisper)

No. It’s figurative. He’s saying that his mother’s affection was short lived and that her needs were always more important.

 

Amanda:

Wow… that’s deep.

 

Isaiah:

Don’t say deep. It’s so cliché.

 

Amanda:

(Sarcastically)

Fine. WOOOOOOWWWWWW. What depths…

 

Isaiah:

Shhh! She’s starting.

 

Amy:

(Now standing at the microphone shaking)

I’m sorry everyone. This is my first time sharing so I’m just really nervous.

 

Audience snaps in support

 

Blair:

(Shouting from audience)

Go ahead girl! Speak your truth.

 

Dave:

Yes honey! Tell your story

 

Amy:

My mother. She sits on her bed. My mother. She looks in looks in the mirror as her hair turns grey. My mother. She opens a drawer to unfold the same old gown she’s worn for 20 years. My mother. She blinks slowly as if one day she will be unable to open her eyes. My mother. She asks me what day it is at least once every half hour. My mother. She can no longer cook for herself. My mother. She refuses to use the new things I buy her because the old things are familiar. My mother. She looks at me some days and doesn’t know who I am. My mother, my mother, my mother is dying and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.

(Amy falls to her knees and begins sobbing. The audience initially freezes in discomfort)

 

Amy:

(Whimpering into the microphone)

Thank you.

(Amy quickly runs back into the audience as the audience snaps for her resiliency.)

 

Amanda:

Okay…. That was… Um, when can we leave?

 

Isaiah:

It just started.

 

Amanda:

But can’t we see something more fun. Less depressy.

Isaiah:

This is fun. Hearing people use words and art to process through life. It’s inspiring.

 

Amanda:

It’s a glorified therapy session for their mommy issues. I don’t wanna hear that.

 

Isaiah:

Well, It’s not over.

 

Amanda:

Come on. 42nd street is touring at the theater downtown. I bet we can still get tickets.

 

Isaiah:

Why on earth would I want to go to that?

 

Amanda:

You like artsy stuff. Plus at least that’s entertaining.

 

Isaiah:

You said you’d come. Just chill out and try to have a good time.

 

Amanda:

I’m gonna look up the ticket prices again. Maybe there is a discount.

 

 

Blair:

(On stage)

The open mic sign-up sheet is still being passed around, so feel free to add yourself to it. But I’d like to call Maggie to the stage. Everyone welcome Maggie.

 

Audience snaps as Maggie steps on the stage

 

Maggie:

This piece is called let me entertain you.

(Maggie begin dancing as she speaks)

Flap, Flap, flap, flap,

Step step, chug, freeze.

(Maggie begins doing time steps)

Who am I performing to? Why am I smiling?

Wow I’m out of breath. This Is fun right? Mom this isn’t fun.

5,6,7,8

Sugar, and sugar, and Jazz hands, Keep up that energy.

It should look easy. Why does it have to look easy? Who is this for?

I’m tired can’t I stop. Oh no we’re spinning. Why am I spinning? I need to stop spinning. I feel sick. And back to the time step… okay. One more,

And big FINISH.

(Hands on knees bending over, taking loud audible breaths)

Mmmm… That was awful. See you all tomorrow.

(exits platform)

 

Audience snaps

 

Isaiah:

How could you not be entertained now? She had a whole routine.

 

Amanda:

Entertainment in the worst way. Why the fuck is it all sad?

 

Isaiah:

That one wasn’t even sad.

 

Amanda:

This is miserable

 

Isaiah:

Don’t be rude

 

Amanda:

They’re all sad. Can we go?

 

Isaiah:

No, just shut up and eat your pretzels.

 

End Scene

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