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 Posted: Mon Apr 18th, 2011 11:33 pm
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mulk99
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Looking for feedback on both dialogue and stage directions. My biggest concern is that my dialogue plays great with audiences, but it reads tough. Any thoughts would be appreciated, including dealing with stage directions.

ACT I

SCENE 1

Scene opens with music. SL is the Thumb facing
backwards, maybe the couch or a table on the
reverse. Each finger is  pointing in a different
direction.

HAND 1
These

HAND 2
These

HAND 3
These

HAND 4
Hands

HAND 1
Hands

HAND 2
These Hands

HAND 3
These Hands

NARRATOR
Look at these hands. They reveal everything. If you
want to know anything look at these hands, for they
will show you what you-

HAND 2
want

HAND 4
need

HAND 2
trust


ALL HANDS
These hands

HAND 4
Know

HAND 6
Strength

HAND 1
Will

HAND 2
Love

HAND 3
Show

NARRATOR
Weakness

HAND 4
Touch

HAND 5
Compassionately



ALL HANDS
These hands don't

HAND 1
Care

HAND 2
Feel

HAND 3
Try

HAND 6
anything unless we tell them to.

NARRATOR
DO these hands know love. Do they know how to give
love?



SCENE 1A

MARY
I am saying do you love me?

JOHN
What?

MARY
Do you love me?

JOHN
Why?

MARY
Tell me.

JOHN
Look, I am trying to...

MARY
DO YOU LOVE ME!

JOHN
Somewhere inside, I guess I do.

MARY
You guess?

JOHN
It's just that you are.

MARY
That I am pregnant.

JOHN
Yeah, you got yourself knocked up

MARY
We got pregnant, you and me.

JOHN
And this is what is supposed to happen.

MARY
A ring?

JOHN
Yes a ring.

MARY
Are you sure?

JOHN
See if it fits.

MARY
Really, a ring, you want to get married?

JOHN
It's not much, but you get the picture.

MARY
This is one of those.... one of those things you need
to be sure about.

JOHN
So you are saying no?

MARY
I want to know you to love me.

JOHN
Why is that all that matters?

MARY
Because, Because I love you! I was... my daddy never
loved me and

JOHN
I am not your father

MARY
I know... I am afraid

JOHN
Afraid of what?

MARY
of never being loved, of being left alone, that if you
don't love me that some day you will leave, and I can't
take that pain.
(turns away in embarrassment)


JOHN
I will never leave you.

MARY
But if you don't love me though, what's to stop you? If
you don't love me then you'll always blame me, just
like my dad did. I don't want to live without love,
because without love there's nothing to stop us from
being angry. I don't want to bring this baby into a
world of anger. My mom lived like that and I don't...

JOHN
We won't.
(beat)

MARY
We can find out if its a boy or girl soon.

JOHN
We don't need, it's a boy.

MARY
Or a girl. or both, it doesn't matter?

JOHN
To you.

MARY
Why?


JOHN
Because the only girls in my family are the ones we
marry.
(beat)
Because I want a son.
(she starts to leave)
Where are you going?

MARY
This isn't the way its supposed to be. I can do this on
my own.

JOHN
I'm sorry.
(pulling her to him and embracing in a
sweet way)

MARY
you can't just say you are sorry and think everything
will be forgiven. you need to mean it! We need to be in
this together.

JOHN
I just don't know.

MARY
try, please.

JOHN
Shh

MARY
I

JOHN
Shh
(Comforting her)

MARY
This feels like love, this is what I want

JOHN
This
(see the real man)
this is easy.You have this

MARY
Yes

JOHN
what?

MARY
I'll take this. Yes, The answer is yes.

JOHN
Answer?

MARY
(holds up ring)
Yes

JOHN
good. Now lets name this boy

MARY
or girl

JOHN
If its a girl it ain't mine.

MARY
don't be silly





SCENE 2

Base Stage with one finger moved into place.

NARRATOR
Love?

HAND 1
These hands are covered in love.

HAND 3
In life.

HAND 4
In loss.

HAND 5
These hands

HAND 2
are everything we have touched.

HAND 1
Done .

HAND 4
Tried.

ALL HANDS
These hands are ours.

HAND 3
These hands are yours.

HAND 1
These hands are mine.

HAND 2
See these hands.

HAND 4
See your hands.

HAND 3
Look at these hands.

NARRATOR
Remember what hands do. Remember where they have been.
Know these hands...your hands...have touched lives.

HAND 4
Good.

HAND 3
Bad.

HAND 1
Kind.

HAND 2
Angry.

HAND 3
These

HAND 1
These

HANDS 4 & 3
These hands

HANDS 1 & 2
These hands

NARRATOR
These hands are everything. These hands give life. They
have touched innocence.
(all hands cradle a baby)







SCENE 2A
(Inside Mary and John's House)

The house. C is a smallish couch and a bassinet.
Mary is kneeling beside it singing to baby. John
is near the proscenium angry as usual.

MARY
Twinkle, Twinkle little star. How I wonder what you
are..

JOHN
Do you mind?

MARY
Hush little baby. Don't say a word.

JOHN
You know it would be great if we could get some quiet
around here.

MARY
Papa's gonna buy...

JOHN
Papa ain't gonna buy you sh-

MARY
Stop!

JOHN
(sing-song)
Hush little baby. Don't say a word. Daddy's gonna sell
you on the black market.

MARY
Stop it!

JOHN
Just relax.

MARY
John.

JOHN
Take that brat back to the bedroom.

MARY
You are not funny, it's cold back there.

JOHN
It's cold everywhere.

MARY
It still isn't right, she's just a baby.

JOHN
So what?

MARY
Can you do something about the heat in here.

JOHN
Nope.

MARY
What?

JOHN
Unless you've got some magic wand, there is no heat.

MARY
Why?

JOHN
Furnace only works when it's got something to burn.

MARY
So go get something and make it burn!

JOHN
You think I haven't tried? They don't just hand out
free oil these days.

MARY
Our baby needs heat.

JOHN
Your baby.

MARY
I'll start working soon.

JOHN
Work? Around here? There hasn't been a job in this
damned town in a year.

MARY
I can start cleaning houses up on the Narrows

JOHN
You?

MARY
What?

JOHN
Clean house? You can't even keep up with the laundry
here. Clean houses, my ass.

MARY
Just because it's rough on you doesn't mean you need to
be rough on us.

JOHN
All I know is that you got it made. All I hear is
want...want. Well there ain't nothing' to go around
right now.

MARY
Watch, I'll have a job tomorrow.

JOHN
Right, and what are you going to do; carry that thing
around with you letting' it hang off your chest while
you scrub some rich old hag's toilets?

MARY
No, she can stay here with you.

JOHN
Me?

MARY
It's obvious you aren't going to do anything about
getting a job.

JOHN

Laughing
That's right
(Muttered under his breath.
He doesn't even say anything, just
beckons her to him. When she gets close
he innocently puts his wrist on her
shoulder. He then says something to get
her going, and calmly and methodically
puts his hand behind her neck and pulls
her head to his so their foreheads are
touching. He then squeezes and in this
frighteningly strong moment...)
Understand, that kid ain't never been mine! I will not
spend my day cleaning this damned house and changing
her nasty diapers. You wanted a kid; now you got one.
Do what you want with your time, get a job, don't get a
job, but NEVER connect me with that kid. Christ, we
barely ever slept together and you say it's mine.

MARY
Stop it.

JOHN
Fine, but don't make this about me.

MARY
That h....

JOHN
What? That hurts? Is that what you want to say?

MARY
No.

John exits

MARY
Its OK Gracie

Mary spends the next few moments by the cradle
cooing to Grace
So now with the big old meanie gone... don't cry,
Mommy's not hurt. Just a little red spot. Daddy's just
a little frustrated; he'll come around. So what do you
want to do today? What do you say you and me go find us
a job. Maybe we can get a job where we can play some
music.... you'll love that, won't you Gracie.....

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 Posted: Sat Jun 18th, 2011 12:56 pm
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Paddy
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2114
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Mana: 
Gack. I read this play only to find out it's a guest and the guests never return. Sigh.

If you do come back. The poetic is beautiful. I'm not sure the hands actually need to be hands....might make it a bit corny.

The words are lovely.

The dialogue feels stiff to me. They finish every sentence, which most don't do. The subtext has been spilled to the surface and leaves nothing much behind to wonder about. Like here.

MARY
Because, Because I love you! I was... my daddy never
loved me and

JOHN
I am not your father

If you stopped short...

MARY
Because, Because I love you! I was... my daddy...

JOHN
I am not your father

And the audience would get it.

Also, you have, thus far, given John nothing to love him. Makes that a difficult place for a character. I'd be more engaged if he was trying to love Gracie...or trying not to....something other than blatant disdain.

So wonderful poetic idea, still needs some work.

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 Posted: Mon Oct 17th, 2011 04:38 pm
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daveye
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Joined: Mon Oct 17th, 2011
Location: Winthrop, Maine USA
Posts: 11
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Mana: 
Ok so its me (mulk99) I had a bit of an issue with my username.
SO I appreciate the response. some of the dialogue really needed work, but I thank you for noticing the poetic. I have attached the re-write of the entire show, love to hear what you think of where it all went.
Dave

Attachment: These Hands.pdf.zip (Downloaded 0 times)

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