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 Posted: Mon Aug 14th, 2006 04:31 pm
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Boz2
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Mana: 
Thank you to all those who commented on my previous effort,

“Fast Food Drama”

and who offered helpful suggestions.
It’s a little invidious to single out one person, but I was intrigued by Kate’s suggestion;
this was to have the couple- if indeed they are a couple- act out their charade
against different backgrounds:

 

So, after Fast Food

 

By Way Of Dessert.

SFX: ANIMAL NOISES. SOUNDS OF EXCITED CHILDREN.

 

THE CURTAIN RISES TO REVEAL RICHARD, A HANDSOME MAN, DRESSED IN A BUSINESS SUIT, STANDING ALONE, HIS BACK HALF TURNED TO THE AUDIENCE.

 

CAROLYN, A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN, FASHIONABLY DRESSED ENTERS FROM STAGE RIGHT.

SHE SEES RICHARD AND WAVES.

IF HE SEES HER, HE DOESN’T ACKNOWLEDGE HER.

 

CAROLYN APPROACHES AND HESITATES A LITTLE DISTANCE FROM RICHARD.

 

RICHARD: I’m sorry, were you waving to me?
 
 CAROLYN: [UNCERTAINLY]
                       Yes. I thought…
 
RICHARD: I don’t think we know each other?
 
CAROLYN: [QUICKLY]
Of course not. How silly of me. You must excuse me; the sun was in my eyes. Now I see you are quite unlike…he’s much taller.
 
RICHARD: Though, if you’re a regular visitor to the zoo, you’ve certainly seen me. I’m always to be found here.                     
[HE GESTURES TO HIS FEET].
 
CAROLYN: Oh, do you work here? At the zoo?
 
RICHARD: In a manner of speaking, I do.
 
CAROLYN: [EXAMINING HIM CLOSELY FOR CLUES AS TO HIS   STATUS] Are you…a keeper?
 
RICHARD: No.
                                              [PAUSE]
I’m an exhibit. Part of the attractions.
 
CAROLYN: [SUPPRESSING A GIGGLE]; An exhibit? How intriguing.
 
RICHARD: [SEVERELY]: This is a serious matter. As part of the zoo’s education programme and in order to enhance the visitors’ experience, selected examples of the human species are placed in front of the animal enclosures by way of contrast.
 
CAROLYN: By way of contrast?
 
RICHARD: Yes. Each of these wonderful animals displays attributes, qualities if you wish, sadly lacking in humankind.
 
THEY BOTH TURN TO FACE THE AUDIENCE
 
CAROLYN: [POINTING INTO AUDIENCE]
These Orang-Utans?
 
RICHARD: {WITH FEELING] Aren’t they wonderful?
 
CAROLYN: [CAREFULLY, SLOWLY, CONSIDERING]
So Orang-Utans have qualities you lack?
 
RICHARD: Yes, isn’t it obvious?
 
CAROLYN: Hair? No, that’s too obvious.
 
RICHARD: I don’t think you’re trying very hard.
 
CAROLYN: They look very strong…
 
RICHARD: Strength is indeed one of their qualities.
 
CAROLYN: [DELIGHTED] Have I guessed right?
 
RICHARD: Strength and gravitas.
 
CAROLYN: [LOOKING INTO THE AUDIENCE AND THEN AT RICHARD]  Yes. I see.
 
           [LOOKING MORE CLOSELY AT RICHARD]
 
There is a marked weakness about the chin …and the eyes. You are a sorry specimen in comparison.
 
[RICHARD SUPPRESSES A SMILE AND BOWS HIS HEAD IN REMORSE.
 
Gravitas? Are you especially frivolous?
 
RICHARD: Yes. I’m quite unable to treat any matter seriously.
 
CAROLYN: You needn’t sound so proud of it!
 
[AGAIN COMPARING THE AUDIENCE WITH RICHARD]
 
You know, the contrast is so obvious and so striking, I wonder I didn’t spot it immediately.
Oh, these wonderful strong and grave Orang-Utans!
Oh, and you? You do your job of contrasting so well.
 
RICHARD: Thank you, we try our best.
 
CAROLYN: I shall probably complete one of those comment forms. I shall mention how good you are.
 
RICHARD: Thank you.
 
CAROLYN: I would give you a tip, if it was allowed.
 
RICHARD: There’s nothing in the regulations definitely preventing tipping.
 
CAROLYN: Oh. Right.
        [SHE REACHES INTO HER HANDBAG]
        How much is…?
 
RICHARD: Whatever you feel…
        
         [CAROLYN GIVES HIM MONEY]
         A pound!
 
CAROLYN: If you think…?
 
RICHARD: [GRAVELY, WITH A SLIGHT BOW]
Every performer offers up hostages to fortune, and must accept with good grace, the judgment of the critics.
 
CAROLYN: [REACHING INTO HER HANDBAG AGAIN]
        Perhaps on second thoughts…
 
RICHARD: No, always follow your first instincts
 
CAROLYN: Are there many of you? Doing this work?
 
RICHARD: Yes, indeed. In front of every animal enclosure, you’ll find someone like me.
 
CAROLYN: [LOOKING STAGE RIGHT]
         The giraffes?
 
RICHARD: Yes.
 
CAROLYN: No, don’t tell me. Let me see if I can spot    them.
[CONSIDERS]
The tall spotty young man?
 
RICHARD: No, try again.
 
CAROLYN: The rather awkward looking man?
 
RICHARD: No, but you’re on the right track. Grace and balance are the giraffe’s special attributes.
Let me tell you. It’s the very fat man, who kind of waddles.
 
CAROLYN: [LOOKING AND CONSIDERING]
There are two.
 
RICHARD: What?
 
CAROLYN: He was a woman companion. She’s fat and waddles more than him.
 
RICHARD: He’s on his own. She has no relationship with him whatsoever.
 
[PAUSE]
 
CAROLYN: No relationship? Then how do you account for the child?
 
RICHARD: [LOST FOR WORDS]
That’s because…
 
CAROLYN: May I help you?
 
RICHARD: Please do.
 
CAROLYN: He’s on his day off and has brought his family to the zoo as a treat.
 
RICHARD: Thank you.
 
CAROLYN: You’re welcome.
[PRODUCES AND CONSULTS A GUIDE BOOK]
It’s very strange. This is such a marvelous idea and yet nothing about it in the guide book.
 
RICHARD: [SNATCHING THE GUIDE BOOK FROM HER]
You don’t need a guide book.
Throw it away.
[THROWING THE GUIDE BOOK AWAY]
 
CAROLYN: Hey!
 
RICHARD: [CLOSER TO HER]
You don’t need anyone to tell you what to see and what to think.
Nature has endowed you with all you need.
Ears to catch every nuance of sound.
[HE TOUCHES HER NOSE]
A nose to distinguish a billion different scents and perfumes.
[SOFTLY]
You don’t object to my touching you?
 
CAROLYN: No, if it’s necessary for my instruction.
 
RICHARD: It’s essential.
 
CAROLYN: I think my eyes should come next.
 
RICHARD: Oh yes. Your eyes; a window on the world to capture a spectrum of colour.
And above, behind this smooth brow, the intelligence to receive and process all this information, making every experience unique to you.
              [PAUSE]
You’re not paying attention.
 
CAROLYN: I’m sorry. Watching the Orangs eat is making me hungry. And it is lunchtime.
 
 RICHARD: Yes. Now you come to mention it.
 
CAROLYN: They do allow you a lunch break?
 
RICHARD: Yes.
 
CAROLYN: I know feeding the animals is not allowed, but what about the humankind?
 
RICHARD: It’s encouraged.
    Our wages are so small.
 
CAROLYN: So I should hope, for just standing around.
         May I buy you lunch?
 
RICHARD: That would be most kind. We humans are quite undeserving.
 
CAROLYN: Don’t be too grateful, until you’ve seen what you’re getting. I think the cafeteria is over here.
 
[THEY MOVE UPSTAGE LEFT]
[POINTING]
Look! The penguin pool. It’s quite deserted.
Shouldn’t one of your kind be there?
 
RICHARD: Yes, but he’s forever wandering off.
 
CAROLYN:
Oh? So the one of qualities displayed by the penguins, sadly lacking in humankind must be…
 
CAROLYN AND RICHARD: [SPEAKING TOGETHER AS THEY EXIT STAGE LEFT]:
              Reliability!

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 Posted: Tue Aug 15th, 2006 08:38 am
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Kate
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Mana: 
Boz2 - I found it very refreshing that you've broken out of the interior restaurant and moved to the great outdoors: it's so much more interesting - and gives the characters a new dimension while they're peering at the Orang Utans.  And the Orang Utans themselves give an opportunity to reflect the couple's own relationship.  Is it really a good relationship? (Why do they seem to have to spice it up by meeting as though strangers?)  Are two Orang Utans fighting?  Is the male dominant?  Does the female spurn the male's advances?  Are they having a crap?  Scratching?  They could start off cute, then something not so nice happens in the cage?

Sorry - getting carried away.  Keep working on this - it'll make a good short piece.  It needs changes of pace now, perhaps - a vibrancy that I know you can do.  And I would say think very carefully about the mood of each character (which they can hide) and what each one wants, etc.

Kate x

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2006 05:10 pm
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Paddy
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Mana: 
This is an entirely different play.  There is no indication they are up to a sexual tryst, and I'm happy about that.  If she were trying to turn him on, she's not exactly saying the right things to do so, is she?

So I really love this.  It's quirky and odd, but I hope you don't try make it into something it doesn't seem to be.  I prefer this as a chance meeting, but the man's energy is very different.  She has control, and he seems all right with that.  In the other, the power was in his hands.

I think you have two plays here.  Both wonderful.  Both valid, but very different in energy and outcome...no pun intended.

One niggly point...whatsoever jumped at me as not being a word this man would use.

Nicely done.

Paddy

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2006 05:34 pm
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playfull
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Mana: 
Hi Boz,

Really like these two. I like the wit of their exchanges and i like their knowing playfulness. I think they have real potential - even sitcom potential?

I do think this piece needs a stronger ending though.........

regards

playfull

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 Posted: Sat Aug 26th, 2006 11:03 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Boz,

I don't know how I missed this one, but I only stumbled upon it today.  I very glad that I did.

This is wonderful.  The dialogue is smart, quick and classy.  I saw this performed on the stage in my head.  It played so well, I'd pay to see it next time. 

Do I have any suggestions for making it better?  Nope.  I think it's perfectly lovely.

I'll be looking forward to your next posted play.  Thank you. 

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 Posted: Sun Aug 27th, 2006 08:09 am
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Boz2
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Mana: 
Thanks, Edd.

This is more a sketch than a play [playlet]- it even has a punchline.

I was just thinking aloud after reading Kate's suggestion re: "Fast Food Drama".

I quite like these two people, I'll certainly keep them in the drawer for future use.

Thank you, and to all who commented on my effort.

Boz2

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 Posted: Sun Aug 27th, 2006 01:43 pm
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Edd
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Mana: 
Boz,

I should be so talented to have "sketches" like yours and then so casual to throw them in a drawer.  At least send it out to festivals and theatres looking for short plays during the Submission Spree.  You might be pleasantly surprised.  And. there is nothing to stop you from writing it into a full-length.

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 Posted: Thu Oct 26th, 2006 08:11 pm
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BillySundae
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Mana: 
Boz:

I like your playlet. It reminds me of Edward Albee's Zoo Story not just because of the setting but the direction it seems to be headed in-- towards some sort of disaster that you haven't mentione; I just took that from something in the play's tone that I can't put my finger. I didn't read your first work that others alluded to, but I sure like this one. Send it out.

 

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