View single post by RTurco
 Posted: Sun Jul 18th, 2010 10:20 pm
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RTurco



Joined: Wed Nov 19th, 2008
Location: New Jersey USA
Posts: 262
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Mana: 
Hello other playwrights, I'm back! (*People gasp and some confess to not realizing he was gone*) And as a result of a week-long playwrighting conference in New York, I have a new, short, five-minute play! It's a comedy (:O) and in order for all the jokes to be truly understood, here are the rules of the commission:

1. Up to seven minutes of playing time.

2. The work must have been created during this Urban Retreat.

3. Each play was alotted up to three actors.

4. The plays are being presented as a staged reading: without a set, with actors carrying scripts and wearing street clothes.

5. The play must be communicated entirely through dialogue and action: no stage directions will be read.

6. Required to use at least one of the following props: a spoon, an empty mason jar, a baby bootie, an onion, a conch shell, or an oversized flashlight (torch).

7. Any sound required for the play could only be generated by the actors.

And now, I bring you without further bullshit...


The Five o’clock Shadow by Raymond A. Turco



(MAN 1 speaks with a British accent. MAN 2 is clearly American.)

MAN 1

What are you doing?

MAN 2

(Frantically)

Looking for a way out. You?

MAN 1

Reading this book.

MAN 2

Really? Because I don’t see you turning the pages.

MAN 1

I can’t… It’s one of those goddamn commission rules.

MAN 2

Oh… Is it any good?

MAN 1

I like it. It hasn’t any words though… So why would you want to get out? It’s so cosy in here.

MAN 2

I’m claustrophobic--

MAN 1

Hey Claustrophobic, I’m Antisocial.

MAN 2

Don’t you wanna know…? You know? If there was anything out there? 

MAN 1

I didn’t think there was. Because there’s that fourth wall over there. I always thought this was--

MAN 2 (AND MAN 1)

Everything.

man 1

Pretty much. We’ll just have to try and--

MAN 2 (AND MAN 1)

Cope.

man 1

Yeah… Don’t finish my sentences, okay?

(An OFFICER sounds in from above.)

OFFICER

Attention, attention. Today is Random Selection Day! We will be arbitrarily selecting one of you to hang by the rope. Have a nice day.

MAN 2

Oh my god! We’re all going to die.

MAN 1

Great Scott! Grab that unnecessarily huge torch over there and make it integral.

MAN 2

I’m integrating… I’m integrating… I’m not integrating!

MAN 1

Fuck it then. 

MAN 2

(Hysterically determined)

Okay now what?

MAN 1

Put it down. And anyway, every day is Random Selection Day and I’ve never been picked. And technically, we’re not “all going to die”. Just me. Or just you.

(MAN 2 groans.)

MAN 1

You might want to clean up a bit. You never want to hang by the rope with a five o’clock shadow.

MAN 2

Why?

MAN 1

It just doesn’t look proper is all.

MAN 2

I don’t wanna die.

MAN 1

Oh but… It’s like… Commit to your beard or don’t. Either go smooth as a baby’s arse or all out. There can be no intermediate facial hair.

MAN 2

You gonna elaborate?

MAN 1

No.

MAN 2

But I’m so interested. 

MAN 1

That’ll go away in a second.

MAN 2

Why?

MAN 1

It’s nothing; I can just hear footsteps coming down the hall.

(OFFICER makes clacking noises with his tongue.)

MAN 1

Footsteps.

(OFFICER begins stamping with his feet.)

MAN 2

(Obviously reading from the script)

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

MAN 1

Oh wait they’re gone… That line there seemed a little too precise.

MAN 2

See look, it’s in the script.

MAN 1

Ah right: no stage directions will be read, I guess you can’t really write “MAN 2 screams”-- you were screaming, right?

MAN 2

Yeah that was not a yawn... But it’s kinda funny ‘cause I just groaned back there and that was clearly a stage--

MAN 1

Hey, see that closet over there?

MAN 2

Okay yeah. But I really wanna go back--

MAN 1

Really? Can you open it?

MAN 2

No.

MAN 1

Why?

MAN 2

The rules of the commission won’t allow it. What’s in it?

MAN 1

A bunch of lovely homosexual gentlemen. They still won’t vacate the closet.

MAN 2

Why not?

MAN 1

We’ve already got our three actors.

MAN 2

There’s a note on the door… “We’ve gone to see ‘La Cage aux Folles’.” Huh…

MAN 1

Turn it over… With your mind.

MAN 2

Now it says “Fuck you stop stereotyping.”

MAN 1

Turn it over again.

man 2

Now it says “We’ve gone to see ‘La Cage aux Folles’.”

MAN 1

Once more.

MAN 2

“Fuck you stop stereotyping”.

MAN 1

Interesting… Quick get the torch! Maybe it looks different in the light.

(MAN 2 gets the flashlight.)

MAN 2

Can we plug it in?

MAN 1

There’s no outlet.

MAN 2

Then what the fuck am I supposed to do with it?

MAN 1

Wave it around a bit.

(MAN 2 waves the flashlight around a bit while the next part is read.)

MAN 1

(In regimented cadence to the audience)

This is not a spoon. It’s a torch. This is not a mason jar. It is a torch. This is not an onion. It is a torch. This is not a conch shell. It is a--

MAN 2

Come on we only have seven minutes and you don’t need to name all of our available props!

MAN 1

Okay throw it over there.

MAN 2

I can’t. It’ll break… the next play may be using it.

(MAN 2 puts the flashlight down.)

MAN 1

Hey, can I read you something?

MAN 2

But I wanna go back to that flashlight--

MAN 1

(Overly theatrical)

Dow Jones down 78.33%. Google down 3.34%. Yahoo down .1%--

MAN 2

You’re reading me the stocks?

MAN 1

Yeah. How do you like it?

MAN 2

It fucking sucks.

MAN 1

Hey, don’t knock an artist’s work!

MAN 2

You notice how there’s no sign of any kind of conflict in this play? Why don’t we make up our own conflict?

MAN 1

Do we have time?

MAN 2

We’re about halfway down the last page.

MAN 1

Oh dear. We’d better resolve the conflict we don’t have.

MAN 2

Quick, let’s kiss and make up.

MAN 1

No, we can’t open that closet door.

MAN 2

Let’s come past our differences.

MAN 1

We don’t have differences.

MAN 2

Yes we do… Umm… Let’s--

MAN 1

Hey, did you ever notice how not only do we not have a conflict, we are also clearly lacking a point. We had a point, but this point really just degenerated into mindless meta-theatre.

MAN 2

That can be a point.

MAN 1

Yeah… Our point is that we have no point--

MAN 2

Ha! And maybe this playwright guy’s gonna fuck with us some more and reintroduce the original--

(OFFICER enters.)

OFFICER

Time for the hanging.

MAN 2

No!

OFFICER

Not you.

MAN 1

(Excited to die)

Yes!

OFFICER

(To MAN 2)

And God, man, shave that face.

End of Play