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Clouds and Linings  Rate Topic 
 Posted: Fri Sep 14th, 2007 01:14 am
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Joined: Thu Nov 9th, 2006
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This was written eons ago as an assignment in a playwrighting class.  I wrote it with two other people (I'll keep everyone anonymous for the time being), and it actually stemmed out of an exercise.  I can explain the exercise later, if anyone wants, but here's the play.

Clouds and Linings
(c) 2004


A dusty, dirty living room.  There is a TV and VCR, with an old, hole-filled couch in front of it.  There are a couple medium sized cabinets on the ground.  A white bag lies on top of one of the cabinets.  At the far end of the stage right there is a door and a welcome mat.  A few feet away from the mat there lies a toilet, in plane sight and with nothing covering it.  Like other objects in the room, it is old and dirty.



BECKY:  A middle aged woman who looks as worn and tattered as the house she inhabits.


JIM: A handsome man in his early twenties.


STACY:  An attractive young woman in her early twenties.  She is dressed herself nicely and rather expensively.


ZION:  Eccentric male porn star


FEMALE VOICE:  (never seen onstage, just glimpsed and heard in a video) Zion’s brief partner





Scene 1

BECKY enters her home wearing an old raincoat.


BECKY:  (looks around) Jim?


She removes her raincoat, flicks on the lights, and walks over to one of the cabinets.  She takes a bottle of Jack Daniels from the cabinet, walks over to the couch, and takes big chugs of the drink. She then rises, her reaction time slightly dimmed, and walks over to the cabinets, where she grabs the white bag.  Her reaction time increasingly dimmed as the alcohol rushes more and more into her head, she removes five videos, all of which are from cases with the Blockbuster logo.  After some hazy deliberation, she puts one of the videos in.  On the TV, a title sequence comes up.  Creepy funk music is heard as the title “I’ll Give You a Ride:  Upcoming Male Porn Stars Volume 33” appears and is read aloud by an uppity male voice.  That title disappears and the screen temporarily goes blank.  It is right then that the door opens.  Becky hits the pause button and looks towards the door.


 (STACY and JIM enter.  Both are smiling.  JIM goes over to lock the door while BECKY looks around.  It is not long before the smile runs away from STACY’s face.)


STACY:  (awkwardly, but politely, trying to hide her disappointment)  Oh… so you live here.


JIM:  Yes I do…


(they pause)


JIM:  We need to go to dinner a lot more.


STACY:  Yeah.  It was good to eat somewhere.


JIM:  Well… I’ll remember to bring my money next time.  heh heh heh…


STACY:  (chuckles, still disoriented)  Well… heh heh heh, you’re lucky I love you.  Otherwise I would of left you to wash the dishes.  heh heh heh.


BECKY:  (begins to approach them.  Is wasted)  Jim is such a bum.  He’s always borrowing…


JIM:  Mom…


BECKY:  Yeah Jim, I’ve been looking for you.  Was going on?


JIM:  We went out to dinner…


BECKY:  oh that reminds me, I wanted to ask you a question.


JIM:  Oooookay… shoot.


BECKY:  I heard you say you were going out with… a Chica…


(STACY and JIM look at each other)


JIM:  ummmm, yeah?


BECKY:  Well, who you poking?


JIM:  Ummm


STACY:  (puts head down) “Who are you poking?”


BECKY:  Who are you diddling dude?  HEHEHEHEHEHE


JIM:  well if you really must know, …


STACY:  come on – just tell her.


JIM:  I am, “diddling” her.


BECKY:  Who… where is she…


STACY:  He’s talking about me.




STACY:  And we are not… “diddling”.


BECKY:  (to STACY) Hey there, how you doing?


(JIM walks over to the door with his head down, shaking just a bit)


STACY:  okay…


BECKY:  You know, I like you Jersey girls.


STACY:  (looking around for possible escape route)  I’m not… from here.


BECKY:  Where you from?


STACY:  New York.


BECKY:  Aaight good stuff… You know where another one is?


STACY:  w-what?


BECKY:  You know where you could find another girl who grew up in New York?


STACY:  where?


BECKY:  (pointing to herself) You got one right here.


STACY:  oh really…


BECKY:  (holds up Jack Daniels bottle)  So what doyou think of my house party?


STACY:  (pause.  More fear and confusion enters her voice)  it’s… alright…


BECKY:  Awww why just alright?  It’s a party it’s fun and exciting!


STACY:  (looking around)  because… I don’t really… see anyone…


JIM:  (tries to lighten up situation, approaches her as if they are at a party)  HEEEEEY, how you doing?  I’m Jim.


STACY:  ohhhh…


BECKY:  (points to Jim) This is Jim he is a chill guy.  (nodding and winking)  This is his house!


STACY:  ohhhhh…


JIM:  oh my god, I have never… seen her like this.  Never this… wasted.


(BECKY grins, JIM and STACY stare)


JIM:  Well, she’s wasted and there’s her, films on (points to TV)…


STACY:  (completely forced) of course.


BECKY:  You really don’t like Jim that much, do you?


STACY:  What?


BECKY:  You really –




BECKY:  Nothing.


JIM:  Thank you.


BECKY:  Sorry buddy, I’m not trying to be a cock block or anything.


STACY:  (to JIM) So you live here.


JIM:  Yes I do…


STACY:  How much longer?


JIM:  Until?


STACY:  Until you move out?


JIM:  Well, over at Blockbuster, I just became a Five Star employee.  So, I could get a promotion.  And then another one.  And then another one.  And, then another… make enough money to live on my own…


STACY:  how long would it be for you?


BECKY:  Oh he’s equipped, but, …he’s… well let’s say I could barely measure the length of my finger.




BECKY:  Not that that would ruin any good thing -


JIM:  SHUT THE FUCK UP.  (long pause)  A few years.


STACY:  Then you’re not leaving.


JIM:  No, not… any time soon.


STACY:  I’m… going home.


JIM:  No prob, I’ll give you a ride.


STACY:  I’ll take the bus.


JIM:  The bus?


STACY:  It’s not a long ride from here – it won’t cost that much.


BECKY:  I’m taking you home.


JIM:  You can’t even stand straight.


BECKY:  Of course.  I MMmmmmmmmMMmmmMMmmmMMMmmMm (goes to toilet)


JIM:  Aww, oh huh.


STACY:  What… what is it.








JIM:  (notions to STACY)  Come on.  Here we go.


STACY:  What…?


JIM:  Grab her legs.


STACY:  (stands blinking)


JIM:  Get her legs.  Come on.  Watch, I got the otherside.  (JIM walks over and grabs BECKY by the arms, STACY very hesitantly grabs her by the shoes, making sure that she’s only touching the little of BECKY that’s clean)  Lets get her to the couch, facing down.  (STACY won’t move)  We need to do this for her.


(they move BECKY over to the couch in said position)


BECKY:  get off me, why is everybody always picking me up, HEHEHEHE


(JIM and BECKY  move back towards the door.  They look at each other in silence for a few beats)


STACY:  I wanna go.


JIM:  I am not leaving without you.


STACY:  Well… yeah.  You’re not leaving.


JIM:  ohhh…


STACY:  why would you?  you live here.  With… (looks around at general surroundings) All, this.  (points to toilet)  That


BECKY:  anybody need a ride?


STACY:  (pointing to BECKY) That


JIM:  At least wait a few minutes… can’t we at least talk to one another?


STACY:  (looks at watch)  I can’t wait a few minutes.


JIM:  What’s the problem?


STACY:  I don’t know… I mean your nice and all, got a great personality… (hesitantly, but reassuringly) a good body, but…


JIM:  But what?


STACY:  ohhhhhh, ummmm, you’re… you know… not… fully… equipped.


JIM:  Not fully equipped?


STACY:  soommmmmething like that.


JIM:  Well tell me, what is it then?


STACY:  it’s… just… that.  you live here.


JIM:  I’m taking you home.


STACY:  no thank you (exeunt)


JIM:  (sits on floor)


BECKY:  Jim, are you alright?


JIM:  I’m fine.


BECKY:  You didn’t really like Alison that much, did you?


JIM:  Who?


BECKY:  Alison?


JIM:  You mean Stacy?


BECKY:  huh?… yeah.


JIM:  Don’t.  Just don’t go there.


BECKY:  OK.  I’m gonna have my film on.


(Voices heard from the TV)


MALE VOICE:  At least wait a few minutes… can’t we at least talk to one another?


FEMALE VOICE:  (looks at watch)  I can’t wait a few minutes.


MALE VOICE:  What’s the problem?


FEMALE VOICE:  I don’t know… I mean your nice and all, got a great personality… (hesitantly, but reassuringly) a good body, but…


MALE VOICE:  But what?


FEMALE VOICE:  ohhhhh, ummmmm, you’re… you know… (Erotic funk music starts playing, and the tone of her voice suddenly changes) oooh, look at that belly.


MALE VOICE:  It’s all muscle baby.


FEMALE VOICE:  I’m just admiring what I see, …you got those muscles, oh you look yummy, can I feel them?


MALE VOICE:  Sure!  Feel anything you like.


FEMALE VOICE:  I might hold you to that.


(film suddenly stops)


BECKY:  Oh, this guy… Zion.  He’s a big pain in the ass.


JIM:  huh?  He’s great!  He’s all you could want!  And he can act!  And the things that he says…


BECKY:  ohhhhhhh, he’s… you know… he’s not fully equipped.


JIM:  Not fully equipped.  If I hear that one more goddamn time.


BECKY:  Lets say I could barely measure the length of yours…


JIM:  OK.  I’d like to see this guy… in something greater than this…


BECKY:  Hope you can win the lottery then.  HEHEHEHEHEHEHE (passes out)


JIM:  (takes sheet of paper from cabinet, walks over to TV and ejects tape.  He takes a look at the tape’s label)  “Volume 33”.  (Writes number down on sheet of paper.  He then walks over to the four other tapes, and looks at their titles.  He writes their numbers down after he reads them)  “Volume 11”, “Volume 5”, “Volume 21”, and “Volume 6”.

You know what they say about dark clouds, mom?  They all have a silver lining.


BECKY:  (awakened, but still out of it) what… what is it…


JIM:  Never mind.


BECKY:  mmmmm….




Scene 2

(JIM, BECKY, and ZION enter through the door.  BECKY looks as tattered as ever, ZION and JIM are dressed in Armani suits and sunglasses.  There is a certain cockiness in JIM’s stride.  ZION is very intoxicated)


ZION:  We all need to go to dinner a lot more.


BECKY:  Yeah, Zion.  It was good for me to eat somewhere else finally.


JIM:  You gonna remember to bring some money next time, mom?


ZION:  Yeah, Becky.  You’re lucky your son loves you; otherwise we would of left your ass to wash dishes.


JIM:  You are such a bum, always trying to borrow from me…


BECKY:  oh that reminds me, I wanted to ask you a question.


JIM:  No.


(BECKY walks over to the couch)


ZION:  What else is there to do?…. OH OH OH OH I GOT IT! Let’s go play mini-golf, yeah lets go do it.  MINI-GOLF MINI-GOLF…


JIM:  whoa, calm down their Zion, you look like your having a spasm.


BECKY:  waz wrong with him honey?


JIM:  He wants to play mini-golf.  AGAIN.  He always wants to do that.


ZION:  Jim.  After our film comes and we become big stars – you know what we gotta do?  A song!


JIM:  Sure.  We’ll do anything you like.


ZION:  I might hold you to that.  Just give me a little while for me to think of something… MMMmmmMMmmMmmmmMMMMmmMm…


JIM:  aww, oh huh


BECKY:  what… what is it


ZION:  (runs over to toilet) I… I….aaaaaaa.BLAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA




ZION:  (Head still in toilet)  You know, I often come up with my best ideas when I’m in this position.  How does this sound; (sticks head out of toilet) Da do da de da do…


JIM:  It’s alright.


ZION:  awww why just alright?  It’s fun and exciting!  I’ll think of something else!


JIM:  You do that.


(ZION sticks head back in toilet)


BECKY:  Jim (signals for him to come over)…


JIM:  Was going on?


BECKY:  What’s the deal with this guy?


JIM:  huh?


ZION:  (sticks head out) Da da do de de de da do!


JIM:  (to ZION) Keep on trying.  (ZION sticks head back in toilet.  JIM then turns to BECKY)  What?


BECKY:  You don’t really like this Zion guy that much, do you.


JIM:  (quiter, so she’ll hear it but ZION won’t) No, no, no I just don’t mind doing this film with him.


ZION:  (sticks head out) Da da da da do do do do de da!


JIM:  (to ZION)  You’ll get something good one of these days.


ZION:  (puts head back in toilet) I am not leaving here without a good song idea.


JIM:  Then you’re not leaving.  Heh heh heh heh.


ZION:  Yeah no problem.


JIM:  (lower voice again)  I’m… “diddling” him, mom.


BECKY:  Who are you diddling dude?


JIM:  You idiot, I am diddling Zion.  Not… literally.  Those few months ago, when I was, still living here with you, that stupid film of his actually put me under a spell.


ZION:  (sticks head out) Do dank – Rob a bank!  Do dank – rob a bank!  Do dank – rob a bank!


JIM:  (to ZION) I still don’t sense a hit.  Keep it coming.  (ZION sticks his head back in the toilet, and JIM once again talks to BECKY in a lower voice)  And I agreed to do this film with him.  And I invested all the money that I won into it.  The film’s a surefire smash, but if I lose his cooperation, I lose my entire fortune!


BECKY:  About that.  I was wondering if, after all this happens, and you get all the moolah in the world, if you could, you know, buy me into retirement.


JIM:  You’re not getting any share of my fortune.


BECKY:  oh why…


JIM:  You don’t deserve it.


BECKY:  Why?  What’s the problem?


JIM:  Oh, you know… (mockingly childlike) your nice and all, you try to be a good mommy, you do have an award winning personality, when sober of course, but…


BECKY:  But what?


JIM:  (pointing to his head)  You’re not fully equipped.


BECKY:  What?


JIM:  Half the time you can’t even stand straight.  You’ve held me down long enough.  I don’t know why everybody is always holding me down, but now I’m holding myself together.  And I don’t need everybody else.


(BECKY looks suddenly shocked)


JIM:  (haf-concerned)  Mom, are you alright?  Do you realize everything, or do I –


BECKY:  Jim, how come Zion hasn’t said anything?




(JIM and BECKY walk over to the toilet and try to carry ZION over to the couch)


JIM:  Zion is an even bigger pain in the ass to carry!


BECKY:  Watch I got the otherside.


JIM:  Zion?  Zion?


(They place him on the couch)


JIM:  ZION!  ZION!  Don’t tell me, that while you were trying to come up with a song, you drown—that’s ridiculous!


(BECKY stands and stares, and then walks back over to the cabinet.  She takes out a bottle of Jack Daniels, and takes even bigger gulps than before)


JIM:  ZION!  Wake up!  (slaps him)  This is THE… DUMBEST… way to… come, on, ZION!  (lets go of ZION)


BECKY:  (now inebriated) don’t take it so bad… was that you said about silver linings?  they’re all part of a dark cloud, or somethin…


JIM:  I’m going home.


BECKY:  What about… this guy?  Aren’t we gonna tell?


JIM:  We’ll… do that tomorrow.


BECKY:  You need a ride?  You didn’t bring your car…


JIM:  No, I’ll just drive his car for now.  But I’ll need one thing before I go home.


(walks over to the cabinets, and takes out a suit.  He unfolds it, revealing it to be his Blockbuster uniform.  After staring at it for a little while, he walks out the door)




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 Posted: Wed Nov 14th, 2007 08:11 pm
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2nd Post

Joined: Wed Jul 26th, 2006
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Posts: 269
I kind of liked this and I really was intrigued by the whacked out relationship between Becky and Jim.  I thought the mirroring worked pretty well but I didn't think that any relationship in the play jumped out and seemed as alive as that strange mother-son dynamic you had going on.  I would like to read more of them.  

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 Posted: Wed Dec 19th, 2007 06:28 pm
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Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2361
I'm not going to say all the things I'd like to, because I'm not sure it's right to post a play you wrote with two other people.

That said, I'm thinking that all the stuff you think is really good and edgy, isn't, and all the stuff you might view as filler, is my favourite stuff.

I'd prefer that the mother were completely sober.  Scarier.

This play lost my interest when it became about the size of Jim's penis.

The relationship, would be even ickier, played straighter.

Just my two cents.


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