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 Posted: Sat Jul 11th, 2009 02:51 am
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KMX
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Life in the Playground


© 2009

 

 

 

Characters:

LEROY – Male, early to mid-twenties

LITA – Female, early to mid-twenties

SEAN – Male, early to mid-twenties

FATHER – Male, middle aged

HERMAN – Male, early twenties or older

 

 

Scene changes are to be articulated by quickly turning the lights off and on.

 

 

Contact:

mckeon.kevin@gmail.com

 

 

Scene I

SEAN and LITA stand at a corner of the stage.  LEROY stands center stage.  All three of the actors are adults, but they are portraying elementary school children.  Instead of actually standing, they are kneeling, with their knees touching their shoes.  LITA is wearing sandals.

 

 

 

LITA

There’s Leroy…

 

SEAN

Yeah, he’s such a dork.  He does his drawings on the playground!

 

LITA

Isn’t that weird…

 

SEAN

So why did you want to come to the playground with me again?

 

LITA

So we could do something fun, Sean.

 

SEAN

Like what?

 

LITA

The same kind of thing we’ve done before.  We’re going to piss off Leroy.  Like we already tried to do.

 

SEAN

Yeah!  Ya know, we didn’t get him as pissed off as Matt, Charles, Danny and Pedro were.  And next year, he’s goin’ to some fancy school where they wear blazers and ties, so I won’t be able to pick on him then.

 

LITA

So we get him now.  I’ll pretend I’m interested in what he’s drawing.  Kinda like I did last time.  And then I’ll get him to show me more.  I’ll make it seem like I’m going to ask him out.  And then you will pull his pants down.

 

SEAN

Awright!  This is gonna be so much fun!

 

LITA

I’m always fun.

 

SEAN

Yeah Lita, you are fun.  You’re more fun than my video games.  You’re fun like, touch football.  Rough touch football.

And I wanted to talk to you… Because you’re leaving too…

 

LITA

I’m just moving to the next school district, Sean.  A ten minute bike ride away.

 

SEAN

I know.  I know, but just thinkin’… You won’t be at recess.  I can’t look at your math tests anymore… I really like picking on people in the playground with you, Lita.  I really enjoy it, and I hope we don’t stop this.

 

LITA

(Still looking at LEROY) Will you get where he can’t see you, already?

 

(SEAN walks offstage)

 

LITA

(She begins to walk, but has trouble) How am I supposed to walk in these things?  (She removes the sandals from her knees, and walks over to LEROY).

Hello, Leroy.

 

LEROY

Oh – Hi, Lita.  I didn’t see you.

 

LITA

What are you drawing?

 

LEROY

I – I like to draw… pictures of monkeys.

 

LITA

Monkeys again.  Do you always draw pictures of monkeys?

 

LEROY

Yeah.

 

LITA

(Stifling laughter) Can I see the picture?

 

LEROY

Sure.  You kinda liked the last drawing that I did of the monkey, didn’t you?

 

LITA

I guess I did, heh heh.  Maybe, heh heh, I’ll like another one.

 

LEROY

I’ve been putting more work into this.

 

(LEROY hands LITA the drawing.  LITA no longer feels like laughing.)

 

LITA

He looks sad.

 

LEROY

I know.

 

LITA

Why does he look sad?

 

LEROY

Because he’s away from home.

 

(SEAN crawls back onstage, relatively close to LEROY and LITA.  He glances impatiently at LITA)

 

SEAN

Gimme the word, Lita!

 

LITA

(To LEROY) How do you make him look so sad?

 

LEROY

You draw a frown the way you would draw a smile.  But it’s upside-down.

 

LITA

There’s more to it.

 

LEROY

Well, you gotta put curves in the cheeks, kind of…

 

LITA

There’s something you’re not telling me.

 

SEAN

(Trying to whisper) Any freakin’ day now…!

 

LITA

But why do you make him that way?

 

 

LEROY

That doesn’t mean he’s sad now.

 

LITA

But WHY is he sad here?!

 

SEAN

LITA!  I thought I was supposed to pull down his pants!

 

(LITA and LEROY turn their attention to SEAN)

 

SEAN

I thought we were always going to pull down people’s pants!

 

LITA

We will, Sean.  We will.

 

SEAN

For some reason, I can’t believe that for a second.  And I don’t need you.  I can pull down people’s pants on my own!  I can pull down anyone’s pants!

 

LITA

No, Sean--!  SEAN--!!

 

(Offstage) I’ll pull down your pants, and your pants, and – OW!!!

 

LITA

Fuck it.

 

LEROY

That’s twice now.

 

LITA

What?

 

LEROY

That’s twice that you set him up to do something to me, but spent too much time looking at my monkey.

 

LITA

Oh, you mean, what he just said?  Hey, you’re looking too much into this.

 

LEROY

I think you really like the work I do.  And it made me work harder.

 

 

LITA

Can I see the other drawing?

 

LEROY

Here.

(He hands her another drawing)

 

(LITA looks saddened)

 

LEROY

Do ya like it?

 

LITA

He’s even sadder than the other monkey… Do -- do you draw anything else…?  Anything besides sad monkeys?

 

LEROY

Well, lately… I mean, this is just what I have on me today…

 

LITA

I can’t look at it.

 

LEROY

It’s okay.  Come on.  Accept it.

 

LITA

Why are they so sad?!

 

LEROY

They’re not sad anymore!  But they were sad, when they were away from home!

 

(LITA tears up the drawings)

 

LEROY

No!  My monkeys!

 

LITA

They’re ugly, they’re rotten… get away from me!

 

LEROY

(Fighting tears)

I know you can look at it if you try!  I’ve never shown these to anyone before!  I’ve never opened up to anyone, and… I DREW THAT MONKEY FOR YOU!

 

(LITA exits.  As LEROY crawls down to pick up the fragments of paper, FATHER enters.)

 

FATHER

Leroy, is something wrong?

 

LEROY

Daddy, she tore up my monkey…

 

FATHER

(Said gently and lovingly, without any resentment) So this is what you do when I take you to the park?  I go to the car to grab our catcher’s mitts, and I see you talking to other kids.  For once.  But you really just want to do your drawing?  You don’t want to meet people and have fun?  You have a gift.  But if you don’t take time to interact with people, they won’t take time to acknowledge that gift.

 

LEROY

I know…

 

FATHER

You don’t think Daddy goes through the same problem?  All day, they tell Daddy he can’t do the things he wants to do.  They tell him his ideas won’t work.  They tell him he’s crazy.  But they’re wrong.

 

LEROY

I know…

 

FATHER

And one day, Daddy’s ideas, are going to be the only ideas.  And they’re never going to put Daddy in that room.  And Daddy is going to get rid of them.

And one day they’re all going to come crawling to Daddy.  And they’re going to ask him for mercy.  And Daddy is going to say;

 

LEROY AND FATHER (simultaneously, LEROY speaks without enthusiasm)

I was starving and you did not feed me.

I was naked and you did not clothe me.

 

FATHER

And then you, Leroy, will be seated at the right hand of the father.

 

LEROY

Yeah.  Yeah, we’ve talked about this, dad.

 

FATHER

I am going to create an army of Monkey People.  And I will not be stopped, like I was last time.  And they will never be able to prove that I had all those simians in our basement in the first place.  They’re already talking about dropping those charges.

 

LEROY

But I’ll bet the monkeys don’t look sad anymore.

 

FATHER

Now, Leroy…

 

(LEROY exits)

 

FATHER

Leroy, they were not that sad.  And whenever Daddy did something wrong and hurt himself in the laboratory, they all jumped up and down and made lots of happy noises.  If I could have performed just one procedure on one of them, they would have been very happy in the end…

 

 

 

Scene II

HERMAN

(Speaking to someone offstage)

Yeah, keep going, I’m down the hall here.

So, you’ve got a very impressive resume here.  Two degrees.  You’ve worked as a statistician.  A lot of opportunities are available to you.  So tell me, why do you want to wipe down pipes for a living?

 

(A fully grown SEAN enters)

 

SEAN

(He speaks in a nervous manner)

I liked reading about stats, and math.  I liked doing it good in school.  But then there were all these people, and they expected me to do good with the stats and the math.

 

HERMAN

Okay… I’m kind of following you…

 

SEAN

And I just thought, maybe if I’m not out there doing things, maybe if I’m just in here by the pipes, I could do good, and I wouldn’t have to worry about things.  Like, you know, having to accomplish all these things.

 

HERMAN

Gotcha.  Now, Sean, is that the name?

 

SEAN

Uh-huh.

 

 

HERMAN

Sean, when this place is fully constructed, it is going to be the world’s smallest indoor zoo.  The feeding system is this room.  Look around you.  Food gets put into these pipes and it’s transported to the animals.  Or it’s put into containers, and the containers are taken down.

 

SEAN

Do I have to take them down?

 

HERMAN

No, but you do have to open and close the containers.

 

SEAN

I can do that.

 

HERMAN

I’m sure you can, Sean.  But what I’m trying to say is, you are going to interact with a lot of people.  You’re going to have to talk to people, and ask them things.  Does that sound difficult?

 

SEAN

Well… I don’t like it when the people keep expecting me to do these things, like I‘m supposed to be really good… But yeah, I can talk to people.

 

HERMAN

I’ll take note of that.  Can I ask why you would want to work at a zoo?

 

LEROY

(Offstage)

Hey, is this where my fuckin’ job interview is?

 

HERMAN

You can’t come in here yet.

 

(A fully grown LEROY enters the room, dressed like a true ruffian.)

 

LEROY

Fuck you, give me my job interview!

 

HERMAN

Who the hell are you?

 

LEROY

My friends call me “Psycho!”

That ain’t what I wrote on the application, though.

 

SEAN

Is it “Leroy?”

 

LEROY

How’d you –

 

SEAN

I’m good with guessing.

 

HERMAN

Hey “Psycho,” I remember you from Pretzel World, where I banned you for life.  Don’t you remember?

 

LEROY

You think I keep track of all the places I’ve been kicked out of for life?  Why the hell would I care about something like that?

 

HERMAN

You got a lot of nerve coming here.

 

LEROY

Yeah, well your mom had a lot of nerve being… your mom!

 

SEAN

Did you ever come here when this was a playground?

 

HERMAN

Where did that come from?

 

LITA

(Offstage)

Herman, can I have a word with you?

 

HERMAN

Oh shit, the owner!  In a minute, Ms. Wellner.

(To SEAN and LEROY)

I think I have a pretty good idea what I’m looking for.  I’ll call you if I need you.  Now leave.

 

LEROY

Now waitaminute, Herman, your boss is gonna come in the room.  And I know she don’t wanna come in this here room and a see a… scene.  And if there’s one thing Psycho likes doin’, it’s startin’ scenes.  So I’m gonna cause a scene.  I just gotta think of how to start one, though.

 

 

SEAN

I can help you think of one.

 

LEROY

Sure.  Lets go into that closet, and start plannin’ the scene.

(To HERMAN)

And when we do, it’ll be a scene.

 

(SEAN and LEROY exit.  A fully grown LITA enters)

 

LITA

I heard some arguing in here.

 

HERMAN

Oh, it’s nothing, Ms. Wellner.

 

LITA

You can call me Lita.

 

HERMAN

Lita, I was just on the phone with these, these Eskimos who keep on calling me.  It’s nothing.  Buncha guys makin’ calls, havin’ fun at my expense.

 

LITA

I know a lot of people have been concerned with my expenditure.  Many people doubt me.  But I fully believe that this place is more than worth it.

 

HERMAN

Well, don’t you worry.  It wasn’t legal trouble.  Just some bored people… in igloos… makin’ prank phone calls.

 

LITA

This place is my dream.  And if there’s something you’re not telling me, I want to know.

 

HERMAN

There’s nothing.

 

LITA

Fine then.

 

(LEROY rushes in and starts jumping up and down)

 

LEROY

Uh!  Uh!  I’m making a scene!  I’m making a scene!

 

 

LITA

Leroy?

 

LEROY

Lita?

 

LITA

I didn’t think I’d ever see you again.  But I remembered your monkeys.  And I couldn’t stop seeing them.  And then I built this place… for you.

 

LEROY

I used to think that… all I had to do… was sit in the park and draw pictures of really sad looking monkeys, and you would love me.

 

HERMAN

You know, I have to leave, actually…

 

(HERMAN exits)

 

LITA

What I did for the monkeys, I did for you.  This is all your work.

 

LEROY

I forgot about monkeys.

 

LITA

I’ll put it all into action right now.  (She pulls some imaginary levers.)  I know it’s hard to figure out what I’m doing, but I’m feeding the monkeys.

 

LEROY

(Elated) You are?

 

LITA

I’m feeding them a special serum I made, one inspired by you.  It’s still several experiments away from perfection, though.

 

LEROY

What?

 

LITA

It’ll turn them into Monkey People.  And I will not be stopped.  And one day, all the people who tried to stop me are going to come crawling to me.  And I will say, “I was starving and you did not feed me -”

 

LEROY

Lita!  Don’t you see?  You’ve gone completely… bonkers!

 

LITA

I prefer the term “apeshit.”  I love you, Leroy.  But I will eliminate you if I have to.

 

(SEAN quietly enters, carrying something in his right hand)

 

LITA

The security here is prepared for everything.

 

SEAN

How about elephant tranquilizer?

 

(SEAN injects LITA, who falls to the floor)

 

LEROY

Sean!  You did do something!  See?  You put a sedative into a woman!  And to think I didn’t recognize you at first…

Now you gotta dismantle the pipe, and take whatever evidence you can back to the police.

 

SEAN

Too late for the monkeys in here, though.

 

LEROY

Not if I go in their room, and eat their food first.

 

SEAN

All of their food?  But you heard what she said about it.  You’ll probably… die.

 

LEROY

And so will her formula.  And no monkeys will.  They won’t even look sad.  Sean, I haven’t lived the life I wanted to live…

 

(HERMAN enters)

 

HERMAN

I left my calculator… Hope I’m not interrupting anything.

 

SEAN AND LEROY

No, no, no you’re not.

 

(HERMAN exits)

 

LEROY

Lita’s going to wake up, and she’s going to be in a lot of trouble.  But she might also get the help that she needs.  If you could, tell her I didn’t want it to end this way.

SEAN

I think you speak for a lot of people.

 

LEROY

There’s a lot you can do for this world, Sean.  Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to keep some monkeys from being fed.

 

(SEAN and LEROY run out of the room)

 

 

Scene III

(A very young LITA is seen, standing/kneeling in the same manner as at the beginning of the play)

 

LITA

Hey, Leroy, come over here!

 

(A young LEROY enters)

 

LITA

Don’cha wanna take the Retarded Test?  If you’re hand’s bigger than your face (she demonstrates), then you’re retarded!

 

LEROY

(Puts hand up to face)

I thought you said you wanted to see my drawings.  (He hands her his drawings)

 

LITA

(Glances at drawings)

Yeah, yeah, fine but… Hey, these aren’t bad…

 

LEROY

You like the drawings?

 

LITA

Yeah, I like the expressions, and the details, and – YOU’RE A RETARDED!  YOU’RE A RETARDED! (She slaps LEROY’s hand against his face, and exits)

 

SEAN

(Offstage)

I thought we were gonna pull down his pants!

 

LEROY

I think she likes me.

 

(Curtain)

Last edited on Thu May 1st, 2014 05:27 pm by KMX

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