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 Posted: Wed Nov 17th, 2010 01:53 pm
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Darkja
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Joined: Fri Jan 29th, 2010
Location: Monroe, North Carolina USA
Posts: 89
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Mana: 
I've been working on this one act cycles and I'm struggling with it. If you could please give your opinion (without re-writing) I would appreciate it.

 

Darkja

 

Cycle


By Todd Ford


©2010


 


At Rise: We see a family standing around a hospital bed. Inside the bed lies a small swaddled bundle we can only assume is an infant or very young child. Jessica kneels next to the bed weeping softly. Mark stands next to her wit his hand lightly on her shoulder. Rachel and Ken stand behind the crib stoic in expression heads slightly bowed.

 

Jessica (weeping)


My dear dear little one. How could I have? I don’t understand why I? I didn’t even give you a chance did I? I responded and in a flash it was over. The white hot heat, the tears, the anger, over but the pain had just begun. How could I have done this to someone so helpless. Where did I learn to hate and hurt with such ferocity. How does something like this begin?

 

(The lights by the crib fade. Rachel and Ken cross down stage. Rachel is seated. Ken enters through the door stumbling clearly intoxicated)


 


Ken (bellowing)


Rachel. Rachel where the hell are you?

 

Rachel


I’m right here Ken.

 

Ken


I come over after long day of work to this damn mess. I practically broke my ankle walking in the door.

 

Rachel


I’m sorry Ken. I fell asleep. Jessica couldn’t sleep and I’m just tired.

 

Ken


Tired you don’t do anything but sit around the house.

 

Rachel


Now Ken you know that’s not true. It’s hard work taking care of…

 

Ken


I work 12 hours a day. You don’t even know the meaning of hard work.

 

Rachel


Its not that Ken I know you work hard but so do I its just different kind of…

 

Ken


Enough of this shit Rachel. I’m hungry what’s for supper.

 

 

Rachel


I made a roast. I may be a little cold it’s been sitting on the table for…

 

Ken


I don’t even get a hot meal?

 

Rachel


Well I expected you home two hours ago so…

 

Ken


I went out for a drink with the boys.

 

Rachel


Well you didn’t tell me that you were going to so I didn’t know to…

 

Ken


What are you my mother am I supposed to check in with you now?

 

Rachel


Well if you’d called I would have kept it warm.

 

Ken


I shouldn’t have to call Rachel.

 

Rachel


That’s not what I meant Ken please calm down.

 

Ken


I’m a grown man.

 

Rachel


I know you are Ken. That’s not what I meant.

 

Ken


I have a right to go out with my friends.

 

Rachel


I know you do I was just saying I wish you had called.

 

Ken


Why so you could nag me to come home.

 

Rachel


I just wanted to have a nice supper with you.

 

 


Ken


Don’t tell me what to do Rachel.

 

Rachel


Ken, you’re drunk please calm down.

 

Ken


I’m not drunk Rachel don’t you dare judge me like that.

 

Rachel


I’m not judging you Ken. Let’s just eat dinner.

 

Ken


Don’t tell me what to do Rachel. I’ll eat whenever I damn well please.

 

Rachel


Please calm down.

 

Ken


Why Rachel? Why should I come down? I come in from a hard days work to a filthy house and a guilt tip. I have to hear you bitch about how hard it is to sit around all day doing nothing and I have to eat a cold meal. (pushes Rachel toward the kitchen). Heat it up Rachel.

 

Rachel


Don’t push me Ken.

 

Ken


What?

 

Rachel


I’m sorry I don’t know what I was thinking.

 

Ken


You ingrate (grabbing Rachel by the arm) What did you say?

 

Rachel


Nothing…please can’t we just drop it.

 

Ken (pulling her tighter)


No what did you say?

 

Rachel


I said don’t push me.

 

(Ken slaps Rachel across the face hard. They remain frozen in space for the first two to three lines of Jessica’s monologue then as she continues they resume their positions at the bedside)


 


Jessica


When you were born I promised you. I promised I wouldn’t be like them. I promised I wouldn’t continue our family’s history of violence. I promised the cycle would end with me. I thought it had. I don’t even know what happened. I was so sure I had control. I was so sure it wouldn’t come to this. I tried so hard. I love you so much I just don’t understand where this came from.

 

(Lights change Mark enters the room Rachel is sitting in a chair clearly angry.)


 


Rachel


Mark do you have anything you need to tell me.

 

Mark


No. Not that I can think of.

 

Rachel


Are you sure?

 

Mark


Not that I can think of?

 

Rachel


OK. I gave you a chance. Give me the keys to your car.

 

Mark


No.

 

Rachel (rising)


What?

 

Mark


I said no.

 

Rachel


Mark. You’re suspended from school. Give me the damn keys.

 

Mark


No mom I won’t.

 

Rachel


Why not?

 

Mark


It wasn’t my fault.

 

Rachel


Mark you were caught drinking. If it wasn’t your fault whose fault was it.

 

Mark


It’s your fault mom. I have no father because of you. How else do you expect me to cope.

 

Rachel


Mark that’s not fair.

 

Mark


No what’s not fair is that I have no father. I have no father because of you. You left. You left without even thinking of me.

 

Rachel


Mark. I left because he hit me. I left for you. I left for your safety.

 

Mark


Dad was right. You never think of anyone but yourself.

 

Rachel


Mark, that’s not fair.

 

Mark


I had to move because of you. I lost my friends because of you. I drink because of you. How is that not selfish?

 

Rachel


Mark drinking isn’t the solution.

 

Mark


Don’t judge me.

 

Rachel


What did you say?

 

Mark


I said don’t judge me.

 

Rachel


You’re more like your father than you would ever know. How dare you speak to me that way in my house? How dare you talk to me about judging you> You’re my son damn it it’s my job to judge you.

 

Mark


I’ve had enough I’m leaving.

 

Rachel


No Mark. You’re not.

 

Mark


Whose going to stop me? You?

 

Rachel


Yes.

 

Mark


I hate you.

 

Rachel


You ungrateful little brat (grabbing him by the arm) How dare you? I clothe you. I feed you.

 

Mark


Mom, please stop you’re hurting me.

 

Rachel


I haven’t even begun to hurt you. You blame me for not having a father. Well what about him. He came home drunk. (screaming) He abused me Mark. I will not let you turn into him.

 

Mark


Mom. I’m sorry please stop.

 

Rachel


Why Mark? Why would you throw that in my face? What the hell give you the right?

 

Mark


Mom, you’re scaring me.

 

Rachel


You are spoiled selfish little shit.

 

Mark (pushing her away)


Let me go.

 

Rachel


How dare you?

 

(Rachel slaps Mark hard and freezes during the first few lines of Jessica’s monologue. After two to three lines they return to their positions near the bed)


 

 

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