June 21, 2006

A Play A Day #69

Reversible Rehearsal


Cast:
Amy
Harris
Stuart

Setting: A stage. Amy and Stuart are embracing on stage.


Amy: (calling out to the house) Now, we're not doing this part, right?

Harris: (from the back of the house) This part?

Stuart: Yeah, it seems...

H: Why wouldn't we?

A: Ummm... welll... ahh... I...

S: It seems to be a...

H: So, why wouldn't we?

A: Ahhh...

H: I'm not hearing anything.

S: Well, it just seems...

H: Amy, what's wrong?

A: Uhhh... it's just that I think that this may be too much to ask of your actors...

S: Yes, I think that...

H: Amy, I meant in general?

A: Well... it's a very strong scene, and I can apprec...

S: Yes...

H: No. What's wrong with you, in general?

A: Ahh... nothing.... ummmm... I don't think there's anything in particular that's...

H: In general!

A: Nothing. Nothing in general either, I... ummm... just...

S: She seems...

H: Amy. Are you afraid of yourself?

A: What?

H: Are you afraid of yourself?

A: Uhhh... no... I...

H: You're not afraid of yourself?

A: No?

H: No? Does that mean you might be afraid of yourself?

A: I'm kinda confused about what you're asking me.

S: I'm not sure that I'm...

H: Simply this. I want to know if you are afraid of who you are and what you do.

A: Well... I...

H: Do you want to be an actress?!

A: I... think I already...

H: No! No! I say when you are an actress! Understood?!

A: Uhhh... listen....

H: Understood!!?

A: Yes... I...

H: Excellent! Now what's the problem?

A: It's just that... well... ummm...

S: I think I can explain for...

H: Wake up, Amy! You're in the big city now! You're not playing Benson or Sedona any more, Amy...

A: I never played...

H: ...this is Avondale, sister!

A: I know that...

H: You gotta be ready for the lights when the city crowds come walking in those doors!

A: I know, I was raised here.

H: Then you better start showing it!

A: Yes, but I don't see how this even matters in the play!

H: Even matters? Even matters?! Do you think these hard-bitten urban dwellers are going to care if you don't "get it"?

A: I just want...

H: They won't! Not at all!

A: But, I...

H: You just have to play it as if you get it, alright?!

S: Harris?

H: Amy, can you do that?

S: Harris?

H: Can you at least try it?

S: Harris?

H: We'll see how it runs...

S: Harris?

H: .. and if we have to change it around...

S: Harris?

H: ...we will, it is my play after all...

S: Harris?

H: (anger rising) ...I did spend five years writing and re-writing it...

S: Harris?

H: (and rising) ...and figuring out the perfect words to build to this moment...

S: Harris?

H: ... for a really important scene that means everything to me...

S: Harris?

H: ...only to be told by this woman I picked...

S: Harris?

H: ...because I thought she was a...a...a... professional, ready-for-Avondale actress...

S: Harris?

H: (tons of anger by now) ...who could handle a ground-breaking scene such as this...

S: Harris?

H: ...and who wouldn't waste! my! time! wondering if the scene EVEN MATTERS!! (long pause, angry breathing)

S: Har...

H: (roaring) What the hell do you want!!?

S: I'm just wondering, how you want us to play it.

H: All out! Everything, to the end!

S: Well, I appreciate that you've made such a powerful, modern, relationship drama, but I guess, for me, the rest of the play is very straight forward and then you get to this part and ... well... it's sort of absurd... which I can totally understand if that's what you're going for, sorta throw the audience a curveball...

H: Listen, both of you knew this was going to be a very, very gritty and intimate play when you signed on...

S: Yes, I like that about it, which is why I'm wondering why we redo the last three pages, when we've spent that time really building our physical relationship and sexual tension.

H: What do you mean, Stuart?

S: I mean, wouldn't we at least kiss here, or something?

H: What?

S: Just seems like you're pushing the story that way.... you know, we have all this heated dialogue and things get kind of steamy and then we embrace and then you want us to go back three pages and start over?

H: What?

S: Yeah, I guess I don't undersatnd what you're going for either, and Aaron's on for most of that page, so does he come back out too, or do we start where it's just Amy and me?

H: Stuart, what the hell are you talking about?

S: The script.

H: No, you're not, not the same script I have?

S: Yeah, ummm... see on page 72, right where we're stopped now?

H: Yes?

S: I have the line: "Let me show you my love."? Then we embrace...

H: Right?

S: ...and then it says "Do 69".

H: Right. I'm aware of that.

S: Good... so we go back to page 69 and start the romantic scene over again? Without Aaron, probably? I'm guessing that's what you meant.

H: Are you serious?

S: Well, that's kinda what I'm asking you.

A: Stuart, uhhh...

H: You're joking, right?

S: And, ohh... I just had another thought, when we go back to 69 then act through to this spot again, do we go back to 69 again, and just keep going like that?

H: No!

S: Good. I mean, I had heard you were kinda artsy, but I didn't think you'd write an unending play...

H: Stuart....

S: ...especially considering there's ten more pages left after 72 anyway...

H: Stuart....

S: ...and it seems kinda silly to end it without ending it...

H: Stuart...

S: ...especially when you've got such a nice ending already written...

H: Stuart...

S: ...and, honestly, I'd feel pretty dumb just acting the same three pages over and over until the house emptied out...

H: Stuart...

S: ...in fact, I wouldn't like that at all...

H: Stuart...

S: (anger rising) ...it'd be just like college and those horrible plays....

H: Stuart...

S: ...that all those pretentious art kids wrote....

H: Stuart....

S: ...always making me be in their dumbass plays....

H: Stuart!

S: ...they thought they were being clever by just throwing random crap...

H: Stuart!

S: ....up on stage and pretending it meant something....

H: Stuart!

S: ...like they were smart, when in reality they just didn't know how...

H: Stuart!!

S: ... to piece a story together...

H: Stuart!!!

S: (keeps building anger)...then everyone would pretend they got it, but inside we were all just confused...

H: Stuart!!!

S: ...and it always felt like the audience was...

H: Stuart!!!!

S: ...laughing AT me...

H: Stuart!!!!

S: (starting to exit stage) ...I can't do that to myself again!!

H: STUART!!!!!

S: Yes?

H: (coming onto stage, pulling Stuart aside) Let me tell you something to clear the air here. (He whispers to Stuart, ocassionally looking and pointing at Amy for emphasis, explaining exactly what he meant by his stage direction, Stuart slowly catches on, in a big way; Harris pats him on the back and retreats to the house)

A: So, what's going on? I need to know.

H: Stuart just needed a little refresher course. So what do you say, Stuart?

S: Well, Harris, it's a bold new step for the modern American theater.

A: I just don't think it's...

H: We've been through this, Amy; let's just bite the bullet, so to speak, and see how it plays.

S: I agree entirely, Harris! We do have to sacrifice for our art.

H: Great!

S: (very eager to get started) O.K. From my line?

A: Listen...

S: C'mon Amy! You have to believe in the power of the theater!

H: Well said, Stuart! From your line... (lights start to fade)

S: (pulling Amy close) Let me show you my love. (they embrace, Amy's looking out to the house, extremely terrified, Stuart's already pulling his zipper down, way ahead of himself)

(lights out)

(end)

1 comment:

Bleeet said...

Yes, I know, I had to pay homage. But, at least, I didn't call it "69". Hope you like it. Let me know.