July 2, 2006

A Play A Day #80

The Children's Minute

One Young
One Tweenager
Other Tweenager
One Teenager

Setting: Family room, watching an enormous TV. Four kids sprawled on sofa, arm chair, floor. Everything is white, bright white. Walls, floor, furniture, television, clothing, bright blond hair, white make-up. Television is down-center, back to the audience, blocking the view of a good portion of the inaction.

(Lights up on this scene. TV jibberish or collage of random TV and advertising slogans audible on stage, kids eat oddly-white food, lots of junk, but they are nearly motionless as they do so. Every once in a while they move slightly, or grab something from one another's snack bags or plates. Eating continues unabated. Lights get brighter, collage gets faster, pitches start bending and television noise starts overlapping, more and more sounds enter the fray, ominous sounds, happy sounds, advertising, gets faster and faster and louder and louder slowly, lights start burning brighter and brighter white, kids keep eating, noises gets louder and louder, more and more random and bizarre, lights to full, blinding white light shines from all sides now, including directly at the audience, louder, louder, finally there is a very beautiful sound which starts very high and loud and slowly pulls everything down, lights soften, get progressively dimmer as this sound begins to predominate, eventually, the scene is fairly dim and this quiet sound quietly persists, the oldest child picks up a black remote and turns the volume up on the TV, the tweenager grabs remote and does the same, then the other tweenager, then the young one, who clicks the volume button slowly and repeatedly as the TV collages starts over, lights get brighter, sounds get louder, and the cycle starts again. Mother walks in near peak. She is dressed in black. She talks to them loudly, but she is not audible. She seems to get some satisfaction from the exchange, and she leaves. Everything calms down again. Lights out. Lights back up, the children have been replaced by four marshmallows which are roughly of comparable size, but definitely just large cylindrical marshmallows. Cycle starts again. At absolute peak, lights and sound cut immediately. A slow, mellow song starts in the darkness. Lights back up, mother sits on sofa next to marshmallows, she is grieving the loss of her four children, and occasionally eating handfuls of the marshmallows, lights fade out.)


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