August 29, 2006

A Play A Day #138

Rest Easy


Setting: Basement of a house, the two twelve-year olds are in sleeping bags with flashlights, their flashlights are on, pointing, randomly at different audience members.

Thane: (scared) That was it!

Mort: What?

T: That scratching sound.. scritch... scritch...

M: I didn't hear anything.

T: Scritch, scritch, scritch... like three fast then two slow scritches... scritch.... scritch...

M: That's your cat!

T: Nuh-uh! My cat has no claws!

M: Cats have claws.

T: Not mine, we had 'em removed.

M: Ouch! I bet that fuckin' hurts!

T: Dude, no swearing... if my Mom catches you... you'll be in such deep poop!

M: O.K. Sorry...

T: There it was again! Scritch!

M: Why don't we turn the lights on?

T: You think we should?

M: Well, if you're gonna be a sissy all night.

T: You do it!

M: Man, now we can't use these awesome flashlights.

T: Hey, I'm just being safe!

(Mort is standing at a light switch, lights come up on the room, seated in an easy chair on the other side of the stage is Thane's Dad, Randy. He is sharpening a very large knife on a rectangular whetstone. Scritch, scritch, scritch... scritch... scritch.)

Randy: (shielding eyes from the bright lights) Hey! Turn those lights off!

T: Dad!

R: Hey, now. Thane. Mort. You two just go to sleep. I've got everything covered on this end.

M: That's a nice knife, Mr. Andreks.

R: Well thanks, Mort. It's seen me through some really big jobs before; gotta keep it sharp.

M: I'll bet.

R: Never know when something might need cuttin'.

M: Yeah, like what?

R: Oh, big things.

M: Neat!

R: You boys hit those lights, and get to sleepin' now.

(Mort turns off lights, business while they get into their sleeping bags, the scritch sounds start up again, goes for a few beats)

T: Oh, Dad? We're taking Mort to the water park with us tomorrow, right?

R: (scritching stops, pause) Sure, Thane. Sure we will. (scritching starts again)



Anonymous said...

Sorry, I didn't quite get this one beyond
the swearing and the declawing issues, and the dad providing some play along on the fear easy it is to suggest danger to
young minds.

Knowing you are looking for honest comments,
I'd say this play was either too obvious, or I am too dense. In any case, it's not easy to write a play a day. Inspiration must always be the reason to write, imho.

Having said that, discipline and etermination should help make those inspired days move along nicely.


ShOI said...

If you ever actually perform this play, I'll be in the audience waiting for Mort to turn off the lights so I can scream "It's the snakes!"

Brendon Etter said...

I agree, this play was too easy. A lot of times these plays are simple sketches. One joke scenes, if you will. This play is as simple as you think. I wouldn't look past the surface, except that the boys' names are clues as to their predicament. Sometimes the ideas are deeper; sometimes not.

I'm actually not always writing from an "inspired" position. My goal is to make myself write every day; discipline... sometimes you get good ideas and sometimes they are simpler, which doesn't necessarily equal "bad", just simple...

I would say, though, that you never know how even a very simple play is going to play on stage.

Audiences aren't always on the prowl for multiple layers of meaning, or deep irony, or subtle metaphors. Sometimes they only want a quick laugh. It's completely unpredictable.

Thanks for reading!