October 20, 2006

A Play A Day #190

Stand Up And Go

Voice: A Voice
Man: A Man; could just as easily be Woman: A Woman.

Setting: Stage, chair in center

(lights up on chair)

Voice: (calm, soothing) Please enter now.

(long pause)

Voice: Please... do enter.

(long pause)

Voice: I assure you that now would be a very good time for you to enter.

(long pause)

Voice: (whispered, dropping to a more conversational tone) We discussed this already... I said this would be how we'd start; don't you remember? You can't leave me hanging here... it's kind of embarrassing. You were supposed to be on stage after the first line.


Man: (offstage) You didn't tell me the whole story though... you said that I just had to walk to the center of the stage and sit down, but... you didn't say anything about there being people there...

Voice: (quickly) Oh, c'mon, you can't be serious...

Man: I'm entirely serious. How was I supposed to know that all these people would watch the thing.

Voice: You're an actor, damnit! What did you honestly expect?

Man: This is a different type of show... and I thought...

Voice: You thought what?

Man: Well... I was... I guess, you know... it... uh...

Voice: What?!

Man: It's artsy... you know? Like all artsy.

Voice: What do you mean?

Man: Just, like... artsy...

Voice: And that's bad?

Man: Well, I wouldn't expect people in this town to go for that...

Voice: Oh, really, why not?

Man: Ummm... you know... they're not the pretentious type... they like simple things...

Voice: Who are you offending more right now?

Man: I'm not trying to offend anyone... they like a story... this is not a story sort of play... it's all...

Voice: Pretentious?

Man: Yeah, basically. I think it's a bit pretentious.

Voice: What's pretentious about it?

Man: Well... it's 273 pages long... that's a clue, I guess.

Voice: And?

Man: You call it a "one-act".

Voice: It moves quickly!

Man: If you skip the middle 260 pages, I guess.

Voice: Don't you dare, that section is the crux of the play!

Man: Right, I'm sure it is, but...

Voice: You want the play shortened to 13 pages?

Man: Well, that's what I read.

Voice: You didn't even read the whole thing?!

Man: Why did I need to, you speak the entire time.

Voice: Well, you need to know how the story advances.

Man: What story?

Voice: The story of Man! Your story!

Man: Right. I realize that it's my story... I just wish, and I think these people will wish, that there were a bit a more story to your story.

Voice: It's an analogy about the futility of humanity... the brainless need to follow authority... the fear of freedom that most people have...

Man: Great, but why could that be done in five pages or so?

Voice: Because that's part of the point! These idiots will sit through the whole thing because they're supposed to, simple as that, the play makes the case and proves it in a little over six hours!

Man: Ummm... I think they can hear you, man.

Voice: What? No... I turned the mic off when you wouldn't come out.

Man: Okay... but I think I can hear it in the house...

Voice: Not a chance, and even if you could hear what I said, those dolts would never leave, because they need theater so that they can feel cultured, high-brow and all that... so that's what were feeding them... they gotta have some meaning in their dreary little lives in Hickland.

Man: So putting them through six hours of nothing is your revenge? Revenge on these people because they paid to see your show?

Voice: It's a slap in the face of the American theater-goer.

Man: Really? Because you were making it sound more like you hated just these people, in this town, specifically.

Voice: It doesn't matter who's face I'm slapping as long as I'm slapping someone's. Not get out there and sit in the chair! Or they're going to stand up and go.

Man: Damn them. That is the title of the play.

Voice: Duh! I wrote this thing, but they can't stand up and go until the end because that creates the irony of the whole play.

Man: Wow... you are truly an awful man.

Voice: Yeah, so what? They won't know what hit'em.

Man: Can I at least put underwear on?

Voice: No, you knew the part required extended periods of nudity.

Man: But, there's no reason for it!

Voice: Sure there is. You just get out there, flash your dick around for six hours and wait for the adulation to come your way.

Man: I just keep doing what you say for 273 pages?

Voice: Time's wasting, pal.

Man: I'm your puppet for six hours, and I'm naked.

Voice: Yes, just like we rehearsed it.

Man: Like I said; I wasn't expecting anyone to show up.

Voice: Too late. Your clothes are off, and you're on.

Man: This is just mean on so many levels.

Voice: Hey! They paid their fifty bucks, they...

Man: You charged them fifty dollars to use them as the objects of derision?!

Voice: The more expensive it is, the more they expect; the more likely they are to rationalize it in our favor. Shit, I could have charged them two hundred bucks a pop, and they would have thought they were seeing a Broadway show. Wait 'til they find out that the toilets in the lobby don't work; they'll probably demand to pay more. (laughter) They'll be saying "Well, if it was that painful, and I sat through it, then it must have been a truly important play."

Man: Oh... God... this is obscene.

Voice: No, that's around page 190.

Man: Let's get this over with.

Voice: That's the spirit.

(long pause)

Voice: (back to the calm, soothing tone) Please enter now.

(long pause)

Voice: Now. Enter.

(long pause)

Voice: (angry) What the hell is going on?! Get on the... hey? Where are you? Hello? Shit! You've got to be kidding... that fucking bastard! Stupid, stupid... I knew I should have padlocked the doors... Shit, gotta do something here...

(long pause)

Voice: (calm and soothing again, but nervous, lights fading) Ladies and gentlemen. Imagine there is a completely naked man sitting in that chair. He is responding to whatever I say. The first thing I say is "stand up and go", and the play starts...

(lights out)


1 comment:

Brendon Etter said...

Was in Chicago fo a couple days, will probably write two tomorrow to catch up.

- Bleeet