The Visions of Acting

Table of contents :
Acting Analysis
- Elements of a Character
- Challenges Related to Acting
- Specifics of Character Development
- Constantine Stanislavsky

Citation preview

The Visions of Acting A Series of Monologues & Scenes

By Matthew Salazar-Thompson

“Moon Over Buffalo” at North Coast Repertory Theatre in Solana Beach, California – 2019.

Introduction This collection of monologues crosses gender, cultural identification and age. This collection of short analysis, monologues and scenes is meant to enhance with learning outcomes in the fields auditioning for the live theatrical medium.

Auditioning is a weird art, one that takes time, patience, and a little bit of surrealistic intrusion into the entire process. As I tell students all the time, when you are auditioning, make sure that you are looking straight out, over the heads of your audition panel. Never look directly at them for this will include your audition panel in your audition. These monologues and scenes are both comedic and dramatic and art of the monologue is a challenge for the actor on stage. As an actor/actress we are all alone, exposed to the audience, in a possible didactic conversation with them, whether they acknowledge you or not. It can be a nerve-wrecking element of the acting process, but it is also the most exhilarating! This is the moment in which you can shine and propel yourself into the realm of being an actor. I hope you will find these articles, scenes and monologues useful within the scope of your learning outcomes as an actor and artist. Professor Matthew Salazar-Thompson

Table of Contents Acting Analysis -

Elements of a Character Challenges Related to Acting Specifics of Character Development Constantine Stanislavsky

Monologues Scenes

Elements of a Character As actors we begin to build a relationship with characters don't we? And how do we do this? What are some of the major instrumental elements that we need to create a character? If we stop and look at the Westernized ideal of what and how we create characters let's look at Aristotle's Poetics first. One of the very first critical essays on the art of collaborative theatre the Aristotle talked about a few of the elements of acting in the Poetics of Tragedy that was written around 335 BCE. While we was writing specifically for Greek Tragedy at the time most of these elements continue to be relevant to today’s theatrical spectrum.

In addition to many of the time elements he writes about six very specific elements that he found to be of the utmost importance in the theatre. Half of which deal directly with the actor. 1) Plot – This is the spine of the play, the main events of our presented by the playwright as an interrelated sequence relatable to the audience both internally and externally. 2) Character - The characters serve to advance the action of the story, not vice verse. You cannot have a story without characters. The ends we pursue in life, our happiness and our misery, all take the form of action. Tragedy is written not merely to imitate man but to

imitate man in action. That is, according to Aristotle, happiness consists in a certain kind of activity rather than in a certain quality of character. Character reveals the individual motivations of the characters in the play, what they want or don't want, and how they react to certain situations. 3) Theme or Thought – This is the main concept or idea of the play. The central concept or idea radiates through all the elements of writing, acting and design. 4) Diction – The physical, external elements of the actor. Remember in Aristotle’s day actor had to actor in massive amphitheaters and had to project their voices to the tops of the stadium. How well an actor is heard affects the entire production. Since Westernized Theatre is dependent upon dialogue, song and words, how well that actor is able to speak, sing and project will affect the theme, plot and entire play. 5) Music or Melody – Aristotle didn’t necessarily mean music in the sense that there are musicians playing on the stage but more how the voice sounds, the quality and timbre and resonating elements of an actor. 6) Spectacle – These are the visual effects of the stage, the lights, the costumes, the set design, the eye candy so to speak. These elements cannot exist with plot and character. Both Character and Diction relate both directly and in-directly to internal and external elements of acting. Music or melody does relate in terms of quality of pitch and projection.

So what are some of the challenges that relate to acting? Theatrical actors and actress are constantly looking to overcome the challenges of creating characters. Some of these include: 1.) Physical Acting – Utilizing the quality of voice, diction and physical movement in order to create a character, realistic or not. 2.)

Believability and Relativity - There is an inner truth to a character that an actor must take on in order to be somewhat successful. As human being we must be able to connect to this character in some way, whether you are playing a bunny in an adaptation of Watership Down or, a lizard such as in Edward Albee’s Seascape or a monkey in David Ives’ All in the Timing we must be able to relate to those character experiences through the human condition.


Combination of external skills and internal skills. So what precisely does this mean? The actor must be in complete use of his physical external elements such as his voice, his diction, movement, as well as the mindset of where the character comes from, his/her age, occupation and ultimate his/her super-objective throughout the play.


Specifics of Character Development So how do we create these characters you ask? Each actor is different and so there is not magic equation that will work for every actor, but there are several different elements of making character believable. For now we will try to stick to the genre of Realism, which has only existed in the Westernized Theatre since 1879 when Henrik Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House. Let’s take a look at a few specifics of character development. Observation Obviously we are able to pull characters from people that we meet and see in every day life, but the actor must always be aware of his/her surroundings, that includes the other actors on stage and of course the audience. How do we lean how to walk with a limp? How do we move and pick items up if we are playing a character that is thirty years older than us? This element of character development is external, those elements that are physical and the audience recognize. Specifics An actor must also conceive of worlds that the character would possibly live in. The playwright has sewn the seeds of this world, but actors are creative and theatre is a collaborative art form, which means that the actor is able to fill in the specifics of their character. What are those given circumstances? What do we mean by this? Often times you will hear an actor say, “My character wouldn’t do this or that. I think he would do this.” In this moment the actor is creating those specifics that are relatable to the character. Remember, unlike film acting, characters on the stage are meant to be re-interpreted over and over again, given weight and creative license to the actor who interprets that character. Inner Truth A character’s thought and emotions are part of the defining element of how an actor creates those characters. Without it, we are just

speaking words. Constantine Stanislavski, the great Russian theatre director, always spoke about how actor must find that inner truth and pull from within in order to show us [the audience] what the actor is holding inside. Linking those magic what if type scenarios are the way in which an actor is able to build his/her character. For example, what if Hamlet killed Claudius in the church while he was preying what would happen to his objective? On a smaller scale we can look at this. What if Mary Poppins decided to stay with the Banks family? Would the children have that close relationship with their parents that she helped to propagate, making this Mary Poppins’s superobjective. Objective Simply put this is what the character wants. From scene to scene character have need sand wants. Great plays have objectives for each and every character. Every character must need or want something in order to spend time treading the boards. If we break this down a bit, from scene to scene a character has a want or need that must be full filled. The super-objective is what the character wants in the over arcing scope of the entire play.

Constantine Stanislavski Stanislavski developed the technique in the early 1900s and they have been used ever since to help actors create believable emotions and actions in the characters they portray. The Stanislavski Technique stems from his theatre practice and is still used by actors all around the world today. The method is an actor training system made up of various different techniques designed to allow actors to create believable characters and help them to really put themselves in the place of a character.

Stanislavski method acting is basically in seven steps, these techniques where developed to help actors to build believable characters. These are: 1. Who Am I? 2. Where Am I? 3. When Is It? 4. What Do I Want? 5. Why Do I Want It? 6. How Will I Get It?

7. What Do I Need To Overcome?

Monologues Realism – Comedic MEN West Bend The Call Girl of Vassar The Art of Acting

Realism – Dramatic MEN Señorita Julia Ted Williams: A Tip of the Cap Cloud Barrier David and Goliath Cesear’s Salad

Realism – Comedic WOMEN A Short History of Dating The Joy of Christmas A Hoe-Down Christmas

Realism – Dramatic WOMEN Cellar Door 9066 The 146 Point Flame

Señorita Julia

Scenes Realism – Dramatic Señorita Julia (1M / 1F) Of Mann and Monsters (2M) Cloud Barrier (1M / 2F) David and Goliath (1M / 1F)

Realism – Comedic Sure Thing (1M / 1 F) Next Stop! (1M / 1 F) Tough as Nails (3F)


Comedic West Bend Short Synopsis A short comedy about auditioning for the theatre. MAC – Male 20-45 Mac is auditioning using a fake English actor in order to impress the director. Using physical comedy and a sharp-witted tongue he believes that his monologue is exception, when in matter it is just the opposite. He is exceptionally serious to the point of fault.

MAC: (Speaking out to the audience as if it were the director.) Cheers. Hello my name is M. R. Irving. I will be performing the part of Eaglet, the fertile egg, from the play If a Shrimp Cocktail Can Talk, Why Don't We Have a Bar mitzvah Papa? (He claps his hands twice as he moves into warm-up mode. He takes a deep breath and lets it out twice. He screws up his face and twists it every which way and back as he lets out his vocal warm-up.) Shjdkjeifjjifefjkncnvijhiejfhioefjseiofhefe! Momba. Momba. Sally sells seashells by the seashore! Sally sells seashells by the seashore. Lemonade anemones. Lemonade anemones. Our enemy's lemonade anemones. Black bug's blood! Tubular aluminum. Tubular aluminum! (Snapping his fingers twice, he pulls his hands in front of his face and has emerged in character. Stepping forward, he puts out his hand in dramatic fashion as he begins to speak.) I'm sorry, may I start again? Thank you. (He smirks and turns his back and warms up some more. He does two quick jumping jacks, stretches from head to toe, the turns around and lets out a tenor note.) Unique New York! Unique New York! Salt shakers and baby

makers. Salt shakers and baby makers! Let us make cinnamon from our enemies’ aluminum! (He closes his eyes and mouth, snaps his fingers twice, and slides his hands in front of his face as he emerges once again "in character.") "The moon is your soil now. The moon. It moves like a lover across the crimson flame of the sun. The moon is like a woman's heart. You pull and you tug, you cry and the laugh! (straight face) Wood is hard. Oatmeal is lumpy. And shrimp. Shrimp my friends is brittle. Brittle, brittle, brittle! It snaps in your hands like a stalk of celery rising from the Earth and then... it's gone!" ... Thank you, thank you. Oh, no need for applause! Thank you! Thank you very much? You want me to what? (Beat.) You know I’ve seen a lot of strange things in my career. Is art for art’s sake? Is truth reality? Is Donnie Walburg really an actor. I don’t know, but I do know this. I will never every even if I was the last actor in the galaxy will I ever, ever… tech!

Comedic The Call Girl of Vassar Short Synopsis A parody on the 1940’s private detective genre. Here, Kaiser is looking unveiling a call girl racket with intellectual women using their brains as KAISER- 20-60 A private dic. He speaks directly to the audience. KAISER: (ASIDE) So, he was one of those guys whose weakness was really bright women. I felt sorry for the poor sap. I figured there must be a lot of jokers in his position who were starved for a little intellectual communication with the opposite sex and would pay through the nose for it. As I scuttled the front door with my amazing good looks and perfectly ironed trench coat collar, my peepers drizzled with disbelief: the place was crawling with dames. After a quick debate about Nietzsche’s concept of art versus nature with a sultry redhead, I gave a fake moniker at the front desk; she filled me in, in more ways than one. And she sure didn’t leave anything out. I learned that these weren’t just intellectual experiences, they were emotional ones too. For fifty bucks you could “relate without getting close.” For a hundred, a girl would lend you her Bartok records, have dinner, and then let you watch while she has an anxiety attack. For one-fifty, you could listen to FM radio, with twins. For three bills you got the works: a thin Jewish brunette would pretend to pick you up at the Museum of Modern Art, let you read her Master’s, get you involved in a screaming quarrel at the local deli over Freud’s conception of women, and then fake a suicide of your choosing. The perfect evening...for some guys. Nice racket. Great town, New York.

Comedic The Art of Acting Short Synopsis A very energetic Greek acting professor gives his class a few thoughts to chew on. BILL BUTCH – Male 35-60 Very Greek, with possible accent. Large and as dramatic as the Greek dramatists themselves. A bit bitter. BILL BUTCH: Good Afternoon. I said good afternoon! What're you already drunk? My name is Bill Butch; and this is Acting I. Some of you are here, because you like to act. You like to act a fool; act like a jackass, act like you know what you're doing. Act like you're listening to the professor...(Strangely calm now.) Some of you are here for an easy A. Well, let me tell you right now, there's nothing easy about the acting. Believe me; I know having spent my twenties and the bulk of my thirties in New York trying to make a career as an actor; and failing miserably. It's not 'easy' to stare into the essence of yourself; within the remnants of your soiled soul, and pull it apart for the folly and wanton sport of the spoiled masses. I'll have you know; it can be somewhat of a challenge to go on and perform a doorslamming farce at a two-bit dinner theatre, where your only form of payment is broccoli salad, and no less, the day after your lover left you in the dark of the night, causing you physiological anguish not unlike that of a newborn baby piglet being pulled away from its mother's teet! Unless of course your definition of 'easy,' is to swallow your pride, and prance around, dressed like a giant pomegranate, to be pinched and handled by a salesman from Sheboygan named Lute. Acting is many things. Acting is finesse; acting is both a science and an art; a technique and method. Acting is fighting for

your objectives; devising tactics based on motivations, and relishing victories as they happen in a holy communion with your partners. Acting is also restraining yourself from yelling at the old lady in the front row who just farted really loud, and her husband whose been unwrapping Werther's candies. Acting is reacting; in the moment with your partner, to the given circumstances, and the Genoa salami someone's body is secretly, but not so-quietly making into poop. But acting is never easy.

Dramatic Señorita Julia Short Synopsis This play is an updated version of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. The original piece takes play in Sweden in 1888 about class servitude. This version takes place in 1943 in the Delano, California, in the middle of California’s great agricultural valley. In this monologue José is speaking to Miss Julia about his mother, who wet-nursed her after her mother died. JOSÉ – Male 25-35 Looking to move above his lower class status. He feels that Miss Julia and her wealth may be the step to improving his life. He is bitter to the point of saturation and obsessed with the American Dream of acquiring an equal footing as his Caucasian counterparts in California society. JOSÉ: My mother. (Beat.) There was a day in the social center where this ranchero man in tall riding boots strolled in. His back seemed broken and his brow was fierce with sweat when he crossed the threshold where my own mama worked. He said that his girl needed some mothering. See, my mother fed and took care of those little babies whose mothers had none. But this little creature, this little miss was different. A big, wide red lipped mouth that flapped open and close with giggles of laughter and brilliant, sparkling eyes. Strong and rich. She couldn’t have been more than a year old. A tiny, delicate thing but her laughter was... contagious. She made all the adults laugh when she smiled. I remember this. (Beat.) I remember everything since I was born. (Beat.) Soon, every morning this ranchero man would drop this little flower off, awkwardly look around

and leave. And my mother would lay down all those little babies and let the little ones suck on her teets for milk like a fat sow until her nipples were cracked and she was dry as the land beneath our feet. (Beat.) Most of the babes sucked for a few minutes but this child, this little girl sucked the life from my mama... until there was no more for my brothers and sisters, my father. Or me. (Beat.) I’d watch her feed with frenzy, just standing there. And that little baby’s eyes held a type of fear, a type of... pain. It was buried deep within her. And I adored my mother for how much she gave to those she didn’t even know. And for that my mother was a goddess, but she was also chained to this earth. Never to be freed. And she died that way, with her ankles bound, her womanhood deflated and her mouth taped up. (Beat.) But not me. (Beat.) That’s why I work with the cars and the horses and the shit. Your father is scared of letting me walk through your house, into the place where all of these secrets, all of his money, where all of his children hide away.

Dramatic Ted Williams: A Tip of the Cap Short Synopsis This bio-play is about the famous baseball player Ted Williams from the time he joined the minor league Padres in 1936 until he managed the “new” Washington Senators in 1969. TED – Male 25-45 A big mouthed gruff individual in real life and on the ball field, in this monologue Ted talks about the fan experience. TED: See, I always thought that you most difficult part of baseball was hitting a ball with a bat. Two round objects and you’re trying to hit squarely. Now I know, that the truly most trying part of baseball... is being a fan. See the fans are the arteries of the game. I never hated the fans. Ever. I couldn’t do what I did without ‘em. The test of a true fan is one that sticks with their home team no matter what. And believe me, through the years the Red Sox would challenge their fans like no other team in baseball at times. But every kid, every father, every fan that came to Fenway to root me on and every other player who wore a blue and red letter “B” on our cap; our badge of honor, I know... I knew that those special folks were part of what makes baseball the greatest game on Earth. The fan never looses sight because deep down the fans, (looking into the audience) ... you... are part of the team. It may take an eternity before your team wins it big, but in the end it’s worth as you relish the victory as if you were right along side the players you cheered on all spring and summer. And whether your team that year wins the World Series or ends up in the cellar that October, the leaves on the Eastern Sea Board will always change colors and gently cascade to the Earth.

And remind us all... that baseball is part of life. And then six months later, it starts all over again, and you invest in another season. Another season of winning, losing and uncertainty. But one thing always remains the same: you always remain a fan. (Beat.) When I got outta baseball, that’s what I became...A fan. A fan of magnificent players like George Brett, Rod Carew, and Tony Gwynn who all flirted with .400. Records were made to be broken, right? And to those fans… I tip my cap.

Ted Williams: A Tip of the Cap. Johnny Mercer as Ted Williams. North Coast Repertory Theatre, 2011.

Dramatic Cloud Barrier Short Synopsis Five individuals are stuck on top of a New York high rise on New Year’s Eve. Robert is an outcast. ROBERT – Male, Any Age. A stranger in a strange land. ROBERT: Am I not allowed to enjoy the starlight? Am I not allowed to ponder, to look, to gaze? Let me ask you... Have you sequestered yourself on top of an Oregon mountain top and let the millions of Monarch butterflies fly throw the sunshine and under your arms, over your head, feel them tickle your checks as they make their migratory journey north towards the ether sphere. My arms spread out and while I inhale the briskness of the biting Pacific air. (He slowly begins to spread his arms out. Music. Lights change.) Those orange and black winged creatures make my legs dull and lifeless, as if the tiny creatures are beating their wings so hard, thousands of them, millions of butterflies are entering my legs, driving into my spines, melting into my veins and the creatures lift me up, higher and higher, further and further towards the sun, towards the wispy clouds, up, up towards all that is enlightened, my fingernails are no loner sharp, for now they curl inward unable to scratch, my jaw drops at pure astonishment at the power of those winged beasts as thy lift me higher and higher, further and further, closer and closer to that which is oh so holy. These butterflies are not unlike the Corinthians and their knowledge of life, and as I feel my lungs empty with air I kiss Exodus as I feel my own re-birth through my own personal genesis.

David and Goliath Short Synopsis David is a Jewish writer living in Chicago. His fiancée is a Cuban woman named Maritza and his family is having a challenging time accepting her. Here, he tells her of the intersection between the Old Testament and baseball. DAVID – Male, 25-55. Compassionate and emotional. DAVID: When I was a boy, I would visit my grandfather in Wrigley Ville. The man worked as a grounds keeper at the park for as long as I can remember. And one afternoon in November, when the baseball season was over, and the air was crisp as celery, this old Jewish man held my hand and we walked through the gates of Wrigley Field. The two of us snaked through the underground corridors of the old structure and minutes later, hand in hand, we emerged, out onto the home field of the Chicago Cubs. My mouth gaped open with wonder, and my eyeballs sparkled at the emerald green grass and the finely manicured infield. My grandfather chuckled at my wonder as I tugged towards the outfield. The old man let go of my hand, and like a ray of light I circumnavigated that field as fast as my eight-year-old legs would carry me. Winded, I plopped down on the crisp orange dirt right next to my grandfather. After the oxygen returned to my lungs, the two of us moved our arms and legs up and down as we made angels in the infield. My grandfather emitted this coarse, rough laughter that seemed to explode from his chest as if releasing some sort of great weight. (DAVID smiles to himself.) We laughed ourselves to tears. The corners of my mouth became laminated with this huge smile that

stretched out across my face, and I stared off into the kaleidoscope painted sky with the greatest sense of stillness I have ever know. With the cool air tickling my hair and the warm flicker of the giant crimson glow of the setting sun stroking my face, I closed my eyes and laid down to rest. And then, just as I was about to doze off my grandfather smacked the ground with those large hands of his, and the veins in my eyes sparkled open. It was Thursday night and Friday was Sabbath, so normally we would be at home perusing the Torah with a fine-toothed comb. He was a man of routine and rarely escaped. But, tonight he reached into this old broken leather satchel and pulled out his own dilapidated copy of the Torah. With his liver spotted scaly hands he caressed The Old Testament, kissed it, and gently lay the old book in my hands. I didn’t think much of it at the time. What kid wanted to read some old forgotten book with an old man in the middle of an empty baseball stadium? So, while I lay there on the grass with the smell of burning leaves wafting through the Chicago skyline, I looked over and noticed that my grandfather was no longer lying beside me. In a moment the stadium lights flickered on with a big “bang” and with a giant electrical buzz those modernized candles illuminated the entire playing field. Before I realized it, my grandfather was back. “I got you some reading lights David,” he said. He jogged onto the field, careful not to step on the first base line. I noticed this and said, “superstitious?” He replied: “tradition.” When he reached the first base bag a great smile came to his face. I grinned, knowing exactly what he was up to. Tradition indeed. I sauntered over to first base and without a word the race was on. With every ounce of energy that I had ever seen in him, my grandfather kept pace with me as we circled the bases. As he reached home plate he didn’t slow down and I beat him by half a step. I never knew if he really let me win or not. I don’t think I ever want to know. It was part of that magical moment that seems to be imprisoned in time. After we both caught our breath, the old man took my hand and we walked across the infield over between second and third base. He picked up a baseball bat, and he drew in the pumpkin orange infield dirt, between second and third base, the pictures of the Hebrew alphabet. Aleph, Beis, Gimel, Daled. And that’s how I learned to read and write Hebrew, between second and

third base. He was a good teacher and I was an excellent pupil. After an hours worth of lessons he picked me up by both arms and twirled me around as we ran to the tall overgrown blades of outfield grass and with great smiles collapsed onto our backs. As my smile faded from my face my eyelids began to droop and sleep overtook my being. As he reached to pick me up I awoke, but pretended to be asleep. I can still remember the feeling of my grandfather lifting me up as I hoverer in that in-between state of consciousness, the place where dreams and reality begin to blend and intertwine and you don’t know what’s real and what’s imagination. I wrapped my arms around my grandfather’s neck as he carried me all the way to the dugout. It’s the best feeling in the world: you’re eight years old and your Jewish grandfather, smelling of matzo and cigars, carries you across the park, cradled in his arms. This park just happened to be Wrigley Field.

Cesar’s Salad Short Synopsis CARLOS has been raised by a Caucasian Mormon family and is attempting to source his identity. Torn between who he is and who he was, he is looking for answers. He looks into a mirror. CARLOS – Male, 18-30. CARLOS: Here I am. But where do I belong? I was born in Juarez but raised by my family, who is Mormon. I laugh at Jerry Seinfeld. I liv in track housing. I skateboard and listened to my mother complain about her yoga pants. Mexican food in our house was Taco Bell. Oy vey. Considering that I am brown on the outside I feel so... white on the inside. And is this wrong to feel this way? Am I leaving whom I really am behind, like my parents left me behind at that orphanage? (Beat.) There are moments where I feel torn, where I’ve been taunted. As a twelve year old I was called ‘spic in the practically allwhite school. And part of me, deep down inside, wanted to know what that meant. But I didn’t even know what that meant. I had to ask my parents. But now... where do I belong? Where is it that I fit into? Here I sit in this international library reading books about the past, yet who is it that is writing this history? The victors? And here I am. My soul seeps between the borders of who I am and ... what I am. I don’t even know my last name… really. I know it’s now Wilson. (He looks at his hands and then into the mirror. He touches his face.) I was breaking down the walls of my skin, scrapping my capillaries off the ground with a sensual push. My capillaries are white yet my skin is as brown as the dirt that my ancestors plowed beneath the earth to plant the crops that nourished my people. But are they my people? (Beat.) This movement, this group ...these farm workers. Just like their ancestors did they are taking a stand for equality, for

equal justice and treatment. My mother calls them “lowlifes.” How can that be? She says that I am different. That I’m not one of them because... I’m educated. That it is a mindset, not a race issue. (Beat.) But how can that be? These men and woman are feeding us, filling our salad bowls. Yet I stare at them as they speak Spanish to me. And I am unable to respond for I do not know their language... or do I? Can I find who I really am? (Beat.) Sí, se puede.

Comedic A Short History of Dating Short Synopsis Cleopatra is on the TV show “Who Ya Gonna Date.” She is recalling her blind date with Julius Caesar to Chuck, and the studio audience. CLEOPATRA – Female, Any Age. Ruler of Ancient Egypt. Uptight and demanding. CLEOPATRA: I was doing my hair. My servant woman let him in. He's a bigger fella. Elegant dresser. Armani Toga. He took me to The Oasis down on the Giza Strip. It wasn't that bad but the place was SOOOO 24th Dynasty. Still, it was cute. Candles everywhere. Magic lamps, but I have to admit I was a little disappointed. Julius couldn't even read the hieroglyphics on the menu, so I had to order for both of us. But, the thing that got me was that I couldn't believe that he actually took me to such a meat market. With all of that being said there was a little incident I have to say. We sat down. I ordered my favorite, broiled monkey heart and Caesar ordered his usual, a salad... Of course. And when our food came, the waiter placed it down in front of us and uh... Well, it was just horrendous. First off, the waiter's fez fell into my crocodile soup. Then my dragonfly appetizer came soaked in blood sauce. And then my Camel Carpaccio arrived cooked. It was just a disaster, so I immediately ordered the waiter executed and to my complete surprise Julius stepped in and showed mercy and spared his life. And I have to admit I was a little disappointed. How are you supposed to rule a kingdom, let alone a restaurant, without discipline? I think that he was just trying to be nice and show off or

something. Chuck, I just don't know if there is a future with this guy or not.

Comedic The wof Christmas Short Synopsis The Head Elf at Santa Workshop is speaking to her new elfin recruits. JOY – Female, Any Age. Uptight and demanding. She’s the brigadier general of Santa’s elves! JOY: ATTENTION! Now, you’re all here today as new recruits. Being an elf is a proud profession. Alright, now if anyone is interested my name is… Brigadier general Joy! Your ability to work under pressure while maintaining quality control is of the uttermost importance. When you leave the Elf boot camp you may encounter some resistance in the outside world. You may hear miniature golf jokes. You may be called an Oompa Loompa. You may be asked to wrestle. Those taller individuals that are less fortunate then your selves may pick you on! Let me make one thing perfectly clear right now. Our lawyers here at the North Pole need you all to understand something. For many years we’ve been called Santa’s helpers. But from now on, we elves will be known as subordinate clauses. As an elf, we can say that we have our feet firmly on the ground. The first thing you all learn in school is the elf-abet. But here we have our own list of priorities. Most important, under no circumstances what so ever are you allowed to talk about what you do in the factory. These toys are top secret! Santa designs and tests each and every one of these toys and he’s relying on us to make sure that these products are produced properly and of the highest quality. Is that understood?! (Beat.) I can’t hear you? I said is that understood?! (Beat.) Good! Now there are some rules on the factory floor. I have

heard some chatting and other talk. The only music that should be heard on the present construction site is wrap music. W.R.A.P! Is that understood? There is also no eating on the factory floor. Shortbread sandwiches may be consumed during your break period. Now if any of you can’t handle the rigors of this factory or those of the holiday season, I suggest that you step away right now and go back to the real world. This holiday season cannot tolerate anyone with low elf esteem. Remember elves the word stressed backwards spells desserts. So, think about that and do your job. So, if you are not up to the challenge, please leave. Some of you have worked in cold weather before. Some of you lawn gnomes may have not. And many of you may wonder how much difference there is between the North Pole and the South Pole. And I’m here to tell you that it’s all the difference in the world. Up here we make toys, fast, furious and with conviction. That’s what the North Pole Toy Company is all about! (A little softer, but still with conviction.) Now our boss, Santa is getting up there in age. And he doesn’t necessary travel as well as he used to. And some of you may wonder why he still goes down the chimney. And I’m here to say that he still goes down the chimneys because it soots him. And it is our reproducibility to do intelligence reports on the all the world’s chimneys to make sure that there are no fires burning in any chimneys. Santa goes down stacks of chimneys on Christmas Eve. We don’t want a Crisp Kringle. As you leave the factory, you may encounter some children who do not believe in Father Christmas. That is their right. We deliver presents to them anyway. We have these rebels without a Claus charted out. Now, we have a very high order of toy guitars this season. All the kids are singing Blue Christmas and we need to double our productions of Elfis toy guitars. There is a bonus for the team that comes in at one billion items. (Very patriotic.) We are greatest toy making facility in the world! We have been serving the communities for centuries! Who are we? We are the elves of Christmas! And what’s red, white and blue at Christmas time?! A sad candy cane! Now, we don’t want that! We want to spread the cheer, the joy and the love of the holiday season across the globe! Now, your paycheck here at the North Pole Toy Factory. You will be paid on Boxing Day in cold cash. For those of you that are here for

the fifth straight holiday season you are eligible to purchase Santa’s stockings at five a quarter per share. (A little change in tactics.) It is also our responsibilities to handle any and all problems that may arise during the holiday season. And right now, we’ve got a doosie. Now, let’s get to it! Christmas is coming and we’ve got no one to pull the sleigh for Santa tonight. It appears that Rudolph drank some bad spring water and is laid up for at least a week. I saw him personally and gave him a couple of elk-a-seltzers, so he’s resting. We need alternatives and we need them now! One suggestion that came from Unit Mistletoe is to promote one of the other reindeer to lead the sleigh. My suggestion is Comet. He is the cleanest and most upstanding of the bunch. Aside from this we are right on track and ready to make this the best holiday season ever. So, if there are no other questions or comments, it’s time to get to work! Let’s make a little magic!

Comedic A Hoedown Christmas Short Synopsis Gladys Green talks to you about the best in rural Christmas gifts. GLADYS – Female, Any Age. She’s a cowgirl and tells it to ya straight! GLADYS GREEN: Howdy y’all! YEE-HAA! And welcome to the Royal Palomino Clubhouse here at the Elegant Estonian Pony Belt Buckle Estates. Christmas time is boot scoot and boggie’n closer and closer her in Texas, and I have been thinking about what gifts to give to my near and dear ones. Now, I don’t know about you, but I can only receive so many crocheted, knitted, puffy-painted bedazzled, bejewled, glue gunned, pieces of namby pamby C-R-A-P until I go sugar plum crazy. YEEEE-HAAAAA! (Big laugh.) My name is Gladys Ann Green and I know you, like me, are lookin’ for new and interestin’ ways of rememberin’ the fam-fam, so let me ask you this- what about something that’s fun, beautiful, and eternal... I’m talking about taxidermy! Not many items express love quite like a Frozen Action Figure Squirrel Desktop Paperweight. (She makes a quick squirrel face and pose.) Now, I am a professional taxidermist here’s my union card. (She shows us her imaginary card so fast that we cannot see it.) Now, if you think that I go out and hunt those animals myself, you’ve got the wrong idea. Sure, I could shoot those critters from my double duty F-6000 pick-up truck using one of my Magnam 950 laser sighted rifles off of my gun rack and go to town. But I leave the huntin’ to the man upstairs, and he leaves animals for me in a more creative way: road kill. It’s like gifting the gift of life... or wild life. (Big obnoxious laugh.) Now pay attention because here’s

where our creative skills really go to work. Trust me, these gifts you make your family happier than a puppy with four peters. My fiveyear-old niece Beverly loves to play princess. She wanted to be “The Little Mermaid” this year, but instead I made her a custom cape out of flattened skunk pelts. She can be Cruella DeVille from 101 Dalmatians! And my 16 year-old nephew, Dustin, just got a new pick-up truck, so and I made him some real crushed jack-rabbit seat covers. I had so much left over that I made nine key chains, enough for my sister’s macramé club. And finally, Mary Sue Jane my 22 year-old niece-in-law through a previous divorce I made a very special something. She’s living out there in The New York City. She spends so much time shopping in those fancy department stores for a Kate Spade Calfskin purse and I went her one better: Armadillo. I made her an armadillo protective shell purse! This way she can protect herself by knockin’ purse-snatchers over the head with that sucker! Let’s face it, there ain’t nothin’ harder than a Texas armadillo. Yip-yip-yehaaaa!!! Well, I hope this gives you some holiday giftgiving ideas that are cheap, original, and easy, especially if you live near the highway. So, make sure that you are safe on those roads out there during the holiday season, and always carry a shovel, a dozen trash bags, and six pounds of potpourri! Bye, bye, y’all and have a happy hoot-nanny hoedown of a holiday! Yeeeea haaaaa!

Jacque Wilke as Gladys Green in the North Coast Repertory Theatre production of Mistletoe, Music & Mayhem!

Dramatic Cellar Door Short Synopsis It’s the Great Depression, 1933. Grace is the daughter of a Southern woman who abandoned her at birth and now she’s come back to Louisiana to find out why. GRACE – Female, 15-23. Has come back seeking her mother who abandoned her at birth. GRACE: You feel that in your lungs? Those particles you’re breathing in right now are tiny little stories. Every town in every hamlet in America has stories of these kinds to soften the sharp dualities of fiction and fact. (Beat.) The people of Houma have sought out the kaleidoscope of brilliant colors in these darkened times. For out of the inky veil of blood and pain that illusion, that unmistakable deliverance of truth can either pitch a family forward further into the darkness or they can rise about the waves of pain and find the truth waiting for them in a muddy chariot that will deliver their souls to the clouds and cleanse them of perpetual guilt. Time is constant. The heart is constant, but life... well... life in this small town in Louisiana during the hard times can be translucent, if we are able to release the demons that have shackled us. Because then, and only then ladies and gentlemen will we be able to define what is true and what is false. What is reality and what is an illusion? And it’s in these hard times in this hard country that our fantasies can sometimes become stronger... than reality.

Dramatic 9066 Short Synopsis 1943. Japanese American internment camp. Miko’s family has been relocated and she is torn between her loyalty to who she is now and where she has come from. MIKO – Female, 20-60. She is the pillar of strength for the family, but imprisonment is wearing her down. Kind and open hearted. MIKO: Dear cousin. Oh, sweet, sweet cousin, I write to you with pure sorrow in my chest. The sun has peeled away into the dark of night, and the tears of Siddhartha have begun to shed across our camp. As the rain continues to fall I think on the white petals and pink insides of those beautiful flowers that live in Japan, that I can’t quite remember the name. Just outside the camp, alongside the barbed wire fence I can see the brilliant colors of the orange poppy flower that dot the California landscape, the symbol of hope and change. (A long pause.) Hiro is in the hospital. He and several other interns stormed the administration office and several shots were fired into the group. We ran to the scene of the riot. People were swarming the office, screaming and yelling. As patient as I have been since internment, I could no longer hold in my repressed feeling. For when I saw my oldest child laying in the mud with blood seeping from his chest, I could not breath. With all my strength and speed I hurried to his body. I lifted his head as it fell limp in my lap. The medical team took him to the hospital. He was barely breathing when he left me. Parents shouldn’t outlive their children. But the world is at war. And war has a way of changing the rules. As the medical team took Hiro away, I fell unconscious. The last thing I

remember, I had fallen into Narja’s trembling arms. As I fell half conscious I saw the face of my mother. Her warm smile tickling my body and I felt as if I was a little girl again, back in Tokyo. She seemed to be running towards me, but the closer she got I realized that I no longer recognized her. The woman’s eyes had no color. Her hair no color. And my eyes strained to see if this woman wore a kimono... Or a shirt. I feel as though I am torn between two countries. One flag is squeezing me and the other is as barren to me as this desert landscape. And I am lost.

Dramatic The 146 Point Flame Short Synopsis This piece is based on the historical famed New York’s Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911. The young garment workers recall the incident and the afterlife. A story of young immigrants coming to America for a better life, only to find that American capitalism dominates the landscape. YETTA – Female, 15-23. She recalls the moments as the industrial fire engulfs her with poetic infusion. YETTA: Swaths of beautifully rich fabric now lay scattered at my feet. Fluent material squeezes up through the holes between my toes. (Beat.) Oh, that blazing summer day my sister and I went to Brighten Beach. The warm sand curled between my toes. The sun beat down upon my sluggish, worn body from the weeks work. I closed my eyes, protecting them from the harsh beams of light. I can still feel the tiny pebbles of the sand massage my exposed skin. It sends pleasurable tingles up my spine and chills my head. With all my strength my fingers now plunge into the rich felt. I attempt to grasp the material but it simply slips through my fingers. I try to grasp with all my strength but I can’t seem to grab hold. My fingernails are tearing, ripping apart. Blood is pooling under my nails and streaming down my hands under my elbows across my stomach and down under my feet. The fabric of my existence is tearing apart! Along with the metal fire escape my body careens down through the black cavern, toward the cornucopia of colored terrain. An overflowing profusion of images snare my eyes as the gnarled metal sled courses through my veins. The wrested piece of iron punctures my

skin, enters my arms, my torso and finally rests unapologetically above my abdomen. Still conscious the bloody burning bodies of broken flesh rain down around me like the leaves of the Copper Beech tree. The bodies seem to cascade as they slowly rock back and forth, back and forth, before they hit the ground with a soft thud. It’s raining. It’s raining hot blood; hot delicate, purple blood. My blood.

The 146 Point Flame

Dramatic Señorita Julia Short Synopsis This play is an updated version of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. The original piece takes play in Sweden in 1888 about class servitude. This version takes place in 1943 in the Delano, California, in the middle of California’s great agricultural valley. In this monologue José is speaking to Miss Julia about his mother, who wet-nursed her after her mother died. CHRISTINA – Male 25-40 Christina is looking for a better life with the child she holds from her husband José. She is religious and devout. CHRISTINA: With each kick of the heartbeat that is growing inside of me I dream of expanding my life. To be able to feed that which is inside of me that is desperate, that is growing and will one day blossom. That dream inside of me needs help. I dream of a world where my child can walk down the street with pride in a land that is his own, in a mind that is his own. He will not cook or clean or even be a valet like his father. He will be in government or run an important business. As I sleep, as I dream of God and how he will deliver my familia to me I pray... I pray for the glory of that white light to be cast down upon me and José and our child. The war outside our pueblo, the war outside the world, the war inside my heart, creeping into my brain will not daunt me. Will not daunt us. This child will be nurtured from the ray of the sun, the heat of the land, and the sweat of our work. The sun has risen this morning only for me, only for us and through God we shall hide from the serpent’s fiery tongue and walk through the sweet fruits of this valley and into the light. Into the light. Into the light.


Dramatic Señorita Julia 1M/1F Short Synopsis This play is an updated version of August Strindberg’s Miss Julie. The original piece takes play in Sweden in 1888 about class servitude. This version takes place in 1943 in the Delano, California, in the middle of California’s great agricultural valley. In this scene José and Julia are testing each other physical and social boundaries.

JULIA (Direct) You have something in your eye. Dirt perhaps. Sit down. (Beat. Softer.) Sit down. He sits on the chair. She gets very close, practically between his legs and brushes the dirt out of his eye. JULIA You’re shaking. JOSÉ No Miss. JULIA Not from where I’m standing. JOSÉ So you think. JULIA You’re below the working class. He moves to kiss her and she pulls away. Beat. JOSÉ Estás jugando con fuego.(You’re playing with fire.) JULIA Yo soy el fuego. (I am the fire.) JOSÉ That’s your father speaking. JULIA

Esa soy yo hablando! (That’s me speaking.) You think I don’t know what you and the rest of the servants chatter about like rats? My father may not understand you, but I do. I understand everything. JOSÉ Do you? JULIA I’m here aren’t I? JOSÉ Maybe you are and maybe you aren’t. She laughs, then pours two shots of tequila. She drinks the first one and offers the second to him. When she sees he won’t take the shot she takes it and then sits. JOSÉ You want to make love to me. JULIA I’d rather make love to a horse. JOSÉ That could be arranged. JULIA Oh come Señor Cortez. A long pause. JOSÉ You know my name. JULIA It’s in the ledger.

Beat. JULIA Of course you don’t know my real name. When my family left Germany years ago my grandfather changed our nameJOSÉ From Weintraub. He changed it from Weintraub to Warner. So you would sound more... American. (Beat.) It’s still on the letterhead of the ledger.(Beat.)What were you hiding in Germany? JULIA What? Beat. JOSÉ You can change your clothes, you can change countries and you can even change your name but deep down inside your family is still looking in from the outside isn’t it? Through those glittering eyes of yours. Even with the money and the landJULIA You’re jealous. JOSÉ I am not jealous of your apple orchards and cars and your father’s riding boots. I am jealous of only one thing. He moves very close to her, slowly reaching out to touch her face. JOSÉ I am jealous of that snowy white skin of yours. A long silence as they stare into each other. JOSÉ But even your skin cannot hide your fear. For I can see right into you, and if a lowly peasant can see your frightened Jewish soul pushing

against the closing walls of a Christian society, a lot of other people can probably see you’re quivering as well. (Beat.) That’s why you hide isn’t it? (Beat.) Behind the stonewalls of this estate, of this valley. (Silence.) The war is coming and you can put make-up on your nose, and drive fancy cars and pretend that you’re like one of them, the “true” Americans. You can even change your name Miss Weintraub but you’ll never be one of those that belong to the land, to this land, because even as beaten and dirty as I am I own this land. (Beat.) It always has been mine. I’ve felt the fabric of this fertile valley’s soil between my long dark fingers. I’ve tended to the delicate color palettes of the apples and the oranges and caressed the leaves of lettuce and stalks of celery. And before that my ancestors grew the maize and built their homes here. It’s all mine. It was mine before the missionaries or the Protestants or the “conquering heroes” from over seas. I may laugh like a mouse in the dark, and nibble on the scraps of food left over from the table, but I know what I am and where I belong. I have always fought for the land that I own. I may be Mexican... but I am no Jew. A very long silence. Finally... JULIA What if I decide to step down... and make love to you? JOSÉ This chatty little town will say that you fell down. Your synagogue will say that you fell down. (Beat.) Your father will say that you fell down. And he’ll cut you... JULIA He wouldn’t lay a hand on me. JOSÉ He’d cut you out of his will. Wouldn’t he? JULIA

And what do you think? You think I would be falling down? Here I am making love to the hired help in the middle of the night. JOSÉ I think that you should make your own decisions. JULIA You mock me. JOSÉ I’m saying you can do whatever it is that you want to... for yourself. Without being under the thumb of your father. JULIA Maybe I like being under the thumb of my father. JOSÉ No one likes to be kept. JULIA You mistake me my young handsome servant. I love it when people passing by in town stop, nod, and bow to me. It warms my blood in the cold night to see all of you... people... scurrying around in the middle of the night like fat rats while I’m nice and warm in my luxurious bed. Oh, my gracious duke of the carburetor you are so mistaken. I like the way that I am treated. JOSÉ Like a princess in a castle? JULIA Like a man. (Beat.) Isn’t that what you want? I’m treated like a man more than you are. (Beat.) Isn’t that ironic? A long silence. She goes over to Mr. Warner’s riding boots and picks them up. She places them on the kitchen counter.

JULIA All your muscles and sweat and furrowing brows and strength cannot lift you up from that border you had to cross. JOSÉ I never crossed the border. The border crossed me. END of SCENE

Dramatic Of Mann and Monsters (2 M) Short Synopsis The Nuremberg Trial of 1947, two years after the end of World Ward II. In this two person historical play the German SS officer Herman Göring is on trial for various crimes against humanity. The Jewish psychologist that has been assigned to him, Gustave Gilbert, has been sent to evaluate the Nazi’s highest captured soldier.

Lights come up full, fast with the sound of a heavy mechanical switch. GÖRING is alone. He looks around for GILBERT who is nowhere to be found. He takes another drag of his cigarette. Then, GILBERT enters, with files. He stops. GILBERT Morning. GÖRING Morning. GILBERT Sleep well? Pause. GÖRING is looking upstage. GILBERT I made contact with your wife and children. Beat. GILBERT Did you hear me? GÖRING Yes. Thank you. GILBERT Would you please sit? GÖRING slowly crosses and sits down. GILBERT

Are you ready? GÖRING Always. GILBERT Good. GILBERT sits there, waiting for GÖRING to speak. Nothing. More silence. GÖRING stands and walks the cell. Silence. Finally. GILBERT I’d like to talk to you about propaganda. GÖRING My dear friend, and I do consider you a friend after all of this; do you not understand the rhetoric of and philosophy of lying? GILBERT Enlighten me. GÖRING When one lies he may get some of what he wants, he may even receive all that he is after. GILBERT And what about the truth? GÖRING One tells the truth you rarely get what you want. Would you accept that is truth? GILBERT I’m only interested in the truth. GÖRING A... boy scout, huh?

GILBERT No, but as part for the judiciary process, the truth is paramount. GÖRING Why? (Beat.) If I were to dig my nails into your heart and pull out how you really feel, don’t you think that I would find the truth? GILBERT In what are you referring to? Beat. GÖRING The way you feel about me. GILBERT Right now you are my patient. GÖRING A few months ago I was your enemy. GILBERT But right now you are my patient. And as a psychologist hired to understand the German Reich it has been my duty to record and investigate the motives behind certain crimes that may or may not have been committed against humanity. Beat. GÖRING Now who’s lying? Beat. GÖRING

You aren’t in the least bit concerned, moved... appalled perhaps by what you have learned? GILBERT writes something in his journal. GILBERT The jury will deliberate. GÖRING The jury may deliberate on the facts. GILBERT Based on truth. GÖRING And lies. GILBERT The international courtGÖRING Is a farce! This is not a real jury. It’s a damn show trial isn’t it? Isn’t that a fact? GILBERT Difficult to say. GÖRING (swiping at a fly) Damn pests. GÖRING stands up. GÖRING Can you do me a favor? GILBERT What is it?

GÖRING May I approach you? Beat. GILBERT Yes. GÖRING stands approaches him. He slowly places his hand over GILBERT’s heart. GÖRING Feel my heart. Beat. GÖRING It’s alright. Go on. A very long pause. GILBERT reaches out to him and places his hand on his heart. GÖRING Now... what do you hear? GILBERT You mean, what do I feel? GÖRING No. What do you hear? GILBERT I don’t... I don’t understand. GÖRING

One of my favorite painting’s, The Rising of Icarus, painted by an unknown German artist. Oil on wood depicts a beautiful image painted during the Renaissance period. The image The Rising of Icarus fades in against the cyc. GÖRING Are you familiar with the story of Icarus? GILBERT The Greek myth. GÖRING (Looking right into GILBERT) Let me help you. Now, Icarus is the son of the master craftsman Daedalus, the creator of the Labyrinth. Icarus and his father attempt to escape from Crete. And even though Icarus fell from grace he rose in other forms. GILBERT As I remember Icarus’ father warned him of his hubris but ignored his father's instructions not to fly too close to the sun; when the wax in his wings melted he tumbled out of the sky and fell into the sea where he drowned. The natural course of order was that which destroyed his existence. GORING Nature might have defeated him, but what if I said that there was a way of cheating nature? GILBERT drops his hand. GORING does not. GORING Personality is everything in art and poetry. GILBERT People that I have spoken to consider you quite charming. They say you could have been an artist yourself.

GILBERT starts to cross away. GÖRING takes his wrist and holds him. GORING And what do you think? GILBERT Only God will be able to judge. GÖRING drops his hand. GILBERT The gods are among us though. We have the power to change humanity. The sounds you will hear. Those sounds, those cries for change, those screams for strength and power. END OF SCENE

Dramatic Cloud Barrier (1M / 2F) Short Synopsis It’s New Year’s Eve on the top of a New York City high rise where five citizens are trapped on the roof. Cultural differences between an Hispanic maid and Middle Eastern security guard unravel societal barriers. Ageism and self worth find seeds in a veteran television star while what seems like an engaging online date defines the elements of truth. Secrets are later revealed when we find out there is more than one thief amongst the group. This play explores the stereotypes and boundaries that we subconsciously put upon one another and challenges these characters to break those cultural limitations.

They put the champagne bottle down and start to kiss yet again. From the dark corner of the roof we hear MANUELLA weeping. JENNY What’s that? CLAUDE (with an English accent) I don’t know. MANUELLA enters by crossing to another part of the roof where we can see her. She is dressed in ragged jeans and what looks to be the top portion of a maid’s outfit. She holds a man’s faux fur coat. JENNY Oh! MANUELLA Do you have a cigarette? Beat. CLAUDE Yes. No one moves for a moment. Then CLAUDE stands up and fumbles around for a cigarette. He finds one and hands it to MANUELLA. It is bent and crumpled. CLAUDE My apologies. Normally I... She takes the cigarette. CLAUDE

Do you need a light? MANUELLA No. I’ll just hold this for a while. Beat. JENNY Hey... uh... We didn’t realize that we couldn’t be up here and everything. The roof is closed? MANUELLA ignores her and then crosses to another area of the rooftop. She starts weeping again. JENNY Oh sweetheart. Are you okay? Silence. JENNY Honey are youMANUELLA I’m fine. Okay. I just need to be alone. It’s hard to do that in this town. Beat. CLAUDE Would you like some champagne? JENNY I don’t think she’s old enough. No response. Silence. CLAUDE motions to JENNY that they should leave. They start towards the door. MANUELLA

Where are you going? CLAUDE We wereJENNY We were just going toMANUELLA Don’t run off. CLAUDE You, uh... MANUELLA You gonna leave me up here all alone on the roof of a high rise? Wow, you’re swell. JENNY No... It’s not a problem. Sorry, he’s... Um... I’m Jenny and this is... uh... CLAUDE Claude. Name’s Claude. JENNY Right. What’s your name? Beat. MANUELLA (Doesn’t answer) It’s not too clear tonight is it? JENNY Uh... no.

MANUELLA Miles and miles of skyscape. JENNY Do you want toMANUELLA You two drink a lot? CLAUDE Just a tad really andJENNY What’s the matter, honey? It’s New Year’s Eve. Whatever has happened before is wiped out in the new year. That’s what it’s all about. In an hour or so everything that youMANUELLA How did you get up here? CLAUDE Um... we... Uh... borrowed the master key card from a friend of ours, well actually of Jenny’s here. I just met her and... JENNY Delicia had the key because she’s staying here... she’s a friend of mine that I met during college and... anyhow... we met her for the evening and she invited us to the open party and soCLAUDE So we just sort of came up here. MANUELLA doesn’t say anything. A long silence and then she walks over to a darker corner. CLAUDE Um... It’s kind of dark over there.

MANUELLA Go fuck yourself. JENNY Oh my. CLAUDE Charming. Silence. MANUELLA sits off. JENNY is in a small panic about MANUELLA. CLAUDE We should get back down to the party. JENNY What about her? CLAUDE What about her? She’s fine. JENNY No, she is not. She’s obviously upset about something. CLAUDE She doesn’t want to tell us. JENNY Maybe we haven’t asked her the right way? CLAUDE I don’t think that self-expression is a problem of hers. JENNY Claude-

CLAUDE Besides, it looks like she wants to be alone. They look at her. She waves back. JENNY Well, I’m staying here. It’s very high up and... CLAUDE And what? JENNY She might... you know. Beat. MANUELLA looks off over the side. JENNY notices. CLAUDE Oh. JENNY Hey, be careful there, huh? MANUELLA Go fuck yourself. CLAUDE Still charming. Come on; let’s get out of here. JENNY Wait a minute... I... (To MANUELLA) Sweetie, do you want to hang out with us? MANUELLA With you two? JENNY (To MANUELLA)

It’s New Year’s. No one should be alone on New Year’s. Ya know? MANUELLA Did he take your earrings? JENNY What are you talking about? She crosses back to them. MANUELLA Did he take your earrings? JENNY No, one of them fell out in his mouth. MANUELLA Into his mouth huh? That’s kind of suspicious. JENNY No, no, you see... (She giggles)... We... we were both laughing and drinking and he was kissing me, kind of all over and... Anyhow one of my earrings fell out into his mouth. How did you know that? MANUELLA I was listening to your conversation. CLAUDE Wonderful. MANUELLA What does he want from you? JENNY Want? (She giggles a little) What does that supposed to mean? That’s kind of presumptuous and-

MANUELLA I’m not talking about getting lucky or anything like that because all guys want that. I’m sure you’ve already fucked a ton. I’m talking about you. What does he want from you? Everybody wants something, needs something from others, so what is it that is driving him crazy to get from you? They both stare at each other. CLAUDE doesn’t say anything. MANUELLA You haven’t given him everything have you? JENNY I, uh... CLAUDE Look, I think we should go back downstairs. MANUELLA Is that what you want? CLAUDE It’s what I’d like to do right now, yes. So if you’ll excuse us, enjoy your broken cigarette, your Nihilist evening, and your bewitching attitude, but we must be leaving. Come along, let’s go. JENNY No. No, I want to stay here. CLAUDE It’s a rather toxic environment don’t you think? JENNY No, I think... I think I want to stay. Yes, I’m staying. CLAUDE I think you’re a little drunk.

JENNY How do you know that I’m drunk? CLAUDE I simply mean to say thatJENNY She’s obviously upset and wants to talk. CLAUDE I don’t think she wants to have a chat. Silence. The three of them all look at each other. Then MANUELLA breaks the calm of the moment. MANUELLA (To CLAUDE) Are you a jewel thief? JENNY giggles a little. MANUELLA One of those guys that wine and dine a lady and then rob them. CLAUDE That’s quite rude. JENNY He’s not a jewel thief. (Beat.) Are you? CLAUDE No. MANUELLA Then why did you swallow her earrings?

CLAUDE I didn’t swallow her earrings. I accidentally bit one of them off, I guess. MANUELLA So you have her earring? CLAUDE What? MANUELLA You didn’t say that you actually bit her earring off you said you might have andCLAUDE I don’t know where it is. We must have lost it down at the party. And if we want to find it, we should get back down there. JENNY Oh yes. My earring. MANUELLA I see. And you two have been together how long? JENNY Not that long. Beat. MANUELLA You’re not supposed to be up here ya know. END of SCENE

Dramatic David & Goliath (1M / 1F) Short Synopsis Jewish writer, David Weinstein, has written his first book and is questioning his faith. When his Catholic girlfriend and her Cuban family sit down for Passover Seder Dinner, a cultural clash ensues with David in the middle. The families attempt to make sense of not only their own religion, but also the religion of others as David finds his true path towards enlightenment.

They are at the door of DAVID’s apartment. MARITZA and DAVID look at each other. It’s been a very long time, months in fact. Silence. MARITZA I tried Liverwurst. DAVID For God’s sake, why? MARITZA I had a sandwich for lunch. DAVID Liverwurst is not lunch, it’s a calamity. MARITZA Max eats it all the time. DAVID That’s because he’s a heathen. MARITZA I just saw Max with Mrs. Brilinski, baking downstairs. DAVID She’s a little short handed, so he’s helping out. MARITZA Oh. A long silence as they look at each other. Have they changed?

DAVID How are you? MARITZA Good. You? DAVID Better, now that I’m looking at you. MARITZA smiles. MARITZA Last night I sat down and... Found something. (She produces a piece of paper with writing on it.) El ha-Gibbor. DAVID What does that mean? MARITZA It means “God, the strong one.” DAVID In Español? MARITZA In Hebrew. Beat. DAVID’s face softens. DAVID How did you know that? Beat. MARITZA I found this website.

DAVID smiles. DAVID Maritza, I appreciate actions, but I don’t want you eating Liverwurst and looking up Jewish words just for me. MARITZA (Sincere.) I’m not. I’m doing it for me. Because, now I have a choice too. We’re different people. With different views. But ultimately we’re both searching for the same thing. DAVID So, what are you saying? MARITZA I’m saying that perhaps the two of us can take these steps... together. We may not find all the answers, but I think we should try. Beat. DAVID Does your family still object to us moving in together? MARITZA (Smiling) Yep. Does your Mom still want you to have a Jewish Wedding? DAVID Absolutely. Is your Dad sill upset that I missed church yesterday? MARITZA (Still smiling) More than ever. DAVID smiles.

DAVID Maritza, I’m sorry. I’m so sorry that I love you so much. He goes and kisses her. He then picks up MAX’s hat that has been laying on puts it on his head. He goes and opens the door. He reaches out for MARITZA’s hand. DAVID Come on. MARITZA Where are we going? DAVID Taking the first step. MARITZA smiles, then crosses to DAVID and takes his hand. END of SCENE

A Sure Thing (1M / 1F) Short Synopsis The online dating experience can be exciting, different, and unexpected. What looks good on paper, or rather a computer screen doesn’t always translate into chemistry in person. And sometimes fate takes a hand in terms of actions and... reactions and the “return” button. Ultimately both parties what to know if they... “click.”

The Bean Box coffee shop. KELBY and JENNIFER are on a first date. KELBY I’ve never actually done... JENNIFER There is a certain type of... JENNIFER & KELBY Sorry. JENNIFER Go ahead. KELBY I like that outfit you’re wearing, it’s... JENNIFER I was just watching the latest episode of… KELBY This is a new tie I just bought and I was wearing it forJENNIFER & KELBY (Aside.) We both apologize. JENNIFER & KELBY (Smiling) Sorry. KELBY My apologies, you were about to say? JENNIFER

It’s not important. KELBY Yes, it is. What you have to say is very important. JENNIFER Oh. Well, thank you. KELBY Communication is important. Words are vital to our cultural interaction as it relates to the fabric of society; I’m talking too much, aren’t I? JENNIFER chuckles a little. She might find this a little attractive. JENNIFER No, not at am. I... I like your voice. KELBY Thanks. JENNIFER I didn’t know whom you would sound like? KELBY Who I would sound like? JENNIFER Oh, yes, sometimes I imagine the guy on the other side of the computer might sound like a certain famous celebrity. I didn’t know if you sounded like the Terminator or something. (Doing an Arnold Schwarzenegger impersonation.) Hello Jennifer. How are you? Now quick! Get to the chopper! I’ll be back! JENNIFER chuckles at herself. KELBY is stoic. JENNIFER

That’s Arnold. (Beat.) Arnold Schwarzenegger. KELBY I don’t know whom that it. Beat. JENNIFER Oh. Really. You see he is this Austrian bodybuilder guy and he was the governor of California andKELBY I’m joking. I know who Arnold Schwarzenegger is. They both laugh. JENNIFER Oh, okay. You had me there for a moment. KELBY Yeah. A long silence. They both sip their coffees and look away at the same time. KELBY I don’t usually go on too many dates with people I meet online. JENNIFER Too many dates? How many have you been on? KELBY Oh, well. I mean I just don’t... I usually don’t find the other person... JENNIFER I’m joking.

Beat. KELBY Got it. They both chuckle. Beat. They both look away and sip their coffee at the same time. JENNIFER Um... so what exactly do you do for a living? (Aside.) I’m nervous, so I give him the floor with eagerness. KELBY (Aside.) I take the floor. I talk about my career. (To JENNIFER) I work in micro-sub-processors. Distributing and reconfiguring the input data analysis. You see each chip is integrated with 5000 megarads and I take those chips and reconfigure the processing unit that works with mega-donor. JENNIFER (Aside.) I fain to be interested. KELBY (Really getting into his computer jargon.) 8000 mili-watt processors are going to be the future here! JENNIFER Uh-huh. KELBY Smart technology in dog collars! JENNIFER Uh-huh. KELBY

I’ll be speaking at the sub-processor integration conference this summer. JENNIFER Hmmm. KELBY (Aside.) She’s really interested. JENNIFER (Aside.) I’m not in the least interested. KELBY (Aside.) We stop talking. JENNIFER (Aside.) We stop talking. JENNIFER & KELBY (Aside.) Silence. JENNIFER (Aside.) He talks about his career... again. KELBY (Aside.) For the past forty years we’ve been computer coding has been these huge volumes of human programming. Yet at last year’s Obelisk Conference I offered a fifth generation model of Cobalt 11 that is being developed to meet the needs of airport security systems and overseas banking institutions. JENNIFER (Aside.) I fain to be interested. KELBY And with Seapak IV going offline it’s only a matter of time before we are able to fully understand the dynamics of that matrix. Now, when I

first started programming, those conduit codes were as processed using 200 bit code barriers. JENNIFER (Aside.) I’m not interested. KELBY (Aside.) Then I tell her how much money I make. JENNIFER (Changing her tune.) (Aside.) I’m interested. KELBY (Aside.) She’s interested. JENNIFER (She perks up a bit and listens.) I’m very interested. KELBY (Aside.) I break the ice and tell a joke. JENNIFER (Aside.) He tells a joke. KELBY How does a computer get drunk? (Beat.) He takes screen shots. He laughs obnoxiously. KELBY (Aside.) I tell a joke. It was funny! JENNIFER (Aside.)

It wasn’t funny. KELBY (Aside.) It wasn’t funny. It was hilarious! He laughs even more obnoxiously. JENNIFER I offer a fake laugh. She laughs, fake. They laugh together for a while and then both stop at the same time. Silence. KELBY (Aside) I decide to compliment her appearance. (To JENNIFER) Your outfit, uh... really brings out the color in your eyes. You really have lovely features. JENNIFER (Aside.) I let him go on. KELBY And your smile is very attractive. JENNIFER (Aside.) And on. KELBY You’re very fashionable. JENNIFER I like to think so. (Aside.) I’m feeling a little better about this. KELBY (Aside.) I’m feeling a little better about this.

JENNIFER (Aside - upbeat.) This online dating thing might work. KELBY I’m just a little nervous about this whole blind date thing, especially around such a beautiful woman... JENNIFER (Aside.) He called me beautiful. KELBY ...That’s so insightful and intellectual... JENNIFER (Aside.) He called me intellectual. KELBY And loves what she does for her career. JENNIFER (Aside.) He’s on a roll. KELBY Even if it is just working as an assistant copy write editor. JENNIFER (Aside.) He just dug a ditch. KELBY With a non-competitive salary. JENNIFER (Aside.) And he’s placing himself in that hole right now. KELBY And not ever getting a chance to write your own stories.

JENNIFER Ah. KELBY (Nervous.) Look, Jessica... JENNIFER Jennifer. KELBY I said that. JENNIFER Nope. KELBY Ah. JENNIFER I’m sorryKELBY No, I’m sorry. I don’t mean it like that. I just mean... well... JENNIFER (Aside.) He’s backpedaling. KELBY (Squirming) That came out the wrong way. JENNIFER (Aside.) I’m listening. KELBY

What I mean is that... Well... I... Listen, if you truly love helping others with their writing then... that’s a beautiful and altruistic career. I’m not a writer so I can’t begin to understand that process, but I always thought that everyone has a story and from what I’ve seen and heard you’ve got such a vibrant personality that... well, your life would make a vivid and gorgeous story to add to the human condition. Beat. JENNIFER (Aside.) Okay, we’re back to square one. KELBY Sometimes I tend to feel intimidated by strong independent women. JENNIFER (Aside.) I can use that to my advantage. KELBY I mean, most woman are so easily swayed on their opinions and I find intelligence very attractive. JENNIFER (Aside.) Even manipulate him. KELBY But I am genuinely interested in what you have to say. They two look at each other. They smile. Beat. JENNIFER Thank you Kelly. KELBY Kelby. JENNIFER Right. Sorry. Kelby. Is that Nordic?

KELBY What? JENNIFER Your name? KELBY No. Portuguese-Cherokee. Beat. KELBY I’m joking again. JENNIFER Oh. See it’s hard to tell. That deadpan humor of yours. KELBY Yeah. JENNIFER I like it. KELBY Do you? JENNIFER Yeah, I do. KELBY Cool. JENNIFER You seem like a really nice guy. KELBY

Thanks. So do you. (Beat.) I mean a nice girl. So please... what do you do as a copy-write editor? JENNIFER Well, I go through the evaluation process of new manuscripts and I may revise raw text and attempt to make it ready for publication. KELBY Cool. JENNIFER (Getting more excited.) Yes, you see. Copy editing has three levels: light, medium, and heavy. Depending on the budget and scheduling of the publication. Normally my publisher, Benthic Books, will let me know what level of editing to employ. KELBY Ah. JENNIFER (Really getting into it now.) Within copyediting, there is mechanical editing and substantive editing: Mechanical editing is the process of making a text or manuscript follow editorial or house style. We normally employ this particular type of editing so as to keep the preferred style of publication consistent across all content, as well as make sure that generally accepted grammar rules are followed throughout. It refers to editing in terms of spelling, punctuation, and correct usage of grammatical symbols, along with reviewing special elements like tables, charts, formatting footnotes, and endnotes. Content editing, also known as substantive editing, is the editing of material, including its structure and organization. In this type of editing, internal inconsistencies and discrepancies can be dealt with. I’m really good with these. Content editing oftentimes can require heavy editing or rewriting as compared to mechanical editing and...

KELBY yawns. She stops. JENNIFER Am I boring you? KELBY No! JENNIFER Are you sure? KELBY No, absolutely. Go on. JENNIFER (Aside.) He’s interested in what I have to say. KELBY (Aside.) I’m interested in some of what she has to say. JENNIFER Okay. So, depending on our own budget and scheduling of the publication, Laura, my content acquisitions manager let’s me know what level of editing to employ. You know light, medium, or heavy so that I can prioritize the... He yawns again. She stops just as he is mid yawn. He stops yawning with his mouth still open. JENNIFER (Aside.) He’s bored. KELBY

(Aside. Trying to talk with his mouth open) I’m bored. Silence. She decides to end the date. JENNIFER You know what I have to get back to my dog. KELBY You have a dog? JENNIFER (Aside.) I don’t have a dog. I have a cat. (To KELBY.) Yeah. I need to let him out. KELBY Oh, sure. I understand. It’s hard for me to leave Mittens myself. JENNIFER Mittens? KELBY My cat. JENNIFER (She is interested in him.) Wait... You have a cat? KELBY No. JENNIFER Oh. KELBY I have three cats. Mittens, Pickles and Zoey. I named the runt of the litter Zoey after JD Salinger’s...

KELBY & JENNIFER Franny and Zoey! JENNIFER My cat’s name is Franny! KELBY No way! JENNIFER Way! KELBY You’ve read Fanny and Zoey? JENNIFER Read it? I can practically quote it. JENNIFER (Aside.) I think I’m interested in him. KELBY (Aside.) I think I’m interested in her. JENNIFER & KELBY (Aside.) I think about the last few minutes. JENNIFER (Aside.) He slurps his coffee. KELBY (Aside.) She talks a lot. JENNIFER (Aside.) He has limited social skills. KELBY

(Aside.) She’s intimidating. JENNIFER (Aside.) He has cats. KELBY (Aside.) She has a cat. JENNIFER (Aside.) And he makes a LOT of money. KELBY (Aside. He smiles.) She’s very intelligent. JENNIFER (Smiling.) (Aside.) And he makes a LOT of money. They both look at each other, trying to read each other’s thoughts. JENNIFER Well... KELBY Well. What do you say? JENNIFER Sure thing! The sound of an espresso machine. They both stand up and exit happily. END of SCENE

Next Stop! (1M / 1F) Short Synopsis Two “strangers” on a subway look at their lives through parallels worlds. SETTING: New York City subway station. AT RISE: We hear the brakes of the screeching train as it turns a corner. IAN, a handsome man dressed in slacks and a dress shirt, sits looking at a newspaper reading the funnies. He has a small bag of groceries. DENISE sits next to him texting. IAN laughs out loud. He laughs out loud again. Beat. He laughs again having a hard time holding his laughter. DENISE: Um― IAN: (With an English accent.) I’m sorry... It’s just that... Colvin and Hubbs is so darned funny. DENISE: Colvin and Hubbs? IAN: Yes, the comic strip. Look here. DENISE obliges IAN who quickly reads the cartoon in the paper. IAN: “Cheetahs will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich.” That is one of the seven great punch lines in human history.

He laughs again. She just watches him for a moment. We think he will stop laughing and then he picks it up again and laughs some more. We hear the sounds of the subway doors open as the lights go to black. Sound of a subway rushing by. We hear the brakes of the train as it turns a corner. Lights up. IAN sits looking at the funnies.. DENISE sits next to him. IAN laughs out loud. He laughs out loud again. Beat. And again. IAN: I’m sorry... I can’t stop laughing. It’s just that Colvin and Hubbs is so darned funny. How does he do it? DENISE: Colvin and Hubbs? IAN: Yes, the comic strip. Look here. DENISE obliges IAN who quickly reads the cartoon in the paper. IAN: “Cheetahs will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich.” (Laughing.) That is a fantastic punch line, don’t you think? DENISE: (Being polite.) Yes, that’s quite funny. IAN: Indeed. So, where are you off to? DENISE: Brighton. IAN: What’s your name? DENISE: My apologies, but I’m really not into small talk. IAN: Oh. We hear the sound of the screeching subway as the lights go to black. Lights rise. As in the previous scene, IAN is laughing at the Colvin and Hubbs cartoon strip. IAN: I’m sorry... It’s just that Colvin and Hubbs is so darned funny. How does he do it? DENISE: Colvin and Hubbs? The comic strip? IAN: Yes, the comic strip. Look here. DENISE obliges IAN who quickly reads the cartoon in the paper.

IAN: “Cheetahs will do anything for a tuna fish sandwich.” He laughs outrageously. She chuckles a little as well, sharing the moment. DENISE: Funny. IAN: Yes. Um… If you don’t mind me saying, you have a rather attractive sense of humor about you. DENISE: (A little flattered.) Well, thank you. IAN: You’re welcome. Where are you headed? DENISE: Times Square. IAN: Seeing a show? DENISE: Um... meeting a friend. IAN: What kind of friend? DENISE: Boyfriend. IAN: (Reacts.) Ah. Blackout. Train whistle. Lights up. IAN: What kind of friend? DENISE: Ex-husband. IAN: (Reacts.) Ah. Blackout. Train whistle. Light up. IAN: What kind of friend? DENISE: A girlfriend. IAN: (Reacts.) Ah. DENISE: We’ve been best friends since undergrad. She’s only in New York for a few days. IAN: I see. Beat. DENISE: I like your buns.

IAN: Pardon? DENISE: I mean I like your buns from the organic bread market. IAN: (Holding up his bag of groceries.) Oh, yes of course. And I thoroughly enjoyed your use of the pause. It’s so lost in our oral society. DENISE: Oral? IAN: Oral. I’m a dentist. DENISE: An English dentist? That’s funny. She laughs a bit. IAN does not, but smiles politely with his mouth closed. She stops laughing. Lights to black. Sound of a subway rushing by. DENISE: So, you commute? IAN: My car was impounded. DENISE reacts. Blackout. The train whistle blows. Pause. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you commute? IAN: My car was stolen. Denise reacts. Blackout. The train whistle blows. Pause. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you commute? IAN: I can’t afford a car. Denise reacts. Blackout. The train whistle blows. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you commute? IAN: Yes, it helps the environment and I love meeting new people. DENISE: That’s a wonderful outlook on life. You know if you don’t mind me saying so, you have a lovely little English accent. IAN: (With an Australian accent.) Actually I’m from Australia.

Blackout. The train whistle blows. Lights up again. DENISE: If you don’t mind me saying so, you have a lovely little Australian accent. IAN: (With an American accent.) I’m an actor. Just getting into character, ya know. Audition coming up. DENISE: Actor, huh? IAN: Yep. DENISE: (No longer interested.) Nope. Blackout. The train whistle blows. Lights up again. DENISE: And if you don’t mind me saying so, you have a lovely little English accent. IAN: Thank you. DENISE: What are you doing here in the States? IAN: I’ve lived here for the past ten years. I’m a dentist. She giggles a bit flirtatiously. IAN smiles a beautiful smile. DENISE: Your teeth are gorgeous. IAN: Thank you. I worked on them myself. She laughs a little. DENISE: So, you have a dental office here in the city? IAN: Actually my license was revoked. Malpractice. DENISE: Oh. She reacts. The scene moves even quicker and with more intensity. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you have an office here in the city? IAN: Yes, over in Brooklyn. DENISE: (A bit disappointed.) Oh.

Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you have an office here in the city? IAN: Yes, here in Manhattan. Twenty-fourth floor of the Chrysler Building. DENISE: (Satiated with this response but not overly excited.) Oh. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. DENISE: So, you have an office here in the city? IAN: I run a clinic with a few other dentists who offer free health care to those that cannot afford it. DENISE: (Very impressed.) That is so noble. IAN: What do you do? DENISE: I work for Superbank Finance. IAN: (Not very impressed.) Ah. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: So, what do you do? DENISE: I work for this non-profit organization that helps find homes for animals. IAN: Bleeding heart liberal? DENISE: Libertarian. He reacts. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. DENISE: (Smiling.) Bleeding heart liberal? IAN: Republican. She frowns. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. DENISE: (Smiling.) Bleeding heart liberal? IAN: Presbyterian.

She reacts. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: You know, I may be forward in my thinking but would you care to have dinner with me tonight? DENISE: Uh... well.. I’m sort of seeing someone. IAN: Oh. Well, nice to have met you. DENISE: You too. They smile at each other as lights go to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: I may be forward, but would you care to have dinner with me tonight? DENISE: I’m married. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: I may be forward, but― DENISE: Not into men. IAN: Ah. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: I know you don’t know me from Adam but I thought the opportunity to dine with an elegant woman mustn’t go untouched. I know this wonderful little place that serves the best Thai food in town. DENISE: I don’t like spicy. Blackout. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: I know this wonderful little place that serves the best steak in town. DENISE: I’m don’t eat red meat.

Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: I know this wonderful little place that serves the best lobster in town. DENISE: I keep kosher. IAN: Oy vey. Lights to black. Train whistle. Lights up again. IAN: (Nearly on the verge of defeat.) Ya wanna just grab a slice of pizza even though I’m― DENISE/IAN: ...lactose intolerant. They look at each other with newfound hope. DENISE / IAN: Me too! You too? IAN: This place I know makes an incredible soy cheese pizza! DENISE: With vegetarian pepperoni? IAN: Absolutely! DENISE: And gluten free crust? IAN: (Smiling.) I’ll bet my life on it. (Beat.) Shall we? He stands, offering her hand. She stands. DENISE: (Smiling.) Why not? She takes his hand. The train whistle blows as the subway comes into the station. They both exit. Lights to black. THE END

Tough as Nails (3F) SYNOPSIS: Tara, an overachieving young go-getter, is getting raked over the coals by the C.E.O. of one of the world’s largest ad agencies. Determined to make an impression, she shows the boss what she’s made of during her interview. Just when she thinks she’s landed the job, a twist of fate reveals that it might take a bit of creativity to land this highly touted position! CAST OF CHARACTERS (THREE WOMEN) TARA POMPERNOT KELLI CAMPBELL JULIE SOTAY SETTING: We are in an office. There is a desk with many papers. AT RISE: KELLI, a slick-talking, tough-as-nails corporate executive stands behind her desk, briskly organizing papers. Beat. TARA enters. She is a bright, smart, bubbly young lady. Although she is dressed for an interview, it appears the elements have taken their toll on her a bit. She’s just a tad disheveled. At first, KELLI does not see TARA. TARA: Excuse me? KELLI jumps. KELLI: Oh!

TARA: Excuse me! I am so sorry! I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m here for the interview. KELLI: Oh, yes of course. Please come in. TARA: Uh . . . thank you. My name is Tara. Tara Pompernot. KELLI: And what time was your appointment? TARA: 12:15 p.m. I didn’t see the secretary out front so I just walked in. KELLI: Yes, I sent her to lunch. She’ll be back in an hour. And by my clock, it’s 12:20. You’re late. KELLI goes and sits at her desk and begins to do paperwork. TARA: KELLI: TARA: KELLI: TARA: KELLI: TARA:

Well, you see I - I’m sorry, I can’t see you right now Miss Pumpkincue. Pompernot. I’m very busy as you can see. Next time be on time. Well, could you please just take my resume? Just leave it on my desk. Thank you.

TARA puts her resume down on KELLI’s desk. KELLI doesn’t blink an eye, does not look at it, and continues working on paperwork. TARA: I think that you’ll find that I have a plethora of qualifications. I’ve been watching Starbound Innovations for months now. Since going public the company has outperformed Kraken and McGrady in total revenue. (Changing the subject.) Boy is it raining hard outside. Quite a storm, huh? KELLI: (Still writing.) Hmmm-hmm. TARA: You know I was reading about the hurricane of 1938 and I read about how - KELLI: (Looking up with a plastic facade.) Very interesting. We’ll keep you on file. Thank you for stopping by. KELLI goes back to her desk, puts TARA’s resume down and begins to do paperwork. TARA looks at KELLI for a moment before she turns and slowly starts to leave.

KELLI: (Looking down, writing.) On your way out, could you tell my secretary that I’m not to be disturbed. TARA: Uh KELLI: Thanks. TARA stops and then takes a few more steps towards the door. TARA turns around, facing KELLI, but before she can respond, KELLI speaks. KELLI: (Still looking down.) Please close the door on your way out Clara. TARA: That’s Tara. KELLI: Right. Thanks. KELLI goes back to writing as TARA turns and walks towards the door. She is now at the door. She opens it. KELLI picks up TARA’s resume, crumples it up, and throws it in the trash. The crumpling sound stops TARA in her tracks. TARA makes a strong decision. She closes the door, and turns to confront KELLI. TARA: (With a little bit of attitude.) Mrs. Sotay KELLI: (Annoyed.) Yes. TARA: (Backing down a little as she comes forward.) Mrs. Sotay, please. (TARA reaches into the trash can, pulls out her resume as KELLI watches her.) TARA: Mrs. Sotay, I live on the outskirts of town, seventy-two miles away. I had a very good friend drive me through intense traffic in the pouring rain for this interview. About half way here her car broke down, and I nearly drowned taking the subway. Not to be dissuaded, I took a cab with a driver who had a death wish. As I approached this building, I passed a hot dog stand, where some freckly-faced kid with red hair and a renegade mustard bottle decided to squirt a large portion of the seed-based condiment all over my $200 business outfit, before he scurried away on his skateboard with this “homies.” So, forgive me if I’m a little rude, but I believe I deserve a minute of your time. KELLI: I don’t have a minute.

TARA: Please, I am begging you. KELLI: Look, young lady, I’m a very busy woman. If I sympathized with every person who came in for an interview I’d be richer than Dr. Phil. (Beat.) Wait a minute. I am richer than Dr. Phil. KELLI stops and looks up. She let’s out a small smile and chuckle. Beat. Her happy demure vanishes as she drops back into her stern demeanor and goes on writing, ignoring TARA. TARA: Mrs. Sotay, please, just a few minutes. KELLI: (Stopping what she’s doing.) I’m not going to get rid of you, am I? Okay, have a seat Sara. TARA: Tara. KELLI: Whatever. KELLI takes the resume from TARA. KELLI: Have a seat. TARA: There’s no chair. KELLI: There is a chair, I’m just sitting in it. Would you like this chair dear? TARA: Yes, thank you, very much. KELLI: Chairs are reserved for closers. You become a closer here at Starbound Innovations and we’ll give you a chair. Heck, we might even give you a desk. In the meantime, no chair, no desk, no Chia Pet. No free lunch get it? Let me lay it straight for you. Starbound Innovations is one of the largest marketing firms in the nation. We don’t hire just anybody. We need fighters. We need tigers. We need people who can take a punch in the gut and keep on going. TARA: Then you’ve come to the right person. KELLI: I’ll be the judge of that. (Looking at TARA’s crumpled resume.) It says here that you can type 90 words per minute. TARA: Yes. KELLI: Hmmm. And you are fluent in French, Spanish, German, Russian, Greek, Latin and In - doit? TARA: (Correcting her.) Inuit. KELLI: Inuit. You mean like the Eskimos?

TARA: Native Americans. KELLI: Native Americans. TARA: I lived on a glacier in Alaska for eight months. Through total immersion of the mind and body I cultivated all aspects of the Inuit culture. I scrupulously studied the delicate technique of throat singing, the harsh realities of hunting for narwhal with only a harpoon, and ingested the mental tools needed to survive in the middle of a snowstorm by sheltering myself with a dead caribou as a sleeping bag. Beat. KELLI: Huh. Well. (Standing up.) If you were in my position as the third highest ranking officer in one of the largest marketing corporations in America, what color would you paint my office? TARA: What color would I paint your office? KELLI: Yes. TARA: Is this a trick question? KELLI: Do I look like I play tricks. TARA: No. Well . . . uh . . . well, I believe I would paint my office, I mean your office Burnt Sienna. KELLI: What’s that? TARA: What’s what? KELLI: Burnt Sienna. TARA: It’s a - color. KELLI: Is it like a greenish-yellow? TARA: More like a brownish-red. KELLI: I see. Anything else you would add to this office? TARA: Yes, in fact I would embellish the sense of colonial style with some white-paneled wainscoting. KELLI: Wainscoting? TARA: Sure. You know it would break up the room and give the impression of both professionalism, old world charm, and besides it’s very relaxing because - (She stops.) Sorry. When I built my house I really got into wainscoting. It made all the difference in the world. KELLI: Oh, you recently bought a house?

TARA: I recently built a house. All by myself. KELLI: You built a house? An entire house? All by yourself? TARA: Out of recycled orange peels. KELLI: Orange peels? TARA: Yes. I read this incredible book titled “The Elimination of the Tortoise Shell” by J. M. Alpinate. It’s truly an amazing read. I simply read this book and when I was done I fabricated my house. The blueprints were emblazoned in my mind and I just built it! It was that easy! KELLI: That sounds like quite a book. TARA: Oh, it is. The book goes on to say that as a simple analogy, a western artist sculpts with clay, assembling an entire work, piece by piece, while an eastern artist sculpts in stone, eliminating everything that is not part of the final goal. Essentially there are two fundamentally different approaches to a similar point in an attempt to reach the same goal. You see the western sculptor may shape clay all day long, but the eastern sculptor sits in front of his stone and meditates on it. Then, at the end of the day, he picks up his chisel and hammer and makes one strategic hit, revealing all at once a whole portion of his art which comes directly from the heart! TARA is grinning ear-to-ear while KELLI is slack-jawed. KELLI: I see. And it says here that you graduated from Harvard? Cum laude. TARA: Summa cum laude. KELLI: Summa cum laude, of course. Then after your undergraduate work you went to Cornell University and took some classes in the neurological sciences? TARA: The brain has always fascinated me. KELLI: So, you interned there? TARA: Oh, no, I got my PhD in the neuroglocial sciences. KELLI: You’re a doctor? TARA: (Smiling.) Actually a surgeon. KELLI: (Dumbfounded.) A surgeon. A . . . brain surgeon?

TARA: Yeah, but I found out I didn’t really enjoy being a brain surgeon, so I gave it up. KELLI: Why? TARA: It interfered with my wine and cheese parties. KELLI: I see. Any other special skills that are not listed on your resume? TARA: Well, let’s see I’m a helicopter pilot, I’m an electrical engineer, I passed the Lawyer’s BAR and, oh, I’m a kidney donor. KELLI: Of course you are. TARA: Other than that, I’m just your average run of the mill girl next door looking for a job. KELLI: Yes, of course. Well, Miss Pumpernickel. TARA: Pompernot. KELLI: Yes, of course. You have amazing credentials, incredible skills, and you appear to be overtly talented, but I want to ask you one last question: why do you think you are the right person for this position? TARA: I, Tara, am right for this job because I am smart, ingenious, and above all, exceptionally creative. And that is why I will receive this position. Beat. KELLI: Tara, as you know we are interviewing a very limited number of candidates for this position. It’s a huge responsibility and requires a person of great determination, skill, and talent. (Beat.) Congratulations. You appear to be a perfect fit. (KELLI stands and extends her hand. They shake. TARA is excited.) I’ll pass on your resume to my business partner and you should hear from us in a couple of days. TARA: Oh, thank you so much Mrs. Sotay. You won’t regret this decision. I know that I can learn so much. Thank you again! You are so kind! Thank you! KELLI: My pleasure. Now if you don’t mind, I really am quite busy. TARA: Of course! KELLI: We’ll be in touch. TARA: Okay, thanks! Bye-bye!

KELLI: Good bye. TARA exits. KELLI takes a deep breath, shakes her head in amazement, and looks at TARA’s resume as she walks out from behind the desk. Beat. JULIE enters. JULIE: Excuse me? Are you here for the interview? KELLI: Yes. JULIE: Oh wonderful. JULIE goes and takes her righteous place behind the desk. JULIE: Hi, I’m Julie Sotay. From behind the desk, she extends her hand. They shake. KELLI: Kelli Campbell. Your secretary wasn’t out front. So, I just let myself in. I hope that’s okay? JULIE: That’s fine. You look like an awfully honest person to me. KELLI: Oh, I am. JULIE: Sorry I was running late. It’s pouring rain out there. JULIE notices the resume in KELLI’s hand. JULIE: What’s that in your hand? KELLI: Oh, that’s nothing. Just trash. KELLI crumples up the paper. JULIE: Well, Kelli, let me be the first to welcome you to Starbound Innovations. KELLI: Thank you. JULIE: (Picking up TARA’s resume from her desk.) Kelli Campbell, Kelli Campbell . . . oh, here you are; right at the top. As you know Ms. Campbell, we are interviewing only a few individuals for this highly touted position. So, Ms. Kelli Campbell, tell me: why do you think that you are the perfect person for this position?

KELLI: Because I am smart, ingenious, and above all exceptionally creative. KELLI smiles as the lights fade to black. THE END