Group 2: Sam

Posted by on Jun 21, 2012 in Other Writings | 2 comments

Sam Ready’s Scene: “My Kingdom for an Orange”

OPEN ON INTERIOR DORM– MESSY, FLOOR STREWN WITH PAPERS. SMALL BOOKSHELF TO THE SIDE. WRITING DESK AND CHAIR IN THE BACK.

 

Enter ELIOT (18, southern—- dressed in t-shirt and jeans) NOTE: ELIOT is theoretically intended to be male, but for the purposes of the scene ELIOT could be male or female.

 

ELIOT

Alfred J?

ALFRED J (17, neurotic– crazy hair, has wild eyes and is dressed in a nice shirt, slacks, an a crooked tie) sits up, emerging from underneath the papers, where he has been lying on his back.

ALFRED J

I can’t do it…

ELIOT

Alfred J, come on… Don’t let one comment get your goat like this. If you want, I can teach you a little Free Verse…

The lights dim as he steps forward in soliloquy. Bongo drums play.

ELIOT

My Love by Eliot Tucker-Smith

Warm skin

Warmer smile

Warmest embrace

You give me life

Out in the cold

I need your burning flame

Resume scene.

ELIOT

Free Verse is easy. You just write down what you feel, line by line, and folks won’t judge you if it’s not the perfect rhyme or number of syllables. It’s just straight from the heart.

ALFRED J

I’m not like you, Eliot. This is how I write. I play by the rules. That’s what I’m known for. What they’ll remember me for.

The lights dim as he steps forward in soliloquy.

 

ALFRED J

To my Soulmate by Alfred J. Markowitz

I know we haven’t ever met

On that day underrated

That so far hasn’t happened yet

But at G-d’s will was fated,

So until then I’ll sit and wait

With this placeholder sonnet

And when we finally know that date

I’ll kiss and hug you on it…

Eliot rolls his eyes. A TOMATO flies at ALRED J from offstage, narrowly missing him. Resume scene.

 

ALFRED J

That’s how you do it, Eliot. Poe had it right. You can’t just break the rules because you feel like it.

ELIOT

Look, Alfred, you’re great, but did you ever think you might find Free Verse… freeing?Like Walt Whitman.Remember ProfessorMichaels said-

ALFRED J

My rhymes… he called them a “Dickinson Pastiche??”

ELIOT

Oh, not that again! I’m sure it was a compliment.

ALFRED J

“Pastiche.” That’s all I hear! Never ‘original.’ Never ‘new!’

 

 

ALFRED J begins to hum a poetic rhythm. He paces back and forth. ELIOT tries to follow, with awkward difficulty.

 

ALFRED J

Can you believe they said that? A ‘Dickinson Pastiche?!’ Like it’s derivative!  I’ll have you know I was the best rhymist in my whole entire high school back home. Do you know what that means?!

ELIOT

Uhhh…

ALFRED J

…Well, I mean, I guess it means… Or, I thought it meant… maybe it doesn’t mean anything.

ELIOT

Uh-huh…

ALFRED J

I just always assumed I’d be a writer. A poet, seeking the immortality of Emerson, Wordsworth, Blake… I’d just always assumed that I’d be in English classes in 100 years…

ELIOT

Then… make some new stuff?

ALFRED J gestures wildly to the scattered papers.

 

ALFRED J

You don’t think I’ve tried??!Dickinson. Poe.Dr. Seuss!  It has all been done! And if I’m not in English classes in 100 years, I’ll just be… I’ll just be…

 

Beat. ALFRED J jumps up on the bookshelf.

 

ALFRED J

WHY? How can there be nothing new?  You can’t copyright the human condition! I can count my iambs, too.  But here’s the road to perdition…

ELIOT

Alfred, come on now, calm down…

ALFRED J

I can’t add to the millennia-old zeitgeist of man! It’s all been done; Try something new, if you can think of one…

ELIOT

Alfred J, you’re rhyming

Please calm down

You’re scaring me

ALFRED J

I’m not like you! Not new age like that. I can’t change what I do at the drop of a hat…

An APPLE flies at ALFRED J from offstage, narrowly missing.

ELIOT

Slow down, sweet Alfred J

You’ll get it right

Just give it some time.

Beat. ELIOT picks up one of the floor papers and reads

 

ELIOT

“Plrngsnurfurp to bur the hurrr. Wurp the girsilbup da purr.” Uh, Alfred, what is this?

ALFRED J

Don’t you get it? English is tainted! Every lyric and picture’s been painted!!! It’s the future! You will see. This is how they’ll remember me!

 

He jumps off the bookshelf.

ELIOT

Alfred J, you sound like you’re having a nervous breakdown! So your work sounds like Dickinson- don’t freak out like this!

ALFRED J

You’e just jealous because I care so much about my work. You just crank them out sans effort, you jerk!

Eliot is offended and hurt.

ELIOT (flustered)

Well if that’s how you feel about it-maybe-maybe we shouldn’t be friends.

Beat while they both cool down for a minute, feeling bad.

ELIOT(still flustered)

That’s not- Just because I- Free verse is hard, too… although, I suppose, when Professor Michaels was praising my work… I sort of felt bad that I hadn’t spent nearly as much time on it that you did on yours. The one I presented in class… I did just sort of crank out before class. I felt bad about that…

ALFRED J

Really?

ELIOT

Really.

They hold this moment for an awkward beat. But then ALFRED J is back at high-energy.

ALFRED J

But I will be remembered! Furp da gurpagurrembarall!! I will write poetry in a new language and show them all!

 

ELIOT

That’s crazy!

ALFRED J

You’re lazy!

ELIOT

Calm down!

ALFRED J

Don’t frown!

An ORANGE flies at ALFRED J from offstage. Eliot catches it and holds it out in front of him.

ELIOT

Eat an ORANGE!

ALFRED J falls to his knees, defeated. Beat while he sits there with his head in his hands.

ALFRED J (melodramatic)

It can’t be done! Why does nothing rhyme with orange?!!An orange, an orange, my kingdom for an orange!! My Immortality… for an orange! Why, Why, Why, Why????

ELIOT helps his friend up.

ELIOT

I don’t know, buddy. Come on, let’s write. Don’t worry about the format, just go straight from the heart. Who knows? Maybe you’ll be really good at it.You know, there was a time when Sonnets were new, too; and THAT’S what made them so great, not their format.

ALFRED J

Okay, but just one. If you think they’ll remember me.

ELIOT

I don’t know about them, but I always will.

ALFRED J sits at the writing desk and begins to work. ELIOT steps forward and looks down at the gibberish paper still in his hand and reads. After a beat, he looks to the audience, pointing to it.

 

ELIOT

I’m glad he’s stopped in

His crazy songs and hummings

But I don’t dare tell him-

This looks like e. e. cummings.

2 Comments

  1. I see you did all the revisions! I like it (:

  2. i enjoy your constant energy in this piece, it really keeps me engaged

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