December 8, 2009

Plays

Filed under: — admin @ 7:02 pm

Excerpt from BOXES

 

 

Boxes is scheduled to be produced at the Trinidad Theatre Workshop in the Spring of 2010

BOXES is scheduled to be produced in Trinidad in the Spring of 2010

 

 

 

BOXES is a multi-storied play that represents a collection of every day situations, but in jarring and unexpected ways. Through compelling character interaction, the play lifts the veil of comfort and security and places us face to face with the destructive inner voices that prevent us from achieving our true identities.

The goal of BOXES is to shed light on the damaging effect of self-sabotage and negative internal dialogue, and to provide and opportunity for self-reflection and redemption.


 

SCENE TWO

Spotlight up on one box. MOTHER and PRINCESS enter. PRINCESS is in a plain white dress. MOTHER is fussing over PRINCESS’S appearance.

 

MOTHER

You look fine dear.

 

PRINCESS

I do not. I look fat.

 

MOTHER

You’re not fat.

 

PRINCESS

I know that. It’s this cheap material. No one could look good in this dress. Why are you always so cheap? You won’t buy me anything unless it’s from the Goodwill or on sale.

 

MOTHER

That’s not true dear. Please, lower your voice now. You don’t want these nice gentlemen to think you’re spoiled do you?

 

(MOTHER helps PRINCESS up onto the box and then helps her turn slowly in a circle – modeling herself. MOTHER continues primping PRINCESS.)

 

PRINCESS

I am not spoiled Mother. If I was spoiled I’d shop at Saks – not Macy’s. And I’d get my hair done at a real salon instead of in your sister’s basement.

 

MOTHER

Slower please. Turn slowly now please dear. Lower your shoulders. That’s it.

 

PRINCESS

If I was spoiled I would have traveled through Europe with my friends during the summer instead of working like a slave.

 

MOTHER

Well, Brown University is expensive dear. Your father and I couldn’t pay your tuition, your car note, and give you spending money. We needed you to pitch in. Besides, internships are good experience. They could have helped you get a good job after college.

 

PRINCESS

Get a job, get a job. That’s all you ever talk about. Its not even like Brown is a real Ivy League school anyway. If you would have paid for Harvard I wouldn’t need a job. I could have just married a rich classmate – or professor.

 

VOICE

(Chattering is heard as men enter)

 

MOTHER

Well, sweetheart, we do the best we can with what we’ve got. Smile dear. And this is the best idea I could come up with.

 

(MOTHER lifts veil from behind the box and places it on PRINCESS’ head. MOTHER faces audience. Full lights up.)

 

MOTHER

Gentlemen, Shall we start the bidding?

 

(VOICES OF MEN)

 

VOICE

How old is she?

 

MOTHER

30 next fall

 

VOICE

Any kids?

 

MOTHER

Obviously not.

 

VOICE

I’ll marry her. But she’s got to work too. And no more than 2 kids.

 

MOTHER

Gentlemen, I believe I was clear. PRINCESS is not built for working. She is educated and well mannered. She looks great at cocktail parties. She is however perfect for charity work and volunteering. The perfect mate for a man determined to rise the corporate ladder.

 

VOICE

Well, I’ll marry her. I won’t make her work. But I won’t be faithful and I don’t want kids.

 

MOTHER

Now there’s a serious offer! Come on gentlemen take a closer look. This young lady was raised in a multi-ethnic non-sectarian church, educated in excellent schools and exposed to corporate culture as well as the fine arts. She knows what it takes to help you succeed!

 

VOICE

Yeah, but will she be any actual help?

 

VOICE

What can she do? Can she cook?

 

VOICE

All she gotta do is blow me.

 

MOTHER

Who said that?

 

VOICE

She needs to be able to do more than spend my money.

 

VOICE

I need a wife, not more bills.

 

MOTHER

She speaks French!

 

VOICE

It’s bad enough getting nagged in one language – I don’t need two.

 

VOICES (Laughter)

 

 

MOTHER

Oh, is your personal life so exciting you couldn’t use some company?

 

VOICE

If she’s such great company why are you getting rid of her?

 

MOTHER

I know you work all the time. I know you work hard. You’re good men. Ask yourselves – what do you want?

 

VOICE

A clean house, a good meal, and peace in my home.

 

VOICE

I’m betting your PRINCESS there can’t provide any of that.

 

MOTHER

What do you deserve to come home to? An empty house? A TV dinner? The late night news? No, not you, you’re smarter than that. I know you are. Turn again dear, slowly now, smile. You deserve a PRINCESS. Someone to serve you a home cooked meal and help you relax in a way a hot shower just can’t compare to. Now gentlemen, what do I hear?

 

VOICE

If I don’t get married soon I’ll never get beyond middle management. It’s a family focused company.

 

PRINCESS

Mom

 

MOTHER

Hush dear, we’ve got them now.

 

VOICE

I’m a widow. But I’m rich and I’d like more children.

 

PRINCESS

Mommy, he’s so old.

 

MOTHER

Would you shut your mouth? I am trying to get you married!

 

PRINCESS

You’re selling me to strangers! I don’t know them, what if I can’t love him?

 

(MOTHER and VOICES laughing)

 

MOTHER

Love. What in the world are you talking about?

 

PRINCESS

Love. I want a marriage built on love and respect and trust…

 

VOICE

How about a knight on a white horse!

 

MOTHER

Please be quiet before these men think I’ve raised an idiot. Look, Princess, you’ve been skipping around my house since you were 16 singing about love. Now you’re 30, single and unemployed. If I were to take advice from you, love would be 6 feet, 3 inches tall with a smooth complexion and a fast car. Love would mean frequent dinners in overpriced restaurants and champagne bottles in the club.

 

PRINCESS

You raised me to appreciate nice things. I like nice things.

 

MOTHER

Do you really think that you can determine a man’s intentions by how long he talks to you on a cell phone?

 

PRINCESS

Mother I am not a child! I know what love is.

 

MOTHER

No, you don’t. Princess, love is a light bill and a mortgage paid on time, every month, for decades. It’s stamina and patience. It’s what your father and I tried to give to you. But for some reason you can’t recognize that. You still don’t get it. Its like you’re living on some higher altitude, you look right past and over the realities of life. And I’ve accepted that. Because I love you, because you’re my child. But I won’t let you ruin and waste yourself. And I won’t let you live in my house forever either. I’m doing this for your own good.

 

PRINCESS

But I don’t know these men. You can’t just give me away.

 

MOTHER

I’m not giving you away. I’m trying to make sure you don’t sell yourself short. I don’t want to see you end up with some loser just because he was cute and good in bed. I’m taking care of you. I’m making sure you’ll marry a man who can continue to take care of you after I’m gone.

 

VOICE

Put the girl on the block. I didn’t get a good look at her.

 

VOICE

Come on, let’s get on with it.

 

VOICE

I came here to buy a wife.

 

VOICE

You came here for a maid.

 

VOICE

Someone to warm your bed and wash your clothes.

 

VOICE

Right. That’s what I said, a wife.

 

 

(VOICE’S Laughter)

 

MOTHER

Enough! Princess is understandably nervous. Allow me a few minutes to explain things and we’ll get right back to business.

 

VOICE

Don’t take too long

 

VOICE

Set her straight

 

VOICE

She’s not the only one on the market you know.

 

PRINCESS

This is wrong, this is disgusting, you’re auctioning me off and you don’t have to. I can find my own husband. I can choose him myself. I want to find someone that I have a connection with.

 

MOTHER

I’d love to believe you could. But Princess, you don’t have the wisdom to make that decision. And it’s my fault I guess. I just raised you wrong. I told you to follow your heart, go after your dreams, live life abundantly. I didn’t tell you the truth.

 

PRINCESS

About what?

 

MOTHER

About life Princess. I should have told you that most people aren’t living the lives they planned – they’re just paying bills, raising kids, and hoping they’ll get to sleep in on the weekend. Most people aren’t married to their soul mate. Most people had their hearts broken by their sole mate in high school – they just got tired of being lonely. And that’s OK. You have to do something to pass the time. I want you to pass the time in a nice house sitting on furniture you own.

 

VOICE

Is the spoiled little Princess ready yet?

 

VOICE

Women. It’s always something.

 

PRINCESS

I don’t believe you. Life can’t be that depressing. Can it?

 

MOTHER

Let’s just continue dear.

 

VOICE

Yes, let’s get back to the auction

 

VOICES

(Chatter)

 

 

PRINCESS

Is that how it is with you and Dad? Are you saying that Dad isn’t your soul mate?

 

MOTHER

He was the right choice. And we made it work. That’s all that matters.

 

PRINCESS

Why isn’t he here then? If this is the right way for me to find a husband,if he thinks this is the only way, shouldn’t he be here too? Doesn’t he want to make sure we choose the right one?

 

MOTHER

 

None of these men will ever be good enough for you in his eyes dear. You’re his Princess.

 

PRINCESS

But he wants me to get married right? He wants grandchildren and all.

 

MOTHER

Yes he does. He just wouldn’t understand.

 

PRINCESS

Wouldn’t understand what? Let’s go get him mom. I want him to be here. I need him to help me find someone who will be for me what he’s been for you. And, and I’m scared mommy. I don’t want to do this and I need to hear him say that I don’t have to be afraid, that everything is going to be OK. Let’s go get him.

 

VOICE

Uh oh.

 

VOICE

Another one with Daddy issues

 

PRINCESS tries to dismount the box

 

VOICE

Nope, I can’t handle this one. I’ve dealt with situations like these before.

 

VOICE

I’m out too.

 

Commotion as men exit

 

MOTHER

Get back up on that box.

 

PRINCESS

What?

 

MOTHER

Get back up on that box or I will kick you out of our home and I will leave you here to fend for yourself. I mean it. Look what you’ve done. Men are starting to leave.

 

PRINCESS

I don’t understand. Why are you so angry?

 

MOTHER

He is my husband. He is my husband and ever since you were born you have been all he cares about. You were the Princess and you needed dance lessons and you wanted to go to an Ivy league school. Everything for you. Anything for you. You didn’t marry him – I did. You didn’t clean and cook for him – I did. It’s my turn now baby girl. You have had your time in the sun and now you need to find your own man. And we are going to find him – today. And you and your father will just have to live with it.

 

PRINCESS

He doesn’t even know we’re here does he? This was all your idea.

 

MOTHER

We’re going to surprise him. He’ll like it. Trust me.

 

PRINCESS

But I don’t want this. I like my life. Why are you doing this?

 

MOTHER

Of course you like your life. A life where your parents still take care of everything for you.

 

VOICE

She still living at home?

 

VOICE

She’s 30 years old and she can’t support herself?

 

VOICE

Obviously not, she doesn’t have a job.

 

MOTHER

You see? You’re not really a Princess after all. These men see you as a liability, a chore. They are not your father. I am trying to help you get a good one while you still can.

 

VOICE

How old is she again?

 

MOTHER

If you want to be single forever and start collecting pets to fill the void of a childless life you keep on whining. But I am trying to help you. And you would be smart to help yourself.

 

VOICE

No job and no prospects of a job I bet.

 

PRINCESS

I am taking a break to evaluate doctoral programs. I’m going to be the first PhD in my family.

 

VOICE

How long have you been on this break?

 

PRINCESS

Two years

 

VOICES

(Laughter)

 

MOTHER

Stop talking dear.

 

VOICE

This is a joke.

 

VOICE

I came here to find a wife. A partner. Not a dependent.

 

VOICE

This is a waste of time

 

Men begin to exit

 

MOTHER

Wait! Don’t go! Just let me explain. My husband and I did the best we could – at least we thought we were. We wanted her to have every opportunity, every privilege; we put her needs above our own every day since her birth. This is our creation and she is absolutely lovely – isn’t she?

 

PRINCESS turns on the box

 

VOICE

Very nice

 

MOTHER

This is our Princess. We’re just trying to find her a good home.

 

VOICE

Yeah, because you want her out of yours.

 

MOTHER

Gentlemen please! You’re focusing on the wrong things. Think of your future. When you’re a managing director or a CEO. Do you want a workhorse that’s too tired to attend corporate functions? Do you want some stressed out, overweight, loudmouth on your arm? Some thick-thighed breeder who brings casserole dishes filled with mac-n-cheese

 

VOICE

Hey, I like mac – n – cheese.

 

MOTHER

and hamburger helper, or discount Tupperware reeking of deviled eggs to the boss’s Christmas party?

 

VOICE

I can’t have that on my arm. I need a woman who knows how to conduct herself in any situation.

 

VOICE

 

Someone who won’t embarrass me in front of my coworkers.

 

MOTHER

Exactly. I know. I know you are fine gentlemen. You want a Princess. You need a delicate flower. Someone who can put the other wives at ease and make your co-workers jealous. You know I’m right. This is your Princess. This is your guarantee to corporate success. And this is for sale today.

 

VOICE

How much does she cost?

 

VOICE

Yeah, exactly what are you asking for?

 

MOTHER

What you should be asking yourselves is what do you have that makes you worthy of her. How many of you went to Ivy League schools? If you’ve got a record, or kids, you better have a house in the Hampton’s too – or at least South Florida. What I am asking – what we are demanding is a man who can guarantee he will provide my daughter with the lifestyle she deserves.

 

VOICE

Sounds expensive.

 

MOTHER

She is. But who here can afford not to have a Princess on their arm?

 

VOICE

Look, I’ll be honest. I’m gay. But I need to keep up appearances. I’ll take her off your hands.

 

MOTHER

Are there any real offers?

 

VOICE

A house in the south if she’ll fill it with kids. She won’t have to work but I’m not hiring a maid.

 

MOTHER

No

 

VOICE

A home in the suburbs, one child, and I’ll pay for a cleaning service.

 

MOTHER

Do I have another offer?

 

VOICE

I’m an investment banker and I’m never home. I just need her to make it to all the company parties and hold a good conversation.

 

MOTHER

Going once

 

VOICE

A condo in New York but she’ll have to join the Junior League and learn to play tennis.

 

MOTHER

Sold!

 

(Lights Out)

3 Comments »

  1. Very Nice

    Comment by Tiphaniw — December 26, 2009 @ 9:42 pm

  2. I can’t wait to read/see what comes after this…

    Comment by Sheillah — December 27, 2009 @ 10:23 am

  3. thanks! nice blog. i add roseprose.com to my google reader

    Comment by PseusyPag — February 4, 2010 @ 8:32 pm

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