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A few pieces for Modern and Contemporary Theatre

Caliban of Sycorax

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I'm taking a class this semester called Modern and Contemporary Theatre, and so far we've been asked to write two short pieces. The first was a surrealist piece with certain guidelines, and the second was a piece regarding the play Ubu Roi, and was a political debate between Ubu, a Republican, and a Democrat. Since I love writing scripts I figured I'd show it to you :)

[spoiler=Surrealist Piece]The Characters



The Setting

Benjamin's loft; midday. The present day.

(BENJAMIN and SUSAN are seated on the couch, embracing lovingly. Scattered throughout are a table, three chairs, and various modern art sculptures and paintings.)

SUSAN. (Suddenly breaking the embrace) Benjamin, you don't love me anymore.

BENJAMIN. (Taken aback) What do you mean, Susan? Of course I love you.

SUSAN. Then why have your kisses lacked such passion lately?

BENJAMIN. I don't know.

SUSAN. You're lying.

BENJAMIN. How do you know?

SUSAN. You just told me. (BENJAMIN sighs) Besides, when you lie, your eyes move slightly to the side. Like a horse.

BENJAMIN. I am not a horse!

SUSAN. I never said you were! See, that was what I meant! It's so awkward! (BENJAMIN leans in and kisses her. SUSAN accepts, passionately. Moments of silence.)

BENJAMIN. (Breaking the kiss) You know, I had a dream last night.

SUSAN. What was it about?

BENJAMIN. Well, I don't know. The images were weird. There were different colors all over the place, and it was very weird. I also saw lots of shooting stars. I tried to wish on them, but then they fell into this black hole that looked like the eyes of God.

SUSAN. Jeez, what a dream. Were you on anything?

BENJAMIN. Come on, Susan, you know me better than that.

SUSAN. Right, sorry. Continue…

BENJAMIN. Well… (The lights change. The colors of the lights reflect BENJAMIN's dream. Various neon shades are recommended. The art sculptures fall, and the table is turned on its side. The only thing that should be upright is the couch. BENJAMIN re-enacts the dream through his various motions) I followed the stars into the hole, and suddenly, I was on a horse. Riding it, through this empty blackness. And, then, I saw something… it was bright, but not blinding. Like X-Rays. Yeah. X-Rays.

(Projected on the wall behind BENJAMIN and SUSAN is a large x-ray)

BENJAMIN. And, you know, X-rays don't usually show you more than bones and some tissue, but I could see everything. And I could see into myself, you know?

SUSAN. You're starting to scare me a bit, Benjamin.

BENJAMIN. But, Susan, don't you understand? That was the point of the dream. It told me what I was. And everything was… distorted. Warped. I changed in that place. My eyes were on my hands; my mouth was on my chest. The horse faded and I was riding along on nothing. I was trying to hold on for dear life, but if I did that, I couldn't see. I realize what a sham my life has been.

SUSAN. And is that why you've lied to me?

BENJAMIN. (Hesitant) I… think so.

SUSAN. …I see.

BENJAMIN. But, Susan… I saw something else. (The lights change again, to warm sun-like colors. The x-ray fades) I saw a vision… it was two… no, three… three people on a beach, and a dog, too. And they looked like a family.

SUSAN. Who was it?

BENJAMIN. Well, I don't know. I couldn't see them. I woke up, not too long after that. (The lights return to normal, but the table and artwork stays distorted) But I think the dream told me something.

SUSAN. Well, what do you think it was trying to tell you?

BENJAMIN. That I need to change my life. The beach is the future, and I think that if I don't change, I won't see that future.

SUSAN. And where do I fit in that equation?

BENJAMIN. We'll just have to see, won't we?

SUSAN. (Getting nervous) I'm afraid, Benjamin.

BENJAMIN. Don't be, Susan. (He pushes the couch to the side, with SUSAN on it, and reveals a small pit of sand) I love you, dear.

SUSAN. Oh, Benjamin--!

BENJAMIN. (Getting on one knee) I want to see you in my future, Susan. I think it's time we both changed our lives. Let's move out, together, and start that life we always wanted. Susan, will you marry me? (The scene fades before SUSAN can give her response)

[spoiler=[i]Ubu Roi [/i]piece]

The Characters



FIGARO JENKINS, the Republican


The Scene

A political debate between Ubu, Schmidt, and Jenkins.

(The scene opens with UBU, SCHMIDT, and JENKINS in a semicircle. UBU is standing atop a rock, praying the Pater Noster repeatedly. SCHMIDT is seated in a chair, holding a copy of The Communist Manifesto in one hand, and a pride flag in the other. JENKINS stands at a podium with an elephant emblazoned on it, reading the Bible. THE MODERATOR is seated on the ground in front of them, back to the audience) UBU. Pater Noster, qui es in caelis…

MODERATOR. …thank you, Mrs. Schmidt, for your answer. The next question is for Mr. Jenkins. (JENKINS bows his head in prayer and closes the Bible) How do you think we should solve the current debate over same-sex marriage?

UBU. …da nobis hodie.

JENKINS. [sir/Madam] Moderator, I believe that there is no such thing as a same-sex marriage. (Gets a dirty glare from SCHMIDT) The Bible clearly states that God had created Adam and Eve—there is no Steve or Cathy in there. Man and Woman were meant to be united in Matrimony as one.

MODERATOR. Do you believe in granting civil unions to same-sex couples, at the very least?

JENKINS. (Suddenly getting a Southern accent) Hell, no! It's unnatural to live that way! There should be nothing for those homos but an eternal party with Satan! (Spits on the ground) I curse your name, devil!

MODERATOR. Thank you, Mr. Jenkins. Papa Ubu?

UBU. ...Quoniam tibi est regnum… (THE MODERATOR clears his/her throat) …et potestas et gloria… (THE MODERATOR clears his/her throat a second time. UBU ignores it) …in saecula. Amen.

MODERATOR. (Clearly frustrated) PAPA UBU!

UBU. (Nonchalant) Yes?

MODERATOR. Your question.

UBU. What is it?

MODERATOR. I haven't asked yet!

UBU. Well? Get on with it, then!

MODERATOR. Right. What is your planned taxation policy?

UBU. All the taxes to me.

MODERATOR. Care to elaborate?

UBU. A tax on marriage, a tax on not marrying, a tax on death, a tax on burials, a tax on each child born…

SCHMIDT. (Cutting him off) That's completely unfair! The poor and underprivileged can't pay those ridiculous fines! What are you thinking?!

MODERATOR. Mrs. Schmidt, it isn't your turn to speak.

SCHMIDT. Come on, Moderator! Are you serious?!

JENKINS. She's just a commie!

SCHMIDT. Homophobe!

MODERATOR. Please shut up, all of you! Jesus.

JENKINS. I oughta have you shot for using the Lord's name in vain!

MODERATOR. Oh, please—since when did Jesus believe in gun usage?

(JENKINS cannot answer.)


UBU. …sicut et nos dimittimus debitoribus nostris…

JENKINS. Right on, brother! (He tries to high-five UBU. UBU ignores him and continues praying)

MODERATOR. Okay, the next question. Mrs. Schmidt, what is your opinion on taxation?

SCHMIDT. I believe that the poor are currently being taxed too much—they can't afford it! And then people complain when people cannot exit the Welfare system.

JENKINS. They're all drug addicted negro commies who had their first baby at 12! Premarital sex is a sin!

SCHMIDT. Will someone shut him up, please?

MODERATOR. Mr. Jenkins, you're out of line. Mrs. Schmidt, please continue.

SCHMIDT. I also believe that the wealthy are getting too many tax cuts.

JENKINS. We worked hard for our money, why should we pay for those drug addicted neg—


UBU. …sed libera nos a malo…


SCHMIDT. This is bullshit.

UBU. …amen.

JENKINS. …damn commies… (Begins reading the Bible aloud)

SCHMIDT. …racist homophobe… (Takes out a joint and lights it)

UBU. …qui es in caelis… (Continues praying silently)

(The overlapping continues, with THE MODERATOR trying to calm everyone down. Eventually, he/she gives up and runs offstage. The lights blackout, and slowly fade back to normal. UBU, SCHMIDT, and JENKINS are on the ground, dead. THE MODERATOR returns, holding a shotgun.)

MODERATOR. I give up. I'm going to be the next president. (Puts the gun down and does a salute)


Edited by Octavian
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