Saturday, October 04, 2014

killing darlings

here are two short scenes I had to cut from my play Sarah.  They were very funny in the reading but they are getting in the way of what the play wants to be.  Sometimes too much meta is too much.


THE PLAYWRIGHT – TRACK ONE, SCENE FIVE

                                                            (THE PLAYWRIGHT accosts SARAH and THE GUIDE)

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Hi, sorry.  Can we talk for a minute.

                                                            THE GUIDE
This is the playwright.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Hi.  I just wanted to give you some insight into the character of Sarah.  I don’t think you’re quite nailing it yet.  I’ve seen a lot of Sarahs now.  But I don’t want to get in the way of your process so if you want me to back off just say so.

                                                            SARAH
(Her choice)

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Right.  Right.  Let me just say the thoughts Sarah has are unlike everyone else.  She oozes creativity.  And as she went through life, people tried to beat it out of her, metaphorically, not physically but that didn’t get rid of it though it dimmed it for a time.   She was a genius but tried to hide her genius and then, you know, she died too soon.  I have this image in my mind of her as a child discovering her power for the first time—She’s in a pool and there’s a lot of light—like too much light--actually maybe that’s not helpful.  Forget that.  I never said that.  Can you forget that?  So stupid.  You know what, no, okay, if you can play down to earth but also like in the clouds.  Cause she’s mysterious but you feel like you’ve known her all your life.  So there’s that familiarity but also there’s part of her that’s completely unknowable that belongs only to her, you know?  She’s not like the rest of us, you know.  She’s super charismatic.  So do that too.  Just be like, more.  Okay?  It’s hard, I know because there’s only one Sarah and she’s like not like the rest of us so it’s hard to play that but just think of like Jesus Christ or like Lady Gaga.  Like if Lady Gaga was charismatic. You know what I mean?  Like a movie star but with a real inner life.  Smarter than a movie star.  But no less beautiful.  A mind like a laser.  Got it?

                                                            SARAH
(Her choice)

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Okay.  I’ve said too much.  I shouldn’t talk to the actors.  Can we take her the alternate way?  Let’s change it up.  I think take her the other way it’ll work better, okay?

                                                            THE GUIDE
I don’t know.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
She can handle it.

                                                            THE GUIDE
I don’t want to mess up the schedule.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
If there’s a problem, I’ll take the heat.

                                                            THE GUIDE
I don’t really care about that. 

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
It’ll be better.  You can see that, can’t you?

                                                            THE GUIDE
I have to take care of her.  She’s my responsibility.  You can just sit in your ivory tower and watch.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Ivory tower?

                                                            THE GUIDE
Yeah.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Are you talking about Juilliard?  Okay, yes I went to Juilliard.  It was amazing.  So what?  A lot of people went to good schools.

                                                            THE GUIDE
You have it with you?

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
The diploma?  Yes, okay I carry around my diploma from The Juilliard School.  Lots of people do that.  It’s nothing.  It’s not weird.  (to SARAH)  Do you want to see it?

                                                            SARAH
(Her choice)

                                                            (PLAYWRIGHT takes it out.)

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
It’s beautiful.  So crisp.  A work of art.  I’m going to take it with me.

                                                            THE GUIDE
You can’t take the diploma.  When you die, it stays here.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Yeah, but I’m going to take it with me.

                                                            THE GUIDE
Okay but you can’t.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
I’m proud of it.  Is that a sin?

                                                            THE GUIDE
I mean yeah, in the Judo-Christian—

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
That’s not—

                                                            THE GUIDE
I mean, you asked.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
I’m not in an ivory tower.  I resent that.

                                                            THE GUIDE
Sometimes I hurt people’s feelings.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
I’m an artist.  Okay, I don’t always come see the play.  But I’m making other art.  I’m busy.  Doing important things.  God’s work.

                                                            THE GUIDE
God’s work?!  God’s work?!!  It’s just a play.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
It’s not just a play.

                                                            THE GUIDE
What I do is important.  What you do . . . I don’t know.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Well, that’s bullshit but whatever.  I have to go to my other job.  Ivory tower!  Fucking ivory tower!!  Are you going to go the alternate way?  Go the alternate way.  You want to go the other way, don’t you?

                                                            SARAH
(her choice)

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Good luck, with your Sarah.  Oh!  You know what?  Channel Meryl Streep.

(PLAYWRIGHT exits.  THE GUIDE and SARAH continue their journey.)

SCRIPTED --TRACK TWO, SCENE THREE

(DIRECTOR accosts SARAH and THE GUIDE.  PLAYWRIGHT hides behind director.)

THE GUIDE
Oh!  The director.  (THE GUIDE is not happy about this)

                                                            DIRECTOR
                                                            (to SARAH)
What are you doing?  You’re not supposed to go off script.  It’s all planned very carefully.  The playwright wrote a bunch of stuff down in a room once and that’s the stuff we’re doing, right?

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Right.

                                                            DIRECTOR
So we don’t appreciate you making stuff up when you’re not supposed to make stuff up.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
We don’t appreciate that.

                                                            DIRECTOR
We don’t want you to ruin the experience for the audience.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Don’t ruin the play.  Everybody’s always trying to ruin my play.  The actors and the directors and the designers.  And then it’s all my fault.  It’s not my fault.  Everybody thinks it’s my fault.

                                                            DIRECTOR
No one blames you.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Everyone does.  Just please don’t ruin my play, okay?

                                                            DIRECTOR
Can you do that?

PLAYWRIGHT
Can you?

                                                            DIRECTOR
Can you?

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Can you?

                                                            THE GUIDE
I’m sorry.

(Enter FREE WILL in bondage gear, perhaps being led in on a leash.)


                                                            WILL
Don’t pay any attention to them.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Will, this doesn’t concern you.

                                                            DIRECTOR
It’s not about you.

                                                            WILL
You do what you want to do.

                                                            DIRECTOR
Will!

                                                            WILL
My name isn’t just Will.  It’s Free Will.  I’m called Free Will because of how free I am with my body and my favors.

                                                            DIRECTOR
You don’t exist!

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Get back in your cage!  In your cage!

                                                            THE GUIDE
Sorry about this.

                                                            WILL
I am free.  I am freer than you will ever be!  You do what you want, Sarah or whatever your name is.  Don’t be penned in by the man.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Stop it, Will.  You always ruin everything.

                                                            WILL
We are free.  We are all free.  Don’t let anyone tell you how to be, who to be, how to act.  Don’t give in to societal pressures.  Ignore your culture.  Be you who you are completely.  If you want to be naked, be naked.  People will deal with it.

                                                            PLAYWRIGHT
Please don’t take off your clothes.  Everyone leave your clothes on.  It isn’t that kind of show.

                                                            WILL
It can be.  It can be whatever kid of show you want.

                                                            DIRECTOR
Okay, can we table this?

                                                            WILL
No.

                                                            THE GUIDE
I’m sorry.
                                   
                                                            (THE GUIDE starts to lead SARAH off.)

                                                            WILL
Let’s take acid.

                                                            DIRECTOR
Oh my God.  Get back in your cage.

                                                            WILL
I’m calling Equity!

                                                            (THE GUIDE lead SARAH off.)        



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