The Second Voyage of Calypso

Jacques Cousteau Statue by Ron Jordan

Brief: Take one of your previous plays and expand it in some fashion.

Excerpt:

JACQUES:                  (watching both) I see why you brought Mr. Steinbeck to join us.

JOHN:                         Because she likes my work?

JACQUES:                  No… because she sees a kinship between herself and us.

JOHN:                         A kinship. Because we both love Baja?

JACQUES:                  That probably sparked the flame, but no… it’s because she sees us as alike. To this lovely young woman –

MELISSA:                   Hey, I’m almost fifty; I’m hardly young.

JOHN:                         Maybe not in years, but definitely in miles.

JACQUES:                  You have youthful energy, my dear. In any case, as I was saying, to this lovely young woman, we are the same. We are both explorers. I spend more of my time under the sea, you on the surface, but… in this we are the same. (to MELISSA) You… you’re an explorer as well.

 

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027 – The Second Voyage of Calypso

Post-Its

Pears

Brief: Write a play with no plot.

Excerpt:

Scene 5: Electricity

 

He:                              (proudly) I’ve made the center light switches match.

 

She:                              So, up is on, and down is off?

 

He:                              No, they’re opposite, because otherwise the door switches don’t match.

 

She:                              You know I’m just gonna switch them back later, right?

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026 – Post-Its

Cold Therapy

Ice Hotel Chapel

Brief: Use environmental sustainability as the inspiration for a play.

Notes: It’s possible that I just wanted to set something in an ice hotel.

Excerpt:

YUERIG:                    Good, good. We are here tonight to talk about sacrifice.

WOMAN 1:                Like the animals who sacrificed themselves to give us the blankets on the seats?

WOMAN 2:                I don’t see you sticking your bum down on bare ice.

MAN 1:                       Can we just listen to the man?

YUERIG:                    The harvesting of wool doesn’t harm sheep, and removing the matted, heavy fleece keeps them cool in summer.

MAN 2:                       So, what’s your point?

YUERIG:                    Sacrifice. It’s what we are called to do during Lent, right? Give something up to prove our love of God, and our worthiness for redemption… but what do we sacrifice?

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025 – Cold Therapy

Going Viral

Wet Ones

Brief: Write a comedy.

Notes: I thought it was amusing that so many personal hygiene products (handy wipes, hand sanitizer) were out of stock on Amazon.

Excerpt:

CHAD:                        No… the flu is actually far more lethal. A lot of this is circumstance. A lot more is hype.

 

KAREN:                     And close quarters in China… still I worry. I mean, my hands are getting dry and scaly from washing them so frequently.

 

CHAD:                        I know. I know.

 

KAREN:                     And even the expensive hand lotion doesn’t help.

 

CHAD:                        Maybe try moisturizing wipes.

 

KAREN:                     Wipes? Like Baby wipes?

 

CHAD:                        No, like handy wipes. Like that show from years back… Priest or Nun or whatever.

 

KAREN:                     Monk.

 

CHAD:                        Right, Monk.

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024 – Going Viral

Scenes from a High School Cafeteria

cafeteria

Brief & Notes: This was meant to be the “rules” challenge, but one of the reasons I switched to the untimed track is that I don’t have the energy for long pieces right now. So consider this the one-act version.

Excerpt:

KAI:                Okay, I was pretty. But my life wasn’t. (to Mari) It’s not bad to be new, honey. New kids have the mystique advantage. When people have known you all your life, changing their perceptions is really, really hard.

 

ANA:               What Kai is trying to say….

 

KAI:                (cutting her off) What Kai is trying to say is that ninth grade was when I came out. And suddenly my best friend, who had come to sleepovers at my house for years, wouldn’t even talk to me anymore, outside of classes.

 

ANA:               Dion and his friends… Gardner and Ione, especially… totally gave Kai a snubbing of the kind unseen outside of Amish country.

 

KAI:                It’s been three years and… ( he breaks off as GARD approaches.)

 

GARD:            Ladies. Kai. Got a minute?

 

KAI:                (getting up) Depends. Did you bring cash?

 

GARD:            I have what you need.

 

ANA:               Oh, I sincerely doubt that.

 

GARD:            Really, Ana? (beat) Kai? A minute?

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023 – Scenes from a High School Cafeteria

Until There Are None

untiltherearenone

 

Brief: Create a performance art piece, on paper.

Excerpt:

Cage 1: A woman. She is gaunt and tired. Her cage is filled with pacifiers and onesies.

USED FOR BREEDING:      I have never known grass under my feet. I have never known love. I have been used to crank out litter after litter of babies I never got to raise. I am lonely. I am hungry. I am only well-fed when I am pregnant. I hope my babies are safe and well. But I will never know. When  my ability to breed is over… I will be left to die. Alone.

 

Cage 2: Male or female, but they are bruised and abused.

 

BAIT DOG:                            I was offered for free, and a nice woman came to get me. I thought I was going to a new home. Instead, I went to a cage, and then I was thrown in to a ring with bigger dogs who tried to kill me. I don’t want to fight. I just want a human to love. I wish someone would stop the pain. I saw one of my friends die in the ring. I don’t want to be next.

 

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022 – Until There are None

 

A Thing For Sharks

47Meters

 

Brief: Write a play in a restricted amount of time. (This is brief 21. Out of order because I’m really sick.)

Notes: The movie they watch is 47 Meters Down: Uncaged.

Excerpt:

STEVE:                       I also found a movie for you to watch.

 

LAUREN:                   Something funny or cozy?

 

STEVE:                       Well, you’ll probably find it funny. But you have to promise not to throw things at the screen this time. One television every six months is all we can afford.

 

LAUREN:                   You take away all my fun.

 

STEVE:                       Just watch.

 

He settles next to her on the bed, and picks up a remote. Cheesy horror movie music begins…

LAUREN:                   You found me a shark movie! A bad shark movie!!

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020 – A Thing For Sharks

Demonology 101

0412-Demon

Brief: The task was to revamp yesterday’s unstageable play into something that could work on a stage… but I went off-brief.

Excerpt:

SARAH:                      Portal? You… you came from the cauldron?

GLYLLY:                    Black metal container? Yeah. You know you’re supposed to make a protective circle and put the vessel in it, right?

SARAH:                      Um….

GLYLLY:                    It’s how you make sure whatever you Call doesn’t get out and hurt you.

SARAH:                      Are you? Going to hurt me?

GLYLLY:                    Well, you hurt me first!

SARAH:                      I didn’t mean to. I was scared. (beat) Are you really a demon?

GLYLLY:                    I am. My name’s Fnarglyl, but my friends call me Glylly. (beat) Are you really a pink skin – I mean – a human?

 

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019 – Demonology 101

Writer’s Block

writerblock

Brief: The task was to write an unstageable play. This takes place in my brain, but is technically off-brief.

Excerpt:

PAIN:                          No, you’re afraid of addiction.

WRITER:                    That too.

PSYCHE:                    Mind if I butt in? It’s not the addiction you’re avoiding, sweetums. It’s the nightmares. Your dreamscape is seriously scary, sister.

WRITER:                    You’re the one creating those scenarios. You and Pain. Comfort food might start with “P” but when it comes to meta elements that letter is never good.

PSYCHE:                    Shh. You’re getting yourself stressed. Look, you’ve been a vivid dreamer your entire life… but you have to learn to get a grip.

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018 – Writer’s Block