Monday, March 01, 2010

You Can't always get what you want--PLAY. ACT II, The Fire in Bradford



ACT II
SCENE ONE. INT. DAY.

WE ARE INSIDE COPPERFIED'S RESTAURANT. DICKENSIAN SETTING. LOTS OF RED CARPETTING. UPHOLSTERY OF RED LEATHER AND OAK. BOOTHS WITH HIGH OAK WALLS.
CELIA IS WAITING FOR THE PROFESSOR IN ONE OF THE HIGH-WALLED BOOTHS.

THE PROFESSOR APPROACHES HER BOOTH. SHE STANDS, BUT SHE SEEMS TO DO A LITTLE TURN, LIKE A BALLERINA, HER LEFT HAND OUTSTRECHED TO REVEAL AND ENGAGEMENT RING AND A WEDDING BAND. HE GOES TO KISS HER, IN SEEMING MID-PIROUTTE, BUT SHE NOW DRAWS AWAY.

CELIA (SOUNDING A LITTLE CROSS):
You'd think you hadn't seen me for a couple of months!

PROFESSOR
It's the way I feel.

CELIA.

You think you're the only one? This isn't easy for me


THE PROFESSOR

Well then...Maybe we should....

CELIA (NOW SEATED)
Don't say anything. I know what you're thinking.I know you better than you know yourself.

THE PROFESSOR DOES A SLIGHT DOUBLE- TAKE AND SITS DOWN.

PROFESSOR
This is getting a little hard-edged.

CELIA (LEFT HAND OUT AGAIN TO EXPOSE THE RINGS)

Is it?

THE WAITRESS APPROACHES. THEY ORDER DRINKS

THE PROFESSOR MOVES TO TAKE HER LEFT HAND. NOTICES THE RINGS. HE MOVES TO TAKE HER OTHER HAND, SHE ALMOST COMPLETES THE CONTACT, BUT THEN VERY SLOWLY, DELIBERATELY MOVES BOTH HANDS AWAY TOWARDS HERSELF. THERE COULD HAVE BEEN A MOMENT OF CONTACT, OF INTIMACY HERE, BUT IT IS NOW LOST.

PROFESSOR

Un voyage d'aller et retour. Where are we going with this?

CELIA
You think you're the only one? This isn't easy for me.

PROFESSOR

Well, I'd say this whole situation is getting close to intolerable. What does Lief say about all this?

CELIA
Lief understands. But if we want to keep going out together, I'm going to have to bring Lief along...(SHE AGAIN GIVES A FLASH OF RINGS).


THE PROFESSOR QUIETLY DRINKS THE BEER, NOW BEFORE HIM.

PROFESSOR

Ooh. The plot thickens.

Lief. Lief the Unlucky. Damn Lief. I thought you said you and Lief had an open marriage.
That's what my wife wanted before she went to the house of the rising sun.

CELIA

David....!

PROFESSOR.

Sorry. But aren't people odd.

CELIA.

You can't get everything from one person.

THE PROFESSOR.

Sure you can. It's what used to be called marriage. The rest you can get from yourself. It's called creativity. You can't eat from three tables at once... It's crazy.

CELIA

So why are you here?

PROFESSOR
Au contraire! It was you who phoned me. What do you want from me?

CELIA (LOOKING AT HIM LEVELLY.

Just what I'm getting.


MUSIC IN BG. STONES.
"YOU CAN'T ALWAYS GET WHAT YOU WANT." UP.
THE PROFESSOR GOES TO TAKE BOTH CELIA' HANDS AGAIN SHE RESPONDS. BUT THIS TIME, THE PROFESSOR DRAWS HIS OWN HANDS AWAY.

LIGHT: GRADUALLY DIM.
MUSIC FADE TO BG.

FADEOUT.

....end scene

12 comments:

Charles Gramlich said...

I really like the "you can't get everything from one person," and the reply. "Sure you can. it used to be called marriage. Very nice.

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Charles!

Donnetta Lee said...

Yes, and--aren't people odd! I like that. So you've been deep in the throws of the play! The play's the thing...Good place to be. D

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

TomCat,

You are one funny tabby. :)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

TomCat,

You are one funny Tabby. :)

ivan@c reativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Donnetta,

I am going to the curio shop and getting a feather pen to stick behind my ear.
With my bad coordination I might stick it right in my ear.
And I dasn't try ice cream.
(Do you know the Special Ed joke about young Special Ed trying to aim the ice cream? :)

Donnetta Lee said...

OOOOHHHH, NO! I don't know the ice cream special ed joke. You might as well tell it to me! D

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

The joke is politically incorrect and a little cruel, but Special Ed, when he tries to eat ice cream, somehow misses his mouth and prangs himself on the forehead with the cone.

I know I know....And here am I at one time in education. Ah well. I've been fired before.

the walking man said...

I like the same line as Charles did, that was an interesting mash up between the attitude of the fifties and earlier and the attitude of the seventies and later.

BUT (always a butt)

The scene is too short unless you have your stage set with a carousel that rotates the props through. this scene for all of it's drama happening still would not be more than three of four minutes and if the next doesn't happen in the same local the stage hands will hate you.

Also I wouldn't use any STONES song because they will sue your ass for royalties...Remember the Verve thing from a few years back?

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, Mark.

These Acts should be considered as second drafts.
W. Somerset Maugham said, that in final drafts, you need to cut, cut, cut. It doesn't matter where.
...There is so much damn material that at this point I may consider having as many a eight scenes in each act of a three-act play. Then, I think I shall have to cut, cut cut...that or go into five acts or more, which might take it to movie length and that's what I don't want to do for fear of both boring the audience and, as you say, peeing off the stage hands.

As for the copyrighted music, I've had that trouble before in a TV script where I used Stones music.
Maybe use original dead artists--Robert Johnsons for "All My Love's In Vain" for instance?...The Stones ripped off a lot of his songs and that of others...but I suppose they had to get copyrights too. It's a challenge...Maybe find common domain songs like "My Bucket's got a hole in it" or some such.
For the moment, I will continue to use popular songs for BG until I work the impasse out...Maybe write some? Heh.
Thanks for taking the time and expending the intellectual energy to offer me some good, detailed criticism.

TomCat said...

I try, my friend. :-)

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

TomCat,

Yeah.

Robert Johnson:

I followed her to the station
With a suitcase in my hand...