Play #16 – PRESENT

PRESENT

Lights up on THE ARTIST sitting in a chair. SHE walks in and circles the Artist, who stares straight ahead.

SHE
Do you really think that you can call yourself an artist just you make art? Is that what really truly makes you an artist? The mere act of creating art?

The Artist is silent.

SHE
Art can be measured and it can be bought and it can be bad. It can be terrible. So are you truly an artist if you’re creating terrible art?

The Artist is silent. 

SHE
And not everybody needs art. Not everybody wants it! The plumbers and teachers and fathers and mothers and taxidermists and surgeons and file cabinets, they don’t all need art. But they do need to do their fucking job so that the city doesn’t come to a standstill. Can you do that? Can you move the city to a standstill? Can you do anything effective?

The Artist stirs.

SHE
See? See, now I’m getting to you. I’m scratching off the skin, past the surface, and getting down to the heart of the matter. Your uselessness. Your lack of contribution. You unnecessity.

The Artist rises. The Artist takes She in her arms and they begin to dance to no music. Slowly and closely at first, then the dance expands, a faster pace, a guttural chanting begins. She is taken over by the dance. Faster and faster, She dances hard and strong. The Artist stops dancing. She continues. The Artist watches. The Artist exits. She reaches the end of the dance. She breathes. She breathes. She inhales and centers herself. She sits in the chair.

Blackout.

© Eileen Tull

Play #15 – COUNTDOWN

COUNTDOWN

Lights up on E furiously typing. OTHER E stands further away, leaning against a wall, flipping a coin in the air.

 OTHER E
Number fourteen, huh?

E does not answer.

OTHER E
You’ll never make it.

E tries to ignore Other E.

OTHER E
You’ve got seventeen more to go in – (Other E looks at a bare wrist) – six days. Give up, little one. You’ll never make it. You’re only on fourteen. You’ll never make it.

E finishes typing.

E
(with triumph)
Fifteen.

OTHER E
(sullenly)
Clock’s ticking.

Other E exits. E continues typing.

Blackout.

© Eileen Tull

Play #14 – I JUST WANT THE FANTASY

I JUST WANT THE FANTASY

Lights up on EILEEN and THAT ONE GUY, staring at each other intently.

EILEEN
I-

She breathes.

EILEEN
I just-

She swallows her breath and her pride. 

EILEEN
I love you. I just really love you. Which is a crazy thing to say, because first of all, you don’t love me, and I really think it’s impossible to love someone who doesn’t love you, it’s not a pure love, but a different kind of love, but I love, I really, really love you and I don’t know what to do about it. I’m whiny and terrible, but I would make you laugh and make you feel all the good inside of you and teach you and learn from you and we would be great parents and I want to build a house with you, not just a home, a metaphorical place to feel comfort, I want to build a house with hammer and nails and saws and you and your strong calloused hands. And I want to grow into an old, shriveled lady sitting next to you on a porch, the old shriveled man, and our ear lobes will sag and our skin will flake off and we won’t even be able to hear or see each other, but I’ll know that you’re there, because I love you, I love you, I love you so hard that I could bang my head against it. I love you so deeply, I’m drowning. I love you so fully that I am the night sky enveloping the earth, then I become the rosy-fingered dawn, peeling myself off the earth for the new day. I love you. All the love I have in my body, even my fingernails and cuticles, it’s all for you. I love you.

THAT ONE GUY
You really don’t.

Pause. She’s tired.

EILEEN
(sighing)
You’re right.

That One Guy exits. He’s not real anyway.

Blackout.

 

© Eileen Tull

Play #13 – REAL WOMEN

REAL WOMEN

Lights up on MARY and SUSAN, two big women.

MARY (to audience)
Overweight.

SUSAN
Big-boned.

MARY
Heavy.

SUSAN
Fat.

MARY
We just want to be treated normally.

SUSAN
We just want to stop thinking about body politics every day.

MARY
We just want to be respected as humans.

SUSAN
As women.

MARY
By women.

SUSAN
We’re all humans.

THERESA, a thin woman, enters.

THERESA
(sincerely)
I think what you’re talking about it is pretty great.

SUSAN
Shut up, skinny bitch!

MARY
Real women have curves, whore!

Theresa hangs her head and exits.

SUSAN
We just want to be treated with respect.

Blackout.

© Eileen Tull

Play #12 – THIS HAPPENS EVERY DAY

THIS HAPPENS EVERY DAY

Lights up on BETH, a plus sized girl. Ugh, I hate that term, but if you don’t use it, a big girl won’t get cast and then it looks like A Fucking Chorus Line up there with all those tiny bodies. So Beth is onstage and she’s probably not thin, who gives a fuck, but that’s part of the stage picture. Beth is waiting at a bus stop. A DUDE enters. I’m not naming him, because he’s not, like, a real human being. The Dude walks by Beth but then decides to come back.

DUDE
How are you today, sweetheart? You look beautiful today.

Beth is silent, stares straight ahead.

DUDE
Hey, honey, I’m talking to you.

Beth stares.

DUDE
Don’t be a bitch, I’m just trying to start a conversation.

Beth stares. 

DUDE
(getting angry)
Look, you cunt, I’m just trying to talk to you. I just wanted to tell you that you look nice today, and that I would fuck you, based on what you look like at the present moment, like if you were into it, we could go around the corner into the alley, and I could fuck you up against the brick wall while the rats watched, but, like, only if you were into it, because I’m not like a rapist, I’m a nice guy, I’m just trying to pay you a compliment you fat bitch, you know how compliments work, slit? You must not get a lot of compliments, with your big fat floppy tits. (pause) I’m trying to be a nice guy. (pause) You’re a bitch. You’re a bitter, fat fucking bitch. I’m just being nice.

Beth, still stone-faced, takes out a blowgun. She shoots a poison dart at him, hitting him in the neck. The Dude screams and falls to the ground, writing in agony until he dies. Beth watches him die. She looks for the bus.

BETH
Ah, fuck it. Taxi!

She gestures for a taxi. Blackout.

 

© Eileen Tull

Play #10 – THE LUCKIEST

THE LUCKIEST

Lights up. LOU stands at a microphone, holding a baseball cap in his hands.

LOU
Fans, for the past two weeks you have been posting about the bad break I got. Yet today I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of this earth. I have been in ballparks for seventeen years and have never received anything but kindness and encouragement from you fans on Facebook, on Twitter, on Instagram, and on Tumblr.
Look at these grand men. Which of you wouldn’t consider it the highlight of his career just to associate with them for even one day? Sure, I’m lucky.
I’ve got wonderful family, friends, everything a guy might ever want in this life. Sure, I’m lucky.
So I close in saying that I might have been given a bad break, but I’ve got an awful lot –

Two FRIENDS, who have been sneaking up on Lou, dump a bucket of ice water on his head. ANOTHER FRIEND films it. They all cheer and exit.

LOU
(into microphone)
Thank you.

Blackout.

© Eileen Tull

Play #9 – BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE

BUT THE GREATEST OF THESE

Lights up. SUNNY, dirty, downtrodden, and carrying garbage bags full of her treasures enters. She curtsies to the audience and begins.

SUNNY
Love is painful,
Love is kind,
Love will drive you
Right out of your mind.
Love makes you envy,
But it does not boast
Love leaves you with little
When you’ve given the most.
Love is not proud,
In fact it’s ashamed.
It dishonors no others
Love doesn’t name names.
Love is not self-seeking
Love finds not love, for sooth.
Love delights in evil
And so rejoices with “truth”.
Love always protects
Protects love and perseveres.
Love leaves you with regret
Alone with all your fears.
Love was patient,
Love was kind.
Twas love that drove me
Straight out of my mind.

 

Sunny curtsies again, picks up her bags, and exits.

 

Blackout.

© Eileen Tull

Play #8 – COLOR ME IGNORANT (HANDS UP)

COLOR ME IGNORANT (HANDS UP)

Lights up and loud music. A dance club, a GAGGLE of white 20 somethings dancing ferociously to the beat. MICHELLE 1 takes the lead:

MICHELLE 1
Everybody put your hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

The GAGGLE puts their hands in the air.

GAGGLE
Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

Lights fade on Gaggle, lights up on a GROUP of people of color. They are standing, shoulder to shoulder, staring at an approaching line of riot police. MICHELLE 2 takes the lead.

MICHELLE 2
Everybody put your hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

The Group puts their hands in the air, stoic faces, jaws set.

GROUP
Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

Lights up on the Gaggle, still dancing: twerking, crumping, freaking.

GAGGLE/GROUP
Hands up! Hands up! Hands up! Hands up!

The chanting continues. Michelle 1 notices the Group.

MICHELLE 1
Hey, can you guys stop it? We’re trying to dance!

The Group stops chanting, but continues to raise their hands in the air, staring at the oncoming onslaught. The Gaggle is no longer chanting, but continues dancing.

MICHELLE 1
Hands up, bitches!

Blackout

© Eileen Tull

 

Play #7 – SELFISH

SELFISH

Lights up on ANN. She is sitting on a chair, center, very distraught. She runs her hands through her hair, breathing heavily, having an anxiety attack. She rocks back and forth. She wishes the audience was not there. She takes a small pocketknife out of her pocket. She considers it. She clicks the knife out and holds it to her wrist. BRENDA enters and notices Ann.

BRENDA
(screaming)
SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH SELFISH!

Ann cowers. She drops the knife and begins sobbing.

BRENDA
(to audience)
All better.

She exits. Ann sobs.

Blackout. 

© Eileen Tull