Saturday, November 03, 2018

November Writing Challenge 2018 - 2 - Broken Nose, Toilet Plunger

The Second Prompt

Brought to you by: Broken Nose Theatre 
Broken Nose Theatre is a Pay-What-You-Can company that develops and produces new work and seeks to cultivate empathy, spark conversation, and amplify underrepresented voices.

Please pursue their mission as you complete their challenge.
November 2nd

Challenge: The only prop that can be used in this play is a toilet plunger. There can be as many or as few as you'd like, but the plungers must in some way cultivate empathy - take this seriously as it's part of our mission statement.

DUE November 3rd by 7am CST

More about Broken Nose, producers of BECHDEL FEST, a two-week festival featuring a diverse ensemble of actresses in nine short plays that were predominantly written and/or directed by women.  In keeping with our sophomore year’s theme of “Lessons,” each featured play centered around women who are going through learning experiences of their own.  What they learn about their families, their friends, their surroundings, and themselves serves as the driving force behind each of the stories.

(No disrespect to Broken Nose and the toilet plungers but I’m gonna keep pushing on with the Cymbeline riff for a bit)

(Also, I rolled back into yesterday’s post and added the following – which will resurface today)

ACTOR 2 is a little awkward and/or bashful around ACTOR 1, who he thinks is very cute.

ACTOR 1 does not mind this.

(So, on with today’s post)

ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet) (cont’d)
Fear no more the lightning flash,
Nor th'all-dreaded thunder-stone.
Fear not slander, censure rash,
Thou hast finished joy and moan.
All lovers young, all lovers must
Consign to thee and come to dust.

ACTRESS 2 drops her puppet arm to become POSTHUMUS again and
ACTRESS 1 drops her puppet arm to become IMOGEN again
for their big farewell scene.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
I am an exile.
Off I go to Rome, then.

                          ACTRESS 1 (IMOGEN)
I shall miss you.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
And I, you.
Don't marry your stepbrother.

                          ACTRESS 1 (IMOGEN)
I'll try not to.

                          ACTOR 1 (CLOTEN, puppet)
I lose my head.

ACTRESS 2 reanimates the GUIDERIUS puppet on her arm.

                          ACTRESS 2 (GUIDERIUS, puppet)
You were very rude.

ACTRESS 2 drops her puppet arm to become POSTHUMUS again.

                          ACTRESS 1 (IMOGEN)
Take from me this ring.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
Take from me this bracelet.

It is difficult to take a ring or a bracelet off when you have a puppet on one of your hands.

ACTRESS 1 and ACTRESS 2 probably get around this by using their free hand to take the ring or bracelet off the other person’s hand for the exchange.

This will still be awkward.  Enjoy.

I shall put it on now –

It is impossible to put on a ring or a bracelet with a puppet on one of your hands.

So, perhaps with a flourish, perhaps in frustration, ACTRESS 1 and ACTRESS 2 fling the puppets quickly off their hands and onto the floor.

ACTRESS 3 and ACTOR 2 emit squeals of pain on behalf of the cast-aside puppets as they hit the ground.

     ACTRESS 3 (for QUEEN)       ACTOR 2 (for GUIDERIUS)
Ow.                            Ow.

As they put the ring and bracelet on, the lovers resume their pledge:

I shall put it on now, and I shall wear it as a sign of my faithfulness to you until we are together again.

                          ACTRESS 1 (IMOGEN) (cont'd)
Nothing could make me remove this bracelet.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
Nothing could make me remove this ring.

Any more than another person could make me break my promises to you.

ACTOR 1 sneaks in and gets the QUEEN puppet back on ACTRESS 1’s puppet arm.

The young lovers are either so in love their oblivious, or wondering why this guy’s cutting in on their big moment as:

ACTOR 2 reanimates the BELARIUS puppet on his arm.

                          ACTOR 2 (BELARIUS, puppet)
People put way too much emphasis on tokens and signs.

                          ACTRESS 3 (CYMBELINE)
This happens a lot in Shakespeare.

ACTOR 2 drops his puppet arm to become PISANIO again.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
That is so romantic.  What could possibly go wrong?

ACTRESS 1 reanimates the QUEEN puppet on her arm.

                          ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet)

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
Hey, loyal servant.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
Yes, my liege?

While having this conversation, ACTRESS 2 pulls the CORNELIUS puppet out of the pile and puts it on her hand, but doesn’t animate it – yet.

You can make a thing of this, or not.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
I want you to keep an eye on - I mean, look out for, my beautiful wife while I'm away.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
Not that you don't trust her.

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
Oh no, I trust her completely.  Just, you know, keep an eye out.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)

                          ACTRESS 2 (POSTUMUS)
OK, off to banishment I go.

ACTRESS 2 makes a big deal of walking off into exile, but then immediately turns around and animates her puppet arm for CORNELIUS because:

                          ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet)
I need poison.  Because of course I do.

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
As the palace doctor, I find it's not a very good idea to have poison around royal people.

                          ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet)
I'm the queen.  Poison, I want.  Poison, I get.

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
How about I give it to this servant here, for safe keeping?

                          ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet)
Sure.  I'm not going to do the actual poisoning myself, after all.

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
And who are you planning to poison?

                          ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet)
I'm not wicked.  I'm just consolidating power.

ACTRESS 1 (QUEEN, puppet) exits.

ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet) turns to ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)

ACTOR 2 thinks it’s POSTHUMUS returning for a second.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
You’re back!

ACTRESS 2 wiggles the CORNELIUS puppet in ACTOR 2’s face.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO) (cont’d)

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
This is a sleeping potion.  Wink wink.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
Do you have some kind of facial tic?

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
If you need to relax, or even perhaps appear to be dead, this will be a totally safe and not at all poisonous way to do it.  Just don't tell the queen.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
O-kay.  I'm not telling her - ?

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
You're not telling her it's not poisonous.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
So I *am* telling her it's poisonous.

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
If she asks.  Wink wink.

                          ACTOR 2 (PISANIO)
Seriously, is there something wrong with you?

                          ACTRESS 2 (CORNELIUS, puppet)
No.  Things such as this "not poison" sleeping potion that makes a person seem dead temporarily come in very handy in fairy tales.

ACTOR 1 (ARVIRAGUS) steps forward to explain to ACTOR 2 (PISANIO).  It’s OK if this moment gets a little flirty.

                          ACTOR 1 (ARVIRAGUS)
This happens a lot in Shakespeare.

(to be continued)

No comments: