Yesterdayʼs post was the first few pages of a never-completed spring play idea (never finished partly because I never decided what fairy tale we were going to mangle once we concluded the sort of nonsense you are about to read and did read yesterday).
If you recall, the rowdy members of a bad audience were getting called upon to become the play (r1, I believe, indicates the lead Rowdy). We left you at a PAUSE…
ANOTHER SPRING PLAY (continued)
one more (unfinished) blurt in a series of twisted tales from folk traditions
by John Randolph Burrow
You’re not moving.
Neither are you.
I was waiting for you.
I was waiting for you.
Come on. This is stupid. Let’s all go.
[ROWDIES and some AUDIENCE members go up on the stage, crawling under the curtain. The LIGHT CREW laughs. Voices come from behind the curtain.]
OK. We’re here. No one else is.
Where’d they all go.
r1 [peeking under the curtain] Come on, Mike, where is the cast?
[Gym lights start switching off.]
r1 Hey, the lights are going off.
What? —Let me see! —They are! —Wait. What’s going on now?
[The CURTAIN begins to open.]
Who’s doing that? Go get him.
[STAGE LIGHTS come up.]
Mike! Delbert! What are you doing?
LIGHT CREW The play just started!
ROWDIES What’s going on here?
LIGHT CREW You’re the play! You were right all along.
ROWDIES What do you mean we’re the play?
LIGHT CREW It’s some nutty idea Burrow had. “Found theater. “ He explained it to us in drama class. He stole the idea from highbrow music. Some guys in modern classical music, they just show up at a concert hall and do nothing, and whatever noises happen to happen, that’s the music.
ROWDIES And people pay money for this?
LIGHT CREW You did.
ROWDIES Oh yeah?
LIGHT CREW Yeah.
ROWDIES Well, what if we don’t want to be the play?
LIGHT CREW You already are.
ROWDIES We could sit back down. What about that, smart guys? We could just sit back down, and what are you going to do then?
LIGHT CREW Uh . . .
ROWDIES What if we just leave?
I’d do that. I wanted a part in this play, at first, but he only offered me garbage. I don’t feel like being your “found drama. “
What about costumes? What about make-up?
You’re not getting me to wear any make-up!!
ACTOR [coming onstage] Okay, guys. You can relax.
ACTOR Yeah. We knew this was a really dumb idea.
[Other ACTORS drift onstage.]
OTHER ACTORS Yeah. It was really stupid. Pretending to practice.
r1 So what happens now?
ACTOR It’s over.
ACTORS Yeah. It was like really dumb. Don’t worry. It’s over.
r2 So what are you going to do?
ACTOR That’s it. The play’s finished.
ACTORS We discussed it at “practice.” Whatever happens is what happens.
ACTOR Well, it happened. It’s finished. Let’s kill the lights. Curtain!
r1 Now wait.
ACTOR What? You want a curtain call?
No. We can do this. I wanted a good part. Back in March. He didn’t give me one. Now I can have a really big role.
Yeah. Me too. I didn’t have time to practice, but I wanted a part.
There’s nothing to it.
Oh, yeah, easy for you to say.
You’ve all been onstage before.
I don’t want anything to do with it.
Hey, if they’re going to . . . call it off . . .
How hard can it be?
I mean, really . . .
They’re all looking at us.
Come on, what do you say?
ACTOR What? You’re going to do a play?
Yeah. It’s easy.
ACTORS What play are you going to do?
We’ll do like he does. A fairy tale. All we need is a story.
ACTORS You’re nuts. This isn’t what’s supposed to happen. You’re supposed to get tricked up here, look like fools, and sit down. It’s like a joke. You’re not really supposed to do anything.
Yeah? Well, we’re up here now. We’ll do what we want. [to audience] What do you say? Want a play?
AUDIENCE Better than going home!
See? Now all we need is a story.
Three Little Pigs? —Too dorky.
Little Red Riding Hood? —Be real.
Snow White? —Ever heard of Brick Red? We did it.
ACTOR Um . . . if you’re interested, I have a book.
“BOOK TITLE “?
A kid’s book?!
ACTOR At least I read.
Who cares? Has it been a spring play yet?
ACTOR No. He was going to adapt it this year, but . . . you know …
ALL He wasn’t inspired.
r1 Okay. We’ll do it. I’m the storyteller.
r1 Because I want a good part.
ROWDIES What about us?
r1 I’ll tell you your parts. Come on, let’s get started.
Sound familiar to some of you (former students and spring play veterans)? It probably should, although this exact beginning was never, of course, used. —Did anyone notice some real students got their first names included (which should date at least revised version of this abortive opening)?
Obviously I was losing interest by the portion todayʼs post represents. I havenʼt even assigned speakers yet for most of the lines.
In a long nutshell, though, you do see most of my favorite gimmicks and tropes: using everyone in the play—actors, crew, even the actual audience, self-references galore, mocking me…
Maybe Iʼll provide something of value tomorrow… (I hope I do.)