24 April, 2005 at 00:53 Leave a comment

Truly, Madly, Deeply
“a simple love story” by Srikant Jakilinki (the fine print)

Treatise and Purpose:
The play takes place in a regular bar. There are tables and chairs in which the audience sit. The cast also occupy the same space. In effect, there is no stage. There is a bit of symbolism and lighting effects (like at key moments, all lights come on at once giving a dreamy feel). There is some movement, mime and dancing. Other media like subtitles (as in “Annie Hall” where the true intentions are revealed) and TV/Movies are explored as well but are not necessary if we feel it is an overkill. All in all, it is a mish-mash of form and content. After coming out of the theatre, everyone should feel inspired to express their feelings for the one they love or think, they are in love. That is the purpose.
Concept:
What has always fascinated me is that we are always smarter about other people’s lives than our own and we give other people advise that we ourselves do not follow. Romance is no different. Perhaps, more smartly so. The play works at two levels. There is an underlying love current between two characters (A and P) who are not shy but just scared to take the risk of expressing their feelings since they like each other – a lot. Most of their conversation is short and vague on the verge of expression but there is a lot of hidden feelings which are depicted through their expressions and body langauge. Their fears, questions, feelings, concerns and insecurities are played out vividly through the actions and conversations of boy and girl gangs who happen to be in the bar at the same time. In other words, the love-birds S and B are A and P in proxy.
Set, Funding and Miscellany:
As mentioned before. There is no set to speak of but it should be a different experience for the audience to be a part of the going-ons and virtually share the stage with the actors. On one corner there will be a big cardboard bar desk. There is a TV playing at one end. It is a normal student bar and I think we can replicate that of any bar with a pool table and all. We can attract sponsorship from them through this and even go further to use their uniforms for the characters to give good ‘product placement’ while giving a more authentic feel to things. At the least we should get some props from them but we could easily manage and everything should be covered by the budget. The time for this play is flexible. If we plan to do two plays (default), this could be finished in 30mins but if not, I can easily expand it to one hour and the additional script is also attached.
Short Character Sketches and Crew:
M: He is the manager/cashier of the bar. Jovial, nosey guy but only with good intent.
A and P: The waiter and waitress
S and B: The romantics
R, J, E, Z: S’s and B’s supportive friends
V’s and X’s: Various Xtras and Audience Members (max. of 4)
Stage Manager: Ma (provisional)
Choreographer: (if needed – not decided – will ask Sa)
Publicity: STaG
Writer/Director: © Srikant ‘naani’ Anudeepla Kamalinee Vidyadhar Jakilinki
—-
The setting is a bar. There is the manager/cashier M just looking around to start the day. People are tickling in. Enters ‘A’ in a hurried state. He is quite a good looking guy but it is quite apparent in that he is not very rich or too bothered to dress smartly. He is a student of Aerospace Engineering and quite shy at times but normally quite friendly. He removes the jacket, hangs it over the wall behind M revealing his waiter uniform
—-
A: Hi M. You look great. Am I late?

M: Nopes sport. Right on time as always. Can you give me a hand? (signalling to help him get on his feet). Thank you. This is probably the only time I miss having legs. I just cannot go to the bathroom as quick as I wanted to but I think the more the delay, the greater the satisfaction. How are the stammering classes going on?

A: (slightly embarassed though no one hears it or seems to be bothered) Well, it is not something of a medical problem. I do it only when I am nervous. Psychological.

M: And I know when you are nervous kiddo. Here she comes. Do something today. It will probably be her last day here. She said, she got another job close home

— Enters ‘P’. A tallish girl with brownish hair (with streaks of blonde). She is a psychology student and she is also a waitress in M’s bar. She too takes out her coat but she is a bit embarassed to be in uniform. She has matching lipstick, nail polish, shoes. Is she rich or just wants to dress up to work? If so, for whom? —

P: (hanging her coat). Hi M. You look great. Am I late?

M: Yes my dear. As always, but do not bother. I know you need some preparation time. (M goes towards the exit which we understand are toilets)

P: (smiling at M) Be careful…(turning consciously towards A) Hi A. Nice to see ya again

A: (a bit nervous while shaking her hand): Y…Y…Yes. Same here…

— an awkward silence as each of them see each other, give sheepish smiles but really do not know what to talk. They clearly like each other. A lot —

P: Well… people are filling up. Will just clean up some things here

A: That would be perfection

— another awkward silence as both of them are a bit amused by this comment. At this time a bunch of guys come in. There is S, R, J – good friends. They are like normal everyday Glasgow students. The kind you would see everyday —

S: I just do not know why you guys bring me here. I do not drink and I hate smoke. Why can’t we talk while watching stars or something… Or just form a discussion group rather than fill up the coffers of Stella Artois guys? (S is the romantic/maverick)

R: Because it is the weekend and we want you to have some break. You work too hard and no matter what you say, you need some space and nothingness. (R is clearly the gel that holds the friends together. He is sweet and nice to everyone)

J: Not to mention we are in Glasgow. In Glasgow do, as Glaswegians do (he thinks he has cracked a joke and laughs. He is the Joker). Also there are no stars most of the time because of this pathetic weather

— They are talking while taking seats and removing their coats and putting them on the chairs. They settle in and start drumming on the tables making their own sounds. S says something like ‘why do you complain about the weather?’ R says ‘We cannot help’ —

R: The first round is on me. I guess it would be lager for us and water for S. Anything to eat guys? Some crisps?

S, J: Cool. That would be perfection.

— R proceeds to the desk where P and A are doing some odd jobs. M returns and is making the cash machine ready —

M: Hiya R. Howz it going? The regular 3 pints of lager and a packet of crisps with water?

R: Yes M. You look great. Is that a new haircut? Suits you (hands over the money. Since this is regular, M just puts the money in without counting)

M: Thanks. P will be with you in a moment. Hope C is still with you. Haven’t seen her in a while

R: We are still going strong. She is just busy right now with submissions. Will come later for more (R leaves nodding to P and A who respond back with a smile and thumbsup. R returns back to the table where drumming is still going on)

R: Gheez… I miss C (he proceeds to dial on his mobile)

S: Ow… come on. You just talked to her. All sugary. You know you can get diabetes

J: The many side-effects of love

R: Yes, I just called her on the way here. Strange, I miss her already (suddenly blushing) I do not know. I have never said the L-word to her. Um..with enough conviction atleast

S: Hmmm… What is love for you R?

R: As I said, I do not know. Hence I have not told her yet. Do you think I am in love?

S: Well, that is a tricky question. I think being in love is something you just feel. It is not that it starts with some action or at some particular time. And one more thing, you cannot take a questionnaire off the web and decide if you are in love or not

J: How do you know? You do not even have a girlfriend. I think you are quite friendly with K and she clearly likes you

S: Correction. I chose not to have a GF since I feel that I cannot be a good BF. It is too time-consuming and too expensive. I like a lot of people. I like Martina Hingis a lot. There is nothing more to it. Yes, I like K – she is a good friend, not “just” friends

R: I feel different about C. I do think she is much more than a GF to me now

J: A practical question from is whether if something happens to her, would you be more emotional than herself? But then, how do you measure how emotional she got? Tricky. You have to figure it out to yourself R

R: (more confused than ever and scratching his head). Thank you guys

— P comes with glasses and a jug of lager and water. She places it on the table and smiles at everyone saying hiya. She lingers her gaze on S and leaves —

J: Aaah… she also likes you. I wonder why no one likes me

R: That is not true. You have a GF in L – don’t you (J nods proudly). Discuss love? I recall S telling me of when he last fell in love. Did he tell you?

J: No he did not. The bugger. Now tell me

S: I did not fall in love R. I just felt like that would be the person I would like to fall in love with if I had a choice. I think one has no choice to fall in love. It just happens

J: (a bit restless) Hellooo…Whatever, tell me…

S: OK. Nothing much really. There was this one time when I saw the most beautiful creation… She was fair and slim with reddish black hair. She was wearing a dark blue football T-Shirt with 10-Totti on it. She was wearing corduroy kind of brown jeans. Her hair was held by a translucent brown brace and she had the most amazing little greenish eyes. She was talking to two guys who were going ga-ga over her and our eyes met. And she smiled. You know, the kind of smile that can create wars. It was like a flash went right before me. Something happened. My body froze. I wanted to go and talk to her but I was just ice cold. Man, her whole form is forged in my mind. It took me a while to come to my senses and when I did warm-up, she was gone. It was most agonizing. My heart pains whenever I think of her. I wrote poems for a couple of weeks. Is that love? Whatever it is, if I see her again, by jove, I am gonna talk to her. No matter what (pause). As R said, having a GF is not a necessary nor sufficient condition to fall in love because your GF may not transition into your true love. I think having a GF at this stage is more a matter of convenience and companionship. But if I see someone who has been created for me, I will fall truly, madly, deeply in love I suppose. It is like God puts an angel on Earth just for you. I believe in this principle but I do not think there is an easy way to know it…

B: … the point is that if I see someone who has been created for me, I will fall truly, madly, deeply in love I suppose. It is like God puts an angel on Earth just for you. I believe in this principle but I do not think there is an easy way to know it…

— Enter a group of girls. B, E, Z. They are all very pretty and pretty normal. B is the central one. We all immediately know that she is the person S was talking about now. E is sweet. Z is the sarcastic one. They do some small chatter before settling in. At this moment, B’s eyes meet that of S and the whole stage is with full color lighting and with spotlights on S and B. It is like they just see each other and no one else. It’s like something wonderful has happened suddenly and the world stopped. Romantic music plays in the background and S and B almost reach each other in slow-motion. Everyone freezes. It feels like S and B are alone in the bar and their spirits are dancing about —

R: Hellooooo… S? (lights are normal and the music is interrupted like a CD scratching)

S: Yes… she (stammer) – my words are deserting me

E: Hellooooo… B. You alright?

B: Yes… just something…

J: Who? I see a bunch of pretty girls there

S: What? There is more than one?

B: Yes… he (stammer) – my words are deserting me

Z: Who? There are a bunch of them. All non-descript to me

B: What? There is more than one?

J and Z: Of course! Are you out of your mind?

S and B: (now seeing others) Yes yes… there are a bunch of them. It is him/her

R, J, and E, Z: (almost singing and chiding) Truly, madly, deeply…

S and B: Come on. It is not like there are sparks flying between us…

— At this point, in the table between these groups, a guy comes with a heart-shaped balloon and kneels towards a girl. Everything below happens in mime with the guy saying sorry and the girl turning her back. The guy is more persuasive and puts the balloon at her face. This time, the girl takes out a pin and bursts it revealing a lot of glitter like sparks flying between S and B… The girl and this guy hug and leave. S and B both see each other again with a slightly amused expression but hide away —

— In the following scenes we cut to the boys gang to the girls gang and they are discussing the same thing in exactly the same manner. We capture this by interleaving conversation from one group to the other via the medium of spotlights. Meanwhile, A and P are picking up the glasses at these tables —

E: Whatever, so this truly, madly, deeply principle of yours. Does being in love mean being altruistic? i.e. do something without reason or expectation?

S: Do not get into religious philosophy now. I do not think altruistic is the right word for it because you expect something from every action you do – love or otherwise… You are either trying to do something to increase your love or trying to understand it’s meaning

B: I think it is more like doing anything that makes your loved one happy and you are more happier than him. Your emotions are just greater…

Z: How would you know how it is to be in love. You do not even have a BF. Novels?

B: Having a BF is not a necessary or sufficient condition to be in love. Your BF may not transition into your true love…

S: I think that of all things in life, love is something that should be done with a fiery passion. Pure blind love where there is no rational explanation of your feelings and what you do when that feeling over-rides you. It is not obsession or lust or sex…

R: Speaking of obsession, why do you keep looking at her? If you so like her why don’t you just go over there and say Hello?

B: To whom? I am not looking (sees around to see that they are all chuckling). Oh well, I am because I feel there is something special about that guy. He is kinda cute and I cannot explain what is it that draws me. Why should I say Hello? He is supposed to do that…

S: Why am I supposed to do that? Where did the women equality thing go?

— A and P return to the desk nodding their heads and almost collide —

A: Uh huh… sorry. I have some funny girls at that table. That girl in blue. She she… clearly likes the guy in the black shirt but is holding back fiercely to say Hello…

P: Funny… S is also so attracted to that very girl and is in a predicament to say Hello

A: I… I… mean. How hard is it to say “hello”? What can possibly happen? I mean if you really like someone, you should be able to express your feelings. Right? Who knows if it is your only chance or your last chance

P: Totally. I agree with you. If someone likes someone. They should say it. How hard could it be? If I liked someone, I would just go straight and tell him. Even if I was a girl. Wouldn’t you?

A: Y…Y…Yes… totally. That is the first thing I would do. I… I… I…

P: Yes?

A: I have got to put these things…stuff… t…there… (he crosses over)

— A now goes to S, R, J carrying some crisps —

A: S, sorry to bother you but I can definitely say that the girl in blue likes you….

P: (to B) I think you should say Hello…

S: Thank you A. Thanks a lot but saying Hello could be a risky thing

B: I mean – I say hello. I like him. We go for coffee and then dinner and then spend the weekend together. We get to know each other’s little things…

S: At this point, I realize that she is not what I expected. We have a dead relationship because relations are like sharks – they have to keep moving. I do not want such a thing to happen. I am fine this way to know that I was crazy about a girl once in my life. I do not want to ruin this feeling. This hurts but it feels nice…

A: What you fear is failure. But unless you do it, how will you know?

P: I mean, this may your last chance to see this guy again or you will meet someone else you like but not passionate about. Don’t you think that love is one thing to be really passionate about?

S: My friend. That is a great philosophy. Have you been in love? Or felt like it?

A: Mmmm… I do not know but if I feel it…

P: I will certainly say Hello. At the least. Sorry to bother you…

R: I think he is right. You should say Hello

S: Well, R, I think people are always smarter – sorry A

B: about other’s people’s lives than their own. For example

S: I know exactly what J should do with his life. But when I look at myself…

B: I do not have the faintest clue

E: Jesus! say Hello… what is the worst that could happen?

S: What are you guys doing here? If this were the movie Grease or a Bollywood film

B: You would be going around dancing…

— At this moment the scene changes and there is a musical setup where the friends do the first Grease number “Tell me more” (maybe we will change the lyrics a bit) —

R: Do you want us to do it? We will do it if it will make some progress

B: Forget it. I like that guy but then I always

S: see people who are so beautiful. There is so much beauty in this world

B: Like this one day, I saw this guy on the tube and…

— At this point, the TV channel changes and we see a trailer for “Indecent Proposal” wherein Robert Redford tells Demi Moore of the subway story of how he saw the most beautiful thing he has ever seen and could not say “Hello”. It was the most agonizing moment for him and that not a day passes by without him thinking about the enigma.. It is a very effective scene —

Z: I hate to admit it but I think this is another sign…

B: What sign? It is just a trailer. It is a coincidence

J: There are no coincidences

S: No coincidences? You being born itself is a happy coincindence

B: Do you know the odds of your Mom meeting your Dad and then the exact sperm breaking into an egg to create you?

S: The odds are greater than being struck by lightning forty times over

E: Yes, but what about being struck by cupid? Why can’t you treat this as a sign?

— A and P are again back at the desk carrying some empty glasses from tables, They are definitely more tense about what is happening to S and B. M is watching —

A: What losers? I told him that she likes him…

P: I told the same and asked her to say Hello… even if she is a girl. I would do that…

A: (beat) But he came about with some smart coincidence story. He is just afraid

P: No kidding, she came up with something like that too – something about lightning

A: Lightning? I can’t believe THIS. I think we should do something. I feel for them…

M: Definitely. Something like a Shakespearian plot to bring them together -eh?

A: Let us give them more time. No desperate measures required at this point

— They laugh. They seem to have broken the ice but still are uncomfortable —

R: Why is it not lust?

S: She is no Cindy Crawford

B: He is no Brad Pitt

S: What if she has a boyfriend? A girl like that would definitely be seeing someone

Z: What if he is like you? A romantic looking for that ‘magical’ moment?

R: There is only way to find out

J: Gosh! What is the worst that could happen to say Hello? You do it all the time

S: For one, my heart may be broken this time and I do not know how it feels like

B: Since I do not know what it feels like, maybe I’ll become a psychopath

S: Or I can ruin my career

J: Or become a Picasso

Z: Or a Sylvia Path. Why do you have to see the glass as half-empty

B: You do not understand

S and B: I do not see any glass. Is there a glass?

— While this is going on, A and P are on the other tables taking in everything while they go about their jobs. They meet again at the desk —

A: There is no glass? What crap! She is denying your feelings

P: What? She said that too? This is spooky. Two people…

A: obviously having so much going for them and yet afraid to say Hello. Why why why?

M: I have the same question for you two. WHY?

A and P: (slightly annoyed that M is interfering) yeah… whatever

M: (perplexed) OK, here you go and please do not give any advice to them

A: (while carrying) Why is he always so nosey and keeps telling us to do things? I mean does he know how it is to be totally wonderfully attracted to another person?

P: Do you?

A: Y…yes… I mean No no no… If I am attracted, I will say it – yes… uh… yes…

P: Me too. Me too (another awkward silence with both of them expecting)

— There is probably some mime going on here with snapshots of all people in different poses with friends convincing S and B to go talk while they keep ignoring them. A and P are drawing lines on the ground just waiting to approach each other while M is getting more and more desperate to see what is going on and unable to do anything —

S: I need some more water (he gets up and goes towards the desk)

B: (seeing this) I need some more Coke

Z: What’s wrong with this coke? (E pinches her) – Yes… this is Pepsi I guess…

S: (to M) Some more water M. I am very thirsty today

M: Nervous eh? I can see that. You should say Hello

S: Christ! Am I on stage or something? How do you know?

M: It is so very obvious S. Umm… Sorry for bothering you

S: It’s OK bud. I appreciate your concern. Know what? I will say Hello. I can do it

B: Can I have some coke please?

S: (turning back and profusely stammering and nervous) H… H… H…

B: Excuse me?

S: Sure… (and he steps out of the way. Grabs his glass of water and scurries back. B looks puzzled as if she scared him away)

S: Shakz… I am so pathetic. Am I so with everyone?

R and J: Not at all. You have a way with girls. Only this time, you seem to be outta sorts

B: (self concsious) Am I looking scary or something?

E: No… I think it is just jitters but boy… he did act like he’s seen a ghost

S and P: You know what? If she is the one for me, I think we will meet again unexpectedly. As unexpected as getting a love song after this hard-rock.

— Indeed, the next song playing on is Bryan Adams “Everything I do”. They are all quite in awe of what is happening. They look at B who is flipping channels/CD’s —

Z: I think I am going to freak out. This is unbelievable. If you are not going to take your sweet ass over there and saying hello, I am gonna take matters in my own hands

S: Chill dude. This is just another coincidence. You observe only what you want to observe. That is the selective-observation principle. Nothing more

R: Screw you mate. This is totally insane. You may just be missing the opporunity that many people would die for and you quote some old dead French guy, Descartes?

S: You know what? I did not think till now that anything is worth dying for but if someone were to take a shot at her, I would throw myself. I know it is silly but I would do it. That is how I feel right now. It is not Descartes.

B: (naughty looks from E and Z) Umm… if we are meant to be together, we will have another sign. I never believed in God till now and this is His chance to convince me otherwise. I pray that he does (she starts getting a bit down and Z and E hug her)

S: That is it guys. If I get just another chance I will have a go at it…

— some sad/expectant music? with the clock ticking and silence depicting tension —

S and B: If it is meant to be, we would have another chance

A and P: If they are meant to be, there would be another chance. Please God… (silence)

M: Someone left his/her yellow card here. Please come and collect it. It is unsigned

— S and M both of them check their purses and go there to claim the card looking a bit down and not noticing that they are about to collide. They almost collide —

B: Is it yours? I do not know if it is mine. I may have left it at home

S: Uh-huh, I do not drink and have no use. Got it for free in Freshers week this year. You can keep it

B: That is impressive that you do not drink. You can use it for buying coke. They have offers on that as well

S: Uh-huh, I have issues with capitalism as well. I mean, I do not believe in filling up the coffers of capitalists in order to quench my thirst.

B: Wow! this is complicated. Well thanks, I will keep it then (awkward silence)

— they start to walk. Slow romantic music plays in the background. They both want to say hello but just when they turn to face them, the other is looking away. R, J, E and Z are all urging them. There is a sense of desperation and expectation. A and P are looking at each other with hands to their heart while M is clenching his fist —

S: (walking a bit and seeing that B’s back is opposite) Excuse, did you call?

B: (turning back) No… why?

S: I felt you called

B: (walking a bit and seeing that S’s back is opposite) Excuse, did you call?

S: No… why?

B: I felt you called

— B is really blushed. Her face is all pink and she is quite sad. She lingers a while while facing away. When she reaches her chair, she finds S waiting for her. She is a bit taken back —

B: What the? You… how.. why?

S: I thought you’d call again and I did not want to be out of ear-shot when you did

— S and B are overwhelmed with emotions. Words are slowly starting to come across. R and J join the table and so do A and P. They are both holding their hands now. M is all ears and the lighting is colourful with spotlights on S and B. Not too bright though —

B: (in total bliss and ignorant that others are watching) BTW, we have not said hello.

S: You just said it! (sheepish smile) Hello, my name is S

B: Hello (all of the others heave a sigh of relief and start congratulating). I’m B. And why are you laughing? Wait, it is not laughing – it is a blissful smile of sorts…

S: Bliss. Thank you. The right word! Because right now, I am truly, madly and deeply in love with you. Something inside just tells me so. I am crazy. I LOVE YOU!!!

— Almost everyone is in shock. It is not that this is unexpected but so fast? —

B: Great (shocked and blushing)- excuse? This is rude & not a very good pick up line

S: I did not intend it to be a pick-up line. I just thought I have to tell you how I feel right now because if I don’t, I will never be able to. I do not know anything about you and I do not even know if you have a BF. This makes it harder for me. How can I say such a thing to a person I have just met – but I just feel it and it felt like the right thing to do

— S catches her and switches places to stand in her position —

S: Yes. I am in your position now and it appears rude. (laughs to break the tension)

B: That is so sweet. In fact, I also have a funny feeling for you right now. I do not know what it is but isn’t this a bit too early to say that you love me?

S: For all I know, I might have one shot at saying this and no more. I want to make it count. What is so early about it? Shall I say this after 2 minutes? 2 hours? 2 days? 2 weeks? 2 months? 2 years? When does it start making more sense? Let me put it this way. Does it make more sense if I ask you for coffee first, then dinner, then a weekend going around some museums all in a bid to get to know each other well and then say that we love each other. I wonder if we do all that we will still like each other. Capitalism apart, I believe in Carpe-Diam. I never had a GF before but when I saw you, it just made my heart flutter. It skipped a beat. I know I am not perfect. And let me spare you the suspense. You are not perfect either. I am horrible sometimes. And I think there would be some things about you that I would not like either. In fact, after all this, you may not even like me. But I am sure that the feeling I have for you right now – call it love or whatever – will never die in me. It is genuine. To deny one’s feelings is to deny the very thing that makes us human. Is time important?

B: I guess not but do you think…

S: I am sorry I cannot think right now. I currently feel the reaction in my brain which is masking my rational thinking. I know many girls a lot more attractive than you but I just have never felt the way I am feeling for you. Ever since I saw you, I have had the most agonizing time and even after saying all this, it still hurts. It is like God has put an angel in you just for me and I think I just know that it is you and no-one else.

B: (apalled at the repeatition) But what if I do not feel the same way about you?

S: I do not care to know that. I wanted to say how I felt and anything can happen now. You may break my heart. You may say that you are married or treat me as a psycho and call the police. I just do not care about the consequences but just one thing…

B: (and all others) What is that?

S: Just tell me – Are you seeing that the world is a far more wonderful place than it was before or not? I really want to know how you feel… please be true

B: (excited) Yes! The whole world for me appears more colourful and joyful than ever… The truth of the matter is that I feel that I am truly, madly, deeply in love with you. I think of all things in life, love is something that one has to be truly passionate about…

S: (apalled at the repeatition) I just cannot believe that you said that… I think…

B: I think you think too much. Do not think (and kisses passionately)

— There is a loud applause from all the other characters. The girls are in tears. S picks B up and all the while kissing, takes her and exits in old Hollywood style. An old melody plays. What will happen I do not know but it will definitely not result in a bed-crash —

— A and P are witnessing and hearing every word of this. They move closer without each other knowing and are hugging each other. Realizing this, A jump-starts —

A: Uh huh… S…s…sorry. I do not know what came over me. Isn’t that sweet? I mean if someone loves someone or atleast likes someone, they should say it. That is it. Yes. Well, I – I … I – I … gotto work. Sorry again.

P: (sorry and happy about the hug) I do not know what came over me. Y…y…yes…I think one should really say it if they have feelings for others. It is a risk worth taking… I… I…I gotto work too…

M – (just nodding his head in resignation) Losers

— the end —


EPILOGUE:

I have a preference for short shock endings like the one above since it hurries people to realise what could happen if they do not do the right thing in the right time. But actually, there could be a couple of different ways in which the play could end. One is to end it on a “losers” note for A and P as above. Though this is simple, there is a lot of complexity hidden. A and P are actually the audience. We all have seen many romantic movies and we have wept at a bunch of them but how many of us have expressed our love after the movie? We can comment on the film or the characters but what we want the characters (S and B) to do, we just do not seem to do it ourselves. Sermonizing apart, we could make the ending a bit more imaginative by 3 options – each at different levels of complexity. Maybe, we can try each ending on different nights/shows…
Audience Approach: When A and P are still afraid to take the first step, M and a person in the audience (an actor) steps in and try to pursue further of what is it that is stopping A and P from saying ‘Hello’ after all this. Each of them say that ‘ Saying Hello is like taking control out of your hands’. M and the audience finally persuade them to talk to each other but then each of them puts a condition. P says that she will be here for 3 more minutes and in the meanwhile if A looks and smiles at her, she will go talk to him. So, M and the audience ally the fears of A and then A puts the condition that he would count to 10 and if she is still here, then he would go talk to her. Will they talk? That depends on what we want to say but my preference is that they miss by a couple of seconds. The script is attached…
Sub-Title Approach: Remember that there could be sub-titles everytime A and P talk. How these would take place is there would be a couple of guys in black who carry boards with titles written on them and show it to the audience. For example as in, when P says “Hi A. Nice to see ya”, the sub-title would read “Wow! Here I meet him again. I hope my hair is alright. He is looking good as always”. The guy carrying this title would go from one part of the stage to the other. Ok, we get the idea. At the end, there is a lot of sub-titles going on with A and P stammering to put across their feelings. One sub-title holder has enough. He yawns, goes to A, writes something on the board like “Well! I love you and all I want to do right now is kiss you as passionately as I can”. The other sub-title holder for P, goes to her and scribbles “That is exactly what I want to do”. And they kiss. This is a funny ending and I do not know how the audience will take it. Is it too cheesy? Maybe creative is a good word to hide the absolute maverickity of this approach? Worth a try. We are student theatre and can get away with it perhaps…
Letter Approach: At the end after A and P stammer to each other and go about their jobs, M gives an advise to A to write down his feelings on paper. A tells him that his fear is because he does not know how P feels about him. He is so scared because he had a bad experience with an earlier crush which almost devastated him. M shows sympathy and after much persuasion convinces A to write the letter. A tries his best to give her the letter but just cannot much to M’s dismay and after some comical gaps, a chance collision with P results and the letter drops. He tries giving it to P but P insists that this letter is not hers and gives it back. Disappointed, he drops the letter in the garbage and goes to M with a sad face. Meanwhile P leaves with another sad face. But A happens to check his pockets while picking up his jacket and he finds a letter. The letter in his pocket is actually his. With a howl of “Wow!” he goes to the garbage can to find the letter desperately but realising the futility of the exercise just runs out to get her. What will happen we will never know. Simple cheerful optimistic ending which will probably explain why A and P are scared. They just do not want to get scarred a second time around and which also explains M’s role..
—-
Audience Ending: (There is an audience member involved – We call him ‘V’)

M: Losers

V: (walking up to M) Wait a minute M. We cannot give it up so easily

M: What do you mean?

V: I mean we should try to get the love-birds together. I guess everyone here agrees. Yes?

— she addresses the question to the audience. The audience would still be in a shock but then we should hear a few murmurs and see little nods —

V: I mean, I think that everyone of us has been in that situation before where we just could not take the next step. It hurts and it is agonizing and so, I say that we talk to A and P and tell them to do the right thing

M: What do you suggest?

V: Talk to them. Simple as that

— At this point P stops by for filling some drinks —

M: P, why are you still afraid?

P: Of what? What are you talking about?

V: You think he is cute. You just saw that anything can happen. What is stopping you?

P: What? Excuse me, who are you and why are you so nosey?

V: I am the audience and do not want to remain as such when I can talk some sense into you and just make you do the right thing. I was in Robert Redford’s position once

P: Owww… I never said that he is cute. But he is better looking than I am

M: Everyone is. Come on, I will break the ice between you two. You’ll be fine

V: But you still have to say Hello

P: That is the difficult part

M,V: Why? What could happen?

P: I do not know. I say Hello. We like each other. We get together. Then we realize that we love each other and then our lives revolve around each other. It is like taking control out of your hands and putting it in someone else’s

M: I never thought that being in love was so scary

P: I do not know. Maybe I will like it. Say what, I will give A 3 minutes. In between if he ever looks at me and smiles, I will come talk to him. Customers are waiting

— she leaves. M and V look at each other. It is a challenge. V goes and fetches A —

V: (catching A by his shoulder) I want you to come with me

A: Who are you? Wait… what is this? I am not interested in you… M? What’s happening

M: Two hearts are better than one lonely heart

A: What are you talking about?

V: As everyone here knows we are talking about you and P

A: What is this? A conspiracy?

V: No. Just telling you what you should do

A: And you guys can tell what is good for me?

V: Say, that is true. I can look at you and tell exactly what is it that you should be doing but when I look at myself, I don’t have a fucking clue. Why is that? Anyway, that is beyond the point. You should say Hello.What is stopping you?

A: For one, she is better looking than I am

M: Everyone is

A: Yeah… and saying Hello is like taking the control of your life out of my hands

V: Unbelievable. Uncanny

A: What?

M: She said the exact same things to us

A: (blushing) Really?

M, V : Yes

A: This is so very freakish but I think…

V: You guys think way too much. Just listen

A: But it is good to think. Sometimes I like to think what I am listening to

M: No. When you think, you begin to doubt

V: Too much room for error

A: But what if it is wrong?

M: What’s wrong in being wrong. There is risk everywhere. I just walked out of the door and got hit by a truck. Who could have imagined that and everyday I regret for not having used my legs a lot more before when I could. Like have a walk or football. But, the point is that you do not know what can happen the next second. No matter how much you think and every adventure starts with a small first step

V: Sometimes being instinctive is good. People made billions and importantly found love by following their instincts. You just saw it minutes ago!

A: But what makes you so sure that it will work out alright?

M,V: Based on my gut

A: You are not betting, are you?

V: Do you want to bet? I bet that you can make it. Would you bet against yourself?

A: (stammering) I just am not that kind of guy. What if our conversation stalls? It has happened a lot of times before. I just do not want to bother anyone. Ever

M: Just say Hello

V: And life is very short and then we are all dead. Do you want to take responsibility for yourself that you had a great chance and blew it just because you couldn’t say Hello?

— Awkward pause with clock ticks. Meanwhile we realize that P is getting ready to leave as her shift is over. She is looking expectadly at A but this guy is just thinking. The frame freezes with M placing his hand on A’s shoulder and almost giving up and V pulling out her hair and kicking her feet not knowing what else will convince A —

A: Say what? I will do it. I will count to 10 and turn around. If she is there, I will just go there, say Hello and worse, I will say that I love her like I have loved no one else. I will just say what S said and more

M,V: Finally. Start counting. Quick

A: I am nervous OK. 1, 2, 3…

— We can now see that time is quickly running out. P puts on her coat and is saying goodbye to M and V. They are just helpless but are sincere to themselves —

A: 9, 10.

— He turns around but we see that P has already left at the count of 8 —

M: Way to go smarty-pants

V: Well, atleast you tried…

A: But, whe wher where did she go?

— the end —

POSTSCRIPT:
I have to confess that this script has been put together a bit hurriedly. And this is one of my earliest scripts translated to be more Western. Though the intent and punches and magic is all there, the length is awkward. I like short plays but then there is so much that can be added to develop the characters, build up the tension and stuff. Like make the characters more contrasting (S, B vs. A, P). Maybe, my limited literature and writing background can be helped by a STAG member? Or maybe, J could be a girl which shows that S has no problems with girls in general. Then there could be more Seinfeldisque conversations between the groups (M, A, P vs. S, R, J vs. B, E, Z) just to develop the characters more and to make the play more entertaining (see below). The play could go on a lot longer with more people coming in and out of the bar triggering different conversations and moments between the characters. All in all, I think the transition to stage will be quite nice with lighting, music and exploring other media playing a key role in enhancing the creative credentials of STAG. As mentioned before, the play will be for 30-35minutes but it could be made into a more acceptable length for studio/theatre slot very easily. Thanks for reading.
—-
More Script (for expansion and smart-takes):

S: (a nice girl passes by, S stares and explains when R and J look) She is uh… nice

J: Go get a GF S. I can fix you up with someone

S: Oh thanks. I am fine alone. I am gonna be a doctor. Would you come to me if you knew that I had a GF in college?

J: Most doctors have GF’s in college but I would prefer those who didn’t. Good point

S: But, she has like nice eyes

J: I thought you were a leg-man

S: What? I never look beyond the neck

R: That is true. The other day I was trying to show him a woman with the perfect boobs, he was searching for them

J: They can never be perfect. If they are, they are artificial

R: No they are not

J: Oh yes they are. Nothing’s perfect. It is just that I know it when I see them. It is like you bragging about the fact that you can pick lesbian women. Except that I am more instinctive. A study proved it. Women have more intuition. Some 80% thing…

R: I do not brag. I just have the keen sense. Like women with cats. They are sad. A study proved that too (same woman passes again – R points his finger). I guess I am in the other 20% as always. An exception. An anamoly. A mutant

J: Oh, shut up (at this point a beautiful girl passes by, S stares)

S: (J starts to stare at S) What are you staring at? Stop it. It is uncomfortable

J: Just returning your courtesy. Now you know what it feels like when you stare

S: I did not know it could be so disconcerting. Stop it. But women like being stared at. That is what women want! Anyway, a thing of beauty is a joy forever

J: No they dont. They like ummm… being admired

S: Thin line! If you do not like being stared, why do you dress-up?

J: It is just a social thing. Naah… (giggling at an audience) I think you’re right. We like being stared. Why do you dress up?

S: Is this what you call dress up? If the contents are bad, the package cannot save it

J: I guess that is true but women like well-dressed men

S: Whatever. I know what other things women want. They like lies and mixed signals. Women are so subtle. Men are so obvious. We need women. We honk horns. We make noises. That is about the best we have come up with to get attention

J: (laughing) So, are there any mixed-signals at all?

S: Men need women. Men like women. Men want women. Those are the mixed-signals

J: Really? Men are so shallow? Or… hollow?

S: No they are not… uh, we merely judge women based on their looks. Do you expect that men can see the “inner beauty” or something?

J: No, but we judge men based on what they see. If they see anything beyond the waist, they are out of the game. Rest of it is fine

S: What about men who see just the eyes?

J: They are decent. And decency does not take you anywhere. No future

S: Hmmm… so women like lies? R told me this. The NO principle. I think it works. Honey, do I look fat? NO. Honey, do I look bad? NO… I guess lies work with women

J: No they dont

S: Oh Yes! They do…

J: Just, who is the woman here? Do I have to play my boob-card again

S: Anyway, you look great tonight. Expecting company?

J: (setting her hair) Why? Thank you

S: See… (thumbsup to R). So R, did you tell C that you love her? And no, I am NOT talking about the messages left on the answering machine

R: (unsure of himself) Ummm… that is where I am with saying that

J: What is that smell?

S: It is my new after-shave lotion.

J: Hellooo…But you shaved like two days ago. But I thought you took a bath for a change

S: So? It still is a legitimate use of the product! It is “after-shave”

J: This is odd. That you put an after-shave lotion two days later

S: What is? Look, the point is to put it after a shave. If they intended it otherwise as the way you think, they would have said “10 seconds later” after-shave lotion. Amen.

J: It is a good fortune of girls that none is your GF

S: I know. But how did all girls on earth know that? I presume you’ll drink to that

J, R: Uh… I forgot. Yes, I’ll drink to that

— While S is checking out the hot girl, B becomes jealous and there is a green light over B —

Z: Jealousy is the thermometer for love. And it is boiling point now

B: (blushes) I am not jealous

Z: Oh yes you are. Or the stage manager got it wrong. Why is the light green then?

B: Technical glitch I guess

SM: Nopes. You are jealous. I have the script right here.

B: Maybe I am. Can we stop this cheesy crew-involvment for now? (green light goes off)

(monologues? with a film playing on TV?)

S: See everyone around you? I think everyone of them have their own notion of love. It is just not a word. It is a feeling. I think not everyone knows it. Most are not passionate of the one thing that we should be passionate about. They just live out their lives without ever being truly, madly, deeply in love. What is any life without a dream and a passion? The truth is that they might have felt so passionate about someone at some stage in life but just did not have the courage to express it for whatever reason. I just do not want that to happen to me. Yet, when I see her and want to express my feelings, my body does not make it easy. My tounge dries up, the words stop flowing. It is like the brain is stopping me to be in love because it knows it is the worst thing that could happen to it. To be in love is to give away all reason and let passion and instinct gain the upper hand. I do not think the brain likes to be subdued that way…

B: I think it is never too young or old to be in love. Lightning can strike anytime. The point is that we as human beings are raised to be in love even as children. We are raised to love our parents. Love is a good thing that is why the world still exists. Why is it so hard to understand that we can fall in love with a girl in high school. I do not know if I fell in love in high-school or had crushes? Maybe I did. Everyone does. We fall in love all the time I suppose. The only thing is that I did not know it what it feels like but this time I know it. I do not know what this feeling is called. Crush, infatuation, lust or whatever but I never felt such a thing before. It is just different. It is forceful. It is agonizing like I am going to lose something if he or me walks out of that door without having a chance to know what is in store for us both.

— and so on and so forth —

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