Creative Control

Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist

Gone in 60 Seconds.

For those curious, below are the three one-minute plays that I wrote for the first Chicago One-Minute Play Festival this past Sunday and Monday at Victory Gardens Theater as part of their Fresh Squeezed initiative. Dubious, The Pebble, and Lucille and Lefty Meet Their Maker were directed by Megan Carney, Brant Russell and Kathryn Walsh, and Erica Weiss, respectively.

* * * *

Dubious

Characters
The GENERAL
The COLONEL
The MAJOR
The REBEL

A room in the basement of the palace. THE GENERAL lies dead on his side on the floor, a knife in his chest. THE COLONEL and THE MAJOR run in, frantically.

COLONEL
General! General! They are inside the palace! They are…

They spot the body. THE MAJOR reaches down, pulls the knife from THE GENERAL’S chest and shakes his head. THE COLONEL collapses into a chair.

COLONEL
Finished, then. Eighteen years. Eighteen years and still it ends this way, my friend.

MAJOR
Colonel, sir.

COLONEL
Not the way we’d hoped but the way we’d expected.

MAJOR
Colonel, what do we do now?

COLONEL
We do what all men do in these moments, Major. We wait, we surrender. We tell our side of the story.

MAJOR
Yes, sir.

COLONEL
I suppose that I am now leader. Yes. The shortest reign of any leader this nation has had. There is an achievement in that, hm? Such a man is remembered even as is the man who ruled longest. (To the body of THE GENERAL.) Your final gift to me, my friend? Perhaps it is? (To THE MAJOR.) Would you agree, Major? Such a man will be remembered?

MAJOR
I would, sir.

THE MAJOR slits THE COLONEL’S throat. THE COLONEL collapses and dies. THE MAJOR drops the knife. THE REBEL bursts in, carrying a firearm. He or she trains it on THE MAJOR.

REBEL
(calling off)
Here! He is here! I have found him! (To THE MAJOR.) On your knees! Who are you?

MAJOR
(calmly falling to his knees)
I am the Major. I am the leader of this pitiful country.

REBEL
Leader, eh? Then it is the shortest reign of any leader this nation has ever had.

MAJOR
Yes. Yes I know.

End of Play

* * *

The Pebble

Characters
MADISON
WOODROW

MADISON and WOODROW sit in formal wear next to each other, as if at the end of a three-year anniversary date. WOODROW is nervous and turned away from her. MADISON speaks in soliloquy to WOODROW — although she is earnest and he is her audience, WOODROW cannot hear her.

MADISON
It was me who fed you the peanut in second grade. You’ll never know. But it was me who noticed the way you would tear the corner off your dark brown bag of M&Ms and pour a tiny rockslide directly into your mouth, not even stopping to admire the artificial coloring, and it was me who slipped the orange nugget from the yellow bag into yours. (Beat.) It is unusual, and probably terrifying, for a child of eight to know what I knew: after the panic and the epi-pen, when your throat relaxed, when your eyes opened again and met mine, when you felt my hand tightly pressed against yours, that you would be mine for the rest of your life. You wouldn’t know it then. You would maybe have felt it rolling at you from a distance, heard echoes of rumbles of whispers of shadows. You would maybe wake up at night looking for a face you could barely remember. You would be unsatisfied with every relationship you had and would disconnect from them urgently, brutally, because no matter how she made your heart skip a beat she hadn’t been there when your heart nearly stopped beating. And when at last I let you find me again I already know where we’re going.

WOODROW turns to her, pulling a small ring box from his pocket and opening it towards her. He does not go to one knee, but the gesture remains genuine. They speak to each other.

WOODROW
Would you?

MADISON
Of course I would.

WOODROW
It’s not much…

MADISON
It never seems that way at first.

End of Play

* * *

Lucille and Lefty Meet Their Maker

Characters
LUCILLE
LEFTY

1956, a sweltering hut in the South American rain forest. LUCILLE and LEFTY lie on blankets on the floor, apart from each other, covered with another blanket apiece and with wet terrycloth on their foreheads. They both sit up, slightly. They are dressed smartly, but bedraggled. The dialogue has the pace of a screwball comedy.

LUCILLE
I shoulda never listened to you.

LEFTY
Probly not.

LUCILLE
What did I say? What did I say back in Phoenix?

LEFTY
You said Lefty, this is a…

LUCILLE
I said Lefty, this is a dumb idea. Lucille and Lefty Meet Frankenstein, I said.

LEFTY
Been done.

LUCILLE
Lucille and Lefty Meet The Mummy.

LEFTY
Done.

LUCILLE
Lucille and Lefty Meet—

LEFTY
Done, goddammit, Lucille.

LUCILLE
No, instead it’s Lucille and Lefty Meet The Amazon Pygmies. And we coulda done a sound stage, you great goof, but you say “Let’s go to Brazil!”

LEFTY
I wanted to take you to Brazil!

LUCILLE
So we could catch malaria and die?

LEFTY
We ain’t dying, Lucille.

LUCILLE
The hell we’re not!

LEFTY
We ain’t dying, Lucille. Didn’t you hear the doc? One of us is already dead. The other’s pullin’ through.

LUCILLE
What? What’s that mean? Like this is some kinda crazy malaria dream, izzat it?

LEFTY
You never listen, Lucille. You just never listen.

LUCILLE
(after a brief moment)
Whose dream is this?

LEFTY
Sh.

LUCILLE
Lefty. Whose dream—?

LEFTY
Sh. Lie down.

They both lie back, tentatively.

LEFTY
Woulda been a great picture, Lucille. Put us right back on top.

Silence. After a moment, one of them pops awake. The other remains perfectly still. The survivor looks over at the other and quietly calls their name.

If LEFTY survives he calls her “Lucy.” If LUCILLE survives she calls him “Paul.”

End of Play

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3 comments on “Gone in 60 Seconds.

  1. Pingback: Gone in 60 Seconds, Part II. | creativecontrol2

  2. Pingback: Gone in 60 Seconds, Part III. | creativecontrol2

  3. Pingback: Gone in 60 Seconds (2014). | Creative Control

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This entry was posted on May 18, 2011 by in Playlets, Theatre, Writing.
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