One Act Play

Jay Crisostomo IV



Stage Manager







(Rustle and bustle of before curtain’s rise. Hammers pounding. Saws screeching. People shouting for costumes and props, “My hat! My letter! My tits are falling off my bodice gown! I DO NOT UNDERSTAND! WHY THE HELL ARE WE DOING THIS?!” People shout in communal consternation.  It is the premiere night of MANOS, a presumed play of Shakespearean proportions. But as the play is written, produced, performed and directed by a company of idiots nothing is, of course, ready.)

(Since the lights are not yet ready. The majority of this play might well be performed with “working lights” or maybe fluorescents. If the directors choses a period he might as well chose to do the play with candles, but that is entirely anachronistic.)

(The stagehand crosses the calamity. In his hands are par lamps. Both hands seem to carry more than they can.)

Stagehand:         The lights! The lights! I’ll set them up, make them work, by myself. It is I in fact who does all the work by myself. Why bother the Director who sleeps with the Actress or the Stage Manager who fantasizes about the Actor. The Technical Man is of course drunk once again, perhaps by the left wing, peeping at chorus girl fannies, sniffing for meat to go with his drink. And, I am sure there is no money for help since the Manager is a dolt, a fool, and buffoon, words, I know mean quite the same thing, but must be used thrice since the Manager is more dolt than fool, and more foolish than buffoon. Oh no! (Checks his time, realizes he does not have a watch) What time is it? Time check!

(A chorus of angry voices answer him.)

Thirty before rise. Get back to work you idiot!

Stagehand:         Yes! Oh yes! The lights! The lights! The Stagehand will save the day! Singlehandedly!

(He tries to exits but is stopped. Enter the Actor, the Stage Manager, and the Director. Music and time slow down much like in dance: The Actor does exercises which makes him look oafish, something perhaps to the tune of Boggart or Brooks. The Stage Manager follows in full admiration, Ooh-ing and Aah-ing as she goes. And then, in slow steady measured, yet in all sense of the word, pretentious steps does the director make the tail of this awkward parade.)

Director:              (Commanding like a platoon) Stop! Back step!

(The Actor proceeds to follow, much like a sheepish private.)

Director:              The stage, free the stage!

Stagehand:         (From the wings) But the lights have not yet been set up.

Carpenters:        The stage is not yet finished.

Stagehand:         The costumes are not yet ready! And the props are not yet done.

Director:              Never mind. Never mind. Costumes, props, set, lights? Bah! The theatre is composed of people. People, you hear me! There is a time and place for everything. And as of now, the time is directing and the place is the stage.

Stagehand:         But.

Director:              No buts. Just art!

Stagehand:         Oh what the hell. Do the play in darkness. What do I care! (Drops the pars, exits) I’m only a hand anyway.

Director:              You go too. (Carpenters exit) Ah now good. (To the Actor) Speak to me the words that must die!

Actor:                    (In the gleam of fluorescent lights, overly dramatic, a gesture almost  to his every word) I look against the mirror wall, and there I see a me who is not me, but looks, and feels, and smells, and moves like me. Strange, it is, their expressions are much the same, all sad and meandering, lost in a giant hall of mirrors. Behind him another, and yet another, and behind that yet another is an infinite host of others. But they are all me. Broken, meaningless, going in circles. Lost… (Pauses for dramatic effect.)

(The Stage Manager claps as slutty fan girl, a legs-wide-apart  cheerleader, a fuck-the-whole-band roadie would. But unlike all these she is fat and ugly more cow than fan girl, cheerleader or roadie.)

Director:              Horrible. Detestable.

Stage Manager:                                What? No sir. I amsure that was great! An Oscar, a Globe! Laurels and accolades!

Actor:                    Why thank you Marie.

Stage Manager:                                Marie? But my name is not Marie.

Actor:                    You’re not Marie?

Stage Manager:                                No. I am not. My name is not Marie.

Actor:                    But to me, you are Marie. All Stage Managers are named Marie.

Stage Manager:                                My name is not Marie!

Director:              Shut up Marie! Now before I was so rudely cut. Cut because I still had a line and then you jabbered on.

Actor:                    We know what cut means. We also work in the theatre.

Director:              That’s not work. That was, as I said, horrible, detestable.

Stage Manager:                                What? No sir. I am sure that was great! An Oscar, a Globe! Laurels and accolades!

Actor:                    Why thank you Marie.

Stage Manager:                                Marie? But my name is not Marie!

Director:              Okay, okay, we already have been through that.

Actor:                    Then let’s skip to the end. Why did you say my performance was, as you said, horrible, detestable?

Director:              You dare ask questions? You are a hand! A doer not a thinker.

Actor:                    Then you have no answer?

Director:              You have no right to ask.

Actor:                    Maybe because you have no answer.

Director:              O I do. Of course I do.

Actor:                    (Obviously sarcastic) Well then, rain your genius on my dry thirsty earth.

Director:              (Obviously doesn’t get the sarcasm) Well then, if you must know, your performance was meaningless. It had no umph, no life. You were apt to call yourself dry and thirsty earth. It is important that we know our places in the theatre.

Actor:                    Then what should I do? Tell me great leader.

Director:              Jump.

Actor:                    What?

Director:              You heard me. I told you to jump.

Actor:                    What?

Director:              (Throws a chair near the Actor’s proximity) Jump! And don’t stop until I tell you too!

(The actor proceeds to jump like a manic jack rabbit.)

Director:              Speak to me the words that must die.

Actor:                    (With difficulty of breath) What?

Director:              Say your lines! Godamit.

Actor:                    My lines! My lines! What’s my line?!

Stage Manager:                                What?

Director:              Give him his lines.

Stage Manager:                                Ohh. Ohh. Wait. I seem to have lost the page. Wait. A second. Please. A second.

Director:              Never mind. Say G.

Actor:                    What?

Director:              Say. G. G. The letter G. Do not exasperate me further by just being a pretty face.

Stage Manager:                                And what a face.

Director:              G!

Actor:                    G! G! G! (He continues G, G, G-ing)

Director:              All letters are G! All words are the letter G. All words must die when exhaled. Die in the speaker, transfigure into meaning when heard and understood. This is what I mean when I say act. Do not love your words. Your words are just words, symbols. What is important, vital, quintessential in the theatre is the word’s transfiguration into meaning.

(The Actor falls into his face into exhaustion. No one notices this because they are stuck with their own business. He heaves and hos.)

Director:              (Goes on with his lecture) This is the same with lights, and sounds, and costumes and props. They are nothing with-in themselves .They are just signifiers, empty, until made sense by the artist’s fingers, by my hand,  and perceived by a willing audience.

These artifices are lesser though in gravity compared to the actor. The actor is the theatre’s prime mover so he must be the first to willingly die as a symbol to transfigure into meaning.

In the stage everything dies. Nothing stays put unlike in TV or film. The theatre is alive.

Stage Manager:                                (Finally finds the line, she says the line with amazing speed) I found it! (Proceeds to read) And I look at them and pity them. I want to help them. I want to save them. I bang my hands into the mirror wall. Break! Break! Goddamn you! Break! I will save that orphaned child on the other side. That catatonic ballerina. That deaf-mute mother.  That actor!  I will save that sad sad man shown over and over in a myriad of shapes and sizes but all the same miserable and horrible. Detestable!

(Silence. Interrupted only by the actor’s heavy breathing.)

(The Stage Manager notices the Actor on the floor. She hurries to pick him up.)

Director:              Oh well. Maybe the scene would be better with lights. (Exits) Lights!

Stage Manager:                                What a horrible detestable man!

Actor:                    I don’t know. Maybe he’s just doing his job.

(Silence. The Stage Manager notices that they are alone.)

Stage Manager:                                (Nervous, perhaps in a stutter) Hey. Now that we’re alone. I’ve always wanted to say. You know. I mean. That. Well. I’m sure you’ve noticed. (Turns her back, embarrassed)

Actor:                    Marie. I need a water break. Five minutes please. (Exits) Costumes, costume mistress take me off this ridiculous thing.

Stage Manager:                                (With closed eyes, again in nervousness but coupled with the energy and determination of honesty) I love you. There I’ve said it. I always have. I watched you from the wings do your Romeo and all I wanted to be was your Juliet. To watch you be Oedipus was to want to be the dagger that kisses the soft of your eyelids. I dreamed nothing more in the daily horridness of this job but to hold you in my arms. I know I am fat. I know I am fat and ugly. I mean I am like a cow compared to you, my Adonis. Listen. Moo. Moo. But dare I say it. Even cows can love. Kiss me.

(With no one to reply or to receive her kisses, she opens her eyes to realize that she is alone, dare I say it? That she has always been and will forever will be alone.)

Stage Manager: (Self-pitying) Yes… Yes… Cows can never play Juliet. (Smiles)  Moo. Moo.

(In a rush the Stagehand enters. The poor Stage Manager is not even left a second for herself.)

 Stagehand:        Now he says he wants lights! No lights! Yes lights! How the hell am I to understand, what that idiot wants! Time check! Time check, Marie!

Stage Manager:                                What?

Stagehand:         Time check! Can’t you hear me you cow?

Stage Manager:                                (Dazed) Oh. Yes. Yes. Twenty to curtain’s rise.

Stagehand:         My God! Then don’t just stand there! Fix some props. I don’t know. Do SM stuff. (Exits) Lights! For the love of God! Now he wants lights! Here I come to save the day.

(The Director enters.)

Director:              Marie! We are working with idiots. They do not understand the simple value of lighting in a production. That stagehand of yours has a mouth on him. Make sure there are lights. Are you listening to me, Marie.

Stage Manager:                                (Still dazed) Yes. Lights. Got it.

Director:              And look at this mess! Look at all this shit. Call the carpenters! Finish the set. Marie!

Stage Manager:                                (Yes, still dazed) Yes. Yes. The set.

Director:              Ugh. If you want something done. You have to do it yourself. Children, I’m working with a pack of bratty children. (Exits) You lazy bums. You finish the set or I cut off your head!

(Carpenters rush in.)

Carpenter 1:       Come on. Time to work.

Carpeneter2:     No set. Yes set. I do not understand these people!

Carpenter1:        They’re theatre folk. We’re not meant to understand them.

Carpenter2:        Once I get paid. I’m out of here.

(They continue pounding hammers and sawing saws. The following will occur within the din of construction.)

Stage Manager:                                Yes. Yes. The set. The lights. The costumes. The props. The actors. Moo. Moo. I’m a cow! (Breaks down)

(The Actor enters.)

Actor:                    Marie! Marie! What do I do! I don’t know what to do?

Stage Manager:                                Moo?

Actor:                    Marie, snap out of it!

Stage Manager:                                (Realizes it’s the Actor who’s talking to her)  You! I hate you! Every fibre of my being detests you in and your beauty! Someone lend me a hammer and I will bash your skull in!

Carpenter1:        Dramatic!

Carpenter2:        They’re meant to be like that. They’ll forget all about the hammer bashing business in a second. Just wait in see!

Actor:                    What the hell are you talking about? Marie my lines! I have forgotten my lines. I’ve fucking forgotten them all. That stupid Director and his jumping made me forget my lines. “The mirror-wall. Break.” See? I’ve forgotten what comes next.

Stage Manager:                What? You’ve forgotten all of your lines! Here’s the script. Go to. Memorize!

Carpenter1:        Would you look at that.

Carpenter2:        They’re like goldfish. Their problems only last until a new one comes along.

Actor:                    I can’t!

Stage Manager:                                Well… I don’t know. Just make it up! It’s a senseless play after all.

Actor:                    Make it up? Marie! I can’t do that! I’m an actor. Not a writer! I’m nothing without a script.

Stage Manager:                                Then I don’t know! I really don’t fucking know anything!

Carpenter1:        No one looks like they know what they’re doing.

Carpenter2:        Shhh! If they heard you, we’d be out of a job.

(The Stage Manager’s cell phone rings.)

Actor:                    (Pleading, whiny) Marie!

(She answers it. She pauses here and there to hear the other person speak.)

Stage Manager:                Yes. Hello! Where are you? We’re about to open… What? Where the hell are you?… A car accident? …. Your vagina? … A dog? … Rape?… Not in costume! You come right here this instant. We’re opening soon!

Actor:                    Marie, for the love of God help me!

Stage Manager:                                Listen you here, you pretty-boy wannabe. You arrogant complacent actor. You monumental oaf of a man who is deaf to the pleading heart of a sweet young innocent maiden. You have your responsibilities, I have mine. I solve my problems, you solve yours. Go your way. I go mine.

Carpenter1:        What the fuck.

Carpenter2:        Put down your head, and do your job. You don’t want to catch what psychosis they have do you?

Carpenter1:        How the hell do they get anything done around here.

Carpenter2:        Shh! Here comes the director.

(The Director enters.)

Director:              Chop! Chop! I just got off the phone with the producer. We’re expecting some big ones. People from the Magazines. The Sponsorship Fund. Everyone in the know will now know what a shit company this is if we don’t shape up. Come on!

Stage Manager:                Sir. Sir, the actress just called. She. She’s been in a car accident involving her vagina, a dog, and rape. And the worst thing is she’s not yet in costume.

Director:              What! You tell her to be here in five minutes or I’ll make sure she never even gets casted into a musical!

Stage Manager:                                Yes sir. (Exits) Moo.

Director:              We’re breaking at the seams! Marie get me some coffee!

Stage Manager:                (From the wings)  Moo!

Actor:    (Rather bashfully) Sir,
excuse me.

Director:              What is it now?

Actor:                    I… I…  seem to have forgotten all my lines.

Director:              What! You imbecile. You ignoramus. You! (Advances) If you fuck this up for me, I’ll strangle you, cut off your head, piss on it, bury it, dig it up, bash it into pieces, put it together, and rape your eye sockets.

Actor:                    It was your jumping you see! You made me jump then I forgot my lines.

Director:              How dare you! How dare you! I share with you my genius and you piss it all away. If you fuck this up…

Actor:                    You’re a director! Direct me! Tell me what to do! Stop being a pompous bitch and do your  mother fucking job  job!

Director:              (With a pose and a British accent) Well, I never.

(Hammering continues.)

Director:              Could you stop that! Can’t you see I’m having a moment!

(Carpenters pause.)

Director:              (Repeats) Well, I never. (Long dramatic pause, exits) Take my name off the billing! I quit!

Actor:                    Sir! Sir! I’m sorry. I didn’t mean it. I just don’t know what to do!

(Stage Manager enters.)

 Stage Manager:               Where’s the director? There’s nothing to worry about anymore! The lead girl just called. She’s on her way, crawling on the foyer.

Actor:                    He quit.

Stage Manager:                                (Checks her watch) We’re fifteen minutes to rise and he decides to quit. Children! Fucking bratty children! (Musters up) I might be just a stage manager but I have a job to do. You two there.

Carpenters:        Us?

Stage Manager:                                Yes, you. Go out there and bring me back my director.

Carpenter2:        What about the set, ma’am?

Stage Manager:                                I don’t care. They’ll act on whatever you’ve finished. But I need my director here. Now!

Carpenter2:                        Yes ma’am! (Exits)

Carpenter1:                        (Cracks his knuckles) This will be fun. (Exits)

Stage Manager:                                Now, you pretty boy. Get it in gear. Use the remaining fifteen. Memorize.

Actor:                    Okay. (Proceeds to exit, pauses, turns back) Marie, you know, when you do your job like that. You’re actually quite stunning.

Stage Manager:                                (Her heart thumps crazy but she holds her ground) I know.  

(Actor exits.)

Stage Manager:                                And my name isn’t Marie.

Stagehand:        (From the wings) The lights don’t work! And the TD is dead drunk!

Stage Manager:                                Well wake him up. Do you want me to do everything around here? My director is a man-child who can’t decide on anything. My lead is an idiot who can’t even remember his lines. The stage isn’t done. I have no idea what state the props and costumes are in and you give me another problem. Do you want me to give a good slap in the face! Huh? You fucking man up and make a miracle.

Stagehand:         (From the wings) Sure! Sure! Leave the lights up to the stagehand!

Stage Manager:                                Yes, you do that and thank the sweet Lord Baby Jesus save our fucking souls! We might just get this show on the run.

(The Actress enters, crawling on the stage floor, all bloodied and messed up.)

Actress:                                I…I… made it…

Stage Manager:                                (Gasps) What in the hell happened to you?!

Actress:                                The car… The dog… Rape…

Stage Manager:                                What the hell are you talking about? Stop jabbering and get into make-up!

Actress:                                O…K…

(The Actress tries to stand up. Falls. Tries to stand up. Falls.)

Stage Manager:                                Oh for the love of Mother Fucking Mary!

(The Stage Manager helps her get but again of no use. She falls flat on her face. She starts to sob.)

Actress:                                (Finally falls into despair, Screeches) Waah! Waah! Waah! (Yes, like an annoying woman-child)

(The Actor enters. His torso naked. On his entire visible body are the lines of the play written in magic marker ink.)

Actor:                    What in the hell happened to you?

Stage Manager:                                (To the Actor)What in the hell happened to you?

Actor:                    I’m not the problem. Take a look at her.

Stage Manager:                                You’re not going on my stage looking like that.

Actor:                    Shhh!

Actress:                                I just wanted to do a good job!

Stage Manager:                                (Sarcastic) Okay. Okay dear tell me all about it. We’re just, what, 12 minutes to curtain anyway.

Actor:                    Shh! Can’t you see she’s hurt?

(The director, if he so chooses, can have the Actor recreate the story of the Actress in pantomime. To avoid the confusion, I’m talking about you Jandee and not the character. )

Actress:                                (Animated story-telling, well, what animated story telling means in her condition anyway)I was driving at full speed. My house is barely ten minutes away from the theatre. I thought I could make it! I thought I could but then there was the car accident! A giant bearded man who looks like a sasquatch or a yeti, I always get confused with the two, suddenly flung himself off the curb

Actor:                    So you hit the man! Oh my!

Actress:                                No. He landed right before a bicycle driven by this scrawny bald man with glasses. The bald man then expertly manoeuvred away from the man but got his glasses thrown off in the process.

Actor:                    And you hit the bike! Oh my!

Actress:                                No. He proceeded to get off his bike, and lectured the sasquatch-yeti fellow about the etiquette of suicide. It was a long arduous monologue, longer than Hamlet can you believe that?  It was actually very educational, apparently you have to be courteous when committing suicide, make sure that you land in front of a truck exactly as not to bother earth friendly cyclists like him. There are other better ways to kill yourself. In fact he gave ten.

Stage Manager:                                Could you please get right ahead to YOUR accident.

Actress :               Well, as I said, the bald scrawny man was lecturing the sasquatch. And that was the exact moment a bird swooped right in to pluck this mirror from the antique shop right across the almost-accident.

Actor:                    And dropped the mirror on your windshield? Oh my!

Actress:                                No. The mirror reflected the light from the moon onto the bald man’s head, and it was in perfect trajectory to my line of vision.

Actor:                    And—

Actress:                                —No. I was disoriented. You see the entire time I was trying to put on my make-up. And in my confusion my hand which was holding the mascara leapt to shield my eyes from the moon light and accidentally marked an old woman’s face who happened to be asking me for some directions at the moment. My make-up is, sadly to say, cheap and illegal. It contains a dog pheromone. So then an enormous Labrador came a running from the pet shop beside the antique shop and ass-raped the eighty nine year old geriatric.

Stage Manager:                                So how did this happen to you?

Actress:                                Oh a truck hit me on the next cross.

Actor:                    Oh my!

Stage Manager:                                Could you stop over-acting and wipe off that shit from your body.

Actor:                    How heartless of you, Marie.

Stage Manager:                                (Checks her watch) Ten minutes everyone! Ten minutes!

Actor:                    I’ll be on my mark. (Runs to an exit)

Stage Manager:                                Now we’ll have to do something about you. Hmmm…

(The Stage Manager gets a stick from the carpenter’s work area, stands the Actress up, and lodges it up her back so she can stand like a scare crow. The effect is monstrous and the stick is obviously discomforting to the actress which is easily remedied by the Stage Manager by using her fingers to turn her frown upside down.)

Stage Manager:                                There, all good for the rise. You’re first anyway so we can just leave you there for the curtain’s rise and just have the Stagehand carry you out for your exit. Excuse me, I’ll just be off fixing the props. (Exits)

Actress:                What? Hey, don’t leave me here? How can I go in character with a stick rubbing up my ass? Someone help me!

(The two Carpenters re-enter, sitting on their adjoined shoulders they carry the Director in a sitting position.)

Director:              (Tantrum) Who the hell do you think you are? I’m a well-seasoned Director, a national treasure. I’ve been all over the world and back, and then again! You cannot do this to me. Let me go! Let me go!

(The two Carpenters set him down.)

Director:              (Has not noticed he has already been let go, still in tantrum) When I am gone, this theatre will fall apart! Remember me! Remember me!

Actress:                                Sweet heart?

Director:              (Forgets about the tantrum, and rushes to the Actress) Oh my god dear. What happened  to you? (Kisses her in the lips, yes, I read right, in. As in, in)

Carpenter1:        Would you look at that.

Carpenter2:        We’re in a living cliché.

Actress:                                It was horrible. And that stage manager! She’s a monster! A brute!

Director:              No. I meant, why aren’t you in make-up, we’re opening in a while, honey.

Actress:                                At first I still wanted to do the show. But look at me, marshmallow, look at me.

Director:              Oh apple tart. The great ones act even if there’s a machete sticking at the side of their neck. The show must go on.

Actress:                                But, rainbow drops.

Director:              No buts, sweet cheeks, just art.

Actress:                                Lemon pie!

Director:              Just art.

Actress:                                Gummy worms!

Director:              Shhh… Shhh… Once the light hits your face, you won’t even remember about the accident. Just wait for that sweet sweet applause.

Actress:                                Mannie!

Director:              (Pretends to be an audience member) Encore! Encore! Bravo!

(The Director looks around. He notices that nothing has been done in his absence.)

Director:              For the love of!  I’m gone ten minutes and nothing has been accomplished! Oh! Why must everything rest on my shoulders! (To the theatre) I. Am. Just. A. Man! (To the Carpenters) You brutes, finish that set.

Carpenters:        Yes sir!

(The two Carpenters proceed to their task.)

Carpenter1:        (A whisper) Are they always like this?

Carpenter2:        Always.

Director:              Time check!

Stage Manager:                                (Entering from the wings, Panicking) Five minutes to rise! Oh god! Oh god what do we do!

Director:              Are the lights done?

Stagehand:         (From the wings) Just about!

Stage Manager:                                The set isn’t complete yet! The costumes are not washed. Some of the props are missing!

Director:              What happened to that extra help we got?

Stage Manager:                                They all quit!

Director:              Quitters! Quitters in my company! I hate them all. Let them all burn in the fires of hell, and may Satan feast on their anal holes. They will never work for the theatre again. Let them go to their eight to fives and die in boredom! They know nothing about… (pretentious) Art! (Sighs) Anyway. Company call.

Stage Manager:                                Company call.

(The Actor enters from the wings. His tried to wash of the ink backstage but the effect is that of smudging not cleaning. The smudge, because he is an idiot, has spread even to his face. He looks like a grey nigger. A grigger.)

Director:              Look at you. You look like a grey nigger. A grigger. This play, Manos, is a high brow avant-garde philosophical piece. A grigger can’t star in a high brow avant-garde philosophical piece!

Actor:                    It’s not my fault. I forgot my lines so I wrote them all over my body and the she, (points at the Stage Manager) she told me to clean it up. She made me into a grigger.

Stage Manager:                                You were the idiot who wrote all the lines to your body!

Actor:                    Well, you are a stuck up bitch!

Stage Manager:                                Well, I just wanted you to be perfect because I love you!


Actor:                    You love me? But I’m an actor.

Stage Manager:                                So?

Actor:                    I’m an actor. I’m gay. Isn’t that a given?

Stage Manager:                                (Her jaw drops) What?

Director:              Okay. Okay. We’re opening in a very very small amount of time now so can we just leave the personals for later? Okay? Okay. (Assumes a director voice-whatever that is) Well, here we are opening after two months of blood, sweat, and tears. I know nothing much is done.

Stage Manager:                                Nothing is done! Nothing!  (In increasing intensity) We’ll be a laughing stock. A high school production. (Pause) A musical!

Director:              No. No. We don’t have the props. We don’t have the costumes. And we don’t have much of a set.

Carpenter1:        Hey, it’s not our fault.

Carpenter2:        Shhh.

Director:              But we have you. We have you people to make this work. Opening nights are always filled with miracles. And I’ll be here watching, and clapping. If nothing else, just look for me in the audience and you will see a friendly face admiring all your hard work because unlike the other audience members I know what you went through to get here.

(The people start nodding, smiling, appreciating this Director’s knock off of a company call.)

Director:              So remember. Just find your light, and say your lines, and just go through it until you reach the end.  Everything is going to be perfect.

(They start applauding stopped only by the Producer’s entrance. His shirt and hair a mess.)

Producer:            We’re done for! We’re done for!

Director:              What? What’s wrong Mr. Producer?

Producer:            The money’s all gone! And the chorus girls quit since we can’t pay them!

Director:              What? Oh no! Shame! Shame! We are all lost! This entire production revolves around the chorus girls.

(Everyone in the room panics and screams except for the two Carpenters.)

Carpenter1:        Excuse me.

Director:              What? Can’t you see this is the end of my career!

Carpenter2:        Well we thought we could do it.

Director:              What? But you’re carpenters how can you expect to change places with academy trained dancers.

Carpenter1:        Oh. We’ll audition.

Carpenter2:        That’s right.

Producer:            Audition? How in god’s name can you audition, rehearse, and expect to be ready in less than what?

Stage Manager:                Two minutes.

Carpenter1:        (To the tech booth) Music!

(Music plays. The two take off their jumpsuits and are revealed in women’s spectacular cabaret bikinis. They dance.)

Director:              Well that’s it. Magic. Who would’ve thought it. We made it.

Stage Manager:                Open house!

(In the following break-a-legs everyone hugs and shakes one another’s hands.)

Director:              Okay break a leg everyone.

Actress:                                Break a leg Manos.

Actor:    Break a leg Manos.

Stage Manager:                                Break a leg Manos.

Carpenter1:        Break a leg Manos.

Carpenter2:        Break a leg Manos.

Producer:            Break a leg everyone.

Director:              Pre-set lights.

Stagehand:         Pre-set lights.

(The director is caught in a spectacular array of lights. He dazzles in it. Smiles. And then the inevitable, a monstrous churning sound, and then black out.)

Stage Manager:                                Shit!

Director:              Don’t worry. We’ll do it in candle light.

(The actors of the play enter in darkness, turn on a lighter each and then bow.)



(A recent staging of this play or a version of it was done by Tanghalang Ateneo under the direction of Jandee Chua. Thank you for putting your time and effort for this playlet.)






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