Categories
Uncategorized

No Exi(S)t

No Exit is a 1944 existentialist French play by Jean-Paul Sartre. The original title is the French equivalent of the legal term in camera, referring to a private discussion behind closed doors. The play was first performed at the Theatre du Vieux-Colombier in May 1944. The play begins with three characters who find themselves waiting in a mysterious room. It is a depiction of the afterlife in which three deceased characters are punished by being locked into a room together for eternity. It is the source of Sartre’s especially famous phrase “L’enfer, c’est les autres” or “Hell is other people”, a reference to Sartre’s ideas about the look and the perpetual ontological struggle of being caused to see oneself as an object from the view of another consciousness.

— Wikipedia


ACT I

Estelle 

I, Estelle Rigault, am a damned soul. I have been brought to this room in Hell and locked  inside by a mysterious valet.  

Joseph 

I, Joseph Garcin, am also a damned soul. I have also been brought to this room in Hell and  locked inside by a mysterious valet. 

Inez 

I, Inez Serrano, am also a damned soul. I have also been brought to this room in Hell and  locked inside by a mysterious valet.  

Joseph 

We had expected torture devices — 

Inez 

— to punish us for all eternity — 

Joseph 

— but instead — 

Estelle 

— we found a plain room furnished in the style of the French Second Empire! 

Joseph 

Estelle, what is the reason for your damnation? 

Estelle 

I cannot and will not admit it. There must be some mistake.  Joseph, what is the reason for your damnation? 

Joseph 

I cannot and will not admit it. Perhaps it was because I was an outspoken pacifist. Inez, what is the reason for your damnation? 

Inez 

I am the only one to demand that we all stop lying to ourselves and confess to our mortal  crimes. I refuse to believe that we all ended up in this room by accident, and I will soon realize that we have been placed together to make each other miserable.  I deduce that we are to be one another’s torturers.  

Joseph 

I suggest that we try to leave each other alone and be silent. 

Inez (singing) 

I have started singing about execution! 

Joseph 

Shh! 

Estelle 

What if I be your mirror, Inez?  I’ll tell you everything you see but end up frightening you instead! 

Inez 

It is soon clear that I am attracted to Estelle. 

Joseph 

But Estelle is attracted to me! 

Estelle 

And Joseph is attracted to neither of us two women! 

Joseph & Inez 

We are arguing! 

Estelle 

After arguing, we have decided to confess to our crimes so that we know what to expect from each other. I’ll start: I had an affair and then killed the resulting child,  prompting that child’s father to commit suicide. 

Joseph 

I cheated on and mistreated my wife, and I was executed by a firing squad for desertion. 

Inez 

I am a manipulative sadist who seduced my cousin’s wife, Florence, while living with them, which drove the cousin to kill himself and resulted in Florence asphyxiating herself and Inez flooding the room with gas while they slept, out of guilt. 

Joseph 

Despite the revelations, we continue to get on each other’s nerves.  I have finally begun giving into the lascivious Estelle’s escalating attempts to seduce me — 

Inez 

Which drives me crazy. 

Joseph 

I am, however, constantly interrupted by my own guilt. Please tell me that I am not a coward for attempting to flee my country during wartime, Estelle 

Estelle 

I comply — 

Joseph 

— thank you —

Inez 

— but I mockingly tell you that Estelle is just feigning attraction to you so that she can be with  a man, any man. 

Joseph 

This causes me to abruptly attempt an escape. After trying to open the door repeatedly — 

Estelle 

it inexplicably and suddenly opens! 

Joseph 

But I am unable to bring myself to leave. 

Inez 

And we others remain as well. 

Joseph 

I will not be saved until I can convince Inez that I am not cowardly. 

Inez 

I refuse because you are obviously a coward. I promise to make you miserable forever. 

Joseph 

I conclude that rather than torture devices or physical punishment, “hell is other people.” 

Estelle 

I try to persevere in my seducting of Joseph — 

Joseph 

— but I cannot make love while Inez is watching. 

Estelle 

I, infuriated, pick up a paper knife and repeatedly stab Inez!

Inez 

I chide Estelle, saying that we are all already dead, and I even furiously stab myself to prove  that point. 

Estelle 

HA HA HA! I laugh hysterically at the idea of us being dead and trapped together forever! 

Joseph 

HA HA HA! 

Inez 

HA HA HA! 

Joseph 

HA HA HA! 

Estelle 

HA HA HA! 

JOSEPH 

I finally conclude, eh bien, continuons… 

Inez 

Which means “well then, let’s get on with it.” 

END OF PLAY

Categories
Uncategorized

The VERY Dumb Waiter

The Dumb Waiter is a one-act play by Harold Pinter written in 1957. “Small but perfectly formed, The Dumb Waiter might be considered the best of Harold Pinter’s early plays, more consistent than The Birthday Party and sharper than The Caretaker. It combines the classic characteristics of early Pinter – a paucity of information and an atmosphere of menace, working-class small-talk in a claustrophobic setting – with an oblique but palpable political edge and, in so doing, can be seen as containing the germ of Pinter’s entire dramatic oeuvre”

— Wikipedia


ACT I

BEN and GUS, two-hit men, are waiting in a basement.

BEN

I am a senior hit man, reading a newspaper in this basement as I wait for our assignment. 

GUS

I am a junior hit man, tying my shoe in this basement as I wait for our assignment. Ben?

BEN

Yes, Gus?

GUS

I have many questions to ask you before our job begins. 

Silence.

GUS

I’m also trying to make tea. 

BEN

The expression you’re thinking of for making tea is “light the kettle.”

GUS

No, the expression is “put on the kettle.”

BEN

No, it’s not. I’m going to continue to read my paper. 

GUS

Will you read me some excerpts? 

BEN

Occasionally. 

Silence.

BEN

And now I’m growing more animated! 

GUS 

And my questions are becoming more pointed! 

BEN 

At times, your questions are nearly nonsensical! 

The dumbwaiter delivers a food order. 

BEN

The dumbwaiter (which is a small freight elevator or lift intended to carry food) has delivered another food order, as it has done on a few occasions since we’ve begun to wait in this basement. 

GUS

I find this mysterious and puzzling.

BEN 

I am also puzzled that these orders keep coming. This basement is clearly not outfitted as a restaurant kitchen. 

GUS

I brought some snack food along with me for the wait before the assignment. At some point, should we send them up the dumbwaiter? 

BEN

We should. I’ll do it now. 

BEN takes the snacks and sends them up the dumbwaiter. 

BEN (speaking into the speaking tube on the dumbwaiter)

There is no food! 

GUS

I’m going to leave the room to get a drink of water.

GUS leaves. The speaking tube on the dumbwaiter whistles.

BEN

That whistling sound means someone on the other end of the dumbwaiter wants to communicate with me. I’ll listen carefully to what they say. 

He goes to the dumbwaiter and listens carefully. 

BEN

It could be gathered from what they’re saying that our victim has arrived… and he’s on his way to this room. Gus! Gus! 

GUS doesn’t answer. 

BEN 

There’s no response from Gus because he’s still out of the room. And the door our target is entering from is flying open, so I’ll round on it with my gun pointed!! 

GUS

I am the one in the doorway, and I’m stripped of my jacket, waistcoat, tie, and gun. 

A long silence, and then the curtain falls. 

THE END

Categories
ICKi Plays

MacBADth

Macbeth, fully The Tragedy of Macbeth, is a tragedy by William Shakespeare. It was probably first performed in 1606. It was first published in the Folio of 1623, possibly from a prompt book, and is Shakespeare’s shortest tragedy. James VI and I was patron of Shakespeare’s playing company, and some people say that Macbeth is the play which most clearly indicates Shakespeare’s relationship with him.

– Wikipedia


ACT I

SCENE I

Thunder and lightning. 

WITCH 1

Who should our next meeting be with? 

WITCH 2

Should our next meeting be with Macbeth?

WITCH 3

Yes, with Macbeth. 

WITCH 1

So we’ve decided then.

SCENE II

WOUNDED SERGEANT

King Duncan. 

KING DUNCAN

Yes. 

WOUNDED SERGEANT

Your general, Macbeth, who is the Thane of Glamis as well as your kinsman, and Banquo have defeated the allied forces of Norway and Ireland, who were traitorously led by Macdonwald and the Thane of Cawdor.

KING DUNCAN

I praise him for his bravery and his prowess in battle. 

WOUNDED SERGEANT

King Duncan, I have been wounded. 

SCENE III

MACBETH

How about this weather, Banquo? 

BANQUO

How about it. How about our victory in war, Macbeth?

MACBETH

How about it. All this talking and we’ve wandered onto this heath. 

The Three Witches enter.

WITCHES

Hello. 

MACBETH

Hello.

BANQUO

Hello. 

WITCHES

Hello. We are three witches, and we will tell you our prophecies. 

BANQUO

Who are you? What prophecies? 

The Witches ignore him. 

WITCHES (to Macbeth)

All hail, Thane of Glamis. All hail, Thane of Cawdor. All hail, you will be King hereafter. 

MACBETH

I’m stunned. 

A long silence. 

BANQUO

What about my fortunes? 

WITCHES

You will be less than Macbeth, but yet, happier than him. You will be less successful than Macbeth, but yet, more successful than him. You will father a line of kings, but you? Will not be one. 

MACBETH

I wonder what these pronouncements could possibly mean. 

BANQUO

That was a paradox. I wonder what it means.

MACBETH

The witches have disappeared. 

BANQUO

And here is Thane Ross. 

ROSS

Macbeth, I’m here to bestow on you a title: Thane of Cawdor. 

MACBETH (aside)

That was the first prophecy, and now it’s been fulfilled. I was skeptical before, but now I’m beginning to feel like I have ambition to be king. 

SCENE IV

Macbeth and Banquo reach King Duncan

KING DUNCAN

Welcome. I applaud you both for your success in battle, and Macbeth, I declare that I will be spending the night at your castle in Inverness. Also, I have named my son, Malcom, as my heir. 

There is a MESSENGER. 

MESSENGER

It is I, the Messenger, here to deliver your message.

MACBETH

Send a message ahead to my wife, Lady Macbeth, about the witches, who told me their prophecy that I will eventually be king, of which I am still currently skeptical. She is at my castle in Inverness. 

LADY MACBETH receives the message:

MESSENGER

Lady MacBeth, it is I, your husband’s Messenger, here to deliver a message to you.

LADY MACBETH

I have received his message. 

MACBETH arrives at Inverness with LADY MACBETH. 

MACBETH

I’ve arrived at Inverness. 

LADY MACBETH

Macbeth, I don’t share your skepticism regarding the prophecies from the witches. I wish that you would kill Duncan so that you will take the throne. 

MACBETH

I don’t think I should kill Duncan. 

LADY MACBETH

No, you should kill Duncan. The fact that you don’t want to kill Duncan makes me fundamentally challenge your manhood. 

MACBETH

Now I’m convinced to kill Duncan, and I plan to do it tonight. 

LADY MACBETH

The plan is that we will get Duncan’s two chambermaids drunk in the night, and then in the morning, blame them for the murder. They will have no defense because, since they will have been drunk, they won’t remember anything from the night. 

MACBETH

Yes, that’s the plan. 

ACT II

SCENE V

Duncan sleeps. 

MACBETH

Duncan is sleeping, so now I have the opportunity here to stab him. I am still going to stab him right now even though I am still feeling skeptical about the prophecies in general and I did hallucinate a bloody dagger. 

Macbeth stabs Duncan. 

MACBETH

The fact that I have just killed Duncan has me shaken up. 

Lady MacBeth bursts into the chamber.

LADY MACBETH

I’m taking charge of the rest of this plan. 

Lady Macbeth takes the dagger from Macbeth and places it on Duncan’s sleeping servants. 

LADY MACBETH (cont’d)

In accordance with the second step of our plan, I’ve placed the bloody dagger with the sleeping servants. 

SCENE VI

Early the next morning. Lennox and Macduff arrive. 

LENNOX

We’ve arrived at Inverness, MacDuff.  

MACDUFF

Yes, we have, Lennox. 

A porter opens the gate. 

PORTER

The gate is open. 

LENNOX & MACDUFF

Thank you, Porter, for opening the gate. 

Macbeth is there. 

MACBETH

Hello, Lennox and Macduff. This way is King Duncan’s chamber. 

They get to the chamber. 

MACDUFF

That’s King Duncan’s body! He’s been stabbed. 

The guards enter the chamber. 

GUARD 1

We, King Duncan’s Guards, profess—

Macbeth kills the guards. 

MACDUFF

Why did you kill the guards?

MACBETH

I did so because I am in such a fit of rage because the guards killed King Duncan. 

Somewhere else:

MALCOM

I am Malcom! I am fleeing to England because I fear whoever wanted to kill King Duncan must also desire the demise of his son, too! 

DONALBAIN

I am Donalbain! I am fleeing to Ireland because I fear whoever wanted to kill King Duncan must also desire the demise of his son, too! 

Back in Inverness: 

BANQUO (to the audience)

Both sons of King Duncan are now suspects because they have fled the country. As a kinsman of King Duncan, Macbeth has now assumed the throne as the new King of Scotland. I feel skeptical of Macbeth as king… And the witches said in their prophecies that my descendants would be the ones to inherit the throne. Not only am I skeptical of Macbeth… I’m suspicious of him, too. 

ACT III

SCENE VII

MACBETH

The witches said in their prophecies that I would be king, but the witches also said that Banquo’s descendants would inherit the throne, too. So I’m feeling uneasy about the state of my kingship. I invited Banquo to a royal banquet, and I was surprised to find that both he and his son, Fleance, will be riding out to attend, because I really only invited Banquo. I fear that Banquo is becoming suspicious of me… 

Macbeth hires TWO MURDERERS. 

MURDERERS

We’re the Murderers. 

MACBETH

Murderers, I’ve hired you two out to find and kill Banquo and Fleance. Later, I will hire and send a third murderer. 

The Murderers go. Later. Macbeth hires a THIRD MURDERER. 

MACBETH

Third Murderer, some time has passed, but I have also hired you to kill Banquo and Fleance before they arrive. 

Time passes. The MURDERS return. 

MURDERERS

We did kill Banquo, but Fleance fled from the scene. 

MACBETH

I am furious. As long as any of Banquo’s heirs are alive, my power is not secure. 

SCENE VIII

At a banquet in the castle.

MACBETH

Lords and Lady Macbeth, I invite you all to a night full of drinking and merriment! 

GUESTS

Drinking and merriment!

The attendants of the banquet drink and be merry. Banquo’s ghost enters the room and it sits in Macbeth’s place at the table. 

MACBETH

The ghost of Banquo is here! In my chair! At this banquet! 

GUEST 1

That outburst was startling. 

GUEST 2

That chair is empty. 

LADY MACBETH

I am desperate for you to understand that Macbeth is actually just afflicted with a harmless malady that would be familiar to us all. 

The ghost of Banquo departs… and then it returns again. 

MACBETH

The ghost of Banquo is here again! In my chair again! At this banquet again! 

LADY MACBETH

Lords, please leave. 

GUEST 3

We will do so. 

They leave. 

ACT IV

SCENE IX

Macbeth visits The Witches. 

MACBETH

I am disturbed, and I’m visiting you three witches so that you will clarify your prophecies and reveal the truth to me. 

THE WITCHES

To answer your questions, we will summon apparitions that are horrible, but they will offer further predictions that will ultimately put your fears about the original prophecies to rest. 

The Witches conjure an armoured head. 

WITCH 1

The first apparition is: this conjured head. 

ARMORED HEAD

Beware Macduff. 

WITCH 2

The second apparition is: this bloody child. 

BLOODY CHILD

No one who is born of a woman will be able to harm you. 

WITCH 3

The third apparition is: a crowned child holding a tree. 

CROWNED CHILD HOLDING A TREE

You will be safe until Great Birnam Wood comes to Dunsinane Hill. 

MACBETH

I’m relieved because I know that all men are born from women, and I know that forests don’t move. Will any of Banquo’s sons ever rule Scotland? 

The Witches conjure. 

THE WITCHES

We have conjured a procession of eight crowned kings.

MACBETH

All eight of these kings look similarly to Banquo… 

WITCH 1

The eighth king at the end of the procession has a mirror. 

WITCH 2

The mirror is reflecting even more kings. 

WITCH 3

The reflections of the kings also are similar in appearance to Banquo. 

MACBETH

…Oh, I’ve realized that this apparition means that all of Banquo’s descendants will acquire the kingship of many different countries. 

THE WITCHES

Now we will do our wild dance. 

Hoo-hoo ha-ha, hoo-hoo ha-ha ~

They dance and vocalize and disappear. Lennox enters. 

LENNOX

Macduff has fled to England. 

MACBETH

Seize Macduff’s castle. I most cruelly order murderers to slaughter Macduff, his wife, and his children. 

Some time passes.

LENNOX

Everyone in Macduff’s castle has been put to death, though he himself was not there. 

ACT V

SCENE X

Meanwhile:

LADY MACBETH

I am feeling racked with the guilt of the crimes that Macbeth and I have committed, those crimes being killing King Duncan, framing his servants, and killing his guards. 

That night:

DOCTOR

Gentlewoman, Lady Macbeth has been sleepwalking lately. 

GENTLEWOMAN

What a strange habit for her to develop, Doctor. 

Lady Macbeth enters with a candle, in a trance. 

DOCTOR

She seems to be in a trance. 

LADY MACBETH

The murders of King Duncan, Lady Macduff, and Banquo fill me with deep sorrow, and I am trying to get the stain of blood off of my hands but nothing can wash it off. I pressured Macbeth to kill Ducan, which has caused the rest of the murders. This is an ironic reversal because earlier I had claimed to Macbeth that “a little water clears us of this deed,” and that has turned out not to be true in my case. 

Lady Macbeth leaves. 

DOCTOR

It is astonishing how Lady Macbeth has descended into madness. 

GENTLEWOMAN

It is such a marvel. 

In England, Macduff and Ross: 

ROSS

We’re in England. MacDuff, your castle is surprised; wife and babes savagely slaughter’d. 

MACDUFF

The fact that this news has reached me at all strikes me with grief. I vow revenge for their deaths. 

MALCOLM

I have successfully raised an army here in England, and I plan to challenge Macbeth’s forces. 

MACDUFF

I will join you in that ride, Malcolm.  

MALCOLM

Then I will lead you, my army, and Siward, Earl of Northampton, against Dunsinane castle. 

SCOTTISH NOBLE 1

We, the Scottish Nobles, support this invasion. 

SCOTTISH NOBLE 2

We, the Scottish Nobles, are appalled by Macbeth’s tyrannical behavior. 

SCOTTISH NOBLE 3

We, the Scottish Nobles,  are frightened by Macbeth’s murderous behavior. 

Later, a camp in Birnam Wood: 

MALCOLM

I order you to cut down all of these trees around our camp in Birnam Wood. Carry the limbs of the trees so that our numbers are camouflaged when we continue towards Macbeth’s ranks at Dunsinane. 

In the castle: 

MACBETH

I have just received the news that Lady Macbeth has killed herself, and I feel that I am sinking now into a despair that is both deep and pessimistic. 
She should have died hereafter;
There would have been a time for such a word.
— To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life is but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury
Signifying nothing.
Despite my previous reflections on the brevity and meaninglessness of life, I will still fortify Dunsinane as I wait for the English army to approach for battle. I feel certain that the prophecies from the witches will mean that I will be invincible in this battle, because all men are born of women and forests cannot move on their own. 

A Messenger arrives:

MESSENGER

I am a Messenger, and I have arrived with this message: The English army is advancing on Dunsinane. They were shielded with tree limbs that they cut from Birnam Wood. 

MACBETH

That fulfills one of the witches’ three prophecies, and I am struck with fear. 

In the battle: 

MACBETH

This battle is coming to its culmination. 

MACDUFF

Macbeth, I’m here to confront you. 

MACBETH

I’m going to kill Siward. 

Macbeth kills Siward: 

SIWARD

I’m dying. 

MACBETH

The English forces have overwhelmed my army and my castle, but Macduff, I have no reason to fear you, because I cannot be killed by any man born of women, which you must be. 

MACDUFF

But I was from my mother’s womb untimely ripp’d… I am not literally of woman born. 

MACBETH

This fulfills the second prophecy… And I have just realized now, too late, that I have misinterpreted the witches’ prophecies. Though I’m doomed, I’ll continue to fight. 

They fight. 

MACBETH

The remaining prophecy is the only one that is left to be fulfilled.

MACDUFF

I’m going to behead you. 

Macduff beheads Macbeth. 

MACDUFF

Here is Macbeth’s head. 

MALCOM

Order has been restored. My last reference I’ll make to Lady Macbeth is that ‘tis thought, by self and violent hands, that she took her own life. 

MACDUFF

What was the method of her suicide? 

MALCOM

That is undisclosed. I am now the King of Scotland, and I declare that I have benevolent intentions for the country. I invite you all to see me be crowned at Scone. 

SCOTTISH NOBLES

Okay. 

THE END

Categories
ICKi Plays

Death of a SalesBAD

Death of a Salesman is a 1949 stage play written by American playwright Arthur Miller. It won the 1949 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play. The play premiered on Broadway in February 1949, running for 742 performances, and has been revived on Broadway four times, winning three Tony Awards for Best Revival. It is considered by some critics to be one of the greatest plays of the 20th century.

– Wikipedia


ACT I

SCENE I

A flute melody plays in Willy Loman’s home as he enters.

His wife Linda is also there. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m back home from my failed sales trips. My home is in Brooklyn, and I’m exhausted. 

LINDA

Can I convince you to ask your boss, Howard Wagner, to let you work in New York so that you don’t have to travel so much? 

WILLY LOMAN

I’ll talk to Howard tomorrow. 

LINDA

Good. Biff, our oldest son, is back to visit. 

WILLY LOMAN

It bothers me that he’s made nothing of his life. 

LINDA 

Don’t be so critical. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m going to the kitchen to get a snack. 

SCENE II

Willy Lowman goes to the kitchen. 

WILLY LOMAN 

No one’s here and I’m still talking. 

From a room that’s not the kitchen (but from where they can still hear Willy Loman talking to himself), Biff and Happy talk: 

BIFF

Do you remember our childhood, Happy? 

HAPPY

I’m also visiting home. Yes, I do remember it. 

BIFF

Our father is babbling to himself again. 

HAPPY

Most of his ramblings are criticisms of you, and the fact that you haven’t lived up to his expectations. 

BIFF

I’m dissatisfied with my life. 

HAPPY

I’m dissatisfied with my life, too. 

BIFF

Wouldn’t it be such a fantasy to buy a ranch out West? 

HAPPY

It really would. 

SCENE III

A fantasy: 

WILLY LOMAN

Biff and Happy, my young sons, I praise you both for your abilities to wash my car. 

BIFF (young)

I’m a high school star, and I love you, Dad. 

HAPPY (young)

I’m so happy you’re back from your business trip. 

WILLY LOMAN

Here’s a secret, sons: I’m going to open my own business one day, and it’s going to be bigger than our neighbor Charley’s business. 

Bernard enters the fantasy. 

BERNARD (young)

Where’s Biff? 

BIFF (young)

Here I am. 

BERNARD (young)

We have to go study for math class, or you’ll fail. 

WILLY LOMAN

See, Bernard is smart, but he’s not “well-liked,” which will ultimately hurt him in the long run. 

Linda (but she’s younger) enters the fantasy.

LINDA (young)

Here I am. 

BIFF (young)

I have to do chores. 

HAPPY (young)

I also have to do chores. 

BERNARD (young)

I also have to do chores. 

All the boys leave the fantasy. 

WILLY LOMAN

My sales trip was a phenomenal success. 

LINDA (young)

Was it really? 

WILLY LOMAN

It was only meagerly successful. Soon I won’t be able to make the payment on our appliances and our car. No one likes me and I’m bad at my job. 

LINDA (young)

Let me console you. 

WILLY LOMAN

Okay. 

THE WOMAN

Ha ha ha…

Fantasy Willy Loman approaches The Woman. This is a fantasy within the fantasy: 

THE WOMAN

Ha ha ha ha ha ha…

WILLY LOMAN

I’m flirting with you. 

THE WOMAN

I’m flirting back. Thanks for the stockings. 

This fantasy shifts back to Willy Loman’s earlier fantasy in the kitchen. 

LINDA (young)

I assure you that all of the worries you mentioned will turn out okay. 

WILLY LOMAN (angry)

Stop mending those stockings and throw them out.

Bernard bursts in. 

BERNARD (young)

Again, where is Biff?! 

LINDA (young)

Willy, remember that Biff has to return the football that he stole. Also, I think that Biff is a bit too rough with the neighborhood girls. 

THE WOMAN

Ha ha ha… 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m EXPLODING.

LINDA (young)

I’m leaving. 

BERNARD (young)

I’m also leaving. 

They leave and the daydream ends. 

SCENE IV

WILLY LOMAN (muttering to himself)

Exploding, exploding. 

Happy comes downstairs into the kitchen. 

HAPPY

Dad, be quiet. 

WILLY LOMAN (shouting)

I regret not going to Alaska with my brother Ben because he eventually found a diamond mine in Africa and became rich! 

Charley enters. 

CHARLEY

I entered because I heard the commotion. 

HAPPY

I’m going to bed. 

Happy goes. 

CHARLEY

Let’s play cards. 

WILLY LOMAN 

Okay. 

They play cards. 

CHARLEY

Do you want a job with me? 

WILLY LOMAN

That’s insulting and I refuse your offer. 

CHARLEY

Take the job. 

Ben enters, but he’s in Willy Loman’s imagination. 

WILLY LOMAN

No, Ben. 

BEN

I’ve inspected your house, and I have to catch a train soon to look at properties in Alaska. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m interested in the prospect of going to Alaska. 

CHARLEY

Willy, no one’s there. I’m confused, and I’m questioning who you think you’re talking to right now. 

WILLY LOMAN

Aaah! 

CHARLEY

I’m leaving. 

Charley leaves. Now this is just a fantasy. The younger version of Linda enters. 

LINDA (young)

Hi, I’m Linda. 

BEN

Hi, I’m Ben. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m impatient, how is your life? 

BEN

I’ve travelled, and of course I have to mention our father. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m daydreaming even further now. 

BEN

I’m about to leave now. 

Bernard and Charley rush inside. 

BERNARD & CHARLEY (young)

We’ve rushed here to tell you that Biff and Happy are stealing lumber. 

BEN

I’m leaving. 

Ben leaves. 

WILLY LOMAN

Wait, I’m still talking to you. 

SCENE V

Outside. Back in reality. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m outside. 

LINDA

I found you. 

SCENE VI

Inside the house. Biff and Happy come downstairs. 

BIFF & HAPPY

Let’s discuss our father’s condition. 

BIFF

I judge him for his condition. 

LINDA

You’re being too harsh with your judgments. 

BIFF

I know Willy is a fake. 

LINDA

Can you elaborate on that? 

BIFF

I could, but I refuse to. 

LINDA

Willy tried to commit suicide, you know. 

HAPPY

That makes me angry! Biff, I disapprove of your failures in the business world! 

Willy Loman enters. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m also yelling at Biff! For the same reason!

HAPPY

Let me get in the middle of this argument. Dad, what if… Biff and I go into the sporting good business together? 

WILLY LOMAN

That prospect brightens up my spirits immediately. I have a ton of tips for you about how to ask for a loan from Bill Oliver, because he was one of my old employers. 

BIFF

Let’s argue again! 

HAPPY

No, let’s reconcile! 

WILLY LOMAN

Let’s argue! 

LINDA

Let’s reconcile and go to bed! 

WILLY LOMAN

Okay. 

BIFF

Okay. 

HAPPY

Okay. 

They all go to bed. 

ACT II 

SCENE VII

Willy Loman and Linda are in the kitchen. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m really enjoying this breakfast that you made for me, Linda. 

LINDA

Thank you for saying that. 

WILLY LOMAN

The future seems bright… But these expensive appliances make me angry! 

LINDA

Biff and Happy are going to take you out to dinner tonight. 

WILLY LOMAN

That’s exciting! And, I’m going to make Howard Wagner give me a job in New York! 

The phone rings, and Biff enters. 

BIFF

Let’s chat, Mom. 

LINDA

Be nice to your father at the restaurant tonight. 

SCENE VIII

Willy Loman and Howard in Howard’s office. 

HOWARD

I’m playing with this wire recorder. 

WILLY LOMAN

I want to broach the topic — 

HOWARD

Listen to my wife and kids on the wire recorder, will you? 

WILLY LOMAN

Okay. I wanted to broach — 

HOWARD

Keep listening to them. 

WILLY LOMAN

— the topic of working in New York? 

HOWARD

No. 

WILLY LOMAN

Dave Singleman, the legendary salesman, was the person who inspired me to go into sales. 

HOWARD

That was a lengthy recalling. I have to leave now. 

Howard leaves. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so angry. 

Howard re-enters. 

HOWARD

Why don’t you take some time off? 

Howard leaves. And… the imagined Ben enters! 

BEN

Why don’t you join me in Alaska? 

The younger Linda enters. 

LINDA (young)

Remember how you have sons and a job? 

The younger Biff enters. 

BIFF (young)

I’m your son, but as you remember me younger. 

WILLY LOMAN

You have great prospects, and you’re also so well liked. 

Ben leaves, and the younger Bernard rushes in. 

BERNARD (young)

I rushed here because I’m so eager for Biff’s big football game! 

The younger Charley also enters. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so optimistic about this big game. 

CHARLEY (young, mocking him)

i’M sO OpTiMiStiC AbOut tHIs BiG gAme. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m gonna get you! 

Willy Loman chases Charley off. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m still yelling! I’m still yelling! 

SCENE IX

Now reality and fantasy are colliding!! We’re at Charley and I think also Bernard’s office now.

JENNY

I’m Charley’s secretary. Bernard, can you quiet him down? 

Willy Loman enters. 

WILLY LOMAN

You know, Bernard, Biff is working on a very big deal. Very very big. 

BERNARD

I’m going to Washington to fight a case. 

WILLY LOMAN

Your success is daunting. Why has Biff turned out to be such a failure? 

BERNARD

Well, what happened in Boston that made Biff decide not to go to summer school? 

WILLY LOMAN

Don’t blame me for Biff’s failures.

Charley enters. 

CHARLEY

Bernard, I’ll see you off now. 

BERNARD

Okay. 

Bernard exits. 

WILLY LOMAN

Can I have more money than the amount that you usually loan me? 

CHARLEY

I’m offering you a job again. 

WILLY LOMAN

No, I don’t want to take a job from you… Also, I was fired. 

CHARLEY

You always need to be liked! Here, I’m angry, take the money. 

WILLY LOMAN

You’re my only friend. I’m not gonna cry. 

Willy Loman exits. 

SCENE X

At Frank’s Chop House. Stanley, a waiter, sets the table. 

STANLEY

I’m setting the table because I’m a waiter. 

HAPPY

I’ll help you set the table. 

Mrs. Forsythe enters the restaurant. 

STANLEY & HAPPY

Get a load of that woman who just entered. 

STANLEY

I’m going to look at her only because I’m attracted to her appearance. 

HAPPY

I’m going to flirt with her. 

MRS. FORSYTHE

I’m going to flirt back. 

HAPPY

Ohhhh. 

Biff enters the restaurant. 

HAPPY

Biff, this is Mrs. Forsythe. 

MRS. FORSYTHE

Hello. 

BIFF

Hello. 

HAPPY

Mrs. Forsythe, should we continue to flirt? 

MRS. FORSYTHE

Yes, yes we should. 

HAPPY
Great. 

MRS. FORSYTHE

I’m a call girl. 

HAPPY

Will you call another call girl? 

MRS. FORSYTHE

Yes. Let me go telephone her now. 

She goes to the phone. 

BIFF

I waited six hours for Bill Oliver to show up today, and when he did, he didn’t even recognize me. I’m upset at our father’s unrelenting misconception that I’m actually a salesman for Oliver. I’m so mad that I plan to shatter all of Willy’s illusions tonight. 

Willy Loman enters and joins them at the table. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’ve arrived for dinner. 

BIFF (gently)

I waited six hours for Bill Oliver to show up today, and when he did, he didn’t even recognize me. 

WILLY LOMAN

I was fired today. 

BIFF

I’m stunned. (gently) I waited six hours for Bill Oliver to show up today, and when he did —

HAPPY

But Biff is going to be really, really successful anyway! 

WILLY LOMAN

I can’t wait to hear the good news. 

BIFF (exploding)

You’re being so unwilling to listen!! 

WILLY LOMAN

No I’m not! 

BIFF

Yes you are! 

Fantasy and reality are blending again!! The younger Bernard and Linda enters the scene:

BERNARD (young)

Linda! Linda! 

LINDA (young)

What happened? 

BERNARD (young)

Biff failed math. 

Back in the restaurant: 

WILLY LOMAN

Biff, I can’t believe you failed math. 

THE VOICE OF A HOTEL OPERATOR

I’m the operator of a hotel in Boston. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m not in my room right now! 

BIFF

Be quiet! Actually, Oliver is talking to his partner about loaning me the money I asked for. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so interested to know more! I have so many probing questions to ask you about the meeting and the loan.

BIFF (screaming)

Your questions irk me!!!

THE WOMAN

Ha ha ha… 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so angry that I am going to hit you!! 

He does, and then he staggers. 

WILLY LOMAN

Hitting you has caused me to stagger. 

Mrs. Forsythe and Letta enter.

MRS. FORSYTHE

I’m back with another call girl. 

LETTA

I’m the other call girl, my name is Letta. 

HAPPY

Hello. I think I’ll flirt with you both. 

MRS. FORSYTHE

Alright. 

LETTA

Alright. 

BIFF

Let me help you to the washroom, Dad. 

Biff approaches Happy. 

BIFF

Seeing you flirting with these women right now makes me want to argue with you about our father’s condition. And now I’m leaving. 

Biff leaves. 

HAPPY

I’m going to follow him. 

MRS. FORSYTHE & LETTA

We’ll come with you. 

SCENE XI

In a hotel room. All fantasy-mode. Willy and The Woman. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m dressing myself and flirting with you at the same time. 

THE WOMAN

I’m dressing myself and flirting back. 

There is a knock on the door. 

THE WOMAN

Who could that be? 

WILLY LOMAN

Quick, get in the bathroom. 

Willy answers the door. 

WILLY LOMAN

It’s Biff at the door, my young son. 

BIFF (young)

I failed math. 

WILLY LOMAN

I don’t want you to come into the room but I’m not going to say that… 

BIFF (young)

My math teacher has a lisp. 

WILLY LOMAN & THE WOMAN

Ha ha ha ha ha

BIFF (young)

Who is that woman? 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m not cheating on your mother. 

BIFF (young)

I don’t believe you. You’re a phony little fake. I’m leaving. 

Biff storms out. 

SCENE XII

Back in the restaurant again, which means we’re back in reality again. 

STANLEY

You fell down, let me help you up. 

WILLY LOMAN

Do you know where I can find a seed store? 

STANLEY

Yes, and I can give you the directions there. 

WILLY LOMAN

I have to go there quickly. 

SCENE XIII

The kitchen in the Loman house. Happy enters. 

HAPPY

Where’s Willy? 

He goes into the living room. Biff also enters. 

HAPPY

There’s Linda. Where’s Dad? I have these flowers in my hand. 

BIFF

I’m inside too. 

LINDA

You both didn’t listen to me when I asked you to be nice to your father! 

HAPPY
You slapped my flowers!

LINDA

You abandoned Willy! 

HAPPY

I’d like to try to appease you right now. 

BIFF

I’ll go look for him. 

He looks for a moment. 

BIFF

He’s out here, planting seeds in the garden… at night… but he has a flashlight. 

In Willy Loman’s fantasy, Ben is there. 

WILLY LOMAN

Can I consult with you about a $20,000 proposition? 

BEN

Of course. 

BIFF

I’m here to say goodbye. Can I bring you inside? 

WILLY LOMAN

Alright. 

They move into the house. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so angry about your failures! 

HAPPY

Dad, calm down — 

BIFF

I’m so furious at you!!

WILLY LOMAN
I’M so furious at YOU!!! 

Biff sobs. 

WILLY LOMAN

The fact that you’re crying right now touches me. 

LINDA

I’m going to bed. 

BIFF

Me too. 

HAPPY

Me too. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m not. 

They all go. Just Willy and his fantasies now. 

WILLY LOMAN 

Can we renew our conversation about the $20,000 proposition? 

BEN

Of course. 

WILLY LOMAN

I’m so excited about the prospect. Biff is going to do great with $20,000 of insurance money. 

LINDA

Willy? 

No response. 

LINDA

I’m still listening for a response! 

BIFF

I am, too. 

HAPPY

Me too. 

The sound of Willy Loman’s car speeding away. 

BIFF & HAPPY

Did you hear that sound? 

LINDA

Yes, it sounded like Willy’s car speeding away. 

SCENE XIV

In the requiem which I think is still in the Loman’s house. 

LINDA

I’m shocked that Willy’s funeral was so poorly attended. 

HAPPY

I’m so shocked. 

BIFF

He had the wrong dreams. 

CHARLEY

Actually, Willy was just a victim of his profession. 

Some time passes. 

BIFF

I’m just about ready to leave. Happy, do you want to come back out West with me? 

HAPPY

No, I’m going to stick it out in New York to honor Dad’s death. 

Some time passes. 

LINDA

Willy, will you ever forgive me for being unable to cry for you? 

She starts crying. 

LINDA

We’re free, we’re free, we’re free…

They all exit as the flute melody is heard again. 

T H E  E N D

Categories
ICKi Plays

Who’s Afraid of Virginia OOFe

Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? is a play by Edward Albee, first staged in 1962. It examines the complexities of the marriage of a middle-aged couple, Martha and George. Late one evening, after a university faculty party, they receive an unwitting younger couple, Nick and Honey, as guests and draw them into their bitter and frustrated relationship. [The play] won both the 1963 Tony Award for Best Play and the 1962–63 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play.

— Wikipedia


ACT ONE

GEORGE

Martha, my wife! Let us engage in dangerous emotional games!

MARTHA

George, an associate professor of history.

GEORGE

Martha, the daughter of the president of the college where I teach.

MARTHA

George.

GEORGE

Yes, Martha?

MARTHA

I have invited a young married couple, whom I met at the faculty party we have just returned from, for a drink.

A knock on the door.

GEORGE

Well, that must be them now. 

NICK

Hi, I’m Nick. A // biology professor –

MARTHA

This is Nick, he teaches math!

HONEY

And I’m his wife, Honey. 

GEORGE

Let us drink.

They all drink. Shuffling of glassware.

MARTHA

Say George?

GEORGE

Yes Martha?

MARTHA

Why don’t we engage in scathing verbal abuse of each other in front of Nick and Honey?

GEORGE

Splendid!

NICK & HONEY

We are embarrassed!

MARTHA

Well now you are enmeshed!

NICK & HONEY

We have to stay. 

MARTHA

George, I taunt you mercilessly!

GEORGE

And I will retaliate with my usual passive aggression. 

MARTHA

Nick, Honey, listen to this embarrassing story of how I humiliated George with a sucker punch in // front of my father –

George appears with a gun and fires at Martha, but an umbrella pops out.

MARTHA

What a scare, you appearing with a gun and firing at me, but an umbrella pops out instead!

Now, let me continue my taunts!

GEORGE

I am reacting violently!

He smashes a bottle.

NICK & HONEY

We are increasingly unsettled.

HONEY

I need to vomit because I’ve had too much to drink.

MARTHA

I will attend to her. 

ACT TWO

GEORGE

Hey Nick, let’s go outside and talk about our wives.

NICK

My wife had a hysterical pregnancy once.

GEORGE

Well this one time, I went to a gin mill with some boarding school classmates, one of whom had accidentally killed his mother by shooting her. We all laughed at him for ordering “bergin.”

NICK

Wow. Mmhm.

GEORGE

The next summer, that friend killed his father while driving, was committed to an asylum, and never spoke again. 

NICK

Let’s change the subject.

GEORGE

What to?

NICK

Let’s talk about having children?

GEORGE

That’s stupid.

NICK

You’re stupid!

GEORGE

Ugh. Let’s rejoin the women in the house.

MARTHA

Nick! Dance with me suggestively!

Did I ever tell you of George’s creative writing escapades?

He had tried to publish a novel about a boy who accidentally killed both of his parents, with the implication that the deaths were actually murder, but my father would not let it be published!

GEORGE

Why, you!!

George attacks Martha. Nick separates them.

NICK

Woah woah, this is going too far!

GEORGE

Sure. 

Tell you what, let’s play a new game! Get the Guests.

I’ll start by insulting and mocking Honey with an extemporaneous tale of “the Mousie” who “tooted brandy immodestly and spent half her time in the upchuck!”

HONEY

Hey, that extemporaneous story sounds like it’s about me and my hysterical pregnancy!!

How dare you imply that I trapped Nick into marrying me because of a false pregnancy!

I feel sick. I’m going to run to the bathroom again.

MARTHA

Hey George, you still here?

GEORGE

Mm.

MARTHA

Good.

Hey Nick, what would you do if I started to act seductively toward you in George’s presence?

NICK

Um.

GEORGE

Don’t mind me, I’m just pretending to react calmly, reading a book.

MARTHA

Let me show you the upstairs.

George throws his book against the door. 

GEORGE

Well that might have been uncouth. 

Now, I must come up with a plan to tell Martha that our son has died.

ACT THREE

MARTHA

HEY! OLLY OLLY OXENFREE! COME OUT!

NICK

Whew.

The doorbell rings.

MARTHA

Who could that be?

GEORGE

Flores para los muertos!

MARTHA

George, is the moon up or down?

GEORGE

Up!

MARTHA

I saw no moon from the bedroom.

GEORGE

Oh yeah? Well Nick’s disgusting.

MARTHA

What? He’s clearly pathetic.

GEORGE

He’s a narc!

MARTHA

A crook!

GEORGE

A stinker!

MARTHA

Too drunk to have sex with me upstairs!!

Beat.

GEORGE

Honey? Honey, would you come back here? It’s time for the final game, Bringing Up Baby.

MARTHA

We have a –

GEORGE

Keep quiet about that.

You’ve always had an overbearing attitude toward our son. 

Now, let us hear your recitation.

MARTHA & GEORGE

We will now describe, in a bizarre duet, our son’s upbringing. 

Our son was beautiful and talented, and George ruined his life.

George will now recite sections of the Libera Me part of the Requiem Mass, 

the Latin mass for the dead.

GEORGE

Martha. A messenger from Western Union arrived at the door earlier with a telegram saying that our son was “killed in the late afternoon…on a country road, with his learner’s permit in his pocket.” He “swerved, to avoid a porcupine.” 

NICK

Say, that description matches that of the boy in the gin mill story you told earlier.

MARTHA

You can’t do that!!

NICK & HONEY

It’s becoming clear to us that George and Martha’s son is a mutually agreed-upon fiction. The fictional son is the final “game” the two have been playing since discovering early in their marriage that they are infertile.

GEORGE

I decided to “kill” him because you broke the game’s single rule: never mention our son to others.

NICK & HONEY

We are overcome with horror and pity. 

We’re out of here.

MARTHA

George. We could…invent a new imaginary child?

GEORGE

I forbid it. It was time for the game to end.

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolfe?

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolfe?

Who’s afraid of Virginia Woolfe?

MARTHA

I am, George…I am.

END OF PLAY

Categories
ICKi Plays

Saint Joan of the CROCKyard

Saint Joan of the Stockyards (German: Die heilige Johanna der Schlachthöfe) is a play written by the German modernist playwright Bertolt Brecht between 1929 and 1931, after the success of his musical, The Threepenny Opera, and during the period of his radical experimental work with the Lehrstücke. It is based on the musical that he co-authored with Elizabeth Hauptmann, Happy End (1929). In this version of the story of Joan of Arc, Brecht transforms her into “Joan Dark,” a member of the “Black Straw Hats” (a Salvation Army-like group), in 20th–century Chicago. The play charts Joan’s battle with Pierpont Mauler, the unctious owner of a meat-packing plant. Like her predecessor, Joan is a doomed woman, a martyr, and (initially, at least) an innocent in a world of strike-breakers, fat cats, and penniless workers. Like many of Brecht’s plays, it is laced with humor and songs as part of its epicdramaturgical structure and deals with the theme of emancipation from material suffering and exploitation.

– Wikipedia


SCENE ONE

MAULER

My capitalist colleague Cridle, I, Pierpont Mauler, must confide in you that after visiting the stockyard for the first time, I wish to sell my shares and become a decent man. 

CRIDLE

Another stock holder, Lennox, is rumored to have lost his shares.

MAULER

Let’s strike a deal. 

CRIDLE

Will it advance my position?

MAULER

Yes! And at the same time, it will devastate the lives of the 50,000 workers whose livelihoods are in the stockyards!

CRIDLE

Deal.

SCENE TWO

In front of the Black Straw Hats Mission,

JOAN

Hello denizens of the Black Straw Hats Mission!

WORKERS

JOAN

What is the Black Straw Hats Mission?

WORKERS

A Salvation Army-type organization whose events draw dozens of workers, but only as long as there is soup.

JOAN

I urge you to embrace God in light of life’s injustices!

WORKERS

What about our hunger?

JOAN

Embrace God!

WORKERS

What about the failing market?

JOAN

Embrace God!

WORKERS

No!

JOAN

I am finding it difficult to distract you from hunger and the failing market!

WORKER

Mauler has made a deal!

The workers panic. 

JOAN

I am desperate to find a way to connect to them. Maybe if I go to the stockyards in order to find and confront Mauler, that will do the trick. 

SCENE THREE

JOAN 

Martha, my inexplicable friend from the Black Straw Hats with whom I am desperate to connect, let us wait outside of the Livestock Exchange for the capitalists!

MARTHA

Yes. 

CRIDLE 

Let us discuss the market and Lennox’s sad fate!

MAULER

How is the market?

CRIDLE

Bad!

MAULER

If Lennox’s fate could be an emotion, what would it be?

CRIDLE

Sad!

Say, Pierpont, I insist that you lower the asking price for your shares of the stockyard. The state of the market, bad as it is, lessens their worth. 

JOAN

Why did you sell the slaughterhouse?

MAULER

I do not what to be involved with such a bloody business. 

JOAN

Well that seems // like a sensible answer –

MAULER

// You are stunning me with your simplicity and beauty!

You there! Worker! Give me your money!

He forcibly takes money from the worker.

Here Joan, distribute this to the poor. 

JOAN

That doesn’t // seem –

MAULER 

Don’t tell me you pity the workers, Joan?

I will arrange for you to have a tour and see the wickedness of the poor workers whom you pity.

JOAN

I am stunned by the cruelty I am seeing!

WORKER

Psst, hey Joan. 

I want to advance myself. Will you take my dangerous position?

JOAN

Yes. 

Oh no! I have found myself trapped among the workers!

Oh no! I am beginning to see the corruption of the larger institutions, including my own Black Straw Hats! I hereby disaffiliate from the mission!

SCENE FOUR

MAULER

I see the imminent downfall of the market. My financial situation is poor, and I can only attribute that fact to my poor relationship with God! I will embrace religion and warn by colleagues that their property will fail them, but turning to God could save them from destitution!

Colleagues! Your property will fail you, but turing to God could save you from destitution!

JOAN

It is the end of the play.

MAULER

I preach with the Black Straw Hats now!

JOAN

And I have died a bitter, cynical, martyr in a world of heartless capitalists, strike-breakers, and penniless workers.

END OF PLAY