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Come In, Stranger, Out of the Fog
by Rich Yurman

About the Play

 

A one act play set during London's "killer fog" of Dec. 1962

 

One set; three characters

 

Working off the following three news reports:

 

"London offices emptied early today as a dense fog settled over The City.  The thick blanket, which has paralyzed much of Britain, is expected to continue unabated for another several days.  The Air Ministry has called today's fog, combining high levels of sulphur dioxide and smoke, the worst since the killer fog of December 1952.  Fog belts begin as far south as the Hampshire coast and as for north as the Clyde..."

                  BBC report, Dec. 4, 1962

 

"Dangerous and disrupting though it was, the fog gave London a weird beauty.  The bulk of the great buildings dissolved into misty outlines."  

                  New York Times, Dec. 6, 1962

 

"London police reported 106 persons were known to have 'died suddenly' between midnight Monday and Friday morning as a killer fog hovered over the city.  The great sulphurous pall was as thick and polluted as the smog that killed at least 4,000 persons exactly 10 years ago."

                     AP, Dec. 8, 1962

 

Characters:

  Mrs. Rac—widow, late 40s

  Mr. Palmston—suburban home owner, mid 40s

  Mr. B—quiet, powerfully built, 35 years old

 

Setting:  Living room, lit by kerosene lamp and coal fire in the fireplace; the electricity is out

 

. . . . . . . . .

 

Mrs. R: Yes, Mr. Rac liked a spot of brandy after his tea of a foggy evening.  I'll just be a moment, then.

 

(She rises, exits to kitchen. He rises; once again hefts the knife, smiles, puts it down; returns to telephone alcove, lifts the receiver.)

 

Mr. P: (mutters) Still dead.

 

(He flicks the cut-off, jiggles it, then notices something; pulls on the cord; lifts it from the floor; it is not attached to anything. Mrs. R. re-enters carrying a tray with decanter and one glass.)

 

Mr. P: Well, look here, Mrs. Rac.  This phone's not even connected to the line.

 

Mrs. R:  (without surprise)  Come have a touch of brandy, James.

 

(He moves toward her, holding the phone out, puzzled but turning aggressive)

 

Mr. P: How this, then?  Something rather peculiar here.

 

Mrs. R: Must have come loose.  I shall have to arrange for a repair.

 

Mr. P: Come loose?  Accidentally, do you mean?  Not likely.  Do you take me for a fool?

 

Mrs. R:  (casually)  No one calls.  Possibly the char-lady did it sweeping out the corners. She was here just day before last.  Do relax, James.  Here (pours brandy) have a sip.

 

(He studies her, hesitates, places phone on table, accepts the glass)

 

Mr. P: None for you?

 

Mrs. R:  I don't use spirits, James.  These are for guests.  Not that we have many—as you can see, the bottle's barely begun.

 

Mr. P: Quite.  Cheers, then.

 

(He takes a sip, approves, takes more, finishes off the glass; she watches him closely; when she's sure he's imbibed it all, she pulls her shawl closer about her.)

 

Mrs. R: It's grown chilly of a sudden.

 

Mr. P: Again. Well, you do seem very sensitive to changes in temperature.

 

(Mr. P. moves toward her and begins to circle his arm about her shoulders; she pretends not to notice, glances toward window, then turns to him.)

 

Mrs. R: Would you mind stirring the fire, James? Add a touch more warmth to the room.

 

Mr. P:  (moving toward fireplace) Not at all.  Glad to.  A slight service in return for your hospitality.

 

(He begins to stir the fire, his back toward the kitchen door, which begins to open very slowly; Mr. B. enters quietly, stands just inside the door looking to Mrs. R.; she nods.)

 

Copyright © 2005 Rich Yurman

 

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Even After All These Years
by Nathan Albright

Author's Preface

 

Perhaps once in every author's life, he has an idea of pure genius.  While I am no genius author, I hope this work at least reflects an idea of genius.  From the moment that the idea of this play came into my head, it has consumed me until I had no choice but to present it to the rest of you.

This play is the second completed play (of at least three, there is one in between this play and The Flight) in the Sydney Matthias series.  The play exists on two time levels.  That is the fundamental clue to solving the riddle posed by the title. Why is a play about two sets of lovers called Even After All These Years?  If one bothers to read through to Scene Twenty-Two, the answer is provided. Despite the fact that the two timelines are separated by over 2850 years, they still love and have many of the same things happen to them.

This has been one of my most enjoyable plays to write.  Where it took me was a beautiful place where two innocent and intelligent people can love without sinning, can make their world a better place while also enriching their own lives.  This is a play about four people, two couples, separated by time but not a lot of space, whose love reflects a godliness in each of them.

If everyone has at least one fairy tale to give to the world, this is mine.  I must thank many people for their help to me in making this play possible.  I am part Jewish myself, but not enough for me to know the language or culture.  For that I have been helped by a few websites as well as a friend of mine, Mark Kaplan, who is Jewish himself.

I have also been helped concerning the chronology and location of the events of this play by several friends whose knowledge about the Bible exceeds my own. For all of these friends, as well as for Sarah at USC Hillel who gave me some help in Hebrew, I give my sincerest thanks.  This play is fundamentally about love and the constancy of human nature despite the long passage of time.  A future play that I hope to write in three parts will make this more explicit.  I hope that this is an enjoyable play to read or watch.

I have no doubt that there is much here that people will analyze to death, especially concerning the ferocity about land in this play.  There will be some who complain that I am pro-Israeli, but let them complain.  This is a play about success, and as such, it could not be a play about narrow-  minded Palestinians with bloodthirsty thoughts of revenge.  It had to be about a Jew and an American who love each other and who do not hate those who hate them, even if it is necessary to stand by and watch one's enemies get slaughtered.  There are two ways in this world, love and hate.  Hate and you end up like the Palestinians and Nabal.  Love and you end up like Joshua and Ishi and like Sydney and Hadassah.

As a writer, all I can do is paint a story and hope that it excites (such as the events of Mount Carmel as well as the fight in Ein Helweh), entertains (such as the events where Sydney and Hadassah make out on Mount Carmel only to have someone ask them a history question), and enlightens (such as the historical, cultural, and biblical knowledge present in this play).  I have done the best I could to make this a wonderful play.  May you do the best you can in enjoying it yourself.

 

Scene One

 

Scene:  It is the ruins of Samaria, the capital of the biblical kingdom of Israel.  It is a dry Israeli day, with few clouds in the sky, and two archeologists are digging on the site of the IvoryPalace, which was the palace of the dynasty of Omri.  After some digging, the two archeologists find a stone tablet.  They are dressed plainly, in baggy and comfortable clothes, to keep the desert sun at bay.  Both of them are westerners, British.

 

Archeologist #1:   Come here, Harry.

 

Archeologist #2: Yes, old chap?  What do you have there?

 

Archeologist #1: I have found some kind of stone tablet underneath all of this rubble.

 

Archeologist #2: Can you read it at all?

 

Archeologist #1: Not right now, could you brush it off and let us see if we can make out the Hebrew characters.

 

Archeologist #2: [brushing it off]:  How about that?

 

Archeologist #1: That is much better, thanks.

 

Archeologist #2: This looks like some kind of court tablet.

 

Archeologist #1: Yes, like the court records of King Ahab.  It appears that the tablet records some kind of petition from a subject in the Kingdom of Israel concerning a family farm in Abel Meholah.

 

Archeologist #2: This looks interesting.  What should we do with it?

 

Archeologist #1: Well, let us translate it as best as we are able and publish it.

 

Archeologist #2: This could cause a firestorm.

 

Archeologist #1: Yes, it names Ahab as well as the words Abel Meholah and Carmel.

 

Archeologist #2: What could Carmel have to do with anything?

 

Archeologist #1: I do not know.  Perhaps after translation we could make more sense of it.

 

Archeologist #2: Is the scribe named?

 

Archeologist #1: Not that I can see offhand, there appears to be some lacunae.

 

Archeologist #2: What a shame, but that is par for the course. 

Archeologist #1: Yes, it is, but this is the most interesting thing we have found yet.

 

Archeologist #2: You know how those yankees say publish or perish?

 

Archeologist #1: Yes?

 

Archeologist #2: Well, at least we won't perish. This could get us some major publicity and fund our work for a long time.

 

Archeologist #1: Quite true.  Let's get going.  We have a lot of work to do.

 

Copyright © 2005 Nathan Albright

 

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Read an Excerpt

Meka and Alexander
by Gregory Walker

ACT ONE

FADE IN:

EXT. FRONT YARD - MORITA HOUSE - 10AM

We see Mr. MORITA, a 40 year-old Japanese man with his daughter, MEKA, 17 year old, very beautiful and curvy moving their belongings into their house (which is located in a black slum) from a U-Haul truck. A few of the new neighbors are gazing in disbelief as they watch moving lazily about.

Mr. Morita waves at them and smiles.

MR. MORITA
We make lots of friends here.

Meka struggles to get a grip on a box.

MR. MORITA
(smiles)
You get to know boy and he will be doing lifting.

EXT. ACROSS THE STREET

We see T.J. and SNOW, black men in their twenties, both having the street toughness which is common in the slums, drinking beer and watching Mr. Morita from a street corner.

T.J.
Why you think he moved over here?

SNOW
Don't know!

He takes a gun out of his jacket and whirls it around.

T.J.
(laughs)
But we gonna kick his butt!

SNOW

Show him who run the hood . . .

T.J. gets a match out of his pocket.

T.J.
You like fire?

He strikes a match and Snow nods.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE MORITA HOUSE - NIGHT

There is a silence about the neighborhood as there was no one on the street, with only the sound of crickets.

INT. THE MORITA HOUSE - LIVING ROOM

Mr. Morita and Meka are seated in the living room almost in total silence. Mr. Morita has a notebook in his hand.

MR. MORITA
Pen wa doko desuka.

Meka walks over to the television and picks up a pen.

MEKA
Koko desu.

She hands him the pen.

MR. MORITA
Domo arigato.

There is a sudden sound of a window breaking in the bedroom and we hear a car engine screaming with the tires burning rubber. There is a big flame coming out and Meka sees it.

MEKA
(screams)
Father, the house is on fire!

She grabs his arm, Mr. Morita moves her arm away and goes quickly to the bedroom.

MR. MORITA
(excitedly)
Go get a bucket of water!

Meka departs hurriedly and returns with a bucket of water in her hands, Mr. Morita grabs the bucket and throws it on the flame. He hands her the bucket.

MR. MORITA
(continuing)
Get another!

Meka departs and returns, Mr. Morita sees the fire is out of control.

MR. MORITA
(continuing)
Lets get out of here, there's nothing we can do!

. . . . . .

Copyright © 2005 Gregory Walker

 

To order this Play, read about the Author, read Reviews - Click Here 

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