Decided to attempt another play after finishing my play for Play Writing class. It's fun, challenging and it helps discipline me into thinking about scenes in my head. As a director, I think it helps to know how a scene is built so that dissecting it later on is less of a challenge.
So this is my attempt. I hope I can workshop it sometime. In the meantime, this is what I've started with. Here we go!
Breaking Up, Moving On and Other Fairy Tales
Short Scenes in Two Parts
by Mahar Mangahas
-Petulant, spoiled and willful. A self-described “serious” girl “cursed” by a “dizty” name. Imagines slights far too easily. Secretly fond of being taken for granted early in a relationship if only to gradually demand for more beyond necessary to compensate for early “neglect” from a partner later on. Needy. Hardly admits to weakness. Capable of great acts of generosity. Compassionate, but selfish. Erratic.
-Gentlemanly, cultured, well-meaning, but emotionally disturbed and torn by shrewish grandparents and internal drive to succeed. Suffers from low self-esteem. Wishes he could do more for his fellow man but disgusted with existing establishment. Simply trying to get by, but increasingly difficult due to tempestuous relationship with erratic Amber.
-Sweet, kind, patient, though sarcastic and caustic to individuals that annoy her. Unconventionally pretty, but suffers low self-esteem due to frequent comparing of self to conventionally spectacular looking siblings. Frighteningly intelligent. Amber's shadow.
-Quiet, sarcastic. Immensely talented, but unable to capitalize on his talent due to unfortunate circumstances. Circuitous love life prevents/distracts him from realizing his dreams. Has difficulty sharing emotions. Constantly wheedled by Petra to share said emotions, who he likes, but disapproves of her friendship to Amber. Prone to disappear without notice.
Lights up on AMBER. She is reading letters, sifting through photos, cards and other paraphernalia. A dusty object catches her eye---it is a yearbook. She leafs through it, shuts it rather forcefully and sniffs at the cloud of dust that erupted with her shutting of the book. She sighs rather forlornly for a moment, then collects herself. In an instant, her forlorn look is replaced by a mask of cold, indifferent confidence. She holds this mask for a few moments, but soon struggles to keep it. The forlorn look returns. Once again, she opens the yearbook, and takes out a pen and paper, occasionally glancing at the yearbook as she begins to write.
(Starting a letter) Dear Francis, I miss you....I was wrong. No, no. (Crumples paper, begins a new letter.) Dear Francis...these things happen you know? No....(Another attempt) Hey Francis, how's it hanging? Ugh, no...(Yet another attempt.) Dear Francis...how do I make this right?
Lights up on PETRA, who is playing a few keys on a luxurious grand piano. The melody is simple and pretty, but she struggles with the tune. She keeps trying and trying but her skill is clearly lacking.
A phone rings. PETRA stops her playing to answer it.
Petra speaking. (A garbled voice is heard from the other end.) Oh. Oh. I see. (Stoically.) That's very nice. Thank you. Good-bye.
PETRA continues to play from where she left off, but the errors are coming more rapidly now. She is crying. The melody is barely discernible. Finally, she slams the keys and rests her head on the piano. She wipes her tears, and puts her fingers to the keys, but her hands won't move.
Lights up on FRANCIS, who has a letter in his hand. He snorts as he realizes who sent the letter. He gingerly opens the envelope, takes out the letter and begins to rip the letter slowly into smaller pieces. He stops as he reads the last line, and he looks ashamed. He reassembles the letter, reading aloud as he pieces it back together.
Dear Francis....I was wrong. I didn't...mean for this to happen. How can I... make things right? Love.. Amber.
Lights up on MARTIN, who is seated before a much humbler piano than PETRA. He plays a much more advanced piece than hers, but it is soon revealed to be a beautiful rendition of PETRA's theme. His face is rapt as he plays the music; he pays attention to nothing else. A phone rings. He doesn't answer. It rings and rings and rings, but MARTIN simply plays louder.