10-Page Excerpt

10 – PAGE EXCERPT

ALL OVER

A full-length blues play with music

By Jamie J. Brunson

Represented by:
Neil J. Rosini
Franklin, Weinrib, Rudell & Vassallo, P.C.
488 Madison Avenue, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10022-5707
(212) 935-5500

© All Rights Reserved. 1999, 2008

PROLOGUE

The experience of the audience begins before they enter the venue.

Ushers outside should be dressed in black, masked and wear white gloves. They should remain silent as much as possible, somberly leading audience members into the venue.

Once inside, we are in The Baltic Bar & Grill – a struggling blues café in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Upstage center is a bar. Bottles are arranged behind the bar in front of a glass panel. Stage right is a performance stage with a single chair. Slightly off center, downstage is a round table with three chairs. Stage left is an alleyway outside the bar entrance. Far stage right is a single chair beside a hole. The entire set threatens to sink into the hole. Additional tables and chairs may be set onstage. Some members of the audience may be seated onstage in the additional seating.

Lights up on RED-EYED. He is seated onstage, guitar in hand. RED-EYED has knowingly stood on the precipice of greatness many times; each chance thwarted by his own bitterness. While entertaining, his movement, speech and manner are melodramatic. All other times, his tone is faithless and incriminating. He is prone to digression and rambling speech.

RED-EYED
We make sense of things …the best way we know how…using what we’ve been given…

(ERNESTINE is heard humming “Amazing
Grace”. The sound punctuates RED-EYED’s monologue.)

RED-EYED
Man’s all the time looking for the woman that makes him want to be better than he is… makes him want this to be a better world… so that he can give it to her. Once he’s sure he’s found her… he uses his hands… any way he can …pounds the ground…picks some chords…just to provide for her. He dreams of raising up the earth to profess his love for her.
(ERNESTINE’s humming stops abruptly.)
(Cross fade to CLIVE, center stage.)

(CLIVE is a frail but fearless boy whose mood is always either a simmer or a boil. He is wearing a tee shirt that reads, “Be All You Can Be”. He constantly adjusts the shirt around his delicate shoulders.)

(USHERMAN stands facing CLIVE, dressed in an Army Recruiter’s uniform. USHERMAN is a man of substance, whose strong presence is offput by a slight bend in his otherwise perfect posture and controlled demeanor.)

USHERMAN
So, you want to be a soldier in this man’s army?

CLIVE
Yes sir.

USHERMAN
Where you from?

(Cross fade to RED-EYED.)

RED-EYED
…man wants to make a home for his woman … but this is a God forsaken place…everywhere you look… there’s somebody who could have been something… turned out to be nothing…just standing around…withering away.

(RED-EYED picks a lick on his guitar.)

(VOICE OVER of men playing craps is
heard.)

(Cross fade to EAST entering the alleyway.)

(EAST is a sturdy girl. Her body is highly developed for her young age. She is awkward and unsure. She moves as if dragging something delicate behind her.)

(The VOICE OVER of men stops when EAST enters.)

VO1
Hey you.
(EAST stops abruptly, frozen in place.)

You’re looking good. Getting nice and big. Where you going, looking so good?

EAST
(To herself) I can’t breathe.

VO1
You still got your cherry, girlie? (Laughter is heard) If you still got it, I’m gonna get it.
(Lights up on CLIVE. He calls to the man
from where he stands.)

CLIVE
Leave her alone.

VO1
Who’s that? You Red’s boy?

VO2
Red ain’t got no son.

VO1
Yes he does.

VO2

I know Red. I ain’t never heard Red talk about no son.

VO1
Yep he’s Red’s boy, by that singer.

VO2
I heard she’s crazy.

CLIVE
She ain’t crazy!

(Cross fade to ERNESTINE.)

(ERNESTINE is a striking woman – a commanding presence, but here, she has clearly attempted to mask herself. Her hair is neatly pulled back. Her makeup is sparse. Her blouse is buttoned high. Every movement and sentiment is delivered as if this women is trying to keep from exploding.)

ERNESTINE
A woman keeps things to herself, is all. If she don’t, nobody she loves will go on.

(Cross fade to EAST and CLIVE.)

EAST
Leave us be, you!

VO1
See you around, girlie.

(Clive struggles to stand.)

EAST
You got a name, “Red’s Boy”?

CLIVE
Clive. Who are you?

EAST
East.

CLIVE

East? Who give you a crazy name like that?

EAST

Hey! My mama said I come from the sky where the sun is so she named me East.

CLIVE

Oh. That’s nice. Sorry.

EAST

(Sits on the ground.)

Everyday I come down this road to the store for my mama. She smokes Pall Malls, more than a pack a day. Nasty habit.

(Lights up a cigarette.)

Everyday them men are right there waiting on me. One day they’re gonna catch me alone somewhere.

CLIVE

Tell.

EAST
Tell! It’s just me and mama and we got six babies at the house. Scooter – he got a rash from birth, Delicious – we call him delicious ‘cause his poop smells sweet, Pinky he’s a redbone, Twone and Baby Ray – the twins, Junie and me.

CLIVE
Any of ‘em yours?

EAST
No. But that don’t matter none. Every mouth got to be fed, every ass got to be wiped. I got to get back and get dinner ready. (Pause.) Where’s my cherry anyway?

(CLIVE points to EAST’s vagina.)

EAST
Dammit!

(Stomps her foot.)

It ain’t natural to be so big at my age. If I was natural they wouldn’t be at me like that. I wish I could push them back in.

(She presses against her breast.)

CLIVE
I like ‘em.

EAST
You’re just like the rest of ‘em.
(Covers her breasts by crossing her arms
over them.)

CLIVE
I’m not.

(CLIVE gently pulls her arms away from her breasts, then turns away as to be a gentleman and not stare.)

EAST
Got to be more to life than waiting for rain.

CLIVE
I’ll walk you tomorrow.

(Lights out on EAST and CLIVE.)

(Cross fade to ERNESTINE.)

ERNESTINE
A woman keeps things to herself but they’re always in her through her over her even when the man she loves touches her body and it trembles because she wants to want him all through her wants him more than anything else wants to feel love so badly but her heart is stony so she closes her eyes and for one sweet second she’s in a field of tiger lilies free she lets her body move with his like wind moves high grass and she hopes that she will feel she does what she can to please him some things she can’t bear to do he accepts her no she’s moving with him moving and she feels an explosion rising in her she’s letting herself be natural and she’s she’s about to burst and she does she bursts but it’s not with joy she bursts with shame shame running all down her because her skin is remembering something else every time her man touches her and she wants to tell it tell it all she wants to remember when the dark was a peaceful quiet place a place of rest she can crawl into but it’s not and it won’t ever be peaceful again no place

(Cross fade to RED-EYED)

RED-EYED
A man cries …but never for himself.. only for her …for what hurts her….…he wants his love to be a healing balm..even when he knows it ain’t…he can’t protect her from nothing!…can’t stop her from raging…it’s an impossible fight… live with that …live with that …live with that…

(Cross fade to CLIVE and USHERMAN)

USHERMAN
So why do you want to be a soldier?

CLIVE
I want to learn how to fight.

USHERMAN
So where’s your mama?

(Cross fade to ERNESTINE.)

ERNESTINE
She’s afraid one day when she’s moving with him she’ll forget where’s she’s at forget that he’s the one she loves get lost behind her closed eyes as she’s moving with him then open up her eyes and see him different then raise her razor and kill him so she clears her mind of everything makes it blank so that everyone can go on he sees the emptiness in her eyes and releases her they both feel dead for a minute this is what they share this is how they love in deadness it will always be this way because she can never ever forget that she was made chattel like a pig or a goat or a plow and somebody’s rotten mouth and
ERNESTINE Continued
stinking dirty hands had authority over her and went unpunished and she still smells the stench all over her.

CLIVE
Well my mama, she’s here, but she ain’t …

(Cross fade to RED-EYED.)

RED-EYED
Still a man dreams of one day being a father…playing catch with his son…teaching him how to pee straight…spit…and cus…. saying to his boy, “Son…this is the way to be a man….you do this…and you’ll have that….work hard…love strong…and you’ll have it all…’cause the world is made for you…….son, you won’t never have to go down low … crawl in the dirt…no sir… and you’ll never come home and cut your family apart ‘cause you lost the fight…see the world was made for you…been waiting to welcome you in it…with open……..

(Cross fade to CLIVE.)

CLIVE
My daddy, he’s around, but he ain’t….ah..with us..um…. Mama and me. He left. But he’s still here in town. Near by. I mean…

USHERMAN
This ain’t no game son. This is the US Army. Now either you want to be a solider or not. Don’t waste my time.

CLIVE
My mama will sign the papers, I promise.

(Cross fade to RED-EYED.)

RED-EYED
We make sense out of things the best way we know how…

USHERMAN
You got a strange set of circumstances you got boy.

CLIVE
How soon can I leave?

(Lights up on ALL. )

CLIVE
One day hope is in front of you .

EAST
Next thing you know, you’re sitting alone at the end of an alley.

ERNESTINE
Holding on to your history so tight that your fingers are about to bleed.

RED-EYED
And the beginning middle and end of your life is all happening at once .

CLIVE
Pouring out of you, right there in front of strangers.

USHERMAN
But you got to know the end of the story, the real end, to know anything at all.

END PROLOGUE


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