Tuesday, July 13, 2010

It's Camp!

What follows is the script for the Midsummer pre-show. Don't think of it as being simple; I like to think of it as the Fairy summer camp version of A Midsummer Night's Dream.

Act One:

Scene 1

Music begins, led by Becca and Bonnie (in character as Snout and Puck). Clanking leads to drumming and into invocation of the Preshow

Theseus: (over drums) Let the games begin! (drums fade)

Begins chasing Hippolyta around the bench. Ad libbing: I’m gonna get you!

Hippolyta: (playful) Not if I get you first!

Theseus catches up to her, holds her by the waist. Hippolyta swings around to hit Theseus, he grabs her hand and pins it behind her back. Repeats with other hand, beginning to get frisky, then Egeus enters with Hermia, Demetrius and Lysander. Throughout, Demetrius tries to be seen, finally getting up on the bench.

Egeus: My lord –

Theseus: Whaaaaat?

Egeus: My daughter (points to Hermia) wants to marry this one! (points to Lysander)

Theseus: Okay.

Egeus: I don’t want her to marry this one. I want her to marry that one! (points to Demetrius)

Herm: But –

Egeus: No buts! My way or the highway! (This gives Lysander an idea)

Herm: You don’t understand me at all! I hate you!

Egeus: Hate me today, you’ll love me tomorrow. What say you, my lord?

Theseus: (to Hippolyta) I’m going to talk for a minute and completely ignore you. Don’t fall asleep. (To Hermia) As Egeus is your… parent, you must obey the law of the land. Marry Demetrius.

Hermia: Ewwww!

Theseus: You could always be a nun. Or we could put you to death… My own wedding is fast approaching and I really think you need to work this our for yourselves. Lysander seems to be a perfectly fine fellow, but Egeus is the boss. Well, not the boss. I’m the boss. Egeus is a boss. He’s your boss and you have to do as you’re told. Sorry, kid. Them’s the rules. Demetrius, Egeus, come with me. Hippolyta – (she’s asleep, he shakes her awake) come on, we have seating arrangements and china patterns to pick out.

(As they exit, to Demetrius) I tell ya, kid, weddings are a big (snore).

Scene 2

Hermia: Oh jeez, my life is over. I hate everyone.

Lysander: Even me?

Hermia: No, not you. You’re amazing and sweet and… taller.

Lysander: Let’s run away together.

Hermia: No way!

Lysander: Yes way! But we can’t tell anyone or we’ll both get in big trouble.

Hermia: I promise.

(enter Helena)

Hermia: Helena! We’re running away together!!!

Lysander: Really?

Helena: Oh boy. Good for you. I’m overjoyed.

Hermia: Why are you such a gloomy gus?

Helena: I like Demetrius, Demetrius likes you, you like Lysander and nobody likes me.

Hermia: Aw, lots of people like you. (shakes NO to the aud)

Helena: I just want Demetrius to like me.

Hermia: I’m sure he’ll come around. (shakes NO to the aud) Anyway, we’re running off. Demetrius will forget all about me. You’ll see. (again NO to the aud)

Helena: Sigh.

Hermia: Take care of yourself don’t forget to water the plants love you lots kay thanks bye! (Hermis and Lysander exit)

Helena: I’m telling Demetrius. (Exits, off on drums)

Scene 3

Enter Mechanicals

Quince: The play we’re doing is –

Bottom: It doesn’t matter, I’m going to be awesome!

Quince: Yeah, sure. Here are your parts –

Bottom: Again, I’m the greatest actor who ever lived! You should have seen my one-man Hamlet. My fight scene was spectacular!

Quince: You can’t play all the parts!

Bottom: Do I get the girl?

Quince: Kind of. (points to Flute) He’s the girl.

Flute: Aw, man!

Quince: Nope, girl.

Bottom: Aw, man!

Quince: That’s it! Everyone else doesn’t do much. Snout, you do something, Starvelling, you do something, too. Snug? (Snug roars) Guess who’s the lion? You all have your parts. Let’s not suck too much, shall we?

Bottom: (grandly) I promise!

Quince: Oh boy.

(They exit)

Scene 4:

Oberon: (to Titania) I’m so mad at you!

Titania: I’m so mad at you!

Puck: Why are you so mad?

Oberon: I’ll tell you why –

Titania: I’ll tell you why. There was a follower of mine, who I loved, and who loved me. She was devoted to me, and was one of my favorites. She was with child – (Winter goes into labor; as Brandon is “born”) but sadly died in childbirth.

Fairy 2: (regarding the size of the “baby”) Woah! That would have killed me too!

Titania: And so the child passed to me.

Oberon: And she won’t share!

Titania: Why do you want him so badly?

Oberon: …Because.

Titania: Yes?

Oberon: So, you know…I can teach him.

Titania: Teach him…?

Oberon: You know…stuff.

Titania: You are so lame. Not giving up the baby.

Oberon: But –

Titania: Sorry. I’m going shopping. (They exit, huffy)

Oberon: Ooooh, she makes me so mad!

Puck: Can you get back at her?

Oberon: Are you kidding? I’m Oberon. I’m the Fairy King! I can do anything! (pause) Flowers.

Puck: You’re going to buy her flowers? Boy, you are lame.

Oberon: Quiet and listen: purple and white flower. Find it for me.

Puck: You mean like, FTD? (assumes Oberon’s Cupid pose)

Oberon: No, like go out and find me a flower. You’ll know it when you see it. Go! Quickly! (Puck exits) (to aud) The flower is magic. When applied to a person’s eyes, it makes them fall in love with the first thing they see. I’ll make her fall in love with…a polar bear

Puck: (poking her head in) No polar bears in the forest.

Oberon: (annoyed) She’ll have a romance with a shark!

Puck: (same) We’re not in the ocean.

Oberon: Well, whatever! Something… funny. Yes…something funny.

Enter Helena (Sarah) and Demetrius (Winter)

Oberon: Eek! I’m invisible! (put hands over eyes)

Scene 5

Helena: C’mon, baby!

Demetrius: No!

Helena: But –

Demetrius: I said no!

Helena: But we’d be so good together! If you need something from a shelf, I can get it for you…If I drop something on the ground, you’re already halfway there…We’re perfect for each other!

Demetrius: Perfectly no.

Helena: Fine. Don’t be nice. Be mean. Be angry. Push me away (He does). Yeah, and throw me around a little. And slap me. (she lightly slaps her own face) Yeah! Slap me! Spank me! I’ve been so bad!

Demetrius: Um, look, superfreak, I gotta go. Thanks for telling me about Lysander and Hermia, but I gotta jet. (exits)

Helena: But…I like the way your hair smells! (she exits)

Oberon: Wow.

Scene 6

Titania re-enters

Titania: I’m tired. (sleeps)

Puck re-enters with flower and hands to Oberon. Oberon rubs flower on Titania’s eyes as she sleeps. Puck and Oberon leave.

Enter Hermia (Claire) and Lysander (Tyler)

Hermia: I’m tired.

Lysander: Yeah.

Hermia: We should sleep.

Lysander: Yeah!

Hermia: I’m going to lay right here.

Lysander: Yeah!

Hermia: And you’re going to lay right over there.

Lysander. Oh.

Hermia: We are going to remain pure and sweet and virtuous and not touch each other until we’re married.

Lysander: Amen.

Hermia: Ahmen.

Lysander: Okay.

They sleep.

Puck enters.

Puck: Hmmm. Boy. Girl. Dressed like townies. He looks like a jerk. She looks okay. Check this out. (she rubs Lysander’s eyes with the flower) Peace.

Demetrius enters, followed by Helena.

Demetrius: Look, will you please leave me alone? Look, what’s that over there? (she looks, he runs off)

Helena: Well, shoot. It’s dark, I’m in the woods, which isn’t creepy at all.

Lysander awakes and rises like a zombie, transfixed on Helena.

Helena: Oh great, a zombie. Just what I needed in the scary dark woods all by myself. Don’t eat my brains!

Lysander: Your brains? I love your brains.

Helena: Ew.

Lysander: And your body, and your voice, and your fashion, and I like your hair…

Helena: What?

Lysander: And the way your jaw makes this clicking sound when you chew…

Helena: Um, what?

Lysander: I love you.

Helena: This is beyond weird.

Lysander: You are beyond words.

Helena: I’m out like a trout. (She exits)

Lysander: I love fish! (he notices Hermia sleeping) What was I thinking? You’re nowhere near as cool as her! You’re puny, she’s perfect. You’re small, she’s not. You’re ugly, she’s hot. I love her. I scorn you. (he exits)

Hermia: (waking up) Lysander? Honey? Sweetheart? Where’d you go? Really?

(She exits)

Scene 7

Enter Bottom and Mechanicals

Snout: You don’t look so good.

Bottom: I don’t?

Starvelling: No, you look…bad?

Bottom: Baaaaaad?

Quince: Baaaad! Aw jeez! (They run off screaming.)

Bottom: Wow. What’s wr-heehaww-ng with them?

Titania: (waking up) Achee-wawa! You are one hundred kinds of yummy!

Bottom: I beg pardon?

Titania: You! Your voice is like the rainbow, your visage is a work of art! You are my muse, and I am but a lowly poet. You inspire me.

Bottom: Um. Sorry?

Titania: Fairies attend! Make this creature of beauty comfortable in our home.

Peas-blossom: Hail!

Moth: Hail!

Mustardseed: Hail!

Cobweb: Oh hell. This is where the intermission happens. (Beat) Okay, off we go.

Off with Bottom, bewildered. Enter Oberon and Puck.

Act Two

Scene 1:

Oberon: What the? Puck?

Puck whispers into Oberon’s ear and they share a laugh. Enter Hermia and Demetrius. Oberon hides and Puck.leaves

Hermia: What did you do with Lysander?

Demetrius: I didn’t do anything with him!

Hermia: If I find out you’re lying…I’m going to do something you won’t like and you won’t like it for a really long time! (she stomps off)

Demetrius: Well…nuh uh. (he sits) Who has two thumbs and needs a nap? This guy.

(He lies down and sleeps. Oberon rubs the flower on his eyes. Puck enters.)

Puck: Lord, the other two are on their way. (They hide)

Enter Lysander and Helena.

Lysander: But I love you.

Helena: Go away, creep!

Lysander: But I love you!

Helena: You are so screwed up.

(Demetrius wakes and sees Helena)

Demetrius: You are such a hottie!

Helena and Lysander: What???

Demetrius: Dude, step off. This girl is fine like an overdue library book.

Lysander: That makes no sense.

Demetrius: I am so in love with you.

Helena: You’ve got to be kidding.

(Enter Hermia)

Hermia: Oh, Lysander! I’m so glad I found you!

Lysander: Well, you found me. I guess you can find your way home then.

Hermia: Excuse me?

Lysander: You heard me. Don’t let the leaves hit you on the way out.

Hermia: What is going on?

Helena: Yeah, what is going on?

Lysander/Demetrius: (to Helena) I love you.

Demetrius: No, I love her.

Lysander: No, I love her.

Demetrius: No, me!

Lysander: No, me!

Demetrius: You’d better watch it. (Pushes Lysander)

Lysander: Watch this. (Pushes Demetrius)

Demetrius: Dude… (Pushes Lysander)

Lysander: Son… (Pushes Demetrius)

Hermia: You are both so lame.

Demetrius: You want some of this?

Lysander: Yeah, come on!

Demetrius: Come get some!

Lysander: You called down the thunder, well now you’ve got it!

(They slap fight.)

Demetrius: You suck!

Lysander: No, you suck!

Demetrius: Your mom!

Lysander: What?

Demetrius: I mean…

Lysander: What did you say?

Demetrius: I mean, uh…look, shiny!

(Demetrius runs off while Lysander is distracted, then Lysander follows)

Helena: This is all your fault. (She exits)

Hermia: Mine? What? (She exits)

Oberon: This is bad. (To Puck) You’d better fix this. (Oberon exits)

Puck: Oooookay.

(Lysander enters)

Puck: Sleep. (Lysander sleeps.)

(Demetrius enters)

Puck: Sleep. (Demetrius sleeps.)

(Helena enters)

Puck: Sleep. (Helena sleeps.)

(Hermia enters)

Puck: Sleep. (Hermia sleeps.) Now… when you wake up, you’ll be in love with who you should be. (pause) I think. (Puck exits)

Scene 2

Enter Bottom and Titania.

Bottom: I’m sleepy. (he looks at the lovers) Seems to be catching. (He lies down and sleeps)

Titania: Sleep, my pretty. Rest your weary head. I’ll watch over you like a zzzzzzzzzzzz-

(she sleeps)

Puck and Oberon enter.

Puck: Just like that?

Oberon: Just like that. Crazy, huh?

Puck: Crazy like a fox! So, what are you going to call the boy?

Oberon: I don’t know. Names are weird around here. I mean, Peas-blossom? Anyway, we should remedy this. (To Titania) Wake, my sweet, and love me again.

Titania: (waking) Oberon, I love you again!

Puck. Wow.

Titania: I had the craziest dream!

Oberon: In the middle of the summer?

Titania: How did you…wait a minute.

Oberon: Nevermind that now. Let’s take a walk.

Scene 4

(Oberon, Titania and Puck exit. Thesus, Hippolyta and Egeus enter)

Thesus: …and so the doctor says, “Wait, if this is my thermometer, where’s my pen?”

(much laughter)

Hippolyta: Well, there’s something you don’t see every day. (to the lovers) Are you dead?

(The lovers wake up)

Lysander: I feel like I’ve been asleep for days.

Demetrius: Where am I?

Helena: Where are we?

Hermia: Mom?

Lysander: (looking at Hermia) I love you!

Hermia: (hugging Lysander) Awww.

Demetrius: (to Helena) I love you!

Helena: Jackpot! (hugs Demetrius, high fives Hermia)

Theseus: Wedding, party of 6? Wedding, party of 6? Your table is ready.

Egeus: My lord!

Theseus: Sorry, them’s the rules. Let’s go get hitched!

They exit.

Bottom: (waking) I’m ready for my close up, Mr. Quince. Snout? Francis Flute? Anybody? Maybe they’re at Qunice’s house.

Enter Quince and Mechanicals

Quince: Ah jeez, what happened to you?

Starvelling: We were worried sick!

Bottom: First things first: Get on your dancing shoes and pretty hats, we’re going to the palace!

Snout: Huh?

Bottom: Pyramus and Thisbe! Let’s go put on a play!

“Put on a play” echoes as fairies repeat the call, bringing all fairies into the space. Winter pops out to deliver the curtain speech.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

A Grand Day Out, pt 1

Today was momentous. Max's first trip to the dentist. He was worried (only slightly) that he'd get a tooth yanked if the "doctist" found one that wasn't shiny. I reassured him that he'd only have a polish and get a toothbrush and probably some stickers.

We got there on time, which in itself was a small miracle. (You try getting anywhere on time flying solo with two way-too-smart kids who need to investigate/discover/explore EVERYTHING.) We also had to hit every red light in the Fan, at which Hudson would comment, "Uh oh! We're stopped! We're stopped!" Max would then shout, "Dun dun DUN!" and we'd be on our way. (This also happened a week or so ago. I guess all the cool kids are doing it.)

The boys were their usual charming selves, and everyone told Max he had nothing to worry about. In the waiting room, there is a kiosk where, for a token (provided by the receptionist after the appointment), you can get your choice of stretchy guy, sticky guy, fake plastic ring guy, army guy, or colored bouncy ball. Kind of like at the entrance to Wal-Mart, only I felt less less ashamed for being there.

While Max was in the back, Hudson went apeshit over getting a ball. The receptionist, who I think has a mad-on for fathers, gave me a token to give to Hudson so he would relax and play with the ball and shut the hell up so she could keep shopping online for high heels or keep telling her coworker about the outrageous fees they're charging at her tanning place or about how "they" have come back and how she can't wait for "them" to leave and she hopes "they" don't leave a "mess" when they "go."

Hudson's ball was blue and swirly, and he fell in love, trading it for his beloved iTouch when the time came. We played catch for a while. He got upset when the ball rolled into the leg of his shorts and he had to get it himself. I told him that I wasn't going after the blue ball in his pants today, but if it was there for awhile, I'd take care of it. Much laughter from the ladies with nothing better to do. Hudson rolled his eyes. Honest.

Max was finished soon enough and came out with lots of crap: 6 stickers he'll lose in the car, a small toothbrush that isn't as cool as his brother's, a dental mirror that will end up being used as a weapon and a surgical mask that is sure to entertain and delight. The dentist said Max's teeth look great and he must not eat a lot of sweets. That fool!

Now Max can't wait to make frosted brownies and drink apple juice. Cole boys -1. Dentist -0.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Play Nice

A few months ago, I participated as a playwright for Sycamore Rouge's 24-Hour Experience. The idea was that, from 8pm Friday night until the performance the following night (also at 8pm - hence 24 hours), a play would be created from the ether. Playwrights would gather, be given specific criteria (our play had to include an object, an activity and a name) and go. The plays were finished when the playwright chose. We read them aloud for each other, offering ideas and constructive criticism as needed. It was tiring, but a very rewarding and positive experience.

I thought I'd share my entry into the Experience. Comment your hearts away.


By Jeffrey Cole

Lights up.

“Zero” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs is playing, mid-song (about 2:40).

Legerdemain is dancing. GB is drinking at bar DL. She motions to bartender for another drink. She looks dejected. Bartender brings a martini. Tom Jones enters from house. He looks anxious, but quickly calms as he sits at bar.

TOM: May I have a vodka tonic?

He turns and ogles Legerdemain as she dances. She notices him and winks, putting on a show for him. He lays down a twenty on the bar. Bartender brings his drink.

TOM: Thank you. (to GB) Enjoying the show?

GB: (Not looking at him) The more I drink…(pause)

TOM: Right.

They drink. Legerdemain’s set ends and she exits UC.

TOM: So, what do you do?

GB: What? Are you really –

TOM: I’m just making conversation. Just trying to be nice.

GB: Keep trying.

They drink. Legerdemain comes out in street clothes, next to Tom. They smile shyly at each other. GB rolls her eyes.

TOM: Nice show.


TOM: What do you call yourself?

LEGERDEMAIN: Legerdemain.

TOM: Beg pardon?

LEGERDEMAIN: Legerdemain. It means –

TOM: I know what it means. Interesting choice.

LEGERDEMAIN: You haven’t seen my snake trick.

TOM: (pause) Ah.

LEGERDEMAIN: Gotta pee. BRB. (Legerdemain exits SL)

GB: Did she really just tell you she’d “BRB”? Did I just hear that?

TOM: You did.

GB: I’m getting old.

TOM: Really. (They drink.) How old are –

GB: Not supposed to ask.

TOM: Violates the rules of decorum?

GB: I don’t know you.

TOM: (leaning over) Tom. Jones.

GB: You’re kidding.

TOM: Nope.




TOM: What’s that stand for?

GB: My first and middle names.

TOM: (pause) You know, I’m just making –

GB: It’s cool. I’m just a bitch.

TOM: I see. (They drink.)

GB: What do you do?

TOM: I rob banks.

GB: Excuse me?

TOM: Banks. I rob them.

GB: Corporate takeover.

TOM: I wear a suit and tie, yes.

(Legerdemain reenters from SL. She is very energetic now. She stands over Tom’s shoulder.)


TOM: Hello.


TOM: I’m having a drink, chatting with –

LEGERDEMAIN: Whatcha drinking?

TOM: Vodka tonic –


TOM: Would you like one?

GB: Are you old enough to drink?

LEGERDEMAIN: Yeah…I’m old enough.

GB: Are you still on the clock?


GB: Can’t drink while you’re on the clock, Miss.

TOM: Really?

GB: Yep.

LEGERDEMAIN: I get off in an hour.

TOM: Can I buy you a vodka in an hour?


TOM: Dirty?

LEGERDEMAIN: Courtney Love dirty.

TOM: Deal. I’m Tom.

LEGERDEMAIN: Hi, Tom. I’m Leger –

TOM: You told me. When do you go back on?

LEGERDEMAIN: In 2. I have to pee. See you! (She exits SL)

TOM: Ah.

GB: Wow. You’re good.

TOM: Like I said, I’m just –

GB: Being nice. Got it. (They drink.)

TOM: So…It’s Tuesday afternoon. Why are you –

GB: Because I’m a bitch. I have no one else to talk to and I like to drink in the afternoon. I like this place.

TOM: Are you mean to everybody?

GB: Not everyone. (
She examines him.) I hate your tie.

They drink. Legerdemain enters from UC as Amberlin’s "Glass to the Arson" begins. She begins to dance seductively.

GB: I like her. She’s nice. Good teeth.

TOM: I noticed. (pause) So… tell me something.

GB: I’ve just gotten into letterboxing.

TOM: Is that like kickboxing at the Y? Do you practice attacking mailmen?

GB: It’s like a treasure hunt for grown ups.

TOM: Oh. (He drinks.) So, besides being a bitch, what do –

GB: I’m junior partner at Harris and Markson.

TOM: You’re a lawyer.

GB: That’s usually what that means.

TOM: Wow, you really are –

GB: Told you. (She looks at Legerdemain, who is dancing on her own planet.)

TOM: Does anyone ever not like you?

GB: Sorry?

TOM: You’ve spent a lot of time being unlikable. Does it work?

GB: It’s been known to happen. Frequently.

TOM: Do people get angry, or do they leave you alone?

GB: They generally leave me to myself.

TOM: I hate your shoes.

GB: What?

TOM: Your shoes. They were the first thing I noticed about you.

GB: I –

TOM: They’re tacky. (He finishes his drink.)

GB: They –

TOM: Is it nice? Being so unlikable?

GB: I get by okay. (pause) You finished your drink. Would you like another?

TOM: I’ll get it, thanks. (Pause.)

GB: So, in letterbox-

TOM: Do I remotely care?

GB: I suppose not.

TOM: You know, I’ve kind of had a rough day. I was hoping for some nice conversation-

GB: I’m sorry –

TOM: But thank you for opening my eyes to the reality of things.

GB: The reality of things?

TOM: That’s right. Kindness is an illusion. Every new person we meet just hasn’t found a reason to hate us yet.

GB: I don’t hate you. I don’t even know –

TOM: And yet you still felt totally justified in –

GB: Justified is a strong word.

TOM: (pause) I’m not going to argue with a total stranger in a bar. Finish your drink.

(GB smirks and finishes her drink. She stands and moves very close to him.)

GB: Nice.

TOM: I’ve never shot a lawyer before. Please back away.

GB: Shot a lawyer?

TOM: I rob banks, Miss Junior Partner. I’m not a very nice guy.

GB: Do you carry a gun?

TOM: I do.

GB: Now?

TOM: Would you like to find out?

GB: Maybe.

(Legerdemain's song ends and she exits UC)

TOM: You’re playing a very dangerous game. I’m not really a guy you’d enjoy angry. (pause) I asked you to step away.

GB: I know –

TOM: Next time, I’ll tell you to move.

GB: Fair enough. (She moves back slightly.) Better?

TOM: Okay.

GB: Sure?

TOM: It would be really great if you would stop talking. Really.

GB: Perhaps I should leave.

TOM: It’s a free country. (She sits.) Obviously.

GB: Still want to shoot me?

TOM: Lady, I –

GB: Gladys.

TOM: Gladys, I don’t really- Gladys? Really?

GB: Really.

TOM: I could shoot you. Put you out of your misery.

GB: Others have tried.

TOM: I have pretty good aim.

GB: Look, I have to go.

TOM: Thank you.

GB: May I give you my card?

TOM: Why, so I can friend you on Facebook? You are really screwed up, lady.

GB: I’ve heard that before.

TOM: That’s a no on the card. Sorry.

GB: I’ll put it here on the bar, just in –

TOM: I’m going to take out my gun.

GB: Or not.

TOM: Have you left yet? Can’t you go be a screwed up bitch somewhere else?

(GB takes out her card, scribbles something on it and puts it on the bar.)

GB: Take a look. (She leaves.)

TOM: Jesus. (He goes to the card and looks. Reading.) Third National Bank, 17th and Franklin. Box 347. Hand-carved stamp. (pause) What is this?

(Legerdemain enters from SL. She is slinky and seductive, but without subtlety.)

LEGERDEMAIN: Hi. Got off early. Where’s your friend?

TOM: She left.

LEGERDEMAIN: Aww. She was nice. I liked her shoes. (pause) Can I still get my Courtney Love martini?

TOM: Baby, drinks are on me for the rest of the night. (He pulls out a wad of money and lays it on the bar.) Line em up, I’ll knock em over.

LEGERDEMAIN: Wow! That’s a lot of money!

TOM: Very true.

LEGERDEMAIN: You’re a very nice guy, Tom.

TOM: Thank you. Thank you very much.

LEGERDEMAIN: You’re welcome!

TOM: It’s nice to be appreciated. (pause) Do you know anything about letterboxing?