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First scene of a play (1 Viewer)

farthest

Member
Regardless of Format, I'd like some honest criticism of this scene. Progress halted abruptly after I wrote it, so I need to know if there's anything here.


Scene 1​
Arthur sits on the couch in zip up hoodie typing. The material is a thin layer of cotton with a zipper that weigst the entire operation down to the point of ripping. The sleeves have a few holes in them from what seems to be claws. He has brown hair and wears a pair of rectangular glasses.

Frida is a lovely red haired woman about 5’6” She wears a green striped tank top with an undershirt underneath. She wears and old pair of jeans and socks. Around her neck is a necklace with a silver band attached. She sits in a chair rehearsing some lines.


Arthur: (taking off glasses) You know why I wear these?

Frida: What?

Arthur: These glasses.

Frida: What about them?

Arthur: Do you know why I wear them?

Frida: You mean not because you can’t see well?

Arthur: I have perfect 20/20 vision, thank you.

Frida: You couldn’t expect me to know that…

Arthur: Well I never implied…

Frida: (abruptly) Did you talk to the editor?

Arthur: (question startles) About what?

Frida: You know exactly what.

Arthur: I swear I don’t.

Frida: Not tonight Arthur…

Arthur: Why would he want to hear about some dumb old story? It’s not even that good. The characters are all stale and the pacing is much too quick. It’s garbage.

Frida: I loved it.

Arthur: But you’re my wife. How can I trust you?

Frida: So I give up any sort of taste when I get married? I know a good story. And what do you mean you can’t trust me? I’m your wife for God’s sake.

Arthur: (not paying attention to tone) That’s it! Nathan from work was asking me about this piece he read and I knew it but we couldn’t remember the name…

Frida: Arthur.

Arthur: “For God’s sake” brilliant theory by this man from Wales…

Frida: Arthur.

Arthur: (still rambling) loving a godly God or some such thing, ended up being a plagiarized but lovely piece nonetheless.

Frida: I’m leaving you Arthur.

Arthur: What?

Frida: I told myself to stick it out, keeping pushing for a better life. This is a healthy marriage. But it isn’t Arthur. You waste away at the God forsaken newspaper while I’m stuck performing for drunks who stare at my chest.

Arthur: (whine) What makes you bring this up now? You know I’m doing my best and the boss works me twice as hard these days. You know I’d die to give you everything you deserve.

Frida: Well maybe that’s not a bad idea.

Arthur: (comforting/more whine)Don’t you talk like that. We’ve been through bad before. Things will pick up I promise. I’ll go to the editor first thing tomorrow morning.

Frida: This isn’t about the editor. It’s been like this from the beginning. You’re not a writer. All I hear of your writing are these shards of stupid ideas you insist are the next great American Drama. It’s even in the way you talk. You sound like 1000 Sundance films played over and over and over.

Arthur: Now that’s just nonsense. I talk like any other person. I can’t help it if I’m more fluent than the average person.

Frida: But that’s just it! You’re nothing but an average person. And trust me; I know this better than you. I’ve sat here and watch you deteriorate into a pig.

Arthur: What does my speech have to do with anything? I still fail to see the point in all of your mongering!

Frida: We’re all trying to make ends meet, Arthur. We all hate our jobs and want to go out and get sloshed on the weekends. Look at Roger Baker.

Arthur: What about him? You know I can’t stand the man.

Frida: He works the same hours as you and he doesn’t say a word.

Arthur: So?

Frida: [with minute relief] So, when you come home, all I hear is prattle about all the crap you put up with.

Arthur: The boss does not like me, you know that. He goes out of his way just to set up some kind of trap.

Frida: A trap?

Arthur: Yes. He gives me all of these nonsense assignments and makes it extra difficult for me to get them in on time; flooding me with the dumbest perimeters.

Frida: You’re so selfish.

Arthur: I look to you for encouragement, Frida. The least you can do is humor me.

[Frida Abruptly goes into the bedroom and a noise of drawers being opened and suitcases unlocked is heard]

[Arthur moves to a small cabinet near the door. After searching a bit, he takes out a bottle of Johnny Walker and rips the cork out with his teeth. Arthur returns to the couch]

(Spotlight shines on both of them as they meet in the center of the room. They stare at each other’s wholeness. Frida picks up her suitcase and leaves. Arthur returns to the couch. Soon, Arthur runs down the steps to see Frida’s taxi leave. He lobs the scotch bottle into the street and walks upstairs)
 
Last edited:

vangoghsear

WF Veteran
WF Veterans
These people seem like strangers to one another, not a couple, which admittedly could be the cause of their breakup. You attract attention to their lack of knowledge of one another in their first exchange, she should have some idea why the man she married wears glasses when he doesn't need them, or at least an opinion of the act:

Frida: To look smarter? (beat) They don't work.

Then perhaps as she is leaving, he could answer the question in such a way as to make her hesitate or show some reason why they ever married.

Arthur: I do wear them to make me look smarter.

Frida: What?

Arthur: These glasses. I want to look smarter to all those people who look at us and think, 'Why is that gorgeous woman with that loser?'

Frida: (Pause) The glasses don't work, Arthur.

Frida picks up her suitcase and leaves.

The character's dialog doesn't seem to fit with them.
Frida is an exotic dancer, yet her style of speaking is as developed as her husband the newspaper writer. While this could be the case, should it be?

The dialog isn't bad for what it is, just lacks character development.
 

paroma

Senior Member
i quite liked it...though i really like vangogh's advice too...i would have never ythought of that and its good advice...but i think you should write more...even im stuck after the first scene of my play but one should just write nd then think abt consequences...have you figured out the plot etc?
 
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