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Reality Undefined (1 Viewer)



For English, my class had to write a play that defines reality and perform it.

Here's mine.

Some important things to keep in mind while reading:

-Light in theature is a common symbol for truth. (Apollo=god of truth and light)

-Wine in theature is a commonly used for emotional frenzy. (Dionysus=god of wine, theature, and the orgy)

-Play was written to fit the classroom environment.

Reality Undefined

Secondary Character 1
Secondary Character 2
Secondary Character 3
Stage Hands

Note – Actors who play the Secondary Characters, the Stage Hands, or the Policemen are interchangeable throughout the play.

(CHARACTER: stands in the middle of the room, slumped over, expressionless. Lights are off.
AUTHOR: enters the room, eating a sandwich. He sits down and moves the food aside. He opens his notebook, takes a pen out of his pocket. Lights stay dim or off during the course of the play in the AUTHOR’s portion of the stage.)

(AUTHOR: puts pen to the paper.
CHARACTER: lights go on. “Activates”; looks up straight, alert.)

(AUTHOR: thinks for a moment, and begins to write, casually.
CHARACTER: begins to look around, observing his surroundings.)

(AUTHOR: scribbles casually, yet noticeable.
CHARACTER: returns to docile position.)

(AUTHOR: begins to write again.
STAGE HANDS: run in, one putting a hat on CHARACTER, and the other physically changing his pose.)

(AUTHOR: pauses for a moment; begins to write again.
STAGE HAND: scurries back in, changes CHARACTER’s position again.)

(AUTHOR: begins to write; concentrating.
CHARACTER: begins looking around, whistling.)

(AUTHOR: looks up, chuckles, and crosses that out.
CHARACTER: freezes, open-mouthed.)

(AUTHOR: pauses, then begins writing again.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 1: walks into the scene casually.)

SECONDARY CHARACTER 1: Hey Bob what’s up?

(CHARACTER: about to reply but cut off.
AUTHOR: crosses out writing.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 1: pulled out of scene, in reverse.)

(AUTHOR: begins writing.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 2: Jogs up to CHARACTER, jogs in place while talking.)

SECONDARY CHARACTER 2: What’s happening Frank?

CHARACTER: Oh nothing mu—

(AUTHOR: crosses out writing.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 2: pulled out of scene, in reverse, jogs backwards.)

(AUTHOR: begins writing.


(CHARACTER: looks around, wondering who SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 is talking to.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: grabs CHARACTER by the collar.)


CHARACTER: What are you—

(AUTHOR: scratches out writing.
AUTHOR: begins writing.


(CHARACTERS: freeze.
AUTHOR: continues writing.
STAGEHANDS: run out and put purse in CHARACTER’s hand.
CHARACTERS: unfreeze.)

CHARACTER: Purse? I didn’t steal anyone’s pur—

(CHARACTER: notices purse in hand.)

CHARACTER: What the—


(SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: pushes CHARACTER to the ground. Kicks him. Brings fist back. Then freezes.
CHARACTER: recoils from punch, then freezes.)

(STAGEHAND: runs out and stabs SECONDARY CHARACTER 3. Puts knife in CHARACTER’s hand.
CHARACTERS: unfreeze.
SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: falls backward. Lays on floor lifeless.
CHARACTER: makes a confused face and stares at dead SECONDARY CHARACTER while standing up. Then notices knife in hand with a confused expression.
POLICEMAN: walks onto scene.)

POLICEMAN (with 1920s-esque policeman accent, speaking to an invisible partner): Hey Jimmy, there’s that slime-bucket of a serial killer we’ve been lookin’ for. Looks like he’s struck again. Let’s sic ‘em!

(CHARACTER: Looks at knife again, and then throws it away.
POLICEMAN chases CHARACTER through the audience. During the following dialogue they run throughout the audience, finally ending up back on the stage.)

CHARACTER (while running): I didn’t do anything! I swear!

POLICEMAN (while running): Yeah? Tell it to the judge buster.

CHARACTER (while running): I’m not a serial killer! What the hell is happening?

POLICEMAN (while running): You’re gunna be sorry for all those innocent people you killed you sicko! What was it that made you lose your marbles, huh? Your mommy not love you enough as a kid?

(POLICEMAN and CHARACTER are finally back on the stage. All characters freeze. STAGEHAND runs onto stage and places stool right in front of CHARACTER. CHARACTER trips and falls over the stool. POLICEMAN stops and draw guns.)

POLICEMAN : Don’t you make a move bimbo, or I’ll blast that little ugly head’a yours clean off.

CHARACTER: No! Please! I’m innocent.

POLICEMAN: Yeah, well that’s too bad...

(POLICEMAN suddenly tears off police uniform. SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 gets up from floor and smiles.)

POLICEMAN: …Because you’re on candid camera!

(Any other actors offstage run onstage. All actors begin patting CHARACTER on back, laughing, and other things of that nature.)

CHARACTER (yelling above other actors): Stop! STOP!

(STAGEHAND: breaks away from patting CHARACTER on the back and slaps sign on board that says “(THE ACTORS ALL FREEZE)” on the board. All characters except CHARACTER, AUTHOR, and STAGEHAND freeze. STAGEHAND slaps sign on board that says “(THE CHARACTER GETS ANGRY)”.)

CHARACTER (angrily): I’m not getting angry! Get rid of that! (runs to board and tears off sign) What is this madness! I demand to know the meaning of all this!

SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 (unfreezes for a moment): Meaning?

SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: picks up a flashlight.
POLICEMAN: picks up a wineglass.)

CHARACTER: I demand the truth!

SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: Oh here, have this light. (Shines flashlight on CHARACTER.)

CHARACTER (repeats line over and over; falls into frenzy): I demand the truth! I demand the truth! I demand the truth!

POLICEMAN: Don’t forget your wineglass now. (Hand’s wineglass to CHARACTER).

CHARACTER (repeats line over and over between sips from wineglass. Light continues to shine on him): I demand the truth! I demand the truth! I demand the truth! I demand the truth!
(While this happens, STAGEHAND slaps sign on board that says “(THE CHARACTER BECOMES AWARE OF THE AUTHOR)” on the board.)

CHARACTER (pointing at AUTHOR, yelling angrily; still in a frenzy): YOU!

(SECONDARY CHARACTER 3: swivels in place and turns light on AUTHOR.)

CHARACTER (still making pointing motions at AUTHOR in a yelling frenzy): You will give me the truth! (Putting down the wineglass and making a confused face, falling out of frenzy.) Who are you anyway? (SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 turns light off abruptly.)

(AUTHOR: pauses to look at CHARACTER, and then continues writing.
STAGEHAND slaps sign on board that says “I AM YOUR AUTHOR”.)

CHARACTER: What do you mean my author?

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “I WROTE YOU”.
AUTHOR: concerned look. Scribbles something out and then writes again.
STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “AM WRITING” over “WROTE” .)

CHARACTER (sarcastically): Ha! You’re writing me? What am I then? Some kind of play character?

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “YES”.)

CHARACTER (disbelievingly): Oh really now? I would like to see some proof then.

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “FINE”. Then slaps sign on board that says “(THE CHARACTER SLAPS HIMSELF)”.
CHARACTER: slaps himself.
AUTHOR: Looks up at character with a “told-you-so” expression.)

CHARACTER: That doesn’t prove anything. I felt like slapping myself. Its just a coincidence that you wrote it at the same time.

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “EXACTLY”.)

CHARACTER: What do you mean exactly? I’ll tell you what. Make chocolate milk fall out of the sky and I’ll believe you.

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “(CHOCOLATE MILK FALLS OUT OF THE SKY”.
Chocolate milk cartons are thrown onto the stage.)

CHARACTER (Dodging the chocolate milk cartons): Ah! What the–! Christ! Stop! Make it stop!

(Chocolate milk cartons stop being thrown onto stage.)

CHARACTER: It’s true then…

(On “true” SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 shines flashlight on CHARACTER.
STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “YES”.)

CHARACTER: So I’m not a person. I’m just a character?

(STAGEHAND: takes “YES” sign from the board and slaps sign on board that says “YES”. STAGEHAND then slaps sign on board that says “(CHARACER REALIZES THAT HE HAS NO CONTROL OVER HIS LIFE)”.
POLICEMAN quickly hands CHARACTER the wine glass.)

CHARACTER (takes a sip from wine glass and then slapping it down. Then fervidly.): Then…if I’m just a character…I have no control over my life. NO! I won’t accept it! I can't accept it! I am real! This world…this world is fake! YOU…you are fake. (SECONDARY CHARACTER 3 turns off the flashlight.) This is just a dream! I’m just having a bad dream!...Hey…you! Why’d you turn off that light? Give me that! (Grabs flashlight from SECONDARY CHARACTER 3. Shines flashlight on himself.) I think! I feel! I exist!

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “YOU HAVE YOUR THOUGHTS AND FEELINGS BECAUSE I WROTE THEM FOR YOU. YOU EXIST BECAUSE I CREATED YOU” on board. CHARACTER’s hand is forced to shine the flashlight on the board. CHARACTER tries to pull back his hand but can’t. STAGEHAND then quickly slaps sign on board that says “(CHARACTER REALIZES THAT HE’S JUST A CHARACTER”). CHARACTER finally succeeds in the struggle and shines the flashlight on himself again.)

CHARACTER: Yet I still exist! I may not be human, but I’m real. Even if you did create me. If I can experience emotion and conceive, even if I do this artificially, I am real. If you are indeed my author, how can you explain the fact that I argue my own existence? How do you explain my rebelling against you?

(STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “I WROTE YOU THIS WAY. I WROTE A CHARACTER WHO DOESN’T WANT TO BE A CHARACTER. YOU ARE REAL ONLY AS A FEW MARKS ON A PIECE OF PAPER”. CHARACTER is again forced against his own will to shine the flashlight on the board.)

CHARACTER (wrestles back flashlight to shine on himself): It’s sad that you think that. Because then you too are but a few marks on a paper.

(AUTHOR: looks down at his paper perturbed, then back up at the character, repeats this action again,. Begins writing again.
STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT”)

CHARACTER: Don’t you see the audience? (gestures at the audience.) You’re a character in a play! Your character is the author who confronts his creation!

(AUTHOR: begins writing furiously with a heated expression on his face
STAGEHAND: slaps sign on board that says “THIS IS NONSENSE. THIS IS ABSURD.
AUTHOR: during the following speech, the author expresses his unwillingness to accept what CHARACTER is saying.)

CHARACTER (delivering his sentences quickly and frenziedly. As the speech continues, frenzy increases) : We are both marks on a piece of paper. We have no control. WE HAVE NO FREEDOM. I won’t accept this! I can't accept this! But then even my unwillingness to accept this is written by the author. (AUTHOR writes something irately. STAGEHAND slaps sign on board that says “I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF THIS”) And then this realization that my unwillingness is written by the author, is written by the author. (AUTHOR gets up and begins to leave; disgusted.) But then the realization of the realization that my unwillingness is written by the author, is written by the author. And then the realization of the realization of the realization that my unwillingness is written by the author, is written by the author. (In the middle of the previous sentence, AUTHOR pauses and then walks back and sits down with a devilish smirk on his face.) And then the realization of the realization of the realization of the realization that my unwillingness is written by the author, is written by the author. (While the previous sentence is being spoken, AUTHOR writes something down, still smirking. STAGEHAND slaps sign on board that says “(THE MAIN CHARACTER SUDDENLY DIES)”. CHARACTER continues his speech while he turns around to see this.) And then the realization of the realization of the realization of the—

(CHARACTER: suddenly dies.
AUTHOR: rips up paper. All other characters die. Slaps his hands past each other several times in a satisfied way. Begins to leave again. On his way out turns off the lights. Then pauses and looks back, surveying the scene. As he begins to turn his back again, STAGEHAND gets back up off the floor and walks over to the board.)

AUTHOR (speaking for the first time, confused): What?

(STAGEHAND: begins slapping signs on board that will complete the phrase “(THE AUTHOR SUDDENLY DIES)”.
AUTHOR: sees this. Then spots STAGEHAND walking over with the sign that says “DIES)”,)

AUTHOR (desperately): NO! (Races over to fight STAGEHAND)

(STAGEHAND struggles to finish writing his sentence on the board while AUTHOR struggles to stop him. STAGEHAND pushes AUTHOR back, picks up flashlight, and shines it in the AUTHOR’s eyes, blinding him.)

AUTHOR: Ahhh! I can’t—I can’t see!

(All other characters except CHARACTER get up from floor and grab AUTHOR from behind, restraining him.)

(STAGEHAND: smiles at AUTHOR and then turns back to the board, still blinding AUTHOR with flashlight with his free hand.)

AUTHOR (hysterically, struggling against the other characters and the light): No!...Please!...ugh…No!

(STAGEHAND slaps the sign that says “DIES)” on the board. AUTHOR falls limp in the restraining characters’ arms. The characters’ let AUTHOR fall and stare down at him. STAGEHAND turns around to stare down at lifeless AUTHOR. One by one, the other characters break free from their trances and leave. The only character who remains is STAGEHAND. STAGEHAND abruptly breaks free of trance and then walks away, throwing the flashlight to the side and picking up the wineglass as he does this. On the way out, STAGEHAND takes a swig from the wineglass. When STAGEHAND leaves the room, CHARACTER “wakes up”.)

CHARACTER (dazed and distant): So…so it was just a dream…

(CHARACTER walks out, distantly. AUTHOR “wakes up”. Turns to board and writes “(REALITY REMAINS UNDEFINED)”. Then leaves. Blackout.)

Constructive crit please. My group is performing it in two days, so any way you think it could be better, tell me.
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