Posted by: Janice | May 17, 2008

Scenes From a House, a Marriage…and a Fire

As promised, more on the farcical comedy that was our final presentation of the term. Rather than try to summarize the plot, I thought I’d show you guys the final script for our madcap, multi-character farce. We were working on this project for three weeks at about four hours of rehearsal time a week, and since time was so limited, it was a bit of a scramble and dash to the finish. Not only was time an issue, but space was even more so, with five groups jostling for studio room and black flats to rehearse with. During that last week, we ended up spending a lot of time rehearsing in parking lots and sidewalks outside the school!

I was in a group with all guys, and we had a great creative process. It was probably the best one I’ve been in all year, and I’m still not sure why. Maybe this creation theme in particular – which involves a great deal of structuring and problem-solving – jives especially with the male mind. Maybe it was just that we all have a similar way of working, and so sparks were able to fly. In any case, I often felt like I was in the middle of a regular theater rehearsal, with things getting done and ideas being moved forward, than the usual tug and grind of the creation process, where sometimes it takes half an hour just to decide on what idea to proceed with.

My group was Robin, Brad, James, Darragh, Ben, and I. Robin plays Sean, the head plumber; and Dave, the hippie Jacuzzi constructor. Brad plays Brown, the foreman; and Rufus, a nervous plumber. James plays Patrick, a flashy interior designer; and Melvin, the hapless owner of the house. Darragh plays Declan, a plumber; and Pascal, an assistant housing inspector. Ben plays Andy, an effeminate assistant designer, and Kemo, a sleazy head inspector. I play Cecilia, Melvin’s trophy wife, and Doris, the cleaning lady. Enjoy!

Scene 1

Melvin: Isn’t this fantastic, Cecilia? We’re going to have such an amazing bed and breakfast! Oh look at this kitchen!
Cecilia: Yea! I hope the guest rooms are done now. I really, really want them to look very nice
Melvin: Oh you just love your guests!
(Andy pops up behind screen)
Andy: Mr and Mrs Jinks, welcome to your new bed and breakfast! (descends the stairs) Patrick Montgomery is a bit busy today with the inspection, so I will be the one giving you the grand tour.
Cecilia: Who’s the inspector?
Andy: Oh its Mr. Kemo Samuels.
(Cecilia quickly looks at Andy)
Melvin: So shall we start upstairs? I can’t wait!
Cecilia: Why don’t you two go along first? I’m just going to go powder my nose. (goes into the guest room)
Melvin: Okay!

Scene 2

Dave: Hey are you the plumber? I’m doing the wires for the Jacuzzi. Keep the water off, yea?
Andy: I’ll make a note of that. Take a look at my carpets.

Scene 3

Sean: Alright boys, we need to test the sprinklers today.
Declan: Um, someone needs to turn on the water.
Rufus: I propose that I go turn on the water.
Declan: I second that motion.
Sean: All in favor say aye.
Declan: Aye.
Sean: Aye.
Rufus: Aye.
Sean: Motion carried.
(Rufus runs off)
Declan: Boss, how much do you know about sprinklers?
Sean: A lot. I read a book about it.

Scene 4

Patrick: Brown?
Brown: Yea.
Patrick: Is everything ready for the inspection?
Brown: Everything’s fine. Besides I know the inspector.
Patrick: Even the fire-proofing?
Brown: The fire-proofing will pass. We just need to…massage the specifications.

Scene 5

(Cecilia comes out to get candles form the kitchen)
Dave: Are you a plumber? Tell the plumber to the water off!
(Cecilia looks around, then disappears into guest room)

Scene 6

Rufus: Guys I’ve turned the water on! Just like we voted! Coming right up!

Scene 7

Pascal: Hello? Hello? Hello?
Doris: (entering) I always tell the boys to keep the place tidy for Mr. Melvin, but they never do.
Pascal: Hello, I’m the inspector
Doris: Oh hi, I am Doris. You’ll make sure that the house is ready for Mr. Melvin, right? Mr Melvin! The inspector is here!
Melvin: (running down the stairs) I just can’t get enough of this kitchen!
Doris: Mr. Melvin, this is the inspector. (goes off)
Melvin: Oh hi!
Pascal: I’m Pascal
Melvin: I’m Melvin Jinks
Pascal: Is your wife here as well?
Melvin: Oh, I don’t know where she went.
Pascal: So who’s the foreman on this job?
Melvin: Brown is the foreman, and Patrick Montgomery is the designer.
Pascal: Oh….
Melvin: Money’s no object! Anything for Cecilia and our dream bed and breakfast!
Pascal: I would imagine that’s the case, yea.
Melvin: Let me bring Patrick and Brown down right now!

Scene 8

Kemo: Bam bam bam! (mimes cowboy shooting at Pascal) Just came from the golf course! Three under spar (Pascal tells him how things are not looking good, including the double splitter on the t-bar) Kemo: Double splitter on the T-bar! I haven’t seen that since the Seventies. They’ll be lucky if this place doesn’t go up in flames!
Pascal: And over here…

Scene 9

(Cecilia enters. Locks gaze with Kemo. James’ head pops up singing “jungle boogie” as the others wave their hands above the flats. On the second “jungle boogie” Robin waves his feet. As they start singing “That’s the way, aha aha, I like it, aha aha” the chorus slowly sinks behind the screen, and Cecilia walks toward Kemo. The song finishes once Cecilia arrives in the kitchen)

Pascale: …you can see that the casing is exposed.
Cecilia: (turns to Pascale) Have you seen my husband Melvin?
Pascale: Oh he went that way (pointing to the living room)
Cecilia: Hmmm. (looks at Kemo meaningfully, then turns around, undos her hair, then sashays towards the guest room)
Kemo: (quickly following Cecilia) Don’t worry about the T-bar….I’m going to check out the plumbing in the guest room.

Scene 10

Dave: Hey are you a plumber? I’m working on the wiring for the Jacuzzi – so keep the water off!

Scene 11

Brown: Everything will be fine. Look, we’ve saved a bundle on fire proofing…. (Patrick and Brown see Pascal) Oh. Pascale.
Pascal: Its Pascal.
Brown: I thought Kemo was the one doing the inspection today.
Pascal: Kemo is here today, but I am the one with the clipboard. Lets take a look at this T-bar here….
(Andy pops up from behind the screen and gets Patrick’s attention. Pascal and Brown quiet as Andy and Patrick talk)
Andy: Have you seen the Jinkses? I’m supposed to be leading them on a tour
Patrick: Oh I know where he went, I’ll go get him (goes to the living room)
Brown: That’s the way they do it in Iowa
Patrick: Well we’re not in Iowa…
Brown: Let me show you the living room. (Exits)

Scene 12

Melvin: Hi!
Dave: Are you a plumber? Keep the water off, yea!
Melvin: Have you seen my wife? (Dave shakes his head)
Andy: She must be up here somewhere Mr Jinks, I’ll help you look for her.

Scene 13

Doris: Sorry, I’ll come back later. Double splitter on the T-bar!
(Behind the screen, the plumbers vote about turning the water on)
Sean: Who turned the water off?
Rufus: I propose I turn the water back on!
Declan: I second that motion.
Sean: All those in favor say aye.
Declan: Aye.
Sean: Aye.
Rufus: Aye.
Sean: Motion carried.

Scene 14

(Rufus runs out to turn water on. Says hi to Doris)

Scene 15

Melvin: Cecilia where are you? Oh hi Doris! Do you know where Cecilia is?
(Kemo sex noises)
Melvin: Whats that?
(Rufus runs back on)
Rufus: Oh that’s just the pipes. I turned the water back on! (runs up)
Doris: She’s…downstairs! Lets go find her? (goes down the stairs)
Melvin: Yea! (Cecilia sex noises) Wait what’s that? I think that’s my wife! (shhh….noises die down)
(Melvin walks toward guest room)

Scene 16

(Kemo sneaks out to get the wine and wine glasses)
Melvin: Who are you?
Kemo: Uhh, I’m the inspector.
Cecilia: (offstage) There should be some wine glasses.. (pokes her head out) Oh Melvin!
Melvin: What are you doing?
Cecilia: Mr. Samuels came in to check the guest room, and he got wet paint all over him. I’m just helping him get it off.
Melvin: (Pauses) Oh! I’ll go tell Andy that I found you. (runs upstairs)
(Kemo and Cecilia exit into guest room)
(Pascal and Brown come into kitchen)
Pascal: Its just not good enough Brown. Its going to take an awful lot of convincing for me to sign this form.
Brown: Well, how much it is gonna cost? I’m making a bundle.
(Brown looks at Patrick. Patrick hands Brown a wad of money)
Patrick: I haven’t seen any of this (goes up the stairs)
(Pascal and Brown go into living room for the pay-off)

Scene 17

Melvin: Hey, theres smoke coming through the floor!

Scene 18

Sean: (running down the stairs) This is really bad! Arghhh! Lads! Lads! (runs to get the fire extinguisher) (Declan and Rufus run down the stairs and arrive in the kitchen. Sean comes back with the fire extinguisher. All three stare at the fire extinguisher for two seconds)
Sean: (handing the fire extinguisher to Declan) I propose that Declan go put out the fire.
Rufus: I second that motion!
Sean: All in favor say aye.
Rufus: Aye!
Sean: Aye!
Declan: (handing the fire extinguisher to Rufus) I propose that Rufus goes to put out the fire!
Sean: All in favor say aye.
Declan: Aye!
Sean: Aye!
Melvin: (screaming from behind the screen) Ayyyyye!
Sean: Motion carried!
(Rufus looks terrified. All three run for the stairs)

Scene 19

Andy: (popping up from behind the screen) The fire sprinklers work!
Rufus: (popping up) I’d put that in.
Melvin: (popping up) I didn’t know we had a sprinkler system!
Dave: (running through the space) Keep the water off!
Andy: It’s ruining my rugs!
(The sprinklers stop)
Melvin: What happened to the magic?
(All three screams ahhhhhh and sinks down)
Doris: (pops up) That motherfucking T-bar!
(Patrick runs)
Andy: (pops up) My rugs are completely ruined!
(Rufus runs)
Sean: (pops up) Where is Rufus we need a Quorum!
(Doris runs)
Declan: (pops up) We can fix this boss, we can fix this!
(Andy runs)
Melvin: (pops up) Whats happening here? (runs down the stairs) Oh no! Oh no!

Scene 20

Plumbers Tableaux

(Centre flat falls down. Sean is flipping through a book, yelling to Declan “I’m sure its in here somewhere!” They freeze, then run, handing Melvin the fire extinguisher)

Scene 21

Pay-off Tableaux

(Stage Right flat falls down. Brown is in the middle of paying off Pascal. They freeze, then run offstage)

Scene 22

Sex Tableaux

(Stage Left flat falls down. Kemo and Cecilia are in a compromising position, in the middle of sex. They yell, and sprint offstage)

Scene 23

Melvin is left alone

*The End*

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