thealluringdial (thealluringdial) wrote in playwrights,
thealluringdial
thealluringdial
playwrights

Hello! Short play, anyone?

So I wrote this play partly over winter break, partly during my novel writing class. It is a first draft and I am looking for ways to revise it. Any and all critique is appreciated, as long as it is constructive.

This kind of came out of finishing Other Voices, Other Rooms by Truman Capote, not really in a direct way, but because it made me think about the different ways of loving and being loved.

Anyways:


Outdoors in a touristy part of town. A bench sits center. Off to the side is a booth full of knick-knacks and shiny things with no visible vendor.

MARIELLE and TREVOR enter. They are both pretty chubby and average looking. Someone’s wearing a visor. MARIELLE is wearing a ridiculous array of necklaces. Both are holding large drinks.
MARIELLE sits down, exhausted. TREVOR follows suit, whipping out a tissue from his breast pocket.


MARIELLE
Whew! The heat!
TREVOR
I’m sweating like a little pig.
MARIELLE
That’s disgusting, Trevor.
TREVOR
You’re not looking so breezy yourself.
MARIELLE
Hey screw you. I’ve been walking all day. I smell like crap and my ankles are killing me.
TREVOR
Dr. Rice said not to put too much stress on them.
MARIELLE
Shut up. I know what Dr. Rice said. I’m on vacation and I’ll be the judge of my own damn ankles. Besides, doctors don’t know shit.
TREVOR
You liked him last week.
MARIELLE
Yeah, well, for what I’m paying him I like to think so sometimes.
TREVOR
You mean what I’m paying him.
MARIELLE
Fine. What we’re paying him.

Beat.

TREVOR
I just don’t want you to hurt yourself, Cupcake.
MARIELLE
Why cupcake?
TREVOR
It’s supposed to mean you’re sweet.
MARIELLE
Is it be because I’ve got pretty little legs but I’m all fat and glittery on top? Trevor am I gaining weight?
TREVOR
No, dear.
MARIELLE
Really? Because I stepped on Jennifer’s scale this weekend. I mean, keep in mind I just had just eaten and I was on my period, but it told me I gained seven point four pounds. Jennifer’s scale might also be kind of heavy, but the one back at the resort said I gained-
TREVOR
(interrupting)
-Marielle! I don’t want to hear about it.

A beat. She slurps her drink.

TREVOR
You went to the gym?
MARIELLE
See! You do think I’m getting fat. Fat and old.
TREVOR
You’re perfect the way you are dear.
MARIELLE
No I’m not. I have cankles and Dr. Rice even said-
TREVOR
(interrupting)
-Fine! Yes. You’re getting fat. Are you happy?
MARIELLE
No, I’m not happy, asshole.
TREVOR
What? You always beg me to say it, every goddamn day. If you’re so miserable you can run around in a few circles. But I don’t give a damn.

Beat.

MARIELLE
And I’m not sweet.
TREVOR
Of course you are, cupcake.

Marielle knocks his drink out of his hand.
He just kind of stares at it for a while.


TREVOR
What’s wrong with you?
MARIELLE
I want to go home.
TREVOR
I thought you liked the heat. You said you like sunshine.
MARIELLE
No I didn’t.
TREVOR
Yes you did, at Mark’s party.
MARIELLE
I don’t even remember saying that.
TREVOR
Well I like it here. There’s some real Native American culture and the weather is nice and we got a great deal on the room.
MARIELLE
Oh please. It’s ninety five degrees and those Native Americans were definitely Mexicans. They’re not real.
TREVOR
We could go to the pool.
MARIELLE
God no. I’ve been around too many screaming babies today. I don’t want to be swimming around in their piss.
TREVOR
Lunch?
MARIELLE
I’m on a diet.
TREVOR
Since when?
MARIELLE
Now.

Pause.

TREVOR
We’re supposed to be relaxing.
MARIELLE
Whatever. We both know your girl on call went back to college and you got bored. You hate the desert.
TREVOR
Oh! So now I’m having an affair! Who is it I’m sleeping with now, cupcake?
MARIELLE
Meili? The florist? I bet you’re fucking her in that shady back room WHERE, I will remind you, is where I bought the bouquet for our wedding.
TREVOR
You don’t know what you’re talking about.
MARIELLE
And don’t you cupcake me. I bought roses last week, and let me tell you, she cut those stems like she was wrapping the scissors around my pale, little neck. The witch.
TREVOR
I’m not sleeping with Meili!

Pause. Marielle takes another slurp.

TREVOR
She’s twenty-four!

Pause.

MARIELLE
You’re right. We’re on vacation. I am going to try to have a good time.
She hoists herself off the bench.
TREVOR
Marielle! You’re going to hurt your ankles.
MARIELLE
I’m fine.

She starts browsing the items for sale at the roadside booth. She plays with little things - pins, jewelry, sunglasses. When she tries on sunglasses, she makes faces at herself in a little mirror on the counter.

TREVOR
So, what? I’m the bad guy all of a sudden?
MARIELLE
We can talk about this later, dear. I’m busy enjoying myself.
TREVOR
I didn’t do anything!
MARIELLE
(wearing orange-rimmed sunglasses)
Remember these from the 80’s? All the bad boys wore them.
TREVOR
I give up.
MARIELLE
(having switched to pink ones)
And the cool girls too. You know, I used to be really popular in high school. Wouldn’t know that looking at me now, huh?
TREVOR
I said you’re perfect.
MARIELLE
I like this.

She holds up another necklace.

TREVOR
You don’t need another necklace, cupcake.
MARIELLE
I don’t have a gold one.
TREVOR
Will it make you happy?
MARIELLE
Yes.

Trevor reluctantly gets up and pulls out his wallet. He hands a few dollars to the unseen vendor.

TREVOR
(to vendor)
Thanks.
MARIELLE
You didn’t have to if you didn’t want to.
TREVOR
Believe me, I had to.
MARIELLE
No one is making you pay attention to me and buy me nice things.
TREVOR
I just don’t think one more necklace is going to make any kind of difference except wasting my money.
MARIELLE
Our money.
TREVOR
Whatever you say, cupcake.
MARIELLE
It’s not a waste. It makes me lovelier, don’t you think? I’ve always looked good in gold.
TREVOR
You look pretty.
MARIELLE
Are you lying to me?
TREVOR
No. I don’t lie to you. No point.
MARIELLE
Since when?
TREVOR
Now.

Beat. Marielle sits next to him. She lets out a groan.

TREVOR
I told you. About your ankles.
MARIELLE
Yeah, I know. Shut it.

Pause.

TREVOR
So, listen, maybe I did, once. The florist girl-
MARIELLE
-Oh I fucking knew it you are such a slimy-
TREVOR
-Let me finish let me finish! I didn’t like it, I don’t like her, I-
MARIELLE
-If you value your balls I’d get the hell off this bench!
TREVOR
I shouldn’t have done it, I didn’t like it, I-
MARIELLE
Trevor! Your testicles - I swear.

Trevor gets off the bench and stands awkwardly. Marielle calms herself down, more or less.

TREVOR
Look, Marielle, she had hemorrhoids and too many manners and she smelled like Lysol. I didn’t like it.
MARIELLE
Good.

Giving up, Trevor sits on the sidewalk.

TREVOR
Besides, we don’t ever talk anymore. We don’t ever...you know.
MARIELLE
Fuck?
TREVOR
Right.
MARIELLE
It’s not like you’d want me anyway. I’m middle aged and fat and tired. So are you. What did you expect?
TREVOR
I still want to!
MARIELLE
I’m in no condition. Dr. Rice says I’m on the border between kind of fat and really fucking fat. Between overweight and obe-
TREVOR
-I don’t give a damn what Dr. Rice says! We’re the ones paying him - you’re not unattractive! I wish you’d let me do something with you that wasn’t buying necklaces.
MARIELLE
You’re the one that brought me out to the middle of the desert with nothing to do but buy jewelry from Mexicans.
TREVOR
This was supposed to be kind of your vacation.
MARIELLE
Bullshit. This is all stuff you like.
TREVOR
No. You said. At Mark’s party, you said “God I love lying around in the sun.” Then, that one time you came golfing with me, you were complaining about the sand and you said “This isn’t real sand. I’d like to take you to the real desert and see how you manly men putt around there.” I remember it because you really pissed Barry off. And then every night - you’re always saying “Trevor, I’m bored with life.” Or “Trevor, I don’t care if we go to the laundromat in Santa Fe, I just need to get out of this house.” And you like shopping. And you like vacations and surprises. And you like bossing me around. You were supposed to like all of this. Except maybe your ankles. I didn’t remember about your ankles. So, Sorry.

Beat.

TREVOR
I just want you to fall in love with me again.

Pause.

MARIELLE
You slept with another woman. I should smack you.
TREVOR
Why? I’ve apologized, haven’t I? I feel horrible enough about it.
MARIELLE
Because that’s what you do when husbands cheat. You slap them.
TREVOR
Would it really make you feel that much better?
MARIELLE
As a matter of fact, I think it would.

Trevor gets up and sits down next to Marielle.

TREVOR
Fine, then. Smack me.

She smacks him. It hurts.

TREVOR
Feeling better?
MARIELLE
Yes, actually.
TREVOR
Great. Do it again.
MARIELLE
Don’t be ridiculous, Trevor. You’re being a drama queen.
TREVOR
I’m serious. I want you to know.
MARIELLE
You’re just saying that.
TREVOR
I’m serious, Mariel-

She smacks him again. This time really hard.
Trevor sits there, cringing.


TREVOR
Fuck.
MARIELLE
Sorry.

Marielle takes off her display of necklaces and lays it on the bench. She puts her arms around him.

MARIELLE
I didn’t mean to hit you so hard. I really am having a good time. A lot of the time I just say stuff I don’t mean, and do crazy stuff-

Trevor kisses her. They stay this way, kissing, until lights fade.
FIN.
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  • 3 comments
Engaging and realistic. About halfway through I lost some interest. This scene doesn't have enough discovery, they've had all these conversations before. I think that's partly what you're going for; I still think you don't show enough movement in their relationship. We're just watching people have the same conversations again, without real insight into why they keep conversing. Trevor is a super passive character, he really loves Marielle even though she's depressed and abusive--why? You've created real people, that's not a neutral act. Push these characters!
i think Marielle needs to do something other than be whiney and insecure, because you very quickly get tired of it. They could both be doing something else.

Also, taking off the necklaces and then apologising and kissing. I don't really get the point of that.
I enjoyed the "since when?" "now" motif, perhaps it'd be interested to figure out a way to include it again for something truly shocking-- these people are middle-aged, have probably been married forever. It doesn't seem like there are truly any real surprises going on. Perhaps Marielle knows of Meili's and Trevor's affair?