March’s People’s Choice Award
The people have spoken… The March People’s Choice Award goes to Arthur Keng for his short play, Measured Reality, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on March 12 at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Arthur!
Courtesy of Mr. Keng, we’re pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!
By Arthur Keng
Adam – 20’s to 30’s – Male – Any Race – Young man never sure where or why he is. Rebecca – 20’s to 30’s – Female – Any Race – Young woman. A hero. A fantasy. A professional. Frank – 40’s to 50’s – Male – Any Race – Wears a lot of hats.
Linda – 40’s to 50’s – Female – Any Race – Is also a fan of many hats.
Music is KRONOS QUARTET PERFORMS PHILIP GLASS STRING QUARTET NO. 5 Bed far stage left. Rest of stage open but four chairs easily accessible onstage.
0:00 – THE DREAM
Adam wakes up from a bad dream.
Rouses himself back to reality.
Sees Rebecca next to him, asleep.
Lays a hand on her shoulder. Maybe kisses it. Looks at himself in the mirror.
Still shaken, he decides he needs to get some air. Puts on his shoes and coat.
Leaves the apartment.
1:11 – THE NIGHTMARE
Walks down the street.
Passes by Frank. Gives him a quick wave.
Passes by Linda. Gives her a similar wave.
Keeps walking. Picks up pace.
Passes by Frank again. Is confused to see him again.
Passes by Linda again. Is confused to see her again.
Keeps walking. Pace picks up more.
Encounters Frank again. Stops him before he passes to express confusion. Frank gives him a smile and nod and keeps walking.
Encounters Linda again. Stops her to express confusion. She smiles and pinches his cheek before walking by him.
Keeps walking. Almost at a panic pace now.
Encounters Frank. Frank has a syringe. Adam stops him forcefully. Frank injects Adam with the syringe and continues walking.
Encounters Linda. Linda has a bottle of pills. Adam stops her forcefully. Linda opens Adam’s mouth and pops a pill in. Adam swallows by instinct. Linda continues walking.
Adam rushes back and forth onstage, each time running into Frank or Linda.
No longer walking. Adam is reeling and confused in the center of the stage.
Frank and Linda, in lab coats, enter. Frank takes off Adam’s coat. Linda puts a hospital gown on Adam.
Frank brings a chair and sits Adam down.
Frank and Linda circle Adam, gesticulating as if asking him questions. Adam is in a confused, panicked frenzy.
Frank and Linda continue to circle. Adam eventually tires. Slumps in chair. Passes out. Linda and Frank exit.
4:10 – THE FANTASY
Rebecca enters, looking out behind her. She shakes Adam awake.
Adam wakes up. Recognizes her.
Rebecca takes Adam by the hand and pulls him along.
Action-movie escape sequence. They run in place. Encounter Frank. Rebecca karate chops him away. Encounter Linda. Rebecca karate kicks her away. More encounters. More ninja moves. Jumping over obstacles. Rolling under barriers. Hiding behind cover as Frank and Linda skulk around looking for them.
Finally, using two chairs, they get into the getaway car.
Action-movie driving sequence. Rebecca at the wheel, swerving back and forth. Looking in the rear-view mirror. Frank and Linda, using the other two chairs, in the car chasing them. Rebecca indicates the glove compartment to Adam. Adam opens it and finds a gun. Starts shooting back at Frank and Linda. They lean left and right to avoid the bullets. Rebecca still going full speed, goes faster. Adam’s gun runs out of bullets. He shows it to Rebecca. Rebecca takes her eyes off the road for a second to look at the gun. Adam looks ahead, sees an oncoming wall, points, screams (silently), Rebecca looks, they both shield themselves for impact.