The Rothko by Jeffrey Lo

June 21 2018 - The Rothko.jpg

THE ROTHKO BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

APRIL and ADDIE in a museum.

APRIL is looking at a painting diligently.

It’s probably a Rothko.

It’s definitely a Rothko.

ADDIE sees APRIL from afar.

ADDIE looks at the painting.

ADDIE sneakily – but not really sneakily – moves in closer to APRIL.

ADDIE looks at APRIL again.

ADDIE is interested in what she sees.

APRIL has not yet seen ADDIE.

APRIL is still staring at the Rothko.

Silence.

A guy walks past APRIL and ADDIE.

ADDIE watches APRIL as the guy passes by.

APRIL doesn’t show the guy the light of day.

ADDIE thinks this is promising.

APRIL stares at the Rothko.

Silence.

A medium attractive guy walks past APRIL and ADDIE.

Again, ADDIE sees APRIL not give the medium attractive guy the light of day.

Again. Promising.

Again. APRIL stares at the Rothko.

Silence.

An Adonis of a man walks past APRIL and ADDIE.

ADDIE stares at APRIL intently.

Nothing.

APRIL did not notice the Adonis of a man,

Incredible.

APRIL tilts her head at the Rothko.

Beat.

ADDIE: Daaaaaaaamn!

APRIL: Excuse me?

ADDIE: Wasn’t that guy, like, super sexy?

APRIL: Huh?

APRIL looks back at the Adonis of a man.


APRIL: Um. Yeah. Not really my type though.

APRIL looks back at the Rothko.

Pause

ADDIE: What is your type?

APRIL doesn’t hear ADDIE.

Silence.

ADDIE slowly shifts her attention to the Rothko.

APRIL looks in ADDIE’s direction.

APRIL: Hey! Did you see The Rothko?

ADDIE: Oh I –

A Venus of a woman walks towards APRIL. 

APRIL: The Rothko’s over here!

A Venus of a woman goes to APRIL and starts making out with her. 

ADDIE: Uh, oh…

APRIL and a Venus of a woman are still making out.

ADDIE: Jesus. Ok…

ADDIE slowly exits.

Lights fade

END OF PLAY.

Zac and Siah (Part 2) by Jeffrey Lo

June 20 2018 - Zac and Siah Part 2.jpg

ZAC AND SIAH (Part 2) BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

After the crucifixion of Jesus

ZAC and SIAH sit on the ground shell shocked.

Silence.

SIAH: Well I can’t unsee that…

ZAC: I can’t believe it…

SIAH: That was certainly… a lot.

ZAC: Shit!

SIAH: I know… I mean he was just… (Beat)Hey Zac.

ZAC: What?

SIAH: Didn’t you think that they might get out of it?

ZAC: What are you talking about Siah?

SIAH: I kinda thought they might’ve been sharing a look.

ZAC: Who?

SIAH: Jesus and the thief.

ZAC: Which one?

SIAH: The thief. The thief on the crossnext to Jesus on the cross.

ZAC: There were two of them on either side of Jesus.

SIAH: The thief!

ZAC: They were both thieves!

SIAH: Oh…. They were both thieves?

ZAC: Yes.

SIAH: Wow… Times are tough. What were their names?

ZAC: I don’t know.

SIAH: Wasn’t one of them named like… Dismas? … Dimas? …. Demas?

ZAC: I really don’t know Josiah. Thief 1 and thief 2.

SIAH: Hah. Thief 1 and thief 2. Well, I’m talking about the nice thief.

ZAC: Which one was the nice thief?

SIAH: The nice thief was the one sharing a look with Jesus.

ZAC: Did you know him?

SIAH: No.

ZAC: Then how do you know he’s a “nice thief”?

SIAH: Because of his eyes.

ZAC: What about his eyes?

SIAH: He had kind eyes. … That other guy. He had jerk eyes. Judas eyes.

ZAC: Fuck that guy.

SIAH: You know my sister thought he was cute, Judas.She was asking me all about him and I told her – Nah Aria. Stay away from him. You don’t want a part of that. Aria said, “Why? What do you know?” And I said look at Judas’ eyes. You can just tell. You don’t wanna spend the rest of your life with eyes like that. Wake up in the morning and boom – there are those eyes. Just staring at you. (Scoffs:)Judas…

ZAC: Fuck that guy.

Quick beat.

SIAH: Anyway, kind eyes thief and J – I thought they had some sort of plan to get out of all this.

ZAC: You’re ridiculous.

SIAH: Nah, man, I’m serious! I thought they had something going on.

ZAC: And what made you think that?

SIAH: Kind eyes thief and Jeezy – they shared a look.

ZAC: So?

SIAH: Don’t you think that means something?

ZAC: I think it means they were both nailed to wooden crosses, both in a whole lot of paint and both about to die.

SIAH: And them sharing a look meant…?

ZAC: This really sucks.This thing we are going through right now… really really sucks.

Pause.

SIAH shrugs.

SIAH:  Maybe. 

END OF PLAY.

TFW by Jeffrey Lo

June 19 2018 - TFW.jpg

TFW BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

In darkness, a projection reads: TFW

Lights up on DANIEL in his backyard.

DANIEL takes out a nail clipper and begins to clip his thumb nail.

Clip!

DANIEL checks the nail.

Clip!

DANIEL checks the nail.

Clip!

DANIEL checks the nail a bit more closely.

“Maybe a little more,” thinks DANIEL.

Clip!

DANIEL lets out a quiet gasp.

DANIEL looks at his nail closely.

With fear, DANIEL feels the newly exposed skin.

DANIEL grimaces in pain.

Pause.

DANIEL: Damnit…

Blackout.

END OF PLAY.

Zac and Siah (Scene One) by Jeffrey Lo

June 18 2018 - Zac and Siah.jpg

ZAC AND SIAH (Scene 1) BY JEFFREY LO
(DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

Lights rise on ZAC in front of his home. ZAC is crying.

After some time passes we hear a voice from afar.

                                                                        SIAH (Offstage)

Zac!
                                                            (Pause)
Zac!!!
                                                            (Pause)
ZAC!!!!

                                                                                    SIAH runs on stage.

                                                                        SIAH(cont’d)

                                                            (Passing ZAC as he screams:)

ZACHARY WE’RE GOING TO BE LATE!!!

                                                                                    SIAH runs past ZAC and offstage.

                                                                                    ZAC just continues to cry.

                                                                                    SIAH returns.

                                                                        SIAH(cont’d)
Zac?

                                                                        ZAC

Hey.

                                                                        SIAH

Have you been here this whole time?

                                                                        ZAC

Yeah.

                                                                        SIAH

Like, how long would you say?

                                                                        ZAC

This whole time.

                                                                        SIAH

Like, did you see me run past you?

                                                                        ZAC

Yes.

                                                                        SIAH

Why didn’t you say anything!?

                                                                                    No response.

                                                                        SIAH (cont’d)

What are you doing out here?

                                                                        ZAC

I live here.

                                                                        SIAH

                                                            (Laughing:)

You live here. Very fu –

                                                            (Stops laughing:)

Wait are you serious?

                                                                        ZAC
Yes.

                                                                        SIAH

When did you move?

                                                                        ZAC

I didn’t move.

                                                                        SIAH

How long have you lived here?

                                                                        ZAC

As long as I’ve known you.

                                                                        SIAH

But then why did I run past you when I was looking for you?

                                                                        ZAC

I don’t know.

                                                                        SIAH

But I’ve been to your house before.

                                                                        ZAC

You have.

                                                                        SIAH

But I’ve never been –

SIAH walks into ZAC’s house and immediately comes back out.

                                                                        SIAH(cont’d)

Well shit, I have definitely been here before.

                                                                        ZAC

Yeah.

                                                                        SIAH

That’s so weird.

                                                                        ZAC

I guess.

                                                                        SIAH
You’re distracting me from why I’m here.

ZAC! WHAT ARE YOU DOING? WE ARE LATE!! WE’RE GOING TO MISS IT! WE ARE GOING TO MISS JESUS’ THING!

Wait, are you crying? You’re crying.

                                                                        ZAC

Yes, I am crying.

                                                                        SIAH

Why are you crying?

                                                                        ZAC

Because Jesus is being CRUCIFIED TODAY JOSIAH!

                                                                        SIAH

Oh…

That…

Right…

AND WE ARE GOING TO MISS IT IF YOU DON’T GO BACK INSIDE AND GET READY TO GO!

                                                                        ZAC

Don’t you care?

                                                                        SIAH

Don’t I care? Of course I care. You have no right to question if I care, I am the one ready to be there for MY FRIEND. You’re the one sitting here catching a tan.

                                                                        ZAC

I am not catching a tan.

                                                                        SIAH

You know I’m kidding Zac.

                                                                        ZAC

Fuck you, Siah.

                                                                        SIAH
Hey…

No need to…

That’s not nice.

                                                                                    Silence.

                                                                                    SIAH looks around, unsure.

                                                                                   Pause.

                                                                        SIAH(cont’d)

                                                            (Somewhat carefully:)
Hey…

Umm…

We really are going to be late though.

                                                                        ZAC
I don’t want to go.

                                                                        SIAH
What?

                                                                        ZAC
I don’t want to go!

                                                                        SIAH
Why not?

                                                                        ZAC
Because I don’t know about you, Siah, but I’m not particularly looking forward to watching my friend die on a cross today.

                                                                        SIAH
I know but…

I mean, look, I’m not looking forward to this either.

Who do I look like? Judas?

                                                                        ZAC
Fuck that guy.

                                                                        SIAH
Seriously, fuck that guy.

But… -

                                                                        ZAC
But what?

                                                                        SIAH
This is what he wanted, isn’t it?

                                                                                    ZAC looks away from SIAH.

                                                                        SIAH(cont’d)
This is what he said would happen.

He called it. And he obviously wanted to be right… right?

                                                                        ZAC
I don’t know.

                                                                        SIAH
Of course he wanted to be right.
Who wants to be wrong?
                                                            (Beat)
And even if we don’t want to watch our friend die – which NEITHER of us want to do – what he’s going through is like super scary and… I think our guy wants us there.

When we were walking with him from village to village and we’d get hungry. What would he get us?

                                                                        ZAC
Fish…

                                                                        SIAH
All of that fish. Delicious fish.

                                                                        ZAC
That fish was good.

                                                                        SIAH
So good.

We gotta be there for J the way he was there for us.

                                                                                    A brief silence.

                                                                        ZAC
You’re right.

                                                                        SIAH
Alright!

                                                                        ZAC
Jesus is doing this for us.

                                                                        SIAH
He is!

                                                                        ZAC
And even if I don’t agree with this –

                                                                        SIAH
We all thought it was pretty extreme…

                                                                        ZAC
He expects me to be there for him. We’ve been following him this long. I can’t stop now.

                                                                        SIAH
Atta boy Zac!

                                                                        ZAC
                                                            (Standing up:)
Alright.

                                                                        SIAH
Now go in there, put on something decent and let’s get going.

We’ll probably have to run up most of Calvary.

Seeing as how he got a head start and all…

But then again we’re not carrying a cross so you’d think we’d be faster.

I hear those crosses are heavy.

                                                                        ZAC
I’m going to go get ready now.

                                                                        SIAH
You do that. I’ll be out here.

                                                                                    ZAC starts to enter his hone. 

                                                                        ZAC
Siah.

                                                                        SIAH
Yeah?

                                                                        ZAC
Thanks for talking me into the right thing.

End of Scene.

Cleanse by Jeffrey Lo

June 17 2018 - Cleanse.jpg

CLEANSE BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

On stage we see the inside of five separate rooms.

In the middle of the five rooms is a lobby type area that connects the four rooms.

In each of the rooms is a person.

A person with yellow paint on their face.

A person with red paint on their face.

A person with brown paint on their face.

A person with black paint on their face.

A person with white paint on their face.

All five of them are unhappy.

All five of them are working to clean the paint off of their face.

Time passes.

We watch them work hard and meticulously to clean the paint off their face.

Yellow pain, red paint, brown paint and black paint have some success cleaning their faces.

White paint has no success.

Time passes.

They continue to clean.

After some time brown paint gets frustrated and leaves their room.

They sit in a chair to breath.

After some time, red pain gets frustrated and leaves their room.

They sit in their chair to breath as well.

Time passes.

Red paint looks at brown paint.

Brown paint takes one of their cleaning wipes and starts to wipe red paint’s face.

It is wiping away parts of the paint that red paint could not wipe off themselves.

Red paint does the same for brown paint.

Black paint eventually gets frustrated and leaves their room.

Black paint sees what red paint and brown paint are doing and joins in.

Black paint is able to wipe away paint that brown paint and red paint could not.

Time passes.

Yellow paint gets frustrated and leaves their room.

Yellow paint watches red paint, brown paint and black paint.

After some time, Yellow paint joins.

Together, the four are quite effective.

Time passes.

Time passes.

Finally, white paint exits their room.

White paint has wipes barely any of their paint off.

Yellow paint, brown paint, black paint and red paint look at white paint.

Pause.

Yellow paint, brown paint, black paint and red paint start to work on cleaning white paint.

White paint cannot believe it but they are able to clean what seemed impossible to clean.

White paint starts to help wipe yellow paint, brown paint, black paint and red paint.

Time passes.

They work together.
Time passes.
They clean together.

Time passes.

Finally, they can see each other’s clean faces.

Without the paint, they see real faces.

Lights fade.

END OF PLAY.

A Spoonful of Sinigang by Jeffrey Lo

June 16 2018 - A Spoonful of Sinigang.jpg

A SPOONFUL OF SINIGANG BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE) 

MARY ANNE’s kitchen.

RANDY sits at the counter.

MARY ANNE: It’s good that you visit.

RANDY: I’m just glad. I was free.

MARY ANNE: I’m your mom.

RANDY: I know.

MARY ANNE: And it’s good that you visit.

RANDY: It is.

MARY ANNE: I’m cooking you your favorite.

RANDY: Thinks mom.

MARY ANNE: Sinigang. That’s your favorite, diba?

RANDY: Yes mom.

MARY ANNE: See? I remember.

RANDY: You do mom.

MARY ANNE: Because you’re my son. And I love my son.

RANDY: I love you too, mom.

MARY ANNE: It is good that you visit.

RANDY: And thank you for cooking my favorite.

MARY ANNE: You know who doesn’t visit?

RANDY: I bet I can guess.

MARY ANNE: Your brother.

RANDY: He’s probably busy.

MARY ANNE: Doing what?

RANDY: I don’t know. He doesn’t call.

MARY ANNE: Exactly.

RANDY: He texts me sometimes.

MARY ANNE: Who texts first?

RANDY: Me.

MARY ANNE: Who texts last?

RANDY: Me.

Pause.

MARY ANNE: Well it’s good that you visit.

RANDY: Yeah…

MARY ANNE: At least I have one good son.

RANDY: You have two sons.

MARY ANNE: One good son. Don’t argue.

RANDY: And a daughter.

MARY ANNE: What?

RANDY: You have a good daughter.

MARY ANNE: Of course. I know that.

RANDY: Ok.

MARY ANNE: But I’m not talking about her right now.

RANDY: Of course.

MARY ANNE: I am talking about you.

RANDY: Right.

MARY ANNE: You are my good son.

Beat.

MARY ANNE: I am so proud of you.

RANDY: …

RANDY stares at the clock. 

MARY ANNE: Randy?

RANDY: Huh?

MARY ANNE: I said I am so proud of you.

RANDY: Oh. Thanks mom.

MARY ANNE: You’re welcome. I love you, son.

RANDY: I love you too, mom.

MARY ANNE puts the sinigang into a bowl.

MARY ANNE: How long can you stay today?

RANDY: Um, not too long, actually.

MARY ANNE: Oh.

RANDY: Sorry. I’ll probably just stay for dinner and head out.

MARY ANNE: Ok. Well –

RANDY: Sorry.

MARY ANNE: You better bring some sinigang home.

RANDY: Ok.

MARY ANNE: You’re favorite.

RANDY: My favorite.

MARY ANNE: I’ll go put some in a Tupperware for you. I’ll be back.

RANDY: Thanks mom.

MARY ANNE: It’s good you visit your mom.

MARY ANNE exits.

Silence.

Beat

RANDY eats a spoonful of sinigang.

Beat..

RANDY stands from the counter.

Beat.

RANDY exits.

END OF PLAY.

Knocking by Jeffrey Lo

June 15 2018 - Knocking.jpg

KNOCKING BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

HAROLD, an 8 year old boy and his father, PETER eating breakfast.

All we hear is the sound of the crunch…

Crunch…

Crunch…

Captain crunch. (get it?)

PETER watches his son.

PETER: How’s it going Harry?

HAROLD: Fine.

Crunch…

Crunch…

Crunch…

PETER: How’s your cereal?

HAROLD: Same.

PETER: Same?

HAROLD: Good.

PETER: Good.

Crunch…

Crunch…

Crunch…

Silence.

PETER: Hey, Harry.

HAROLD: Yeah dad?

PETER: Wanna hear a joke?

HAROLD: I guess.

PETER: Ok. Why did the invisible man turn down the job offer?

HAROLD: … why?

PETER: Because he couldn’t see himself doing it.

Silence.

PETER: That’s funny!

HAROLD: Yeah, kinda.

PETER: Come on! Don’t you find that funny!?

Pause.

HAROLD: No.

Blackout.

END OF PLAY.

Sensible Choices by Jeffrey Lo

June 14 2018 - Sensible Choices.jpg

SENSIBLE CHOICES BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

ALI, in their 30’s, sitting with their best friend ALISON, in her 50’s.

In front of them are two empty jars.

Next to the jars are a whole lot of marbles.

ALISON: Ok.

ALI: Ok. You sure this is a good idea?

ALISON: What? The marbles? Of course it’s a good idea.

ALI: Ok.

ALISON: Before we say anything crazy –

ALI: It’s not crazy.

ALISON: Before we say anything – period – it’d be good to use the jars to help us really understand what we’re doing here.

ALI: But I know what I’m –

ALISON: It doesn’t hurt to take the time…

Pause.

ALI: Fine.

ALISON: I’ll start. I would need to stop you from jumping into brash decisions.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 2.

ALI: You do that anyway.

ALISON shrugs it off.

ALISON: Your turn.

ALI: The breakfasts you cook me.

ALISON: Where does that go?

ALI puts a marble in jar 1.

ALI: Obviously.

ALISON: Just checking. Ok. Um. You are almost always late.

ALI: Jeez.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 2.

ALISON: What?

ALI: Do you have anything in the good?

ALISON: Of course I do. Your turn.

ALI: You are really bad at washing dishes.

ALI puts a marble in jar 2.

ALISON: Am I?

ALI: I rewash all of my dishes when you leave my apartment.

ALISON: Gosh. I didn’t realize.

ALI: Well… I felt bad.

ALISON: Sorry.

ALI: Your turn.

ALISON: I would have access to your amazing book collection.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 1.

ALI: After a long day, you take off your shoes and your feet smell terrible.

ALI puts a marble in jar 2.

ALISON: We both have so many clothes, sharing a closet would be a nightmare.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 2.

ALI: You are on the road so much and without you I feel lonely.

ALI puts a marble in jar 2.

Silence.

ALI and ALISON look at both jars.

ALISON: The way you talk to me when I’m having a bad day.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 1.

ALI takes a marble and puts it in jar 1.

ALI: That’s worth more than one marble.

ALISON smiles at ALI.

ALISON: Ok.

ALI: The way I feel when you hold me.

ALI puts three marbles in jar 1.

ALISON: You are an excellent kisser.

ALISON puts four marbles in jar 1.

ALISON: And excellent at OTHER things…

ALISON puts another marble in jar 1.

ALI: Hey! You got two turns.

ALISON: I got excited.

ALI: I’ll allow it.

ALI adds another marble in jar 1.

ALI: And second that.

ALISON: Yes!

ALI: When I close my eyes and think about my perfect day – tomorrow, five years from now, ten years from now, whenever – it always includes you.

ALI puts a marble in jar 1.

ALISON smiles.

Pause.

ALISON puts a marble in jar 2

ALI: Hey, I thought we were done with that jar!

ALISON: When you are old, I will be even older and I will need to be taken care of… 

Silence.

Beat.

ALI: The way I feel when we are together. And the way I will feel when we are old together.

Pause.

ALISON: Is… good?

ALISON takes two handfuls of the remaining marbles and dumps them into jar 1.

ALI: Of course. Dummy.

ALI takes the rest of the marbles and dumps them into jar 1.

ALISON: Same.

Lights fade.

END OF PLAY.

Tulips by Jeffrey Lo

June 13 2018 - Tulips.jpg

TULIPS BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

San Francisco, Union Square.

KHARY, a handsome guy in a sharp suit, sits on a bench eating a yogurt.

He smiles at the strangers passing by.

The strangers feel compelled to smile back.

KHARY eats a scoop of his yogurt.

Then another stranger – MONIQUE – passes KHARY.

He smiles at her.

She smiles back.

Then, MONIQUE quickly reveals a large bouqet of tulips.

KHARY looks at them.

MONIQUE:
I’ve been meaning to give these to you for weeks.

These are for you.

I did that backwards.

 

KHARY:
Do I know you.

MONIQUE:
No.

But I know you.

Well.

Is that backwards?

No.

That’s weird. That’s a weird way to say that.

KHARY:
A little.

MONIQUE:
Let me clarify.

You are here. Every day. At this time.

Lunch. Right?

KHARY:
Yes.

MONIQUE:
I figured.

KHARY:
Ok.

MONIQUE:
So anyway. These are for you.

PAUSE.

MONIQUE:
Wait.

Did I give you the reason?

KHARY:
Not yet. No.

MONIQUE:
Out of order again!

KHARY tries to be soothing and understanding.

KHARY:
It’s ok…

MONIQUE:

Thank you.

KHARY:
So…?

MONIQUE:
So!

You are here every day for your lunch.

Funny thing.

So am I.

I am here for my lunch every day as well.

Except, of course, on days I’m sick.

I imagine that’d be the same for you.

Anyway.

You are here everyday and I watch you.

Not in a weird way.

Even thought that sounds weird.

Well I guess it’s a little weird.

But I’m not weird.

Anyway.

I’m here everyday and I notice that you smile at strangers.

Every single stranger.

You smile at.

And they smile too.

No matter what.

If yous mile at them, they smile too.

And that’s quite unusual, in my opinion.

Most people I smile at look away or chase after me or…

Anyway.

I noticed this.

Day after day.

And I decided that I wanted to know what this was about.

So…

I walked past you.

Slowly.

To make sure you saw me.

Pause.

KHARY:
And what did I do?

MONIQUE:
You smiled…

Of course you smiled.

Pause.

KHARY:
And you?

MONIQUE:
I smiled.

Of course I smiled.

And so there it was, I got it.

I understood it.

You smiled.

I smiled.

And I understood it.

And it’s been days of me just feeling that.

Feeling our smiles interconnected.

Combined.

And so…

After much deliberation.

Much building of courage.

Here.

MONIQUE presents the tulips again.

MONIQUE:
A bouquet of tulips.

For you.

For nothing else but to do for you what you do for others.

With just a smile.

Pause.

KHARY:
These are for me?

MONIQUE:
These are for you.

KHARY:
Tulips.

MONIQUE:
Tulips…

That is all

KHARY:
Well…

Thank you.

MONIQUE:
Thank you.

MONIQUE smiles at KHARY.

He smiles back.

MONIQUE walks away.

KHARY sits with his tulips and his yogurt.

KHARY smiles.

Just for himself, he smiles.

 

END OF PLAY.

Line One by Jeffrey Lo

June 12 2018 - Line One.jpg

LINE ONE BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

An artist studio.

It’s messy.

Paint is splashed all over the place.

Clay, water, dirt.

Dust.

The only place that is organized is the collection of colors on the large work table.

The colors are organized meticulously.

As lights rise we see HELENA, a respected painter in her late 50’s and NOAH, her apprentice.

HELENA stares at a blank canvas with staggering intensity.

NOAH is staring at HELENA with unclear intensity.

Silence.

HELENA raises her brush and takes a deep breath.

NOAH takes a deep breath that is totally in rhythm with HELENA’s.

NOAH’s eyes grow as they inhale.

Pause.

HELENA deflates.

NOAH deflates with her.

HELENA looks at NOAH.

HELENA: Are you looking at me?

NOAH: Um.

HELENA: Don’t be scared, Noah. Just answer the question. Are you looking at me.

NOAH: Yes.

HELENA: Ok.

HELENA reverts her attention back to the canvas for a split second.

HELENA: Why?

NOAH: Huh?

HELENA: Why were you looking at me.

NOAH: I thought I was supposed to be.

HELENA: Is that so?

NOAH: I thought I was supposed to be learning from you.

HELENA: Hm…

NOAH: Being your apprentice and all…

HELENA contemplates this.

As she contemplates this, NOAH’s anxiety rises.

HELENA: That’s a fair point.

NOAH is back at ease.

HELENA: I’ve never had an apprentice before but you make a fair point. I mean, how else are you to learn from me but to watch me.

NOAH: Exactly.

HELENA: But if your gaze is what’s causing me to stay blank…

NOAH: Oh.

HELENA: Then…

NOAH: Then I’ll look away. Of course I’ll look away.

NOAH looks away.

Pause.

HELENA gives NOAH a smile.

HELENA: I’m kidding.

NOAH: Oh!

HELENA: Of course I’m not going blank because you’re looking at me. What do I look like, a teenage boy with a naked girl for the first time? You’re here to learn from me? Lesson one – although it is always easy to blame something else for your lack of creation, it is always your fault. Write that down.

NOAH grabs his notebook.

HELENA: It is always your fault…

NOAH: Got it.

HELENA: Read it back to me.

NOAH: Although it is always easy to say someone else is the reason your canvas is blank, it is always my fault.

HELENA: … close enough. Now.

HELENA looks at the blank canvas.

A brief silence.

HELENA: Hmmm… I don’t know… What to do, what to do…

HELENA points to the blank canvas.

HELENA: Do you see that?

NOAH: See what?

HELENA: That.

NOAH: … There’s nothing there.

HELENA: Very funny. But of course there is something there. What is this?

NOAH: A canvas?

HELENA: A canvas. And even though it is blank. It is still there. It still exists. So when I point to a canvas and say, “do you see that?” The proper response is not, “There’s nothing there.” The proper response is a can –

NOAH: A blank canvas.

HELENA: … Yes. A blank canvas.

NOAH: What about it?

HELENA: What about it? Ok… you were looking away from me two seconds ago and now you’re asking questions.

NOAH: Sorry.

HELENA: Don’t be sorry. Lesson two – if you’re going to be an artist, be ready to not be sorry for the things you do.

NOAH: Ok.

HELENA: Did you write that down?

NOAH: I will.

HELENA: Good. Repeat it to me.

NOAH: Don’t be sorry for your art.

HELENA: … Better than how I put it. Very good.

NOAH: Thank you.

HELENA: Now. The canvas. The “blank” canvas as you put it.

NOAH: Yes?

HELENA: I have a question for you about the blank canvas.

NOAH: Ok.

HELENA: Are you ready for it?

NOAH: I hope so.

HELENA: Ok. What should I put on it?

Silence.

NOAH: What?

HELENA: You heard me.

NOAH: What should you –

HELENA: Put on the blank canvas. Yes.

NOAH: I don’t –

HELENA: Don’t say that.

NOAH: But it’s your canv –

HELENA: I know that it’s my canvas. I am very aware of what I own, thank you. And I am very aware that I am asking you, my apprentice, the question –what should I put on my blank canvas.

Pause.

NOAH: Umm…

HELENA: No umm…

NOAH: But –

HELENA: No but. Just answer. There’s no wrong answer.

NOAH: Really?

HELENA: Lesson number three. There is no wrong answers.

HELENA watches NOAH write it down.

HELENA: Good. Now. Answer.

Pause.

Beat.

NOAH: Well… A line.

HELENA: Speak up.

NOAH: A line. On your blank canvas. You should draw a line.

HELENA: A line… I should draw a line on my blank canvas?

NOAH: Yes?

HELENA: No questions.

NOAH: Yes.

HELENA: Good.

Silence.

HELENA: Ok.

HELENA shifts her attention back to the canvas.

She stares at it for a few moments.

Then, with grace and intent, she steps towards the canvas.

She moves her brush in one swift, black stroke.

HELENA steps back.

She looks at the canvas.

She looks at the line.

HELENA: A line.

HELENA looks at NOAH.

HELENA: Good?

NOAH: Good.

HELENA: Good. You’re going to do good here.

NOAH: Thank you.

HELENA: And thank you. Lesson four. Line one.

HELENA points at the canvas.

HELENA: There we have it. Line one.

HELENA shifts her attention back to the canvas.

HELENA: And now for the journey of the rest…

Lights fade.

END OF PLAY.