Dreaming with Your Eyes Open by Jeffrey Lo

October 22 2018 - Dreaming With Your Eyes Open.jpg

DREAMING WITH YOUR EYES OPEN BY JEFFREY LO
(DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

Lights up on MORTY.

MORTY lays in bed.

Eyes wide open.

MORTY turns to one side.

Time passes.

MORTY lets out a sigh.

MORTY turns to the other side.

Time passes.

MORTY lets out a sigh.

MORTY shifts his body to be on all fours.

MORTY stretches his back in downward dog position on his bed.

MORTY lays flat on his back. MORTY lets out a sigh.

Lights shift. WOMAN appears.

 

WOMAN: Morty.

MORTY: Huh?

WOMAN: How are you Morty?

MORTY: Who are you?

WOMAN: Who do I look like?

 

MORTY looks at WOMAN more closely.

 

WOMAN: How are you Morty?

MORTY: Can’t sleep.

WOMAN: What are you talking about? You are sleeping.

MORTY: How can I be sleeping if I’m talking to –

 

MORTY realizes he is laying on his back, in his bed, flat, unable to move. 

His eyes wide open.

 

MORTY: What the –

WOMAN: You are asleep.

MORTY: But –

WOMAN: Who do I look like?

 

MORTY looks at WOMAN more closely.

 

MORTY: Mo –

WOMAN: God?

MORTY: No.

WOMAN: Were you going to say God?

MORTY: No.

WOMAN: Who do I look like?

 

MORTY looks at WOMAN more closely.

 

WOMAN: Goodbye.

MORTY: What?

WOMAN: Goodbye.

MORTY: Where are you going?

WOMAN: Goodbye Morty… have a good sleep.

MORTY: But I don’t think I’m sleepi –

 

WOMAN disappears.

 

MORTY: Where did you - ?

 

MORTY tries to look around but his body is stuck.

Eyes wide open.

 

MORTY: What the - ?

 

MAN appears.

 

MAN: Morty.

MORTY: Who are you!?

MAN: Hello Morty.

MORTY: How do you know my name?

MAN: Hello Morty.

MORTY: Leave me alone!

MAN: How are you, Morty?

MORTY: Stop saying my name!!

MAN: How are you?

MORTY: I just want to sleep!

MAN: But you are –

MORTY: Don’t tell me I’m sleeping!

MAN: Why are you talking to me like this?

MORTY: Why are you talking to me at all?

MAN: Wht are you talking to me like this?

MORTY: Like what?

MAN: You spoke to her much nicer.

MORTY: Spoke to who?

 

WOMAN reappears.

 

WOMAN: Who do I look like?

MORTY: Oh no…

MAN: You are much nicer to her.

MORTY: SHUT UP!

MAN & WOMAN: How are you Morty?

MORTY: Please let me sleep.

MAN: But you are…

MORTY: No I am not!

WOMAN: Sure you are!

MAN: Get out of bed, then.

 

MORTY tries to get out of bed. I can’t!

 

MORTY: I can’t!

WOMAN: Then you are asleep, right?

MORTY: NO!

MAN: I don’t understand.

MORTY: Neither do I! I JUST WANT TO SLEEP.

 

MAN and WOMAN open their mouths.

 

MORTY: AND DON’T YOU DARE SAY A DAMN THING.

 

MAN and WOMAN close their mouths.

 

MORTY: I just need to sleep… Just a little bit of sleep… A little bit of sleep…

 

MAN and WOMAN stand in place, silent.

MORTY works hard to close his eyes.

 

MORTY: Sleep… sleep… sleep…

 

Lights fade.

 

END OF PLAY.

Nighttime in Delano by Jeffrey Lo

October 21 2018 - Nighttime in Delano.jpg

NIGHTTIME IN DELANO BY Jeffrey Lo (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

In darkness, the sound of crickets, a fire and tired Filipino men unable to sleep.

As lights rise we see two Filipino men, PHILIP and LARRY.

All around them are picket signs fighting for the rights of the Delano farmworkers.

PHILIP stands looking off into the distance.

LARRY sits on the ground, cigar in mouth, head leaning against a tree.

 

LARRY: Sit down Philip.

 

No response.

 

LARRY: Philip.

PHILIP: Ano?

LARRY: Sit down. Please.

PHILIP: Why?

LARRY: Because you’re tired.

PHILIP: I’m not tired.

LARRY: Well good for you…

PHILIP: How are you feeling?

LARRY: Tired! And you walking around on your feet while I sit on my ass is making me feel –

PHILIP: Old?

LARRY: Fuck you.

PHILIP: Love you too, pal.

LARRY: Sit down!

PHILIP: But –

LARRY: Nothing is going to happen at this hour, Philip. We’re done for the night. The landowners are too lazy to do anything at this hour.

PHILIP: That’s the truth.

LARRY: They’re too lazy to do anything. That’s what got us into this mess in the first place.

PHILIP: No, not their laziness.

LARRY: What?

PHILIP: They’re too lazy to work. We’re not asking them to work. We’re happy to work. We just want to be paid fairly for our work.

 

LARRY nods his head.

 

LARRY: That’s right.

 

LARRY lights his cigar and cracks his neck.

 

LARRY: But goddamn…

PHILIP: What?

LARRY: Can you imagine someday… a time when we don’t have to work anymore?

 

Pause.

 

PHILIP: No.

 

LARRY laughs, then coughs.

 

LARRY: Yeah. Me either.. Putang ina.

PHILIP: Why did we come here?

LARRY: To America?

PHILIP: To find work.

LARRY: Yes. But to find good work. To find enough good work so eventually we did not have to work at all. Diba? To rest?

PHILIP: I guess so…

 

Beat.

 

PHILIP: Larry.

LARRY: Mm?

PHILIP: What’s on your mind.

LARRY: Sometimes I just feel like we were fooled.

PHILIP: Fooled how?

LARRY: We were told we would come here to find better work than we could find back home. But here, the work is the same. But instead of working for our own people, we are working for these mother fuckers who don’t care about us. Instead of working and going home to our families, we are alone. Stuck in this country…

 

Silence.

 

PHILIP: Are you ok, Larry?

 

LARRY stands up.

 

LARRY: I will be… I’m just… talking. I’ll be fine.

 

LARRY puts his hand on PHILIP’s shoulder.

 

LARRY: We better get some rest.

PHILIP: I thought you haven’t been getting any sleep.

LARRY: I haven’t… but I have to try.

 

PHILIP nods his head as LARRY exits.

 

LARRY: Another day tomorrow.

PHILIP: Another day.

LARRY: We’ll figure out what to do about those guys crossing the picket…

PHILIP: Will we?

LARRY: We’ll think of something.

 

PHILIP stands back at his spot and looks out on the land.

Lights fade.

 

END OF PLAY.

Five to Places for our Asian American Show by Jeffrey Lo

October 20 - Five to Places.jpg

FIVE TO PLACES FOR OUR ASIAN AMERICAN SHOW BY JEFFREY LO
(DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

Backstage at a small regional theatre.

NAOKO is sitting on a chair, mind wandering.

Not too far off is HIRO who is stretching and warming up.

We hear the sound of an audience on the monitors.

STAGE MANAGER JOE enters.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Hey Naoko.

NAOKO: Hey Joe.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Everything ok?

NAOKO: Huh?

STAGE MANAGER JOE: You doing alright? Your eyes looked a little glazed there for a second.

NAOKO: Oh, yeah. I’m fine.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: You sure? You need water or anything?

NAOKO: No, I’m fine. Thanks, though.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Sure.

NAOKO: Joe –

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Yeah?

NAOKO: What’s the house like?

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Another sold out night. This show’s been a real success.

NAOKO: Right. But like…

STAGE MANAGER JOE: What?

NAOKO: Are there any… groups, tonight?

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Groups? Like… groups together? Probably –

NAOKO: No, like…. I don’t know, outreach groups. Or… Community groups. School groups… temples…

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Oh. Not today. Pretty silver haired today. The usual.

NAOKO: Right.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: But real full!

NAOKO: Right. Great. Thanks.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Yup. I better go check in with the house manager.

NAOKO: Alright.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE exits.

NAOKO sits.

NAOKO’s eyes start to glaze again.

Silence.

HIRO changes warm up, and is now making noise.

This gets NAOKO’s attention.

 

NAOKO: Hey Hiro.

HIRO: Hey.

NAOKO: Can I ask you something?

HIRO: What’s up?

 

HIRO walks over to sit with NAOKO.

Pause.

 

HIRO: You ok?

NAOKO: Um…

 

Pause.

 

NAOKO: How are you feeling?

HIRO: In general? 

NAOKO: Sure.

HIRO: Fine, I guess.

NAOKO: Or… How are you feeling about the show?

HIRO: Great. House is pretty packed every night. We’ve all gotten amazing write ups and it looks like we’re for sure going to extend.

NAOKO: Right…

HIRO: How about you?

NAOKO: Huh?

HIRO: How about you? … There’s a reason you’re asking me, right?

 

Pause.

 

NAOKO: I don’t know…

HIRO: Why not?

NAOKO: Not sure…

HIRO: Did anyone do anything to you?

NAOKO: No. Not really.

HIRO: Not really? Naoko, Not really isn’t no.

NAOKO: No. Sorry. Absolutely no.

HIRO: Ok, so what’s wrong?

 

Pause.

 

NAOKO: Has it ever struck you as odd when the curtains go up?

HIRO: How so?

NAOKO: Like the curtains go up and the lights are shining bright on us in this replica of Manzanar.

HIRO: It’s true that it’s hard to put ourselves in that frame of mind every night –

NAOKO: No, it’s not that. It’s not… As the show starts. As the curtain rises, we have a split second before we open our mouths to sing the opening number where we take a look into the audience. And every single night who is sitting there but an auditorium full of white audience members…

 

Pause.

 

HIRO: Sure. That’s true. But not entirely –

NAOKO: Yes, true. Not entirely. But god is it close to it.

HIRO: Yes… But… What do you want? Do you want to only be performing for Asian American people? Or… Japanese American people?

NAOKO: We’re sitting there in Manzanar…

HIRO: It’s important we share this audience with white people too.

NAOKO: Yes. I’ll give you that. Yes. But… I can’t put my finger on it but there we are… being I don’t know – lifted onto the stage by these folks. Stared at. Applauded. As they cry and shake their heads at history. Slapping their wrists and patting themselves on the back simultaneously… It feels… wrong. Doesn’t it?

HIRO: I don’t know.

 

Pause.

 

NAOKO: Yeah, me either.

HIRO: And even so – what’s our alternative.

NAOKO: Still don’t know.

HIRO: Exactly. We can go back to not having our stories on stages. Nobody wants that.

NAOKO: I wouldn’t say nobody…

HIRO: True…

NAOKO: But even so… I don’t know. I don’t know how I feel. I don’t know what to do. I don’t know why I don’t just feel appreciative. I guess I’m just… sharing my undecipherable emotion with someone who would hear me out.

HIRO: … well… I guess I’ll think of it too… Shit. Curtains are gonna come up and I’m gonna feel a whole lot different tonight.

NAOKO: Sorry.

HIRO: Don’t be. 

NAOKO: We can’t solve everything, not right before we’re about to perform.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE enters.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE: Hey Hiro. Hey Naoko.

HIRO: Hey Joe.

STAGE MANAGER JOE: I’m about to call five to places.

HIRO: Thanks Joe.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE exits.

HIRO looks at NAOKO.

 

HIRO: I better finish my warm-ups.

NAOKO: Alright.

HIRO: Naoko.

NAOKO: Yeah?

HIRO: You gonna be good to perform tonight?

NAOKO: Always. I’m a professional.

HIRO: Of course.

 

HIRO goes back to warming up.

NAOKO sits and contemplates.

 

STAGE MANAGER JOE (Voiceover): Five to places everyone. Five to places.

 

Lights fade.

 

END OF PLAY.

CoolCoolCool by Jeffrey Lo

October 19 - CoolCoolCool.jpg

COOLCOOLCOOL BY Jeffrey Lo (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

29 and 60.

 

60: What did you say?

29: Huh?

60: You said something to me?

29: Oh. Yeah.

60: What was it?

29: CoolCoolCool.

60: Co-C-C?

29: CoolCoolCool.

60: Cool?

29: CoolCool.

60: Cool. Cool. Cool…?

29: No.

60: No?

29: No.

60: Say it again.

29: CoolCoolCool.

60: Isn’t that what I said?

29: No.

60: No?

29: No.

60: What did I say?

29: Cool. Cool. Cool…?

60: Right.

29: Right?

60: Right… That’s not what you said?

29: No.

60: Again.

29: Cool. Cool. Cool…?

60: Right!

29: Yeah, that’s what you said.

60: AND what YOU said!

29: Oh! No.

60: No?

29: No. I said CoolCoolCool.

60: How is thar different?

29: Listen carefully.

60: Ok…

29: Me. CoolCoolCool.

 

Pause

 

29: You. Cool. Cool. Cool…?

 

Pause

 

60: Ok…

29: Again?

60: Please.

29: Me. CoolCoolCool.

 

Pause

 

29: You. Cool. Cool. Cool…?

 

Pause.

 

60: You. CoolCoolCool.

29: Very good!

 

Pause

 

60: Me. CoolCoolCool.

29: No.

60: No?

29: You. Cool. Cool. Cool…?

 

Pause.

 

60: Me. Cool. Cool. Cool…?

29: Yes!

60: You. CoolCoolCool. Me. Cool. Cool. Cool…?

29: Exactly!

 

Pause.

60 thinks about this.

 

60: Oh!!!!!

 

Blackout.

 

END OF PLAY.

Yeah, Uh Huh by Jeffrey Lo

October 18 - Yeah Uh Huh.jpg

YEAH, UH HUH BY Jeffrey Lo (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

TEENAGE DAUGHTER is in her room, laying in her bed, scrolling through Instagram.

MOM is out in the kitchen.

 

MOM: Cathy! Are you there?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Yeah.

MOM: Dinner will be ready soon.

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Uh huh.

MOM: Did you hear me?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Yeah.

MOM: Did you answer me?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Uh huh.

MOM: Ok… Um –

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Yeah?

MOM: Can you talk to me?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Uh huh.

MOM: Can you say something more to me?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Yeah.

MOM: So…. will you?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Uh huh.

MOM: Are you kidding me?

 

TEENAGE DAUGHTER laughs.


TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Yeah.

MOM: Seriously?

TEENAGE DAUGHTER: Uh huh.

 

MOM storms up to TEENAGE DAUGHTER’S room.

 

MOM: READ A BOOK. GROW YOUR VOCABULARY. PLEASE.

 

Pause.

 

TEENAGE: Hi mom.

MOM: Thank you. Jesus.

 

MOM closes the door.

Blackout.

 

END OF PLAY.

I Couldn't Think of a Title, So Here We Are by Jeffrey Lo

October 17 2018 - I Couldnt Think of a Title So Here We Are.jpg

I COULDN’T THINK OF A TITLE, SO HERE WE ARE BY JEFFREY LO
(DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

LUISA and VICTOR.

 

VICTOR:I don’t understand.

LUISA: What don’t you understand.

VICTOR: I don’t understand what you think we are.

LUISA: What is there not to understand.

VICTOR: Do you like me?

LUISA: Most of the time, yes.

VICTOR: Do you like being with me?

LUISA: Most of the time, yes.

VICTOR: Do you like –

LUISA: How is this relevant?

VICTOR: Do you like sleeping with me?

LUISA: Most of the time, yes.

VICTOR: SO THEN WHAT ARE WE!?

LUISA: I don’t know.

 

Pause.

 

VICTOR: Do you see my confusion?

LUISA: No.

VICTOR: What do you mean, no!?

LUISA: No means no.

VICTOR: ok, don’t put it like that.

LUISA: Like what?

VICTOR: Like I’m trying to force you into –

LUISA: But are you?

VICTOR: I’m not trying to force you into that!

LUISA: But are you trying to force me into… anything?

 

Pause.

 

VICTOR:I just don’t understand why you don’t –

LUISA: I like you. I like being around you. I like fucking you. Those are all facts.

VICTOR: So what are we?

 

LUISA shrugs.

 

VICTOR: FUCK!

LUISA: Look, no one is making you to stay in this.

VICTOR: I know.

LUISA: If you don’t want to be in this, you don’t have to –

VICTOR: I know I know but…

LUISA: But what?

VICTOR: But I want to be in this…

LUISA: Ok, then.

VICTOR: Do you want to be in this?

LUISA: For the most part, yes.

 

Pause.

Beat.

 

VICTOR: But –

LUISA: Victor!

VICTOR: What?

LUISA: Don’t say anything.

 

VICTOR doesn’t say anything.

Beat.

Lights fade.

 

END OF PLAY.

I Hate This by Jeffrey Lo

I HATE THIS BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

STEPH in a front yard mowing a lawn.

STEPH’s face looks dead.

STEPH continues to mow.

Mow…

Mow…

Mow…

STEPH’s Uncle DOM enters.

DOM looks at STEPH.

DOM looks at STEPH’s dead face.

 

DOM: Steph.

STEPH: Yeah?

 

STEPH continues to mow.

STEPH’s face continues to look dead.

 

DOM: Why does your face look like that?

STEPH: Like what?

 

STEPH continues to mow.

STEPH’s face continues to look dead.

 

DOM: Your face looks like it’s dead.

STEPH: Oh…

 

STEPH continues to mow.

STEPH’s face continues to look dead.

 

DOM: Why?

 

Pause.

Pause.

Pause.

 

STEPH: Because I hate this.

 

Pause.

 

DOM: Oh.

 

DOM exits.

Blackout.

 

END OF PLAY.

And Again... by Jeffrey Lo

AND AGAIN… BY JEFFREY LO (DOWNLOAD PDF HERE)

PERSON:

Admission.

Some things are hard.

Some daysare hard.

Some yearsare hard.

Some… livesare hard…

(Pause)

I’m having a hard time.

Just putting that out there.
Not to make it awkward or anything.

(A smile)

To be honest I usually keep it inside as to notmake it awkward.

For the fear of making it awkward.

And in the end – I feel worse.

I feel terrible.

So now, I am no longer acting out of fear of making things awkward.

Instead I am acting out of fear of feeling like shit.

(Pause)
Pretty logical, don’t you think?

(Beat)

The other day I tried something.

I tried to close my eyes and breath…

Breath in…

Breath out…

Nothing.

Didn’t work.

Bullshit.

Someone gave me that advice.
Bullshit.

Nothing left my body but the air I brought in moments before.

Bullshit.

So now… I’m just sharing.

Over sharing?

Probably?

But what’s over sharing?

This is just me talking to you…

And you…

And you…

And you…

It’s not… social media or anything.

(Lights rise a bit in the house)
Oh… This is a bit awkward.

I’ve made it awkward…

(A smile)

Oh well.

Bye.

(Exits)

 

END OF PLAY.