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MIRROR AND MARBLE: An Original Play

PROLOGUE AND POEMS

To be incorporated as part of the pre-show design.

Once we found poetry on these pages

brushed with nothing more

than the usual scattering of words

phrases and joculand trumpings of wit

Now it seems we are ephemeral poets

ghosts of ourselves who do not know we are dead

lost in the Hundred Acre Wood

going in the same circle over and over again

arguing the relevance to ourselves but not too loud

the fallen rhetoric of politics

i am tired of hearing the same thing repeated

so here i am in purgatory

left with nothing but the smell of droppings

droppings of defunct poetics

I think we might be angels fallen from the sky

I think we might be angels who’ve forgotten how to fly

I hate that there’s no answer when we ask ourselves why

We all seem to remember a joy we’re now denied….

We want to trust in something

A soul, a God and an Art

We need the love of something

Or else inside we fall apart

And every day we hope and try

To spread our wings and touch the sky

But every night, we fall asleep

With the ground hard beneath our feet

Let me out

We see what we want to see and never what is real

We focus on the little things ‘cause they’re easy to reveal

But little things are heavy things that weigh a body down

They’re clinging to our angel wings and holding us to the ground

Let me out

TRANSITION

My memory of you becomes a stranger

The thought of you is like a lone figure

The silhouette up ahead

Rising up from the highway

Long stretch of road, moonless night

Just the shadow of a man, just an outline

Light me a light

Break apart the shadows inside

Light me a light

Hits me softly under-inside

There is no end when memories come floodin’ in

Outside its raining again

Summer rain again

The smell of lemons

Pavement has no sound

No one notices the things they’ve found

She turned the corner, disappeared

In the words spoken

I am hearing the same words again

It was of no real concern

She turned the corner for others hidden

Light me a light

To try and reach out from the broken street

Light me a light

To hold on to the memory

Light the light

Break apart shadows on the inside

Light the light

To touch us softly under-inside

All we are is all we are.

But I can’t remember.

What happened to the poems and how did they get so lost?

The poems

Scattered papers through the air

Churned by the busy street

In the rain she walked and thought,

‘there is nothing new to this at all…’

Scattered pages

Worthless poems, worthless words

Flying dramatically, diving and scattering

Who let go?

Who was last to let go?

Watching through broken glass

Forcing time to slow down enough to notice

Falling apart.

Light me a light

To break the shadows on the inside

Light me a light

To hit me softly under-inside

Cast of Characters

REILLY: Female, can be played by any actress at any age, from her 30s – 60s. She is the only character who understands the world of the play. Her objective is to keep the other characters, like children, from breaking the rules of the Hundred Acre Wood. Why else would she be there but to protect them?

EVELYN (EVIE): Female, can be played by any actress but keep in mind she represents the veracity of youth and the power of human passion. Why is she the most fragile of the three women?

GRACE (GRACIE): Female, can be played by any actress but keep in mind she represents the honesty of youth and the power of human adaptation. What is it that Grace forgets to remember?

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN: Male, can be played by any actor over the age of 45. He does not live in the world of the play and, as the A. A. Milne character he is named after, may come and go as he pleases. When will he come back again, we never know, but he always does. The question isn’t who Christopher Robin is but why will Christopher Robin abandons his friends in the Hundred Acre Wood, leaving them in the eternal Limbo of lost innocence and youth.

ACT I

Scene 1

At Rise: Enter Reilly. She sits in a chair and covers her eyes with her hand trying to see.

REILLY

I have a secret. I am someone no one knows about. No one. Except for him.

(Short pause. REILLY points.)

That man.

(Beat.)

I am wondering if this sounds familiar to you. If anyone else has heard this?

(REILLY gets out a tape player and presses play.)

EVELYN VOICEOVER

No one sees me when I am a bird in flight. I go streaming through the halls of marble and mirror…I have no reflection…no frame or figure…I am a ghost breezing through…She laughs. I am the one who leaves that vague scent that delicious and delicate perfume… No more remnants of presence as I slip with natural grace and precision into the elevator to be carried up, up, up…Somewhere between remembered and forgotten.

(REILLY hits stop on the recorder. She shields her eyes again with her hand.)

REILLY

Can we cut the light please? Lights Change. Thank you. I am trying to establish the chain of events that have lead us to an unfortunate predicament today. It would be to our benefit to remind ourselves once again of the 10 Commandments. Can you start the power point presentation?

(The Following Appears on behind her on the back wall or on a scrim/screen Center:

Thou shalt not bear false witness to The Hundred Acre Wood.

Thou shalt not represent The Hundred Acre Wood in any image, writing or sound.

Thou shalt not take your life in vain, nor harm any creature the Wood contains.

Honor thy Christopher Robin, Tigger, Poo; Rabbit, Eeyore, Kanga, Roo….

Remember Assignation Day and keep it Holy.

Thou shalt not venture Out There.

Thou shalt obey the rules unique to each story.

Thou shalt not leave until the story is finished.

Thou shalt remain bound to The Commandments for Life.

Thou shalt not leave the wood and ever return.)

REILLY

Let’s see….this has always been a problem, hasn’t it? How many times do I have to say this? There is a line between fantasy and reality. This is Fantasy! Out There is Reality, okay? Don’t be stupid enough to try and bring the two together.

(Blackout)

ACT 1

Scene 2

At Rise: Lights up on EVELYN smoking a cigarette at a vanity. She wears a robe and holds a drink, she is writing in a journal.. She is slightly tipsy. GRACE lies in a heap, gasping for breath.  Evelyn glances up and then goes back to writing. Several seconds pass.

GRACE (Voiceover):

I am…the shock and immediate pain that happens moments after you are thrown over the handle bars of your bike (remember as a kid?) meeting cold unforgiving hard pavement…numb, shock, fear and then excruciating blocked from all memory pain.

(GRACE gets up disoriented. The ladies have not acknowledged each other. Evelyn looks up thinking, then writes and speaks)

EVELYN

I feel it like a weight on my heart. I chain smoke cigarettes to try and ease it. I drink. It doesn’t help.

(EVELYN slams the journal shut.)

I think, what have I been doing? WHAT HAVE I BEEN DOING??

(EVYLYN flops over, lays her arms and head down on the vanity.)

There is no reasoning behind it. There is no rational explanation of it. What I remember is fragmented, leftovers……an overactive imagination….

(Beat)

…Wow, I wish that I could have more accurately written as I am speaking now…

The thoughts, the emotions…triggered these actions, then reactions, the passion…snowball-crazy-rapid-increasing-sighing-erotic-sadistic-masocistic…

Hearing the rumble. Wondering if it is getting closer or moving, finally, farther away.

(Beat)

I am so afraid.

(Beat)

I don’t know. No one else was there. No one knows.

(Projection on the back wall

They know not I knew thee

Who knew thee too well:–

Long, long shall I rue thee,

Too deeply to tell.

In secret we met—

In silence I grieve,

That thy heart could forget,

Thy spirit deceive.

If I should meet thee

After long years,

How should I greet thee?

With silence and tears.

George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824)

Oh hell.

(EVELYN slams her journal on the vanity, knocking over a bottle of prescription pills…they spill across the surface, onto the floor. She looks at the mess.)

Ssiiiiiiiiiit…

Smoke…Cigarette, Lo-lee-tah…Cigarette…burn away the pain…

(EVELYN starts digging through the drawers.)

I know in my gut that this is not over yet. I just wish I knew if it would be sooner rather than later.

(GRACE watches EVELYN now, listening.)

Some may argue that I have and have had a choice in all this.

There was NO CHOICE.

(GRACE shakes her head. We sense that she knows what is going on but she is slow and hesitant to realize.)

I did not ask for this. I did not want this to happen. I didn’t know something like this could happen….

(GRACE echoes the following line with EVELYN)

EVELYN GRACE

I love. I am loved. I love. I am loved.

(EVELYN stops what she is doing and looks straight ahead. She reaches for her drink and finishes it.)

GRACE

If I remember correctly…

EVELYN

My memory is a bit hazy.

(GRACE snickers and shakes the ice in her glass. The two women stare at each other. EVELYN starts to realize…)

GRACE

What are you doing?

(GRACE snatches the drink out of EVELYN’s hand, looks at it and then to her open diary, papers, etc… )

What the hell are you doing writing about this?

EVELYN

This is a story, isn’t it? I’m a little tipsy but I know how to write a story.

(GRACE points her finger at EVIE as she goes to get more Scotch from the bar. EVELYN makes a face at GRACE.)

GRACE

That’s funny—Tell me…

(Short Pause. GRACE looks at EVELYN, forgetting her name.)

…EVIE. Are you a complete fool?

(GRACE hands EVELYN the drink and sits down on the couch.)

EVELYN

This is a story that needs to be told.

GRACE

This is a story that is NEVER told.

(Beat. They look at each other.)

EVELYN

I want another cigarette.

(EVELYN lights and takes a deep drag. )

What? All of a sudden you change…you want me to be a creature with purity and innocence….But I am…a creature of THIS existence…Life…So are you…

GRACE

Give me a drag off that. She stands up and goes to take the cigarette. Evelyn, stop trying to make THIS more than it is…

(EVELYN glares at GRACE)

GRACE

You are when he wants it. You aren’t when he doesn’t.

EVELY

Stop…

(EVELYN turns and drains her drink.)

GRACE

He fucks you.

EVELYN

Enough.

GRACE

Has he said he loves you?

EVELYN

GODDAMMIT!

(EVELYN throws the drink. It shatters on the floor. She thrashes at her vanity and knocks things off and spills more pills. She swears and starts frantically trying to pick them up off the floor, letting a single sob out, disoriented.)

(GRACE moves to the bar and gets the bottle, then goes over to where EVELYN is crying very quietly as she gathers the pills,

EVELYN (muttering.)

No one sees me when I am a bird in flight. I go streaming through the halls of marble and mirrors…

(GRACE puts the bottle on the ground and gets down on her knees and takes EVELYN’s hands.)

(Pause.)

EVELYN

All I need is for someone to love me. That’s it…That’s not too much, is it, Gracie?

(GRACE picks up a pill from the floor, reaches for the bottle and kneels above her. EVELYN opens her mouth.)

GRACE

Nobody ever chooses THIS, Evie, and it doesn’t just happen. We get chosen.

(GRACE puts it in EVIS’s mouth and hands her the bottle. Their eyes stay locked as EVIE swigs and swallows.)

EVELYN

Magic.

(GRACE and EVELYN reverse positions, like a ritual, as GRACE proceeds to do the same.)

GRACE

Magic.

(Short Pause.)

GRACE

Chosen for some reason, god knows…

EVELYN

Lost…Somewhere between remembered and forgotten.

(Beat)

GRACE

I should burn in hell.

(EVELYN crawls over and wraps her arms around GRACE.)

EVELYN

Darling, this is hell. We live sin. We are evil. We are devils. We are red from lust, temptation…Ah, we are truly lovely lovely lovely Lolitas.

GRACE

Cigarette, Lolita…Cigarette…

EVELYN

We are not doomed…We know what will happen in the end…

(GRACE cringes and shudders.)

But we remain for the time being gloriously tragic.

GRACE

Cigarette.

EVELYN

Cigarette.

(Pause.)

GRACE

No one knows our story because no one wants to hear it.

(Beat.)

EVELYN

Grace?

GRACE

Yes?

EVELYN

I don’t think we should keep this secret—

GRACE

Ssshhhhh…no…ssshhhh…

EVELYN

Why are we keeping this secret?

GRACE

Because baby…it isn’t over yet.

(Blackout.)

ACT I

Scene 3

Setting: Up Music and accompanying video/image montage projected onto a scrim. Lights up on GRACE, seated, in silhouette DSR. She is watching the moving images.

At Rise: Lights up full on GRACE, pulling her out of shadow as the images fade out. Then the music begins fading out to become a simple rhythm, reminiscent of a heartbeat. GRACE turns to the audience, breathing in sync, hugging her legs close to her chest with her arms.

GRACE speaks almost to herself but there is the sense that she is speaking to EVELYN.

GRACE

It took two months to whittle me down and get me to give in.

(Short Pause.)

What was I doing that night? …I had friends in town playing a gig in Tribeca.

I remember standing outside the club, looking at my cell phone…

…Realizing I was about to make a decision. One of those big life choices…To phone or not to phone…It’s obvious. I made a choice.

We met at this wine bar in Greenwich. It was the end of midsummer.

I wore a yellow dress.

(Lights up slowly to silhouette EVELYN sitting at her vanity, writing.)

We drank Shiraz. A bottle, maybe two? He asked me if I had eaten.

(Lights begin coming up full on EVELYN.)

EVELYN

You don’t eat.

GRACE

I told him, no, and ordered Tuna Tataki, nibbled on it.

(Short Pause.)

We left. Crossing the street he reached for my hand. I started skipping, laughing, excited. We stopped. He asked me what I was most afraid of.

(The scrim is pulled up smoothly.)

I said I didn’t know.

EVELYN GRACE

I was different then. I was different then.

GRACE

We went to another bar and wrote poetry to each other on napkins.

EVELYN

You lost those napkins.

GRACE

They were soaked in wine and turned into paper mache. The closer we came. And he asked me to go back with him.

(GRACE stands suddenly in frustration and stomps into the kitchen. She begins searching through the cabinets.)

Don’t ask me to explain it. Don’t ask me for understanding. Don’t tell me this or tell me that or this is what is happening.

EVELYN

Don’t get upset.

GRACE

Of course I get upset! (She glares at her) Of course I get upset!

EVELYN

You are redundant.

GRACE

We are redundant, trying to make sense—

EVELYN

–when there is no sense.

GRACE

Oh Christ.

EVELYN

No, I just know what you are talking about. What are you looking for?

GRACE

I DON’T FUCKING KNOW!

(Beat.)

(EVELYN takes out a pill and hands it to GRACE.)

EVELY

Are we gonna keep this up or make it stop?

GRACE

I told you Evelyn, it’s not done yet. We were promised.

(Blackout.)

ACT I

Scene 4

At Rise: REILLY enters and sits center on the chair. Clicks and starts the projection of old home movies: A little girl growing up. The idea is to indicate that this is EVELYN.

(REILLY speaks as a young adolescent.)

REILLY

Assumption One

I am an adolescent. I was raised on Disney movies and Nancy Drew books. I went to an all girls boarding school. I was taught to play by certain rules, to behave in a certain way and to translate Latin.

I understand that I do not understand except when I am told I understand.

(REILLY drops the adolescent girl character.)

Lights!

(REILLY freezes the presentation. Full Flush.)

Shall we examine the dynamic of who I am in Reality?

(Pause.)

Yes, the question is rhetorical.

Lights!

(Drop Flush. REILLY assumes a seductive character, somewhat threatening.)

I am Fantasy.

(REILLY starts a new presentation of erotic images. The video becomes dream like and blurry showing a naked woman, and then shots of GRACE being alarmingly endearing. The images coincide with the text…)

Assumption Two

I am what you see. I am timeless, malleable, docile. I will give you what you want. I will be what you want when you need it. You can turn me off and you can turn me on. Invite me in and lock me out.

Assumption Three

I have no feelings. I have no memory except for what you tell me. I exist because you allow me to exist. And when you want to forget, I will disappear into oblivion.

(The screen goes white. REILLY drops the character aggressively…)

Lights!

(Stage floods with white light.)

Any questions?

Remember, there are no stupid questions…

If you’re smart enough not to ask them.

(Lights change abruptly. REILLY is frozen in silhouette.)

REILLY

Sssssshhhhhhh…Listen

(Blackout.)

(Lights up on EVELYN sitting at her vanity in her robe again. GRACE is finger-painting on the floor. EVELYN takes a sip of her drink and surveys the vanity, looking at the bottles of pills.)

EVELYN

What to do, what to do…I take you. Or I take you. For some reason I want to keep taking you…what to do, what to do…

What would happen if I took all of you? Well…duh…Yeah I think this is where we are running into our problem…

(Short Pause.)

It’s so hard when you can’t sleep. When it’s late at night and seems like day will never come.

I don’t want it to come.

I don’t think you realize what THIS is doing to me, do you?

(GRACE holds up her painting to show EVELYN.)

GRACE

This is you. She smiles happily, looks at the picture. See? IT IS ALL ABOUT YOU, dearie.

EVELYN

Are you trying to distract me?

GRACE

No. This is you. See? If you were a finger-painting, this is what you would look like according to me.

(Beat.)

EVELYN

You’re not helping.

GRACE

That’s right. I’m finger-painting. Come play with me.

EVELYN

It’s the waiting…You know?

GRACE

You think you are so brilliant, Evelyn.

EVELYN

…Thanks…It’s knowing and watching and not saying anything.

GRACE (overlaps.)

You’re Welcome.

(Fast Beat.)

EVELYN

Why are we here? Why keep doing THIS? How have we been doing THIS? How long?

(GRACE cannot answer. She stands up and paces about the room.)

EVELYN

How have we been doing THIS, Gracie?

GRACE

Stop asking stupid questions.

EVELYN

They’re not stupid.

GRACE

Certain questions are meant for certain times…Evelyn is confused. Like the answer is a logical conclusion or predictable result. Or you figure out the right formula for your questions so they produce a clear cumulative answer. Or the question is rhetorical.

EVELYN

That sounds stupid.

(The phone rings. They look at each other. It rings again.)

EVELYN

…Answer…

(GRACE picks up the phone.)

GRACE

Hello?

(Pause. GRACE listens, looks at EVIE and nods. EVIE picks up the phone on her vanity and transforms, laughing.)

EVELYN

Hi Stranger. Pause. I’m fine. Its nice to hear your voice.

(Pause.)

Oh, well, what do you think?

(Pause.)

Sure.

(Pause.)

Of course.

(They hang up.)

(Long Beat. The air gets heavy. EVIE, excited and youthful. GRACE, serious and grave.)

GRACE

Here we go again.

(GRACE watches EVENLY, stuffing things from her vanity drawers (pills, papers, books, cocoa butter…) into a small overnight bag. Busily getting ready and humming to herself, EVELYN is an excited young girl in love. Grace stares at her as if willing her to stop and calm down. She gives up and looks away, sighing sadly…)

I used to be that way.

(GRACE suddenly gets hit with a powerful wave of emotion.)

I never wanted this…I have a choice…

(Blackout.)

ACT I

Scene 5

(REILLY enters and stands behind her chair.)

REILY

Reality is subjective.

(REILLY challenges a response but gets none.)

But subject to the collective.

(REILLY waits and then shakes her head disappointed.)

Fantasy has no limits. As long as you keep it hidden where it is. If you try to make it Real…

(REILLY scowls and then sits down in the chair. She huffs and adjusts her skirt. Her voice and mannerisms change, softening like a mother telling her daughter a story. She begins weaving the fantasy…)

Consider that we are left on the Camino Real and it is the same day over and over again…

Return to the Hundred Acre Wood and forget you are forgotten…

Fantasy is in the moment…moments know no consequence….

(GRACE comes hurtling in from stage left and pushes her over in the chair. She stands defensively taught. Reilly drops the character, wipes her mouth and stands up.)

GRACE

I’ve had enough of this shit.

REILLY

Damn, Grace.

GRACE

I want out.

REILLY

It’s not over yet.

GRACE

I quit.

REILLY

You quit?

GRACE

I’m done.

REILLY

You’re done?

GRACE

Rhetoric.

(Beat. REILLY chuckles condescendingly.)

GRACE

I’m serious.

REILLY

(Snapping at GRACE.)

And I don’t know what you expect me to do about it.

GRACE

Let me out.

(REILLY just stares at GRACE, steadily. REILLY is in control.)

GRACE

We always have a choice, remember?

REILLY

You made that choice and now you stay until it is over.

GRACE

I want out.

REILLY

It’s too late.

GRACE

Then I want to change the ending.

REILLY

How do you know the end isn’t already changing?

Short Pause. Grace is terrified.

GRACE

What do you mean, “already changing?”

REILLY

Listen. You can hear…

CHRISTOPER ROBINS (voiceover.)

I’m right here.

REILLY

Understand now?

GRACE

Oh God. She starts crying softly.

REILLY

Get some sleep, baby girl. Like the mother telling the story. Listen. You can hear breathing…

GRACE

All right. Enough. I’m going. She walks quickly towards USR.

(GRACE turns back.)

But when I made that choice. When I dialed a phone number. And then went to dinner—

REILLY

You don’t eat.

GRACE

I DID NOT CHOOSE THIS.

REILLY

Fantasy is limitless, isn’t it?

Listen.

I’m right here.

(GRACE can’t take it, exits. REILLY chuckles and looks up, shadowing her eyes with her hand.)

REILLY

Kill the lights.

(Blackout.)

REILLY(with blackout.)

Thanks. Cue Flashback.

Act I

Scene 6

(Transition back in time. This can be done through film and music. GRACE out in the world, working, living. Shots of her life (no sound) before. As this is being shown, the lights come up low on a similar room. The bed has been moved into the living room and the vanity is not there.

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN enters quickly dressed in corporate suite, briefcase, bag etc… He puts everything down routinely, rhythmically, smoothly, his jacket over the chair and then exits into the bathroom, while taking off his tie. We here water running, etc…

On the video screen, GRACE hails a taxi, gets in and takes out her cell phone. She dials and turns her head so we cannot see her face.

Cell phone rings onstage. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS enters now dressed in a robe and takes cell phone out of his jacket.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Hi.

(Short Pause.)

3060.

(Short Pause.)

Uh-huh. 56th and 6th. Yeah.

(Laughs.)

Bye.

(GRACE hangs up her cell phone, giggling. She sighs and looks relieved. Stares out the window, dreamily. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS continues with the routine, opening a bottle of wine, getting settled.)

(Meanwhile, GRACE dials a friend, TRAVIS. This exchange happens on film, cutting back and forth. Travis is outside what looks like a happening party.)

TRAVIS

Yo — watchya doin’

GRACE

Nutin’. Callin’ you.

TRAVIS

Well shit.

GRACE

Siiiiiiit….

TRAVIS

So…are you coming or aren’t you?

GRACE

Naawwwww…I got shit I gotta do man, places to go, people to see….

TRAVIS

Sounds like you’re up to something.

GRACE

Never.

TRAVIS

Well fine. You just go then.

GRACE

Laughing. Will you find it in your heart to forgive me?

TRAVIS

No.

GRACE

Please?

TRAVIS

No.

GRACE

Please?

TRAVIS

No.

G: Please?

TRAVIS

No.

GRACE

Please?

TRAVIS

Grace, shut it.

GRACE

No.

TRAVIS

Shut it.

GRACE

No.

TRAVIS

SHUT IT.

GRACE

NO.

(GRACE and TRAVIS bust up laughing.)

GRACE

I gotta go.

TRAVIS

Yooooo….Dirty Slut.

GRACE

Bite me, Turd Monkey.

TRAVIS

Oooooo!

GRACE

Ooooo! ‘kay, I love you.

TRAVIS

Love you too.

(GRACE hangs up and looks worried for a moment. The film image fades and lights down.)

CROSS FADE…

The scrim is pulled up. There is a moment and then, a knock at the door. CHRISTOPHE ROBINS goes to answer it.

EVELYN enters quickly (not GRACE), taking off her coat, hat and sunglasses. She has her back to him as though she is collecting herself for the moment.

The air in the room is heavy. They move slowly and steadily through it.

There is a foreboding and yet there is an innocence.

EVELYN turns to him and they look at each other, taking the moment in.

There is a sense that they are two soldiers returning from war.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

C’mere

EVELYN

Oh….(They embrace.) There you are.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I’m right here.

EVELYN

I’ve missed you. It’s good to be back.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I know. I know. Me too.

EVELYN

So many looks…

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Secret glances…

EVELYN

Just for an instant…

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I hate waiting for THIS…

EVELYN

We finally made it…

(They hold each other. It is long overdue. EVELYN steps back to show him the dress she is wearing. He looks her up and down.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

So beautiful.

EVELYN

Thank you. Pause. I brought these for you.

She goes to her bag and pulls out several cards with writing on them. He reads them.

EVELYN

Lost, by David Wagoner. How To Make A Dadaist Poem by Tristan Tszrara.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

You know….You just get me. Most people don’t get me but you do.

EVELYN

Oh really?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS (pouring the wine.)

You…..you just get it.

EVELYN

I hope so. Otherwise I’m pretty screwed.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS (offering wine.)

Oh, I think you’ll be fine.

EVELYN

(Going to him) I like you.

(EVELYN kisses CHRISTOPHER ROBINS. He kisses her back, almost fiercely. Long kiss. He overwhelms her and she breaks away.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

How are you? Are you okay?

EVELYN

I’m fine.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

What have you been doing?

EVELYN

A little bit of everything. I see a lot of plays. I go to museums. I’m writing.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Ah, and a job?

EVELYN

Not yet.

(Short Pause.)

EVELYN

How are you?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I’m okay. Not great.

(Beat.)

Come here.

EVELYN

(Moving hesitantly towards him.)

Saving the world from World War Three.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Hah. Come here.

EVELYN

Are we going to invade Iran this summer?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Now what do you think you are doing?

(CHRISTOPHER RBOINS moves toward EVELYN.)

Enough talk for now. Drink.

(He hands her the wine. Beat. EVELYN takes the wine and drinks. She stands for a moment, then looks at the robe, almost unsure of what to do. She gulps the wine and then begins to undress and put on the robe, awkward at first and then she smoothes into the routine. Once dressed, she gulps the wine again. He is watching her.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

“There will be time, there will be time…”

(EVELYN turns and looks at him shocked, excited, she knows it but for the moment cannot remember.)

EVELYN

What’s that from?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.

EVELYN

T.S. Eliot…Oh my god… (She laughs softly) “Let us go then you and I when the evening is spread against the sky like a patient etherized upon a table….”

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

You. Who are you? (He pushes her down on the bed.)

EVELYN

“…Let us go through certain half deserted streets, the muttering retreats of one night cheap hotels and sawdust restaurants with oyster shells….”

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

And in the room the women come and go—

EVELYN

“Streets that follow like a tedious argument of insidious intent that leads you to an overwhelming question. Oh do not ask what is it? Let us go and make our visit.”

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS EVELYN

And in the room the women comeand go talking of Michelangelo.

EVELYN

Oh….

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I’m right here.

(Blackout.)

(Dim Light down stage left. REILLY, in a white lab coat with a clip board, steps into it and addresses the audience softly.)

REILLY

Forgive us. We know not what we do. We are trying to figure out what this is. What is happening here. From everything that came before us to all that has happened to bring each person here in this room, we are trying to somehow put a stop to it.

(REILLY checks on EVELYN who is rising in time with the entrance of GRACE, in silhouette. They do an alternate version of their ritual and trade places.)

Before we lose ourselves and the last chances we have…why do we feel life slipping through our hands?

(X FADE UP, DIM)

(Sometime later. GRACE (not Evelyn) is sitting upright wrapped in the sheet staring forward. He is in the middle of questioning her.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

A lot of people have hurt you, haven’t they?

(GRACE is silent. Pause. GRACE looks at him.)

Ah-hah.

(They stare at each other.)

But there is something about you. I just see you as successful, different from the rest. Don’t lose that.

(GRACE has looked away.)

Look, if ever you need a quiet place to read…..to talk…..She looks back at him….to just get away….I’m in a bidding war for a one bedroom apartment….

(GRACE lies down with him and stares forward.)

GRACE

Where?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

54th and 1st.

GRACE

That’s a nice neighborhood.

(Long Pause.)

Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

What?

GRACE

Don’t say it if you don’t mean it.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

What?

(Silence. Anger.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

This is punishment. We come here. We ask for it.

GRACE

Crazy Catholic.

(GRACE sighs. She looks at him and they embrace.)

GRACE

I understand. But if you say those kinds of things then…I will imagine or daydream about…

I let this finally happen only because I knew that we’d make up a good adventure together. It would not be left unfinished. I do not need or expect those other things. Just an honest ending, that leaves me in one piece.

(GRACE and CHRISTOPHER ROBINS laugh for several moments. The laughter passes…)

If we make promises we cannot keep, then our story will never end, it will be trapped in purgatory.

(GRACE chuckles at her cleverness. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS smiles. Then his face gets grave.)

GRACE

What’s wrong?

CR: This is punishment. I think I underestimated how much you would have to take…

GRACE

You underestimate a lot of things.

I want you inside of me.

(Blackout.)

(GRACE sits up abruptly on the couch. There is a moment and she gets up. She is frustrated. EVELN is at her vanity writing in her journal and drinking. She is bursting with happiness.)

EVELYN

I’m going to go to Rome.

GRACE

Really?

EVELYN

Yes. I am going to see Rome.

GRACE

Really?

EVELYN

I never thought that I would see Rome.

(Beat.)

EVELYN

Can you imagine? I feel like I’m flying. I have wings. I have grace.

GRACE

I am going to have a drink.

EVELYN

I can feel it, Gracie! I feel it.

GRACE

G: Have a drink. Settle down.

EVELYN

I’m in love! I’m in love! I’m in love!

(Short Beat.)

G: ….Evie?

EVELYN

…Yeah? Pause. I know…

(GRACE waits. EVIE knows what she is asking.0

EVELYN

I can hang on a little bit longer. I just can’t be left alone too much longer. But that doesn’t matter. We’re almost through the Winter. And Spring always makes things better. Festina Lente.

GRACE

Latin. ‘Make haste slowly.’

(Silence. GRACE brings EVELYN a drink. They do the pill ritual.)

GRACE

Magic.

EVELYN

Magic.

(Pause.)

EVELYN

Now what?

GRACE

We wait. Finger-paint.

(Beat. EVELYN has become extremely anxious and flighty.)

EVELYN

No. Not this time.

GRACE

It’s too bad this room didn’t come with Internet. Something.

EVELYN

It will be different, you’ll see. Something happened. Something is happening.

GRACE

Okay, Evie.

EVELYN

This has gone on too long for it to be nothing.

GRACE

Do you think this is Real?

(Beat.

EVELYN

You heard it. Didn’t you?

GRACE

I heard it, Evie.

EVELYN

You heard it. It was REAL.

GRACE

Then why can’t we hear anything now? Why is nothing happening now? If the story was finishing, why is nothing changing? She goes to the front door and tries to open it.

See, it doesn’t budge. I can’t open it. That rule hasn’t changed.

(Pause. GRACE is gathering her thoughts and trying to get EVELYN’s attention. She kneels down in front of her and takes her hands… )

GRACE

Evelyn, I don’t know the ending anymore. I don’t know when this will be over.

(GRACE raises her hands and holds EVELYN’s face, firm but gentle. EVELYN places her hands along GRACE’s jaw line.)

We have lost control of it.

(EVELYN is shaking with rage and instinctively, squeezes GRACE’s jaw and then neck, the rage erupting from her as a low howl increases.)

GRACE

Evie—hey….OW! OW! Evelyn STOP. STOP IT! OW!

(They both scream and EVIE throws her hands off and turns to dig furiously in her drawer.)

EVELYN

Give me a goddamn cigarette.

(GRACE is irritated and now, looking at her with a new fear and loathing.)

GRACE

Rome. She chuckles. Long Pause. Rome-antic said in the moment.

It makes the Fantasy all the more exciting, not Real.

(SILENCE.)

(EVELYN suddenly jumps, terrified, runs toward the phone, picking it up. Frantically, she tries the door to the room after failing to dial out. GRACE watches, exhausted and too tired to keep up with the dramatics. Mostly, GRACE appears stunned. Finally…)

GRACE

WHAT THE?? Evelyn? What are you…

GRACE rushes over and snatches her up in her arms, holding her cooing and stroking her hair as EVIE sobs. What GRACE is about to say comes from a place of genuine caring and fear. Did GRACE almost lose EVIE? Why? Both women are shaking☺

You never, ever use the goddamn phone!

You know that!

And don’t you dare ever answer it if I am not here.

We don’t know what could happen if you even talk to him without me knowing about it.

EVELYN

I think I am really losing it. I mean…I can’t take it. Please. Please can we end this?

GRACE

I told you we lost control of it. The ending isn’t really up to us anymore. Unless I go Out There.

E: Into…but you won’t be able to come back. Rules of the wood.

(GRACE nods. Now truly exhausted, she flops onto the couch and sighs.)

EVELYN

Noooooo…Nooooo…I have to be Real. I was supposed to become Real, not…we can’t break that rule…Gracie-Lah? Grace shakes her head and sighs.

What happened?

(Pause.)

We were supposed to be able to go together. You told me I would get to see Rome.

(Short Pause.)

You said he promised. I never thought I would see Rome and now so close…

(Short Beat.)

Don’t give up on me, please. We don’t have to keep this secret forever. It’s almost over…

(As EVELYN turns in towards the couch, covering her head with a pillow and groaning a sigh, GRACE tries to bring the energy down. EVELYN tries to get GRACE’s attention.)

Grace, oh GRACE! I feel it…love so much and soon we’re all going to be together, it will be Real…Out There…The story will finish and end and then there won’t be a secret anymore.

That Fantasy will become Reality…

(GRACE turns and looks at EVELYN.)

(Beat.)

GRACE

Time. Finger-paint.

INTERMISSION

ACT II

Scene 1

Setting: The stage is dark. Silent. The first strains of a sad and noble electric guitar begin echoing in the theatre. Evelyn enters and sits down in the darkness, humming as the opening comes up to ‘Halleluiah’ by Leonard Cohen

At Rise: EVELYN lights a candle. She proceeds to light several around her. She speaks and moves like this is a ritual she finds refuge in.

EVELYN

I am pretending that I am in a church. That I am in a convent. I’m a nun. I’m pure. I’m a virgin. I am an angel and I am innocent.

(EVELYN begins mouthing the first verse, her eyes closed, praying…)

I heard there was a secret chord

That David played and it pleased the Lord

But You don’t really care for music, do ya?

Well it goes like this, the fourth, the fifth

The minor fall and the major lift

The baffled king composes Hallelujah

Make me real…I know you hear me…

(EVELYN’s eyes open.)

(Second verse to a fixed point out in the audience. EVELYN’s eyes close again for the chorus. Lights up slowly on GRACE’s silhouette Down Stage Right. The lights slowly cross fade, to blackout on EVELYN, revealing GRACE. The third verse.)

GRACE

I am trying to be patient. I am trying to be patient.

(GRACE puts her head down on her knees and closes her eyes. Cross fade lights slowly back to EVELYN. Clayton exits. EVELYN sings the Fourth Verse, her eyes open, pleading. She begins crying at the chorus.)

EVELYN

Please. I know you hear me. I know you are near me. Please listen. Please find me. Don’t leave me between remembered and forgotten. Haunting halls of marbles and mirrors…trapped and locked from heaven, lost between remembered and forgotten. Please.

(GRACE comes in slowly and turns on a lamp upstage. Fourth Verse. EVELYN continues praying, silently crying. GRACE cannot finish the final chorus of Hallelujahs. The Final Chorus comes from an echoed male voice off-stage. The two women stand frozen in time.)

(Blackout.)

ACT II

Scene 2

(REILLY in spot, standing as if on a subway, almost in a trance.)

REILLY

After the long days journey, the passing of another cold damp winter, the merging of time from past to present…

They stood on that street corner, looking at each other in silence. Eyes locked, she took a step back off the curb, her face melting into a question. His eyes never moved but his jaw locked in reaction…

Even in silence the simple movements carried the communication. The evening settled in around them.

And the world held its breath waiting to see who would move next. Statues, these moments for statues holding in there seconds a sense for both of them, that they were timeless. Captured in the glow of the setting sun, preserved in twilight…She was a wax figure and he was a porcelain doll…

As she began melting, cracks began weaving a netting from the top of his head, down his body. As she dropped in slow molasses lumps, he finally shattered all in one instant.

Breaking the silence.

Burying the past with the present. Announcing the arrival of night.

And purging the future.

There is a slow fade up. Grace sits in the corner. It is days later at night.

Evelyn has passed out on her vanity, two pill bottles knocked over and spilled.

(GRACE stares forward as if hypnotized. She begins speaking.)

GRACE

I was in bed with the devil in more ways than one. But I think my soul was sold a long time ago.

Was it the wine? The red, red wine…

I remember green eyes. I remember my yellow dress. It was summer. Night. He took my hand. I gave in.

I started jumping up and down on the bed like a kid and is that when it happened?

(Beat.)

I created her one night. The same night I found myself here, I think. I don’t remember too much, I was drunk. But she is me. I don’t know why. The only way I survive, I guess. That’s the deal apparently…I was under the impression that I could always…just change my mind…but once the first choice was made…

(Long Beat.)

I got curious and fell down the rabbit hole. I am trapped. In marble and mirror. Locked away in a tower.

I am lost in the Hundred Acre Wood.

(Beat. She notices the telephone. She stares at it.)

Damn you.

Dorothy Parker’s A Telephone Call — Damn you to HELL!

(Beat. She starts laughing, calling and heckling REILLY.)

What is this? Name the famous philosopher…Sartre. NO EXIT. What the fuck? No Exit meets Waiting for Godot? You are such a twisted fuck.

Look at her. I think she’s overdosed on me. Oh God.

(GRACE goes over to EVELYN and tries to wake her up. EVELYN topples over onto the ground bringing a lamp down with her. Grace frantically checks EVELYN’s pulse and to see if she is breathing.)

TIME OUT! LIGHTS! CUE THE LIGHTS!

(Shift to work lights. Reilly lowers herself from the ceiling in a harness.)

(REILLY looks like she’s in the middle of a light hang and is sucking on a red lollipop)

REILLY

Annoyed. What?

GRACE

What?

REILLY

What?

GRACE

What?

REILLY

Can you ask a stupid question?

(Short Beat.)

GRACE

What’s the deal with Evelyn?

REILLY

Looks like she’s passed out.

GRACE

She hasn’t overdosed?

REILLY

No.

GRACE

She’s not dead?

REILLY

No.

GRACE

Oh.

(Beat.)

REILLY

Can I get back to work now?

G: Wait! Please. Please, just allow me a moment. Please.

REILLY

You’ve got 90 seconds. Go.

GRACE

How much longer?

REILLY

Hard to tell.

GRACE

Can you get a message out for me?

REILLY

Sure.

GRACE

Tell them, Tell him: Let me go. This is killing me. Finish the story. Don’t leave me here.

REILLY

Right.

(REILLY starts to pull herself up.)

GRACE

Wait—

REILLY

BLACKOUT!!

GRACE

NO! DAMMIT! NO BLACK—

(Blackout.)

(Lights Up on EVELYN. She stirs, no longer passed out. She steadily surfaces into consciousness. She reaches clumsily for a cigarette, her hand shaking, she lights it. She reaches for a bottle of wine and notices the pills spilled again. She rolls her eyes and takes a drink from the bottle. She picks up a pill and takes it. Her movement is heavy and she rests her head again on the vanity.)

EVELYN

Each time felt as though it was both the first time and the last time. Ever get that? I mean, ever get that?

I know that it will never go beyond the hallways of marble and mirror. It will never be more than what This is.

And I am only so much.

I will never be Real.

EVELYN starts to lose it and then regains drunken composure.

Left without wings for flight. I lose precision…I fall from grace.

Cold street pavement

‘Whore’ written in blackened ash across my forehead. Reeling…roiling

(Rapidly EVELYN sits up straight and, swaying a bit, she chuckles, slightly crazed.)

Maudlin melancholy fate. Icy formality on 48th street. Unfinished.  Not something that could be considered until…

(EVELYN drinks and drags her cigarette.)

Chillingly sober and stoic. When the wine is drunk. When words lose meaning. All the damage necessary is done.

(The phone rings. EVELYN looks at it. It rings again. She looks around, nervous because Grace is not there. The third ring. She has never answered it before. Fourth Ring. She immediately picks up—)

Hello?

(Pause.)

(Blackout.)

ACT II

Scene 3

Setting: Grace is asleep. It is silent.

At Rise: Lights up dim, living room. She stirs and then wakes up suddenly, confused. She doesn’t know where she is and cannot remember…

GRACE

Evelyn? Evie?

(GRACE begins moving around hastily, remembering… making her way around the space.)

Evelyn? Goddamit, Ev, where the hell are you? Don’t do this…Evie…

(GRACE turns to the phone, sees it off the hook, puts it back. Pauses. She realizes what this means. She picks it up, with an increasing sense of urgency and hits the receiver.)

Hello? Hello?

Hello, you stupid….ugh? !

Shit-hole chewing bastards.

…Just–shit.

(GRACE hangs up the phone and goes to sit on the sofa. Beat. She lays down. She sits up and looks Stage Right towards Reality.)

If I just go…If I just try it…If I do it alone…To the stagehands.

(GRACE knocks on the fourth wall (to the audience).)

Do you want to know what the hell is really going on here? It’s some virtual theatrical psychological experiment. And I am stuck in it and I can’t get the FUCK out. This is crazy 1984 holadeck shit and I got put in it because I…

I did something bad…I…I FELL IN LOVE.

(Beat.)

And I fell in love with someone I can never truly have except for HERE.

Not OUT THERE.

Get it?

It was one of those things we just couldn’t stop, I couldn’t stop, didn’t understand falling in love…

And so I am STUCK in this Johns Hopkins experiment or sick version of reality television.

I am a stupid human…

BUT I HAVE A SOUL.

(Beat.)

Oh dammit. No one knows. No one sees…

Christopher Robin has been away too long. I don’t know…if he will leave this unfinished. Abandon me here. Unfinished. Incomplete…

WHY DID EVELYN LEAVE?? WHERE DID SHE GO?

(There is a knock at the front door. GRACE sits up straight, pauses, reaches forward and lights a cigarette. There is a knock again, more persistent. She gets up, goes to the liquor cabinet, gets out a bottle of The Macallan, takes the cork out and swigs. There is another knock and she waits, staring at the door. Prepared for something. The sound of a key in the lock and then it opens abruptly.

The only light coming in is from the hallway. Standing in the doorframe is a Bogart-esque character in a fedora, the features concealed. He moves and closes the door, the stage goes black and as the slow fade up happens. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS is taking off the fedora and hanging up the trench coat. GRACE has ducked behind the bar, terrified. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS turns and surveys the room. There is a moment. He walks forward to the sofa, looks around.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

The room’s bigger…

(Pause. GRACE is grappling with the situation. It has no precedent.)

GRACE

Is that…the same hotel? Is that you?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I’m right here.

(Long Beat. GRACE stands slowly gaining her bearings.)

GRACE

You’re right here. Pause. She crosses to him.

Christopher Robin. The one who grows tired of his toys.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Stop it. Sighs and shakes his head like she doesn’t get it.

GRACE

Where…Why…

(GRACE goes up to him steadily to check and see if he is real. Long Moment. They embrace finally, the same embrace as before. It is in this we see the innocence. What they share is powerfully honest.)

GRACE

You’re here.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I’m here. And so are you. Its good to see you. You.

GRACE

Me. You. Here. Wherever this may be…Here…What happened to you?

He shakes his head. His movements have become noticeably heavier and sustained. She reaches for him, shaking her head.

GRACE

That’s okay, just please…it doesn’t matter. Whatever happens…its almost over now, right? let’s find Evelyn and make up some fabulous ending…

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS gets up and changes. Throughout the rest of the scene there is the sense that he is stiffening as if he might shatter.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

She’s sleeping.

GRACE

What do you mean, sleeping?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

She’s resting. She took too many of those little white pills, threw some emotional temper fit when I tried to take her up the ass and then she passed out.

(GRACE stops. She is terrified. She cannot speak. She stares at him and begins to understand…)

GRACE

She’s okay?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

For now.

(Awkward Pause. GRACE sits on the couch and stares at CHRISTOPHER ROBINS thinking, “How could you do this to me?” She is unable to say it.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I think I made a mistake.

GRACE

Yes.

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS sits down next to GRACE. She continues her stare, melting into sadness.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I think I underestimated how much you would have to take.

GRACE

Yes.

(Pause. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS is expecting her to elaborate. GRACE doesn’t.)

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

You know you always had a choice. I wanted this to, be, because you wanted it too.

GRACE

Yes.

(Pause.)

All your hard work in the beginning?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Hey—

GRACE

The poems, the novels, the tomatoes from your garden, the croissants in the morning, the messages, the letters…

(GRACE is suddenly very sad.)

Why did you have to pick me? Out of all…why me?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

You’re special.

GRACE

Bullshit…No…Very quick pause.

I was vulnerable. I was young. I needed to be loved and to feel safe.

(LONG Beat.)

Strategy. Pros play to hurt.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

That’s not it, Grace, and you know it.

GRACE

See, the funny thing is…

(GRACE laughs, understanding it for the first time.)

I don’t trust you at all.

(Pause. This time GRACE expects CHRISTOPHER ROBINS to respond. He doesn’t. He cannot think of the right thing to say.)

You’ve been GONE. You got BORED.

I have not heard from you in months. MONTHS.

You have trapped me in this. Do you understand? I cannot go Out There. I cannot live my life the way I want to live it. I am stuck here with the last of my innocence, holding onto it, passed out in some king size down comforter.

(GRACE wraps her arms around CHRISTOPHER ROBINS. He stiffens.)

She has no idea. None. She’s scared…so scared…She wants to believe…she wants this to be Real…She loves you with all her heart and offers nothing but unconditional loyalty and admiration.

She still thinks you mean what you say when you say it. She thinks you care about her.

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS gets up.)

HA! You never cared. Never…

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Hey, Grace…Grace.

(Pause.)

I’ve lost control of this too. I didn’t want this to happen. I didn’t know what I wanted…but…

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS searches for the words and moves in closer, hesitantly…)

You have to understand that I never promised you anything. We never made any promises to each other.

You are one beautiful, talented, ebullient young woman. I don’t want to be anything but a happy memory of times past…

GRACE

Save it.

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS huffs and rolls his eyes.)

(Pause, GRACE studies him. )

What are you doing?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I am trying to help you understand the situation.

GRACE

What happened to you?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I have to go away now.

GRACE

What does that mean if you are leaving?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I go to where I go. And you go where you go.

GRACE

But then what? That’s not how it ends? What happens to Evelyn?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Evelyn stays here? I don’t know.

GRACE

…I have to leave but she can’t come with me. Or, wait, that doesn’t matter at all to you, does it?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

She stays here. You leave. The story is finished. I can’t think of anything more to make up.

GRACE

What? What are you talking about?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I have to go.

GRACE

What are you doing?

(She goes to him. Long Beat.)

Please. Please. CHRISTOPHER ROBIN PLEASE DON’T GO. I can’t leave her behind. Do you understand me? She’s part of me. Without her, I will be incomplete. Please. Just make up this one last part with me and you will never see me here, or anywhere, again…

(Beat.)

You promised you would see this finished.

That means making her Real.

Otherwise, this story has had no purpose.

I cannot leave. That’s the last of my innocence. She’s a part of me. Please. You did promise. You promised me you would leave only if the story was complete, finished.

(GRACE tries not to cry.)

I have kept my mouth shut. I have always allowed you to drive the course of this, never demanding or even asking for anything.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Your actions are part of the reason you are here.

G: I know that! You know what this will do to us?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

That is a risk both of us took. A leap of passion.

GRACE

What are you doing?

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I am trying to get you to understand, kid. This is how it has to be. This is how it’s going to end.

GRACE

And I never see you again. Never hear from you again.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Well…

GRACE

Don’t. Just don’t.

(GRACE takes a breath to unsuccessfully collect herself.)

Can you give me a minute? I have to sit down. Is there any water?

CRHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I have wine.

GRACE

Fine.

(She drinks from the flask he passes her. Then she realizes what she has done and looks up at him. He reaches down and touches her face tenderly. She leans into his hand and closes her eyes.)

Was it the wine, the red, red wine…

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

You know that I can’t tell you any more.

GRACE

Rules of the Wood.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

I care about you. Grace, you helped me rediscover something…. Feel something that I honestly believed was lost.

GRACE

Help me then. I need you.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

There is nothing I can do.

(He looks at his watch.)

GRACE

YOU CAN MAKE HER REAL. LIKE YOU PROMISED. INSTEAD OF KILLING OFF THE LAST OF IT.

IT’S LAZY.

BAD WRITING.

(There is a knock at the door. CHRISTOPHER ROBINS stands up.)

GRACE

No…wait…Don’t answer it. Just stay with me and talk to me a little longer. Don’t shut me out.

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS goes and opens the door. REILLY comes in to escort him out.)

GRACE

Christopher Robin don’t go. Christopher Robin don’t go.

REILLY

Ease off.

GRACE

When are you coming back?

REILLY

Questions, Grace…

GRACE

Will you come back for us?

REILLY

Cue the Lights.

CHRISTOPHER ROBINS

Get some sleep, beautiful.

(CHRISTOPHER ROBINS kisses her and then goes, REILLY closing the door. GRACE screams and pounds her fists against the door. She tries to open it and it does not budge. She sinks down crying.)

(Blackout.)

ACT II

Scene 4

At Rise: There is a sequence showing a short passage of time. GRACE has fallen asleep on the couch. Suddenly EVELYN comes crashing through the door. She’s been ravished and is in almost a comical state. She is Ophelia, with flowers in her hair. She holds her breast like Juliet with a kerchief from Desdemona, lightly bloodied, there are bruises around her neck. She is high as a kite.

EVELYN

Calloo-Callay it’s a beautiful day!

GRACE

Oh.

EVELYN

There are whispers in the corner of the room…

GRACE

Oh Evelyn…

EVELYN

And WHOOOooooo are YOOOooooo?

GRACE

Christopher Robin came my dear.

EVELYN

Dear, he called me, dear and dahling

(EVELYN stumbles and falls, doing a face plant. There is a short beat.)

EVELYN

Owwwww…my faaaaaaccceee…

GRACE

Oh, shit…Let’s get you on the couch.

EVELYN

My faaaaaccceee…

(EVELYN is looking intensely at GRACE as she tries to help her onto the couch. Like she knows something is terribly wrong. EVELYN’s manner is like one possessed, passive-aggressive.)

EVELYN

Eez a handsome, ya? Go’t ah li’l arh tha’t, blahck Ireesh t’ing goin’ fer ‘im thar, ya…

Awwhhhh, Graaac-ee, ‘ees Catholic, is he? Why’sssss’it arlways thah Blahck Aaahyyreesh Cahth-lic boys, hmm? Wh’dem green eyes? Dohs grrrrrr-EEN ahyeeeees.

(They lay EVELYN on the couch. Her manner becomes disoriented, she slaps her face several times, gasps for breath. Then flops her head toward the audience and goes limp.)

EVELYN (somewhat normal.)

Oh…where am I? My head…it’s spinning…

(EVELYN moves like she’s going to vomit and holds it, falls back on the sofa gasping, staring upwards.)

GRACE

Oh gross. Evie. Evie?

(Short Pause.)

GRACE

I am getting the trash can.

(GRACE emerges first with a trash can and she follows with a bowl of water with lemons a towel and a knife.)

EVELYN

Oh whoa…whisee..st00 havseen wha iuhvseeen…

(EVELY is sitting slowly up. GRACE moving towards her. EVELYN suddenly grabs GRACE by the wrist.)

…SsssseeeeeeWhaaawtAaaaaahSsssseeeeeee…

(EVELYN moves to vomit again and holds it in. She falls back on the couch.)

GRACE

Hold on Evie. Just…Ugh.

EVELYN (gasping for air.)

AhhhhhYooooduhnuh…

Like a tiger…

RRRRrrrrrrrrrowwrrrrrowwrrrrre

(GRACE holds EVIE’s head up while she vomits with considerable pain into the trashcan, gasping between wretches.)

EVELYN

Oh-god-oh-god-oh-god She bends over and wretches again. Not much is coming out. Gasping for air. No-No-No-No She wretches. Wh-ha-WHY? Final retching.

(Evelyn, sobbing, sling-shots back on the couch, exhausted, half-conscious.)

EVELYN (muttering.)

There will be time. There will be time. Before the taking of toast and tea.

(GRACE folds one of the first towels and dips it in a large bowl. She squeezes the water out and then slices a large piece of lemon, squeezing it onto the towel.)

GRACE

Evie, now Shhhhhh, just put your teeth down on this and suck on it. It’s just a terry cloth towel with water on it. Okay?

(GRACE repeats the set up, puts one on EVELYN’s head, wipes her face, nose and mouth, smeared makeup away, what’s left of the vomit. )

EVELYN (half-awake.)

I smell lemons.

GRACE

That’s because we use a little lemon juice on these towels.

EVELYN

That’s like summer…

GRACE

Uh-huh.

EVELYN

Gracie, I smell lemons…is it Summer? Is it Summer and can I go play with Tigger?

(EVELYN weakly shifts on the couch, grimaces in pain. GRACE begins wiping down her neck and chest, removing the scarf around EVIE’s neck, revealing bruises and chaffing. GRACE jumps and gasps abruptly. EVELYN frantically tries to cover it up but tumbles forward into the bowl of ice and lemons. The dress she is wearing falls away, soaked. EVELYN’s body is covered in bruises. She crawls over by the chair at her vanity. Reaching for her robe and turning her back to cover herself. EVELYN crouches down to hug the leg of her vanity. PAUSE. She is breathing like a cornered animal. She turns to GRACE, who is in shock. EVELYN’s eyes are wild.)

CHRISTOPHER

Sssssshhhhh…Ease up now, okay…

(Pause.)

Evie, what happened? Evie, you can tell me.

(EVELYN shakes her head.)

Evelyn. This is me. You are ME. ….What happened?

EVELYN (overlapping.)

Hallways, marble and mirrors. Whore, written in ash across me forehead, my faaaaace.

(EVELYN cries.)

HE HURT ME! WHY??

GRACE

Okay, quiet…Evie. She taps her face. No one was ever supposed to get hurt. It’s time for us to stop this okay? We have to end this.

Help me remember. Help me remember. I have to now. It’s the way we end this.

EVELYN

But I thought this is a story no one tells. No one is supposed to know.

(Enter REILLY.)

REILLY

No. Rules of the Wood.

This is a secret no one knows about. But that doesn’t have to mean forever.

Grace. It’s time for him to know he broke the rules.

It is a story you, both of you, can still tell. Technically, he’s left it up to you. So that means the ending is still your own to make.

This choice is yours.

GRACE

That’s what got me here in the first place. One little decision.

(REILLY goes to the vanity and opens the top drawer, removing EVELYN’s journals.)

REILLY

He broke the rules….And he broke the commandments without a thought to the consequence:

Thou shalt not harm another creature of the wood…

Thou shalt not leave the story unfinished…

Grace, you may choose now how this story will end.

(REILLY gestures with the notebooks.)

You take these with you, and consider it an exception to the rule. Evelyn will go with you.

Or, you leave without her, without her journals and part ways. You will go on. This will barely be a memory, after some time.

Either way, you know you can never come back.

There is a moment where nothing is said out loud but there is an unspoken exchange between the three.

(The lights change. Slowly, the house lights begin to come up.)

GRACE

But we never know what we are really choosing when we make a decision, do we?

REILLY

In most cases, yes, that is true. The Law of Unintended Consequences. But in your particular case, it is uniquely irrelevant. The consequences are significantly different depending on what you decide.

EVELYN

You mean, whether I live or die.

REILY

She is blunt, isn’t she?

GRACE

And accurate, yes?

REILLY

But how can something that is never REAL, die?

GRACE

We all lose parts of ourselves along the way. But to have a part of who you are, die?

EVELYN

It is a story that is never told, no one sees, no one knows…

REILLY

Well, you know. But what matters is how you want to remember it and why.

GRACE

To die will be an awfully great adventure.

EVELYN

There will be time, there will be time…

REILLY

Grace? “I understand that I do not understand except when I am told I understand.”

You know how you want this to end.

Choose.

(Blackout.)

THE END.

  1. […] About|MIRROR AND MARBLE: An Original Play| […]

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