A selection of short, topical writing for the New York Neo-Futurist's Too Much Light Makes the Baby Go Blind

NOTE: Character names are the names of the original performers wherever applicable. Otherwise, they are referred to as "Neo", short for Neo-Futurist.

 

GLOBAL WARMING AS SITUATIONAL COMEDY

@2016 Cara Francis

Tone sound as lights fade up from 20 percent to 60 percent. The intro music from "Everybody Loves Raymond" plays.

Rob and Kyra sit center at a table. Mike crosses to them and pours Rob a cup of coffee.

(NOTE: All dialogue consists of nothing but loud, guttural screams of horror. No actual words are ever spoken, only implied.)

ROB: SCREAMS (subtext: Thanks, Mike)

Kyra holds up her mug. 

KYRA: SCREAMS (subtext: I’ll take some too)

Mike pours Kyra coffee.

MIKE: SCREAMS (subtext: Any milk?) 

KYRA: SCREAMS (subtext: I’m fine. Are you going to join us?)

MIKE: SCREAMS (subtext: Sure.)

A pause. 

ROB: SCREAMS (subtext: What did you do today?)

MIKE and KYRA answer at the same time, in SCREAMS. 

They both stop. 

They both try to SCREAM first again. 

They both stop. 

They both try to SCREAM first again.

They both stop. 

All scream/laugh at the situation.

The doorbell rings. 

ROB, KYRA and MIKE: SCREAM (at the spinny door, subtext: Come In!)

Colin enters. He waves hello.

COLIN: SCREAMS (subtext: Hi guys.)

They all stare at him. He shrugs. 

COLIN: SCREAMS (subtext: What’s wrong?)

Rob stands, putting his hands on his hips. Mike touches his finger to his imaginary watch. Kyra gives a wry smile.

Suddenly, Mike jumps up.

MIKE: SCREAMS (subtext: Oh no! My roast!)

Mike runs offstage and returns with a burned bird carcass. 

All stare at the burnt bird, a symbol of everything that is “too little, too late”. 

All look to Mike. Mike shrugs.

They all break into laugh/screams as the credit music from "Everybody Loves Raymond" plays and the lights fade.

CURTAIN

 

 

What I imagine it would be like to discuss black feminism and white feminism as if they were parallel universes in the multiverse, over a chilled glass of white wine

©2016 Cara Francis

(NOTE: Video of a live performance of this play can be seen at http://carafrancis.squarespace.com/gallery-1/) 

A white woman (Cara) and a black woman (Chisa) sit across from each other, each with a glass of white wine. They clink glasses. 

CARA: So-

CHISA: So-

CARA: How is it being a woman on your planet?

CHISA: Same time?

CARA: Sure. 

BOTH: A lot better than it used to be. 

CHISA: And…

BOTH: getting better at a glacial pace. 

CHISA: Which means we…

BOTH: might achieve gender parity by the time the glaciers melt. 

CARA: Do you guys still practice virgin sacrifice?

CHISA: We call them

BOTH: pop stars.

CARA: Witch hunts?

CHISA: Only on

BOTH: social media.

CARA: Hillary?

BOTH: Probably going to have to run against a literal circus clown/

BOTH: Because that’s how ridiculous Americans must think it is/

BOTH: to be asked to consider a woman president.

Both take a drink.

CARA: Women’s rights? 

CHISA: State’s rights.

CARA: Pink tax?

CHISA: Black tax.

CARA: The girl next door?

CHISA: The girl next to the girl next door.

CARA: working mother

CHISA: working nanny

CARA: Do you have a

CARA: boyfriend? CHISA: supervisor?

CARA: You’re actually kind of pretty…

CHISA: for a dark skinned girl.

CARA: Never ask a woman to

CARA: Smile.  CHISA: Step out of the car.

CARA: For every dollar a man earns, women earn

CARA: 77 cents. CHISA: 63 cents.

CHISA: For black women it’s 63 cents. 

Cara turns up her wine and takes a drink.

CHISA: But that’s just because the “man” in this statistic is white by default. 

CARA: Totally.

Cara turns up her wine and drinks all of it.

CHISA: And if the hypothesis of parallel universes is

BOTH: universes that are separated from each other by a single quantum event-

CARA: Then a greater pay disparity for black women is a quantum event?

CHISA: Well it’s more of an alternate reality.

CARA: I hear you, sister.

Cara raises her glass alone. 

CARA: I’m woke.

Cara clinks with Chisa’s glass, which remains unraised.

CARA: I mean, I wrote this play. 

CHISA: And since feminism is white by default, black women’s voices are secondary.

CARA: You wrote this play. 

CHISA: Just this one line. Because inclusion.

They take a beat to look at each other. 

They both try to point to the same place at the same time.

They both try to point to the same place at the same time.

They do this until they succeed. 

Kate quietly enters behind them, drinking red wine. Cara points at her.

CARA: Asian women make 90 cents to the white men’s dol-

Chisa smacks Cara’s hand down.

Cara retaliates. 

Chisa retaliates.

KATE: So these parallel universes are just in America? What about the 60 million women the world doesn’t have because of sex selection in India and China?

CARA: Do men ever say to you “You look tired?”

CHISA: Oh yeah. 

ALL: That just means they like you.

CURTAIN

 

 

Rock Puppet Theater with Big Rock as NYPD Department Commissioner Bill Bratton and Smaller Rocks as the NYPD

©2015 Cara Francis

Block, center, lit by flashlight or clip from above. Large rock is in front of a mic on a short stand. Smaller rocks are clustered around big rock, “listening”.

BIG ROCK: We need to hire more black men to be cops!

Smaller rocks mumble approval, “Yeah, we should.” “More black cops.”, etc.

BIG ROCK: Unfortunately, there aren’t enough black men that qualify to be cops…

because our stop and frisk policies have put so many black men in jail. 

Smaller rocks mumble acceptance: “That’s too bad.” “Oh.” “Ah shoot.”

A long beat. All the rocks sit there like rocks. 

CURTAIN

 

 

What I imagine it would be like to get to know an identical planet in the multiverse over coffee

@2015 Cara Francis

A woman (Cara) and a man (Colin) sit across a table from one another. Each drinks from a cup of coffee. 

CARA: Hi

COLIN: Hi

CARA: You also say hi. 

COLIN: You also speak English. 

CARA: So—

COLIN: So—

CARA: What do you use for fuel?

COLIN: Same time? 

CARA: Sure. 

They both take a breath.

BOTH: The carbonized bones of our giant lizard ancestors

CARA: Which is a—

BOTH: non-renewable resource

CARA: Right. And is-

BOTH: rapidly destroying our planet.

CARA: By creating toxic gasses that warm the earth?

COLIN: Yeah. 

CARA: Fuck. 

COLIN: Yeah. 

CARA: But a lot of your people are actively trying to change this?

COLIN: Some. A lot more are indifferent. Or they/pretend it’s not real.

CARA: /pretend it’s not real.

Both sip coffee. 

CARA: So you also have a land mass that is-

COLIN: Eighty percent covered in water? Yeah.

CARA: Great. So that must be rich with biodiversity. I bet you guys really take care of your/ oceans…

COLIN: /Ehhh….(makes side to side hand gesture as if to say “so-so”)

CARA: Okay, but you don’t dump a bunch of industrial poisons and plastic in them that weakens the ecosystem of one of your biggest/

COLIN: /Biggest source of food? Oh yeah. We do that. 

CARA: Oh. Well. What about your people? 

COLIN: We have a ton of them. Over 7 billion.

CARA: Same. But your people are probably better at sharing resources.

COLIN: Nope. 

CARA: History of colonialism and slavery that led to massive inequality-?

COLIN: And rentier states, profiteers, warlords, police states…

CARA: You guys have an America?

COLIN: Yep. U S of A.

CARA: Pro gun for all, anti-nuclear for most? 

COLIN: Uh-huh. 

CARA: Got a Texas?

COLIN: Don't mess with it.

CARA: You guys bombed Japan?

COLIN: Yep.

CARA: You guys have universal healthcare?

COLIN: Can't decide.

CARA: How’s the Middle East?

COLIN: Trail of Tears. 

CARA: and the Trail of Tears?

COLIN: In some textbooks. 

CARA: Racism?

COLIN: HUGE PROBLEM.

Cara points upward to indicate “God?” 

COLIN: Let’s not talk about that.

Cara points down to indicate “Hell?”

COLIN: On earth.

CARA: How are you in regards to-

COLIN: Definitely not equal. 

CARA: You didn’t wait for me to-

COLIN: You were gonna ask if women are treated equally and the answer is that women are treated exactly the same way women are treated on your planet. 

CARA: You didn’t know that I was going to ask about-

COLIN: Let me explain the concept of a multiverse to you.

CARA: I see you also have mansplaining. 

COLIN: Very good. 

CARA: I understand the concept of a multiverse. I wrote this play. 

COLIN: I wrote this play.

They point to the same place. They point to the same place again. They slowly lower their hands at the same time, keeping their eyes on each other. 

CARA: You guys poach animals to near-extinction then keep the rest in zoos?

COLIN: Zoos! Yes. Only way to do it. 

CARA: Not the only way.

COLIN: Same difference. 

CARA: You know what? You’re kind of an asshole.  

COLIN: You’re kind of an asshole. 

CARA: Touche’. 

Both sip their drinks. 

CURTAIN

 

 

Open Casting for Hero: South Carolina Capital Building With Squirrel As Confederate Flag Proxy

©2015 Cara Francis

Neos 1 and 2 sit on stools UR, facing a plastic squirrel which sits on top of the clock. 

Neo 1: Well, there it is. 

Neo 2: Yep. Been there as long as I can remember. 

Neo 1: Yep. Ever since we put that clock up way back in the earlier tonight, that squirrel has been standing proud on top of it.

Neo 2: I forget it’s there most of the time. 

Neo 1: To tell you the truth, it’s fucked up what it stands for. 

Neo 2: Technically it’s just a plastic squirrel. 

Neo 1: Sure. Technically it’s just a plastic squirrel but in the case of this play I think we all know what it really stands for. 

If no one has come up to take down the squirrel at this point, the dialogue repeats. 

When an audience member does come up to take it down, Neos 1 and 2 stand up. One takes out a phone and starts videoing. Another claps.

CURTAIN

 

 

If Reports On Global Warming Were A Trashy S&M Romance Novel Maybe More People Would Actually Read Them

©2015 Cara Francis

At Go, we leave a book with the cover of a trashy romance novel (Fabio caressing a woman with a globe for a head) displayed on a podium by a microphone. 

We wait. 

An audience member eventually approaches and picks up the book. Inside it is printed:

(Please read this clearly into the microphone in your sexiest voice)

AUDIENCE MEMBER: Her ice cold glacier bra snaps off with a “pop”. Melting down her body, thickening her rivers, surging into her seas. She is getting…So…Hot.

And they used to say her poles were frigid.

She spits and licks the dirty, low-lying coastal regions, making them swampy with her moisture.

“Yes. YES!” she cries. 

“You fucked me with your hot, oily dicks. Now I'm going to fuck all of you back.”

And she takes them all, one by one, and they feel the surging thrust of her fucking back; hard, fast and nasty. 

“Tie me up! Tie me up!” she breathes heavily. 

“I want to be sold off to the highest bidder. I want to be OWNED by you.”

“Put it all in me.”, she says.

And her big wet deforested snatch swallows the dicks whole like a bluefin tuna eating plastic bottle caps. 

“You can come on my polar bear tattoo!”, she screams, her wetness thick and pulsating, so heavy they try to hide from it. 

But it is too late. Mother Nature is climaxing.

A tsunami. Ahhhhhhhh.

Her wetness is everywhere.

AAAAHHHH!

And she's not the only one screaming.

(Please replace the book and return to your seat)

CURTAIN

 

 

PC for the Ladies in the Club

 @2015 Cara Francis

Cara is wearing ridiculous light up 2015 New Years Eve glasses. ‘Flo Rida ft. Sage The Gemini- Goin Down For Real’ drops at 0:13 seconds. Cara shouts into a microphone. 

CARA: All my single educated independent ladies in the room make some 

nooooo-oise...

An airhorn sound. A crowd of women cheer.

Music drops out.

CARA: ...is actually a really depressing thing to say because it means that the most under-educated, disadvantaged women with the least amount of personal agency and who probably barely get a night out on their own...

are being encouraged to stay quiet. 

Airhorn squeaks pathetically. 

Cara drops the mic slowly by the cord until it taps the ground with a soft thud. 

CURTAIN

 

 

Recreating the Experience of Seeing Mad Max for Emma Who Was Supposed To See It With Me But Tickets Were Sold Out & Fuck Your Spoiler Alerts There Are No Surprises Here

©2015 Cara Francis

Cara and Emma center, seated, with 3D glasses on. The Mad Max: Fury Road Trailer Plays. Cara and Emma speak over it, like video commentary. 

CARA: So It Starts With Max Getting Captured and He Tries To Escape from A Dystopian Fortress With Ugly Kings, War Eunuchs and Fat Women Being Milked Like Cows. 

EMMA: War Eunuchs? Wait cows?!

CARA: Then Charlize Theron Executes A Parallel Escape Based On A Decision We Don’t Get To See Her Make And Steals The Big Warlord’s Cache of Model Wives.

EMMA: Wait Charlize Theron ISN'T MAD MAX?

CARA: Right? Then We’ve Got Big Chase In One Direction With Lots of Car and Body Parts Flying. Hard To Tell What In the Ever Loving Shit Is Happening But They Get Away And The Models Spray Each Other With Water in the Desert for a Sexy Break

EMMA: Cool. I was hoping the model wives did something like that. Also where is Max?

CARA: Max Was Being Dragged Along As a Blood Bank By One Of the War Eunuchs And When the Dust Settles Max Tries to Steal The Ladies’ Escape Truck for Himself. He Shoots One Of The Pregnant Model Wives In the Leg and Is Generally An Abusive Asshole Towards All The Women But The Women Keep Him Around Anyway Because Women Are So Nice.

EMMA: Ok first of all FACT. Second of all, is there like a futuristic female separatist community happening? Totally on board. 

CARA: We’ll Get there but Don’t Get Your Hopes Up. First there’s More Battle. Male Baby Is Cut Out Of Model Wife For Shock Value and Finally The Ladies Escape For Real and Find Haven Of Old Motorcycle Dykes Which Is The Best Part of the Movie But Too Late To Save It AT ALL. The Women Say “Lets Set Out Together to Find A New Home”. 

EMMA: THIS SOUNDS LIKE MY DREAM. 

CARA: But Max Has A Better Idea For All Of Them To Go Back and Fight the Citadel. All Agree Man’s Idea Is Better. Big Chase In Other Direction With Lots of Car and Body Parts.

EMMA: No fuck what? Do the dykes on bikes at least ride away in a blaze of glory?!?!?

CF: Nope. Bad Ass Motorcycle Lesbians Are Killed Almost Immediately After Entering The Movie And Movie Ends With Charlize Theron and Model Wives Being Allowed Back Up Into the Citadel By This Little Deformed Peanut Man.

EMMA: So the only man left behind to defend the citadel is tiny?

CARA: Yes. And sitting in a baby seat. Which lets us know that the women will probably get to be bosses now by DEFAULT, but hints that they also might have to take care of and/or have weird mother sex with him. And that is the big summer feminist movie Mad Max Fury Road. What Do You Think?

EMMA: Well I'm always suspicious of films that are "feminist" just because a woman is in charge of all the killing and explosions. It's basically just a reversal of a power dynamic, where the woman only gets to beat up on the men because they’re letting her. I mean the director is a man, the DP is a man, the three screenwriters are all men... it's hard to believe there is a truly any real "feminist message" behind this...

CARA: Well I believed. Which is super depressing because I guess I thought I would walk out of the theater feeling like I had helped conquer evil when all I did was sit in the dark. 

EMMA: We haven’t even conquered this popcorn. 

CARA: It’s almost like we’re the war eunuchs. 

EMMA: Naw. I’m Max. 

CARA: I wanna be Max. 

CURTAIN

 

 

Yo Mama

©2014 Cara Francis

A group of Neos stand in a loose semi-circle and address one another. 

BORG: (to Meg) Yo Mama…

All lean in, waiting for the burn. 

BORG: so smart she became a district leader for her local democratic party.

All react: “Ooooh…, Damn.”

MEG: (to Borg) Yeah well Yo Mama…

All lean in tighter. 

MEG: informs your relationships with women.

All react, some snapping and giving daps. The back and forth speeds up.

BORG: (to Meg) Yo Mama informs your relationship to the entire planet.

MEG: (to Borg) Yo Mama is the planet. (makes a circle with her hands) metaphorically speaking. 

DYLAN: Ya’lls Mamas so relevant, we’re talking about them right now. 

Big reaction from the group.

JOEY: (to audience member) Yo Mama deserves a phone call.

CARA: (to Dylan) Yo Mama is tall and beautiful.

DYLAN: (to Cara) Yo Mama is tall and beautiful!

CARA: (to Dylan) You don’t know my Mama. 

A muttered echo from all concerning who knows and who doesn’t know each other’s Mamas.

JOEY: (to Meg) Yo Mama is ten inches shorter than you. 

DYLAN: (to Cara) Yo Mama likes what you post on Facebook!

CARA: (to Dylan) Yeah she does! And you know what? In moments of celebration you and Yo Mama dance around her apartment to "Lay All Your Love On Me" by ABBA from the “Mamma Mia” soundtrack. Look, this is me dancing to Mamma Mia with Yo Mama. 

Cara grabs an audience member and together they do a flailing dance to five seconds of “Lay All Your Love On Me” after which audience member returns to their seat. All look up to Marisa in the booth. 

BORG: Hey Marisa! Yo Mama so smart she was the first female partner at her law firm!

JOEY: Yeah Marisa and Yo Mama so Canadian she loves drinking tea. Decaf cinnamon tea! Likes to feed people too. That’s some Canadian Mama shit right there, right?

MARISA: (on mic) Yo Mamas are all very proud of you. 

ALL: Yo Mama is proud of you too!

BORG: (to Cara) Yo Mama has cancer. 

All look at Borg. 

BORG: But Yo Mama so strong she beat it and she’s in remission!

DYLAN: (to Borg) Yo Mama is deeply religious with a fun side!

JOEY: (to Dylan) Yo Mama is a psychologist!

CARA: (to Borg) Yo Mama has six pack abs and bugs you about your weight. 

BORG: (to Meg) Yo Mama’s eyes are so intensely blue they almost rival her intense love of liberal politics and the beach. 

MEG: (to Joey) Yo Mama has an undiagnosed lung disease from 9/11 debris and she won’t get it looked at. You hope Yo Mama will die in the next 5 years because it’s probably the only good years Yo Mama’s got left and you don’t want to see Yo Mama fall apart because you love Yo Mama. 

JOEY: (to Meg) You love Yo Mama.

MEG: I do love my Mama.

DYLAN: (to Borg) Yo Mama is 68.

BORG: (to Cara) Yo Mama is 58.

CARA: (to Joey) Yo Mama is 71.

JOEY: (to Meg) Yo Mama is 59.

MEG: (to Dylan) Dylan, how old is Yo Mama? 

DM: 63.

MEG: Yo Mama looks good. 

CARA: Yo Mama’s so permanently etched into the essence of your being, that you carry her with you wherever you go, and her very name is a magic word. 

Each Neo says his or her Mamas name. 

CURTAIN

 

 

Hee Haw Hee Haw

©2014 Cara Francis

Banjo music plays. A stupid poster of some corn stalks is held by four Neos. All are holding some hillbilly accessory: a straw hat, a piece of grass in mouth, a gun, a hoe, etc. 

Neos 1 and 2 pop up. 

Neo 1: Hey (Neo 2), What’s Syria’s biggest export? 

Neo 2: I give up.

Neo 1: Refugees!

Laugh track cuts in. Neos 1 and 2 pop back down.  

Neos 3 and 4 pop up. 

Neo 3: Hey (Neo 4), what is the US getting out of this shit in Iraq? 

Neo 4: What? 

Neo 3: Our diplomats!

Laugh track cuts in. Neos 3 and 4 pop down. 

Neos 1 and 5 pop up. 

Neo 5: Hey (Neo 1), what was the most dangerous part of flying ebola victims to the United States?

Neo 1: What?

Neo 5: Flying over Syrian air space.

Laugh track. Neos 1 and 5 pop down. Neos 3 and 4 pop up. 

Neo 3: Hey (Neo 4) Why did the Palestinians cross the road?

Neo 4: Why?

Neo 3: They didn't! The rockets got them first! 

Laugh track. Neo 4 pops down, Neos 1 and 2 pop up. 

Neo 2: Hey (Neo 3) Why are the newspapers in Uganda so sexually frustrated? 

Neo 3: Why?

Neo 2: They named 200 top Homosexuals- 

Neo 1: but no bottoms!

Laugh track cuts in, growing louder. All rise up slowly from behind the corn poster, staring out at the audience. Banjo and laugh track slowly fade out through the end of the play. 

Neo 1: What do North Korea and black holes have in common?

Neo 2: They look like nothing from space.

Neo 3: Why is Hobby Lobby pissed about Obama’s plan for Afghanistan?

Neo 4: Pulling out is basically abortion. 

Neo 1: You think they’ll stop paying taxes?

Neo 2: Shhhhh. 

Neo 3: What will happen to the defense fund?

Neo 4: SHHHHHHHH.

Neo 1: Morgan Stanley predicts a utopian society by 2026.

Neo 2: Corn futures are down. 

All slowly lower back behind the corn stalks as the lights fade. 

CURTAIN

 

 

It's All about Zombies, Child (or) The Only Reason I Want To Be A Mom

©2013 Cara Francis

Cara turns on a lamp, puts on a pair of reading spectacles and opens a gilded Bible, which she reads from into the mic DSL.

"Oh Holy Night" by the Salzburg Children's Choir provides a soft underscore. 

CARA: And Zombie Mary and Zombie Joseph did go-eth to the Inn, 

Dylan and Flor zombie-walk down the aisle to the stage in tattered sheets, lit from behind with a floodlight.

CARA: for Zombie Mary was pregnant. Which was strange because zombies could not get pregnant and did not usually bother-eth to fuck. 

Dylan and Flor reach the stage and shove each other a bit. 

CARA: So Zombie Joseph inquireth about a room in the Inn. 

Dylan crosses to the SL spinny door. It opens a crack and an arm with a rifle waves him away.

CARA: And the Innkeeper, who was not a Zombie, saith from behind his boarded up window that they shouldst turn their Zombie asses around and get thee off his property. But Mary and Joseph hath noticed that he had a barn and did figure that he would have to check on his cows at some point, so they waited there in the manger, hoping to eat his brain in the morning. 

Dylan and Flor settle SL in a nativity position.

CARA: But before morning, the baby was born. And lo, it HATH NOT the soulless moan of a zombie child.

Dylan and Flor cradle baby as Joey and Meg and Eevin enter, staggering like zombies.

CARA: And many another zombie came from far and wide to see this child, because it was not a zombie, and they wanted to feast upon its brain, especially Herod, who hath been the hungriest, foulest, stinking-est zombie ever. 

Meg lunges at the baby, flailing and gnashing, blood pouring from her mouth. Dylan and Flor fight her back. Joey and Meg and Eevin exit. 

CARA: But Mary and Joseph said, "Thou must not eat of this child, though powerfully hungry for human flesh you may be! For we can tell he is special."

Dylan and Flor translate this sentence into zombie, briefly.

CARA: And they protected him thusly. 

Dylan and Flor run off SR with bundle. Light on behind spinny door as Joey emerges from center in white sheet, arms extended. 

CARA: And he did grow up to be very, very special. 

Joey does or says something very special, ideally a one or two word tribute to a heroic figure. 

CARA: But he insisted, despite his specialness, on always hanging out with horrible, common, flesh-eating lowlife zombies...

Everyone reenters, zombie-like, pals around with Joey, zombie high fives, daps. 

CARA: even though he knew they wanted to eat of his brain.

Pause. Joey looks at his zombie apostles as if seeing them for the first time.

CARA: And eventually, one day, they did, and its genius was a delicious thing to them.

All descend upon Joey, "eating his brain", throwing pink painted popcorn peanuts into the air.  

CARA: And after three days he rose from the dead--a zombie--just like the rest of them. 

Joey rises and staggers with bloody head, all cheer. 

CARA: And Zombie Jesus sayeth unto them "Follow me and eat of my body and drink of my blood" and they all thought, yes of course, this guy gets it. 

All zombie-walk back up the aisle, following Joey. Cara closes the book and removes her spectacles. 

CARA: And that is a story about zombies. And it would be many a year before Galileo would be forced to say the Earth was flat to save his head, before Liu Xiaobo, before Medgar Evers and Martin Luther King, before innocent women would be burned as witches and whores. But Ha ha ha ha ha those are all bed time stories for another night, I'd say.

I'll board up the windows. Try to get some sleep. 

Cara turns off the lamp.

CARA: I love you.

CURTAIN

 

 

How A Shit Day Went Shakespeare With The Return Of One Missed Call

©2012 Cara Francis

CARA: One mid-afternoon ago I hadn't slept and I was marching to the train. It was grey out and there was a hole in my mind. Then my phone had a missed call.

Cara stares at her open palm.

CARA: From a 212 number.

Cara turns her hand over. 

CARA: I called back.

Cara brings her open hand to her ear like a phone.

Light up on Dylan in a cute black wig draped onto a chair as his phone rings. He brings his hand to the side of his face and speaks in a completely over-the-top snobbish drawn out Upper East Side bored rich woman's voice.

DYLAN:  Helllooooo?

CARA: Did someone call Cara from this number?

DYLAN: Karen?

CARA: Cara.

DYLAN: Oh.

A short pause as he touches and admired his wig hair.

DYLAN: Have you attended the ball-e-t?

CARA: Yes, actually. I saw Nutcracker last Christmas.

DYLAN: I'm calling from the New York City Ball-e-t. We want to make sure we have your support for our winter se-a-son.

CARA: The ballet needs my support?

DYLAN: Ye-e-e-s. We're doing eight ball-e-ts this winter!

CARA: The ballet needs me. In winter. 

DYLAN: Ye-e-e-s, we do-o-o. We're producing something, something, you're not listening, I'm a fancy lady in a quiet room R-o-me-o and Ju-ulie-et.

An excerpt from Tchaikovsky's Romeo and Juliet Fantasy Overture plays, slowly building.

CARA: Romeo and Juliet? That sounds nice.

DYLAN: Yeeeesssss. Will you be joining us for R-o-me-o and Ju-ulie-et? Its not too la-a-a-te to buy a membership for our winter se-a-son, I can't begin to tell you the beauty you could experience if you would just open yourself to leaving your apartment more, explaining things less or who am I to hold you to the truth of a past conversation I'm not even an old rich woman-

Dylan transitions back to his real voice.

DYLAN: I'm just a young man doing a rich woman's voice.

As Dylan speaks and the music grows, Cara crosses to Dylan and takes his hand. He stands. Cara takes his other hand. He puts both her hands behind his back as he dips backward. Cara sweeps him up in her arms, and carries him up the aisle. Cara sets Dylan down halfway up the aisle.

CARA: Give me a torch. I am not for this ambling; Being but heavy, I will bear the light.

They share a kiss as the music swells. Dylan swoons.

DYLAN: Ay me.

Pause.

CARA: I didn't buy tickets to the ballet that year.

Music cuts out as Dylan smacks Cara, hard, exiting up the aisle and out the door of the theater.

CARA: That was three years ago. The ballet never called me a-gain.

CURTAIN

 

How the mice are

©2012 Cara Francis

 

Flor, Dan, Cara and Cecil stand SL to SR, two feet from from lip of stage, staggered a bit, looking at the audience. 

All lift small rubber bouncy balls into the air and get ready to throw them.

Lights out.

CARA: This is not how the mice are.

Everyone throws the bouncy balls to the floor in the dark. They go everywhere, bouncing off the floor, walls and into the audience.

CARA: This is not how the mice are.

All spray silly string at audience in the dark. 

CARA: This is not how the mice are.

Lights up. 

Flor, Dan and Cecil are in mice masks, in a clump USL with Cara turned upstage facing them. The snarl, hiss and rip fake money into pieces. 

CARA: This-

Lights up, same positioning. The mice dance eight counts from nutcracker suite.

Lights out.

CARA: -is not-

Cara turns on a flashlight under her chin. The mice are huddled around her, reaching for her neck.

CARA: -how the mice are.

Flashlight out. Flor, Dan and Cecil disperse. 

CARA: The mice are very brown and very fast when they run past my feet at the quietest, most reading a book-est part of the night. Out from under the stairs into the short clearing to hide under the couch. There they wait, hearts going…

Cara bounces a single ball in the dark room, listening as it ricochets.

CARA: Crazyballs.

-tufts of dust with souls.

I don't see them often.

FLOR, DAN and CECIL: (from different parts of the stage, in high-pitched mouse voices) The mice?

CARA: The mice. The people. I don't see the rest of the people.

FLOR, DAN and CECIL: Besides us?

CARA: Besides us. Besides the us here, and the US of A. Under us.

CARA: I think the mice are like

Lights up on Flor, Dan and Cecil upstage. Cara turns around with knife. The mice lift their hands up in surrender. They cower. 

FLOR, DAN and CECIL: DON’T HURT US!/WE BLEED!/PLEASE!

Cara stabs the air to kill each mouse during the following. Each mouse is stabbed in pantomime and falls down dead.

CARA: but we trap them (mouse dies)

and kill them (mouse dies)

and nurture the predators who hunt them down. (mouse dies)

Cara brings the knife down to her side. 

CARA: We starve them though they need so little.

I try not to hurt the mice.

They're under the sofa, hearts going…

Cara bounces a single ball in the lit room, listening as it ricochets. 

..too.

CURTAIN

 

 

If The Salem Witch Trials Were Determined By Trust Exercises

©2011 Cara Francis

Cara is escorted onstage and partially up the aisle by two other Neo-Futurists, struggling against their grip on her. She is positioned facing the audience from the aisle. She raises her head defiantly. 

Jeffrey stands SL behind a podium, with a white judge's wig on, holding a gavel.

JEFFREY: (to audience) If you drop her, she's a witch.

Cara is turned around by the Neo guards. She does a trust fall backwards into the audience.

The audience catches her or they don't.

Jeffrey bangs the gavel.

CURTAIN

 

 

Spaghetti Revolution

©2011 Cara Francis

Cara and Lauren drag an overhead projector onstage. They turn it on and dump a pile of spaghetti on it.

Lauren arranges it in the shape of Libya.

CARA: So this is Libya.

Lauren drops several meatballs into the spaghetti.

CARA: On February 16th, a crowd with gasoline bombs and rocks protested outside a government office in Benghazi to demand the release of a human rights advocate.

Lauren sprinkles the spaghetti with red pepper.

CARA: The next day a bunch of protests started breaking out all over the place.

Lauren pours a bit of tomato sauce on the spaghetti.

CARA: Then people started dying.

Lauren pours more sauce on the pile.

CARA: in protests, in funeral processions, in direct clashes, walking down streets, Qaddafi had them shot.

Lauren moves a few noodles off into a tupperware.

CARA: Some got evacuated.

Lauren seals up the tupperware.

CARA: By February 20th, the government had cut off the people's access to the internet and blocked foreign journalists.

Lauren switches the projector off.

Darkness.

CARA: Qaddafi swore to fight until "the last man standing"

Lauren switches the projector back on. Cara is in the middle of eating the spaghetti.

LAUREN: You're eating Libya.

CARA: I'm eating a representation of Libya. Look, Qaddafi doesn't trust his own generals. He's got mercenaries fighting for him. He's fucked. Democracy wins again.

Cara shakes Parmesan cheese onto the spaghetti and eats more of it. 

CARA: We froze 30 billion of his assets. He's going to lose. We got troops headed there. I know a lot went into the whole thing, and it's important, but for us...it's another reassuring story.

Cara offers Lauren a fork. Lauren doesn't accept it.

CARA: I'm going to get a cat for real this time. Still deciding on the Iphone.

Cara eats a little more.

LAUREN: This is brutal.

CARA: Brutally delicious.

CURTAIN

 

 

An Absolutely False Reenactment Of How Anne Frank Went On To Survive The Holocaust And Give Advice To Mexicans In Arizona Starring Nicole Hill As Anne Frank And Rob Neill As A Nazi

© 2010 Cara Francis

Nicole sits on a block looking at herself in a hand mirror.

NICOLE: Oh look, my first pimple in captivity. I should write in my diary about that.

She moves to pick up a nearby book. She hears knocking.

NICOLE: Who is it?

ROB: A Nazi.

NICOLE: Oh no! Um...

ROB: Let me in.

NICOLE: Okay...

She stands up and turns her mirror around so it is in front of her face, facing out. 

NICOLE: Come in!

Rob enters, goose stepping over to Nicole. They stand facing each other. He looks at her face, which is a mirror image of his own. 

ROB: Hello friend. Have you seen any Jews?

NICOLE: No.

ROB: Okay. (Pause) I like your narrow Aryan nose.

NICOLE: Thanks. Yours too.

ROB: Well. Have a nice day.

Rob goose steps out. Nicole turns out, facing the audience and lowering the mirror.

NICOLE: Apenas ponga un espejo sobre su cara. Los confundira. (TRANSLATION: Just put a mirror over your face. It will confuse them.)

CURTAIN

 

 

Does This Seem Like Make-Believe Land?

©2008 Cara Francis

An audience member takes the stage and waits. A voiceover recording plays.

VO: Pick up the most magical thing you see. Explore it with your mouth or your eyes.

How many butterflies do you remember?

How many leaves can you think of?

Does this seem like make believe land?

If this were make believe land, it would be time sensitive make believe land. Is that true?

If this were time sensitive make believe land, I would say this: You have missed your meeting with the leader of the bees. 

Swarming will commence in 9 seconds.

6 seconds. Stinging will commence in 3 seconds. 2 seconds.

One.

(Nothing happens)

The bees did not sting you. What do you think that means?

Pick up the least magical thing you see. Use the most magical thing to destroy the least magical thing.

Do you think the least magical thing was important to someone else?

Who?

Use this time to gloat or make amends.

If this were time sensitive make believe land I would tell you the chocolate river is filling with flies. The Bear Jamboree has dissolved into small talk. The enchantment meter on the laughter fountain just spins.

Are you the leader?

How does that make you feel?

CURTAIN