Author Topic: The Taming of Kate by the patients of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum  (Read 2856 times)

Offline Sasha6

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This is just the very beginning of my play that is a twist off of "The Taming of the Shrew". It's roughly based on the play and suppose to alienate the audience, but so far I don't think it's gotten to alienating. this is 6 pages worth. Tell me what you think so far. Some mild language and rude humor.

Before house lights go down, people dressed as nurses, preferably male, file into the aisles of the theatre, giving the impression that the audience is trapped and part of the asylum.
(Lights up on stage showing two guards carrying in a man who is passed out.)
Male Nurse: What do we have here gentleman?
Guard #1: Jus' a no 'count drunk. Coul' you keep 'im 'ere 'till he sobers?
Male Nurse: Has he done something?
Guard #2: O'ccosted  some lady walkin' by.
Guard #1: Don' think 'e'll be any trouble. Jus' wan' to keep the streets clean for decen' people to walk on.
Male Nurse: (Nods)Alright. (Waves his hand for someone to come. A couple younger male nurses come on and take the drunk from the guards) We have a few extra cells. Won't be any problem.
Guard #2: Good day to ya.
Guards Exit
Male Nurse: Take him to one of the empty cells. Doesn't matter which one. And inform the warden that we have a new one. (Nurses start to take the drunk off) No, I'll tell the warden about him. (nurses stop, look at each other then take the drunk off stage.)
Lights out
(Scene change, the Wardens office. Lights up. The Warden is sitting at his desk.)
Knock
Warden: Come in. (Looking through papers at his desk.)
Male Nurse: (Enters) Warden, we have a new one.
Warden: (looks up smiling) Really? I was not aware that we had someone joining us today.
Male Nurse: He's not a patient. He's a drunk. I told the police we could hold him until he was sober.
Warden: (Leans back) Do we know anything about him?
Male Nurse: The police gave me no information on him. From the way he is dressed I'd say he's homeless.
Warden: Then he probably has no family or any type of connections.
Male Nurse: Sir, (hesitates) I believe it would be best to leave him be. Hold him until he sobers up and then let him leave.
Warden: Bertram, you surprise me. I never do anything that is harmful to any of our patients. In fact I believe they are all very happy here with us.
Bertram: Yes Sir, but since he doesn't need to stay I just thought it would be better to just-
Warden: (Stands up and walks over to Bertram, putting an arm around his shoulder) Then since his visit will be brief, there's more reason to make it unforgettable, isn't there?
Bertram: (Hesitates again, gives in) Yes Sir.
Warden: Wonderful. Now, I want water and wine to be available in his room when he wakes up.
Bertram: Wine? (Warden looks at him) Alright Sir.
Warden: And have a bowl of fruit, and bread with honey waiting for him. Have three nurses in his room with him. When he wakes I want one of them to fetch me. The other two should offer him the food and drink and give him what he asks. If he says anything about who he really is, have the nurses tell him he is a nobleman, but he has been ill and can't remember correctly. I want them to wait on him hand and foot. But don't let him out of the room until I get there. Understood?
Bertram: Yes Sir. (Turns to leave)
Warden: (walks back to desk.) Oh, Bertram?
Bertram: Yes Sir?
Warden: If you question my methods once more you shall be in search of another job, without a recommendation from me. Do I make myself clear?
Bertram: Very clear Sir.
Exit
Warden: (sits at desk, starts looking through papers again.)
Lights Down
(Scene change: Patient cell. The drunk, two female nurses and one male nurse are sitting or standing around the cell. Two pitchers and bowls are set on a table  next to the cot that the drunk is lying on. He is still unconscious.)
Female Nurse #1: I'm getting fed up with this nonsense. Why should we have to waste our time watching this sorry bastard when we have real ill people to be looking after? If I didn't need this job I wouldn't put up with the warden's obsession. It's wrong, even borders on cruelty. It's indecent.
Male Nurse: Who are you to talk about what's decent or not. You'd as soon lift your skirts for the warden if he offered ya another penny for your services.
FN#1: A woman needs to eat.
MN: (laughs) As much as you must be making you have a feast every night while us poor fools are keeping our modesty-
FN#1: And Poverty.
(Both laugh. Female Nurse #2 looks embarrassed by the conversation.)
FN#1: Oh, look at the prim lass. You'll learn soon enough that at this hospital, everyone wants something from ya. And my advice is to give it. It makes the working environment easier to handle if you have a few people on your side.
MN: Or on your back.
(They both laugh again)
FN#2: I really don't think this is appropriate to talk about. Our main concern should be the care of the patients.
(FN#1 and MN look at each other and smirk.)
MN: Since you're new here I'll try to put this delicately. The minute you walked through those doors you enter a new world. One where no one cares about what happens to any one else. A fend-for-yourself type of system. We do our chores when it comes to the patients, but why try anything extra? They're going to be the same every morning no matter what you try. They'll always be sick in the head. We just do what we need to to get through each day and get our money's worth.
FN#1:Which seldom happens.
FN#2: (nervously) The warden seems to care for the patients.
FN#1: That's because he has control over them. Do you really think he cares about these sick freaks? He's playing God and they're his to command. We're his as well but to a lesser degree. If we want to keep out job, we do what he says. 
Moan from the bed.
(They all stand up.)
MN: He's coming to.
FN#!: (to FN#2) Go tell the warden that he's waking up.
(FN#2 nods and rushes out the door.)
FN#1: Poor girl. She'll be eatin' alive in this place.
Drunk: (Opens eyes, slowly tries to sit up and moans again, holding his head.)
MN: Please lay back down Sir. You are not quite well yet.
Drunk: (Lays back down, expelling a large belch)
(FN#1 looks at MN. He shrugs to her and she tries not to laugh.)
Drunk: (slurring his words)  Where am I? ( He looks around the room as well as he can lying down) Don' 'member ever bein' in this place.
MN: You've been ill Sir.
Drunk: (Looks surprised as if he hadn't noticed someone else was in the room with him.) Ill? Sir? Who are you?
MN: I am your servant Sir.
Drunk: My servan'? I'm no' rich enough to have a servan'
MN: Alas Sir, you were terribly ill and have forgotten your high position in society. You have many servant's. We are but two who have kept watch over you, waiting for the sickness to pass. (Acknowledges FN#1 with a wave of his hand)
Drunk: (looks from MN to FM#1 and shakes his head trying to sit up again. Laughs) Wha' a poor joke. Either God plays a trick on me or I've really drunk to much this time. (Laughs again at the statement as if it couldn't be true.)
MN: (Looks pointedly at FN#1)
FN#1:(Stammers) Uh...yes..no, we are your servants. You've been very ill...My Lord.
MN: Lord?
Drunk: Lord?
FN#1: Yes, Lord. (Becomes more comfortable in her part) We've been so worried about you since you've taken ill. Milady has fretted about your condition night and day.
MN: (aside to FN#1) What are you doing?
FN#1: Playing his game.
Drunk: I'm married? Oh no. (Tries to get out of bed) I've never been caught in that snare. Not old Sly no. I can't afford to shelter myself let alone the demands of some greedy wench that only cares for her hair, or the latest fashion and gossip. No sir, no ball'an'chain for me thank you.
MN: (Keeps him from leaving the bed.) No Si-... My Lord of course not.
FN#1: (Dramatically) Oh how tragic. The illness has cleansed his mind completely.
Sly: (Holding head from headache) Not completely.
MN: (Aside to FN#1) You've done quite enough. Now stop this before you make it worse.
FN#1: (Ignores MN) Why My Lord, you are happily married. Milady has been waiting anxiously for your arousal. I mean...for you to wake. She must be notified that your have awoken. (turns to MN) David, why don't you run along and fetch the Mistress?
MN: (tight lipped) I believe she has already been notified. 
FN#1: Maybe your Lordship would care for some refreshment. Wine and bread perhaps?
Sly: (Sitting up in bed) Wine? (Looks tempted. Shakes head, clutches head as it hurts) No, listen. I am not a Lord, I have no wife. I don't live in a house because I can't afford one. I live off of the charity of others. I remember all this so how can it be that I am...(Looks around) Wherever I am?
FN#1: (Pours glass of wine and gives it to him anyway) My Lord, that was all a dream. The sickness must have wiped out your real memory and replaced it with these fabrications.
Sly: This does not look like a room that would belong to a Lord. At least, not what I imagine a rich man's room would look like.
FN#1: It's the sick room. The doctors thought it wise to separate the sickness from the rest of the household so it wouldn't spread.
Sly:  (confused, worried) If the name Sly was a fabrication from my dreams then that wouldn't be my true name. What is my name?
(MN gives FN#1 a 'I-told-you-so' look)


My significant other is myself, which is what happens when you suffer from self-obsession and multiple personalities.

Offline Stinger

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Re: The Taming of Kate by the patients of the Trans-Allegheny Lunatic Asylum
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2008, 01:41:26 AM »
Hello Sasha,
I have never touched a theatre play before but I think there's some slight similarity between it and screenplays cuz, hell both are scripts. So first things first, I like the dialogue real much and your originality. while those two were okay, the characters were not the best I mean, you sort of went for the norm you see, shallow though I must hastily add its not a bad thing for a draft but it would be better to write your characters with depth. Go right in: deep and deeper bring out what they really are. Take the nurse for example. She works at the hospital but deep down there is something. Some fear, aspiration?Let us us feel they are alive because, everyone always has a desire; you are taking us into their world we need'a know them fully so we can relate to them.Nonetheless; I would give you a reccommend any time.
But please do space up the work for easier reading.