Author Topic: Play script  (Read 11221 times)

Offline nramsarup

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Play script
« on: December 30, 2008, 10:49:32 AM »
Please read my comments before giving feedback.
NB. The scene below is at least 4 A4 pages long.

The piece reads like a fragment of a training video for raw recruits to social work. Lecturing any audience in so finger-wagging a manner would promptly lose it.

I acknowledge that the device of a narrator can be useful but needs great care in breaching the usual convention of theatre, that those on stage are supposedly isolated from the audience. Mine reads as though he's standing at a lectern with a sheaf of notes provided by a government committee, not a situation to command much empathy. I would like to eliminate the narrator. Any suggestions on incorporating the narrator's points into the scene?

How can I try to make the conversation sound natural. I can't imagine anyone but a robot talking like Stanton, Resh and Zandi, or speaking of "negative life experience" - a "sticky patch" perhaps, or less informally a "nasty business."




Waiter: Good evening sir. Good evening mam.

Guests: Good evening. Hello.

Waiter:  Do you have a table reservation?

Guest:  Yes, in the name of Ramsarup.

Waiter: Thank you. Please allow me to usher you to your table.

Guests: Thank you.

Waiter: May I bring you the menu?

Guest: Yes, Please.

Waiter: Here you go mam and Iíve brought a Braille menu as well. Would you like to read it sir?

Nad: (Surprised)  Oh, yes. Thank you. 

Meena:  May we order our drinks in the meantime?

Waiter: Of course. What would you like to drink?

Nad: A coke zero for me.

Meena: Passion fruit and lemonade with lots of ice please.


Passer by: Hello Nad. How are you doing? I havenít seen you for a long while.

Nad: Hi. Iím okay but keeping very busy at work.

Passer by: Are you still working at Masonite Africa?

Nad: No. Not any more. Iím now at the KZN Blind and Deaf Society in Lorne Street managing their Training and Development department.

Passer by: Thatís wonderful. I must hurry up now. Iím meeting my wife at our insurance brokerís office. Nice seeing you again.

Nad: Okay then. Cheerio.


ďpasser by leavesĒ


Nad: Who was that darling?

Meena: I havenít seen him before. Did you not recognize his voice?

Nad: No darling

Meena: You should have asked his name

Nad: I felt embarrassed to ask his name. I didnít want him to feel unimportant.


Narrator: If you bump into a person with a visual disability and youíve already met, identify yourself. For example, ďHello Nad. Iím Alex. We met at the Inclusive Education workshop at the Holiday Inn a couple of months ago.


Waiter: Greets and welcomes three guests and escort them to their table.


Nad: I want to visit the menís rest room.

Meena: IĎall ask the waiter to assist you with getting there. Excuse me sir, would you please help my husband to the gents?

Sure mam. (Waiter grabs Nad at his wrist and literally pulls him along like one would drag their luggage case)


Narrator: If you must guide an individual who is visually impaired, ask him/her to hold your arm (on or just above the elbow) and walk slightly ahead of them. Alert the person to stairs, doors, ramps, curbs, escalators and elevators as you approach.

(Watch Nadís return with the waiter)


Waiter receives a couple at the restaurant entrance. The female uses a wheeled chair and the partner is on clutches.

Comments from the three guests that arrived earlier:


Stanton: Hey Resh. Look over there. The lady is wheel chair bound and the guy is a cripple.

Resh: Oh yes. She is confined to a wheelchair and thereís definitely something wrong with that manís legs.

Zandi: Yes. Look there. He is a cripple.


Narrator: Refrain from using expressions such as ďwheelchair-boundĒ or ďconfined to a wheelchairĒ or ďcrippleĒ; it is preferable to say ďperson who uses a wheelchairĒ or person who has a mobility difficulty. A wheelchair provides mobility, not restriction. The term ďcrippleĒ conveys a negative image of a twisted, ugly body.  Using inappropriate language when referring to a person with a disability is offensive and demeaning.


Resh: Ag shame. That is so sad. What a tragedy to be in a wheelchair.

Stanton: They both are disabled so they probly a couple for the sake of companionship. They canít be getting intimate. Could they?

Resh: It seems like that guy there is blind. His wife seems to be helping him to cut the meat. Check out his eyes Zandi.

Zandi: Yes. He is blind and his wife seems to be very supportive. She must be a strong woman to have married him. How heroic. She is a ďmartyrĒ for shouldering such a Burdon as having to care for someone with a disability.

Stanton: Hey. I know that man. I remember seeing him on TV and I read articles about him in the newspapers. He is amazing. He wrote a couple of books and he won many awards over the years.

Resh: Now that you say that, I remember attending a workshop where he spoke about Telephone Etiquette. What a brilliant presentation. He was bombarded with questions after his talk and he handled them so professionally and gracefully. In fact. He got a standing ovation from the workshop participants.

Zandi: Ag shame. He is super human.


Narrator: Avoid stereotyping. Stereotypes can lead to discrimination as they take away a persons individuality. Every person with a disability is an individual and should not be expected to display a specific personality or behavior pattern. Such stereotyping robs the person with a disability the right to express his/her individual personality. At all costs, avoid the following common stereotypes:

Having a disability is a tragedy;

People with a disability are objects of pity or charity;

People with a disability who excel are super humans;

People with a disability who marry and bear children are extraordinary;

People with a disability lead boring and uneventful lives;

Families, particularly spouses of people with disabilities are heroic;

People with disabilities are asexual.


MEENA: Sweetheart, that lady at the table on your right looks just like Anita.

NAD: Anita! Which Anita, darling?

MEENA: (teasing) Why, how many have you been involved with?

NAD: (in the same spirit) Oh, half a dozen at least.

MEENA: Well, Iím thinking of the one from Pietermaritzburg you were going out with in the early 80ís.

NAD: Oh. Do you think it is her?

MEENA: Actually, no. Anita was a lot taller. And Iíd have thought sheíd have recognized us and come across.

NAD: You know, I still canít get over Anitaís aunt breaking us up just because Iím blind.

MEENA: She probably thought it was for the best. It turned out best for me, certainly.

Nad squeezes her hand

NAD: But I hate the way people treat people with disabilities. I lead a pretty well "normal" life, like everyone else. Itís so unfair to be treated like Iím useless or worthless.

MEENA: Iím sure she didnít think that. She was just thinking of the difficulties. After all, she didnít know you very well. And you must admit, there are ... inconveniences.

NAD: You donít complain about them.

MEENA: Of course not; I know youíre worth it. She didnít.

NAD: She might have taken the trouble to find out.

MEENA: Well, she didnít. All very unfortunate - for Anita.. Anyway, thatís in the past now.

NAD: I know, darling. All over and done with, and Iím very grateful to have you instead. Your parents were marvelous, the way they took to me. So were you, of course. I can scarcely believe how lucky Iíve been to have you as my wife.

MEENA: Then you can show your appreciation by ... how about one of those ice-cream specials?




(Nad and work mate take a stroll in the park)


Nad: I needed this break. Itís crazy in the office. There were so many computer issues this morning. The complaints I handled today are what I would handle in a week.

Colleague: Yhe. I must say, I too had a hectic morning. Itís a pleasure getting out of the air-conditioned building and getting a breath of fresh air.

Nad: Thank goodness for lunch breaks. We all need them.

Colleague: There are two guys in a car at the robot staring at us. I wonder why?

Nad: They probably think we are a gay couple because Iím hanging onto your arm. May be they donít realize youíre guiding me.

Colleague: Who cares about what they think. Thatís their problem.

Nad: It is sad how people jump to conclusions without understanding someoneís circumstances. Isnít it?

Colleague: Yes. I often notice people focusing their full attention on people who have a visible disability. The expression on their faces is one of; Utter shock, sympathy, and readiness to rescue.

Nad: I hate that. It makes me feel like an alien. I feel like an object of pity. I donít want that. Iím a law abiding citizen who is part of society, like everybody else. Iím capable of looking after myself and Iím not helpless.

  Colleague: There is an available park bench under a tall shady palm tree. Would you like to sit my buddy?

Nad: Yes please.

Colleague: Hereís the bench (pointing at it)

Nad: Where?

Colleague: Right here. (doesnít know how to indicate a chair/bench to a person who is blind)

Nad: Thank you (after battling to find the bench and seating himself)


Offline Don

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Re: Play script
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 01:08:00 PM »
Nad -

I agree with your comments, so you are already starting to answer your own questions.  See how valuable MWC is? ;D

Seriously, you are correct that the use of a narrator is distracting.  Your job is to transmit this same information to the audience through storytelling.  No small task you've set for yourself.

One way to start is to have your characters be at the restaurant for a reason other than an enjoyable night out.  Whatever the reason is, it must intrigue the audience.  The fact that one of them is visually impaired should have nothing to do with why they are at this particular restaurant on this particular night.  Did they get a cryptic message on their voice mail from a college chum who is now in serious trouble?

Perhaps you could turn the disability to an advantage.  Being unable to see has heightened your character's ability to hear.  Perhaps he overhears a conversation from a nearby table that helps resolve whatever conflict our characters find themselves in.  There are many devices you can use but you first have to tell a story that will engage your audience.

Show, rather than tell, people how to treat those with physical limitations. I'm in a rush at the moment and I will look at this more later.  One more thing I think you should consider is limiting the use of physical impairment in the story.  You have one person who is visually impaired. Stay with that and tell a story.  Don't also include someone confined to a wheelchair and someone who is deaf because that will distract your audience and replace the "oh yeah" reaction with sympathy.  More later but find what story you want to tell.


I have a motto: when in doubt, go for the cheap laugh.

Offline caribeangirl

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Re: Play script
« Reply #2 on: January 28, 2009, 08:08:30 AM »
When I read the narrator's comments, I was wondering why Nad was asking for feedback.  I saw punctuation problems. Mam?  Shouldn't it be Ma'am?  Also, 'usher you to your table'.  'show you to your table' sounds much better.

Just my opinion.

Offline naosme

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Re: Play script
« Reply #3 on: February 23, 2021, 05:51:33 AM »
I agree that the tool of a reporter may be used but it needs good care in the event of a daily theater convention, that those on stage should be isolated to the youth. I read as if he was standing in a lecture hall with a bag of notes provided by a government committee, not a position to order much mercy. I can have a research paper writing service for them. I would like to delete the reporter. Any suggestions on incorporating narrator points into space?