Theatre, arts, culture, politics, and snark from a practicing playwright and recovering journalist.
Monday, August 1, 2011
Bombardment, Episode 3: Just Speakin' Colorful
Splattworks continues its presentation of Bombardment, a two-act drama by Steve Patterson. The author will attempt to post an installment each day, but, if events intercede, installments may occur a day or so apart. So please be patient.
ARETHA: How do you plan to conduct the administrative action? PLACID: Well, it’s funny. On one hand, living things are a bitch to kill. If you don’t know what you’re doing, you end up just bashing ‘em till they come apart. But, if you got a little knowledge, get inside, snap the right wire, the whole gimmick goes…click. That's what we're shooting for. The right wire. Now. (Reaches into bag, pulls out a carving knife.) Standard number. Sharp, long enough to get to the juicy stuff. Strong, won't break on bone. Drawback is. . .it's been done. Million times. Kind of thing a housewife uses to whack her hubby when he's dipping his wick on the side. ARETHA: Be very careful. PLACID: No offense. Just speaking colorful. ARETHA: Nothing with domestic connotations. CORNO: Say, could I get some coffee?
The two on stage look up, pause, then go back to what they're doing.
PLACID: This wouldn't work then?
Holds up a nutcracker. ARETHA shakes her head.
Puts knife, nutcracker on floor. Takes out an icepick.
ARETHA: What did I tell you? PLACID: Could be a wet bar. Some swanky lounge. ARETHA: No. PLACID: Camping? CORNO: Please, it's chilly out here. Let's get a cup for all these good people. ARETHA: Where do you find it? CORNO: Just a warm-up. For my loyal, loving subjects. ARETHA: You find it in a kitchen drawer, right along with the corn skewers and the garlic press. PLACID: Garlic press. . .. CORNO: Don't need any cream! Black is fine! ARETHA: (Leaping to her feet.) Shut up! Shut up, you bastard! I will not serve you! I will not! Think who I am! Think who you compare me to! I could kill you with my bare hands!
ARETHA lunges for him, but PLACID jumps up, grabs her round the waist. Holds her tight as she struggles to get into audience.
PLACID: No, no, shh. Do it proper. ARETHA: To hell with proper! PLACID: You can’t mean it. ARETHA: Gouge out his eyes! PLACID: No. Aretha. ARETHA: With a grapefruit spoon! Pluck 'em out! Stamp ‘em on the ground!
She furiously stamps the stage while PLACID holds her in place. He finally wrenches her back. They both end up in an chair, ARETHA planted on PLACID's lap.
Steve Patterson has written over 50 plays, with works staged in Portland, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Austin, Tampa, and other U.S. cities as well as in Canada and New Zealand. His works include: Waiting on Sean Flynn, Next of Kin, Farmhouse, Malaria, Shelter, Altered States of America, The Continuing Adventures of Mr. Grandamnus, Bluer Than Midnight, Bombardment, Dead of Winter, and Delusion of Darkness. In 2006, his bittersweet Lost Wavelengths was a mainstage selection at Portland Center Stage's JAW/West festival, and, in 2008, won the Oregon Book Award (he also was an OBA finalist in 1992 and 2002). In 1997, he won the inaugural Portland Civic Theatre Guild Fellowship for his play Turquoise and Obsidian.