Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Playwright Portrait, Kitty Chen, Excerpt from Chairman M



The Playwright Kitty Chen, 2006
pswb©2012


BLESSINGS OF CHAIRMAN M

by Kitty Chen



Prologue
Bare stage. Night. The lighting suggests a hilly forest landscape. A woman enters, carrying a heavy burden on her back. She makes her way slowly uphill. Blackout.
Act 1
Scene 1. At center, a body lies on a table in a body bag. Lighting is bright, artificial. A barely audible drone of an air conditioner. Shivers sits at a table knitting, suddenly looks at watch, goes to body, bows deeply 3 times.
Announcement (loudspeaker)
Attention, attention: It is now time to show your love and respect.
Shivers
(to the loudspeaker, with a lewd gesture) Hah! Beat you to it!
She hears someone approach. Babelov enters.
Babelov
Oh me oh my. I thought I was on the sub-sub-sub-ground level, when the whole time I was only on the sub-sub-ground level.
Shivers
What was the vote?
Babelov
I can't breathe. I’d better bring down some fans and more ice.
Shivers
BABELOV! WHAT WAS THE VOTE?!
Babelov
They told me to rush right down and they'd beep me the instant they had the count.
Shivers
WHAT'S TO COUNT?--THERE'S ONLY 20 MINISTERS. And what's with the friggin' air-conditioning?
Babelov
The generators are old. Russian leftovers. Why don't you just go ahead with the prep.
Shivers
IDIOT! WHAT DO YOU TAKE ME FOR? A good prep is like BREATHING to a good embalmer--it's the first thing you do!
Babelov
Okay, okay. I thought maybe you'd have to do something special, or different, if he was a god.
Shivers
He's a god? Oh my god--he's a god!
Babelov (cutting in)
I didn't say that! Calm--down. I said "IF he was a god." IF!
Shivers
When are they going to know?
Babelov
After they count the votes!

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