Just for fun, I’m sharing the two shorty-short plays I wrote for the Bay Area Playwrights Foundation FlashPlays Festival, which ran at Brava Theater Center in San Francisco on December 6 & 7, 2015:
SETTING: A classroom. TIME: The present.
TEACHER, White, any gender.
PARENT, Black, any gender.
The PARENT and TEACHER sit across from one another. The teacher consults paperwork.
You should begin talking to your son now about college as a goal.
In our family, we don’t talk to the kids about whether to go to college—
Oh, but you should! Jerome is very bright.
I meant, we don’t talk to them about whether, we talk to them about / where to go—
It’s important to begin the conversation now, before he starts high school, because the ninth-grade curriculum is so important. In order to be eligible for admission to a Cal State University—
My husband and I met at Princeton.
(The TEACHER looks up.)
But we’re thinking that Jerome might do better at a smaller liberal arts college. A college where the faculty gets to know their students on a personal basis.
Do you know what I mean?
END OF PLAY
Four people enter from various directions. They crisscross the stage, passing each other while talking to themselves and/or pausing to address one another. They look up at the sky hopefully. One or more of them carries an umbrella. The following lines should be spoken in order but they may be divided, overlapped and repeated as desired.
Storm clouds: at noon above the East Bay hills—
I saw them too. The Weather Channel said—
When I awoke, the wind chimes had gone still.
The lull, you know, / before—
Is that a thunderhead?
The forecast said, tonight there would be rain.
A chance of rain, they said.
The air is warm.
I felt a drop.
My elbow pain
is always worse before a major storm.
What matters is the mountains, if there’s snow—
When did you last see roses, or green grass?
In June I was—
I used to hate to mow
the lawn. But now I wish—
In June I was
back east where skies are grey. I miss the grey.
The forecast is for rain.
The cast members gather in the middle of the stage. They look up. They wait. If we have been having a wet winter [a consummation devoutly to be wished] their reactions, suitably jubilant, will show that rain arrives.* If not, then not: they will continue to gaze skyward and long for rain.
*We got our first significant rain of the season in the week preceding the show, so this play ended happily.