Category Archives: Theater

Chris and Eve: a Christmas eve play

My friends at Page To Stage Theater Company in Roanoke accepted this little script of mine in their show The 12 Plays of Christmas. Thank you to Vanessa Marie for directing, and David Beach and Johanna Cooper for portraying Chris and Eve. Text below.


CHRIS AND EVE

(The married couple’s bedroom. EVE is sitting on their bed, staring at an object in her hand. She
looks pensive and preoccupied. She is having a moment of silence.)

(CHRIS bursts in, talking a mile a minute and destroying her reverie.)

CHRIS
Do we have any more wrapping paper?

EVE
Sorry … what?

CHRIS
Wrapping paper?

EVE
We’re out.

CHRIS
Aargh! All right. Well, they always open one present on Christmas Eve, right? So I’ll just
save that paper and re-use it to wrap the last of their presents for the morning.

EVE
What presents?

CHRIS
Sonya got that book she wanted. And Lydia … I got her a gift certificate for Hot Topic.
Seventeen year old girls still shop there, right?

EVE
Sure.

CHRIS
It was so much easier when they were little. We could just stick anything in a box with
colorful paper and they went nuts. What are you doing?

EVE
I was just having a moment to myself.

CHRIS
That sounds like a good idea.

(Chris plops down on the bed next to Eve and then immediately pops up again.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
Whoops!

(He pulls two apples out of his pocket.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
“Is that an apple in your pocket?” “Yes, but I’m still happy to see you!”

(He laughs at his own joke and looks at his wife expectantly.)

EVE
Read the room, Chris.

CHRIS
Sorry, yeah, you’re still tired.

(Chris offers his wife an apple.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
Would you like an apple, Eve?

(Chris flicks his tongue, like a snake.)

EVE
You never get tired of that joke, do you?

CHRIS
It’s Biblical.

(Eve takes an apple. Chris tosses his apple up in the air like a ball and catches it.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
You remember that Christmas when the girls both got me baseballs?

EVE
They knew you liked the game.

CHRIS
They saw me watching baseball. I hadn’t tossed a ball in years, probably since Lydia
came along.

EVE
Do you still have them?

CHRIS
No, I lost my balls a long time ago. (indicating the apples) I meant to put these in their
stockings. Oh well.

(Chris takes a bite of his apple. Eve just puts hers down.)

CHRIS (indicating what Eve is holding)
What have you got there?

EVE
A pregnancy test.

CHRIS
Oh, I didn’t tell you. You remember Ken from work?

EVE
Ok.

CHRIS
He’s got these woods behind his house and every year he and his sons go out and chop
down their own Christmas tree. Isn’t that great? It sure beats going to a parking lot and
buying one. He said next year we could come over and pick one out for ourselves.

EVE
You work with some nice people.

CHRIS
Yeah, I do. They asked about you, the other night, at the office Christmas party. Are you
feeling any better tonight?

EVE
A little. Right now I’m just waiting for you to catch up.

CHRIS
I suppose I should get back downstairs. Remember when it took us all night to get the
girls to go to bed on Christmas Eve, they were so excited? This is probably going to be
our last Christmas like this.

EVE
Why do you say that?

CHRIS
You know, Lydia’s going off to college next year. Sonya’s starting high school, and if her
older sister is any indication, we’ll just have another sullen teenager at home. Another few
years, we’ll be empty nesters.

EVE
Maybe not.

CHRIS
Anyway, I’ll let you rest, but you should probably come down in a few minutes and say
goodnight.

(Chris walks to the door to leave and then freezes.)

EVE
And there it is.

(Chris slowly turns and, after a long moment…)

CHRIS
Pregnancy test?

EVE
Mm-hmm.

CHRIS
Whose?

(Eve gives him a withering look.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
Yours?

EVE
More ours.

CHRIS
What does it say?

EVE
I haven’t looked yet.

CHRIS
Don’t!

EVE
You want to wait until the morning and open it with all the other presents?

CHRIS
No, I just … how did this happen?

EVE
The usual way. A boy meets a girl and they like each other very much…

CHRIS
No, I mean … I thought you were going through the change?

EVE
I haven’t changed yet.

CHRIS
Did you stop using … protection?

EVE
You don’t even know what I use, do you?

CHRIS
Apparently nothing.

EVE
Are you throwing shade right now?

CHRIS
Sorry, I … I just wasn’t prepared for this. Aren’t we a little old…?

EVE
You mean, aren’t I a little old?

CHRIS
No! Obviously not. Unless…

(They both glance down at the stick in Eve’s hand.)

EVE
We’ll know in a minute.

CHRIS
How long have you suspected?

EVE
Everything has been irregular for awhile, but I’ve been a little off for a couple of weeks.

CHRIS
That’s why you missed the office Christmas party.

EVE
Right. And I’ve been feeling a little bloated and nauseous…

CHRIS
…and the mood swings.

EVE
WHAT!?!

CHRIS
Nothing.

EVE
Anyway, I was a little scared to check, but I figured it was time. (sardonically) Maybe
it’ll be our little Christmas miracle.

CHRIS
Christmas. I nearly forgot. What are the girls going to say?

EVE
They’ll be thrilled.

CHRIS
You think?

EVE
I … think so? It’s so hard to tell, especially with Lydia. How do you feel?

CHRIS
I guess it changes my plans.

EVE (snapping)
Well suck it up, buster!

CHRIS
Wow! No, I mean my Christmas present to you this year. Should I tell you now?

EVE
Maybe you should.

CHRIS
I arranged for us to go hiking on the Tour du Mont Blanc.

EVE
Oh, that sounds nice!

CHRIS
In August.

EVE
Ah.

CHRIS
If I’m doing my math right…

EVE
I might not be in any shape to hike through the Alps in August.

CHRIS
We’ll have to change all sorts of plans.

EVE (indicating the stick)
Should I look?

CHRIS
Not yet.

EVE
Chris…

CHRIS
No, let’s wait. Just a minute. Right now, that stick is like Schrödinger’s cat.

EVE
You mean Mrs. Schrödinger next door? She’s got at least ten cats.

CHRIS
No, that’s Mrs. Metzner. Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment in physics.

EVE
I never understood how that works.

CHRIS
That cat is in a box with a flask of poison that has a fifty-fifty chance of killing it.

EVE
That’s just cruel.

CHRIS
It’s not a real cat.

EVE
Then what’s the point of this experiment?

CHRIS
The point is, until you look inside the box and observe, the cat exists in two states, both
dead and alive at the same time. Once you open the box, the universe decides which is
true and then that becomes the reality you live in.

EVE
So until we look at the stick…?

CHRIS
You’re both pregnant and not pregnant at the same time.

EVE
No wonder I don’t feel well.

CHRIS
So let’s not look. Let’s just stay in this reality for awhile. A reality where we’ve got two
teenage girls who get all of my attention, who are learning to drive and getting ready for
college, and who are leaving us in a few years to give me time to get to know my beautiful
wife all over again.

EVE
You’re not taking this at all the way I expected.

CHRIS
You’ve had a few days to think about this. I’ve had like four seconds.

EVE
Maybe you should take one of those seconds to ask me how I’m doing.

CHRIS
How are you doing?

EVE
I’m scared, Chris. While you’re thinking about college and changing your plans to hike the
Alps, I may have a human being inside of me. At my age. You’re worried about driving
lessons. I’m worried about breaking my damn hip during childbirth.

CHRIS
Ok, I’m all caught up now. I’m scared, too.

EVE
That’s more like it.

CHRIS
But you’ll be fine. You’re as healthy as a hor…

(Chris stops talking when he notices Eve glare at him.)

EVE
As a what?

CHRIS
…a hormonally … younger, healthy woman?

EVE
Uh-huh.

CHRIS
Whatever you decide, honey, I support you.

EVE
What do you mean decide?

CHRIS
I mean, you know, we’ve always agreed that women … if one of our girls, for example…

(Chris stops. If Eve’s looks could kill.)

CHRIS
We’re Democrats, for heaven’s sake!

EVE
There’s no decision here, Chris.

CHRIS
Ok, I agree.

EVE
I don’t need you to agree.

CHRIS
I know. I … am just shutting up now.

(The couple sits quietly together for a moment, not looking at each other, then stealing glances at each other, then both quietly laughing.)

EVE
Why are you laughing?

CHRIS
I’m not … well, a little bit. I just … I didn’t know we still had it in us. Just a few minutes
ago, I was feeling … old. But you were laughing, too. I saw you! What were you laughing
about?

EVE
You know, it could be a boy.

CHRIS
Oh. I didn’t think of that. That’s scary. I know how to raise girls, but a boy? Still, that
wouldn’t be the worse thing. We could name him Christopher!

EVE
After you? Really?

CHRIS
No, after my father. He’d be Christopher the third.

EVE
Keep digging, Chris. I bet you could find one other name.

CHRIS
We could go out with Ken and his boys to chop down a Christmas tree.

EVE
He might be a little young to swing an ax. Also, the girls could help with that.

CHRIS
I know, it just opens up doors. I could finally use those baseballs the girls got me.

EVE
You’re kind of excited right now, aren’t you? We don’t even know anything yet.

CHRIS
Just trying to make the best of a situation. I mean, look at our girls. We’re pretty good
parents.

EVE
Should we look?

(pause)

CHRIS
Yeah.

(Eve looks at the stick first, then shows it to Chris. They say nothing for a long moment,
then Eve takes Chris’s face in her hands and gives him a wet kiss.)

EVE
Happy Christmas, darling.

(Eve jumps up.)

EVE (CONT’D)
We are hiking the Alps this summer! Look at that, I got my appetite back. (Eve picks up
Chris’s apple and takes a bite.) I’m going downstairs to see which presents the girls want
to open tonight. You coming?

CHRIS
I’ll be right there.

(Eve exits. Chris picks up the remaining apple and tosses it up and catches it a few times, like a
baseball.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
(to himself)
“It’s a long fly to centerfield, the sun is straight overhead, no human being could see the
ball.”

(Chris “catches” the apple. He doesn’t notice that Eve has reentered the room.)

CHRIS (CONT’D)
“He catches it! It’s a Christmas miracle!”

(Chris makes roaring sounds like a crowd, then turns to see his wife looking at him, amused.
He’s a little sheepish.)

EVE
Your girls are all waiting for you.

CHRIS
Right.

(Chris crosses to leave with Eve. She stops to give him a hug,)

EVE
Maybe we’re not too old.

CHRIS
Really?

EVE
You still got those balls somewhere?

CHRIS
I think I can find them.

EVE
Let’s go unwrap some Christmas presents.

(They leave together.)

 

“Bo Regards”

My contribution to the 2014 24/7 show at Live Arts in Charlottesville, VA. I was given a cast of two women, one men, and one female cameo; the theme of the evening was “wishful thinking” and my prompt was “ex-pat in Paris”. I had to write a play overnight, and as I sat down to write, I learned that my own Uncle Bo had passed away that day. This is the result.

Written on January 24 and performed on January 25, 2014. With Noel Derecki, Amy Barrick, Maria Trapnell, and Mendy St. Ours. Directed by Barbara Roberts.

Full text below. All photos courtesy of Lance Buckley’s 24/7 flickr feed.
Continue reading

Lulu

“Lulu” was my contribution to Barhoppers 2013, with Claire Chandler as Lulu, cameos by Gene Donovan and Elizabeth Derby, and directed by Sean Chandler. This was recorded at Milli Joe’s Coffeehouse in Charlottesville VA on August 13, 2013. The text is below.
Continue reading