A Play in Two Acts
By Brian Thorstenson and Julia Jarcho
The curtain rises on a sinister grotto. Lithe, shadowy FIGURES scurry around. Are they waiters? Probably.
PEPPER THØRRSSTEINSSØN sits at a table, heads in his hands. An enormous, inedible SCONE on a plate before him. From time to time he raises his head and eyes the scone, then drops back into his original posture.
After this has been going on for a while, PRUDENCE CONSTANCE SORROWFUL enters hurriedly, hat and coat askew. She drops into the chair opposite PEPPER.
(Without looking up, PEPPER nudges the scone towards her. She picks it up, examines it, and replaces it on the plate.)
I've told you, I don't engage with pastry. Pepper, for God's sake look at me. It wasn't easy to get away, I can tell you. What's the [she pronounes it, badly, in French:] catastrophe?
PEPPER (raising his head and looking at Prudence for the first time): Why the hat? Another new hairdo gone awry?
PRUDENCE: Tick tick tick. I don't have time for your obfuscation.
PEPPER: More like we don't have time.
(He carefully looks around. No one. Then he takes the napkin from his lap, carefully unfolds it, and covers the scone.)
Put on your sunglasses.
(PRUDENCE does. PEPPER pulls an envelope out of his pocket and hands it to PRUDENCE)
I've already unsealed it.
(PRUDENCE pauses, holds the letter aloft.)
PRUDENCE: So you still don't...
PRUDENCE: And I'm some sort of...
PRUDENCE: --Cassandra, Angora... --Hare?
PEPPER (losing patience): Tortoise.
PRUDENCE (voluptuously, toying with the letter): Hmmmmmm. What's in it...
... For me?
(PEPPER strikes the table with his fist. The scurrying FIGURES stop dead in their tracks and conspire in a foreign tongue.)
Don't cause a commotion!
(In a raised voice:)
I was ooonly kidding.
(Things go back to normal. PRUDENCE takes the letter from the envelope. PRUDENCE reads:)
Dear Pru. Hmm. Familiar
(The enormous scone starts vibrating)
PEPPER: Oh no.
(From the scone a barrage of news stories start being broadcast)
PRUDENCE: Server? Server, we're finished with this.
(No response from THEM, whoever they are. To PEPPER:)
Ten years in fine dining and you can't bus a table?
PEPPER: Seven tours in the shotput nationals and YOU can't--
(PRUDENCE hurls the scone offstage. It continues to broadcast faintly from afar.
PRUDENCE crumples the letter and hurls it after the scone. She rises to go.)
PRUDENCE: Make it good.
PEPPER: It's ... it's ... it's been a strange day and ... I ...
PRUDENCE: Now, now, now, now.
PEPPER: I think there's been an attempt.
(PRUDENCE freezes in an attitude of horror. PEPPER looks beseechingly skywards. The OTHERS imitate them and giggle. Curtain falls: End of Act One.)
To read more about Brian & Julia's class, visit: http://www.playwrightsfoundation.org/index.php?p=224