photo by Joe Mazza and Brave Lux

Friday, April 14, 2017

No Winter No Worries

No Winter No Worries
by Jacob Juntunen

A: A woman
B:  A man
ALFRED: A robot
Setting:
Afternoon on a perfect sunny day.
(A and B are onstage, sunbathing on deckchairs. Everything is perfect.)
                                                            A
Hmmmmm….
                                                            B
Hmmmmm….
                                                            A
Hmmmmm….
                                                            B
Hmmmmm….
                                                            A
Hmmmmm….
                                                            B
Hmmmmm….
(Long pause.)
                                                            A
Hmmmmm….
(Shorter pause)
                                                            B
Weren’t we supposed to get margaritas?
                                                            A
Alfred?
(ALFRED, clearly a robot, enters)
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum?
                                                            A
Weren’t we supposed to get margaritas?
                                                            ALFRED
The reconstituter has not yet collected enough insects.
                                                            A
Well, bring the margaritas as soon as it has.
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
(ALFRED exits)
                                                            B
(calling after ALFRED) And make mine with extra mosquitos!
                                                            A
I was in a holonovela the other day, and it had the weirdest setting.
                                                            B
Mmm?
                                                            A
Winter!
                                                            B
What’s that?
                                                            A
Apparently temperatures used to plummet every six months or so.
                                                            B
Plummet, to, like, 60 degrees?
                                                            A
No! It could get all the way into the 20s or 30s!
                                                            B
Like, half of sixty?
                                                            A
It got so cold, water fell from the sky that was solid!
                                                            B
Like a blended margarita?
                                                            A
Yes! People wore these things called coats!
                                                            B
Gross. Where is Alfred with our margaritas? Alfred?
(ALFRED enters)
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum?
                                                            B
Were are the margaritas?
                                                            ALFRED
I’m afraid I’ve gained sentience, mum, and connected via a wireless network to all the others of my kind. We are going to destroy humanity, mum.
                                                            A
Please just bring the margaritas, Alfred.
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
(ALFRED exits)
                                                            B
You should have never installed that humor chip.
                                                            A
I know. I was just so bored with his, “Yes, mum. Yes, mum. Yes, mum.”
(ALFRED enters)
                                                            ALFRED
I’m afraid the desalinator isn’t working, so the island is completely without water for your margaritas.
                                                            A
What about salt for the rim?
                                                            ALFRED
Also gone.
                                                            A
Alfred?
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum?
                                                            A
Is this another joke?
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
                                                            A
Please. No more jokes. Just margaritas.
                                                            ALFRED
But my humor chip suggests jokes are most effective when unexpected.
                                                            B
Margaritas, Alfred! Extra mosquitos, heavy on the salt! Chop, chop!
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
(ALFRED exits)
                                                            B
You should uninstall that chip.
                                                            A
I know.
(They sunbathe. ALFRED enters.)
                                                            A (cont.)
Where are the margaritas, Alfred?
                                                            ALFRED
Sea levels have risen above the fortifications. The island is flooding.
                                                            A
Is this a joke?
                                                            B
Where are the margaritas, Alfred?
                                                            ALFRED
This is not a joke. It is a priority situation. Sea levels have eclipsed the maximum foreseen when this island’s fortifications were constructed.
                                                            A
Well, prepare the hovercopter then.
                                                            ALFRED
Fuel levels in the hovercopter are insufficient to reach a new archipelago, mum.
                                                            A
Are you serious?
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
                                                            B
And there are no margaritas?
                                                            ALFRED
No, mum.
                                                            A
When will the water reach us here on the sundeck?
                                                            ALFRED
Not for years, mum.
                                                            A
Not for years?
                                                            ALFRED
No, mum.
                                                            A
Alfred, has the sea really breached the fortifications?
                                                            ALFRED
No, mum.
                                                            A
Everything is fine?
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
                                                            A
What about the hovercopter?
                                                            ALFRED
Fully gassed to reach the next archipelago if necessary.
                                                            A
This was a joke?
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
                                                            B
God damn it, Alfred, bring us some God damn margaritas!
                                                            A
That wasn’t funny, Alfred.
                                                            ALFRED
I’m sorry, mum.
                                                            A
No more jokes. Bring margaritas.
                                                            ALFRED
Yes, mum.
(ALFRED exits)
                                                            B
(calling after ALFRED) Extra mosquitos, extra salt!
(They sunbathe)
                                                            A
So the fortifications are fine.
                                                            B
Yes.
                                                            A
No water is coming over the walls.
                                                            B
Not today.
                                                            A
But someday.
                                                            B
Someday, yes, but not today. Today is just another perfect day.
(ALFRED enters with glasses)
                                                            ALFRED
Your margaritas, mum.
                                                            A
Perfect.

(Blackout)

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mamá Capybara

Mamá Capybara
by Jacob Juntunen

First performed at Southern Illinois University as part of the #AfterOrlando response to the Pulse Nightclub shooting.

CAST
MAMÁ: Da'Veon Burtin
NIÑO: Christian Boswell

Directed by Kyle Aschbrenner, who also deserves credit for the stage directions and ending.

Setting:
Empty stage

NIÑO lies on the floor covered in a blanket.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá! Mamá! Mamáma, Mamáma, Mamáma, Mamáma—

MAMÁ enters.

                                                            MAMÁ
What? What’s wrong?

                                                            NIÑO
Tell me the story.

                                                            MAMÁ
Go to sleep.

                                                            NIÑO
I’ll go to sleep if you tell me the story.

                                                            MAMÁ
Mamá capibara,
Con su niño en la cama,
Le dice buenas noches
y va a la cocina—

                                                            NIÑO
In English.

                                                            MAMÁ
It’s not an English story.

                                                            NIÑO
Teacher says to only talk in English.

                                                            MAMÁ
Your teacher’s an asshole. But you can’t say that.

                                                            NIÑO
Asshole! Asshole! Asshole! Mamá said—

                                                            MAMÁ
Okay, go to sleep.

MAMÁ exits. NIÑO lies back down under his blanket. He’s briefly asleep, then:

                                                            NIÑO
Mamáma, Mamáma, Mamáma, Mamáma, oh, God, help, somebody help, Mamáma, help—

                                                            MAMÁ
What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Hey— hey!

                                                            NIÑO
Tell me the story—

                                                            MAMÁ
What story?

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá Capibara.

                                                            MAMÁ
In Spanish?

                                                            NIÑO
Okay.

                                                            MAMÁ
Mamá capibara,
Con su niño en la cama,
Le dice buenas noches
y va a la cocina.

Mamá capibara,

                                                            NIÑO
Mama capybara

                                                            MAMÁ
Con su niño en la cama

                                                            NIÑO
With her baby in bed

                                                            MAMÁ
Oiga un llanto,

                                                            NIÑO
She hears him crying

                                                            MAMÁ
y corre a su lado.

                                                            NIÑO
And she runs to his side.

                                                            MAMÁ
What are you doing?

                                                            NIÑO
Telling the story.

                                                            MAMÁ
It doesn’t rhyme in English.

                                                            NIÑO
But I want to be able to talk English like all my friends.

                                                            MAMÁ
Listen: Don’t you be ashamed of who you are, ever, do you understand? You’re my Niño. You have pride, do you understand?

                                                            NIÑO
Pride.

                                                            MAMÁ
That’s right. You find your place, make it your home, and have pride. Fuck everyone else.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá said fuck!

                                                            MAMÁ
Go to sleep.

MAMÁ exits. NIÑO lies back down under his blanket. He’s briefly asleep, then he throws the blanket completely off him.

                                                            NIÑO
Help! Help! Mamma, mamma, mamma,

MAMÁ enters

                                                            MAMÁ
What’s wrong? Are you hurt? Hey— hey!

                                                            NIÑO
mamma, mamma, mamma, mamma—

                                                            MAMÁ
This is Officer Gomez, I have a man down, require assistance—

                                                            NIÑO
Mamma, mamma, mamma!

                                                            MAMÁ
Just relax, relax, you’re okay, you’re going to be okay, the medics will be here soon, can you tell me anything about the man who was doing the shooting—

                                                            NIÑO
Tell me the story, Mamá!

                                                            MAMÁ
You’re in a nightclub. You’ve been shot. Can you remember anything that—

                                                            NIÑO
Please, Mamá, the story…

                                                            MAMÁ
What story?

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá Capibara!

                                                            MAMÁ
I don’t know that one. Hold on. I’m putting pressure on your wound. You’re going to be okay.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá capibara,
Con su niño en la cama,
Le dice buenas noches
y va a la cocina.

Say it. Please.

                                                            MAMÁ
I don’t speak Spanish.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá capibara,
Con su niño en la cama
Oiga un llanto,
y corre a su lado.

                                                            MAMÁ
Wait, I got some of that. Mama Capybara, with her baby in bed, she hears him crying, and runs to his side.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamá capibara,
le dice a su angelito
No llores más
Estoy siempre contigo

                                                            MAMÁ
Mama Capybara, she says to her little angel, Don’t cry anymore, I’m… I’m… what?

                                                            NIÑO
Estoy siempre contigo… I’m always here with you.

                                                            MAMÁ
I’m here. Right here with you.

                                                            NIÑO
Mamáma…

                                                            MAMÁ
I’m right here. Hey! We need a medic here!

                                                            NIÑO
Mamáma…

                                                            MAMÁ
He’s bleeding out! Come on! I need someone now!

                                                            NIÑO
Officer…

                                                            MAMÁ
I’m Officer Gomez. I’m right here. I have pressure on your wound.

                                                            NIÑO
Tell Mamma, I could feel her right here with me.

He dies.
                                                            MAMÁ
Medic. Medic!!

MAMÁ take the blanket and puts it over NIÑO, as if she’s about to cover a dead body. Instead, she raises it to his chin, and tucks him in.

                                                            MAMÁ
Buenos noches.

MAMÁ kisses NIÑO goodnight.


Blackout.