#31plays31days Y7 15. Thrill You

 

Photo by Nick Fewings

A Play by Paul Hagen

 

CRAY, LIL, TOMBOY, CUMIN, and GOLDY are THE GIRLS seated behind glass and dark dividers in peep show booths. PEEPER enters, wearing a hat, overcoat, shoes and socks.He shakes his pockets which jingle with change, bends his knees cracks his knuckles and heads over to the first booth to put a coin the slot. The opaque divider rises to reveal CRAY, spilling out of her skimpy jumpsuit and sporting some truly ferocious nails, which she is tapping against the wall impatiently. Thumping music rises. She sings.

 

CRAY

Better watch out because

Baby I come with claws

I may be pretty but I’m also pretty mean.

 

CRAY gives her booty a smack as the divider closes. PEEPER rushes to the second window and puts in a coin. The divider rises to reveal LIL, a little person dancing on a a long-legged chair.

 

LIL

Loosen up all your belts

Better come close or else

You’ll miss some detail that you’ll wish you’d scene.

 

As LIL’s divider closes PEEPER rushes to the third and fourth windows and inserts coins. the dividers rises to reveal TOMBOY and CUMIN.

 

TOMBOY

We’re gonna hit you hard.

 

CUMIN

Right in your debit card.

 

TOMBOY and CUMIN

This is the kind of night that changes your life.

 

CUMIN

You’re gonna pay our rent.

 

TOMBOY

Go hide your bank statement.

 

TOMBOY and CUMIN

Or the withdrawal is gonna tip off your wife.

 

As TOMBOY and CUMIN’S dividers close, PEEPER rushes to the fifth window and inserts a couple of coins. The divider rises to reveal GOLDY, a vision in strings of sparkling sequins.

 

GOLDY

We’re the kind of ladies who

Give permission to be you

We see you rising and we smile.

Stroke, baby – not too fast.

You gotta make it last.

My manager said to keep you here for a while…

 

PEEPER begins to runs, hurreddly putting coins in all the other dividers, which rise to reveal the girls posing.

 

CUMIN

A while!

 

TOMBOY

A while!

 

LIL

A while!

 

CRAY

A while! Hey!

 

THE GIRLS break into a choreographed dance.

 

THE GIRLS

We’re gonna

“Thrill you! Thrill you!

Make it hotter and then chill you! Chill you!

Use telepathy to will you! Will you

Make believe I’m the one?!

 

CRAY

Make beilieve I’m the one!

 

THE GIRLS

Fill you! Spill you!

Get you shaken and then still you! Still you!

You’re a screw, we’re gonna drill you! Drill you!

 

CRAY

Oh

 

LIL

Oh

 

TOMBOY

Oh

 

CUMIN

Oh

 

GOLDY

Oh

 

CRAY

Until you’re done!

 

PEEPER continues to empty his pockets into all the windows. Each time one threatens to descend, her rushes to pump in more coins.

 

THE GIRLS

Better get going, guy.

Better look here. Here’s why.

Never know when that dark divider’s gonna fall.

Better unzip your fly

Take out that little guy

It may be ugly but at least it’s pretty small.

What is this? We both know.

Waiting for you to blow.

Then grab a paper towel and, baby, that’s all.

We’re the kind of ladies who

Want you gone soon as you’re through

You don’t need to linger or to stay.

This is just a business, man,

Serve as many as we can.

My manager is waiting so don’t take all day…

No, you won’t take all day!!!

We’re gonna thrill you! Thrill you!

Find and grind your pepper mill you! Mill you!

Gonna mash you and distill you! Swill you!

Now we’re having some fun!

 

CRAY

Now we’re having some fun!

 

THE GIRLS

Wait until you

Feel the heat is gonna grill you! Grill you!

Stimulation’s gonna kill you! Kill you!

 

CRAY

Oh

 

LIL

Oh

 

TOMBOY

Oh

 

CUMIN

Oh

 

PEEPER (interrupting with a moan of release)

Ohhhhhhhhhh!!!

 

The music stops. Harsh fluorescent lights come up. The dividers fall. There’s a buzzing sound.

 

PEEPER

I’m done!

 

MANAGER (over the intercom)

Uh, sir, we’re gonna need you to clean up and leave as quickly as possible.

 

PEEPER pulls up the collar of his jacket and shuffles out of the room. Lights out.

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#31plays31day 14. Lobster Isn’t Red

 

Photo by David Clode

A Play by Paul Hagen

 

JAMIE is a genderqueer kid sitting in their bed, beneath a ceiling thick with glow-in-the-dark neon stars; actual moonlight is streaming in through a window. They are reading a large volume with interest. They look up at the audience over their glasses

 

JAMIE

You think of lobsters and you think of red.

It’s something straight ahead,

Something that everyone agrees.

And sees in their mind’s eye that guy with claws

And you don’t even pause

‘Cause that’s what everybody sees.

 

JAMIE points to the book.

 

JAMIE

But then you find out

That isn’t really true.

That things can be wrong even if

The world agrees with you.

Most lobsters start out brown or green

And some even make a protein

That makes of them bright and brilliant blue.

So what we really need to do

Is learn – no matter what was said –

A lobster isn’t always red.

 

JAMIE closes the book and looks up.

 

JAMIE

You think of stars, they’re smaller than the moon.

It’s a familiar tune.

Something that everyone agrees.

There’s one big moon but stars across the sky.

And that’s just how they fly

‘Cause that’s what everybody sees.

 

JAMIE stands on their bed and points to the ceiling.

 

JAMIE

But then you find out

That isn’t really true.

That things can be wrong even if

The world agrees with you.

Those many stars have planets where

Each one has moons in orbit there:

It’s just that they’re too small to see from here.

And so what we must all make clear

Is, in this universe of ours,

There will be way more moons than stars.

 

JAMIE stands and catches a glance at themself in the mirror.

 

JAMIE

You think of people, you think of boy or girl:

how they arrange the world,

Something that everyone agrees.

And sees the world divided into two

One or the other’s true

‘Cause that’s what everybody sees.

But then you find out

That isn’t really true.

That things can be wrong even if

The world agrees with you.

Though many end up him or her

Some of us here are pretty sure

That neither one looks just quite right on you.

So what we really need to do

Is to stop trying to deny

We aren’t all a girl or guy.

 

JAMIE yawns and climbs into bed and begins to drift off.

 

JAMIE

And there are way more moons than stars…

And lobster isn’t always red…

 

The lights fade but for the moonlight illuminating JAMIE’s face as they stare up at the stars – until it slowly fades to black.

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#31plays31days Y7 13. I Tip My Hat to You!

 

Photo by Dmytro Tolokonov

A Play by Paul Hagen

 

JUAN CAMAL, a man in a top hat and vest with the air of an exceedingly corrupt circus barker sits in a spare, stone room in the 18th century. Offstage, a roaring fire casts a flickering light that outlines the shadow of JUAN, sitting in a roughly-hewn wooden chair and the body of MR. CAM, which has been covered with a blanket. As lights rise, JUAN stands, turns his chair around and straddles it, staring intently at the BODY. Slowly, JUAN brings first one foot and then the other to the seat of the chair, where removes his hat, and bows to the BODY. Then he straightens up, puts his hat back on, and sings.

 

JUAN

I tip my hat to you.

I tip my hat to you.

Not that you want me to.

But it’s what I will do.

 

As if by magic, the shadows on the wall morph into the silhouettes of JUAN meeting MR. CAM – it starts as a handshake but ends as a fistfight.

 

JUAN

Right from the very start

You made me black of heart.

You should have known that day

That it would end this way.

With some folk it’s not quite a ways nowadays from, “Hey, there!”

To wham, body slam, grab a gun and then BLAM you lay there.

 

The silhouette of JUAN takes out a gun and shoots the silhouette of MR. CAM, who crumples to a heap.

 

JUAN

Still…

I tip my hat to you.

You made it easy to.

When someone has no friends

And then they meet bad ends.

Nobody comes to call.

Nobody comes at all.

No one will come for you.

Not that you need them to.

When nobody knows any pro’s gonna go disposing:

You got jumped and bumped; I’ll be pumped when you’re decomposing.

 

The silhouette of JUAN picks up the body of MR. CAM and tosses him off a pier. He lands in the water with a splash.

 

JUAN

But…

I tip my hat to you.

Now you’re out in the blue.

Enjoy the salty breeze

Enjoy the open seas.

That is unless before

You hit the ocean floor

You face a sneak attack

And you become a snack.

Some people should go, there is no reason for proceeding.

But they’ll grant the wish of a fish as a dish come feeding.

 

The floating silhouette of MR. CAM is eaten by the silhouette of a shark. The top hat floats off MR. CAM’s head toward the surface where it’s picked up by the silhouette of JUAN, who fishes it out of the water and puts it on, reuniting the movements of the JUAN’s shadow and JUAN, who begin to dance in unison.

 

JUAN

So…

I tip my hat to you.

As down in hell you stew.

You rubbed me the wrong way

And now you’re gonna pay

In the eternal flames

Tossed round by Satan’s games

Though I don’t really care

Someday I’ll see you there.

As I say goodbye here’s why I’ll tip my hat, of course!

Because – think of that – you old prat, it’s that hat that once… was… yours!

 

JUAN picks up the body and heads off to dump the body. In the shadows, we see the face of THE DEVIL rise and laugh as he juggles the silhouettes of JUAN and CAM and the hat and light fade to black.

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#31plays31days Y7 12. The Song of Spark and Plug

 

Photo by Michael Prewett

A Play by Paul Hagen

We hear the sound of rain. SPARK and PLUG are robots being built on an assembly line that has been shut down for the night. PLUG is nearly complete – just missing a few finishing touches. SPARK is not quite as far – still missing key limbs and an eye. There is a flash of lightning and it seems to activate PLUG, who dismounts the conveyor belt and walks back toward SPARK. He climbs up next to her and looks at her adoringly for a moment before finding her switch and turning her on.

 

PLUG

I want to be your major appliance.

I want you to make my engine turn.

I want to be your filament

‘Til I burn.

 

SPARK

I want to be the source of your power.

I want to be your utility.

I want to keep you electric

Company.

 

SPARK and PLUG

Here in this place where everything’s shrouded darkly.

Together we can be something bright and sparkly.

 

PLUG

I’ll be direct and ask for your current.

 

SPARK

Though it may shock, I’ll gladly provide.

 

SPARK and PLUG

When I’m with you, I feel something

Deep inside.

 

PLUG

And without you I’m so broken down.

 

SPARK

There is no charge in my car.

 

PLUG and SPARK

But put us together – and we’re gonna go far.

 

PLUG opens a compartment in his torso and takes out a bulb. He shows it to SPARK, who seems delighted and leans forward to allow him to screw it into her eye socket. It lights up brilliantly.

 

SPARK

I want to be the shock in your paddle.

I want to be the socket you prong.

When you’re gone, for the spark of your

Touch, I long.

 

PLUG

I want to turn to you for my power.

You turn me on like nobody can.

When I’m with you, I start spinning

Like a fan.

 

SPARK and PLUG

Here in a world that’s cold, we all need igniting,

You come around and everything gets exciting.

 

SPARK

I’ll be the battery in your pocket.

 

PLUG

You’re gonna make me hot to the touch.

 

SPARK and PLUG

Being with electrifies me

So much.

 

PLUG

Without you there’s no reason to run.

 

SPARK

No place to put energy.

 

SPARK and PLUG

But being with you, it turns on a

Light in me.

 

There is another crash of lightning, and it deactivates PLUG. SPARK seems momentarily distraught. SPARK attempts to turn on PLUG’s switch, to no avail. Finally, she nestles her head on his shoulder and turns off her own switch, leaving them off but together as the storm rolls away and lights fade to black.

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#31plays31days Y7 11. Here’s to Girls’ Weekend!

Photo by Maid Milinkic

 

A Play by Paul Hagen

 

COURTNEE, ASHLEE, BRITNEE, and EVIEE are at an airport bar, already dressed in resort-wear even though everyone around them is bundled up for winter. They toast with drinks that are as fruity and obnoxious as Paul Lynde.

 

COURTNEE

Here’s to a girls’ weekend – to getting away,

Like any normal weekend plus one extra day

To soak up the sun and to really have fun,

To not explaining it to anyone!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast.

 

ASHLEE

Here’s to us packing our most hottest looks,

Of hot stuff, this evening, we’re gonna be cooks!

To slits up to thigh! To necks that plunge deep,

And then saying, “Hey, what are you looking at, creep?!”

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast.

 

BRITNEE

Here’s to three nights of drinking anything we want,

To the mai-tais we’ll mainline, the shots that we’ll flaunt!

To wine with a spritz, margarita with lime!

To those roofies that get me – like – every time!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast.

 

EVIEE

Here’s to grinding with Tim and Jim, Billy and Bobby!

And here’s to whoever we screw in the lobby!

Here’s to our boyfriends, who’d never assume

How many new boys we’ll take back to the room!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast. They begin to get more aggressive with each toast.

 

COURTNEE

Here’s to some snooping in luggage – not ours!

Here’s to jewelry from rich ladies, keys to strange cars!

Here’s to wallets we’ll lift ‘fore we sneak out at dawn!

Heres’s to having a whole bunch of crap we can pawn!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast hard.

 

ASHLEE

Here’s to eating whatever we want ’til it hurts:

To the delicacies and exotic desserts!

Here’s to taking buffet bites to go in your purse!

Here’s to trips to the bathroom with mad Hershey squirts!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast even harder.

 

BRITNEEs

Here’s to the powder we’ll scoop up  keys!

To puffing and passing as much as we please!

Here’s to taking pills – we won’t know what kind – who cares?!

Here’s to sharing with strangers – especially theirs!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” and toast way too hard.

 

EVIEE

Here’s to the Plan B we’ll take on the plane!

Here’s to washing it down with a swig of champagne!

Here’s to us all taking it – just in case!

Here’s to not being a total disgrace!

 

The girls all say, “Whoo!” but they can’t manage to toast because COURTNEE and ASHLEE start to puke, so BRITNEE and EVIEE – as good friends – hold their hair. Lights fade to black.

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#31plays31days Y7 10. Strawberry Jam

A Play by Paul Hagen

Photo by Carolyn Nicholas

It’s the turn of the century in the living room of a middle-class brothel. Scattered around the room on a variety of sofas, divans and loveseats sit BORED-LOOKING WHORES. A player piano begins to play the tune to “Strawberry Jam,” and JOHN enters – looking timid.

 

JOHN

Hello? I’m new here. I’m not sure how this works. Can anybody help me?!

 

TEMPTASIA flounces down the stairs, a collection of curves framed in ruffles and feathers. She sings.

 

TEMPTASIA

What’s that I hear? Is someone knocking on my kitchen door?

I hope that he’s got what I’m hungry for.

I hope he knows that I am…

What will he bring? Will it be big enough to fill my bowl?

Enough to wrap up in jelly roll?

Enough to candy my yam…

 

TEMPTASIA spots JOHN. She saunters toward him.

 

TEMPTASIA

What’s this I see? Has someone got something to share with me?

You bring the beef, I’ll bring dessert, you see?

I hope you’re hungry, too…

Oh, give me your lips and taste the sweetness on my fingertips.

Come on and sip it before something slips –

It’s more than you’re used to.

 

TEMPTASIA closes the front door behind JOHN and proceeds to loosen his tie and collar. He still seems nervous.

 

TEMPTASIA

Strawberry Jam!

I’m gonna cover you with Strawberry Jam!

I’m gonna smother you and then, hot damn,

I’m gonna eat my fill!

Oh, these sweet, tangy preserves,

They’re gonna fill my tank and my reserves,

They’re gonna fortify my fabulous curves.

Will they be good? They will!

 

TEMPTASIA produces via her decolletage, a jar of jam. She retrieves a fingerfull and proceeds to trace her way from JOHN’s ear to his chest. He is overwhelmed.

 

TEMPTASIA

I love how men ripple

The curve beneath the nipple

Is best enjoyed when thoroughly sauced.

With fruit that’s ripe for spreading

We’ll destroy the bedding

But, honey, it’ll be worth the cost!

 

TEMPTASIA licks the jam off JOHN in one expert motion and then spins him around.

 

TEMPTASIA

Let’s get lost!

 

TEMPTASIA beings to pull JOHN toward the stairs. He politely resists, but she persists and once there, TEMPTASIA turns JOHN around, tears open his shirt, and begins to coat his chest thoroughly with the contents of her jar.

 

TEMPTASIA

Oh! Strawberry Jam!

Nothing will pick you up like Strawberry Jam!

I’m gonna slick you up and then, yes ma’am,

I’m gonna tongue you down!

With this concoction I’ll smear

You from your toes up to the back of your ear.

I’m gonna have your front and have your rear.

I’m gonna honey your ham.

I’m gonna make you moan

By treating you just like a scone.

Like scooping cream on pie,

Mint jelly on lamb.

Son, I’m gonna heat you up!

I’m gonna eat you up with Strawberry Jam!

Strawberry Jam!

I am!

 

TEMPTASIA chases JOHN up the stairs. The WHORES still look bored. Lights out.

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#31plays31days Y7 9. Made Marian

Photo by Lo Ken

A Play By Paul Hagen

 

A woman in a wedding dress runs into a forest clearing and throws herself at the foot of a tree. She grasps one of its gnarled roots in a desperate embrace.

 

MARIAN

Oh, Mother, now what have I done? That’s wedding number two

For which I showed up fully dressed but then left halfway through.

The first was not by choice, the wedding would have been by force,

And I only escaped ‘cuz Robin rescued me, of course.

For this second one, though, I fear I am more or less to blame.

The thing is: Robin loved me; he was sure I felt the same,

And I appreciated everything that he had done.

There was, I mean, you know, the rescuing whole thing, for one.

But also he is daring and he’s just and oh-so-brave.

Forever with a wrong to right or somebody to save.

What do you say to such a man when he asks for your hand?

It’s not that single life in Sherwood really is so grand.

But as I walked the aisle toward a certain destiny,

I couldn’t help but realize: I was never really free.

For I was born into this world, my father’s to command,

Then kidnapped, nearly made to take a wretched stranger’s hand,

And then it was expected that the man who grabbed me next

Would be my husband by default and nobody objects.

Should there not be a better reason why two lives are bound?

Should life together not be based on more than who’s around?

It’s dangerous to ask these questions, though, now I can see.

For now that I’m the girl that asked, who’ll ever marry me?

 

From behind the tree, MOTHER – the spectral figure of an elderly woman – appears, glowing a faint blue. She stoops to embrace MARIAN.

 

MOTHER

My darling girl, you come and ask: “Don’t I deserve a voice?”

But don’t you see how you’ve raised yours because you made a choice?

I will not say that your next steps ahead will be a breeze.

Most people don’t accept the breakers of the mold with ease.

But someday — though it sounds unlikely — I promise it’s true:

There will be more and more in the world who will think like you:

That marriages should be sparked by a meeting at the heart,

That sharing interests, goals and pleasures make a better start,

That women aren’t for having, taking, keeping, taking again,

That we should have as much to say in how things run as men.

Along the way, yes, some who speak up will be called a witch,

A shrew who won’t shut up, a bossy dame, a brassy bitch.

But when we find our chance to stand in sun, we’ll fear no shade.

Together, we will rise – for that’s how history is made.

 

THE MOTHER continues to comfort MARIAN as lights slowly fade to black.

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