Bumbershoot – The Plays of Jeffrey James Ircink

for 20-page samples of my original plays, click on "read the rest of this entry"

“4 1/2 Minutes (give or take) to Climax”

Three couples – an older couple, a lesbian couple and a May-December couple – attending a Christian swinger’s convention in Seattle are trapped in a janitor’s closet by a gun-wielding religious fanatic.
Short, drama (2M, 4W, 1M non-speaking)

“4 1/2 Minutes (give or take) to Climax”

A Short Play (excerpt)
by
Jeffrey James Ircink

© Copyright 2007, Jeffrey James Ircink
6405 blossom ct.
greendale, wi 53129
c: (262) 806-2808
jeffbumbershoot432gmail.com
irc_64@hotmail.com
http://jeffircink.blogspot.com
June 2007

Cast of Characters

HUSBAND/WIFE: 50’s – A fun-loving, party couple, but in a very unassuming manner. They act very much like a newlywed couple, but have been married for over 25 years.

LESBIAN #1: 20’s–30’s – She’s the “butch” one.

LESBIAN #2: 20’s–30’s – She’s the “feminine” one.

OLDER MAN: 50+ – Widower, businessman, sort of a good old boy.

YOUNGER WOMAN: 20’s – Young, carefree, no responsibilities.

SCENE:
Seattle, Washington.

TIME:
The present.

(Evening. A Christian swinger’s convention. Midtown Express and Convention Center in downtown Seattle. The stage is BLACK. Two chairs side-by-side are placed downstage center. Throughout the play, each couple will sit in the chairs and talk to an unseen “interviewer” – these monologues represent interviews conducted earlier in the evening. Center stage is a “room” the actors will occupy for most of the play. Downstage center at the edge of the stage is a digital clock – large enough so that the audience can read it. The clock ticks off the “real time” the actors spend in the room, and will pause for the actor monologues. At the end of the play, the clock should read, “5:30” or close to it. Frantic voices are heard off-stage.)

LESBIAN #1:
They’re all locked!

(A pistol shot rings out.)

HUSBAND:
Keep trying!

WIFE:
This one’s locked, too.

HUSBAND:
(The door to the room swings inward to the left.) Over here! This one’s open! (Beat) Everyone in here! Come on, come on – hurry! (Another shot rings out. The HUSBAND and five other people funnel into the room. They’re all wearing name tags but are never referred to by their first names. The HUSBAND shuts the door and locks it.) Find the lights!

(The OLDER MAN switches on the room light – a string attached to one light bulb in the center of the room or a small lamp. The clock starts to count off beginning with “zero”. The dimly lit room reveals a medium-sized janitor’s closet. Everyone is talking at once. The OLDER MAN, LESBIAN #1 and the YOUNGER WOMAN immediately begin dialing their phones but no one is getting through. They continue dialing.)

HUSBAND:
(To his WIFE.) Honey, gimme your cell phone.

WIFE:
(Rummaging through her purse.) I must have left it in the car.

HUSBAND:
God dammit!

LESBIAN #1:
What the fuck is going on out there?!

HUSBAND:
It sounded like gunshots.

OLDER MAN:
Pistol shots, more like it.

WIFE:
What?

YOUNGER WOMAN:
Oh my God.

LESBIAN #2:
Someone needs to call the police

OLDER MAN:
(Overlapping)
I’m trying!

LESBIAN #1:
(Overlapping) I’m trying!

YOUNGER WOMAN:
(Overlapping) I’m trying!

HUSBAND:
OK…everyone just calm down. Let me think for a second.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
We have to get help!

(The clock stops ticking, the actors “freeze” and the stage FADES TO BLACK. A SPOTLIGHT POPS on the OLDER MAN and the YOUNGER WOMAN, who “unfreeze” and take positions in the “interview” chairs. The OLDER MAN is 50+ and the YOUNGER WOMAN is in her 20’s. Both are holding drinks; his arm is resting on her chair.)

OLDER MAN:
We just met.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
We met earlier this evening at the entrance to the convention center. We both came stag…hoping to find someone to go inside with.

OLDER MAN:
Singles aren’t allowed in most swinger events, particularly single men. I’d been swinging for about 20 years, and then I found the Lord – got reborn – and I’ve been Christian swinging for about three years, and – well, my wife passed away a few years ago, and I miss it. I miss my wife, too. (Beat) It’s been difficult finding someone who enjoys this lifestyle as much as I do – like Maggie and I did.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
I didn’t know this was a Christian swinger’s convention.

OLDER MAN:
That’s why I’m wearing this pin – “Swing with Jesus”. I’m not saying Jesus was a swinger. It just signifies that we’re all Christians enjoying the life the good Lord gave us, that’s all.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
My boyfriend and I had been swinging for about a year. Then we broke up; he got married and moved away. I was heartbroken – ‘cause I like to swing, you know? (Looking at the OLDER MAN.) And then we bumped into each other –

OLDER MAN:
– and we got to talking and here we are.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
I mean, really – is there a better situation for two strangers to find themselves in? You let your inhibitions down, have a good time and everything else just sorta falls into place. It’s the perfect blind date.

OLDER MAN:
She reminds me of my Maggie when we first started dating. (Beat) Also of a girl I met in Da Nang. Marine Corp. ’69-’72.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
He reminds me of my father. (Beat) That’s kinda weird – that I might be having sex with my “father” later tonight. (To OLDER MAN.) And an ex-Marine. Cheers.

(They toast. The SPOTLIGHT FADES on the couple, who resume their frozen spot with the others. As the LIGHTS FADES UP in the room, everyone unfreezes and continues where they left off. The clock resumes ticking.)

HUSBAND:
We all have to calm down first – and be quiet. (Beat) Sonofabitch. The last thing we wanna do is let some nut job with a gun know where we are. Is the door locked?

OLDER MAN:
It’s locked.

WIFE:
Who would bring a gun to a swinger’s convention?

OLDER MAN:
A scorned swinger?

LESBIAN #1:
Or maybe someone who thought “Christian swinger” was a bit of a stretch.

LESBIAN #2:
Has anyone gotten through to the police?

OLDER MAN:
I can’t get a signal.

(A shot rings out – it’s closer. Then a second shot – even closer.)

HUSBAND:
SH-H! SH-H! Hold on.

(Beat)

WIFE:
It’s getting closer.

HUSBAND:
Sh-h.

(Beat. The door handle jiggles. There’s an unassuming knock at the door. LESBIAN #2 starts to cry out but LESBIAN #1 covers her mouth. The door handle jiggles again. The HUSBAND motions to everyone to remain quiet. They wait. They hear pounding on another door down the hallway. Silence. The HUSBAND puts his ear to the door.)

HUSBAND:
I think he’s gone.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
What are we gonna do?

LESBIAN #1:
We gotta get the fuck outta here is what we gotta do. (Beat)
These cell phones suck!

YOUNGER WOMAN:
Mine’s ringing!

(The OLDER MAN grabs it away from her.)

OLDER MAN:
(Calmly but determined.) Hello? Hello? Yes…this is an emergency. Shots have been fired. There are six of us trapped in a – (Looking around.) – a janitor’s closet, I think – at the Midtown Express and Convention Center downtown and someone is shootin’ the hell outta this place. Yes – (To the group.) They know about it. (On phone.) What are we supposed to do? What? (Pause) We don’t know. OK. You have this number? That’s right. Goodbye. (He hangs up. To the group.) The police are outside.

WIFE:
Thank God.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
It’s quiet. I wonder if he’s still out there?

(A shot rings out.)

LESBIAN #1:
Does that answer your question?

HUSBAND:
What did they say about the shooter?

OLDER MAN:
The shooter contacted the police by cell phone. They don’t know who he is or what he wants. All he said was, ‘we reapeth what we sow’…‘vengeance is mine, sayeth the Lord.’ That’s all they’ve been able to get out of him so far.

LESBIAN #1:
A religious nut. Just like I said.

OLDER MAN:
Most everyone got out of the building.

HUSBAND:
Most?

OLDER MAN:
Three people are dead, according to the shooter. (Reactions.) He’s holding hostages and promises to kill more.

HUSBAND:
What’s he asking for?

OLDER MAN:
He didn’t say.

YOUNGER WOMAN:
Oh my God.

LESBIAN #2:
(Looking toward LESBIAN #1.) We should have never come here.

OLDER MAN:
‘We reapeth what we sow’.

WIFE: We’re all gonna die.

HUSBAND:
We are not gonna die.

LESBIAN #1:
We’re trapped in a janitor’s closet with some pissed off psycho running around killing Christian swingers. What do you think the odds of us getting outta here alive are?

HUSBAND:
Better if we don’t lose our heads.

WIFE:
(Clinging to her husband.) I don’t want to die here!

HUSBAND:
Honey, everything’s gonna be alright. The police are gonna take care of everything.

(The clock stops ticking, the actors “freeze” and the stage FADES TO BLACK. A SPOTLIGHT POPS on the HUSBAND and WIFE, who “unfreeze” and take positions in the “interview” chairs. They’re a fun-loving couple in their late 50’s/early 60’s, but unassuming – not the typical “party” couple. Both are holding drinks.)

WIFE:
(To the “interviewer”.) Why are we here?

HUSBAND:
We’re new to this.

WIFE:
We’re not swingers.

HUSBAND:
Normally.

WIFE:
Normally we’re not.

HUSBAND:
I was talking to my buddy at work and he mentions this couple he knows – the guy’s his cousin – who’ve attended a few swinger get-togethers…and they had a great time. So I mentioned this in passing to my wife – not letting on that I was mildly curious – and she tells me –

WIFE:
I tell him the thought of swinging crossed my mind a long time ago but I didn’t dare mention it to him. ‘Course we’ve done things – you know – but inviting another couple into our bed? Never.

HUSBAND:
We talked to other couples online who were involved in the swinger lifestyle.

WIFE:
Eventually we were invited to some parties, which were really a lot of fun. All the food –

HUSBAND:
– and drinks.

WIFE:
Anything you wanted to drink. Food, drinks, music – it was like being at a luau in Hawaii. (To HUSBAND.) Wasn’t it?

HUSBAND:
Yep. Everyone was friendly. Like hanging out with your neighbors. Regular people.

WIFE:
They were all very neighborly. We mingled, got to know people, then groups of couples –

HUSBAND:
Foursomes are what they call them.

WIFE:
Yes. You go off on your own and the discussions become more intimate…

HUSBAND:
‘What experiences have you had with swinging?’. ‘What do you like or dislike sexually?’. ‘What are you looking for in other swingers?’.

WIFE:
And then at some point you just…swap partners. Like a first date…sorta.

HUSBAND:
It was a little awkward at first for both of us.

WIFE:
‘Course it was.

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1 Comment»

  Jennifer N wrote @

Very well thought out and gripping with a dash of humor and originality thrown in to make it fresh!


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