The people have spoken... The February People's Choice Award goes to Martha Soukup for her short play, The Night Before The March, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround Social Justice Night on February 20 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Martha!
Courtesy of Ms. Soukup, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!
THE NIGHT BEFORE THE MARCH
by Martha Soukup
by Martha Soukup
(A DC Metro train car, the seats near the door. DOLORES sits in the double seat facing the door to stage left. There is enough room between the door and the seat for a posted transit map. Stage right of the door, at the car’s end, facing DOLORES, are two double seats, divided by the aisle. The MAJOR and his WIFE sit in the upstage ones; the downstage is empty. On DOLORES’s side, perpendicular to her, is another double seat, empty. Sound of the train rattling along, stopping as it breaks. Sound of the train’s door opening. SARA gets on, sits in the downstage seats across the aisle from MAJOR and WIFE. A couple of people in “Make America Great Again” hats may get on, turn to DOLORES’s side of the door, and continue until offstage. NARRATOR gets on. Sound of the doors shutting, and train starting again. She stands, looking around, addresses audience.)
(a bit breathless)
Thank god I made the train. Connecting flight to DC was delayed, like, an hour. Jogged to the Metro and the agent was frantically waving everyone through—“Last train to DC! Last train, go on through!”
“I’m going to Springfield,” I tell her, and she says there’s not quite as much hurry. So I waited on the platform twenty minutes. It’ll be past midnight before I’m there and I need to be up early for the march. Probably should’ve taken a cab, got an extra half hour sleep at the hotel. Nothing for it now, though.
(takes the empty seat near DOLORES)
Shut my eyes or people watch? Let the MAGA hats get on ahead of me—they looked to have been out partying as late as trains were running. At least someone’s happy.
(looks at MAJOR and WIFE)
Wow. That is a lot of braid. What branch of service is light blue dress pants? Someone was at the armed services ball. Bet you don’t see shoes that shiny on the Metro all that often.
Maybe I should cover my shirt. Protest is tomorrow, tonight let’s not push anyone. Especially at almost midnight.
(SARA gets up from her seat and stands near DOLORES, puzzling over the transit map.)
Though she’s probably march demographic.
(SARA traces a route in the air with her finger. She looks confused. DOLORES smiles kindly at her.)
(strong Hispanic accent)
Where are you going to?
I’m just trying to figure out how many stops to the Dunn Loring station.
You’re on the wrong train for that, honey.
This train’s going to Springfield.
Springfield? Wow. That’s—down there, and I want to go—across here.
You needed to go in to Rosslyn, and transfer your train west.
Okay—so—can I get off and go back?
I think it’s too late.
Trains stop running.
I’m not from here either, I had to check three times to make sure I was going the right direction.
My friends are going to be waiting for me at Dunn Loring. I’m going to have to let them know.
Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, March 20, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.