Friday, January 10, 2014

December People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The December People's Choice Award goes to William Bivins for his short play, Dear Mr. Fish, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround Holiday Extravaganza on December 16 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Bill!

Courtesy of Mr. Bivins, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!



DEAR MR. FISH
by William Bivins
(based on a true story)

Cast Breakdown:
Delia Budd - Female - Age 40's-50's - Caucasian - Housewife
Albert Budd - Male - Age 40's-50's - Caucasian - Wage worker
Edward Budd - Male - Age early 20's - Caucasian - Son of Delia and Albert Budd
Albert Fish - Male - Age 50's - Caucasian - Convicted murderer

Setting:
The action takes place simultaneously in a tenement in
Brooklyn and a prison cell at Sing Sing.
The year is 1935.

Downstage is a dining room table with four chairs. On the
table is a pot, a ladle, three bowls and a plate of crackers.
Albert Budd stands at his place at the table.
Upstage, in separate light, Albert Fish sits in a chair. He
wears a prison outfit and his hands are shackled.

FISH
(Out to audience.)
Dear Mrs. Budd. I do not know what compels me to continue to write you. Certainly not
my own well-being, since my first letter to you caused me to be apprehended. Nor do I
write out of remorse, for I am not remorseful in the least.

Edward enters, goes to the table.

ALBERT
Is she okay? Is she coming?

EDWARD
She’s coming.

ALBERT
I haven’t seen her like this in months.

EDWARD
I shouldn’t have come over.

ALBERT
Nonsense. It’s Christmas.

EDWARD
She can’t stand the sight of me. Not since Grace went away.

ALBERT
That’s not true. And don’t say that name.

EDWARD
Christ, Pop.

ALBERT
Especially not in front of your mother.

Delia enters. She is in her bathrobe.

ALBERT (cont’d)
There she is! Hello, darling. Aren’t you looking radiant!

DELIA stands at her place at the table.

ALBERT (cont’d)
Well now, isn’t this nice? Here we all are. With Edward home. The stew on the table. It’s
delicious, if I say so myself--though it’s not a patch on yours, darling. Edward, would you
like to say the prayer?

DELIA
Grace.

ALBERT
Excuse me?

DELIA
The mealtime prayer is called grace. Might as well call it by its proper name. Grace.

FISH
I know in my heart I did nothing wrong. If what I did had been wrong, God would have
stayed my hand the way he stayed Abraham’s.

EDWARD
Bless us, oh Lord, and bless these thy gifts--

Delia sits abruptly. The men look at each other. Albert gestures for Edward to continue.

EDWARD (cont’d)
... and bless these thy gifts which we are about to receive. Amen.

ALBERT
And, Lord, we pray for the safety, well being and happiness of our family on this
Christmas Day. Amen.

The men sit. Albert spoons stew from the pot into each of their bowls.

----

Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, January 13, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

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