The people have spoken... The November People's Choice Award goes to Patricia Cotter for her short musical, Wild and Precious Life, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround Musical Theatre Night on November 16 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Patricia!
Courtesy of Ms. Cotter, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!
WILD AND PRECIOUS LIFE
by Patricia Cotter
Music & lyrics (“Next Time Around”) by Misner & Smith
Cast: two men, four women
Reverend Sandy - Female - late twenties - thirties. A fairly new minister at a Unitarian/Methodist/very liberal type of church. Trying to do a good job. Kind, smart, a bit uptight now, but will be a fantastic spiritual leader in a few more years.
Alice - female - forty and up. One of Sheila's best friends - loving, grieving. Good friends with Rex and Tina.
Rex - Male - forty and up. A bit of a loudmouth, but a good guy. Loved Sheila. Good friends with Tina and Alice. Grieving.
Tina - Female - thirties and up. Also one of Sheila's best friends. Good friends with Rex and Alice. Grieving.
Kevin - Male - maybe a tad younger than the rest. A nice guy. An outsider, not grieving.
Sheila - Female - at least forty and up. The dearly departed. One of a kind. Loved to stir it up in life and have a blast. Will be greatly missed.
Note: Alice, Rex and Tina are truly grieving the loss of their dear
friend, Sheila - their reaction to her "give away" is exactly what
Sheila would have wanted...it made them feel something.
A memorial service REX, TINA, KEVIN and REVEREND SANDY (and
unseen other mourners) sit in folding chairs facing the
podium. ALICE just finishes reading a poem.
...”Tell me what else should I have
done? Doesn’t everything die at
last, and too soon? Tell me, what
is it you plan to do with your one
wild and precious life?” Mary
Oliver. That was one of Sheila’s
favorite poets and favorite
poems...Sheila you lived a wild and
precious life and I don’t know how
we will go through the rest of our
lives without you. You were one of
a kind. (beat) I can’t believe that
I’m using “were” I hate that. I
She finishes, overcome with emotion. Actually everyone is
pretty emotional. Reverend Sandy goes to the podium, she
comforts ALICE. ALICE takes her seat.
This is hard, what you are doing.
Sheila was very loved. She is
leaving an enormous hole in the
universe of her friends and family.
Now before our final song...also a
favorite of Sheila’s...Sheila in
her true iconoclastic style has a
couple more surprises in store for
us. One is this note that she
wanted me to share with those who
are gathered to send her on her
next great adventure. I have it
here. Unopened. Per her request.
(With a smile, to the others) Typical Sheila.
Alice and Tina agree. Rev Sandy opens the envelope.
“Hello. Sorry that my funeral is a
bit of a bummer...but
To take the sting out of my kicking
the bucket, I have instructed that
an envelope containing ten thousand
dollars in cash...be taped to the
bottom of one of your chairs. Good
A beat of stunned silence, then they all check the bottom of
their chairs. KEVIN finds the envelope under his chair. He
reacts in a way that is appropriate for finding 10 K, but not
for finding it at a funeral.
Whoa! Yes! Yes! Yes!
He luxuriates in the moolah.
Good for you.
Congrats...Kevin? Is it?
Yeah. Yeah. Hi everybody. I’m Kevin.
Kevin sits. Everyone tries not to hate him.
Well, now then...that was exciting
and...unusual. This is actually my
first funeral so...I don’t know.
Kevin maybe this would be a good
time for you to tell us how you
knew Sheila and what she meant to you.
Ahh...my wife Lenore sold Sheila
her house on Morningside.
But that was years ago.
So you met her then?
I...yeah...I actually never met
Sheila. I just came with Lenore
today and then she had a showing at
three...so she left and I stayed.
Right. So technically you never met
No. Nope. I didn’t. But, you know,
it’s like why do the out of towners
always seem to win the lottery,
Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, December 21, at Berkeley Rep and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.