The people have spoken... The October People's Choice Award goes to Zoe Young for her short play, Rain Dance, presented as a staged reading at the Monday Night PlayGround season opener/2nd annual Planet Earth Arts New Play Festival on October 12 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Zoe!
Courtesy of Ms. Young, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!
by Zoe Young
Based on the novel Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko
A reservation – the area has been severely drought stricken for two years.
MEDICINE MAN: Male – Native American – Late 80s. Comes from a long line of Laguna medicine men and women. He is charged with retaining the stories and rituals of the people. *The actor for this part should be a young woman of color.
BOY – Leo: Male – 10 years old – Native American. BOY’S little sister died in a flash flood two years ago before the drought began. BOY is convinced he is responsible for the drought. *The actor for this part should be a young man of color. It is IMPERATIVE that the actor not focus too much on playing a child, but speak the lines naturalistically.
MOTHER: Female – 30s/40s – Native American – mother of BOY and his late sister. Since her daughter died she has been unable to touch BOY. *The actor for this part may be a woman of any race.
All characters are dressed plainly, in casual clothes.
Multiple large sticks, a few plastic trinkets, a rag
Lights up on BOY and MOTHER in the kitchen of their house. MEDICINE MAN is at the opposite end of the stage, unilluminated. He sits on a box with a pile of sticks and a few trinkets next to him.
(To MOTHER- whining) Come with me.
Leo, I’ve got to wait for the water man.
He comes here all the time.
He only comes to the Reservation every two days. If I don’t catch him that’ll be another two days without showers.
Not clean enough.
Just come for five minutes.
We can’t risk it. But you go enjoy the outside world for me. And what are you gonna do?
(Resignedly) Stick to the road and look both ways.
MOTHER moves as though she’s about to hug BOY. BOY looks up expectantly but MOTHER moves away.
Be home in time for dinner.
Lights down on MOTHER and BOY. Exit MOTHER and BOY.
Lights up on MEDICINE MAN
(Speaking to the audience slowly, enjoying telling his story)
A long time ago
When people could still talk to the sky,
The clouds used to cry
And give the people rain.
They didn’t cry with sadness, or with pain,
Because who would dare hurt a cloud.
They cried tears of laughter
Because Mockingbird was so funny.
Her impression of lightning was so good,
The clouds would storm just for her to make fun of them.
Her thunder, would have them clutching their sides, rolling over the fields.
There was always water
And the corn grew tall.
One day, Coyote was in a sad mood.
He was having a bad day,
And he decided to steal Mockingbird
So that he could laugh like the clouds.
Enter BOY hitting two sticks together over his head looking up. He does not notice MEDICINE MAN sitting on the opposite side of the stage.
Wha‘chu doin with those sticks, boy?
(Hides sticks behind his back) Nothin’
Didn’t look like nothin’ to me.
What do you care?
Well that’s my house (points behind him) and that’s my tree (Points in front of him). So I’m guessin’ those are my sticks.
You can’t own sticks!
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.