The people have spoken... The March People's Choice Award goes to Karen Macklin for her short play, Ophy’s Apothecary, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround WOMENARTS NIGHT on March 21 at Berkeley Rep. Congratulations, Karen!
Courtesy of Ms. Macklin, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!
by Karen Macklin
3 CHARACTERS: 2W, 1M
OPHY, female, Danish, young woman, 18-ish
ANNA, female, Russian, life coach, 40s/50s-ish
BOY, male, Danish, rich and brooding, OPHY’s boyfriend, 18-20ish
(The characters should not speak with distinguishable accents.)
Note about BOY
BOY is a movement role, not a speaking role. As OPHY relates her story to ANNA throughout the play, OPHY and BOY will, at times, mime the events that OPHY speaks about. I have placed parameters in the script for the entrances and exits of BOY, but these can be altered by the director.
(Two chairs, stage right or center stage, facing one another. It is ANNA’s office. She is looking over some papers, awaiting her next client. OPHY enters.)
Welcome. Sit down, please.
Hello, Anna. Thank you for seeing me on such short notice.
Of course. How can I help you?
It’s actually not about me, it’s my boyfriend. I wanted him to come to you himself but he doesn’t like to ask for help.
(BOY enters, stands in background. He is depressed, self-involved.)
That’s alright. I only work with women anyway.
(BOY plays out the action in the following lines with OPHY, but not necessarily all of it. She may be following him as he walks up and down across the stage.)
Oh, okay. Well, the thing is, my boyfriend, his father died recently and he’s been really depressed. I wish there was a way that I could help him. He stares at the walls all day, and wanders the streets all night. We live next door to each other, so I see him, up the block, down the block, talking to himself about the pointlessness of life. He still wants to have sex, but he won’t actually talk to me. I’ve been trying to console him, but nothing helps. He doesn’t even notice I’m there sometimes.
How were things between the two of you before his father died?
Oh, Anna, we were so in love.
(We see BOY writing a letter and enclosing a locket in it. Then giving it to her as she speaks, but in flirty exchange for a kiss or a grope. Then going back to ignoring her.)
He used to write me these beautiful letters. And he gave me a locket with his photo in it. I can’t wear it because no one is supposed to know about us, especially our parents, and we both still live at home, so it’s hard. But I keep it under my pillow. It means a lot to me.
So … the relationship is a secret?
I guess. He asked me not to tell anyone. His family has a ton of money, so they micromanage him. I think he just wants to keep things under wraps.
How does that make you feel?
What do you mean?
Are you happy? Are your needs being met?
(Laughing.) Oh, I don’t have needs!
Yes you do. Everyone has needs. What do you want in your life?
I don’t know. I never thought about it before. But this isn’t about me. It’s about—
(She looks at BOY, who is doing something very self-involved.)
(Interrupting her.) This is about you. This is all about you.
(BOY’s ears perk up. He’s not happy to hear this.)
Look, our time is up. My advice to you right now? Spend a little time this week thinking about who you are, not what everyone else wants you to be. Think about it as if your life depends on it. See you next week?
Join us on Monday, April 11 at Berkeley Rep for the 2016 PlayGround Benefit & Awards Night and find out which six playwrights and plays from this year's Monday Night PlayGround season will be featured in Best of PlayGround 20!