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Imagination Act I Scene 1 and 2
Set in an average looking apartment (STAGE LEFT is a kitchen scene with a fridge, sink, and counter top space and directly next to it is an island with two bar stools. STAGE UP LEFT has a door. The color of the walls are yellow in this section. STAGE RIGHT is the living room, with the sofa facing the audience. The walls are also yellow here. Open concept.)
(She is nonchalantly doing the dishes when she notices the crowd watching her. She reacts sarcastically surprised.)
Oh, hello there, mysterious mob of people. You must be tonight's audience. Wonderful. I don't think I've ever had this many people! Exciting! Ooh, pretty too! Especially you... I like you... Well it looks like you're all getting nice and comfortable. Getting ready for the show. I never really understood theater. My very first show was the Sound of Music, at our local theater. It was an absolute disaster. Curtains were off cue, lines were forgotten and songs were sung out of key. It definitely put a bad taste in my mouth. But from then on I swore to myself I would strive to make theater better, to write the next great musical! Now, I'm stuck here in the confines of my home shackled to a lousy book I have to get done by next week.
Shame. I used to like that book. Now I'm forced to find a quick and snappy end to a seemingly never-ending whirlwind of ideas. But enough small talk, what about you people? Of course, you know, there is one thing that maybe we should get cleared up before we start this, you see, what I don't understand is why you would pay money to see this? I mean, I'm just a girl, with this average old apartment. Nothing to see here. I would rather see Sound of Music then see this! At least they sing there. It seems you people come every night just to watch me, and how I get along. You just keep coming... Well, while your here would you like something to drink? Oh. Well there's a lot of you aren't there? Well you all must be here for something! Just, tell me. Please? You just keep showing up and expecting something out of me and if I just knew what you wanted it would make this a lot easier-
Knock on the door.
One, small second please? (Frustration building)
Background Voices behind door
Just an interview Melanie! Come on! What's it like living with-
She opens door and screams at them to go away, then slams the door band her..
(remembering her auidence) I'm sorry about that. It tends to happen, sometimes. They just keep coming and, oh, well it's not a big deal. I guess I'm used to it at this point. So, back to you people. This is the 476th day you've been here. Well, not you, exactly, but a crowd of some type. Sometimes half full, sometimes overflowing. You all just come to watch me- do stuff. Please, maybe if you tell me what you want? (silence) Anyone? (silence) You know I'm really getting tired of this whole not responding thing. You've been going at it for a long time so why don't you just spit it out? Huh? Just tell me, why are you here? Am I what you expected? Is there some sort of role I'm supposed to be playing here? (silence) Am I supposed to be some nutcase scientists are studying for her "unique" craziness, the wise one with all the answers, distressed maiden waiting for her prince? I'll play any role you want if you just tell me what to do! I take direction very well. (Finding herself defeated, shakes her head and buries her head in hands fighting back sobs in sheer helpessness) I just-
(Phone rings, Melanie gives an aggitated sigh and stomps over, ignoring the tears, Yelling)
WHAT... Oh, hey Josh... Oh I'm fine. I'm having Chandler over for dinner tonight and-... No, no I'm fine I just-... Josh, don't worry about me. It's not a big deal I'm over it... I'm sure he is too... Yes. Sure. What'd you even call for?... Yes, I've already told you I'm fine... No, it's sweet that you care. Thanks... (laughes)... Okay thanks. M'bye.
(Giggling to herself she turns to the audience)
God, you know no privacy do you people? Listen, I just want my normal life back. A life where, sure, it was far from perfect, but at least I don't walk along the street with a laugh reel following me!
(She trudges over to a stool on the island)
My life was a blend of awful and wonderful. Everything was happening but nothing was getting done. The wheels were turning but getting no where.
(She gets a text on her i phone but keeps talking as she replies)
That's when I met Chandler. God, what would I do without him? Well, I guess since you people clear out every night you don't know Chandler. He's my boyfriend. We met at work while I was just getting on my feet working at a little coffee shop. He must have come four times a day, claiming his "co-workers loved coffee and we made the best." He's always been full of bull****. I never even considered him as being interested me until my friends told me so! but once he asked me I was walking on air. Nothing could go wrong.
(Uncomfortably get up and begin to make tea)
This is now though. And "Present" my a**, 'cause this ain't a f****** gift! It's torture! Night and day, night and day. Now Chandler is getting fed up with me and my friends are barely even supporting me and the news people keep coming and- I just don't get a break. Sorry, if you're wondering why I'm cooped up in this damn apartment it's because of you. Oh don't act surprised. Who's going to let a crazy lady go around telling people an audience is following her. I was put under house arrest because apparently people actually read the s*** I write and my editor is a friend of the mayor's. Oh, I got to finish that eventually.
(She stands there and spaces. Suddenly the teapot whistles jolting her back to reality. She pour her tea and sits next to the computer, sighes, and begins work with a frown to begin with. Then she comes up with an idea. She begins typing Furiously. Suddenly she rises up and clicks on the radio on the counter ON and gets food to eat, all the while mumbling/narrating to herself what she's doing. Then she begins typing again while eating. The lights dim and the songs dims and changes and both come up as she realizes this is a song she likes. She gets up and starts dancing furiously, then remembers the audience.)
Well, you don't hafta watch!
(Dimming of lights and music again, now to a slow, sad song and she suddenly has a tissue box and is crying profously)
Why am I such an awful person! You're my favorite, but it needs to happen! Ah!
(Suddenly fast, angery music comes up and she typing away madly)
And that's what you GET!
(Slams the computer screen shut and stomps over to the couch where she pouts. Then, with a sudden burst of energy that comes with a fresh idea the races over, nearly falling out of her chair, and beings typing away again. The lights dims and the music is turned off and she is now fast asleep on her laptop. (Abruptly, after a few seconds there's a knock on the door that barely makes her stir.)
No one's home.
(From behind door)
I can hear you!
They aren't usually here this late...
(Gets up and goes on tiptoes to see through the peephole, then slams back against the door in horror.)
Oh. My. God. I forgot. Uhh... (frantically) Who is this? (looking down at her sweatshirt and sweatpants realzing she is not fit for a date. She tries to sprucen up, failing.)
Uh, that creepy guy from channel 14?
Haha! Nice one, let me in!
But... Don't you usually let yourself in?
The guy from channel 14? Ok, we need to talk.
Uh, no. Who is this?
Ohhh (clearly knowing who it was the whole time)
Let me in!
(As she's heading to the door she is slammed in the nose by the door opening and she falls down. Without noticing, he walks in with flowers and presents them to an empty room)
(With no one there, he puts the flowers on the table right in front of him and quizzingly looks around not noticing MELANIE on the ground. He starts heading towards the kitchen, and trips over her in the process. They both sit up, laugh, then fall on the floor laughing. He pulls himself over her, and starts to kiss her. After one kiss she puts her finger to his lips, and motions towards the audience.)
What? Oh. Right. Don't mind them... It's just us-
No it's not Chan, it's a whole crowd of people. And I don't need them thinking-
Can't we drop it for just once? These "people" will not judge you-
I'm sorry. That was over the line.
(He gives her one long kiss with his eyes closed tightly, then gets up. He picks Melanie up and notices her clothes.)
No! No! I was so excited about you coming Chan! I even bought stuff to cook and it was all ready to go and-but I just had an amazing idea for Rachel and it couldn't wait-
(Silence as she looks into his pained eyes.)
No. No. I'm not mad.
(And he gives her a hug, and takes a deep breath of her scent.)
So what's for dinner?
I got steaks!
Ooh, fancy! What's the occasion?
Well, it has been over week since I've seen you. So I thought I'd make it special.
The only problem is I don't have any idea how to cook these things!
(With a devious smile)
(Cut in and out of scenes with the dimming of lights with fun music of them having a great time cooking the food. Show them with finished food and taking it to the table.)
'Tis Beautiful, good sir!
Only fit for such a fine lady!
You're too kind!
(Leans in for a kiss)
Chan,not while they're-
Mel stop it!
There's no one there! Look! LOOK.
(He drags her straight downstage)
Chan stop you're hurting me!
(He lets go, trying to contain his anger.)
Chan, you're doing it again. You're over-reacting.
(As if he just found out a sad truth)
No. I'm not. I'm sorry Melanie, I can't do this anymore.
(He starts towards the door)
What? Chan, what are you talking about?
I- I love you Mel. I've never felt this way with any other person-
But this- thing, has torn us apart. You've just become obsessed with this paranoia. And no part of me coming back will ever help you.
No! That's not true! Chan, you've helped me so much-
I just can't sit here and watch you deteriorate. My heart wasn't cut out for that kind of torture. Just remember Mel, I love you.
(He closes the door behind him.)
(Still in shock, she stares out at the crowd. Without breaking eye contact she sits down at her couch. A long time passes.)