I’m putting this here for a number of reasons. First, it represents the last time I wrote something substantive — in my world, this means a play — that I am proud of. This happened in 2007.
Now, it’s quite true that I wrote another play in 2008, and I’ve been keeping this blog since the beginning of 2011, so it’s not exactly like I’ve been in a complete writing drought. It’s happening, even if I do miss locking myself in the third floor library for hours and tearing away at the insides of a composition book.
Which brings me to the second reason. I was revising it — read: taking out the extraneous cuss words — to share with my students recently, for their drama unit. I was iffy about sharing it with them, but we all turned out to have a blast with it. To the extent that I am motivated to write a sequel and/or Act Two this summer.
So this might be a complete piece. But then again, it might not be.
Real Vampires Don’t Eat Grilled Cheese:
Anna, early 20s
Zoe, mid 50s
Earl, a vampire
A quiet restaurant. After sunset.
Two tables, right and left, each with only one chair. Each chair should be placed on the stage center side of its table so that they face away from one another. (Note: When performing bits of this in class, my students — admittedly, not experienced actors — found it difficult to perform with chairs facing away from one another. Though I like the dynamic it has in my head, this may work out less well in practice.) Add other restaurant furnishings as desired.
(Lights up. Anna is onstage, clearing or wiping off one of the tables. Zoe enters stage right; she carries a large purse or briefcase. She waits for Anna to seat her, but Anna’s back is turned. After a moment, Zoe clears her throat, and Anna looks over to her.)
Anna: Zoe, hi. I wasn’t expecting–
Zoe: That makes no sense. It’s still a restaurant, isn’t it? Customers could walk in anytime.
Anna: They don’t.
Zoe: I’m a customer.
Zoe: I walked in; it could happen.
Anna: It’s Saturday.
Zoe: I’m aware. Good to see you’ve mastered days of the week. Working on months of the year next?
Anna: Cute. I just meant it wasn’t your usual —
Zoe: I still need to eat on Saturday. And you’re still open on Saturday. Unless I’m missing something —
Anna: No, but I suspect I am. Again.
Zoe: If you needed to know, I’d tell you. And we still need to work on Saturday.
Anna: Knew there was a reason. Do I get details, or am I supposed to trust you and guess?
Zoe: You know, I’m not really in the mood for chit chat.
Anna: Of course not, not on anyone else’s terms. (She picks up a menu.) Usual table?
Zoe: That would be fine.
(Anna seats Zoe at the near table.)
Anna: What are we working on tonight?
Zoe: My plans are my business.
Anna: Even when they involve me.
Zoe: Who says they do?
Anna: Sometimes I think you carry this “top secret” thing a little too far.
Zoe: It’s nothing that needs to be discussed. Yet.
Anna: Then why come here?
Zoe: Because usually it’s quiet, and usually you don’t give me the third degree. Sometimes I don’t think you take your other job seriously enough. People will suspect.
Anna: Point taken. Menu tonight, or — ?
Zoe: What’s your soup today?
Anna: Bean with bacon.
Zoe: Just the usual, but start with that. And coffee. It might be a long night.