Thursday, August 25, 2011

Lonely Planet

Lonely Planet

A One-Act Experiment in Theatre of Absurd Cruelty

By Jon Bishop

An Old Man – Tired, sullen, worn.
A Ghastly Man

Scene One

Curtain opens. Slowly.

We see the old man sitting on grass, illuminated only by moonlight[1]. He looks off into lake water[2].

His eyes appear empty.

Old Man:  (aloof, to no one in particular) Do you remember when we’d converse? When we’d have meaning instead of folly? Remember how good that felt?


Old Man:  Because I do.

He pauses again and looks skyward.

Old Man:  Remember when we knew what was good for us?

Silence, though longer than the first.

Old Man:  Because I do.

A pause. Rougher waters, however, disrupt the quiet. 

Old Man:  Remember when we weren’t isolated? And when we were alone, it was deliberate and good and cathartic?

A menacing and lengthy silence.  

Old Man:  Because I do.

Lights dim – quickly.

Lights up again.

This time, the old man stands. He stretches out his arms to embrace the blowing wind.  

Old Man:  I remember when the wind blew and it was a sign of things to come. I remember when we looked at the moon with awe and humility.

Silence. A smile breaks across his face.

Old Man:  We’ve destroyed it now. I have and they have. We’ve destroyed it and it is gone. Our only company is silence – with noise or without noise. I am unsure if it will return. And I can’t remember how to fix it.

Silence. Lights dim – quickly, though.

Lights go up.

The old man sits once again. His legs are crossed. He stays silent and stares at the audience.

The ghastly man creeps closer in the background. His wears tattered and ripped clothes and holds a knife. Even in the dim light, we can see his face rippling with anger.

He briefly stands above the old man before crouching next to him.  


The ghastly man lets out a frightening and terrifying hybrid of a scream and a roar.  

The old man is unfazed. He stays silent. He doesn’t blink.


Close curtain.


[1] Singular, pale spotlight.
[2] Play a recording of water lapping slowly onto shore.

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