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There are three major areas
of the stage. One is the
center. The other two are on
opposite sides of the
center. Know that, for the
most part, the action will
alternate between the two
sides. Each area should have
its own lighting system.
Frozen on the secondary
stage are four actors. A
FATHER, cradling MOTHER in
his arms on a couch and
their two children, SON and
DAUGHTER. They are dressed
in costume to look as if
they are not in costume. It
is the fifties. MOTHER is
weeping with her head in
FATHER's lap. FATHER looks
distraught. SON and DAUGHTER
are standing looking at
them. The music stops and
the freeze is broken.
MOTHER's weeping becomes
audible. The two CHILDREN
look at each other then at
their mother. FATHER
suddenly becomes angry.
CHILDREN are confused. The
Title: "The Weaker Soldier"
Who is it?
We haven't answered it yet, Mom.
Son, You wanna answer the phone please?
DAUGHTER goes to the phone
and answers it. All eyes on
her but for MOTHER, who
Yes?... Um... Yeah.... They're here... I will... Yes...
She hangs up. Pause. The
CHILDREN stare at FATHER and
What the hell are you looking at the both of you!!??
Pause as MOTHER'S weeping
What are you STARING at?!
We just.... I don't.
TWENTY YEARS OF YOU WORTHLESS...!!!
Dad, are you okay?
He was twelve years old...
Dad, tell us what happened.
I've never seen mom crying.
(Beginning to break down into a state like
Just stop staring at her.
A little boy is born into the world. Is he put there or
did he just fall blindly in? A baby. There is always so
much hope for a baby. Everybody wishes to have the same
chances, that's why. It is understood that a baby can
go a million different places and do a million
different things. He represents the future. But we are
foolish, are we not? We should never have hope, we can
never be sure. We should always expect that bad things
FATHER starts crying.
Your brother is DEAD!! He's DEAD!! They've KILLED HIM
DON'T YOU UNDERSTAND??!! They finally KILLED HIM!!!
Her sobbing turns into
moaning. The CHILDREN look
at each other.
Lights come up on the center
of the stage. These are the
house lights. An audience
emerges from the wings.
There are eight audience
members. Half of the
audience is dressed for the
theatre. The other half is
dressed casually. The well-
dressed half exchange some
words with each other then
leave. Their names are
GREGORY, NICOLAS, EMILY and
CAMILLE. They are CAST
As they leave:
I hope the second act lives up to the first.
I think that the "Mother" character is doing
She's good. We swim together sometimes.
The other half remains on
stage. Their names are
CAROL, JACOB, MARK and
STEVEN. They are standing.
They are CAST TWO. As they
speak some of the actors are
striking the set and are
beginning to set up another
living room setting on the
other half of the stage.
CAST TWO remains in the
center, talking. The actors
may not even be visible as
they strike and set but it
is obviously happening. This
dialog is rushed through,
The first act sucked, let's go.
Carol, we can't go. We already paid.
I think it's supposed to get better anyway.
Whatever, I'll just go to sleep.
The acting is okay. I had no idea that this was going to
be so intense. I can't wait.
Okay, we'll stay.
What did you think about the long forest and apple trees
I wasn't paying attention. A play needs to start with
action. With movement.
But the whole thing was set up by that monologue.
Can we talk about something else?
So what did you guys do today?
Jacob and I went to the museum. Have you been to the
No. I haven't been in years, probably.
It was super. The impressionists.
Good. I don't like the impressionists.
Because you watch so much T.V.
What does that mean?
T.V. rots your brain of all artistic judgement.
I don't really watch T.V.
She likes the impressionists.
Don't listen to him.
Mark, does Carol watch T.V.?
Who? What? What?
Pause. They all laugh.
The end is supposed to be funny.
Jacob. You are a hypocrite.
What makes you say that? I am just an observer.
Just as she says this, the
new living room should be
set and the first secondary
stage should be completely
gone. On the delivery of
this next line they will
enter the room and become
comfortable in it. It is
obvious that the scene has
changed dramatically. It is
a different time and a
different place. At an
appropriate point within the
scene, CAST THREE should
emerge and observe. The
Mark are you still thirsty?
Sure. Hey Jacob do you have anything to drink?
Yeah, what do you want?
I want water.
No. Thanks. What time is it?
JACOB exits to get the
So Steven. How are you?
I'm fine. Why?
You just look tired.
Well, I've been busy.
Yeah, I'll bet. New project?
JACOB re-enters with water.
Here you go.
I need to get going. It's later than I thought.
It is late.
Okay. Drive safe.
You sure you don't want to stay a while longer?
Okay.. I'll see you later.
STEVEN exits. MARK and CAROL
Did Steven leave early?
Yes. It is getting late.
It is getting late.
He used to stay the longest.
Yes, he did.
Have you noticed anything a little strange about him
He doesn't talk much anymore.
He's just really busy, I think.
Quiet. How is he quiet?
He usually says more things, right?
Yes, I think so. I mean. If I were depressed or sad. If
I didn't have anything to say, that is what it would
Think about it this way, Mark.
It seems like he just got here.
If I just stopped talking one day. Just out of nowhere I
stop talking. Wouldn't you notice? You would be worried,
That is all it is, really.
But I don't think that he is being quiet.
But he is.
You guys always get on other people like that.
He's just busy.
You're always finding reasons why other people are
having problems when they aren't.
No we don't.
We're just concerned about our friends. He has been
Last time it was me Jacob. You get all worked up and you
think real hard and then you justify these big problems
that I have and you tell everyone about them. They don't
exist! I show up at your place a couple days later and
everybody looks at me. You people are arrogant. That's
what it is. We all have our ups and downs Carol, we're
all a little tired now and then. You analyze and assess
and.. it's like you think your therapists. You're not.
Right? This is how you find meaning in your lives.
Vicariously. You look through the eyes of your friends
but it's all... fucked up. You see much more than there
really is. You add. You exaggerate. It's sick. I was
fine that day. I was tired. My parents call me and ask
me if I need anything. Don't do that. Don't do that to
Steven. He went home. It is late. Get it?... Don't do
Pause. Nobody moves.
You've got some real insight, buddy. Haven't you?
Steven is acting strange. That's it. We noticed it and
Get real, Mark. Please. We aren't out to complicate
people's lives. This really disturbs me.
Look at yourselves. Now I'm in for it, right? I'm so
messed up in the head, right?
I wonder what's wrong with me now?
(He runs to the phone).
Ms. Miller, your son is acting strange, you better call
him and offer him soup.
Calm down Mark.
Don't be calm, I won't be calm. Look at you. Are you
going to "talk" me down now, Carol? Jacob, go get a
spoon I might swallow my tongue.
Why don't you sit down. Maybe you're right.
(He looks at CAROL)
Let's talk about it.
Goddamnit, this is your favorite part isn't it? You
really get to put your skills to the test.
(As she speaks to MARK, she is moving closer to
him very slowly)
Mark, I want to know what you are saying. I want to see
in myself these problems.
(She looks at JACOB but continues speaking to
You are right. We over-analyze. We are sad, Mark. We're
lonely, you know? Like you. We have to make ourselves
seem meaningful to ourselves. We are afraid of what is
our own so we try to live out and correct what we see in
others. Don't you see? Sit down.
What are you doing? I am leaving.
CAROL is now right next to
I am not going to sit down. I am going to go home and go
to bed. Yes. I am fine.
CAROL reaches out and
touches MARK. MARK is
startled and his anger
allows him to pull back and
strike CAROL on the face.
She falls to the ground.
Oh my god. Mark.
He walks to where CAROL
MARK does not move.
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