April Showers: A Wheelbarrow

I mentioned that my play “Romeo and Juliet and Zombies” was recently performed by the Theatre Department at Central New Mexico Community College. They actually performed two short plays of mine on the program of sketch comedy. Only “Romeo and Juliet and Zombies” is in my book, so it was the one I was concentrating on. The other was from a different set of plays, each one written after reading a particular poem. Because the first play of this type happened to have been written April first 2011, I call them collectively “April Showers.” Here is what I did with one of the world’s most celebrated modern poems:

A Wheelbarrow (the color of which is of absolutely no importance)

(After “The Red Wheelbarrow” by William Carlos Williams. Two chickens, GERTIE and GUSSIE peck away at their feed near a wet wheelbarrow.)

GERTIE: Where’s Fatty?
GUSSIE: Don’t bother me. Eating.
GERTIE: No, I don’t know if you understand how serious this is. There were… how many?
(she scratches 4 times with her foot)
four of us, remember?
GUSSIE: No.
GERTIE: bird brain.
GUSSIE: What?
GERTIE: Gaw?
GUSSIE: You said something there, I didn’t hear it.
GERTIE: I… don’t remember.
GUSSIE: Oh.

(Rest.)

GERTIE: Where’s Fatty?
GUSSIE: Who?
GERTIE: Big fat hen? Always pushed you out of the way at feeding time?
GUSSIE: It’s always been just the two of us, for as long as I can remember.
GERTIE: I’m telling you there were four of us. Gertie, Gussie, Fatty and… And… Maybe there were just three of us, come to think of it. Fatty’s so fat she might count for two hens.

(MRS. MacDONALD, the stereotypical farmer’s wife, enters carrying a butcher’s knife)

MacDONALD: Fatty! Where’s my yummy little butterball? Fat fat fat fat fat? Where is that hen?
GERTIE: You see what she’s holding?
GUSSIE: Oooh, shiny!
GERTIE: Don’t you understand? That’s what she was holding right before… whats-her-name disappeared.
GUSSIE: Who?
GERTIE: Ahhhhhh!
MacDONALD: Oh well. She can’t have gotten too far. Looks like you’re up next, Gertie.
GERTIE: Bawk?

(Mrs. MacDonald grabs Gertie by the neck and drags her off.)

MacDONALD: Eat up, Gussie.

(MacDonald exits with Gertie, Gussie eats. Rest. From under the wheelbarrow emerges a very fat hen, FATTY.)

FATTY: Is she gone?
GUSSIE: Who?

(Gussie and Fatty eat. End of play.)

Posted on 23 March, 2013, in Posts. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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