A ten-minute play is a blaze of theatrical energy. In this follow-up to their groundbreaking collection Take Ten, editors Eric Lane and Nina Shengold have put together a veritable bonfire of talent. Take Ten II: More 10-Minute Plays" provides a fast-track tour of the current theatrical landscape, from the slapstick ingenuity of David Ives' "Arabian Nights to the searing tension of Diana Son's 9/11 drama "The Moon, Please, to Susan Miller's luminous fable "The Grand Design. This remarkably diverse anthology includes thirty-five short plays by such major American playwrights as Christopher Durang, Warren Leight, Romulus Linney and Donald Margulies, alongside a host of exciting new voices. Actors, directors, producers and teachers will find Take Ten II an invaluable source of meaty roles for people of every age, ethnicity and gender; lovers of theatre will find it a richly satisfying read. These deceptively short plays throb with life in all its variety: harrowing, hilarious, and breathtakingly vital.
A ten-minute play is a blaze of theatrical energy. In this follow-up to their groundbreaking collection Take Ten, editors Eric Lane and Nina Shengold have put together a veritable bonfire of talent. Take Ten II: More 10-Minute Plays" "provides a fast-track tour of the current theatrical landscape, from the slapstick ingenuity of David Ives' "Arabian Nights" to the searing tension of Diana Son's 9/11 drama "The Moon, Please," to Susan Miller's luminous fable "The Grand Design." This remarkably diverse anthology includes thirty-five short plays by such major American playwrights as Christopher Durang, Warren Leight, Romulus Linney and Donald Margulies, alongside a host of exciting new voices. Actors, directors, producers and teachers will find Take Ten II an invaluable source of meaty roles for people of every age, ethnicity and gender; lovers of theatre will find it a richly satisfying read. These deceptively short plays throb with life in all its variety: harrowing, hilarious, and breathtakingly vital.
Eric Lane and Nina Shengold have been editing contemporary theater anthologies for more than twenty years. Eric Lane's award-winning plays have been published and performed in the United States, Canada, Europe, and China. Plays include Ride, Times of War, Heart of the City, Dancing on Checkers' Grave, andFilming O'Keeffe.Floating, a PlayPenn finalist, was workshopped at Raven Theatre. Eric's short plays are published in Best American Short Plays, Poems and Plays, and the Foreign Language Press (Beijing). He wrote and produced the short films First Breath and Cater-Waiter, which he also directed;both films screened in more than forty cities worldwide. For TV's Ryan's Hope he received a Writers Guild Award. Honors include the Berrilla Kerr Playwriting Award, the La MaMa Playwright Award, and fellowships at Yaddo, VCCA, and St. James Cavalier in Malta. Eric is an honors graduate of Brown University, and artistic director of Orange Thoughts, a not-for-profit theater and film company in New York City.
Nina Shengold's plays include Finger Foods, War at Home, Homesteaders, and Romeo/Juliet, and have been produced around the world. Her one-act No Shoulder was filmed by director Suzi Yoonessi, with Melissa Leo and Samantha Sloyan. Nina won a Writers Guild Award for her teleplay Labor of Love, starring Marcia Gay Harden; other teleplays include Blind Spot, with Joanne Woodward and Laura Linney, and Unwed Father. Her books include the novel Clearcut; River of Words- Portraits of Hudson Valley Writers (with photographer Jennifer May), and a growing posse of pseudonymous books for young readers. A graduate of Wesleyan, she is currently teaching creative writing at Manhattanville College. Nina lives in New York's Hudson Valley, where she has been books editor of Chronogram magazine since 2004.
ANTIGONE''S RED Chiori Miyagawa Characters ANTIGONE: Japanese American woman in her early thirties. ISMENE: Antigone''s younger sister. TADASHI: Japanese American man in his early thirties. BRIAN: Caucasian man, Ismene''s husband. GUARD: Caucasian man. TIME: 1942. PLACE: Manzanar, California. PROLOGUE ANTIGONE: With my bare hands I dug the dry earth and covered my lover''s corpse with dirt and tears. The desert land is cruel to those who want to bury loved ones. My nails ripped from my fingers. I made an offering of my blood. Antigone''s lover''s grave is red. That was my last red. (ANTIGONE takes a long red ribbon out of her pocket. She holds the ribbon up vertically, and with a pair of scissors, cuts the ribbon in half. The bottom half falls to the floor. Lights down. ) SCENE 1 ( Manzanar, California. One of the sites of the relocation camps for Japanese Americans during World War II. 1942 .) ANTIGONE: Manzanar, California. The dust storms consume our days. We breathe and eat the sand which fills our lungs, leaving a gritty, bitter taste on our tongue. The air is murky coarse white. Ten thousand Japanese and Japanese Americans are here, imprisoned in the barracks at the foot of the magnificent Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the middle of the ground stands a tall pole with a large American flag violently fluttering in the wind. We were allowed to bring what we could carry of beddings, linens, clothes, and eating utensils. We had forty-eight hours to pack. Forty-eight hours to leave our lives behind. I left my dog with the neighbor who looked at me with blue eyes full of tears and said that she would keep my dog until I return. I said no, he is yours now. I had a piano at home. I made the last payment on it two weeks ago. It took me five years to pay for it. Well. Anyway. ( Lights change. ) SCENE 2 (ANTIGONE is sitting outside the barracks with tadashi.) TADASHI: I''m going to answer no/no to the loyalty oath questions. ANTIGONE: What will happen? TADASHI: I don''t know. I may get deported. ANTIGONE: But you were born here. On this land. You''ve never been anyone other than who you are. TADASHI: My father was a Japanese veteran, so he was one of the first people arrested after Pearl Harbor. He had been a gardener for twenty years. He was distraught to leave my mother and sister. I heard he tried to commit suicide by biting off his own tongue while being transported. I received a telegram today that he was shot to death in the Enemy Alien Internment Camp in Oklahoma. I am no longer who I was once. (Pause.) I will not go to war to fight for this country from a prison camp. I will not swear allegiance to the country that robbed and humiliated my family. I have to answer no to both questions, even if it means that you and I will not be together. ANTIGONE: But why allow them to take away your future? If you get stripped of your citizenship for two checkmarks on no and deported to Japan, how will you survive? You don''t speak the language. You''ve never even been to Japan. TADASHI: They''ve taken away my past. My life up until the moment of reading the evacuation order was a lie. Thirty years of my life was an illusion. You can''t build a future on illusion. ANTIGONE: They want us to give up. They want to crush us and make us surrender the life we are entitled to. We have to fight them. TADASHI: I''m not giving up. I''m refusing to compromise the fundamental nature of my being-What I will lose is nothing; it''s tarnished forever. Antigone, what we must fight for is the courage to believe in what is right, not what is possible. ( Pause .) If something happens to me, would you try to find my mother and sister? I think they are in the camp in Heart Mountain. ANTIGONE: What shall I say to them? TADASHI: You''ll know then. That part of my history is not written yet. You will tell them either that you are the last person I loved in this country, or the last person I loved in this life. (Pause.) ANTIGONE: It''s suppertime. I have to report to the mess hall duty. TADASHI: Stay for five more minutes. ANTIGONE: I can''t. The tension there is already high because of the rumor that the guards have been stealing meat and sugar from the kitchen. And we found out while we work for eighteen dollars a month, the white commuting workers get paid fifty dollars a week. We''re planning a walkout. TADASHI: Listen, Antigone, be careful. Stay away from all that. There have been shootings of inmates in different camps. The guards are murdering people claiming that they tried to escape. But all the bodies have been found inside the fences, shot in the front. They were not running away. They were all facing the guards. ANTIGONE: You just told me to act on what is right. The only thing I can do is to fight small, insignificant injustices, since I''m unable to fight the big crime, the betrayal of our dreams and violation of our beings. TADASHI: Stay for five more minutes. ANTIGONE: Nothing will happen to me. Don''t worry. Our time together isn''t over yet. TADASHI: Just stay and hold my hand. ANTIGONE: Later. I''ll hold your hand later, my love. (ANTIGONE exits . TADASHI i s left alone .) SCENE 3 ( The same evening. Late night. ANTIGONE is asleep. Her sister ISMENE comes in quietly and approaches ANTIGONE.) ISMENE: Antigone, wake up. ANTIGONE: What? ISMENE: Are you awake? ANTIGONE: Did something happen to my lover? ISMENE: Oh, my sister. I''m so sorry. ANTIGONE: Stop crying, Ismene. Is he dead? ISMENE: Yes. ANTIGONE: ( desperate and angry ) How can I live then? What is life for? ( Lights change. Back to the beginning of the moment. ) ISMENE: Antigone, wake up. ANTIGONE: What? ISMENE: Are you awake? ANTIGONE: Did something happen to my lover? ISMENE: Oh, my sister. I''m so sorry. ANTIGONE: Stop crying, Ismene. Is he dead? ISMENE: Yes. ANTIGONE: ( hysterical ) No, it can''t be! Not yet, not yet! I didn''t say good-bye to him! I didn''t stay and hold his hand! ( Lights change. Back to the beginning of the moment .) ISMENE: Antigone, wake up. ANTIGONE: What? ISMENE: Are you awake? ANTIGONE: Did something happen to my lover? ISMENE: Oh, my sister. I''m so sorry. ANTIGONE: Stop crying, Ismene. Is he dead? ISMENE: Yes. ANTIGONE: ( calmly ) Then he is free. ( Lights down .) SCENE 4 ( Lights up immediately on ANTIGONE and ISMENE in the exact same positions, but it is two days later. ) ANTIGONE: Tadashi''s body has been exposed for forty-eight hours now. An order forbids a burial for him. His corpse is to be left out in the middle of the camp for the dust storm to swirl around until it is rotten to the core of his disappointment. ISMENE: Oh, my sister, I''m so sorry. ANTIGONE: Stop crying Ismene. I''m going out there to bury him. Will you help me? ISMENE: That is insane. We will be killed for it. ANTIGONE: Tadashi exposed the meat and sugar scandal and organized last night''s demonstration with twelve men who were willing to die in order to gain justice. He never even told me about his plans. After the tear gas bombs were thrown at the demonstrators, they stormed the guards. The guards opened fire. Tadashi was at the front. ( Pause. ) If not for the sacrifice he made, we still owe him a burial for being a human being and having lived among us. ISMENE: We will be killed for it. ANTIGONE: Possibly. ISMENE: I have a husband. I want to have children. ANTIGONE: If we don''t bury him, then we are allowing them to disgrace a soul, to condemn it to wander eternally. We are allowing them to commit even a greater crime than our imprisonment, our deaths. ISMENE: Antigone, there are certain things that are beyond our power to correct. We had no choice but to give up everything that our parents worked so hard to make possible-our houses, our cars, our jobs, our rights, our dignity. All we can do now is to hold onto the little that is under our power to preserve. Identity. Survival. I want a future. ANTIGONE: What does your future look like, Ismene? Like an American dream? Like "give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free"? ISMENE: I will not be victimized anymore. If it means that I''d be accepted, I would cut off my flesh, go along with the system, and lose my name. I want to live. ANTIGONE: I understand. It''s not fair to ask you to give up what''s left of your life to allow my lover a noble entrance to the next life. He had no family, so it''s my responsibility. ISMENE: I know you loved Tadashi and that he was brave. But you must let his body disintegrate out there. You cannot fight them. We are too small. Please promise me . . . ANTIGONE: Don''t ask me that. I will hate you for it. ISMENE: Antigone, you are crazy. You will not survive this. ANTIGONE: And you will? ISMENE: Don''t worry about my soul.<
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