Sight Unseen and Other Plays
eBook - ePub

Sight Unseen and Other Plays

Donald Margulies

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  1. 304 pages
  2. English
  3. ePUB (mobile friendly)
  4. Available on iOS & Android
eBook - ePub

Sight Unseen and Other Plays

Donald Margulies

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About This Book

•First trade book publication by a moving young playwright who is frequently produced.

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JEFFREY SMOLOWITZ, 11, skinny; a loner who believes in fairness and struggles for acceptance

MIKE, 11, a sturdy, emotional kid

MELODY, 8, Mike’s sister; sunburned; engaged in an active love-hate relationship with her brother

JOANIE BERNSTEIN, 8, Melody’s playmate whom Melody shamelessly dominates; freckled, fat

LITTLE EARL, 4, the youngest member of the group who because of his age and size is most protected and most abused and manipulated; his older brother, JAY, ordinarily the group’s leader, is absent today

SCOTT, 12, charismatic, manly but an inept and opportunistic group leader

ERNIE, 14, and his brother SHANE, 12, who together form a syndicate of harassment and violence; sinewy and angular, crewcuts; their knees and elbows wear the emblems of their volatile boyhood
At rise: The back of an apartment building in Brooklyn. 1962. The last day of the summer; school starts tomorrow. A muggy, humid day. Clouds intermittently break up the hazy sun. Occasionally there is the sound of distant thunder. The scale of the brick building is slightly oversized to help diminish the size of the players. We see perhaps only one or two stories of what is a six-story building. The major access to the yard is a ramp which leads to the unseen front entrance of the building; between the ramp and the building is hidden access to the basement and alongside the corner of the building is an alley. Bordering on the alley is a rusted metal fence through which a hole has been cut to permit entrance into the neighboring yard. The surface of the yard is mostly concrete; there are no trees. A patch of dirt tangled with weeds and trash figures prominently in the play’s action. In the center of the yard, Mike, age eleven, is on his knees meticulously drawing on the pavement with chalk a court for Skelly, a game that’s played with bottle caps. Jeffrey Smolowitz, also eleven, is practicing bouncing a ball, perilously close to Mike; he doesn’t catch well so he’s repeatedly chasing after the ball.
SMOLOWITZ: Want to play catch?
MIKE: Do I look like I want to play catch?
SMOLOWITZ: You want?
MIKE: No. I’m doing something, Smolowitz, do you mind? Move. Come on, Jeffrey, move!
SMOLOWITZ: I was here first.
MIKE: God, Jeffrey, when will you learn there’s a time and a place for everything? Move your foot!
Smolowitz stays put defiantly; Mike glares at him, Smolowitz giggles.

Baby ...

Mike traces the chalk around Smolowitz’s shoe. Melody, Mike’s eight-year-old sister, skips down the ramp as he continues to draw the grid.

Melody, did you find Jay and Scott?

A beat. Melody skips up the ramp, exits.
SMOLOWITZ: What are you making, a Skelly court?
MIKE: Yes.
SMOLOWITZ: Who’s playing? You and Jay and Scott?
MIKE: Uh-huh.
SMOLOWITZ: And who else?
MIKE: Just us.
SMOLOWITZ: Can people watch?
MIKE: Yeah, but you can’t play.
SMOLOWITZ: I don’t want to play.
MIKE: Only the best can play. It’s like the World Series of Skelly.
SMOLOWITZ: I don’t want to play.
MIKE: Ernie and Shane better not crash it.
Melody skips down the ramp.

Did you see them?
MIKE: Did you look?
MIKE: And?
MELODY: They weren’t there.
MIKE : Where’d you look?
MELODY: In the front.
MIKE: Not Jay or Scott?
MELODY: No, I lost my keys.
MIKE: How, Melody.
MELODY: I don’t know, I lost them.
MIKE: Why weren’t they around your neck?
MELODY (Playing with a costume-jewelry necklace): Because I lost them.
MIKE: Mommy’s gonna be mad.
MELODY: Shut up.
MIKE: She’s not gonna be home when you come home from school anymore, Melody.
MELODY: I know. You’ll be home three o’clock.
MIKE: No I won’t. I’ve got Hebrew, Melody, remember? I’ve got Hebrew school four days.
MELODY: Don’t tell Mommy.

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