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Mask Play Mask Play
by Adam Szymkowicz

NOTE: Originally performed by JOHN BOGAR and ELENNA STUAFFER at Columbia University as part of Anne Bogart's Collaboration class. Directed by Genevieve Bennett with a bare bones set. Dramaturgy by Meghan Partridge.

(NOTE: the “Transitions” mark a change in character in at least one of the two performers and a change in location. It may be punctuated by a gong or triangle being struck. They may change masks or alter them in some way.)

(At rise, JOHN and ELENNA stand, look at their neutral masks and then put the masks on in unison.)

JOHN: Excuse me. Excuse me.

ELENNA: Huh?

JOHN: They told me you could help me. Can you help me?

ELENNA: Me?

JOHN: They said you could help me

ELENNA: You must be mistaken.

(Transition.)

ELENNA: Doctor?

JOHN: Yes?

ELENNA: Have the tests come back?

JOHN: Yes.

ELENNA: What's wrong with me?

JOHN: Nothing's wrong.

ELENNA: That can't be. Something is very wrong.

(Transition.)

JOHN: Wife?

ELENNA: Husband?

JOHN: I think you're having an affair.

ELENNA: I would never have an affair.

JOHN: I think you're having an affair.

ELENNA: Not me. You must be mistaken. (Pause. Transition.) Doctor?

JOHN: Yes?

ELENNA: Have the test come back?

JOHN: There's nothing wrong.

ELENNA: But my husband . . . He . . .

JOHN: What?

ELENNA: Never mind.

(Transition.)

JOHN: Excuse me.

ELENNA: Yes?

JOHN: Can you help me?

ELENNA: No, not me.

JOHN: But my wife . . . she said . . .

ELENNA: Are you talking to me?

JOHN: I don't know what to do. Is it me?

ELENNA: You should talk to someone else.

JOHN: I've come to talk to you. I don't know where else to turn. Is there something I can do?

ELENNA: I don't have time.

JOHN: Doctor?

ELENNA: Yes?

JOHN: My wife . . . she . . .

ELENNA: Yes.

JOHN: I don't think she loves me.

ELENNA: Do you want me to prescribe something?

JOHN: That won't be necessary.

ELENNA: Good day.

(JOHN removes his mask.)

JOHN: She opened herself to me once. It was May. We were outside popping the heads off dandelions. I think she loved me then though it's hard to say for sure. That was many years ago. I hadn't asked her to do anything yet. I think she was happy.

(JOHN puts his mask on. ELENNA removes her mask.)

ELENNA: He could be kind, though. I don't know how long ago he stopped doing those kind little things. Gradually, they just stopped. He won't even take the garbage out unless you ask a couple of times. He thinks it's all my fault, but it isn't. He changed. I just stopped responding when he stopped being himself.

(ELENNA puts her mask back on.)

JOHN: Can I get you something?

ELENNA: Like what?

JOHN: What do you want?

ELENNA: Nothing.

JOHN: What do you want?

ELENNA: Some juice.

JOHN: Oh.

ELENNA: If it's too much trouble . . .

JOHN: No.

ELENNA: If it's too much . . .

JOHN: No, I'll get it.

(Transition.)

ELENNA: Doctor?

JOHN: Yes?

ELENNA: I want to end my life.

JOHN: I don't do that.

ELENNA: Who does?

JOHN: You could change your mind. I could prescribe something.

ELENNA: Never mind.

(Transition.)

JOHN: Excuse me?

ELENNA: Yes?

JOHN: Would you go to bed with me?

ELENNA: You're married.

JOHN: I know. Would you go to bed with me?

ELENNA: I don't think so. Good day.

JOHN: Good bye. Wait. I could pay you.

(Transition.)

ELENNA: Doctor?

JOHN: Yes?

ELENNA: I want to end my life.

JOHN: I don't do that.

ELENNA: I could pay you.

(Transition.)

JOHN: Wife?

ELENNA: Husband?

JOHN: I want to go to bed with you.

ELENNA: I know.

JOHN: I could pay you.

ELENNA: I don't know. Husband?

JOHN: Wife?

ELENNA: Will you kill me?

JOHN: I don't know.

ELENNA: I could pay you.

(Transition.)

JOHN: Doctor?

ELENNA: Yes? Doctor?

JOHN: Yes?

ELENNA and JOHN: I feel alone.

(ELENNA and JOHN take off their masks in unison and look at them.)

(End of Play.)




Adam Szymkowicz recently received an MFA from Columbia University. Adam's plays have been produced throughout the country, in England and Lithuania. He lives in Brooklyn.

Email: adamszymkowicz@yahoo.com
Website: http://www.adamszymkowicz.com/


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