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New Play!

February 15, 2011

 

I don't know these peopleI’m also gonna throw a link to this on the Plays page, but I wrote a new one act for a class with Julian Sheppard and wanted to share it with you all.

It’s called In Antarctica, Where It Is Very Warm

1.

McMurdo base. Antarctica.

VICKI and NEIL sit in the game room.

She is very pregnant and wears a lab coat over a
stretched leopard print shirt a black mini-skirt
patterned tights and those fuzzy boots. She holds
a clipboard.

He wears a Hawaiian shirt, cargo shorts, hiking
boots and thick socks. He has round glasses, a
pointy goatee and a cigarette permanently tucked
behind one ear. His fingers bear bandages.

NEIL
I think I’m adapting. I didn’t used to be so hairy, but it’s thickened and sprouted in my time
here.

VICKI
That doesn’t constitute an answer to my question.

NEIL
I’m supposed to be exempt from the science. The generator goes down, you’re exempt, I
should be exempt from the science stuff.

VICKI
Our employer just wants some assurance in your motivations for coming here.

NEIL
I met a guy when I was with Halliburton running Iraq, he said he used to do winters here,
said it trained him good for the desert. By that time my death wish had gotten used up and
decided to take a vacation and work here.

VICKI
And how has it been so far?

NEIL
I’m adapting.

VICKI
You can understand their concern.

NEIL
Do you feel like I’m a threat?

VICKI
I don’t, Neil. I find you a general, all around, stand-up guy.

NEIL
So, can you write that in your report?

VICKI
I’m not allowed to tell you what I’m going to write in the report, but between you and me I
feel like this was an isolated incident.

NEIL
I wasn’t trying to kill myself, I just passed out in the snow.

VICKI
I just have to write an incident report, it’s just paperwork.

NEIL
Rytheon doesn’t understand what it’s like up here.

VICKI
I don’t think they’re gonna send you home.

NEIL
I like it here.

VICKI
I know.

NEIL
I like you. Everyone’s been real square to me. I mean, Starker and Kenroy hauled me a
good three miles. Frost bit just the tips.

VICKI
(from clipboard)
How would you describe the environment here?

NEIL
Inside or outside?

VICKI
Inside.

NEIL
I think we all know each other a little too well. What do you think?

VICKI
I think we’re like family.

NEIL
Family’s good. Put that down instead. We’re like family.

VICKI
That’s my answer though.

NEIL
It’s a good answer.
We’re like one of those family’s that’s all isolated, all they have is each other. So they
screw and fight and make up like crazy. But I think we all’ve got a lot of love for one
another. Put that down.

VICKI
(from clipboard)
Why do you feel you drink?

NEIL
Cause we’re out in the middle of Antarctica. That a good enough answer?

VICKI
I don’t want to alienate you.

NEIL
Everyone else is drinking like crazy, why do I have to be singled out?

VICKI
Rytheon just wants to make sure you’re OK, and they this is not the symptom of anything
larger.

NEIL
Why do they have to have you doing this? Why couldn’t it have been Jason or MJ?

VICKI
Would you prefer a male?

NEIL
No. Maybe. I just…

VICKI
Do you feel that you are holding something back because I’m asking these questions.

NEIL
Does that hurt your feelings. Because I never wouldÑI justÑyou just seem so innocent.

VICKI
You can tell me anything, and if I feel that it would hurt your case, I won’t write it down.
How does that sound?

NEIL
Did you have to do this, when–for the baby?

VICKI
Did I have to fill out an incident report for getting pregnant?

NEIL
That seems like an incident.
I apologize, you don’t have to answer that. That was rude.

VICKI
I did. And I had to fill out paternity forms.

NEIL
That’s cool.

VICKI
It was humiliating.
Just like this is humiliating, I’m sure.

NEIL
You’re making it go as smooth as possible.

VICKI
Thank you.

NEIL
I don’t want a guy asking me these questions. You’re doing a good job. I wasn’t trying to,
I mean, freeze to death. That seems pretty brutal. Pretty terrible way to go.

VICKI
What was it like in Iraq?

Blackout.

2.

McMurdo Station. Antarctica.

Neil has a bag next to him now.

It is a few weeks later.

VICKI
Do you think I should raise a child here?

NEIL
You mean like long term?

VICKI
Should he even be born here?

NEIL
Sure.

VICKI
Thank you.

NEIL
No, I mean sure. Why not?

VICKI
Because the first thing he will see is ice. He first feeling will be chill.

NEIL
He’ll grow hairy like me. A nice thick skin.

VICKI
I’m supposed to protect him from everything. What kind of mother would I be to have him
here.

NEIL
A good mother. A very good mother.

VICKI
I don’t even know who his father is. OK, I know who his father is, it wasn’t like some
bacchanal orgy–
(beat)
What?

NEIL
Nothing, sorry.

VICKI
But like, I put unknown down on the form.

NEIL
Why?

VICKI
It was easier.

NEIL
Is he still here?

VICKI
He got fired.

NEIL
Are you gonna, when you get back?

VICKI
I don’t know. I don’t know if I have to know.

NEIL
OK.

VICKI
Our sessions are done.

NEIL
I guessed.

VICKI
We don’t have to keep meeting.

NEIL
I know.

VICKI
You are not a threat to yourself or others. Just a drunk.

NEIL
Working on it.

VICKI
I’m glad.

NEIL
I got a hobby. I’ve been knitting.

VICKI
That’s very good.

NEIL
Are you taking your pre-natal vitamins?

VICKI
Look at you.

NEIL
Especially here. You’ve gotta make sure. I almost got scurvy once.

VICKI
Dr. Jeremy is taking care of me.

NEIL
Good.

VICKI
I was due a week ago.

NEIL
I’m sure it’ll be fine.

VICKI
Dr. Jeremy says it is. But. I worry he’s frozen inside me.

NEIL
I made you a scarf. But I think you should wrap it around your stomach. He’ll thaw.

He place a homemade scarf on the table.

VICKI
Oh, thank you.

NEIL
I understand if you can’t take it.

VICKI
No, thank you.

She wraps it around herself.


It fits perfectly.

NEIL
Can I touch you?

VICKI
I don’t know if that’s right.

NEIL
It’s not like the father–
(beat)
I’m sorry.

VICKI
(hurt)
I’m not a slut, Neil.

NEIL
I know. I know.

VICKI
Do you know how many women are on this base? OK? Not a lot.

NEIL
20. We counted.

VICKI
See. You, you’re all–this place is like some crazy dorm and we all go crazy.

NEIL
I’m not some guy who just met you OK!

VICKI
I know everyone! I know you all! And we all know too few people!

NEIL
I think you’re brilliant.

VICKI
You don’t even know what I really do in this place, I just got volunteered cause I took a
Psych class in college.

NEIL
Well, what are you studying?

VICKI
You wouldn’t understand.
(beat)
I’m sorry. I mean, I barely understand, and I don’t know if I’m on the right track.

NEIL
I care.

VICKI
You do, I can see that you do. It’s very sweet.

NEIL
You helped me.

VICKI
I was just guessing.

NEIL
It worked.

VICKI
If that’s all that I do while I’m here, I’ll consider my time a success.

NEIL
I want to see if my fingers are working. The frostbite, I think the feelings coming back at
the tips. It tingles and itches and sometimes it hurts like crazy.

VICKI
I just never got this much attention before.

NEIL
I think you’re beautiful.

VICKI
I don’t trust it.

NEIL
I have very soft hands. They’re not rough, even though I work with them.

He begins to unwrap the bandages around the
tips of his fingers and place them on the table.

VICKI
Even though I’m all bloated and approaching ten months pregnant?

Neil begins to slowly extend his hand.

NEIL
Stop me if you would like.

He places his hand on her stomach. It’s a little
far.

VICKI
I’m way too young. Why did they hire me!

NEIL
Because you’re perfect.

VICKI
Stop it, you sound like you’ve never been in love before. It cheapens you.

Neil moves from her stomach to her face.

NEIL
You’re very warm. Very different from the snow.

Blackout.

END OF PLAY.

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