Friday, November 4, 2016

October People's Choice Award

The people have spoken... The October People's Choice Award goes to Jonathan Kuhn for his short play, Not All Men, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on October 3 at the Zephyr Theatre. Congratulations, Jonathan!

Courtesy of Mr. Kuhn, we're pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!


NOT ALL MEN
by Jonathan Kuhn

CHARACTERS
THOMAS JEFFERSON, 30s, female, African-American
JOHN HANCOCK, 30s, female, any race
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, 70s, female, any race

SETTING
A Colonial America home office

(THOMAS JEFFERSON, African-American, sits at a desk with balled-up pieces of paper all over it. He concentrates as he writes with his quill, then slams it down and balls up the paper. He sets it aside, then grabs another paper ball and tosses it at a nearby bucket. Misses. He slumps over, frustrated. BENJAMIN FRANKLIN and JOHN HANCOCK enter. HANCOCK is dressed to the nines. FRANKLIN wears a nightgown. JEFFERSON jumps up to enthusiastically greet them.)

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Gentlemen, gentlemen! Thank you for responding to my inquiry at such short notice at this inopportune hour.

JOHN HANCOCK
It’s no bother.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
It was only tinkering, as I do. What seems to be the trouble?

(JEFFERSON sits back down, overwhelmed. The other two men sit in chairs across from him.)

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Tomorrow is supposed to be a historic day. We are to sign our declaration of independence, and in its current state, it barely qualifies as a pronouncement.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
You’re too hard on yourself, Tom.

JOHN HANCOCK
Let’s hear what you have so far.

THOMAS JEFFERSON
First, we must note who was present for this important occasion.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Are you jesting?

THOMAS JEFFERSON
You deserve credit for your contribution.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
I care not. Or you can thank me another way. Perhaps feature me on our new nation’s currency, so I may feel like royalty.

JOHN HANCOCK
And of what note would you be worth, Ben?

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
Something substantial. Perhaps a bill of one hundred dollars.

JOHN HANCOCK
One hundred dollars! What need is there for such extravagance? Will our average man be purchasing tons of steel on a daily basis?

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Gentlemen, let us mark our presence and continue.

(JEFFERSON signs his name to a new piece of paper. Passes it and the quill to HANCOCK, who signs with a flourish.)

THOMAS JEFFERSON
My word, John! Leave some room for Ben’s name!

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
We needn’t be so formal. I’m wearing my night frock for heaven’s sake.

(FRANKLIN signs the paper and studies it as JEFFERSON speaks.)

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Ben, hundreds of years from now people will be able to look at this document and know that you and John were instrumental in the finalization of the founding document of this country. You are holding history in your hands.

(FRANKLIN admires it for a moment... then sneezes violently into it. JEFFERSON gingerly takes it back, balls it up, and throws it toward the bucket. Misses.)

JOHN HANCOCK
Close one, Tom.

BENJAMIN FRANKLIN
You could make a proper game of that.

THOMAS JEFFERSON
Hardly. Who would want to watch men throw paper into a bucket?

JOHN HANCOCK
Perhaps they would pay for people who could actually make it.

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Join us for the next Monday Night PlayGround on Monday, November 14, at the Zephyr Theatre and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.

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