Rose

This poetic comedy follows the fortunes of the Greenwood family over the course of one magical May night.

Nick, the patriarch, is attempting to keep the crows from devouring his rare cultivar. Nora, his wife, is trying to ensure he wears trousers. Rose, their daughter and an army veteran, is at war with her precocious son, Will. Will is at odds with her moustachioed partner Peter. Lust, lunacy and a duel or two must ensue before love can conquer all.

  • Staged Reading at the Annisquam Library in February 2014

EXCERPT

ACT I, Scene 1

(May. A Saturday afternoon in a garden. There is a flowering crab apple tree, a former outhouse – now used as a tool shed – and a garden bench. There is also a small raised flowerbed enclosed in a complicated set-up of fencing and netting. NICK, dressed in overalls, is cradling an air rifle and sitting on a collapsible army chair next to the flowerbed. A crow caws offstage. NICK raises the air rifle and shoots at it. There is phfft and a thud.)

NICK
Nevermore.

(Enter NORA.)

NORA
Nick! What are you doing?

NICK
Ridding the world of terrorists.

NORA
We’re going to have the police here again!

NICK
A man is perfectly entitled to purge vermin from the earth.

NORA
Not when they land in his neighbor’s yard.

NICK
Benedict won’t mind.

NORA
I mind!

(NORA hears something.)

NORA
That’s Rose. Quick, hide the gun.

NICK
I’m not planning to shoot her.

NORA
Just get rid of it. Quickly!

(NICK hides the air gun. A crash follows.)

ROSE
(offstage)
I don’t want to hear another word!

WILL
(offstage)
Then you shouldn’t have asked!

(Enter ROSE carrying a mangled present, followed by WILL, dressed in a velvet suit.)

NORA
What’s wrong?

ROSE
Will claims to be love.

WILL
I am in love!

ROSE
Poetry is not love.

WILL
Love is not sex!

ROSE
It is if I say it is!

NICK
Is that our anniversary present?

(ROSE hands NICK the present.)

ROSE
It was. Until Shakespeare over there made me drop it.

WILL
I did not make you drop it! You tripped on your own incompetence.

ROSE
I am not incontinent!

WILL
Incompetence!! You never listen.

ROSE
I always listen! I just don’t always hear.

NICK
Quiet!

(gesturing to the netting)

You’ll upset her.

NORA
Thank you love, that was very thoughtful. Now what’s the matter?

ROSE
He’s been writing poems to a girl.

NORA
Love poems?

NICK
Is there any other kind?

NORA
So what’s the problem?

ROSE
He refuses to see her! Or even talk to her! He says that literary love exists on a higher plain of purity.

NORA
It can’t be as bad as all that.

ROSE
Do you know what I found under his mattress, do you?

WILL
Mom!

ROSE
The Complete Works of Keats.

NICK
Disgusting.

ROSE
Why can’t you read dirt like a normal 14-year-old?

WILL
I don’t expect you to understand, you’re old! You look at this garden and see manure and mulch. You don’t notice the delicate veins in the white palm of a blossom. You can’t decipher the riddle that runs through the sting of a raspberry cane. No, all you think about is shit.

NORA
William!

WILL
Why can’t the world be as beautiful as words? Why?!


RoseJayleene Frick isn’t going to take any lip. Especially not from a tight-ass borderline anorexic named Florence with an overdeveloped sense of duty. Especially not in a doctor’s waiting room. But as Jayleene and Florence discover, it’s funny what can come through a door if you’re willing to open it. You just have to be ready to duck.

EXCERPT

ACT I, Scene 1

(Lights up. FLORENCE, sharply dressed in a suit, is sitting in a chair in a doctor’s waiting room reading a magazine, a briefcase by her side. There are a few other chairs and an empty desk. JAYLEENE enters through Door #1, carrying a pocketbook and runs through Door #2. She emerges a few minutes later shaking wet hands. She considers the chairs and decides to sit in the one next to FLORENCE.)

JAYLEENE
God, did you ever have one of those days?

(FLORENCE ignores her.)

I tell you, Kmart ought to sell some of those padded diapers, you know, the ones that whacked-out psycho astronaut used in the car sose she wouldn’t have to stop on her cross country stalking. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve almost bust out all over this floor after holding it in, and holding it in while that stinking turtle they call the subway farted its way through the stops. Ladies need ladies’ rooms. I’ve told them, but they never listen. (a pause) You don’t look too sick. You got an appointment with the doctor too?

FLORENCE
I’m waiting for some results.

JAYLEENE
Is it Aids?

FLORENCE
What?

JAYLEENE
Gonorrhea? Genital warts? Go on, you can tell me.

FLORENCE
Are you joking?

JAYLEENE
Baby, I’ve had my arm snapped twice, my ribs cracked like the coming of doom, and my heart broken more times than I care to count. I’ve had Hepatitis B, three rounds with Chlamydia and a helluva long-term relationship with Herpes. I smoke, drink and eat too much and the doctor tells me that if I don’t stop all of them I’ll be dead before the year is out. I ain’t joking.

A fast-moving farce based around the arrival of a temperamental Hollywood star to Broadway. Will the cast and director survive the rehearsals?

EXCERPT

ACT I, Scene 1

(Darkened stage. TOM and BRIAN onstage.)

BRIAN
No!

(Spotlight coming slowly up.)

No, no, no, no, and wait, a thought’s just coming to me, no!

TOM
She’s talented.

BRIAN
She’s a toothpaste commercial.

TOM
She’s box office.

BRIAN
Oh, don’t get me wrong, I’m sure she’d be perfect for the role of a window display. I’m just worried about the moment when the audience expects something like English to come out of her mouth.

TOM
We can work on her pacing.

BRIAN
You can work on her pacing. I’ll be busy pushing needles into her latest action figure.

TOM
Brian, you’re being unreasonable.

BRIAN
I’m a director. Read the job description. House lights please.

(“House” lights come up.)

TOM
Okay Brian, here it is, no ice, straight up. She’s in it. You’re directing. And I will have thousands of bums on seats for a play that in any other circumstance would end up on a freshman’s optional reading list. She arrives tomorrow. You may want to try a different aftershave.

BRIAN
God, Tom, you really are a world-class asshole.

TOM
I’m a producer. Read the job description.

(Lights down.)