Bokeh (audience interactive) - ONE ACT PLAY - 1st draft

By Ziggy

*Avant-garde meta-theatricality. Breaking down the "fourth wall" between performer and audience. From an actors point of view, it's open to total improvisation. The idea is that this is about a recorded image, the photograph, and i like the idea of the audience recording a play about the recorded image, in a tragicomedic sense.

This 1st draft is fairly rushed in comparison to my second draft, (which you can find on my page) and was written to get the gist of the idea down on paper. I wrote it in about an hour on the train and posted on here unedited.

Bokeh is an absurdist tragicomedy inspired by Samuel Beckett, Tom Stoppard, Jean Genet and Eugène Ionesco and many others of the Theatre Of The Absurd. It is absurdist in the most experimental and novel sense, a play open to improvisation and audience interaction. Bokeh (pronounced bo-keh) is the aesthetic quality of a blur in a photograph. The play focuses on two men, their ages ranging between late-twenties to early thirties. In the opening scene we discover that they are stuck in a mid-handshake position. They are able to blink and talk and gradually they are able to use their left arms and hands. They discover small mirrors in their suit pockets. This enables them to put a face to the blur (the bokeh) they can see in the corner of their eye. The “bokeh blur” being the audience. These two men do not remember their names at first, but gradually become aware and are able to move certain body parts as the play progresses. They discover that they are in a photograph and they realise they have become sentient within a microsecond.

The play itself can be seen as a microcosm and the audience - who are photographing the actors with their eyes every mini-second - can be seen as the macrocosm.

Is my play existentialist? I would say so. Both characters don’t know who they are, where they are or where they are going - but they certainly would like to know. A person having an existential “crisis” questions the very foundation of their lives. My two characters are questioning every aspect of their being, they have been born into an alien environment, just as we are born into an alien environment with a clean slate and veil pulled over our eyes. If one of the goals of our lives is to lift that veil then my two characters have the same goal.

Cordially,

- Ben




Act One

Two men standing a few metres away from each other, heads bowed. First man lifts his head up and sees the other with his head bowed.

Man#1
Excuse me.

He clears his throat

Man#1
Excuse me sir.

Man#2 lifts his head up, open’s his eyes. (short pause)

Man#2
Do we know each other?

Man#1
I don’t know who you are. I can’t move… where are we?

Man#2
I can’t move either.

Man#1
Stop staring at me.

Man#2
Stop staring at me.

Man#1
I can’t move.

Man#2
Not even a limb?

Man#1
Not even a twinge.

Man#2
Not even a twitch?

Man#1
I can blink.

Man#2
My God, so can I.

Man#1
What is your name?

Man#2
Wait, I can see a blur to my right.

Man#1
I… I can see a blur to my left.

Man#2
I feel panicked by this blur to my right.

Man#1
A… blur of images on my left…. I can’t…. I can’t move my head.

Man#2
I sense presences.

Man#1
Where are we?

Man#2
Some kind of… twingeless…twitchyless realm of immovability. What is your name?

Man#1
I can’t…. I can’t recall. Do you have a name?

Man#2
Well, I must have… I… I can’t recall either.

Man#1
We’re in a place where we can’t recall our names, we can’t twinge or twitch and there is a blur to my left and a blur to your right.

Man#2
I can hear sounds coming from the blur…indecipherable sounds.

Man#1
My word, so can I.

Man#2
Is it the abyss?

Man#1
No, it feels like… like… a creative mass… of energy.

Man#2
I can move my right hand!

Man#1
Aha!

Man#2
What do I do with it?

Man#1
Wave at me.

Man#2 waves at Man#1

Man#2
I’m going to point in the direction of the blur to my right.

Man#1
That is impressive.

Man#2
I am going to put my right hand in my pocket. (rummages in his pocket) What’s this?

He takes out a small shaving mirror.

Man#1
A mirror!

Man#2
Oh my god, friend.

Man#1
What do you see?

Man#2
I see… people.

Man#1
People?

Man#2
Yes.

Man#1
What are they doing?

Man#2
I see faces, they are in seats. Some look amused, some look… a little perplexed.

Man#1
They surely can’t be as perplexed as we?

Man#2
They seem to be able to twinge and twitch and blink…

Man#1
I’m too afraid to communicate.

Man#2
We must remain calm.

Man#1
I can move my right hand and arm.

Man#2
Check your pockets.

Man#1 checks his pocket. He takes out a make-up kit.

Man#1
A make-up kit… with a mirror.

Man#2
Interesting…

Man#1
I assure you this is not mine.

Man#2
Uh-huh.

Man#1
My god, you are right. People. Faces that can twinge, twitch and blink.

Man#2
It’s nice to put a face to a blur isn’t it?

Man#1
It so is.

Man#2 does a Humphrey Bogart impression.

Man#2
Here’s looking at you kid.

Man#1
Here’s looking at you.

Man#2
Here’s looking at them.

Man#1
In a mirror.

Man#2
It can be fun to look.

Man#1
Depends what you’re looking at.

Man#2
Wow

Man#1
What?

Man#2
I can clench a buttock.

Man#1
Really? Left or right?

Man#2
Right.

Man#1
I see a pattern taking place.

Man#2
Brace yourself.

Man#1
For what?

Man#2
It’s kinda addictive

Man#1
What is?

Man#2
Clenching your buttocks.

Man#1
Aha! I can feel a tingly feeling in my right bum cheek.

Man#2
This is very exciting.

Man#1
Oooh, it tickles.

Man#2
We are so being watched right now.

Man#1
I am too afraid to engage with them.

Man#2
Me too. In fact I’m struggling to be able to.

Man#1
I know what you mean. Communication seems to be blocked.

Man#2
I can only communicate with you.

Man#1
Same here friend.

Man#1 takes a look in his mirror. He starts crying.

Man#2
Why are you crying?

Man#1
I just saw a face in the crowd.

Man#2
What was it doing?

Man#1
It was putting it’s tongue between it’s fingers. It had no hair.

Man#2
Human?

Men#1
It looked like Aleister Crowley.

Man#2
Maybe it is…

Man#1
I think it was.

Man#2
Are we dead?

Man#1
It’s a scary thought…

Both put the mirrors back in their pockets and bow their heads. Asleep.

The curtains are pulled.

THE END.

Document
Bokeh (audience interactive) - ONE ACT PLAY - 1st draft

Created: Jan 08, 2010

Tags: ionesco, joseph gordon-levitt, sundance writing, beckett, blur, absurdism, comedy, audience, interactive emotion, mirrors, one act, stuck, improvisation, tom stoppard, waiting for godot beckett existentialism

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