Dreaming on the Hudson

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This is a short play that I wrote a couple of years ago for a series of short plays produced in NY.  We recently produced this play in Miami along with six others that I wrote.  This was the most popular and well received of the plays so I'm releasing it to the Hit RECord world to see if it becomes something else.  The play takes place inside an apartment, but if it becomes something animated I can see it flying around.  Hope you enjoy it.


Dreaming on the Hudson


 


A bare apartment overlooking a busy Manhattan street.  Lying on the floor is LACEY, unconscious and spread eagle on the floor like DaVinci’s The Vitruvian Man.  She is wearing shorts and an oversized t-shirt – her pajamas.


On either side of LACEY is an exquisitely dressed couple.  They stand, passively looking down at LACEY.  Muttering words of love down at her ears.  We will call the couple THING 1 and THING 2 because, really, they have no names. 


THING 1


You’re stupid.


THING 2


You’ve got nothing interesting to say.


THING 1


Your teeth are yellow.


THING 2


You smell like B.O. 


THING 1


You’re wasting space.


THING 2


You’re wasting air.


LACEY awakes with a loud inhalation that makes her sit up.  She is groggy and disoriented.  SHE yawns.


LACEY


Where am I?


THING 1


Here, retard.


LACEY looks around.


LACEY


Is this my apartment?


THING 2


You live in a shoebox.  You can’t afford something this nice.


LACEY


I’m lost.  Can you help me?


THING 1


You’re unhelpable.


THING 2


A lost cause.


LACEY


Why are you being so mean?  I’m just asking for a little guidance, that’s all.


HENRY HUDSON strolls in on a scooter.  He wears an I ♥ NY t-shirt and a Yankees cap and is sipping from a smoothie. 


THING 1


(to THING 2)


Who is that?


THING 2


(to LACEY)


Who is that?


LACEY


(to HENRY HUDSON)


Who are you?


HENRY HUDSON


Henry Hudson.  Dutch navigator.  Creator of New York City aka New Amsterdam aka Mannahatta.


LACEY


Wow, it’s a pleasure to meet you. 


THING 1


(to LACEY)


You look dumb in your pajamas.


THING 2


(to LACEY)


Your breath stinks.


HENRY HUDSON


Where you trying to go?


LACEY


Huh?


HENRY HUDSON


You asked for some guidance.  Where you trying to go?


THING 1


You’re going nowhere.


THING 2


Nowhere but failure!


LACEY


Out of here.  Anywhere.  I just wanna wake up.


HENRY HUDSON


So wake up then.


LACEY


I don’t know how.


HENRY HUDSON


Sure you do.


THING 1


You oughta do something about your hair.


THING 2


Then maybe the men will stop leaving you.


LACEY


Okay, seriously?!


HENRY HUDSON


You don’t have to listen to them you know. 


LACEY


What?


HENRY HUDSON


You don’t have to listen to these…things.  They’re not real.


THING 1


(pointing at HENRY HUDSON.)


He’s not real!


HENRY HUDSON


Maybe not, but I’m a hell of a lot nicer.  Lacey, just give ‘em a good roundhouse kick and they’ll shut up.


THING 2


You can’t do a roundhou…


LACEY does an impressive roundhouse kick that makes them retreat with fear.


LACEY


Woah, where’d that come from?   That felt amazing. 


HENRY HUDSON


See?


LACEY


But I’m still lost.


HENRY HUDSON


400 years ago, back when the skyscrapers were trees, a Lenape man told me that they used this island for their vision quests.  That hasn’t changed.  Except now they’re coming from all around the world to find themselves.  I took one look at Mannahatta and you know what I said?


LACEY


What?


HENRY HUDSON


“This land may be profitable to those that will adventure it.”  Why don’t you go out there and do what you came here to do?


LACEY


What if they’re right, though?  I mean look at me, I’m broke, I feel ugly and disgusting.  The world isn’t making any sense and I’m going crazy.  Hell, I cried when Michael Jackson, Teddy Kennedy and Billy Mayes died.  What is that?


HENRY HUDSON


Lacey, look down there!  There are machines that can outrun horses.  People walking around with things in their hand that’ll talk with the other side of the world.  There’s lights and music.  All of these things started as ideas in someone’s head – and the people who had them, they fought through all that bullshit noise and made these things come to life.  You can listen to those things, believe what they say and ten years from now, you’ll be in your same shoebox or you could step out of that box and go adventure.  I made my choice.  Its your turn now.  They’re waiting for you.  They’re waiting for you. 


HENRY HUDSON points to the AUDIENCE.  LACEY turns and sees the AUDIENCE for the first time, stiffens up and slowly takes a couple of small steps back.  The THINGS stand and meekly offer:


THING 1


You’re stupid.


THING 2


You’ve got nothing interesting to say.


HENRY HUDSON


This is the tip of the iceberg.  Just the tip.


HENRY HUDSON begins to exit.


LACEY


Wait, Henry Hudson.  I’m not ready yet.


HENRY HUDSON


You’re 26 years old, with no attachments, living in the greatest city in the world.  When are you gonna be ready?


Beat.  Henry HUDSON exits.  LACEY turns to the AUDIENCE, very unsure of herself but she’s there and looking them in the eye, and that’s something.  The THINGS look on expectantly.  An alarm rings.


FIN.


 

Created: Mar 14, 2012

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