Keep your creativity flowing with Fishamble's #TinyPlayChallenge
In these challenging times, Fishamble - along with many of our colleagues in the wider Irish artistic community - is working hard to keep imaginations lively, communities engaged - and most of all offer people the opportunity of creative expression. We asked our audiences: Would you welcome the challenge of exploring your thoughts and feelings through drama? Do you have a dramatic story that you feel the urge to work out for yourself, and maybe share with your fellow citizens?
Below is one of the chosen plays from our global submissions.
(Three women on stage. They hold pictures of hands.)
WomanOne: This is the picture of my father’s hands. You know them. They would give you your sausage, pepper, and onion sandwich out the window of his food truck. Everyday. No matter. His hands cut the food, cooked it, assembled it and then gave it to you dripping with sauce. You would ask for extra napkins.
WomanTwo: These are my mother’s. She wrote books. She made quilts. For family. Friends. She knitted shawls and sweaters. She adjusted my father’s ties with them. She would pat them on her knee as she read a book. Pat pat, pat pat.
WomanThree: My brother’s. He built tables. Dining tables. Come to the table everyone. He built beautiful tables.
WomanOne: My father died from this. He’s buried on Hart Island. Our Potter’s Field. Too many dying at once. There’s no time for funerals or wakes or any of the proper rituals. Load them up and bury them quick. Line one on top of the other, on top of the other, on top of… He wanted to be cremated. He picked out the urn years ago. The Funeral home made me pay for it though I have nothing to put in it.
WomanThree: That’s horrible.
WomanTwo: Maybe his apron. Did he have a favorite?
WomanOne: He did. Your mother?
WomanTwo: In one of the refrigerated trucks waiting to be buried or something. I wanted to go and put my arms around the trucks. All of them. Not just for my mom, for all the people but no one’s allowed near.
WomanThree: My brother was early on. Got a virtual Funeral which he would have said “Wow I’m like a Star Trek Episode.” His hands built tables for people to come together and enjoy a meal, a conversation, a laugh. His hands. And now they say don’t share with your hands. Don’t reach out with them. Keep them to yourself. They’re dangerous. But they’re what we hold with, what we create with.
WomanOne: We high five with and shake with.
WomanTwo: We snap, tickle, and blow kisses with.
WomanThree: We bake and knead with.
WomanOne: We zip and button with.
WomanThree: And lift with.
WomanTwo: We catch balls and hold babies with.
WomanOne: Some talk with them.
(WomanOne does the sign language for “Hello?”)
WomenThree: We build bridges and ships and planes and buildings with these.
(WomanThree holds up her hands.)
WomanOne: We make paintings, sculptures, music with them.
WomanTwo: We mend bones, hearts, lungs, lives with them.
WomanOne: We love with them.
WomanThree: We pick each other up with them.
WomanOne: We write letters, thank you cards.
WomanThree: Sympathy and birthday cards.
WomanThree: We applaud with them. Every night, everywhere, everyone applauding to all those helping. To all those caring.To all those saving and losing and getting up again and doing it all over because we never lost hope.
(Three starts applauding she is quickly joined by one and two. They face the audience. The clapping turns to a rhythm. Now they are dancing with the clapping. This is a celebration of hands. It reaches a crescendo of clapping sound and dancing and then is lights out. Silence Done.)
Holli Harms is a playwright, screenwriter. She is a member of Dramatist Guild, Ensemble Studio Theatre, NYWFT, and on the board of Women In the Arts and Media Coalition. She is guest Lecturer at School Of Visual Arts College (SVA) NYC, as well as, screenwriter for SVA. She has been awarded the Dramatist Guild Fellowship, EST/ Sloan Grant, Terence G Hall Fellowship, TNT Pops Winner, and Three Time Winner of Austin Film Festival Second Rounder. Her Short Narrative Film, Icarus Stops For Breakfast continues to win awards. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, daughter and dog. Visit her website @ holliharms.com.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by