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.
Dave – 30s
Ed – 20s
Lights up slowly on a single desk DSL with a pneumatic tube coming down from the ceiling just above it. Dave sits at the desk, at a computer. Ed stands under the tube. He catches a parcel that falls out of it and starts to unwrap it, taking out a photograph and a note.
DAVE: What do we have?
ED: Let’s see…
An image of a man and woman at a New Year’s Eve party, smiling at the camera projects onto the back wall.
Uhhh, okay, standard. She says that it’s her now-ex boyfriend of four years, she wants him erased from the picture, and, also asks if we can remove the red eye.
On the projection we see Dave’s work. The man slowly disappears under the computer cursor, and the flash is removed from the woman’s eyes. Dave also makes her mouth imperceptibly bigger. He chuckles.
I like doing that sometimes. And, send to print.
He hits a key and the image disappears. They wait.
ED: I wonder what happened.
ED: With them. The boyfriend.
DAVE: He probably cheated. That’s the case with most of the ones I’ve seen.
ED: Yeah. Do you usually fuck around with it like that? With the facial features?
DAVE: Ah, sometimes. It’s just my own little joke. It’s for me.
Ed laughs politely. They wait. Another parcel drops out of the tube, Ed catches it, repeats the process. An old image of a small child on a bike, with a man steadying him, both laughing.
ED: Okay, his dad refused to put him in the will because of a dispute over money, so he wants his dad replaced with a dog of some sort so that he looks more impressive for outrunning the dog.
Dave chuckles and repeats his process, the image changes with the father gone and a dog in his place. He hits send. They wait.
ED: Do you think there’s something immoral about this?
ED: Messing with people’s possessions. Their memories.
DAVE: It’s a job. And is it immoral if they’re asking for it?
ED: I suppose not.
DAVE: If it pays well, I’ll do it.
ED: Me too, I suppose.
Silence. Another parcel that Ed unwraps. Two photographs appear on the wall, two young men, clearly at different parties, smiling shyly. Ed looks confusedly at the projection and reads the note.
DAVE: Well? What is it?
ED: Just, uh… read it.
Ed hands Dave the letter.
DAVE: “Dear Corrective. Picture A is myself, and picture B is my friend Ian. Some years ago we had an argument over something very arbitrary, that I deeply regret. We did not speak again. Last year Ian died of cancer, and I know that my life’s biggest mistake that I did not attend his funeral. I threw away all my pictures of him. Could you please edit these two together, so I can pretend I have one more memory of him? From Gary.”
Ed and Dave sit in silence for a while. Dave eventually begins to work on the photograph, making it look like the two men are in the same room, adjusting light and background accordingly until he is finished. He sits back.
ED: Lunch break?
DAVE: Yeah. Lunch break.
Ed exits as Dave picks up his coat from the back of his chair. He pauses, and goes to the computer again. The smiles of the two men in the picture get very slightly bigger. Dave smiles and hits send, he follows Ed. Lights down as the image projected fades to black.
Aaron Finnegan is a twenty-two-year-old writer and director from Drogheda, Ireland. He is a recent graduate of the Drama and Theatre Studies course at Trinity College Dublin. His work has been published in the Irish Times, Icarus, and Big Birds Collective. In 2018 he won the Hennessy Literary Award for First Fiction for his story Just This. He hopes you are doing okay.
Fishamble: The New Play Company is supported by