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 weekly submissions.
Ben, 11 years old
Louie, 6 years old
Two brothers are in their sitting room. They are home alone and playing with a marble contraption. It looks precarious and unsteady. They are rifling through the tub of parts looking for a particular piece. Or really Ben is looking for it and Louie is lolling around impatiently.
LOUIE When will mam be home?
LOUIE How long is soon?
BEN About as long as it takes to finish building this.
LOUIE Do you think she’ll bring us a treat?
BEN I hope so. She always does.
LOUIE Do you think she’ll bring us jelly tots?
BEN Dunno. Depends if they still have them. She said there’s not much left in the shop, remember?
LOUIE Like toilet paper.
LOUIE Are we almost finished?
BEN Almost. We’re looking for a small piece. It’s yellow. C’mon, help me find it.
LOUIE (picking a random one) Is this it?
LOUIE But it’s yellow?
BEN I know, but it’s not the right one.
LOUIE Why can’t we use this one?
BEN Because we just can’t.
LOUIE Why not?
BEN (agitated) Because we just can’t. It has to to be the right piece. That one doesn’t fit. See? (He demonstrates) When we find the right piece this marble will start here and roll the whole way down. Through this bit, and that, and even over the little bridge you built! See? Isn’t that cool?
LOUIE I’m hungry.
BEN Have another biscuit.
LOUIE I want pasta.
BEN We’re not allowed to use the cooker. Remember?
LOUIE When will mam be home?
BEN Soon, I said.
LOUIE Can we ring her?
LOUIE Why not?
BEN Because she’s busy. She’s working.
LOUIE At the shop?
(They keep rooting)
LOUIE Can I put the marble in when we’re done?
BEN Of course you can.
(They keep looking.)
LOUIE (frustrated) Why is the part so small?
BEN Well, it’s like your jigsaws. Sometimes the most important part is the smallest one. The one that looks like it’s not gonna do anything. But then when you put it in, it completes everything, gets the whole thing moving. The entire contraption won’t work without it. It’ll be like magic when we find it, I promise.
LOUIE And when we find it, it’ll be finished and then mam will be home?
(The rifle for another few moments)
BEN Aha! I found it!
LOUIE Can I put it in?
BEN Yes, but be gentle. Here, let me help you.
(They slot the piece in and give the contraption a gentle push to test its balance.)
BEN It’s ready. Finally! Ok, here’s the marble. You put it in there, are you ready?
BEN Ok, here we go, 3-2-1…
(Louie releases the marble and it runs the whole way through the contraption. They squeal excitedly and do it a couple more times.)
BEN See? I told you it was cool!
LOUIE Yeah. (Pause. He looks out the window) Where’s mam? You said she
would be home when we were done.
(Pause. When Louie isn’t looking Ben removes a piece of the contraption so a segment breaks off)
BEN Oh no! You know what? This isn’t the right piece after all. We need a different one.
BEN Yeah, just one more piece!
LOUIE Just one more piece and then she’ll be home? Do you promise?
(Pause. Ben hesitates.)
BEN C’mon, let’s keep looking.
A native of Co.Clare, Claudia is a theatre-maker and scholar based in Chicago. She is currently working as a dramaturg on 'The Battlefields of Clara Barton', a new musical by Suzan Zeder and Jenn Hartmann Luck, and as a playwriting mentor for ASSITEJ's 'In the Works' festival in South Africa. Her first play 'The Wendy House' was staged at Smock Alley Boys' School in 2018. She has directed for numerous Irish stages including Smock Alley, The Complex and The Samuel Beckett Theatre. Claudia is a PhD student at Northwestern University where she explores the relationship between performance and artificially-intelligent machines.
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