Saturday, July 28, 2007

Althea & Edmund

Althea and Edmund

One-Act Play

Character Breakdown

Althea- A young girl of no more than sixteen. She is a parlor maid.

Edmund- A young boy from a wealthy family


Althea and Edmund is a one-act, gothic, horror play.

Production History

Althea and Edmund was directed by Sheila Daniels as a Senior project at Cornish College of the Arts in 1997

Selected Excerpt

Scene Eleven
The Wedding

ALTHEA in a very conservative, elaborate wedding dress. She looks locked up. EDMUND in wedding clothes. Stilted wedding music plays. Both stand facing forward. As the music plays the bars of a cage descend over and around them.

In my dreams at night, you are smaller. I watch you from up above. You make sounds but, I’m too far away to hear them and sometimes I keep you in a bird cage just for fun. I poke a stick at you and you squeak and when I pet you you don’t try to get out of the cage. You like it there. I teach you the things I’ve learned from reading. And you agree that nobody knows more things. And you say that you love me very loud. So, loud I can hear it all the way up to where I am. I like you small. And when I’m tired of you I put a blanket over your bird cage and you are quiet. That’s what I think about when I’m sleeping next to you. I’m thinking that you should be smaller. You should take up less room.

I dream and dream. Of bees. Bees on my face. I don’t move I don’t move or they’ll sting. I’m very still. I make my voice cold and blank. I make myself invisible like wind. But, the bees hang on and they sting but I don’t die. I don’t feel anything. Nothing happens but, I can’t move. And inside my stillness they build a hive and live there. Holding me still. And I’m afraid and I wake up with my hands over my mouth.

Scene Twelve

Setting- The bedroom of EDMUND’S house. There is a huge wooden bed covered with white sheets. EDMUND is half undressed. He sits on the bed. ALTHEA sits on the floor in front of the bed.

ALTHEA- No. I won’t.

EDMUND- Come here.

ALTHEA- I won’t have your mouth on mine. It’s stupid. I smell you. Salty and sharp. Like a dead bat.

EDMUND- It’s love. Don’t you want it? It’s love.

ALTHEA- You stink. Why don’t you take a bath?

EDMUND- I don’t have to. I’m the beast. I make the bleeding. I make the secrets.

ALTHEA- No. Did you buy me anything? Did you buy me a gift or something? Something gold? Something velvet. I don’t have any beautiful things.

EDMUND- You don’t love me Althea. Like you’re supposed to. You don’t think about me all of the time The way you should. Now that she’s dead. Dead in the ground with nothing to say to me. Do you love me the way she should’ve loved me

ALTHEA- Inside my head there’s this noise. Like a pounding. Like everyone talking at once. It gets worse. It gets louder. And she’s in there saying things. Telling me you’ll never give me what I need. I need so many things and you won’t give them. Where’s my servants? My money? My different shoes for every day of the week? A new dress each day? And all of the presents?.

EDMUND-I think about her. When her skin was black with poison. She looked beautiful and pure dead like that. I like the quiet of dead things.

ALTHEA- I’m asking you a question. When do I get my things? Don’t touch me when I asking you a question.

EDMUND-I have two pennies. Go buy yourself an ice cream little girl.

ALTHEA- Don’t be stupid.

EDMUND-I don’t want to give you mothers money.

ALTHEA-I don’t care what you want Edmund.

EDMUND-No. Nobody cares what I want.

ALTHEA-Don’t play with me. I’ve learned about making things happen. I can do a ritual. A magic spell. To make you vomit up the bad things and get small. A killing made you big. And I won’t be your bug. Smashed down. This is my house now.

EDMUND-I could push you into the floor. Stuff you into a box. I can’t hear you when you scream at me. You aren’t magic Althea. I am. I make things stop. I make magic. You don’t
make anything.

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