Sunday, June 01, 2008

Alabama Intruder (A short, one Act, three Scene Play)

Alabama Intruder


(Originally, written in short story form, in the book “Stay Down, Old Abram,” as a chapter story, “Black Girl Walking,” 2001; rewritten 6-1-2008 by the same author as a one Act, three Scene Play)



Based on actual events of 1970

Structure of the Play

Black Girl Waling Dialogue

Note: It should be noted, the dialogue for the black girl is according to the southern dialect of the 1970s, of that time, or period and place. It is not to say, the play’s dialogue cannot be smoothed out, it can if the character needs to do this, but it seems to me it will go better with the setting left alone, as well as the date, which can be moved up or back, but again, it is fitting…I do believe, not necessary though, thus, I leave this up to the discretion and discussion of the theater, and its actors, and their abilities in this area. That is to say, if the dialect is counter productive for the playhouse, or too difficult, than resort to clear English, it is not difficult to changing a few letters in the words presented in the dialogue.

The Plot

The plot and the action is smooth and simple, and can be strengthened if need be, by motivation; that is to say, he wants directions, and he goes to further lengths than normal to get them, but what the character has got to show is how far will he go, this may be done by his or her dramatic reactions. As you will see as you read, it is mostly the advancement of the plot we are concerned with, more so than the development of the Character.


Act One
(Of one act)

Scene One


On the street, in downtown, Huntsville, Alabama, 1970,
11:30 AM.


One side of the street is empty, of the stage, it is light up, and so all is very visible in this scene, perhaps a beam of a spotlight on the left side of the street will help. The right side has a few bars on it, and stores, leave it in shadows, as if mysterious. There are a few items here and there that carry the symbolism of the south, the last ultimate seat if not the voice of the population, that says, white and black, still have not come to a full understanding or agreement on equality, equal rights and freedom amongst all, here in Alabama, 1969.

A white Midwestern boy, a Private First Class in the Army, is stationed at Redstone Arsenal, nearby, for advance training, he has just come from boot camp at Fort Bragg, although this background information, is insignificant for the scene, it might be used for clarification for the curious within the audience, should a narrator wish to mentioned this, or have it written in a handout. A black girl is walking to the corner; it would seem she intends to stop at the red light, wait and cross. The white soldier, is behind her, looking with his dress greens in his hands, his Army dress greens, he himself is dressed in civilian cloths, and is looking for a cleaners, to have his uniform pressed. He is a Midwestern boy, 22-yeaars old. The girl is black and pretty, perhaps between eighteen and twenty, dressed neatly, with a white blouse, and light colored skirt, a mythical look appears on her face when she finds a white boy following her, saying something but you can’t here what she is saying, which turns her face into being scared, they—for the moment—are the only ones on the street, she slightly turns her head to see him, the length between them has dwindled down to two-yards, or about six-feet.

He is symbolic also, he is the unaware young generation, of the conservative Midwest, he could be someone’s idea of an America obviously disjointed in the fact, the United States had just been routed out of bed, or out of their dressing-room, to look at equal rights in America, black and white issues. The soldier boy is neatly dressed; his hair is semi short, nicely combed. They are now looking at one another, not moving, a cloths store is right in front of them, to their left side, one you can walk around, one side and come out the other—like a horseshoe. In the middle are dresses.


White Midwestern Boy


Wait! Please wait! I mean, good morning, will you please wait!



(they look at one another the black girl doesn’t answer: the white Midwestern boy, though still stares, watching the black girl, next to the cloths store)


Is there something wrong…I mean all I want is directions?


Black Girl Walking


No. Cant you-all see there arent no black folk talking to white boys, look across the street, you see anyone walking there black? You must be from the north, leave me alone white boy, before you-all get me hung, and you git beat up by your own kind!


The boy takes a cigarette from a pack in his shirt pocket, he has a light jacket on, he seems to have come prepared for such a need, he is baffled, or so it seems, and the weather is cool.

So (says the black girl) you will not follow me anymore, right?


White Midwestern Boy


(taking the cigarette out of his mouth)


What, no directions to the drycleaners?


Black Girl Walking


No! An’ I is not talking to yow: ask someone else. I goin get killed, because of yaw-all, my uncle got hung six-weeks ago, go on now, an’ I’m not lying. Aren’t you a pest!


(after a moment,: she looks about, doesn’t say another word, stares at the clothing store, rushes into the turnaround pretending to look at the cloths, does not go into the store: then:)


Scene Two

Same location as in scene one, but has changed into the turnaround of the cloths store, where there are windows of cloths showing, glass windows. The time has not changed much, so no lights need to be changed for the most part from scene one; although you may no longer see the street, perhaps through the reflection of the glass. The black girl and the white boy have not exchanged names, so they only know each other as, the black girl walking, and the white Midwestern (or for her: northern) boy from the north; so this should be inferred within their faces and tone of voice, especially when the black girl buries her face somewhat into the glass window, pretending to look at the cloths, when she really is trying to avoid the intruder.


Black Girl Walking


Uncle Josh he right…folks like you, from the north dont understand, a thing about us folks here, like to ask questions, only get me into trouble, and dhen you-all gone, jes like dat, and you dont know the folks down her, and think they goin to have to go according to the law and next thing you is hung, and all the laws in the world dont bring you back, an’ then the white folk from the north area sorry, but sorry dont do a thing to bring back Uncle Josh. If white folk down her see me talking to you it goin to be trouble… you jus cant see it until it happens, its too late then…


White Midwestern Boy


Tell me about your uncle?



Black Girl Walking

(rapidly)


You is crazy. They hung him outside of town, in a farm pasture, from an old tree, jes old crows around to see him die, thats all it was, a tree and old crows, and when we goin’ there to fetch him, to bury him proper like, the old man of the farm he jus watch ya like you is going to rob his garden. Thats it, there is no more, no court, no anything, jus a hanging…one of many!


(she lets out a long sigh, slowly, with a sort of despair attached to it, as the boy drops the cigarette to the floor, puts it out with his shoe)


She is not even looking at the boy, standing four or five feet from her, she is looking into the glass window, her fingers pressed against the glass, her face leans on it for a moment, then she pulls back.

Black Girl Walking


I think there might be a drycleaners back yonder a ways, the other way, where you-all were coming from, down the block…


(pointing to her right side, which would be his left, when he was walking down the sidewalk trying to intrude, her face half hidden)


It now seems to dawn on the white boy, that things are not as he thought, they are more serious, he looks out towards the street, a few cars have passed, he noticed no one has looked at him from the cars, yet the black girl is blind to the road, he wants to put out his hand towards her, starts to and dares not, she even shields her eyes form what someone might see, if this boy does something stupid.


White Midwestern Boy


Yes. Go on. I’m sorry I caused you so much grief, I think I let it go too far, I should have just went about my way…and what you said about your uncle, I mean, being dead, hanged in Alabama, for whatever reasons, is for me hard to believe, but I believe you…no cars are coming, no one looking, you best go!


Scene Three

The Exit

Much like scene one in appearance; you see the boy looking down the street, and the black girl walking across the street where they originally met. The girl stops, back to the boy, they are a distance away, she starts to turn her head around, but stops, and at that moment, he automatically turns his back around to her, in case she decides to follow through on the compete turnabout… and the curtain comes down.


Curtain



Notes: the Author was stationed at Redstone Arsenal, in February and March, of 1970 the same location of the United States Space Center Program.

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