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Short Playscript On Torture

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SCENE

                                   (ACTOR enters, straightens CHAIRS for
                                   A., B., C., D., F., and G.)

                                   ACTOR
                          (to audience)
            Hello--how are we?  Very good--very good.  Hi.  As you might
            be able to tell, I'm an actor.  Some might say I'm really the
            playwright, their mind, their thoughts.  But I'm more than
            that.  I mean, I'm more than just a stick-figure the
            playwright hung words on.

                                   (Beat.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
            Well, maybe not for this role.  Maybe I'm what so many
            critics in New York City like to look down their noses at.  A
            nondescript character who merely voices the playwright's
            opinions.  Oh the shame.  The fury!

                                   (Beat.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
            And there is fury.  He's pretty furious.  He's angry.  No
            wait--indignant.  He's indignant.  Big difference there.
            He's actually like many of you here now.  An American.  Grew
            up taught certain things about this country, what it stands
            for.  Then came 9/11 and it all seemed tossed over.  Like
            passengers on a ship, our drinks and reading materials yanked
            from our hands and thrown overboard.  And then, even the
            chairs and cushions.  And for years we've all just huddled
            together while the madmen at the helm directed course.

                                   (Beat.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
            Well, we know what happened.  I mean, ostensibly we know what
            happened.

                                   (A., B., C., D., E., F., and G. enter
                                   with cups of
                                   coffee/newspapers/magazines, take seats
                                   and delve into reading materials as if
                                   customers at a Starbucks.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
            As you'll see we don't know what happened.  I mean what
            really, really happened.

                                   (Beat.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
            But before things get going, let me explain this playwright a
            bit.  I tried to bring a little more to my role than he
            originally imagined, because he kept paring it down.  Like
            for instance, since the beginning of this piece is a bunch of
            expository, I thought I might do some kind of dance step, or
            something--something to pepper things up.  Something like
            this:

                                   (Actor begins half-way decent mine
                                   across stage, hands out as if feeling
                                   way along fourth wall.)

                                   ACTOR (CONT'D)
                          (miming)
            And there is fury.  He's angry.  He's indignant.  He's like
            you.  American.  Grew up taught one thing, and then it was
            thrown overboard.  Drinks, cushions and all. (Stops mime.)
            See?  Something like that.  I tried it in rehearsals.  I
            could've pressed for it, but you gotta choose your battles.

                                   (Beat.)

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Writer/artist/activist from California, with a degree in Creative Studies from the University of California at Santa Barbara. Advocating for the convention clause of Article V since 2001.

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