#tbt

This was a project in which I had to use characters from different plays to make a point. My point was to show that some of these characters were able to put into action their ideas, while others were completely unable to act upon their convictions. You may not understand completely if you haven’t read Another Antigone, Antigone, Hamlet, and Waiting for Godot, but hopefully you can enjoy anyway. Warning: I was not and am still not a very good playwright but where stage direction is lacking I hope I make up for it in dialogue. Enjoy!

Actions and Words

Act I. Scene I.

A country road. A tree.

Evening.

Enter Hamlet.

Hamlet: To be, or not to be: that is the question:

Whether ‘tis nobler…

From offstage.

Judy: Words, words, words. (Enter Judy.) You said it yourself. Seriously, all you do is stand there and speak; when are you going to do something about it?

Hamlet: Who are you? Who sent you?

Judy: Nobody sent me, you think that I can’t go somewhere on my own? Sheesh, you are just like my anti-Semitic professor. Just because I am a Jewish girl doesn’t mean that I don’t have a brain.

Hamlet: Why must you speak so much?

Judy: You are the one who talks too much. Why don’t you do something?

Hamlet: Revenge is the sweetest sound to my ear,

But ‘tis my lack of courage that delays me.

Judy: I could teach you a thing or two about courage, just look at me! You just have to make up your mind and go for it. My play would never be being put on if I hadn’t stood up to my professor. My Antigone is better than the old one, stronger, smarter. You just have to stand up for yourself, that’s all.

Hamlet: Whatever are you talking about?(aside)

Thy child is as mad as dear Ophelia.

Judy: What did you say? I heard you talking to the audience, I don’t have to stand for this.

Judy makes her way to the left.

Judy: (Muttering to herself) I can’t believe the way I am being treated. Oh! I had an idea, my Antigone can be a woman wrongfully put in a mental asylum. Yes. I must rewrite immediately. (To Hamlet) See this is what it is like to make up your mind and act upon it.

Judy exits left still muttering ideas to herself.

Hamlet: And I worried of dear Ophelia,

More madness exists in that poor soul.

Exit Hamlet shaking his head in disappointment.

 

Act I. Scene II.

 

Enter Vladimir. He looks around. Walks to the tree and looks behind it. Walks back to center stage and takes off his hat. Examines his hat and places it back on his head. Begins to look around again.

 

Vladimir: Hello!

From offstage.

Estragon: Hello!

Vladimir: Hello!

Estragon: Hello!

Vladimir: Gogo!?

Estragon: Didi!?

Enter Estragon.

Vladimir: Oh, Gogo!

Vladimir runs to embrace Estragon.

Estragon: Get off me!

Vladimir: I thought that you left me.

Estragon: I should have.

Vladimir: That would be a tragedy.

Estragon: A relief.

Vladimir: A tragedy.

Estragon: A relief.

Vladimir: A travesty… Something is different.

Estragon: Different from what?

Vladimir: From yesterday.

Estragon: We’ve been here before?

Vladimir: Oh, of course; you don’t remember?

Estragon: I’ve never seen this place before.

Vladimir: We were here yesterday! (less sure) We were here yesterday. (even less sure) We were here yesterday.

Silence.

Estragon: What do we do now?

Vladimir: Wait for Godot.

Estragon: Ah! (silence) I am going. (exits left)

Vladimir: Gogo!

Estragon enters left.

Estragon: They’re coming!

Vladimir: Who?

Estragon: I don’t know. (Runs offstage right) They’re coming there too.

Vladimir: Is it Godot?

Estragon: I don’t know. Hide!

They don’t move.

From left storms Judy. From right enters Antigone.

Judy: I can’t believe that there is another man as ridiculous as Professor Harper. Neither of them would know a good piece of work if it bit them in the…

Antigone: What are you ranting about? Can you not see that there are others here with bigger problems?

Estragon: Which one is Godot?

Vladimir: Neither one is Godot!

Estragon: Is Godot a man?

Vladimir: Yes. No. Yes

Estragon: Have you seen Godot?

Vladimir: No.

Estragon: Godot could be a woman.

Vladimir: Godot isn’t a woman. Is he? She? Ask one of them.

Estragon: Excuse me.

Judy and Antigone turn to look at the two men. They have paid no attention to them before this point.

Vladimir: Ask!

Estragon: Er… I was wondering… are either one of you… Godot?

Antigone: No.

Judy: No, don’t you guys know that Godot never shows up? Have you never read that play?

Vladimir: A play?

Judy: Some play about two stupid guys that do absolutely nothing. We studied it in school a long time ago. They talk about weird things and just stand there; they even suggest hanging themselves at one point.

Vladimir: (Astonished) Gogo! That is us. We talked about hanging ourselves yesterday.

Estragon: What are you talking about? We weren’t here yesterday. We have never been here before.

Antigone: Silence! I am deep in thought.

Poor Polynices needed my help,

And I gave that to him with pride.

I fear however that I may have rushed into my decision.

No! I do not regret my actions.

Creon’s stubborn actions are the reason why

So many had to die.

Judy: Creon? You mean King Creon.

Antigone: I know no other Creon. I knew no other Creon.

Judy: Wait… Are you Antigone?

Antigone: Yes.

Estragon and Vladimir look back and forth at each woman as she speaks.

Judy: (Gleefully) I have so many questions to ask you. My professor says that I know nothing of tragedy and that I know nothing of the play about you, but I will prove him wrong; who better to ask about it all than Antigone herself?

Antigone: There is a play about me?

Judy: You bet. And I wrote another one about you. Sort of.

Antigone: I don’t have time for such trivial things as theatre.

Judy: Trivial! Not mine. My main character, you, except I renamed her to Judith, she is a famous scientist, like my boyfriend will be someday…

Antigone: A scientist?

Judy: You know, someone who studies science and stuff. All that is Greek to me. Ha.

Antigone: I don’t think that science is Greek specifically. Others regions are sure to study science.

Judy: Never mind. Anyway she is a scientist, no wait, I changed her into a mental patient who is wrongly accused. Oh yeah, and then I changed her name to Ashley. Anyway, she must fight her way out of the mental hospital because she doesn’t belong there and her doctor thinks that she is crazy and so he won’t let her leave and then…

Antigone: You are speaking in riddles worse than the Sphinx.

I do not understand you. You are like Ismene though,

You change your mind as often as a bird flies by.

Judy: What? You don’t like my play either. You of all people don’t like my play. I don’t believe this. I have written a true tragedy and no one appreciates it.

Antigone: A tragedy? You do not understand tragedy;

You cannot understand tragedy.

Tragedy results from causes that you are blind to;

My father could better see them as well as the blind Tiresias.

Tragedy is… (In realization) Tragedy is when

Two minds are too stubborn to let up.

Tragedy is when the gods have not given

One the power to see one’s flaws.

Tragedy is when a lost soul is willing

And eager to give up everything

For nothing.

Judy: Can I use that speech in my play?

Antigone: You, are a tragedy.

Antigone turns and exits from where she came.

Judy: Well, she was interesting.

Vladimir: Intriguing.

Estragon: Depressing.

Vladimir: Intriguing.

Estragon: Interesting.

Judy: You guys are ridiculous. Is no one sane?

Judy exits to the left leaving Vladimir and Estragon alone.

Estragon: I’m leaving.

Vladimir: You can’t.

Estragon: Why not?

Vladimir: We are waiting for Godot.

Estragon: Wasn’t she Godot?

Vladimir: No. Maybe we should leave, and come back tomorrow.

Estragon: And wait for Godot?

Vladimir: We have to.

Estragon: O.K. Let’s go.

They don’t move.

 

Act II. Scene I.

 

Next day. Same time.

 

Same place.

 

Enter Antigone.

Antigone: What has been done cannot be changed;

Actions are stronger than any spoken word.

Polynices has received a proper burial,

And I have chosen my fate.

Enter Hamlet.

Hamlet: Do I disturb you, fair lady?

Antigone: No, I was just thinking in the open.

Hamlet: I have a tendency to do so myself.

Antigone: Thinking like that is absurd, I find.

If a mind never leaves the same subject,

Nothing is bound to be accomplished.

Hamlet: Surely you don’t mean to rush into any action?

Antigone: Sometimes that can be for the better.

Hamlet: A certain amount of planning and thought

Undoubtedly must be put into any action.

Antigone: Some actions require just that, action.

Hamlet: And if one is afraid to act?

Both ponder the question.

Enter Vladimir.

Vladimir: (singing) A dog came in the kitchen

And stole a crust of bread.

Then cook up with a ladle

And beat him till he was dead.

Then all the dogs…

Antigone and Hamlet: Silence!

Vladimir looks at them with the face of a sad puppy. He quietly walks over the tree and sits.

Antigone: (to Hamlet) One must act.

Antigone start walking to the right. Just before she leaves the stage she is halted by Hamlet’s voice.

Hamlet: It was a true pleasure conversing with thee.

I could only hope for half your strength,

And half your mind, but I fear I require

All your courage.

Antigone turns back to leave but stays with her back to Hamlet.

Antigone: There is nothing I have that you could ever want.

I do not regret what I have done, Polynices was my brother,

But it is not his fault for me having lost everything,

It is my own blind hubris that I regret.

With that, she leaves.

Hamlet: I am not exactly sure what she means,

But her story sounds like that of Antigone.

Blind as her hubris may be, she acted

On her will, which is more than can be said of me.

Hamlet exits with a purpose to the left.

Vladimir is left alone.

Vladimir: (Almost whispering) A dog came in the kitchen

And stole a crust of bread.

Then cook up with a ladle

And beat him till he was dead.

Then all the dogs came running

And dug the dog a tomb…

 

Act II. Scene II.

 

Vladimir is still sitting under the tree. He has ceased singing and is now crying with his head resting on his knees. Enter Estragon from the left.

Estragon: What happened?

Vladimir looks up and immediately stops crying. He jumps to his feet and runs to Estragon, arms outstretched.

Vladimir: Gogo!

Estragon: Don’t!

Vladimir stops himself just before hugging Estragon.

Vladimir: Did they beat you up again?

Estragon: Leave me alone.

Vladimir: I would have protected you.

Estragon: You couldn’t have; there were ten of them.

Vladimir: But I would have…

Enter Judy from the left.

Judy: Boys, boys, let’s not argue about such silly things, we have work to do. Now since Dave is too busy to play the part of Haimon, I mean Greg, no wait… I think I changed his name to Louis. Anyway, I need one of you to play the part. Which one of you wants it?

Vladimir and Estragon look at each other in confusion.

Vladimir: Is she asking us to act?

Estragon: We can’t act.

Vladimir: Impossible.

Estragon: Inconceivable.

Vladimir: Preposterous.

Estragon: Inconceivable.

Judy: Ugh! You two are incapable of doing anything.

Enter Hamlet, his head lowered in shame.

Hamlet: How could I have been so utterly wrong?

I have missed my purpose completely;

Nay, I have avoided my purpose at

All costs. I must act upon my father’s

Requests. My incestuous uncle must die.

Judy: Hey, before you go off and make him drink a whole bunch of poison, would you mind doing me a favor? Do you think you can act?

Hamlet: Can I act? Have you not seen my complete

Inability to act? My dear child,

I have no time to converse; time is lacking.

I must fulfill my fate; that I know now.

Hamlet exits to the right with much more difficulty than before.

Judy: Well, there goes another actor. I will never find anybody in time to fill the role; my show is tonight. This is a complete mess…

Judy continues ranting.

Estragon: Shall we hang ourselves?

Vladimir: Maybe we should wait for Godot.

Estragon: What if he doesn’t come?

Judy: (interrupting) Does this Godot act?

Estragon: We should hang ourselves.

Judy continues ranting.

Vladimir: We went through this already. We don’t have any rope.

Estragon: We should bring some tomorrow.

Vladimir: Tomorrow, yes tomorrow.

Judy: Well I have a show to put on and an actor to find, I can’t sit here and listen to you guys.

Estragon: Hey! We should all leave.

Vladimir: What about Godot?

Estragon: He won’t come, will he?

Vladimir: We should wait for him.

Judy: Guys! He is never going to come. I’m leaving.

Estragon: Me too.

Vladimir: All right, let’s go.

They don’t move.

 

© Autumn Siders 2007

Characters taken from Another Antigone by A.R. Gurney, Hamlet by William Shakespeare, Antigone by Sophocles and Waiting for Godot by Samuel Beckett