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Slaughterhouse Five

Script By: Liam Cooper
Other



A hip-hopera in two acts; a staged adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut's classic accompanied by a John Zorn inspired musical game piece.


Submitted:Dec 5, 2011    Reads: 56    Comments: 0    Likes: 1   


SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE

By: Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.

Adapted By: Liam Cooper

2011-2012

Character List Tralfamadorian 1, P.O.W 1, Scout 1, German Major,
Optometrist 1, Man 1, Valencia, Editor, and Barbara

Billy Pilgrim

Tralfamadorian 1

Tralfamadorian 2

American P.O.W 1/Paul Lazzaro

American P.O.W 2/Edgar Derby

German Major

Roland Weary

Scout 1

Scout 2

German Lieutenant

Patient

Secretary

Optometrist 1

Optometrist 2

British P.O.W

Valencia

Kilgore Trout

Performer

Barbara

Man 1

Man 2

Robert

Montana Wildhack

Eliot Rosewater

Editor

Promoter

Introducer

ACT I

SCENE ONE

(Tralfamadorian spaceship. Lights rise to highlight the BAND who plays for four minutes. Then all lights rise as PILGRIM enter stage right to TRALFAMADORIAN 1 standing beside TRALFAMADORIAN 2 who is seated on a box placed center)

PILGRIM

Good morning.

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

How did you sleep tonight? Do you want some food?

PILGRIM

Good and reclined. No thank you, where am I?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

You are in a trip.

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

Going to the Zoo.

PILGRIM

How long until we get there?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

Who knows, Man.

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

It shouldn't be much longer. Sit down,

(Hands PILGRIM something)

And have an "Auge".

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

Or take a Freeze.

PILGRIM

(Taking cup from TRALFAMADORIAN 2)

Where'd all this come from? Tastee-Freeze?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

Was that what was behind that monolith?

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

You mean the fort, with all of those neat chairs?

PILGRIM

You two were in a fort? How'd you escape?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

We left with all of these debonair seats.

PILGRIM

Oh, right. So then where did they find you guys?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

Did they even catch us, Man?

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

No, not yet; and I don't think that they ever will, they are never very close, and we've just left.

PILGRIM

Where'd you say that we were going?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

Over there.

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

(Standing)

It's basically an Earth Zoo.

PILGRIM

Oh, so how long until we get there?

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

It'll be a while, we're just launching.

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

We could get there faster if we just sped.

PILGRIM

Oh, who is driving?

TRALFAMADORIAN 1

(Gestures offstage left)

The Captain, he's part of a long line of test pilots-

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

Where are our manners,

(Extends hand)

Freeze?

PILGRIM

Tastee-Freeze?

TRALFAMADORIAN 2

Sure.

(Hands PILGRIM something)

SCENE 2

(World War II German train car carrying prisoners of war. Spotlight on three boxes pressed against a wall on stage right. P.O.W 1 in the middle of picking up a pantomime bucket and passing it to P.O.W 2)

P.O.W 1

Take this.

P.O.W 2

Hey, Dumper. Deal with this.

(PILGRIM reaches for the bucket without looking at the other P.O.Ws and tosses the contents off stage.

The trio sit in silence until PILGRIM attempts to lean on P.O.W 2)

P.O.W 2

Hey! Not this again! You ain't sleeping until we get to where we're going.

PILGRIM

What?

P.O.W 1

You're a dumper and a screamer, and you ain't sleeping until we get to they take us to where we're going.

(The three sit, periodically passing buckets to PILGRIM who empties them off stage; eventually PILGRIM tries to sleep again.)

P.O.W 2

We've gone over this, kid. Now knock it off and wake up.

PILGRIM

Just leave me alone, I'm tired.

P.O.W 1

Listen, kid - whenever you pass out, you start shaking around and yellin' and we're sick of it.

So it goes that they're taking some guy off the other car who killed himself screaming everyone's ear off about torturing some righteous reporter for the past two days and unless you want to end up like him, when we start rolling again; I'd suggest you stay awake.

(The lights dim and the three sit until a GERMAN MAJOR comes to escort the men off stage left.)

SCENE 3

(Concentration camp World War II, AMERICAN P.O.W 1 and 2 enter stage right. PILGRIM stands center.)

AMERICAN P.O.W 1

Did you really take that teapot, Derby?

DERBY

I didn't think they'd notice.

PILGRIM

What?

DERBY

Oh, hello, Soldier. It's nothing.

P.O.W

Those krauts found out about this tea set Derby had and they weren't too pleased.

PILGRIM

Oh?

DERBY

Yea, well we don't know for sure. But it wasn't in our bunk, and they told me to come to the yard after lunch today last night while they were serving dinner.

PILGRIM

Do you think it could be anything else?

P.O.W 1

Nah, kid. There's been a couple'a thefts goin' on, some Gerries came into the huts and told us to leave while you was out. When we came back our blankets were on the ground and Derby's teapot was reclaimed. What'd you think they'll do?

DERBY

I have no idea, Paul. Probably some public chastising; I just wanted something to take back home, something to show the kids. I want them to know that I was here.

PILGRIM

You have kids?

DERBY

The school kids, I was a teacher. Took some string-pulling to get into the War, and well - now we're here.

PAUL

From school teacher to petty thief, looks like the war's really gettin' to ya, Derby.

DERBY

Yea, Paul. You were snatching up cars back in the states, so who knows. Maybe you'll be a professor by the time we get out of this mess.

PILGRIM

Well it looks like someone's coming over here.

(GERMAN MAJOR crosses stage left)

PAUL

Well, it was nice knowing you Derby.

MAJOR

You are ze' man who took ze' pot for tea making from the ruins?

DERBY

Yes, I'm so-

MAJOR

Zerr is no time for sorrowful, my men and me say that you die.

PILGRIM

What?!

PAUL

Really? You fellas'll do that for a lousy teapot? The lowest I could do is a thousand dollars.

MAJOR

Silence boy, if you don't you too die. We had a trial, potter's guilty. Now please, over here you will kneel.

(Leads DERBY far stage left and stops as DERBY exits stage left)

On the charge of theft you are guilty.

(The MAJOR pulls out a pistol)

(The lights go red then fade, a gunshot is heard.)

SCENE 4

(German Forest, World War II. Spotlight on center stage, SCOUT 1, SCOUT 2, ROLAND WEARY, and BILLY PILGRIM cautiously enter stage right and cross as the lights rise.)

WEARY

Hurry up, College-Boy.

(Turning to Pilgrim)

Why's it seem like us three're always saving you?

PILGRIM

I don't know, Roland. But I appreciate it.

WEARY

You oughta, it's only a matter of time before we join up with the rest of the War and you'll have nothing but that pad to remember us three by.

PILGRIM

I appreciate it, Roland.

(Gesturing to SCOUT 1)

You think the guys are close?

WEARY

We'll find em' by the end of the day, we've been walking long enough. Once they hear what we've gone through for you, they'll have to promote us.

PILGRIM

Probably, Roland.

SCOUT 2

Let's sit down.

(The two Scouts walk down stage left and sit on two boxes, WEARY sits upstage right of them, as PILGRIM meanders between the two camps. The lights fade to highlight PILGRIM and WEARY.)

WEARY

Hey, College-Boy, what do you think they're doing back home?

PILGRIM

Probably the same thing we're doing.

WEARY

Like what? You think they're thinking about us?

PILGRIM

I don't know, didn't you think about what they were doing when you were home?

WEARY

All the time, College-Boy, that's why I joined up.

PILGRIM

You mean you felt guilty?

WEARY

No, I had been waiting for it.

PILGRIM

Waiting?

WEARY

Yeah, ever since I was a kid. My dad was in the War and had all this stuff that we kept in a collection. Every weekend we would clean all of it and he would tell me about some of the torture things. I remember he would always say "Mind your blood gutters," before we started polishing.

PILGRIM

"Blood gutters"?

WEARY

Yea, it's the part of a blade that the blood drains off of when you stab stuff. What? You mean they didn't teach you what a "blood gutter," was in college?

PILGRIM

I didn't stay long.

SCOUT 1

Hey, come here.

WEARY

Come on, College-Boy. Looks like the Three Musketeers have got something.

(PILGRIM remains center stage as WEARY stands and walks toward SCOUT 1 as SCOUT 2 walks toward stage left's exit.)

Where are we going?

SCOUT 1

Nowhere, not with you two. It's time for us to go.

WEARY

What do you mean? Should we go back?

SCOUT 1

I don't know where you two should go. But, if we don't leave now, none of us will make it to the end.

(SCOUT 1 and SCOUT 2 exit as the lights fade to black)

(The lights rise to reveal PILGRIM whimpering on the ground center stage as an exhausted WEARY repeatedly kicks him in the back.)

WEARY

How could you do this to us? We didn't have to go that much further.

(PILGRIM's sobs turn into laughter as WEARY gains a second-wind and his kicks increase in gusto.

The GERMAN MAJOR and GERMAN LIEUTENANT silently enter from stage right and curiously witness the scene in confusion, WEARY notices the two armed soldiers who gesture toward the men.

WEARY lifts PILGRIM up, as the MAJOR takes the two's shoes and gives them to the disheartened LIEUTENANT.

The lights flash to red, two gun shots are heard, and the Germans direct the two off stage left. The lights fade to black.

A GERMAN SOLDIER walks from Center Stage as PILGRIM and WEARY enter Stage Left. PILGRIM limps and WEARY wobbles across the stage in a single shoe. The lights slowly rise as the two pass the SOLDIER who laughs at the pair.

As PILGRIM and WEARY march passed SOLDIER 1, GERMAN SOLDIER 2 enters from stage right and the laughing SOLDIER points the two out to him. The two soldiers laugh, to WEARY's increasing embarrassment and PILGRIM's continuing atrophy.)

SCENE 5

(PATIENT 1 sits on a box placed center as PILGRIM stands downstage, leaning on their shoulder holding a pen close to their right eye.)

PATIENT 1

(Progressively louder and more concerned)

Doctor? Doctor? Is everything alright?

PILGRIM

(Suddenly, as if shaken awake)

I'd say we need to get you a new pair of glasses. Let me go see what we have.

(PILGRIM walks off stage left as the lights dim, he enters Stage Right. Facing stage right, PATIENT 1 has donned a pair of glasses and has a notepad.)

Excuse me, the patient in the last room needs glasses, could you please take care of them?

SECRETARY

Certainly Sir, is everything okay?

PILGRIM

Of course, and I appreciate it. I have a convention I need to prepare for. I will see you on Monday.

(PILGRIM walks off stage left and reenters stage right)

(Two men sit on boxes center stage.)

OPTOMETRIST 1

Hey Billy. Billy, I'm looking to get into the chain business. How are those Tastee-Freezes treating you?

OPTOMETRIST 2

Billy, you think you'll run for President again?

PILGRIM

I don't think so, Fellas. The Lion's Club has had enough of me; it's time to let someone else take the reins. Now if you'll excuse me, I have an appointment.

(PILGRIM exits as the light fade.

The lights rise and PILGRIM is seated facing stage left, driving. He parks, exits stage left as the lights fade.

The lights rise and PILGRIM enters stage right. He lays on three boxes placed against a stage right wall and begins to cry.

The BAND plays for four minutes)

SCENE 6

(Medical tent, Prisoner of War camp, Germany. PILGRIM remains on the box-bed as the BRITISH P.O.W stands over him until he wakes up.)

BRITISH P.O.W

Have a good sleep, soldier?

PILGRIM

What?

BRITISH P.O.W

You were out long enough, lad.

(Gesturing toward a nearby box)

There's cake and jam on the table, for when you're up to it. When you're ready, I'll take you back to the others.

(PILGRIM lays back down and the lights fade.

As the lights rise, PILGRIM is seated on the edge of his bed appearing to put on boots.)

PILGRIM

So, where are we going?

BRITISH P.O.W

Back to camp with the other Americans. It's almost time for dinner so I'm sure they'll be expecting us any minute. Are you all right?

PILGRIM

I think so.

(Stands and puts on a jacket)

I'm ready when you are, Sir.

(The BRITISH P.O.W leads PILGRIM off stage right. Lights fade.

Lights rise to the BRITISH P.O.W and PILGRIM enter from stage right to AMERICAN P.O.W 1 and P.O.W 2 seated on boxes around a third placed center stage.)

BRITISH P.O.W

He's made a miraculous recovery, Boys. Time to take this one back.

(Offstage cheers are heard)

PAUL

Welcome back, Kid. Have some cigarettes why don't you? You were looking awfully cold when they took you in.

DERBY

It's no wonder, it's gotta be 20 degrees outside.

(Gesturing toward the BRITISH P.O.W)

And where did he get that ridiculous coat?

BRITISH P.O.W

They must have given it to him when you arrived. He was wearing it when you gave him to me.

PAUL

It's a child's jacket, they must've been playing some sick joke on him.

BRITISH P.O.W

You really shouldn't let Gerry treat you like that, Lad.

PILGRIM

What?

BRITISH P.O.W

You'll learn, Soldier. Someone find him a respectable outfit, I need to get back to my camp.

(The BRITISH P.O.W exits stage right.)

PAUL

We'll deal with your jacket later, you must be starving, Kid. When's the last time you ate?

PILGRIM

I don't know, I had some jam in that other tent.

PAUL

Jam? That's no meal. Here, have some chocolate.

PILGRIM

I appreciate it, but I'd rather settle in before dinner.

DERBY

The bunks are in the cabins outside and to the left, but you should eat something before you go back out there.

PILGRIM

Oh, all right. Well, what time is it?

PAUL

It's around four, Kid. You were out for about a day.

PILGRIM

I fainted?

DERBY

Or something, after they took the new set in. We figured you were weak from the train so we sent you to your bunk, but then you started yelling and some of the guys took you to the Infirmary. Dinner's going to be served in about an hour, so meanwhile we might as well give you the tour.

(The P.O.Ws stand up and walk up stage)

PILGRIM

(Following)

Oh, thanks.

PAUL

Over here, we have the dart board.

DERBY

And here's the stage for the after dinner plays. Actually, that Medic watching over you will be playing the lead tonight in the Brit's rendition of Cinderella.

PAUL

They're quite good. They've had a lot of practice, I suppose.

PILGRIM

Is it their only play?

DERBY

No, their catalogue is quite large. They've just been here since the start of the War and have had quite a lot of time to rehearse and figure things out.

PILGRIM

Oh, well I hope they're good.

DERBY

It should be a good show; in fact they're bringing over some of the Russians to watch.

PILGRIM

Russians? Where are they now?

DERBY

In their part of camp,

(Walking further up stage left)

you can see some of them through this window, well enough.

PILGRIM

Do they put on their own shows?

PAUL

They'd be so lucky. None of them can act, let alone sing. Besides, they could never afford to stage any of the Classics. I don't see why they're bringing them over, they don't know the language.

DERBY

They know the language well enough, they talk to us all the time through that fence and they know the play.

(A GERMAN SOLDIER enters Stage Right)

DERBY

Here's dinner,

(Pulling PILGRIM down onto his box)

You can have just about anything you want, but I suggest getting something with beef. Chickens and pigs don't fare too well during wartime.

PILGRIM

Oh, okay. I'll just have whatever you two are.

(The GERMAN passes out dishes to the three.)

PILGRIM

(Surprised)

Where did all of this come from?

PAUL

Over there.

DERBY

Since the start of it, the Red Cross has been sending us extra rations. So eat up.

PAUL

On last count, we had enough canned butter to last 'til next century.

PILGRIM

Oh, what about the Russians?

PAUL

We take care of everyone, Kid.

DERBY

They visit on Holidays and when they let us. Now hurry up, they don't appreciate it when their audience eats.

(The three eat around a third box as the lights dim to highlight stage left.

The three finish eating while reacting to an offstage Cinderella.)

DERBY

Alright, soldier. Let's get you back to your bed; I'm Edgar Derby, by the way;

(Gesturing toward AMERICAN P.O.W 1)

and this here is Paul Lazzaro.

PILGRIM

(Saluting)

Oh, hello. I thought we had met, before.

(The three walk off stage right as the lights dim.

Three boxes are placed on the stage right wall. The lights rise as the three re-enter stage left.)

DERBY

Well, here's your bunk, Soldier.

(PAUL and DERBY walk off stage right as PILGRIM sits on the boxes.)

PAUL

Don't get shot.

SCENE 7

(Ballroom, 1960s. PILGRIM and VALENCIA sit on the boxes around center stage as the lights rise.)

VALENCIA

Oh, Billy. This is splendid! This is the greatest night of my life!

PILGRIM

I'm glad you're enjoying yourself. It certainly is a pleasure to see everyone.

VALENCIA

I'm just so happy that they all came out just to celebrate our anniversary.

PILGRIM

People do crazy things.

VALENCIA

Oh, Billy. Do you think they'll like the singer?

PILGRIM

I'm sure they'll love him, you picked him yourself.

VALENCIA

Oh, I hope so. It's getting close to when he's supposed to come on.

(TROUT enters stage right and stands in front of the bed-box.)

TROUT

Hello Ladies and Gentlemen, I am Dr. Pilgrim's friend Kilgore Trout and on behalf of the lovely couple, I present tonight's entertainment.

(PERFORMER enters stage right then stands on top of the boxes.)

PERFORMER

Hello, my friends. I shall perform a little piece about my home. I come from Germany, I was raised near the town it's called Dresden.

(PILGRIM and VALENCIA move closer to the PERFORMER as the center stage lights dim.)

PERFORMER

When I was boyhood, we would go down to the shops and slack about.

PILGRIM

Valencia, I will be right back. Anything you want while I'm gone?

(VALENCIA shakes her head as PILGRIM crosses stage left, pretends to open a door and sits on some boxes placed center stage with his head between his knees.

The PERFORMER begins to pantomime sing and VALENCIA dances and TROUT notes PILGRIM's departure in his notepad.)

SCENE 8

(American Veteran's Hospital, noon of August 1956. PILGRIM is seated on two boxes placed center stage facing stage left. PATIENT 2 is seated on a box up stage left of PILGRIM, facing stage right; the men are foot to toe. The BAND fades.)

PATIENT 2

Hey, Billy - how much do you want to bet the lunch Nurse will be more than five minutes late, again.

PILGRIM

What?

PATIENT 2

This Nurse that's been in charge of our lunch has been late two days this week, and I figure three out of seven is as sick as we are.

PILGRIM

Oh, I hadn't noticed. I hope she won't be.

PATIENT 2

It's just like them, to keep us in here like this. They know that we've gone through this all before, and that keeping us like this will keep us straight and a little more isn't going to hurt us any.

PILGRIM

She's probably just making sure they didn't poison the food.

PATIENT 2

We'd be so lucky. They don't pay the chefs enough for that.

PILGRIM

They probably pay the chefs plenty. There's enough of us to keep this place and its kitchen kept through the next century.

PATIENT 2

Yeah, probably. Say, Billy, could you do me a favor?

PILGRIM

What?

PATIENT 2

Could you hand me that pen?

PILGRIM

(Handing PATIENT 2 a pen located on a bedside table)

What for?

PATIENT 2

I need to write a letter about a Nurse.

PILGRIM

(Laying down)

Leave it alone, Eliot.

ELIOT

Why should I? I'm here for help and we deserve better treatment.

PILGRIM

Read one of those books.

ELIOT

That's all I ever do anymore, I spend all my time taking in what all these other people think and it's about time that I gave this place a piece of my mind.

PILGRIM

(Sitting up)

Rosewater, if they don't respect you enough to feed you on time, I doubt they'll be reading your letters. Maybe you should write something that someone will actually read.

(Lies down)

ELIOT

Yeah, you're probably right.

(Placing the pad and pen on the floor)

Hey Billy, I got you something.

PILGRIM

Oh? What is it?

ELIOT

(Grabbing something on the floor to his right)

It's the new Infinity, there's a Damon Knight story in there that you'll get a kick out of.

PILGRIM

Oh, thanks Eliot, but I'm too tired to read. I'll get to it some other time.

ELIOT

You should really read it, Billy. It's like a new Sodom and Gomorrah; I won't ruin it, but this guy gets stuck on a beach after racing around through time.

PILGRIM

I appreciate it, ELIOT. But, I think I read that one already.

ELIOT

Oh, well I liked it.

(PILGRIM falls asleep as ELIOT picks up a pad and begins writing. The lights fade.)

SCENE 9

(Honeymoon suite, 1950 PILGRIM wakes to his sadly happy wife standing above him)

VALENCIA

Good morning.

PILGRIM

Hi, how are you?

VALENCIA

Fine, would you like breakfast?

PILGRIM

Sure, what are you making?

VALENCIA

(Confused)

I thought we could get honeymoon -

PILGRIM

(Suddenly)

Oh, yes of course. That sounds wonderful. Where would you like to go? We can get anything.

VALENCIA

(Cheerfully)

I thought we could get some brunch.

PILGRIM

That's a fantastic idea.

VALENCIA

Thank you.

PILGRIM

So it goes.

VALENCIA

What?

PILGRIM

You're welcome. Let's go.

VALENCIA

I love you.

PILGRIM

You're welcome, I love you. Do you think they'll have free orange juice down in the lobby? We should go.

VALENCIA

I don't know, probably. Okay. Oh, but I promised my mother I would write her, I should probably do that before I forget.

PILGRIM

Okay, I'll be in the lobby.

VALENCIA

Okay.

(PILGRIM exits stage right as VALENCIA sits on the boxes and writes)

SCENE 10

(Streets of Illium, New York, 1970s. PILGRIM and OPTOMETRIST 1 enter stage left and cross as OPTOMETRIST 2 enters from stage right

TROUT stands upstage right.)

OPTOMETRIST 1

I can't believe it, Billy. It's been years!

PILGRIM

Yea, it's been a little while, hasn't it? How are those Mr. Freezes treating you?

OPTOMETRIST 2

(Laughing)

I don't believe it! Is that you, Pilgrim?

(TROUT's attention is piqued; he turns and begins writing in a notepad he pulled from his back pocket.)

PILGRIM

What? What was that? Do you know this guy? Oh! Come over here, how are you?

OPTOMETRIST 1

Both of you are here? I don't believe this!

OPTOMETRIST 2

(Walking)

It is you two! Gee, how long has it been?

PILGRIM

Oh, hey. How's it going? We were just discussing those Mr. Freezes I sold you.

OPTOMETRIST 2

Tastee-Freezes? We sold those years ago.

OPTOMETRIST 1

Gee, the Three Musketeers back together.

(PILGRIM appears unsettled, the groups continue on their way as TROUT writes in a pad and the lights fade.

The BAND plays for four minutes)

SCENE 10

(Pilgrim household, 1970s. PILGRIM sits on a box with a typewriter stage right

BARBERA enters stage left)

BARBERA

Dad? Dad!

(Crossing)

Are you okay?

PILGRIM

What? I'm writing.

BARBERA

Dad, I was out there forever. It's freezing, where are your shoes?

PILGRIM

I don't know, they'll show up.

BARBERA

Dad, are you okay? Let's go into the living room.

PILGRIM

I'm okay

(Rises)

(The two walk to center stage and sit on two boxes.)

BARBERA

So, Dad. What have you been up to?

PILGRIM

Oh, nothing really. Travelling a lot, writing. I think I'm going to sell the Freezes.

BARBERA

Tastee-Freezes?

PILGRIM

Sure.

BARBERA

Oh, why?

PILGRIM

I don't know,

(Standing)

I want to move.

BARBERA

Don't be ridiculous, where would you move to?

PILGRIM

(Walking)

Over there.

BARBERA

Across the street?

PILGRIM

No, out east. Or somewhere. What have you doing lately?

BARBERA

Nothing, looking after you.

PILGRIM

Oh.

BARBERA

Did you hear about Robert?

PILGRIM

Robby? No, what did he do this time?

BARBERA

He got promoted to Sergeant!

PILGRIM

What?! Is that some sort of gang thing?

BARBERA

It means he gets his own platoon in Vietnam! Mom would'a been so proud.

PILGRIM

Oh, yea, of course. So, what have you been up to?

BARBERA

Nothing, looking after you.

PILGRIM

Oh.

SCENE 12

(Crashing plane cabin, 1960s. PILGRIM and sits to the left of two men seated on a box stage left, the three men reach above their heads.)

MAN 1

That's no fun.

MAN 2

I hate it when this happens.

PILGRIM

Oh, hey guys. Do you know what time it is? Did they say when we're going to get there?

MAN 1

No, just that it'll be soon.

MAN 2

Get ready.

(The three men buckle their seats.

The lights change to red and dim to black.)

ACT 2

SCENE 1

(American highway, 1960s VALENCIA sits on a box center stage pantomime driving a car, the lights slowly start fading to red.)

SCENE 2

(American Hospital, 1960s BARBERA and ROBERT stand over their father laying on a box bed stage left as PILGRIM awakens.)

BARBERA

He's awake!

PILGRIM

Good morning. What're you two doing here?

ROBERT

Hel-, what? Just visiting you, Dad. Making sure you're okay, you had quite the fall.

BARBERA

Yes, Father. Now is there anything we can get you?

PILGRIM

No, thank you. Where is Rosewater?

ROBERT

(Whispering to BARBERA)

Rosewater?

BARBERA

(Hushed)

Must'a been what he called Mom.

(To PILGRIM)

Um, well, that's another reason why we're here, Dad. See that Doctor says that you're doing better now, and so we decided it was a good time to tell you. You see, Mom was coming to see you and she had…

ROBERT

Mom crashed, Dad.

PILGRIM

Oh, is she okay?

(There is a silence as BARBERA and ROBERT smile at PILGRIM.)

PILGRIM

Okay, well. Thanks for letting me know.

BARBERA

You'll be all right, Dad. We'll take care of you.

PILGRIM

I appreciate it. Could one of you do me a favor?

BARBERA

Um, of course.

PILGRIM

Could one of you find me some orange juice?

(BARBERA looks to ROBERT who looks up from PILGRIM and walks off stage.

BARBERA turns back to PILGRIM and holds his hand as the lights pulse red.)

Oh, and a typewriter, please? I need to write a letter before I forget.

(BARBERA pats PILGRIM then walks off stage.

PILGRIM sits alone as the lights fade to black.)

SCENE 3

(Pilgrim's Optometrist office, 1960s. TROUT sits while PILGRIM examines him.)

TROUT

I appreciate you taking time to see me, Billy.

PILGRIM

Oh, yes of course.

TROUT

And I appreciate you taking time to check out my eyes.

PILGRIM

Um, yes of course Mr. Trout. I'm a big fan. I remember when I was in the ve-

TROUT

Yes, you told me last night at your anniversary reception, you and Rosewater reading my novels. Did you know he was the only man to ever send me any fan mail?

PILGRIM

Oh, no. I didn't know that.

TROUT

Mhm, and he writes like a fourteen-year-old.

PILGRIM

Well, Mr. Trout. It was a pleasure to meet you, and it appears that you'll need some glasses. Let me go see what we have.

(PILGRIM exits stage left as TROUT watches curiously. Once PILGRIM is fully offstage he takes out a notepad that he writes in as the lights dim.

PILGRIM enters stage right. TROUT has turned to face stage right and replaced the notepad with a typewriter and has donned glasses.)

PILGRIM

Excuse me, the patient in the last room, Mr. Trout. He needs new glasses and it is very important he receives the highest quality we have.

SECRETARY

Of course, Doctor. Is everything all right?

PILGRIM

(Exiting stage left)

I have a convention I need to prepare for.

(The lights fade to black.

PILGRIM enters stage right, sits on the box where his secretary had been behind the typewriter. He stares at the keys for a few seconds and looks stage left as the lights fade.

The BAND plays for four minutes)

SCENE 4

(Tralfamadorian Zoo, Human Exhibit. PILGRIM enters stage left and stands above a MONTANA, sleeping on boxes placed stage right, as she wakes up.)

PILGRIM

Good morning.

MONTANA

Hello, how are you?

PILGRIM

Fine, would you like some breakfast?

MONTANA

I should take care of the Baby, first.

PILGRIM

No need, I already feed him. He's in the reading nook now. I made you something.

MONTANA

Oh, I appreciate it, Billy. But, no thanks. I think I'm going to try and sleep.

PILGRIM

Okay, I'll just go throw it at the glass, then.

MONTANA

You know they hate it when you do that.

PILGRIM

They love it when I do that, they hate having to clean it.

MONTANA

It's only a matter of time before they train him to tidy up for us.

(MONTANA lies back down)

PILGRIM

(Exiting stage right)

I can't wait, then we'll be living the good life.

MONTANA

Good night.

(Lights fade)

SCENE 5

(American Hospital, 1960s PILGRIM sits on the bed where MONTANA was. ELIOT ROSEWATER sits on a box stage left.)

ELIOT

(Pantomiming a telephone)

Hello?

PILGRIM

(Pantomiming)

Hello? It's Billy, Billy Pilgrim.

ELIOT

Billy! I'm honored you actually bothered to look me up.

PILGRIM

Yea, well. I landed myself back in the hospital and it reminded me of our time back in the psych ward.

ELIOT

Hospital? How'd you manage that?

PILGRIM

Plane crash.

ELIOT

You're joking'!

PILGRIM

Wish I was. My wife died, too.

ELIOT

That's terrible! Are you going to be all right?

PILGRIM

Yea, I'll be fine. What've you been doing?

ELIOT

I've been busy, writing a little bit.

PILGRIM

Oh?

ELIOT

Yea, letters mostly. What have you been up to?

PILGRIM

Crying, oh and I just started writing again.

ELIOT

That's wonderful, what've you been writing?

PILGRIM

I'm telling my story.

ELIOT

No kidding'. You know, I remember some of those stories. You were always a pretty crazy character, Pilgrim.

PILGRIM

No, I'm writing my memoir, it's all nonfiction. The story of a Fourth-Generation German-American-now-living-in-easy-circumstances-on-Cape Cod-who-smokes-too-much's duty dance with Death, who, as an American Infantry Scout Hors de Combat, as a Prisoner of War, witnessed the firebombing of Dresden, Germany, 'The Florence of the Elbe,' a long time ago, and survived to tell the tale in the telegraphic schizophrenic manner of tales of the planet Tralfamadorian, where the flying saucers come from.

ELIOT

Peace, Pilgrim.

PILGRIM

Okay, sorry, I'll shut up about it now.

ELIOT

No, I meant I have to go now, there's a fire I have to fight.

PILGRIM

Oh, okay. Well it was nice speaking with you, ELIOT.

ELIOT

Oh, Billy.

PILGRIM

Yea?

ELIOT

I wrote Trout.

(PILGRIM nods and the lights fade)

SCENE 6

(Slaughterhouse Number 5, Dresden, Germany, 1940s. PILGRIM sits against the box-bed while a GERMAN LIEUTENANT stand on it.

The sounds of explosions are heard.)

GERMAN

Your friends attacked. Ze' buildings gone. But why, Pilgrim?

PILGRIM

I don't know why. They must not know that I am here. Are we okay, will we be safe?

GERMAN

We should not die; ziss' Slaughterhouse, he is sturdy.

PILGRIM

This is awful. I hope that we can end this peacefully and soon, it smells like death.

GERMAN

Be quiet, now. I think they gone, get up, go check.

PILGRIM

(Stands)

Um

(Walks over the box)

Excuse me.

(PILGRIM walks stage left and sits on a box center stage with his head between his knees and the lights fade)

SCENE 7

(Kilgore Trout's apartment, Illium, New York, 1950s. There is a birdcage placed stage left, TROUT walks around looking at a letteras the lights rise)

TROUT

Unbelievable!

Look, some kid name Eliot sent me a fan letter. Ha! Me! What's that? It doesn't make any sense, but yet it's here. He said that while he was in the hospital he'd sit and read those books for days along with his little pal Billy. That's pretty adorable.

Still not going to write him, though.

There needs to keep an aura of mystery, that's why. Can't just go and try and connect with everyone who's ever read that pulp we've been diluting the market with.

Maybe this is just the start of it, maybe someday there'll be a dozen fan letters! Ha, that's wishful thinking. There weren't even thirteen apostles, but a man can wish.

Can birds? Doubt it, it's funny that way. Humans can't fly, but birds can't wish. A lot of people wish that they could fly, do a lot of birds wish that they could wish? You know, you remind me of this hamster, you're both wishers.

He would constantly be standing up at his latch pawing away watching us watch him, then he'd run off into one of the corners and pretend he was dead. It was a cute trick, he was full of them. He'd always somehow be all over the house, my parents couldn't figure out how he kept getting out.

(To the cage)

Excuse me, the story is just getting interesting.

So anyways, we'd put him back into the cage, and then put it in our bathtub and lo and behold, come morning he'd be trying to climb the sides. All he ever wanted was to be free, but if he were to ever leave our house, he couldn't survive the night. If only he knew that he was so much better off in that cage-tub that anything else would be foolish. But no, he never understood until he died of an inoperable cyst.

So it goes, I suppose, the roads we travel on are narrow and winding, if only we could fly. Maybe then we'd be able to cross over all the roads and stop at the most interesting spots along each highway, that'd be a neat trick. Much neater than having one highway with all the nicest attractions, there's nothing worse than desensitization, except maybe the atomic bomb. Would you knock it off, I'm telling you that you're better in there, you know I think it's time for you to get your wish. You want to be free, well then here let's do what you want done, I'll be your genie. You get three shots, buddy. What do you want? You want out? Fine. Let's get you out. Now as for wish number two.

(Opens cage and watches imaginary bird fly to stage right)

The window, eh? You want me to open the window and let you out? It pains me to do it, but you always were a bit of a sadist.

(Crossing stage right)

Of course, the window. It's the eyes of the house and you know how much we've always hated eyes. If I had a nickel for every time you told me to think of your comrades, darn communist birds. Now for wish three, let's see what you got.

(TROUT watches the bird fly back into its cage and stares then slowly crosses)

Well, you're right. Everyone needs something to wish for.

SCENE 8

(Tastee-Freeze, 1960s. OPTOMETRIST 1, OPTOMETRIST 2, and PILGRIM sit at boxes placed center stage.

OPTOMETRIST 1

(Eating)

This has got to be my favorite ice cream.

OPTOMETRIST 2

You've got the sweetest treat in town, Billy.

PILGRIM

Revenge is the sweetest thing, everyone knows that.

Anyways, time to get going.

OPTOMETRIST 1

I agree, I think we'll take the place, Bill.

OPTOMETRIST 2

So long as you tell us what makes it great.

PILGRIM

Orange juice, it's a trick I picked up somewhere.

(Lights fade and the BAND plays for four minutes)

SCENE 9

(Chicago, 1970s. EDITOR and PILGRIM sit at boxes stage right. PROMOTER, and INTRODUCER at equal distances across the stage. Lights rise on stage right.)

EDITOR

Well, Mr. Pilgrim. It is an honor to finally meet you, and let me tell you. Your articles have done this paper wonders. All I ever hear about anymore is about the stories from Tralfamadore. In fact, our paper hasn't sold this many copies in the past decade. I really appreciate you coming out here, Bill. You moving out to Chicago shows some dedication and loyalty that's been real lacking around here. I knew the second I read those first letters you sent that we had some journalistic gold.

(Stage right lights dim to black. As PILGRIM crosses the lights rise to highlight the PROMOTER standing center stage.)

PROMOTER

Mr. Pilgrim! Billy! It is a pleasure to have you on board for this show. I can't tell you how much we love your stuff, this speech is gonna be fantastic. It seems like just yesterday I had to ask my ushers what they were all so silent about, usually those kids are a bunch'a hooligans but this one afternoon they were all standing around readin' the paper so I says to em "Hey, what's goin' on ovah here, we got ourselves a buncha College Boys or what?" and they tells me about this storm from Tralfamadore and I knew we had to find out who you was writin' for and when we could you get you in front of our audiences to give a speech and now look, we're a month away from the show and we've already sold out.

(The lights fade on the PROMOTER and rise on the INTRODUCER standing on a box.

All except introducer exit stage right.)

INTRODUCER

Well Ladies and Gentlemen, it really is an honor to introduce the speaker tonight. I have been fan of his work since the first article and I won't hesitate to say that I've kept every one that has come out since. He has dazzled us for months with his column and now that he has moved to the Chicago area and had some time to settle in, he is now ready to give his first ever speech.

I introduce to you, Dr. William Pilgrim

INTRODUCER exits as PILGRIM crosses out of the darkness and stands on the box. All lights fade to black.

SCENE 10

(Chicago auditorium, 1970s. A spotlight shines on PILGRIM)

PILGRIM

Thank you, I appreciate the warm reception and hope I do not disappoint anyone.

I am here tonight to speak on behalf of Tralfamadore. A planet populated two feet high, green beings shaped like plumber's friends. Their suction cups were on the ground, and their shafts, which were extremely flexible, usually pointed to the sky. At the top of each shaft was a little hand with a green eye in its palm. The creatures are friendly, and most they could see in four dimensions and they pity Earthlings for being able to see only three





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