The Great Thief

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

A woman representing Humanity relates her life experiences to the audience regarding the entity known as Time.

The Great Thief

A one-act, one-scene, dramatic play by Kenneth Lapointe (registered copyright)

Storyline

A metaphorical play based on the shared experience common to all human beings, regarding the 'entity' known as Time. 

The main character is a woman, middle-aged, (note: could be a man, makes no difference), representing any Human Being, who delivers a continuous monologue throughout the entire play consisting of her thoughts, ideas, feelings, emotions about various events, effects, worries, problems, interplay, etc. regarding Time throughout her life, which would be common to most of Humanity. 

Ending: The apparently all-powerful Time entity is eventually subordinated at the end of the play by the fact that human beings CAN hold and keep some things inviolate from Time, so that we do triumph to some degree in the end.

 

Cast of Characters

The Woman-  an unnamed woman, at least middle-aged

The Time Caller:  an unnamed man who plays the metaphorical part of 'the Time Caller', who simply walks out occasionally during the play per script cue, and stands directly in front of the Woman, facing the audience, thus between the Woman and the audience, standing in the way, blocking her view and their view (as ignorantly as possible), to yell out a single random time (metaphorically representing the endless passage of Time throughout any person's life).  The Time Caller intrudes into the Woman's monologue. 

Random people:  About 10 random extras, including stagehands, who enter and exit the stage per script

 

Act 1, Scene 1

 

Location:  Simply a set consisting of any generic room with many generic objects in it, such as table, chairs, and any other random objects of any kind whatsoever, even non-relatable to a generic room (ex.  a  pair of skates, boxes, trophy, any object)

A woman stands in center forefront of the stage. 

Per script cue the person designated as 'the Time Caller', will come out periodically onto the stage, and will stand directly in front of the Woman, between her and the audience, facing the audience and announce very loudly to the audience a random time, and then exits. 

The curtain opens to the woman standing on the stage in front of the audience, in a set such as described above…

The Time Caller now enters the stage, stands directly in front of the Woman, facing the audience and yells:

Time Caller…"The time is now 9:17 am!"

The woman looks at him quizzically---but simply ignores him and shrugs.

The Time Caller exits.

The Woman now begins her monologue:

Woman…"Are you serious???… (looking at her phone), it's that time already?  I'm going to be late!  Jeez!  Late!  How could this happen?" 

Pauses. 

"Oh wait a minute, no…actually I've got lots of time.  Who cares anyway.  It can wait".

Pauses.

"I can wait."

Pauses.

"I remember when I had to wait 13 hrs. in the emergency room one time.  Idiots.  Can you believe it.  Too bad about Bob passing away.  We were together for quite a while.  But what are you gonna do?  That's life.  The world goes on.  What do you want me to do about it.  Cry?  That doesn't bring him back.  I can go to bed and sleep for a month, and when I wake up he's still gone.  Doesn't matter where I go, or what I do, he's never there.  Never.  Ever.  It's like a nightmare you can never wake up from."

Now laughs heartily.  "Remember swinging on that old wooden swing set at Johnson's house?  Omg that was fun!  We played on that swing for hours..and hours…and hours…and hours…and hours... That was a lonnnng time ago.

Pauses.

"I need another cat.  I wish cats lived longer.  Maybe a dog too.  What's that thing about dog years…one human year equals 7 dog years?  Something like that.  I forget."

Continues her monologue:

"So let me get this straight…my hiking boots are only 2 months old, and this rock I'm standing on---in my two-months old hiking boots---is a billion years old.  What the bloody hell?  Christianity is only 2000 yrs. old?  A bee lives a few months.  A kettle takes a few minutes to boil.  The average lifespan of a person is 70 or 80 years, but trees and other things live 100, 200, 300 years…and even longer.  Much longer, some of them. " 

Now the woman points in the distance at something she sees (an attractive man evidently)…

"Whoa, look at that!.  Uh huh!  Oh yeah!  Uh huh!  Oh yeah!" Dancing and snapping her fingers.  If I was 30 years younger!!!…(laughs)"

Pondering something else now…

"How many millions of people for thousands of years…let me repeat that…how many millions and millions of people for thousands of years…have gotten together and fallen in love and lived amazing lives of trillions and trillions and trillions of moments long before we were even born?!!! Think about it!" 

Pauses. 

"Will I ever be young again?" 

 

The Time Caller enters now and stands in front of the Woman, facing the audience, and yells:

Time Caller…"The time is now 8:03 pm!"

The woman notices him again and this time says:

Woman:  "Who the hell IS this guy?" shaking her head (this should elicit a laugh from the audience).  She tries to apply a bit of force to move him out of the way of her view of the audience but fails.  He then leaves of his own accord.

 

Back to her monologue: 

Woman…"My God, he was so young to die in that accident.  She was so young to die from that horrible disease.  While some psychopath criminal lives 80 years, he got to live 22 years.  That little girl, 9 years.  Perfectly good people, never hurt anyone or anything".

Pauses. 

"What's that stupid saying?Life isn't fair?"  Laughs very sarcastically.  "It's a miracle when it ever IS fair!"  (almost cries)

"Hey, Doc!  How long is it going to take this baby to come?  I don't have all day." (that should elicit a laugh from the audience). 

Pauses.

"Yes, she's beautiful."  Talking to the baby now…"Remember now little one, any time you ever need me, I'll be there.  Any time.  Ever. I'll be there."

Pauses, remembering a certain man's voice talking to her… 

"But honey, I'll love you forever. Forever and always.  Always and forever." 

Woman…"Jeez, forever is a long time…"

Pauses.

"It took forever to put up a traffic light at that intersection.  How could they take so long knowing how dangerous it was?"

Pauses.

"How come when I sleep, sometimes 8 hours seems like 10 minutes?"  And waiting 10 minutes for something can seem like 8 hours?"

 

The Time Caller again enters the stage, stands in front of the woman facing the audience, and yells:

Time Caller:  "The time is 11:44 pm!  Eastern Standard Time!"

This time the woman looks at him and shakes her head in exasperation and yells "Stupid!!!!!  Get out of my face!!! You're interrupting the play!  You're interrupting my monologue!  I can't see the audience with you in the stupid way!  They can't see me!"

She tries to physically move him out the way and they jostle but she doesn't succeed.  He simply then leaves of his own accord. 

Woman:The woman now looks directly at the audience and yells "Hey, this play will be over in a second!"  "You got anything better to do?"  "You can wait a little longer!"  "What the hell's so important you gotta do it now?"  "I'm almost done!"  (The audience doesn't know what to make of such an outburst…) 

The woman continues her monologue, pondering something else:

"How long did it take to cut down that beautiful old tree?  It survived a hundred freezing winters…insects…disease.  And someone killed it with a chainsaw in a few minutes on a warm sunny day with the blue sky above.  A few freaking minutes! (shaking her head)".

Pauses.

"Remember the creek we used to call Mud Creek?" 

Pauses.  "Where's our old house?  I went to the exact spot where I stood so many years ago when I was 10.  There's the creek.  The water, the sky, the sun, the clouds, but no house.  And Mom and Dad are gone.  Where are they?  There's no reason I can't just close my eyes for a second, open them and I'm 10 again standing on that exact spot, at that exact time, with our house and Mom and Dad.  Why not?  Why?  Says who?" 

Pauses. 

"Oh yeah.  Time.  Time the great Liar.  The Great Thief.  I hate you!!!!!!!!"

The woman cries now…"If that train had been one minute later, the accident never would have happened!  One freaking minute!"  Breaks down sobbing.

 

The Time Caller enters the stage again, stands in front of the Woman, faces the audience and yells:

Time Caller:  "The time is now 12:56 am!"

Now the woman really blasts the Time Caller…

Woman…"Okay.  What the hell are you doing???  Who the hell are you?  Get out of here JERK!!!"  She tries to look around him at the audience and push him out of the way because he's blocking her and the audience, but doesn't succeed.  He then leaves of his own accord.

 

The woman continues her monologue…

"Look how young and pretty she looks in this picture (shows a photo of someone on her phone to the audience)…she was so famous…and see how old and wrinkled she looks now.  It's like she's got some disease.  Same with him.  Some weird body-wasting disease.  Whoever says they're happy to be old is a damn liar.  Nobody would want to be 80 if they could be 20 or 30.  So all you can do is make the best of it, that's all.  Some cosmic joke.  "Here, take this, says Time".  "You can have all this stuff, says Time".  All these things.  Now watch while we take it all back and you can't do anything about it.  Watch while we ruin things."

 

The Time Caller enters again, stands in front of the Woman, faces the audience and yells:

Time Caller:  "The time is now 21 hundred hours!"

This time the woman simply emphatically points for him to get off the stage yelling "LEAVE ME ALONE!" 

Again this has no effect on the Time Caller who then simply leaves of his own accord.

 

[Set Activity proceedings during the play….]

During the entire monologue various random extras or stagehands even, come onstage periodically and silently remove various objects from the set.  Doesn't matter what objects.  Including set props!  Then they leave the stage with these items. 

The woman notices this occasionally during her monologue but doesn't say anything at first.  There is no dialogue or interaction between these people and the woman. 

Occasionally some people simply come on the stage, sit down inconspicuously, then randomly get up and leave.  It's all random during the entire play. 

As the play progresses, more and more objects and props are removed from the set!

However, the woman eventually does walk over from center stage to approach various individuals as they're taking various objects, and starts saying things to these people (though they take NO notice of her whatsoever).

Woman…"Hey, what are you doing!  Hey, bring that back!  Those are my skates (or some other object)!  They're not yours!  I won second prize in the competition in grade school with those skates.  Hey!!!

"Don't take that!!  Please don't take that!  Who the hell are you?  Who do you think you are?  You don't own those!  It took me 10 years to be able to buy that!  Take your hands off that!  What do you want?  I'll do anything!  Don't do this to me!"

She yells comments such as these at random individuals as they remove things off the set.  She CANNOT stop them or do anything about it however.  She ranges through all the emotions of fear, anger, tears, in an attempt to stop them.

Occasionally the Woman speaks to certain individuals by name such as:

"Uncle Bill!  Is that you?  What are you doing here? How can this be?  Uncle Bill?"

"Katherine!  No, it can't be you.  Remember everything we used to do together when we were kids?  Hey, let's go to the carnival again Katherine!  Come on!  Remember that time you fell in that big puddle?" 

These individuals never react or interact with the woman.  They say nothing.  They don't notice her. 

While the set props are all being removed one by one, the audience should be shocked and confused as to what is going on…is the play over?  Are they ignorantly ending the play and removing the props while the woman is still doing her monologue???  It should make the audience angry at how ignorant it all seems…

Eventually every single object and set prop is removed from the stage, including any inconspicuous people, until the stage is totally bare.

The woman is now left standing alone and silent, in center stage. 

 

Ending:

After telling the Time Caller to "LEAVE ME ALONE!" per the last words of her monologue above, she now stands silently, all alone on a bare stage with her head bowed.

The Time Caller now enters but this time stands unobtrusively IN A REAR CORNER OF THE STAGE, and SAYS NOTHING.

Soon a few random individuals enter the stage and walk over to the woman, until about 10 individuals (representing Humanity) are standing in a big half-circle around the woman. They are smiling and empathetic.

Now, moving together around the woman in a single giant group hug and joining hands, they say to the Woman in complete, united, uplifting, warm voices as of one voice...

"Please Hear Us Beautiful One! From now and forever we offer you everything in all fullness of goodness, and way, shape, and form of adventures, and fun and games and happiness and goodness that every spirit has in our big family of loving spirits. You can come and be with us whenever you want now, as much as you want now, as many times as you want now, and as long as you want now. And whenever you are with us you will never experience a single moment of pain or anything bad ever again. You can do whatever you want, you can be young or old, as big or little as you want, you can go anywhere you want, you can have anything you want. We love you and care about you, and welcome you into our big family of loving spirits."

Now all bow their heads in solemnity and strength and power, to signify how Time cannot steal everything!

The Time Caller exits.

The curtain closes.


Submitted: November 29, 2021

© Copyright 2022 Kenneth Lapointe. All rights reserved.

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