The week after the election, we reached out to playwrights across our community and asked them each to write a one-minute monologue from the point of view of a character reflecting on the results the morning after at 9:00am, November 9th. We received over 70 monologues from a diverse group of playwrights, which we presented in a staged reading on February 18 & 19, 2017. We are pleased to include a few here on the blog.
By Michele Lowe
(A WOMAN not unlike Huma Abedin, stands outside a door and talks to someone on the other side. She is dressed in work clothes, ready to go to her office.)
WOMAN: Open the door.
Please unlock the door.
There are people downstairs who want to talk to you. I’m not going to tell you who.
Of course you can wear sunglasses.
Because they want to make sure you’re all right.
They’re worried about you. We’re all worried.
Of course you’re going to feel better.
And you’re going to do great things, important things. But you need to come out first.
Fine, don’t come downstairs. Just come out and be. Take a shower. Brush your hair. Let me give you some breakfast.
Please open the door.
(gaining speed as she speaks) Because I love you. And I’m so proud of you. Because the world needs people like you. America needs you. I need you. I need you to come out so I can take you to kindergarten. Because if you don’t go to kindergarten you won’t grow up smart and strong. And the smart and strong people are going to figure out a way to keep us all going.
I don’t have any Fruit Loops. Because they’re pure crap. You can cry all your want.
You know what the President-Elect eats for breakfast? That’s right.
Because I know.
Now, let’s go.
By Eljon Wardally
(Nicole, 30s, Black. The boss’s office. NICOLE, in leggings, slippers, and a t-shirt, stands in front of her boss. Her hair is mussed. She either just woke up or hasn’t slept at all.)
NICOLE: I’ve been drunk for two days now.
Not my first choice but once you start you don’t want to switch. That’s what makes you sick.
Wasn’t even planning on it.
I mean, I purposely went to the polls in the morning so my evening could be free to curl up on the couch with popcorn and soda to watch the show.
Went out with some cousins for some pre-celebratory tacos because… Taco Tuesday when results started to pour in.
And nerves started to pour in.
And then wine started to pour in…
But my cousins didn’t have the same reaction as me.
I think they were relieved to have a different passport, an escape plan in case this-
But I don’t and when I knew all hope was lost…
It felt like I died.
Like your heart breaking, your insides exploding and going deaf, all at the same time.
And I don’t have an escape plan. Because it’s not something I prepared for like a terrorist attack or a blackout…
We are lost and I am still drunk.
And my family says it won’t be so bad, and they pat me on the back but, no, you have a way out to another country.
So don’t tell me to calm down.
I know what could happen.
We’ve seen this before.
We know there are tyrants who started out, charming at first,
you know, those big talkers who could command a room?
We know the power they have over people who ache for change they think is right.
So don’t tell me it won’t happen again.
Don’t tell me they won’t put us on boats or planes or send us away or brand us because, we’ve seen this before.
History might repeat itself.
And I am still drunk.
Maybe the whole world is still drunk.
Maybe I’m in a nightmare like Leonardo DiCaprio was, in that movie Inception?
Because that is the only explanation that makes sense to me.
Except I have no totem.
My country was my totem.
And I can’t wake up.
…So yes, today I will wear my t-shirt, leggings, and slippers, because that’s all I can do right now.
Until I open my eyes tomorrow and hope that the world isn’t still drunk.
Can I go back to my desk now?
By Bruce Faulk
(A black man in a blue, Northern ,Civil War uniform teleports onto the stage. He looks around, confused for a moment, then sees a superior officer out front. He salutes, presents arms then stands at ease.)
Black number 1863 present and prepared for duty. Where am I….
Yes. I am a soldier. In…any time. But…
Black number 1863 is my serial number sir, part of the 60th New York Colored regiment Sir! Is this New York?
Black number 1863 is present because he was summoned to the quartermasters tent then… this happened.
Black number 1863 is not sure he understands the question sir.
Why do I think I was summoned? To fight.
(An image of Donald Trump is projected – his hair and skin are very orange).
You want my thoughts? On that…?
Yes, I have thoughts. Just not used to giving them to officers.
The enemy is evil. Yes.
I don’t think it is a new level evil; just the same old evil with a very orange face.
(Listens, then cuts off the speaker)
You want my “thoughts” right? Alright, I’ll give you my thoughts: That thing is evil. And… I am standing here, talking to you now cause you want a black up here so you can say you heard one. That’s why you brought me…
(Officer starts to talk- soldier cuts him off again)
I know, I know-You care and we all in this together. All together. Hmmm. (Pause). Too much has gone on to say that we together. We fighting on the same side cause the devil is on the other, but together? I think you gonna have to tell your people that; in my time, they don’t seem to want to be together with me.
I’m offended too. Believe me. But here we are. Fighting… on the same side. My thought is: You need to show some color up in here and you didn’t have no other blacks so, I got the duty.
(Listens. Smiles. Slowly presents arms)
Guess not huh? You try again and see if you get another negro got thoughts you like better.
(He steps back and salutes)
Black 1863, Present. Accounted For. In the fight. You don’t need my thoughts to know that; I will fight.
By Matthew Capodicasa
(He thinks about how he could possibly start this conversation.)
(He thinks that saying “It’ll be okay” just seems insulting.)
Mom’s still in bed and
(He doesn’t have an end to this sentence.)
(He gets the idea to tell her who he voted for, just to clear things up.) (But she knows.) (And that feels condescending.)
You know historically speaking (He can’t really think of historical precedent). (He tries to come up with one.)
(He decides saying “I mean it’s not like America hasn’t had white supremacists as presidents before” doesn’t really strike the uplifting tone he’s looking for.) (Also it’s already started to feel mansplain-y)
Look we’ll (“…do everything we can to fight” may prove true, but probably exhausting to hear.)
People like him (“…don’t win in the end” is apparently just bullshit.)
You (“…can still change the world”: Really?)
Your (“…voice matters”: Nope.)
(Platitudes.) (All he has, apparently, are platitudes.) (And shitty ones, at that.)
(He remembers when she first started talking.)
(He remembers when she first started writing.)
(He remembers, for some reason, a note she wrote and mailed to his office when she was seven informing him that they were out of milk and would he kindly pick some up at his earliest convenience.)
I’m so sorry