Tomorrow America

Tomorrow America

A One-Act Play

By

Shannara Gillman

LYNDSEY :  Woman 18-23, Intern with Tomorrow America

BROOKE WINTERS:  Woman 40-55, Wealthy recreational   philanthropist

LILA DUPREE:      Woman 40-55, Same

BROCK AUSTIN:      Man 25-35, Attention seeking television star

JOE GREEN:      Man 35-55, Mild mannered nice guy

SETTING:

Office at a National Television Station

(Scene opens on an empty room.)

Lyndsey

(Offstage)

Hello? Hello?

(LYNDSEY enters carrying a clipboard and a vase.)

Hello? Mr. Austin?

(Places vase on desk. Sees BROCK AUSTIN’s nameplate and picks it up, runs her fingers over the letters and clutches it to her chest. She then picks up a headshot that is siting on the desk and sighs. She is going to kiss the picture when a doorbell rings. She grabs her clipboard and begins to run to the door. She drops the cipboard and papers go everywhere.)

Just a minute!

(She hurriedly tries to collect her papers and ends up kicking them and the clipboard under the desk.)

Coming!

(Goes offstage. Re-enters followed by BROOKE WINTERS and LILA DUPREE.)

Welcome to Tomorrow America. Follow me please. You can wait here until it’s time for your interview. Mr. Austin should be here shortly.

Tomorrow America is so pleased to have you as our guests. As you know, Tomorrow America provides the American public with cutting edge news stories that highlight the best of our nation. Tomorrow’s news today! Your story is just the sort of thing Tomorrow America looks for. Is there anything I can get for you while you are waiting?

BROOKE

Aren’t you sweet? Some water would be wonderful if you don’t mind.

LILA

Same for me thanks.

LYNDSEY

Wonderful. I’ll be back in just a moment. Please make yourself comfortable.

(LYNDSEY exits.)

BROOKE

What a dreadful room.

LILA

Just awful.

BROOKE

And that intern, could she be any…perkier?

LILA

Nauseating.

(LYNDSEY re-enters.)

LYNDSEY

I’m so sorry. I couldn’t find any water. It’s my first day and I’m still learning the ropes!

BROOKE

Oh. Well, that’s fine. We can do without.

LILA

I suppose we don’t need water to give an interview.

LYNDSEY

I’m so sorry. Tomorrow America works hard to provide a pleasant experience for all of our guests. We are so excited to have you on the program to talk about your important work with the FF…FFS….

BROOKE

FFSSSAD. We can’t tell you how thrilled we are that Tomorrow America has taken an interest.

LILA

Oh yes. Shih Tzu Seasonal Affective Disorder is such an overlooked problem. And so devastating to those affected.

LYNDSEY

It sounds just…awful.

BROOKE

You have no idea. My precious Mimi barely left her Vera Bradley dog bed during the month of February. It was…so…so…I’m sorry…it’s just very difficult.

LILA

(pulls handkerchief from bag)

Oh you poor, brave thing.

BROOKE

I’m afraid I’ll need a minute to compose myself. Ladies room?

LYNDSEY

Of course! Out the door, take a left and it’s the first door on your right.

(BROOKE exits)

LILA

So sad.

LYNDSEY

Oh yes! It sounds…

LILA

She has no idea about her husband’s affair with the tennis pro, poor thing. But then she didn’t know about the housekeeper. Or the nanny. Or the landscaper. Or the pool boy.

LYNDSEY

Goodness, I…

LILA

She is just so obsessed with that ridiculous dog. Doesn’t notice a thing. I mean he was having lunch with the trollop in the club yesterday afternoon while she and I were playing squash. Such a shame.

LYNDSEY

Yes, well…

LILA

Here she comes. Brooke, darling! Feeling better?

BROOKE

I’ll feel better when we find a cure for SSAD. How do I look?

LILA

Fabulous as always. I must go freshen up so I’m not completely outshone!

(LILA exits)

BROOKE

It’s just so heartbreaking.

LYNDSEY

Yes I suppose…

BROOKE

One would think that with the money her husband makes she could afford a better plastic surgeon.

LYNDSEY

I…um…

BROCK

(offstage)

Where the hell are my goddamn Little Debbie snack cakes? You’d think finding a Swiss Roll was a Herculean task! You can buy them at a gas station for Christ’s sake! Amateurs!

(BROCK enters)

And don’t even get me started on the cherry (sees LYNDSEY) coke. Well hello there.

LYNDSEY

Hello Mr. Austin! Here is the list of guests for today. Ms. Winters here is one of the guests along with Lila DuPree and Joe Green.

(BROCK is riffling through desk)

Is there a problem I can help you with?

BROCK

I can think of several.

(LYNDSEY blushes and looks away. BROOKE steps forward, hand outstretched.)

BROOKE
Brock Austin, Brooke Winters. I’m such a fan.

BROCK

(ignoring BROOKE)

So what’s your name cupcake? Or can I make one up for you?

BROOKE

(steps in front of BROCK)

Mr. Austin, my dear friend Lila and I are here to talk about our charity, FFSSSAD.

BROCK

FFSFU what?

BROOKE

FFSSSAD. Friends and Family of Shih Tzus Suffering Seasonal Affective Disorder. It’s a horrible affliction.

BROCK

Woman, why in the hell would you think I would have any interest in the affectedness of your Shih Tzu? Are you mad? I could not possibly care less about your doggy drama. Why are you even talking to me?

(LILA enters)

LILA

Brock Austin! I am such a fan.

BROCK

Of course you are.

LILA

Was Brooke telling you about our charity? FFSSSAD?

BROCK

What the hell is this? Bring a biddy to work day? What kind of hell have I descended into? Who are these pearl festooned dinosaurs and why are they talking to me? Shouldn’t they be struggling for dear life in a tar pit somewhere? Don’t you know who I am? I’m tomorrow’s superstar today baby!

JOE

(enters carrying box)

Excuse me, so sorry to interrupt but I was just…

BROCK

Who the hell is this bespectacled troglodyte? Why am I constantly surrounded by the weak and whiny?

JOE

I don’t mean to be a nuisance Mr. Austin. It’s just a man out there told me to take this box and find the green room because Mr. Austin will be there and he’s been…

BROCK

Stop talking. What’s in the box?

JOE

Snack cakes?

BROCK

Sweet baby Jesus I take it back. You are the favored four-eyed angel of confectionary delights. Come here my good man! Fork over the goods!

(BROCK grabs the box from JOE and opens it excitedly. He then throws it to the ground in disgust)

Oatmeal Cream Pies! Unacceptable! Where the hell are my Swiss Rolls? They sell them at the goddamn gas station for christsa…

LYNDSEY

Mr. Austin if you could just calm down I’m sure…

BROCK

Calm down? Calm down? You would tell me, keeper of all that is awesome, to calm down? Do you have any idea of the magnitude of this mistake? I need chocolate iced chocolate cake and frosting! Not goddamn Oatmeal Cream Pies. Who the hell even likes those things?

JOE

I happen to find them rather delicious

BROCK

Shut up. And tell me you sniveling simpleton, where the hell is my cherry coke? Is it really so much to ask to have a delicious beverage available to me so I can whet my whistle? My demands are not unreasonable!

BROOKE

I think you’re being perfectly reasonable Mr. Austin.

LILA

Completely

BROCK

I want this guy fired.

JOE

But I don’t even work here…

BROCK

This idiot can’t even carry out a simple request for Swiss Rolls!

BROOKE

It doesn’t get simpler than that.

LILA

You have to be pretty thick to mess that up.

LYNDSEY

Now I think we should all just…

JOE

I just brought the box here like I was told!

BROCK

A box full of failure!

JOE

I was just trying to be helpful!

BROCK

(mocking)

I was just doing what I was told. I was just trying to be helpful! Jesus Christ man, listen to yourself! Grow a backbone.

BROOKE

Pathetic.

LILA

Disgusting.

LYNDSEY

That’s not very nice…

BROCK

Get this pitiable waste of oxygen out of my sight.

BROOKE

What a loser.

LILA

Undoubtedly.

BROCK

Just get out.

LYNDSEY

Let’s just…

BROOKE

You should do what he says.

LILA

He’s famous.

BROCK

Just GET OUT!

LYNDSEY

ENOUGH! Don’t you know who this is? This is Joe Green!

(Blank stares.)

He saved those Siamese triplets from a burning boat this week!

(More blank stares)

Don’t you watch the news?

BROCK

Only when I’m prominently featured.

LYNDSEY

He’s a hero!

JOE

Oh stop. It was nothing.

LYNDSEY

You swam a mile…

JOE

Two, actually.

LYNDSEY

…in frigid water! Your risked your own life!

BROCK

That does sound pretty heroic.

BROOKE

Oh yes.

LILA

Very heroic.

JOE

No, no. It was really nothing. It was a pretty warm day for February.

LYNDSEY

It was the middle of a blizzard!

JOE

The girls were strong swimmers.

LYNDSEY

They only have two arms between the three of them! And the boat was on fire!

JOE

It was surrounded by water.

LYNDSEY

That didn’t prevent it from becoming a towering inferno.

BROCK

That sounds pretty intense.

JOE

Not like being a TV star.

BROCK

Being this amazing is a lot of hard work…

JOE

Or raising awareness of important canine mental health issues.

BROOKE

My husband does always say I’m a saint.

LILA

I bet he does.

BROOKE

What was that?

LILA

Of course he does.

LYNDSEY

Mr. Green, with all due respect, what you did was admirable. The world could use more people like you. All he does is act like a spoiled six-year-old strung out on pixie sticks. And these two just waste money on made up dog diseases and gossip about each other. They are all awful!

JOE

Oh come now. We all contain a little spark of the divine! Everyone is basically a good person. We all do good deeds from time to time. Right Mr. Austin?

BROCK

I can’t think of one…

JOE

Or reached out to a neighbor in need?

BROOKE
Never.

JOE
Or offered a helping hand to those in need?

LILA

Only if they wash their hands first.

JOE

I was just doing what any of us would have done.

BROCK

(Still considering the first question.)

Not a one.

JOE

What I did was what any human being in the same situation would have done. Any one of you would have jumped into the ocean to save those girls without thinking twice. Am I right?

(BROCK, BROOKE and LILA exchange a look and then shrug simultaneously.)

BROCK, BROOKE, LILA

(in unison)

No.

BLACKOUT

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