Written by Joe Janes
122 of 365
(Lights up on stage and in the house. Enya, dressed in clothes too tight for her body, walks on to the stage from the back of the house.)
ENYA (clapping, trying to pump up the crowd)Woo-hoo! Yah! Woo-hoo! Hi, Mom! That’s my mom, everybody. My name, for those of you who don’t know me, is Enya. And I am the artistic director of the Oui, Ennui Theater Company. “Oui, Ennui” is French for “yes, ennui.” It’s a play on words. And while our name may be lighthearted, our message is anything but. Thank you all for coming out to see the opening night of our inaugural production and world premiere of “The Suffering” written and directed by me. Turn off your cell phones (she takes hers out) like I am doing right now. Oh, I got a text message. (She reads it.) Mom… (She mouths “thank you” to her mother)... This will just take a sec… (She texts her mom back)…smiley face! Now, turn them off and enjoy “The Suffering.”
(She exits as lights fade. We hear over dramatic music swelling as the lights come up on a small countryside well. The music subsides. A young girl – Enya in a shawl - in a wheel chair wheels herself out on to the stage. She looks sad. She hears a bird sing. This, for a moment, makes a smile come across her face. She listens for more, but the bird has flown away. She returns to the depths of her sadness. A solider in the midst of combat comes from upstage as if coming up over a hill. He is a large man. It looks like he has been at war for a long time. He sees the well and retrieves water from it and drinks with great thirst. He sees the girl and pulls his rifle out on her.)
GIRLMoonbeams cause polio.
SOLDIERLife causes polio.
(He keeps the gun trained on her. She continues to weep quietly. A mother in a shroud holding a baby enters from the other side of the stage. The girl notices her. The solider turns and looks. The mother takes the baby and drops it in the well. )
(The mother kneels next to the well.)
MOTHERAn ornamental cherry tree blossoms but does not bear fruit. The fruit it does not bear is a cherry, which has a pit. A pit like this well.
(Dramatic music swells again as a large red balloon rises from the well. Holding on to its string is the baby. Tied to the baby is a sign that says “War Is Bad.” Lights fade to black. They spring back up and the actors take a bow to applause. Enya points offstage, trying to get Mother to go get something. Mother finally gets the hint and exits, quickly returning with flowers for Enya. She graciously accepts them and bows. She signals to the audience to quiet down.)
ENYAThank you, thank you, thank you for coming out and supporting live theater. Word of mouth is our best form of advertisement, so, please, if you liked the show, tell the rest of my friends. I just want to say how proud I am of this cast. We spent three long weeks on this show. And everyone did it because they believed in our message. War IS bad. No one here is getting paid. (Soldier looks surprised to hear this.) They worked really hard, they put up with me, and (she tears up) I just could not be more pleased. I think we have a hit on our hands.
(The actors all look awkward as Enya is moved to tears and lights fade to black.)