|A LITTLE BIT OF TEXAS|
|If you can imagine The Green Mile and Schlinder's List meeting The Producers while Waiting for Guffman acted out on the set of a Little Theater's production of A Christmas Carol in an impassioned examination of Capital Punishment especially as it applies to the acting profession, then you've imagined, A LITTLE BIT OF TEXAS.
At a hole in the wall theater off-off-off Broadway an attendant adds a third exclamation mark to the Premiere of a new musical: ISCARIOT!!! No house ever fell down from too many nails.
In the lobby, the Playwright and the Director, their fifth collaboration in progress, peek in on the penultimate scene: Judas being pursued through the streets and alleyways of Jerusalem's lower east side, pursued by 30 Dancing Silver Coins.
Though the coins get good notices, the musical is a disaster. The Playwright and Director's fifth in a row. What started as the Playwright's high-minded drama ends as a glitzy musical.
His next play, a searing exploration of Faith versus Survival, six Nuns on a desert island in the wake of thermo-nuclear holocaust, is rendered impotent by the Director's addition of a hunch-backed Rabbi.
Thus the long but utterly fruitless collaboration between the Playwright and the Director is ended.
But of course it's not. The Director has one more of the Playwright's plays with him as he disappears into the wilds of rural Massachusetts where he has convinced a local little theater to put on, under his direction, the Playwright's riviting courtroom drama, "Objection Overruled".
The only catch is, having no money for a set, he must use that of the Little Theater's production of A Christmas Carol and the little theater's having never done an original work before, insisting of having the cast of A Christmas Carol standing by in the wings...just in case.
Expecting the worse sort of perversions to his work, the Playwright arrives in the snowy little town on the eve of Opening Night. How many ways can the Director pervert a courtroom drama?
Finding that his play is untouched except for the set of A Christmas Carol and Mr. & Mrs. Fezziwigg & Bob Cratchitt's perpetual backstage card game, the Playwright is suspicious until finally the Director confesses that all he wishes to do is to remove the "not" from the Jury's Verdict of "Not Guilty".
If this is done the play will take the world by storm: Fame! Fortune!! Success!!! Acclaim!!!! AFFIRMATION!!!!!
And all of this simply by making the Defendant in the play Guilty instead of Not? Well...there is one other thing: Immediately after the Verdict, he is executed.
Not having the money to pull off such a theatrical effect as an onstage execution, the Director has secured the co-operation of the Texas Department of Corrections, Bureau of Executions, which is providing an Electric Chair, sufficient generators to power it, and a supply of Death Row Inmates.
The Director meets and defeats all practical, legal, and moral arguments raised by the Playwright. No matter where the Electric Chair and the Inmate are, the space they occupy are considered A LITTLE BIT OF TEXAS. Art and Reality will become One each night as the smoke clears and the smell of medium to well-done Death Row Inmate warts through the theater.
In a grand theatrical moment, downstage center and in a spotlight, the Playwright seizes the moment: LET'S DO IT!!!!
end of Act I
What could possibly go wrong?
WELL ... EVERYTHING
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