Another 24 hour theater adventure
Lights up on a well- appointed living room. An attractively dressed middle-aged woman - Gwen- is fussing over knick-knacks, dusting and straightening while a well-dressed middle-aged man - Art- come out of a back room brandishing a plastic hanger and a plate rack. He places the rack on a side table and carefully arranges the hanger on the rack, then sits, admiring his handiwork
Do you think he'll remember it, Gwen?
sliding knick knacks around on the other side table, looking for the 'artful arrangement'- paying little, if any attention to her hanger-obsessed husband
Remember what, Art?
What's that dear?
now touching the honored relic
He brandishes it like a sword
The hanger of all hangers, that brought us together and started this amazing life-
He goes over and hugs her, still holding the hanger with reverence
The hanger my lovely Lady of the Lake brought me, the hanger that ended my quest, that-
Grabbing for the hanger
That old thing? Why is that out?
Keeping the hanger out of Gwen's reach
It's a reminder, my love, of the quest-
It was a scavenger hunt, Art!
-Of the quest that brought us together.
He moves away from her, and using the hanger as a sword begins fighting invisible enemies, conquering foes, slaying dragons, etc... throughout the next several lines
Of the untold dangers-
she busies herself with straightening once again, hiding the plate rack
The mountains I climbed, the foes I fought, the rivers I forged on my trusty steed-
It was a Ford Taurus, and it could barely cross a street, let alone a river.
This hanger, Gwen, my love, my queen, forged this unending romance! This hanger
gave me everything I cherish today.
approaches him, leaning in to kiss him, she reaches up and steals the hanger from his grasp
kisses him again
Hunt! It's just a silly old hanger, Art.
She begins walking out of the room, stops at the doorway and tosses the hanger inside
It may mean alot to you and I, but I doubt very much Lance will remember. And tonight is about Lance, right?
There is a knock at the door
Oh my god! Oh, Art! There he is!
She straightens her hair quickly, throws off the apron she'd been wearing over her dress, and pulls out a lipstick for a quick touch-up at the mirror by the door. Art, meanwhile, has been edging toward the room where the hanger disappeared
Why don’t you go get the door dear? I’ll be out (ducking into the room) in just a second…
From offstage, we hear a booming voice. ART has re-entered, carrying the hanger, and begins searching for the plate rack, which he finds tucked away beneath the couch
GWEN! Oh my god! You look- you haven’t changed at all! Still gorgeous!
Lance! Always a flatterer!
LANCE and GWEN enter- a little too close together. LANCE is not shabbily dressed, but his suit looks older and ill-fitting. He looks a little down-on-his-luck. ART is just placing the hanger on the rack as the two enter.
Lance! How good to see you! You’re looking- (He looks his friend up and down) well…
Embraces ART in a ‘manly hug’- lots of back patting, etc
You too, old friend!
He gestures around to the setting
This is an amazing place you have here.
Why thank you Lance.
pulling GWEN into his side
It’s our own little kingdom. If the homeowners association would let me put it up, we would have a grand stone entranceway with the word CAMELOT carved into it. Instead I just wrote it in the cement when we poured the back patio.
Gestures to the chair next to the table where ‘excalibur’ resides
Please, please have a seat. You must be tired. (LANCE sits.)
(moving off toward the ‘kitchen’)
Yes, Lance, Can I get you anything? Some coffee? Wine? Dinner is almost ready…
pausing for a moment as he considers his options- looks ready to say something, changes his mind, and instead
Oh, some wine, please. Maybe a glass of water as well? Do you need any help in the kitchen?
gestures LANCE back into his seat
She can get it Lance. You’ve had a long trip.
sitting on the couch- crossing his ankles to display a lovely pair of Gucci loafers. GWEN disappears into the kitchen
So tell me, Lance, how have you been? Really?
Amazing, really. (obviously changing the subject) Those are great shoes Art.
Don’t you just love Gucci?
I suppose so. I’ve never actually worn a pair…
Trust me. They’re amazing. And hopefully your new position at my firm will lead to a closet full of Gucci and Armani and-
GWEN re-enters, carrying a tray with three wine glasses and three unopened bottles of water
an amazing, beautiful, perfect wife.
Handing Lance a little of water, then a glass of wine- on the side facing the audience, we can see their fingers touch and linger just a moment too long while ART is busy drinking from his own glass and once again admiring the hanger. GWEN sits on the couch, at some distance from ART
It all started with this-
he puts down his wine glass and picks up the hanger
A hanger? What’s that all about?
You don’t remember?
Oh, Art. See? I told you!
The quest? In College? (LANCE looks baffled) You were Lancelot to my Arthur.
It was a scavenger hunt, Art.
Oh my god! Yes! The quest! Sophomore year! That silly scavenger hunt during rush week at Phi Kap!
jumping up, brandishing the hanger once again
When we charged into the fray and showed those upperclassmen what we were made of!
And those stupid hints- what was it? “When you dive, you’ll die-
-if you get ‘hung up’ with the green!” And you solved it! You said-
‘Um, I don’t know. Maybe it has something to do with the diving club on the corner”
Charging all over campus all day long that day and it was our last hint, our final chance to win, and my most loyal friend let me go into the place and find
Gwen! I remember now! Gwen was the lady of the Lake! And this hanger was
ART AND LANCE
The two laugh, holding the hanger in between them.
Oh, those were good times!
Still standing, places the hanger reverently back on the holder
Yes, they were. It seemed they never stopped, at least for Gwen and I.
ART sits and works on finishing his wine. GWEN seems lost in thought)
It seemed we would always be young and ready for a new quest back then, didn’t it, Lance?
Indeed Sire, it did.
he touches the hanger
Seems like your quest finished that day though. You won the maiden and then came the castle. I still feel like my quest is never-ending.
Silence fills the space for a moment. Gwen finishes her wine and clears her throat
Art, will you go check the BBQ?
Oh! Yes! I almost forgot!
Stands and heads for the kitchen
We’re having a carnivore’s feast tonight, proud Lancelot!
A door opens and closes, and GWEN and LANCE are alone onstage
GWEN AND LANCE (simultaneously)
Oh, go ahead
Oh, no, please, ladies first
scoots closer to LANCE, picks up ART’s glass and
finishes the wine before continuing
Lance- I- I miss you.
she reaches out and touches his hand, but can’t look him in the eye
grasping her hand
Gwen! I’ve missed you too! You have no idea. Thinking of you here, living with him-
He’s a good man, Lance.
I Know he is, Gwen. But he’s not right for you. He’s never been right for you. I should have been the one to go in after this stupid hanger.
No, Lance. (pulling away) It’s good he was the once I met first. You weren’t ready.
I’m ready now-
Are you Lance? Are you really?
A door opens offstage and we hear ART
I’ll be out here for a few more minutes, my queen! Would you mind getting everyone another round of wine?
The door closes. Gwen reaches again tentatively for LANCE, though her touch seems more comfort than affection
I do love Art, Lance. He’s given me everything I could ever want-
And with this new job, I’ll be able to do the same-
Art is giving you this job, Lance. Do you really think if he knew how I feel- (she chokes up for a moment) do you really think if he knew the things we’d done together, he would be giving you this opportunity?
I could do fine without him. I don’t need his job.
And what would you do, Lance? You never finished college. You’ve been down on your luck for so long I don’t think you know what good luck means anymore. (LANCE looks stricken). You know I love you, Lance. I always will. But without this position, there’s not much left for you.
And what if I had been the one to find this precious Excalibur?
he grabs the hanger and flings it
Would it be me that you were with? Would I be king of Camelot? (he stands)
You didn’t and you aren’t, Lance. I care for him, and he’s always been there for you-
I can’t hurt him, Lance, no matter what I feel for you-(She stands) Sometimes love isn’t enough, and that’s all you have going for you.
He never would have found you if I hadn’t given him the idea about the diving club-
I am married to Art, and that’s the way it will be-
he grabs her and pulls her to him, sweeping her into a kiss which she resists at first, then slowly melts into, they murmur each other’s names, and in the background, we hear a door open and close and whistling. ART enters, whistling, carrying an open bottle of wine. When he sees his wife and his best friend in a clutch, the wine bottle drops to the floor and LANCE and GWEN, startled, pull apart. There is silence for 30 seconds while ART looks between GWEN and LANCE. Without a word, he walks across the room, picks up the hanger from where it landed and walks toward the front door. Darkness falls across the stage as we hear GWEN and LANCE say “ART-“
In the darkness, we hear a newscaster’s voice
In unrelated news today, a man was killed today at a local diving club. Witnesses say he walked into the club in a suit carrying nothing but a hanger and proceeded to throw the hanger into the water, screaming about Excalibur and the Lady of the Lake. Apparently his shoes were not appropriate for the slick surface because he slipped and hit his head on the side of the pool. Sources say he died instantly.
How sad Bob
How sad indeed Susan. Next up- Weather…