APRIL IN SALINAS

April is coming to Salinas. So is Ahab and Moira and Jaypes. They're all being brought there by Norn- or Urd, as some call her. Or is it Verdandi? Or perhaps Skuld? Who can say for sure? What I am fairly sure of is that all those strangely named folks are characters in my new play. Mayhap they're all mad. Or we are. Or you are. Or I am. Or not. It all comes down to something in the end. Doesn't it? What appears to be happening- if indeed this reality is happening and not the dream of a butterfly about to waken, at which point this world will pass- is that my latest play April's Fool is slated to be presented as a staged reading as part of The Western Stage's Playwrights Festival.


The reading is on Sunday April 12 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are free, which I think is reasonable and shouldn't put anyone too much back.

Here's a taste. This is from the beginning of the first scene. It's late at night, and Ahab and April are about to break into Moira's apartment. At this point, they are standing offstage, just outside the door into Moira's place, where the scene unspools. Enjoy:


AHAB (O.S.)
Quiet! She’s probably asleep. Stand back, I’m going to break
the door down.


APRIL (O.S.)
What if it’s unlocked?


AHAB (O.S.)
Don’t be stupid! Nobody leaves their door open anymore!

The door opens, and we see April, late twenties/early thirties. She is wearing a harlequin costume, including a black mask over her eyes. In one hand she holds a bag full of tools, in the other a flashlight, which she points into the room. She takes a few steps in, followed by AHAB- same age, wearing a court jester costume, holding a crowbar.

APRIL
You were saying?

AHAB 
Your hair wants cutting.


APRIL
You should learn not to make personal remarks. It’s very
rude.


AHAB
Well, shit.


APRIL
So now that we’re in, what’s the plan?

AHAB
Grab the pinball machine Dickhead gave her, throw it out the window, and escape into the night!


APRIL
Quiet! (whispers) She’s probably asleep!

AHAB 
(whispers) Right. Flashlight.


April pulls another flashlight out of the bag, hands it to Ahab. He turns it on. They both point their flashlights around the apartment, revealing tasteful furniture, and also many empty glasses, half eaten bowls of potato chips and such, indicating a party was thrown earlier that night. There’s a door to the kitchen, and a hallway leading to a bedroom and bathroom. Ahab points his flashlight to a pinball machine in the middle of the room.



AHAB (cont’d)
Who gives his girlfriend a pinball machine?

APRIL 
I think it’s kind of cool.

AHAB 
It was a theoretical question!

APRIL
Theoretical?


AHAB
Rhetorical! You know what I mean! Not wanting an answer
‘cause it’s obvious that what I mean is that Dickhead is a dickhead. And it is not kind of cool!

APRIL
Have some wine.

AHAB
What are you trying to say?

APRIL
I think you know.

AHAB
Then you should say what you mean. 


If that whets your appetite, and you'd like to read the whole play, you can purchase it online- that's right, before it's world premiere later this year in NYC- at Indie Theater Now by clicking HERE.

The Playwrights Festival is part of a year long celebration of the Western Stage's 40th anniversary- which is a pretty remarkable achievement in the theatre world- or any other type of world for that matter. I have worked there both as an actor and a playwright, and it is part of the fabric of my soul- a place where I learned a bit about the stage, about art, about life and death and sex and drugs and rock-n-roll and the meaning of spaffles. As an actor, I had the distinct honor of being in the first two fully staged productions of Alan Cook's adaptation of John Steinbeck's East of Eden- a trilogy of plays that was in total nine hours long. If the list of shows I acted in was a discography, East of Eden could very well be my Sgt. Pepper's. Or Let It Bleed. As a playwright, they produced Burning the Old Man last summer, and the year before gave a staged reading of Riddle Lost.

Clearly, they have good taste in writers.


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