lundi 29 mars 2010

THE RING by Wang Junzhe

From "An Evening of words and theatre" performance at the Ecole Polytechnique on the 17 February 2010.

by Wang Junzhe.

Acted out by Léo Daguet, Anne-Sophie Hautecloque-Raysz and Christine Messié (pictured here)

The ring
By Wang Junzhe

Actors: 3 (1 guy and 2 girls)

[The stage is divided into two parts: left and right]

[On the left hand side, a girl (Lisa), dressed formally, is working before a computer. Sometimes she leaves her seat and does some housework]

[On the right hand side, another girl (Emily), fashionably dressed, is watching TV, with a casual gesture]

[In the middle of the stage, a guy is reading his monologue]

Casas [without any emotion]: My name is Casas. 30 years old. I am a guy like anyone of you, except for one thing: I have got two girlfriends. Their names are Lisa and Emily.

Casas [turns to Lisa, looks at her for a while and then re-addresses the audience]: Lisa is a professor in a high school. She is wise, virtuous, steady and hardworking. I know that she loves me. Every morning, she gets out of the bed softly and tries not to wake me up. Before she leaves for work, she always prepares breakfast for me. She gives me a call everyday from school. She comes back home half an hour before me so that when I get back from work, the dinner is ready. She is perfect, isn’t she? But there is one only thing that she is missing: Passion.

Casas [turns to Emily, gives a mild smile]: And that is what I found in Emily. She is young, vital, charming and magnetic. She is a perfect complement to Lisa. Together with her, my life is an adventure every single day. I don’t know whether she loves me, but that’s precisely what attracts me. However, she is not motivated to work and she doesn’t really plan to look for a job. With my money, she runs after every new fashion—and her fascinating appearance makes me love her even more.

Casas [Faces the audience]: Now it’s the time for me to make a choice.

[Casas walks to Lisa’s side and knocks on the door.]

Lisa [Comes to open the door, helps Casas take off his coat and put it on a chair, above hers]: Dear, you are back. Come, the dinner is ready. This afternoon I left school half an hour earlier and went to buy the Chinese food that you like the most.

[Casas and Lisa both sit down around a table and begin eating their dinner]

Lisa [looks at Casa eating first, a bit nervous]: So… how do you like it?

Casas: It’s so good!

Lisa [smiles]: That’s great! By the way, in your room I have helped clear off your desk. And today I took some time to wash all your clothes. Now they are all dry. You can take a new shirt with you for your conference tomorrow. You will find them in the second drawer on the left.

Casas [looks into Lisa’s eyes]: Thanks. [Casas gives Lisa a small kiss] Do you have time tonight? You want to go to the cinema? A new romantic movie has just come out. All my colleagues have given it very positive reviews. Maybe you want to go to watch it with me?

Lisa [hesitates for a while]: Sorry dear, there is a bunch of schoolwork that I need to correct tonight. There will be an exam for my students at the end of this week. Maybe next week I will have some time in the evening. I am so sorry, Dear. You know I always want to go to the cinema with you. But … I am too busy tonight.

Casas [disappointed, but still gives Lisa a mild smile]: It’s OK honey.

[at this moment, Casas’s phone rings]

Casas [looks at the number, frowns and turn to Lisa]: Business

[Lisa gives him a smile of understanding]

[Casas goes to another room]

Casas [talking in a very low voice]: Emily, I thought I told you that I would be busy tonight!

Emily [Acting cute]: Casas, for the first time in my life, I cooked dinner tonight! You want to join me?

Casas [hesitates]: but…

Emily [seductively]: Come, come! My sweetheart! I am sure that you won’t want to miss my first time!

Casas: OK, I will try to come over in a bit.

[Casas hangs up the phone and goes back to the dinning-table]

Lisa: Is everything OK, Dear?

Casas: emm… Actually, there is a meeting right now to prepare for tomorrow’s conference. I am afraid that I will have to leave now.

Lisa: That’s ok, Dear. What a pity that you don’t even have time to finish your favorite Chinese food.

Casas: I am so sorry about that.

Lisa: Hurry up! You don’t want to be late for the meeting. Let me get your coat for you. It’s cold outside.

Casas: It’s OK, I can get it myself. Again, Dear, I am so sorry for not being able to enjoy dinner with you. I may not come back tonight. No need to wait up for me.

[Casas walks to get his coat from where it lies atop Lisa’s. Something drops on the floor out of the pocket of Lisa’s coat: A ring]

Casas [talks to the audience]: Oh my god! What is that?! A ring? A wedding ring?! Is there another guy who has proposed to Lisa?! I thought she loved me?! [pause for 3 sec] OK, now I think I have made my decision which girl to choose.

[Casas puts the ring back in Lisa’s pocket, puts on his coat and goes straight out of the room without saying anything to Lisa]

Lisa: Bye, Dear, take care! [Casas never replies]

[Once Casa has left, Lisa goes towards her coat. She carefully takes out the ring and smiles with all the happiness in the world: she doesn’t know that Casas has seen it.]

[Casas goes to the other side of the stage, knocks on the door and Emily comes to open it. Emily gives Casas a big hug and goes to close the door. Casas thinks Emily is going to help him with his coat, so he waits for Emily to take his coat off. Emily doesn’t think of that at all, therefore, after waiting for several seconds, Casas has to take off his coat by himself. Then he passes the coat to Emily who extends one hand to him. Casas lets the coat go, but Emily doesn’t catch it and the coat drops onto the floor. Instead of picking it up, Emily extends one hand to cuddle his neck and she leans in to give him a kiss. Casas has to pick the coat up and put it on the back of a nearby chair by himself.]

Emily [dragging Casas over to the table]: Come, my sweetheart! Taste the spaghetti that I made for the first time!

Casas [surprised]: So, you said you cooked for the first time. And this is … spaghetti? OK, let me have a try.

[Casas takes the fork and is about to take a bite]

Emily [takes the fork from Casas]: Let me help you, Dear!

[Emily forks a big mouthful of spaghetti for Casas, and Casas eats painfully with a big frown]

Casas [taking some time to swallow]: Wow, that is … that is awesome! Maybe it could have been cooked for just a bit longer. And you may have put too much salt in it—

Emily [about to cry]: So you don’t like it?! It took me the whole afternoon to learn how to cook, and I even cut my finger!

Casas: You cut your finger preparing the spaghetti?! [not waiting for an answer] Anyway, Dear, I know you are not very good at cooking. But I like this spaghetti that you prepared for me! I will definitely finish all of it! I swear to you that this is the most unique spaghetti have I have ever tried!

Emily [stops crying and smiles]: Really? I love you, Dear!

[Emily gives Casas a big kiss]

Casas [says to audience]: OK, it’s time to make a choice! I must make it clear to Lisa that it’s over between us!

Casas [says to Emily]: Dear, I forgot something very important in the office. I have got to take 5 minutes to go back and get it. I am sorry for that. But please give me 5 minutes!

Emily [gives Casas a naughty kiss]: No problem, my honey. I’ll be waiting for you here, at home!

[Casas leaves Emily’s room and goes to center stage]

Casas [Monologue]: I should practice breaking up with Lisa!

[Casas turns his back to the audience for the preparation]

Casas [back to the audience, starts simulating the break-up speech (romantic version)]: Lisa, you know I love you. My heart is all occupied by you! I think of you in the day and I dream of you at night. [pauses for 2 seconds] However, I cannot see the future between us. I am sorry that I cannot be with you anymore. If you love me, please let me go.

[Casas shakes his head to show that he is not satisfied]

Casas [starting again, like the previous time, with his back to the audience for preparation. Starts the second simulation (aggressive version)]: Lisa, I am fucking bored by you! There is no passion with you. I am damn pissed off by the way you are dressed, your profession, your obedience… I cannot bear any of these things anymore! Get the hell out of my room! I don’t want to see you anymore!

Casas: OK, I will use this one. I am ready to break up with Lisa!

Casas [back at Lisa’s room, opens the door as Lisa is coming to open it]: Lisa, I have got something to tell you.

Lisa [makes a sign to ask Casas not to say anything]: Wait, I have got something to tell you!

[Suddenly Lisa gets on one knee, down the floor, and takes out the ring: she is proposing to Casas!]

Lisa: Casas, you know how much I love you. My heart entirely filled by you! I think of you during the day and I dream of you at night. You are the first man with whom I have fallen in love. And I hope you can be the last one as well. Would you like to marry me?

[Casas, stunned by what is going on, backs off one small step, unable to believe what has happened. Then his eye fills with tears. Casas kneels down and holds Lisa firmly]

Casas: I do! Lisa, I do! I love you! I would like to marry you!

[Lisa is very happy and excited, and she helps Casas to put on the ring that she bought for him]

[Casas suddenly remembers Emily]

Casas: Wait, Lisa. Could you give me 10 minutes? I love you baby. I will be back right away!

[Lisa knocks her head with her fist as Casas departs]

[Casas, running out of Lisa’s room, comes to center stage]

Casas [talking to the audience]: What have I done? Am I insane? What about Emily? I love her so much as well! Fine, it seems that I don’t have any choice. It is time to say goodbye to Emily.

[Casas goes back to the room of Emily. Before he can say anything, Emily drags him next to the table]

Emily: dear, the spaghetti is getting cold! Come, finish it!

Casas [is about to say something]: …

Emily: Oh, Dear, do you want me to warm it up for you?

[As she says this, Emily touches Casas’s hand and sees the ring]

Emily [extremely surprised, jumps back]: Oh my god! Is that a ring?! A wedding ring? You have got another girl somewhere? Or are you even married?! I cannot believe it! I love you so much! How can you betray me?!

[Emily gets more and more excitedly and eventually she grabs a knife and puts it next to the neck of Casas. Casas is so nervous that he doesn’t dare to move at all!]

Casas [snaps]: stop!

[The whole scene is frozen and Casas is the only one who can move. He comes to center stage, takes out a small bottle of eyedrops and sprays several drops in his eye. Then he goes back to Emily and puts his neck next to the knife. Now his eyes are full of “tears”]

Casas: Once upon a time there was a true love at my hand, but I didn't cherish it. I didn't realize it until it was gone. There is nothing to make one more miserable than that. If God can give me another chance to restart, I'll tell the girl I Love You. If I have to add a deadline to our love, I hope it will be ten thousand years from now.

Casas [takes the ring from his own finger, kneels down on one knee]: Emily, this ring is for you. Would you please marry me?

[Emily’s hand starts shaking and she drops the knife on the floor]

Emily: I will.

[The lights dim]


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