Anne Hamilton/Hamilton Dramaturgy


FUSE, a new ten-minute play
July 4, 2011, 12:30 pm
Filed under: New Work by Anne | Tags: , ,

I wrote this play today while thinking of fireworks. Two years ago, unfortunately, a man was killed at my town’s Fourth of July fireworks celebration. I wondered how the company’s manager would get a new worker to replace him. This is how I imagine the scene. I’ll probably develop this play more.

FUSE

By Anne Hamilton

© July 5, 2011

Characters

Mr. Tewson, Manager of the Labbadia Fireworks Company, early thirties

Todd Jackson, 18 years old.

Place:  Tewson’s office.

Time:  The Present.

(Lights up on Mr. Tewson at his desk. He is flipping through his calendar. He looks at his watch. He sends a text. He gets up and opens the door. Jackson enters.)

 TEWSON

Hello, have a seat.

JACKSON

Thank you.

(They sit.)

TEWSON

So you’re interested in the job with the/

JACKSON

/with the fireworks.

TEWSON

Umm, this is a fireworks company.

JACKSON

Oh, yeah. Right.

TEWSON

And why are you interested in this position?

JACKSON

My girlfriend’s pregnant.

TEWSON

I beg your pardon?

JACKSON

My girlfriend’s pregnant.

TEWSON

Oh, I’m sorry. We’re not allowed to discuss any domestic matters in a job interview.

JACKSON

We’re not domestic. She lives at home and I live at home.

TEWSON

It’s not a question of whether you’re married or not…

JACKSON

Nah, can’t do that. I’m Jewish.

TEWSON

Whoa, now. I can’t talk about this. Let’s just take a step back.

JACKSON

Hey, you’re pretty uptight for a manager. Don’t you run things around here?

TEWSON (is silent)

(They eye each other for a moment, manning off against each other to see who’s going to talk first.)

JACKSON (gets uncomfortable)

Yeah, like, it’s not like I want to get married anyway. No use getting hooked up with the first…

(TEWSON stares at him. JACKSON falls silent.)

JACKSON

Uhhh, what else do you want to know?

TEWSON (after a pause)

What kind of experience do you have?

JACKSON

I’ve been working on cars with my father since I was a kid.

TEWSON

Do you have any experience working with explosives? Or a crew? Have you ever had any safety training?

JACKSON

I did CPR on my mother. She was choking once. Saved her life.

TEWSON

Well, that’s…good.

(Beat)

Look. I’ve got to tell you something. This job is dangerous. The last guy who had the job, well, he got blown up. You must have heard about it in the papers. A defective shell. We get them from China. Are you sure you want to put yourself at risk? You’re a young guy, and you have…obligations.

JACKSON (sits quietly)

Yeah, I know. I know. (Pause) But ever since I was little, I’ve had this – this need to feel something. I don’t know, danger? Excitement?  I need more than other people to ummm, to feel. I can’t do drugs, it’s against my religion. Oh, right, I can’t talk about that. I need more than other people. Fireworks are…light and sound. And suddenness, and expected. You see them go up, you know they’re going to blow, it’s just…a matter of time. And I like that. It feels like…life.

TEWSON (after a beat)

And what if I were to say to you that I think it’s only a matter of time before you blow, too? What would you say to that?

JACKSON

I’d say you’re right. I’d rather (long pause) risk dying trying to live than keep living like I’m gonna die.

(Pause.)

TEWSON

You have to take a safety training course. You know these things are dangerous.

JACKSON

Yeah, fireworks.

TEWSON

And we need to register you with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. You don’t have any felonies, right?

JACKSON

Yeah, all right. And, uh, no.

TEWSON (pauses)

It’s not pretty, you know, if something goes wrong.

JACKSON

I need the money.

TEWSON

All right. (Pause) You have to take a drug test.

JACKSON

No problem.

TEWSON

Random testing from time to time.

(JACKSON is silent. TEWSON looks like he wants to say something else.)

 JACKSON

Are we done here?

TEWSON

Yes. We’re done. Start Monday morning. Bring your birth certificate and driver’s license. Eight o’clock.

JACKSON

All right. (He stands and sticks out his hand.) Thanks, man.

TEWSON

You’re welcome.

(JACKSON exits.)

 (TEWSON looks at JACKSON’S empty chair for a moment. He’s thinking. Then he turns to his computer and opens a file. Lights down.)

END OF PLAY.

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