It Just Is

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I wrote this play about 5 years ago. It was produced at the 2007 Junction Arts Festival in Toronto. The premise is 5 women who meet at the same cottage every May long weekend over a span of 20 years. Each scene is one year later. I have posted the entire play in 4 parts.

(Please note that the various male characters represented by 'Guy' are played by one actor.)

Act I

Victoria Day Weekend, 1985: Friday, 6pm

[Lights up on a small cottage upstage right, quaint and lovingly painted in cheerful colours with a screen door at the top of rickety-looking steps. Upstage left of the steps stands a dilapidated barbeque. The window at the front stands open with lace curtains, shutters and a prettily-planted window box. Downstage of the cottage is a picnic table. Centre stage is a fire pit. Downstage center is a dock; the audience is the ‘lake’. Offstage left is the driveway. Downstage left is the outhouse – the typical wooden affair with a moon cut out of the door. Enter Charlene from the cottage. carrying a plastic tablecloth which she spreads over the picnic table. She goes back into the cottage and returns with a tray full of  mismatched plates and cups. As she sets the table, she dances and sings to a song that sets the scene in 1985. The phone rings.]

CHARLENE: Hello? Hi. No, just Elizabeth. She’s having a nap. What? What? Hang on. [Turns down music.] Sorry, yeah? He can have one cookie after his afternoon nap no matter what he tells you. Yes, I let him have a cookie every day. It is not a junk food diet. [Sighs.] Alright. Oh, look in the top drawer in his room. Of course we’ll keep it clean. Yes, I remember what happened last year, you won’t let me forget about it. Yes, Leanne is coming again. Yes. I will. I will. She won’t. God. The Davidson’s are here? That sucks. Yes, it does. They complain about everything. Yes, they do and they watch us to see how late we sit around the fire. We are not too loud. They’re way across the lake. Alright. We won’t. We won’t. Yes. Give Ben a kiss for me. Okay. Okay. Bye. [Hangs up phone] God!

[She goes back into the cottage and brings out condiments.  Enter Rachel and Jessica stage left carrying duffel bags, lawn chairs and a cooler between them. The girls see each other across the stage and squeal before running to hug one another.]

CHARLENE: Oh, my God! How are you guys? I missed you so much! How was university? What was it like? Did you like it? What were you taking again?

RACHEL: I was just in the general arts program. You don’t declare a major until second year.

JESSICA: English.

CHARLENE: So, how was it? [Rachel and Jessica exchange a look.] What?

JESSICA: We both dropped out.

CHARLENE: What? Why?

RACHEL: Jessica dropped out. I flunked out. Working too many hours to keep up, I guess. I’d rather have the money, anyway. [She crosses to the fire pit and sets up her lawn chair.]

CHARLENE: Are you sure, Rachel? You’re so smart.

RACHEL: Am I? Well, I can always try again.

CHARLENE: But what about you, Jessica? Why did you drop out? You were so excited last year.

JESSICA: I got very, very sick. The doctors don’t know what it is, but they think it’s chronic fatigue syndrome. I just couldn’t stay awake in class. I usually ended up leaving halfway through because I was worried the prof would think I was bored. So, when I got my marks at midterm, I dropped out so I could get some of my money back.

RACHEL: Is anybody else here yet?

CHARLENE: Elizabeth, but she’s sleeping. I guess she’ll probably wake up soon.

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