The (Mis)Adventures of Jack and Cilian

(Note: The picture shows a young Irish teenager yelling at a British soldier (the picture could not be included here).

 

scene i: The actors begin in the above stance, frozen.

                                                The picture is projected behind them. OFFICER #1 holds

                                                the gun while OFFICER #2 is looking out. The actors

                                                remain frozen for an uncomfortable amount of time. Finally

 

CILLIAN

(yelling as though in protest)

I said would you like something to drink? Perhaps a Guinness?

 

OFFICER #1

I’d prefer something a little harder, actually.

 

CILLIAN

(still yelling)

Perhaps some gin?

 

OFFICER #2

Hurry it up, boy.

 

CILLIAN

Alright. Gin it is.

 

CILLIAN exits. OFFICER #2 helps OFFICER #1 up.

                                                            OFFICER #1 removes her helmet. This should be

                                                            the first time the audience realizes she is a woman

                                                            with short hair.

 

OFFICER #2

We ought to tell him.

 

OFFICER #1

Time’s not right.

 

OFFICER #2

Time’s running out.

 

CILLIAN returns holding two glasses with mixed

                                                            drinks for the OFFICERS. For himself, he has a can

                                                            of Guinness. The OFFICERS take the drinks and

                                                            OFFICER #1 sets her gun down.

 

OFFICER #1

Your room clean, Cillian?

 

CILLIAN

Just about.

 

OFFICER #2

And you’ve kept up with your school work?

 

CILLIAN

I have. “Bout how long will you be back?

 

An uncomfortable pause. Just as the OFFICER is

                                                            about to say something, gun shots fire.

 

CILLIAN

So he’s back then?

 

The officers nod.

 

CILLIAN

Right.

 

JACK enters. He wears combat pants and

                                                                        boots but just a white tank top. On his arm,

                                                                        he has the Union Jack tattooed. He also

                                                                        holds a rifle.

 

JACK

You found him? Good. Ready Cillian?

 

CILLIAN

Not quite.

 

JACK aims his rifle at CILLIAN. The

                                                                        projection goes out and now “The Rifle

                                                                        Song” is projected. OFFICER #1 pulls

                                                                        out a flute and OFFICER #2 takes out

                                                                        a bag pipe. JACK still aiming at CILLIAN

                                                                        begins singing.

 

JACK

You take a bit, you break a bit, and daddy’s got your back

Give a little, take a little, daddy’s right here, day and night

We’re all alright.

 

OFFICER #1

(singing)

Little bit of smoke

 

OFFICER #2

Little bit of trouble

 

JACK

And daddy’ll shake the fucking ground for you

So long as you come along, come on back home

Blow you up if you won’t. Give a little, take a little.

Daddy’s here.

 

Music stops.

 

CILLIAN

(sarcastically)

Hello mate.

 

JACK

(setting his rifle down)

Cillian. You can’t keep this up. You know you can’t.

 

CILLIAN

Want a drink, mate?

JACK

What are doing, Cillian? You’re not thinking this all the way through.

 

CILLIAN

This is my home now, dad!

 

JACK

Your home is where I fucking say it is.

 

JACK picks up his rifle.

 

JACK

This is my land, son. Mine. And you—

 

OFFICER #2

Take it down a notch, dad.

 

JACK lowers the rifle.

 

OFFICER #2

Give us a minute, yeah?

 

OFFICER #1 and JACK exit.

 

CILLIAN

There’s nothing you can say, you know. I’m not going to cross over. This is who I am.

 

OFFICER #2

Dead’s what you are. We’re blow up the entire ground before he lets you walk away.

 

CILLIAN

Blow me up then.

 

OFFICER #2

What’s it matter? No one cares about it as much as us. It’s a flag, Cillian. That’s it.

 

CILLIAN

It’s an identity.

 

Another gunshot fires and screaming is

                                                                        heard in the background. OFFICER #2

                                                                        exits. CILLIAN is alone on stage. A

                                                                        projection displays the words “Cillian’s

                                                                        Inner Monologue.”

 

CILLIAN

I’ve been here. The entire time. This is my room, my space. I can’t go anywhere now. I have to stay. Alone. And on my own.

 

OFFICER #1 re-enters. The projection

                                                                        changes and now says “A Mother’s Plea”

                                                                        A piano plays in the background.

 

OFFICER #1

(singing)

Cillian, please. Listen to reason, listen to your mother

It’s only a flag. It’s only fabric. It’s nothing much.

And no one would ever argue you’re anything other

Than true green, white, and orange, just let go

Don’t let this be the reason you die, please, don’t say no

It’s only a flag, just a piece of fabric

Come on darling try, Cillian, just try

 

CILLIAN

(singing)

This is all I’ve known, this is who I am

It’s more than a flag. So much more than just a piece of fabric.

 

 

OFFICER #1

No Cillian, no. It’s just a piece of fabric, don’t die over this

A piece of cloth, a hanging sheet, live the way want but don’t die over this.

 

The music stops. OFFICER #1 notices

                                                                        and it takes a toll on her. She leaves the

                                                                        stage. JACK returns.

 

JACK

You gonna die over this boy?

 

CILLIAN

Just might.

 

JACK

You’re mine, boy. Always have been.

 

JACK hits CILLIAN with the blunt of his

                                                                        gun. CILLIAN falls to the ground.

 

 

CILLIAN

Got anything else, Jack?

 

JACK aims his rifle. He is about to shoot but

                                                                        the actors freeze. Another projection comes

                                                                        up.

                                                                        “And then JACK has a change of heart,

                                                                        doesn’t kill CILLIAN. Instead he shoots him

                                                                        in the foot. JACK storms off, shouting “It’s

                                                                        a bloody flag, you prick.” CILLIAN limps

                                                                        toward the bar. END OF PLAY”

                                                                        CILLIAN and JACK unfreeze and read the

                                                                        projection. They look at each other confused

                                                                        and then look to the audience.

 

JACK

(pointing to the projection, talking to the audience)

Not quite.

 

CILLIAN

That’s not how it happened. Mighta been a nice ending though.

 

JACK

(turning to CILLIAN)

Ah, I don’t think so.

 

CILLIAN

We could’ve ended up in the bar.

 

JACK

(aiming his gun)

No, mate. You could’ve ended up in a bar.

 

JACK kills CILLIAN.

 

JACK

That’s how it happened.

 

Reason of Doubt excerpt

(an excerpt from the first scene of Reason of Doubt. Dana, who works as a rape-crisis counselor, has just found out she has been accused of rape)

DANA

Do you remember anything at all from that night?

 

JESS

What?

 

DANA

Anything at this point would help.

 

JESS

What exactly are you asking me Dana?

 

DANA

Jess. You were there…

 

JESS

I left early.

 

DANA

Well do you remember seeing anything?

 

JESS

 I remember telling you not to get drunk. And you promising me that you wouldn’t.

 

DANA

I didn’t promise—

 

JESS

Yes you did.

 

DANA

If I did, I’m sorry. I am so sorry. And I swear after this blows over, I will finally go to AA. But, right now, I need your help. I have no idea how to fight this.

 

JESS re-opens the file.

 

JESS

(reading) Is there anything you didn’t admit to?

 

DANA

I admitted everything I remembered. I had to write something.

 

 

JESS

Well this looks more like a confession than a statement.

 

Beat.

 

JESS

Who’s working the case?

 

DANA

Sarah.

JESS

So why are you talking to me about it? If I’m not assigned to the case, it’s against—

 

 

 

 

DANA

I know the policy, Jess. I also know I’m totally fucked. I have no way to prove I’m innocent.

 

JESS

What makes you so sure that you are?

 

DANA

This is not in my nature. I am not capable of this.

 

JESS

We’re all capable of—

 

DANA

Jess, you can’t honestly think I did this.

 

JESS

I think you’re an alcoholic who likes sex. A lot.

 

 

DANA

Jess!

 

JESS

She’s not fucking around, Dana. This is a serious accusation.

 

DANA

I know but I—it’s bullshit. She’s just upset.

 

JESS

Upset? I think I’d be upset too if I thought I was raped by someone.

 

 

DANA

She wasn’t raped. It’s a huge misunderstanding.

 

JESS

I bet.

 

DANA

There must be some way to fight this. And you’re about the only person who seems to how.

 

 

JESS

Being innocent. That’s how you fight this.

 

DANA

What good is innocence with no proof? I just need advice. Anything.

 

JESS

Advice?

 

DANA

Yes. Please.

 

 

JESS

And you swear on your father’s grave that you will go to AA if I help you get through this?

 

DANA

Yes. I swear.

 

Beat.

 

JESS

Delete your Facebook. Go through your emails and text messages and anything that even mentions her name and delete that too.

 

DANA

Wait. Why? Doesn’t she have a record of text messages and emails too?

 

 

JESS

Yeah. Possibly. But in the chance that she deleted them, you want to make sure all of yours are gone too. You never know. It’s precautionary measure. Plus some phones auto delete text messages when they get too full. You can honestly never be too careful.

 

DANA

Oh. Okay.

 

JESS

Talk to no one about the case. Make sure her name never comes out of your mouth. Go to class and home and that’s it. Be as low-key as possible.

 

DANA

Okay. Thank you.

 

 

JESS

Good. Now get out. I have to get ready for my case. Which is in like fifteen minutes.

 

DANA takes the folder and then begins to exit.

She pauses by the door and then turns to JESS.

 

DANA

All jokes and judgment aside, do you think I did this?

 

JESS

Honestly?

 

DANA

Of course.

 

JESS

Well it honestly doesn’t matter. There’s no way it’s rape.

 

Beat.

 

DANA

Why?

 

JESS

Lesbian sex just isn’t legally defined. Therefore, rape isn’t legally defined. It’s sexual assault, possibly. But not rape.

 

DANA

What?

 

JESS

Rape is defined as a forced sexual act. There’s no defined sexual act with lesbians.

 

                        Beat. DANA starts to say something but chooses not to.

                        Instead she picks up the file and looks through the pages.

 

DANA

If that’s true then why was this case picked up?

 

JESS

Because the second we ignore it, it’s discrimination. We have to at least address it.

 

                        Beat. DANA exits.

Spanglish

Me dices

“You can’t be Latino. You’re black.”

Y también

“You speak Spanish like you’re Mexican but your hair is course like you’re African.”

Somehow you thought that was okay

And even though I know ignorance is an American luxury

your insults are perverting my history.

My complexion cannot dictate what my veins know as tradition.

 

I am Boleros, Rancheros, and reggae

From salsa and punta and rice and beans

Mothers dancing, always cooking, kitchen somehow always kept clean

yelling  confusion, wishing so hard

even our dreams leak out the words onto our pillows

Worlds apart from the cities we’ve seen

Still trying to speak the language, still trying to hold onto our heritage

Back to a place where magical realism is more than just a genre

Because magic is a part of our religion y en mi sangre

 

I am from fights off into the distant night

Breakdowns into the sharp sunrise over words like “beaner” and wetback”

Haunted delusions of dehydration and desperation

There’s gotta be something better than this,

There’s gotta be something better than this

Just struggling to stay alive, struggling to not die

In a desert where no one knows your name, absolutely no one cares

 

I am from loud music and bass in the streets

Just to chase away the ghostly memories of everything we sacrificed

everyone we lost

I come from hiding under the bed and running off into my mind

Just to escape the manic depressive seduction of the time

From soccer balls racing through rain drops

And completely bare feet

to the anthem on constant repeat: A lo hecho, pecho.

 

So yes, I am mixed but don’t think because you only see half of me

that that must be all of me

that my skin color and facial structure can hold within them our legacy

because the other half of me is all that I know

and precisely what I’m made of.

This is what I believe in

You asked me once if I believe in God and which one

And I sat for hours, my mind leaking over pages

until suddenly

the ink bled into the center:

 

I don’t believe in a God that’s just

Because my heart and my mind have grown up too much for that

I’ve seen the darkest corners of desires explode out

into an empty universe

only to splatter across the sky and paint the stars

Broken fragments of the way things once were

wandering around as I’m wondering had life been kinder

then perhaps I’d be wiser

 

But I do believe in a God that listens

that kneels down and breathes us in

and maybe perhaps can’t reach down and change us

but can at least reach down and lift us –

gently—

from underneath the shadows of our demons

that haunt us, that have stained us.

 

I don’t believe in a God that’s omnipotent

Because power can transform and corrupt even the heavens

blurring out into some amoral sense of protection, of liberty

of the vague of idea that keeping me ignorant will keep me safe

as if somehow education and reason are the poison

and ignorance is the cure

as if knowing that something exists only within my mind

is the same as not existing

 

But I do believe in a God that’s an infinite

that can span across the thousand little atoms within me

that can guide me

A God who’s not afraid to admit she can be wrong

that mistakes have been made and is ready to remedy it

ready to face it.

I believe in God that points but doesn’t push

that trusts but doesn’t force

that knows pain and all that lives within it

A God that doesn’t interfere but could paste together this jigsaw of me

until every tiny piece resonates in harmony.

 

This is what I believe in.