Actor: Victoria Dickman-Burnett (A or The Woman), Tony Barrett (B or The Man)
Sound Design: Victoria Dickman-Burnett
Writer: Victoria Dickman-Burnett, Tony Barrett (Scenario)
Producer: Victoria Dickman-Burnett
A: a woman, about 35, alto voice
B: a man, about 40, baritone voice
[In the background of A speaking, there is the noise of a crowd milling around with sometimes soft ambient music]
A: The city is awash with light and color. It’s a festival that brings together art and light and experience. There are projections on murals. Lights decorating public sculpture. Installations that allow The travelers of the night to explore.
The city is full of people experiencing this.
They expect there to be over a million people in attendance and around me.
I see families, I see friends laughing at inside jokes. I am alone and that loneliness is a dull ache. Still, I appreciate the beauty of the evening. I’m in the middle of a park that is at the heart of this Festival which spans three neighborhoods–there are tunnels of light and I am sitting on a bench by a gazebo. When I noticed a man looking at me…
The man is walking towards me. I don’t know what he wants.
B: Hello, how are you doing?
A: I’m okay, I think…
B: I’ve just–I’ve been enjoying the art around here, but I saw you and I sensed something wasn’t right. Not with you. Just… it felt like something was missing for you right now.
A: I’m a little lonely. That’s all. I’m here at this beautiful festival, but everyone else has people with them. It just made me feel a little sad. That’s all.
B: If you look around, there’s a lot of people in the same situation as you; they’re alone. Some of them are alone together, some of them would never know.
Because that’s just how this works. There’s a city full of people. But the number one thing on all their minds, is just to look up: at the buildings, at the murals, at the lights. And enjoying them because that’s what brings them together right now.
A: Puts it in perspective when you talk about it, that way.
B: I’ve had a lot of practice.
B: I’ve been to a lot of art festivals. I’ve been around. I’ve seen….Communities coming together to celebrate, to mourn, to recognize. If you look over there. There is a mural of a woman in a field of sunflowers. If you keep on watching for a bit. You’ll notice that there is some lights that trace her outlines. It reflects what the artist was trying to say. Overall, is everything put together, making sure that you have a frame of what’s going on. And seeing that in all these things working together, makes me recognize how collaborative of an process art can be.
A: I like the textures. Looks like it was painted on velvet rather than brick.
B: I don’t know what the technique is, but it’s something I might want to eventually learn.
Do you want to take a walk through the light to see if we find anything else that you like?
A: Sure what brings you to the festival?
B: Seeing people. Seeing just people recognizing our community people, having the time of their life.
A: I definitely heard that this is something you want to experience at least once in your life.
B: It is; just being part of the community as a huge thing. And recognizing that you are both yourself, but also part of a greater thing is amazing sometimes.
A: Look at that tree.
B: Yeah, it’s the dangling lights. There’s the teals over here, the purples over there, and they all contrast.
A: Teals and purples are some of my favorite colors.
B: Do you have a memory related to that? I know the colors usually associate with that.
A: Yes, the sky over the lake at summer camp, it looked like something out of a water color bright teals during the day. It would fade into a purple sunset. Some pinks in there. What about you? What’s your happiest memory?
B: Well, I’ve seen a lot of stage plays, I mean, I’m pretty big fan of those just and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one better than seeing David Burbage at the Globe. Playing King Lear, in his old age, and reminding me of just how life and death works.
A: Burbage… Burbage, where do I know that? Wait. No. That’s that’s not possible. How could you have seen Burbage at the globe?
B: That’s part of the reason I’m here, I’m…a little bit older than you think I am. I probably look about 40, but it’s more than that.
A: What are you?
B: I don’t really like terms. But you might be aware of… like hospice. Where people go whenever they’re about to pass and be comfortable. And…this is not a threat, I’m not a threat, I’m here and all that I am is somebody who’s around somebody’s about to pass.
A: That can’t be. You can’t be…What? Look if this is some kind of joke. There are people everywhere. I’ll scream.
B: You can. I can leave. It’s okay. I just thought you wanted some company right now.
A: Wait, you’re here for me? Yes. So, I’m going to
B: Die. Yes. It’s 35 years old, you’re a healthy person. But, in about four minutes… Give or take. An embolism is going to break free in your leg. It’s going to travel up your body to your heart and then you’ll cease.
A: There are millions of people here, we can find a doctor.
B: A doctor at this point couldn’t really do do anything. Unless you can find somebody who could cut open your leg and stop everything before it happens. But that would be worse for you. Because instead of going out of this world quietly and without pain or fear, you’d be in pain.
A: So what do I do? What do we do?
B: I think at a time like this, I would just want to continue enjoying the sights of the night. I know that. The times whenever I might have some regrets Like making a walk down to the river. And I know there are exhibits of all the way down there. We can watch what’s around us and enjoy the night for the rest of your time. Is that something you want to do?
A: I think so. How could this be happening here?
B: It happens everywhere everyday, it’s just a thing of life. Let’s enjoy the art. Make our way to the river. Let’s make sure that you have a good memory.
A: Will you look at that.
B: Yeah. I can’t believe that they projected light on the side of a baseball, but this town just has a weird thing about baseball even though a lot of people are alive to see the last time they were good.
A: Never understood ever understood sports.
B: It’s another way for people to come together to kind of have mutual understanding standing, just like this festival.
[The ambient music fades, the squeaking of the swings start]
A: Here’s the bank of swings. Let’s sit down.
B: Yeah, that’s probably for the best.
A: Do you ever just watch people and wonder what the story is like. Like that couple there.
B: I already do. I don’t want to discuss its their burden to bear .
A: Everyone seems happy
B: They aren’t. But you are right now, even though you’re scared. But the big thing, you’re also not alone.
A: What’s going to happen?
B: Here in about 45 seconds. What I said before, will happen. So why don’t we just look out at the river. Focus on that.
A: It really has been a perfect evening, but there’s one thing you could have done differently.
A: You could have at least lied to me.
[The swinging stops, There is a sound like a glass being dropped and shattering]
B: Sometimes I wish I would have.