Thursday, December 23, 2004

The Confidence Chamber

I posted this excerpt of a scene from my play because I had to take an unwanted holiday from the Internets for three weeks. Now that I'm back, I've decided to cut it for length reasons. But the rest of the scene can be found at this link.

(The setting is the Marine Officer Training School at Quantico, Virginia. The left half of the stage is set up as a classroom, the other side is impossible to make out. All the lights are off as a slide show on biological and chemical weapons is in session. SIX JOURNALISTS, including TED and ONE FEMALE - each in desert camouflage fatigues - are listening to a lecture in progress by the decorated Lieutenant Colonel, TAYLOR.)

(TAYLOR stands behind an impressive looking podium that is micro-phoned for sound though the classroom itself is small. The room seems to have employed the same interior director who helped design the CENTCOM media room in Qatar.)

(The journalists sit with their backs to the audience, but the room is set at a slight angle. TED is seated in the most left seat in the corner. To TAYLOR's left and right, standing guard are two MARINES, both African American, as still as statues with their eyes focussed dead ahead.)

TAYLOR - That's what a smallpox victim looks like without the benefit of Nuclear Biological Chemical protective gear and without the Center of Disease Control recommended inoculations for the theater. LIGHTS!

(The room lights back up but the slide of the smallpox victim remains on display until the end of the scene)

TAYLOR - And now...

(TAYLOR smirks as he glances, conspiratorially, at the two MARINES, who retain their icy postures without so much as a blink.)

TAYLOR - We come to my favorite portion of the session.

(TAYLOR adapts a wide grin)

TAYLOR - The part where we get to gas you!


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