What follows is the last scene of END ZONE, a play by Bob Shuman; the first four scenes were serialized on Stage Voices on June 23, June 30, July 7, and July 14; they can also be read in the blog’s archives under: Full-length Plays: Drama Serial).
The play was first developed at Hunter College and then given readings at The Lark Play Development Center and Second Stage Theatre. It is excerpted in two anthologies from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.
In the following scene, LUCIAN is alone with ARTHUR.
A Play by Bob Shuman
A motel. It’s about a mile down the road from a prep school in the Northeast.
A while back, in November. Before dinner.
LUCIAN “LUCE” TRAINER: A legendary prep-school football coach and former dean of the Masters School. Late 70s.
ARTHUR TRAINER: LUCIAN’s youngest son. A freelance composer and percussionist who emphasizes environmental sounds in his work. Late 30s.
NORM TRAINER: LUCIAN’s oldest son. A sporting goods salesman in his late 40s. He has a slight Southern accent.
6:50 A.M. LUCIAN’s motel room. Both ARTHUR and LUCIAN have slept in this room during the night (what little sleep they’ve gotten). The door between the two rooms is closed. The trophy box has been placed near the door. It’s raining and we can hear it. During the course of the scene—which takes place over several hours in stage time–both LUCIAN and ARTHUR will get dressed and pack.
ARTHUR: I’m trying to get out of here.
LUCIAN: Throw him in the shower, get him moving.
ARTHUR: I’m not the one who’s late.
LUCIAN: You better do what I say.
ARTHUR: (Acquiescing.) . . . But then you two are on your own!
(Silence. ARTHUR pulls on his pants.)
LUCIAN: (Finding a note.) What’s he got here?
ARTHUR: (Looking at the heavy rain.) You two go–probably going to cancel the game anyway—look at it . . .
(ARTHUR exits and we hear him banging on the outside door.)
LUCIAN: What does he have here?
LUCIAN: (Reading) “. . . No way of knowing.”
(We hear ARTHUR banging on the door outside.)
ARTHUR: TIME TO GET UP!
LUCIAN: “No way of saying.”
ARTHUR: (Outside calling to NORM: ) GET UP, WILL YA?
LUCIAN: “Let me go now."
ARTHUR: Gotta take him over the breakfast.
LUCIAN: “Love, Norman.”
(LUCIAN crumbles up the note.)
(As ARTHUR re-enters, LUCIAN runs at the door between the two rooms; he hurls himself at it, a seventy-something slam dancer.)
(The next 2 lines overlap.)
LUCIAN: (To NORM) THINK YOU CAN GET AWAY . . .
ARTHUR: WHAT ARE YOU DOING, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK YOU’RE DOING?!
(LUCIAN falls to the floor. ARTHUR runs over to him.)
(LUCIAN has a bloody nose; he remains on the floor; ARTHUR runs to get a wet cloth.)
ARTHUR: (Running to get a cloth and end up using a shirt.) MUST BE FALLING APART!
(ARTHUR wipes LUCIAN's face.)
ARTHUR: I have to wipe . . . You have to let me, Coach . . .
LUCIAN: Don’t . . .
ARTHUR: (Trying to look at LUCIAN's bloody nose.) Stop moving . . .
LUCIAN: Leave it!
(Silence as ARTHUR stays with LUCIAN.)
ARTHUR: He must be out getting the paper.
ARTHUR: Checking out . . .
LUCIAN: You think so, do you?
ARTHUR: . . . at the front desk.
LUCIAN: He left.
ARTHUR: Don’t be silly, he’s coming right back.
(ARTHUR goes to the window.)
ARTHUR: See if I see the car.
(LUCIAN looks at the trophy, reading the inscription, running his fingers over it as if Braille.)
LUCIAN: (Reading what's on trophy.) "Selfless dedication."
ARTHUR: (Rationalizing) ( Look, he’s coming right back.
LUCIAN: (Reading what’s on trophy) “Teamwork.”
ARTHUR: Oh, now, don’t be scared.
LUCIAN: “Outstanding esprit de corps.”
ARTHUR: Couldn’t have gone far, he wouldn’t have just left.
LUCIAN: Packed the car last night.
ARTHUR: Just went over to see about the limo.
LUCIAN: You know how mad he gets, probably went to breakfast.
ARTHUR: He’s got a limo coming to pick you up.
LUCIAN: We’ll just wait here.
ARTHUR: Probably meet you at the game.
ARTHUR: Really makes this . . .
LUCIAN: Better this way.
ARTHUR: . . . Rough . . .
LUCIAN: Did this last night . . .
ARTHUR: I want to catch a bus.
LUCIAN: You don’t worry, Arthur. He’ll be along.
LUCIAN: You’ve got to get going.
ARTHUR: Don’t know why he didn’t say anything.
LUCIAN: . . . Get back to the city.
ARTHUR: Don’t want to wait another hour . . .
LUCIAN: It’s fine, Arthur.
ARTHUR: Norm will have gotten back by then.
(ARTHUR finds wallet, makes LUCIAN accept money.)
LUCIAN: What's this?
LUCIAN: I don't want . . .
ARTHUR: . . . Take it, I was going to give it to you.
LUCIAN: I don’t need anything . . .
ARTHUR: This is silly.
LUCIAN: Keep your–!
LUCIAN : Put that away I said.
ARTHUR: Just take it.
LUCIAN: Nice to see you Art.
ARTHUR: Socks, shirts . . . Just get it done . . . . . .
LUCIAN: Sorry, we didn’t have more time . . .
ARTHUR: Here, put this on.
(ARTHUR wraps a sweater around LUCIAN. LUCIAN is motionless.)
ARTHUR: So you don’t get cold.
ARTHUR: I’ll get your ties.
(ARTHUR brings over ties.)
ARTHUR: Get you ready . . . You’re going to have to pick which one you like. I don’t know which ones you like . . .
ARTHUR: . . . All the people out there to see you . . . .
LUCIAN: "Be not afeared . . .
ARTHUR: Maybe you'll see Norm.
LUCIAN: “ the isle is full of noises . . .
ARTHUR: We’re on our own.
ARTHUR: It’s been good to see you again. I'm sorry.
LUCIAN: Go on now . . .
ARTHUR: I should probably wait . . . I’ve really got to go.
LUCIAN: When we’re back in Georgia I’ll call.
ARTHUR: You have a good trip.
LUCIAN: Thank you for coming.
ARTHUR: Get home safe.
(THEY shake hands.)
(ARTHUR exits with his bag.)
(Silence. LUCIAN waits. HE finds several full bottles of pills hidden in his luggage.
Finally he begins taking them. HE looks around the room, awaiting his death.)
LUCIAN: (Praying to himself at first.) Pray for us sinners . . .
(END OF SCENE)
(END OF PLAY)
(END ZONE is excerpted in One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century and in the upcoming Duo!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—both from Applause Theatre and Cinema Books.)
(END ZONE, © 2008, before being revised, was entitled GLORY DAYS © 1994 and then DEDICATION. All rights, including but not limited to professional, amateur, motion pictures, recitation, lecturing, public reading, all forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, including information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved. Permission for the use of END ZONE or any portion thereof must be secured in writing prior to such use from the Author’s agent, Marit Literary Agency, 3801 Hudson Manor Terrace, Suite 6I, Bronx, New York 10463; Maritagency@gmail.com; 646-667-8512; ATTN, Bob Shuman.)