SCENE: TRANSITION IV

The two couples re-enter and greet each other like the best of friends. The two men exit stage right and bring on the tall step ladder. They place it stage right with the steps facing the back of the stage.


Meanwhile, the women carry off the small step ladders to stag left, and re-enter carrying a picnic basket. They proceed to set up a picnic lunch. The men join them. All sit and hold their positions.

 

SCENE: THE PICNIC

Black woman announces scene title. Lights up. The step ladders are replaced by a tall steel step ladder on stage right with the steps turned to the back of the stage. Stage left, the two couples sit together on a blanket with a picnic lunch spread out. They act like the best of friends.


The White man takes a bottle of wine from the picnic basket, pours drinks for all, and puts it back in the basket. All eat and drink.
The Black man finishes his wine, grabs the bottle from the basket, and empties it into his glass. He drinks.


The White man stares at him, glaring. The women continue socializing. After a few seconds, the White man grabs a dog leash with a choker collar from the picnic basket, throws it around the Black man's neck, and drags him across the stage to the ladder. The White man climbs to the top, and yanks the rope. The Black man goes limp. The White man lets go of the rope, letting the Black man fall. The White man returns to the women, who are oblivious to the scene. They toast their glasses and drink. Lights fade. Red gels dim.

 

 

SCENE: TRANSITION V

The Black woman gets up and crosses to center stage, and looks around the stage.
The White man gets up and crosses to stage right and drags the Black man off by the heels, stage right.


The White man re-enters and removes the tall step ladder to stage right.


Meanwhile, the White woman packs up the picnic lunch and exits stage left.


The Black woman turns and faces the audience with a plain look.


The White woman enters from stage left, folds her arms and looks at the Black woman. The Black woman turns and faces her, then exits with her, stage left.


The two women re-enter, carrying the small step ladders and place them center stage with a meter gap between them. The ladder stage right has its steps facing the audience, and the ladder stage left has its steps facing the back of the stage.


The Black woman sits between them with her hands underneath them like she is holding them up. The White woman stands behind her with her hands on top of the ladders, pushing herself above the Black woman.


The two men enter. The Black man stands on the first step of the ladder stage right, his right arm extended up, and the White man stands on the second step of the ladder stage left. He grabs the Black man's right arm and extends his left arm up in a fist. They glare at each other.

 

SCENE: REVELATION

Black woman announces scene title. Lights up. The two step ladders are centered again like they were in the Totem Pole scene. The couples have taken their poses from the end of that scene as well.


The Black woman gets up from between the ladders, and stands to the stage right side with her arms folded, facing the audience, smiling.


The other three begin to falter, and come crashing down to the floor. They begin to crawl to the front of the ladders. The Black woman crosses over to the ladders and knocks them over towards the center of the stage. The others keep crawling, and sit cross legged in front of the fallen ladders, the Black man in front of the ladder stage right, the White woman between the ladders, with a space to her right, the White man in front of the ladder stage left. They look plainly ahead.


Meanwhile, the Black woman walks between the ladders and sits down between the Black man and White woman, folding her arms, smiling. All face the Audience. All lights fade to black.


END
 
     


 

"Ladders" © 1991, 1995 by Curt Darius Williams
 
     
 

Original Photographs © 1993, 1995 by Toni Long
 

 

 

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