Brainstorming

Tue, 06/04/2013 - 14:10 -- sewm02

Brainstorming

Here is a place to store your ideas. Dialogue...questions....ideas....

The lights go out. The screen reveals a slide that says "1968." Then, pictures from events from 1968 come on the screen -- Bobby Kennedy, Martin Luther King Jr, etc. Music from that year is playing. Finally, a screen appears in the silence. It says "11/19/68 Farmington, WV.") (Lights up on five locations.) (Location 1 - a kitchen. Young mother (young wife) is clearning up after feeding the kids. Young Husband enters and sees her back turned to her tasks. He quietly sneaks up behind her and grabs her by the waist, audibly startling her. Young Husband chuckles himself to his usual seat at the head of the table.)

Y.H.- Any coffee this evening?

Y.W.- I don’t know if you deserve any coffee after that little prank.

Y.H.- Oh, come on- you know you make the best coffee in town…

Y.W.- I know. (hands him the cup of coffee exactly how he likes it) Did you sleep alright?

Young Husband -- You know I can’t sleep good during the day.

Young Wife -- Were the kids too noisy? I’m sorry sweetie. I told 'em. I told 'em to keep quiet a thousand times...

Young Husband- No, no, it’s fine.

Kid voice- MOM!!

Young Wife - What?

Kid voice- Mom! I can’t find my baseball!!!

Young Wife- You left it outside. It’s too late now to get it. You’ll have to get it in the morning.

Kid voice- Can’t you get it?

Young Wife- Not right now.

Kid voice- MOM!! I want my ball!

Young Husband - Do I need to come up there?

Kid voice- No sir!

Young Wife- So what are you doing in your shift today?

Young Husband- Same old. Same old. Did you get the car?

Young Wife- Well, I went down to get it, but they have something else to do on it.

Young Husband- Something else?

Young Wife- You could say that. (hands him a piece of paper)

Young Husband- (sighs) That car costs us more money than it's worth. How am I ever gonna pay for all this?

Young Wife- Well, I just...

Kid voice- MOM!! MOM!!!

Young Husband - Do I neeeed to come up there?!!!!

Kid voice- No.

Young Husband - That kid is driving me crazy.

Young Wife-- You know, he gets it from his father. (he’s too much like you that’s the problem.)

Y.H.- Let’s take a look at this? Brake and rotors? What does this guy think I’m made of- money?

Young Wife- Well it’s been a while since we’ve had them checked. I told you we needed to have it looked at the first time it started squeaking.

Y.H.- Can we afford this?

Y.W.- We’ll make it… We have a little left in savings… but that last pay check you brought home… did they cut your hours last week?

Y.H.- You know this place pays good money, but it’s not reliable.

Y.W.- Those trouble makers strike every other week!

Y.H.- Tell me about it. Can’t work, just sit at home all day. No pay.

Y.W.- Eatin into the savings. We get start to get ahead and I can start to put a little away and then smack- another strike forcing everyone else outta the mines for weeks at a time. Speaking of work, did you ever call back my brother?

Y.H.- Your brother? No. I don’t remember.

Y.W.- Remember- he called about that thing…

Y.H.- Thing?

Y.W.- Yea- remember the last time he and Janie stopped by with the kids he said that there was this job opening up Spelter? The Veaser, maybe? You were just sayin the last time he was over about how much you liked to work with your hands and how maybe a change of scenery might be good for you?

Y.H.- No, I don’t remember…

Kid voice- MOM! I need a glass or water!

Y.W.- You can very well walk yourself downstairs and get it! I am not running up and down those stairs every five seconds.

Kid voice- Never mind.

Y.H.- So what’s for lunch today?

Y.W.- Well, I thought we’d start off with some tuna fish-

Y.H.- Tuna? Honey, I’m not one to complain, but this is the third time this week! I’m gonna start callin you tuna fish june!

Y.W.- Brakes, rotors, and a fan belt and you are complaining about the tuna fish! Honey, maybe if you’d call my brother back- you know- that good job up Spelter we might have a little more to work with and perhaps we could work ourselves all the way up to… chicken salad?

Y.H.- Chicken is good.

Y.W.- Chicken is very good. Are you going to call my brother back?

Y.H.- Let’s see the damage on this bill here…

Y.W.- Good thing you are sitting down. More Coffee?

Y.H.- Yes, ma’m. Eying up the piece of paper before slapping down on the table in disgust.

Y.W. returns to her countertop space and pours him another cup of coffee.

Y.H.- I could buy a whole new car with the amount this guy charges!

Y.W.- I wouldn’t go that far- but speaking of new cars it won’t be long before Chip gets his driver’s license. He’s already dinged up the Chevy as it is. We might need to think about saving up enough to drive over to Fairmont and putting down a payment for Chip. Still holding the cup of coffee.

Y.H.- Bills bills and more bills reaching for his coffee

Y.W.- not giving it up, dangling the coffee out of his reach Are you going to call Robert back? I know about those gas readings…

Y.H.- reaching for the coffee, but not motivated enough to actually stand. There are men who take care of that sort of thing.

Y.W.- Since when are you the type of man who can’t take care of something yourself? If you went up Veser you wouldn’t have to wait around for someone to take care of it for you. Wouldn’t that be nice? If there was a problem you could fix it. It’d be a little like bein your own boss. Moves around with the coffee cup until she is entirely out of reach.

Y.H.- And it’d be a little like havin a pay cut… finally catching onto the game and getting up to follow her around the kitchen.

Y.W.- Between the days when you are workin and then sittin at home a cause from all the strikers it might average out to be a bout the same. Dangling the coffee cup, but careful not to spill any on her clean floors. I’d take that pay cut if it meant you were outta there you know. I worry about those mines!

Y.H.- I know I know… but-

Y.W.- You remember my aunt? How they threw her outta that house when my uncle didn’t come home?

Y.H.- How could I forget? She lived here for three months.

Y.W.- She was such a brave angel.

Y.H. She was crazy!

Y.W.- Smartest woman in the world- told me, “don’t you go off marryin that boy there! Too young! Just tell him no!”

 

Y.H.- There are four good reasons upstairs why you couldn’t say no. (I don’t remember, something to that extent.) finished with the game, circles her waist again with his arm and pull her in close. Y.W. still has the cup clutched against her. If I tell you I’ll think about it will you give me my coffee?

Y.W.- Will you at least think about it? Offers him the coffee

Y.H.- Yes. Takes the coffee cup and a light peck from Y.W. Takes a few sips and the wife returns to her work. It’s getting to be about that time.

Y.W.- Makes a pout/ disappointed face Ok. Lunch pail is by the door. What time will you be home?

Y.H.- usual. Eight- eight thirty.

Y.W.- I’ll be waiting.

Bob Campion Scene finding out

Young man, 20s, Italian looking, college student is asleep. It’s a typical college student who still lives at home’s room. It’s about 5:30 in the morning. Suddenly the phone rings (OK- I can’t figure out how I want to do this. I either see the young man- young reporter Y.R. sitting on one edge of the stage and when the phone rings a man on the opposite end on the stage or elevated above the stage is sitting behind a desk and screaming into the phone to Y.R. or the young man is talking to himself through the phone and the speaker is never seen. Let’s try it both ways…)

Y.R.- uh… Hello?

Y.R. What? What do you mean, what am I doing, I’m sleeping.

It’s 5:30 in the morning.

How soon? How soon can I get out there?

Farmington?

Slow Down, Bill!

I guess- umm… Now? Putting on various items of clothing strewn around the room and balancing his phone uncomfortably with his shoulder and negotiating the chord.

Yes, I know you don’t care.

What happened, Bill! Talk to me here!

Wait.

What do you mean the mind blew? Stops and Listens.

I’m on my way.

No, Bill I just got the rolls out of the shop- yes of course I’m brining the Midget. Getting his camera and bag from across the floor and perhaps finishing dressing. Y.R. always wears a turtle neck layered underneath a flannel shirt and dirty blue jeans. Down and dirty and ready to work attire and attitude.

Ok, I’ll be there in ten. Ok. Bye.

 

 

Bill- B.J.! What are you doing?

Sleeping? What are you doing sleeping at a time like this?

How soon can you get out to Farmington!

Yes, Farmington!

We have work to do now get your butt out of bed and come straight over here! It’s big B.J. Big, boy Big-Big-Big!!!

Son, didn’t you hear? Farmington mine just blew. There might be some men still down there and I need you to get me some pictures, boy. This is history here.

Now hang up and get over here, you can pick me up at the office. Wait- you aint bringin that damned midget are ya?

Stop wasting my time and get over here!

Young man, 20s, Italian looking, college student is asleep. It’s a typical college student who still lives at home’s room. It’s about 5:30 in the morning. Suddenly the phone rings

(OK- I can’t figure out how I want to do this. I either see the young man- young reporter Y.R. sitting on one edge of the stage and when the phone rings a man on the opposite end on the stage or elevated above the stage is sitting behind a desk and screaming into the phone to Y.R. or the young man is talking to himself through the phone and the speaker is never seen. Let’s try it both ways…)

 

Y.R.- uh… Hello?

Y.R. What? What do you mean, what am I doing, I’m sleeping.

It’s 5:30 in the morning.

How soon? How soon can I get out there?

Farmington?

Slow Down, Bill!

I guess- umm… Now? Putting on various items of clothing strewn around the room and balancing his phone uncomfortably with his shoulder and negotiating the chord.

Yes, I know you don’t care.

What happened, Bill! Talk to me here!

Wait.

What do you mean the mind blew? Stops and Listens.

I’m on my way.

No, Bill I just got the rolls out of the shop- yes of course I’m brining the Midget. Getting his camera and bag from across the floor and perhaps finishing dressing. Y.R. always wears a turtle neck layered underneath a flannel shirt and dirty blue jeans. Down and dirty and ready to work attire and attitude.

Ok, I’ll be there in ten. Ok. Bye.

 

Bill- B.J.! What are you doing?

Sleeping? What are you doing sleeping at a time like this?

How soon can you get out to Farmington!

Yes, Farmington!

We have work to do now get your butt out of bed and come straight over here! It’s big B.J. Big, boy Big-Big-Big!!!

Son, didn’t you hear? Farmington mine just blew. There might be some men still down there and I need you to get me some pictures, boy. This is history here.

Now hang up and get over here, you can pick me up at the office. Wait- you aint bringin that damned midget are ya?

Stop wasting my time and get over here!

 

Bill and B.J. arrive at the exterior porch of the champion store in Farmington WV. B.J. has his camera ready and waiting. Bill walks over to a native Farmington man standing around and makes the introductions. It’s about 6:15 by this point and the sun has yet to peak itself over the mountains. There is a tension, uncertainty, and a feeling of hope and expectation clinging in the air and attaching itself to various people who are rushing about. We see the people from the first scenes of normalcy rush in and out so that the audience members can recognize them. They say nothing and do not pay one once of attention either to Y.R. or Bill. Rev. Dick is also there and trying to figure out how best to handle the situation. No one is giving any mind to Y.R. or Bill.

 

Bill- Ted, buddy! How are things holding up?

Ted- Bill! Not too sure brother, not too sure- and that usually means that things aren’t lookin too good, but I just don’t know. Nobody knows! They got the women and wives goin in and outta here for about an hour now and this preacher from the college just drove up a little while ago. All the high ups are holed away somewhere so we just don’t know…

Bill- B.J. This is a good friend of mine. He’s agreed to drive you around Farmington cause that little car of yours aint’ worth a shit on these roads.

Ted- It’s nice to meet you there, wherever you need to go I’ll see where I can gettcha. I’ve gotta jeep and it’ll pretty much go on anywhere around this area so you just let me know. Bill, I think they’ve been settin up some press stuff inside the store here. Maybe you’d wanna see?

Bill- Lead on. B.J. just wait out here and keep your eyes open. Bill and Ted exit into the champion store.

B.J. Looks around for a little while and takes out his camera. Young wife walks by with Older wife on her arm and appear to be waiting for someone outside of the store. Perhaps a friend who is also concerned about her missing miner. Both are visibly upset and perhaps haven’t even had time to have dressed that morning. Curlers and house dresses peak through heavy winter coats and winter headscarves. B.J. doing what he is told starts to snap a picture of the women comforting each other. Rev. Dick has stepped outside, perhaps to take a breath of fresh air, look for someone, smoke a cigarette, whatever reason that has brought him outside he sees B.J. snapping pictures at the oblivious women outside of the shop. Dick is furious that this young man is taking pictures of these women without their knowledge.

Rev. Dick- Hey, you there? What do you think you are doing? Y.R. is speechless. Ladies, ladies- why don’t you wait for your friend inside over here. Come on inside. Women enter inside the store and Dick lays it on the reporter. I don’t know who you think you are, but if I see you taking anymore pictures I’m gonna take that camera… (The line that was quoted in the interview is “I’m gonna shove that camera where the sun doesn’t shine, but we need to work on Dick’s character. I’m not sure if he would say something so vulgar like that even when provoked and irked. Maybe something like “I’m gonna smash that camera into a thousand pieces“, I’m gonna take that camera and you can be sure you’ll never see it again.) Dick grabs the boy’s arm and attempts to get him off the porch, but B.J. stays his ground despite the intimidation of Dick’s presence and voice.

Y.R.- Hey- listen here. I’m not meaning any harm. I know these people. I can point out at least four cars in that parking lot over there. I know every one of those families. One of those men drove me to school almost every morning. I grew up with his son. I’m just doing a job. Just like you! Just like those men in that mine.

 

(perhaps at this point B.J. could step away and tell us about the time his own father was trapped in the mine at Barrackville. After this monologue we could snap right back into the scene as if nothing had happened. Let me know if anyone likes this idea .)

 

Sample monologue:

Bill called me at home. It was my day off. He said get your camera and come pick me up. Bill never drove, always had one of the photographers come and get him. I’ve been a photographer since I was fifteen and I’ve seen pretty much everything there is to see. My two buddies get in a car crash and get themselves decapitated, an 18 month old baby burned to death, fires, burglaries, shootings, I thought I’d seen it all through my lense and nothing was gonna touch me. That was…until I got the call that morning. Bill wouldn’t tell me where we were going until we were on the road. I asked him where we was goin and he said Brackville. The tone of his voice didn’t even clue me in. I didn’t think anything of it. I asked him so what’s happened this time. Bill told me there was an explosion at the Brackville mine. The mine where my dad worked. That was the longest damned drive of my life. I thought we’d never get there or my car couldn’t go fast enough. Finally we pulled into the turn around in front of the main office and I tore outta that car like a cat outta hell. I ran up to the big board where all the miner’s numbers hung on little brass buttons under these giant black bold letters. IN and OUT. They started to give all the miner’s numbers printed on brass collars after the Monongah accident. Brass doesn’t burn too (real) easy. Now, you knew your daddy’s number just like you knew your phone number or street address. My dad’s number was the only one that just kinda stood out from all the others and grew and grew until it was the only thing I could see… IN. My dad’s number hung under IN and I just stood there with my camera. I think I felt my stomach drop and I just stood there staring at that number on the brass pin. Suddenly I felt a big hand on my shoulder. Told me my dad was alright. He was on the next man car outta the mines. He was ok.

Rev. Dick- releases his arm. Just watch yourself, you hear me? exits inside the store leaving Y.R. alone on the porch.

 

I AM NOT SURE WE SHOULD USE FANNY'S NAME. WE NEED TO LOOK AT HER ARTICLES. WE CAN ASSUME SHE WAS IN THE STORE BUT WE ARE NOT SURE. IF SHE IS STILL LIVING, WE CAN CALL HER. We see a lone photographer on stage. He is taking pictures. Pictures show up on the scene of the smoke rolling out of the portal. Then lights come up on the Champion store.

(Store manager, Sam, has come into work that morning. He is aware of the explosion, but is opening at the usual time and has a sense of dread and uneasiness about him. He’s a little more jumpy and on edge than usual. He straightens up a little bit and starts for another task to keep his mind and hands occupied when suddenly the phone rings.) Sam- Company Store. This is Sam. Oh hey Boss. Oh I'm doin ok. Bout as well as anyone expected, considerin. Have you heard anything new? Still too early to tell, huh? (pause) Yeah I'm getting ready to open now. Has anybody told the families yet? Yeah well I don't envy them. Do they know what caused it? Not yet. I saw you got the state trooper outside. Well that'll keep things from getting too crazy. What are you gonna tell people when they start showing up. You’re sending them here!? Oh Boss, with all due respect, I’m not equipped to deal with- I couldn’t possibly! I don’t have the facilities for-. I saw them everyday for Chrissakes! ( Knocks are heard at the door.) You sent them here already? What am I suppose to--I know....I understand that but- From the clinic? Well that should help a little...Ok...ok...I’ll see what I can do. Don't worry about it, boss. Bye. A knock is heard at the still-locked front door before more can be done. Three women enter. YW OW1 Mother in law of YW enter. YW- Sam! Have you heard any news? Mother in Law- Have you seen any of our boys? Sam- No, no, no. I’m sorry. I don’t know any more than you do. OW1- What do you mean you don’t know anything? Sam- [Name], listen here- I got a call from the state troopers not five minutes ago. They just told me to fix the store up ‘cause they were gonna send anyone who came wantin’ to get into the mine right here. I can’t tell you anything more than that. I’m sorry. OW1- This is ridiculous! I’m sorry, too, Sam… I just can’t believe they would send us all down here without telling us anything! Mother in Law- It’s ok… it will all be okay. They probably sent us all down here to wait together until they have some news. YW- God, I hope so… Sam- Would you ladies like something to drink? Coffee or tea, maybe? Mother in Law- Thank you, Sam. That would be great. YW- Tea for me, please. Thanks, Sam. Mother in Law- Let’s go sit over here. That okay, Sam? (Sam waves in acquiesce to the women and retires to the back of the store room to prepare the coffee and tea from his supplies.) (Football Mom/OW2 Nate M2 enters OW2 has just come from work and picked up her son) M2- Hey ---- (addresses YW), how're you holding up? OW1- I'm ok, it's just the waiting that kills you. After the last two I'm getting somewhat use to these scares. YW- You've been through this before? Mother in Law- (To Herself) I told him not to work in the mines. I told him it was too dangerous. OW1 (Comforting) Shhhhh...It’s always like this. OW2- Yup. But every once and a while, you get one like this that scares you. My husband's been in two already. The first one in '54, it turned out he missed work, and then the one two years ago there was a fire, but he managed to get out unscathed. Nate- I don't know how you can be so calm about this Mom! OW2- Cause you're father's a survivor, honey, and I'm sure he'll come out of this one okay too. (NW enters confused and distraught) NW- H-Hello? Mother in Law- ( Calling her over.) Over here, honey. NW- I...um...they told me to come here. I'm looking for Ralph...my husband...he worked in the mine M2- You're the new kid’s wife. NW- Y-Yes, have you seen him? Was he in the....was he in the explosion? M2- I'm sorry. I haven't seen him (NW becomes visibly upset.) M2- But that doesn't mean he was in there. I'm just getting here myself. M2- What's his name? YW- [NAME]. . M2- I know, [NAME]. He's a good man. You must be [YOUNG WIFE]. He talks a lot about you. YW- Do you two work together? M2- Yeah...we're both in Mod's Run...I was suppose to be there this morning... Mother in Law- I know what you're doing Roy, and you can stop it! You can't blame yourself for this. This would have happened rather you had worked or not. OW1- (Joining the conversation) Why...Why didn't you work today? M2- I was taking my family on vacation...D.C.... NW- But why haven’t they haven't told us anything. Mother in Law- I'm sure the store clerk'll let us know something as soon as he finds out. M2- Yeah Sam's a good guy. We used to work together until he hurt his leg in a cave in. (Sam enters with tray) Sam- All I had was Lipton. Hey there Nate- Looks like you grow a foot taller every time I see you! You’re gonna be a tall boy- just like your pap. Nate- Hello Mr [NAME] I guess so… Sam- When he comes home you’ll have to measure up against him and see who’s taller? OW2- Thank you, Sam. Sam- I’ll be in the back waitin by the phone. I’ll be sure to tell you all whatever news I hear. (exits to the door, but is stopped by FR) OW1- Thanks again for the drinks Sam. FR- Hey, Sam. How are you holding up? Sam- [FR]! What are you doing here? FR- The newspaper sent me. The Times got a call this morning- Sam- The Times? The paper knows already? What’s happening, [FR]? Fanny- Honestly, we were hoping you’d be able to answer that question… Sam- Sorry, Fanny. All I know is I got a call this morning telling me people would be coming to wait Emily- Me too (clasp hands) Margaret- Stop it, you, two! You are both being completely ridiculous! I have a brother-in-law and a cousin unaccounted for and I didn’t feel a damned thing in my stomach this morning! here. We’re in the dark as much as you. Fanny- Who told you to let people wait here, Sam? Sam- The State Troopers… I think. (sees she is about to write) Don’t quote me on that one Fanny. Fanny- Notta worry. Thanks anyway, Sam. Would you mind if I sat with some of the residents and waited things out here as well? Sam- No problem Fanny. And help yourself to some tea. I’m going in the back and seeing if we have some of those little biscuits or something so people can have a halfway decent breakfast while they wait… Oh- and [FR] just be careful with ‘em- ok?