Scene Detail

"He's probably quite charming when he's sober."

From: Touched By A Handbag (or Highway To Handbag)
3 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Female Adult: Any Age BARTENDER / PERKY GIRL / MAX / BAR FLY
Either Adult: Any Age HANDBAG
Female 20s Young EDWINA
 
Setup:
This is the beginning of the play. Read on...

NOTE - Though it can be a stand-alone piece, this is associated with the short play "Touched By A Handbag." It is a prequel of sorts, showing a younger Edwina, the night before she confirms she is pregnant with the child who will grow up to be Paulina in "Touched By A Handbag." When doing the plays together, the actresses as Edwina and the Handbag could continue to play those roles, or Paulina from the one play could play her mother, the younger Edwina in this scene. Mix and match as you like.

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The full text of "Touched By A Handbag" and its related plays, including "Accessories" and "Dog Tag," are available for purchase as part of "Theatre Unbound's 24 Hour Play Project, Selected Plays, Volume 1" (in hard copy or download form) at

http://www.lulu.com/product/paperback/24-hour-play-project-volume-1/4941815

All proceeds from the sale of the "24 Hour Play" books go to support the work of Theatre Unbound - www.theatreunbound.com

Part of Matthew's online script store

http://stores.lulu.com/matthewaeverett
 

Scene

copyright 2005 by Anne Bertram & Matthew A. Everett



ACCESSORIES


SCENE: A nightclub. New Wave Night. Twenty-five years ago.

AT RISE: ACTRESS, as BARTENDER, swabs the bar. Enter EDWINA with HANDBAG.


BARTENDER

What can I getcha?

EDWINA

I want to celebrate.

HANDBAG

I want to go home.

EDWINA

What are my options?

BARTENDER

There's celebrate, as in champagne. Celebrate, as in teeny paper umbrellas. Celebrate, as in five kamikazes. Am I getting close?

EDWINA

I need to make this a night I'm going to remember for a very long time.

HANDBAG

Really, you just want to forget.

EDWINA

Is there anything wrong with that?

BARTENDER

You talkin' to me?

EDWINA

Uh...yes!

BARTENDER

Nothing wrong with a body that a couple of stiff belts won't cure.

HANDBAG

Or postpone for a while.

EDWINA

You stay out of this.

BARTENDER

Fine by me. Once I serve you, it's just you and the drinks.

HANDBAG

And your conscience.

BARTENDER

Just tell me what you want.

HANDBAG

Hot cocoa.

EDWINA

Double kamikaze.

BARTENDER

Right up.

She serves the drink, exits.


HANDBAG

"Dynasty" is on. And your roommate's in Grand Rapids. You can use her fuzzy bathrobe and she won't even know.

EDWINA

"Live a little, Dweenie!"

HANDBAG

OK. You're upset.

EDWINA

"Live while you're alive!"

HANDBAG

We could talk this over much more comfortably at home.

EDWINA

"Live purple, Edwina! Sparkle like me! You know you want to!"

HANDBAG

I don't think I said anything about abdicating all common sense while you were at it. You can live and not turn your brain off.

EDWINA

Why don't you just sit there quietly and carry my spare change like any normal purse. That's the only reason you're here.

HANDBAG

I'm carrying a lot more than spare change at the moment. And so are you.

EDWINA

Shut up. You don't know that.

Enter ACTRESS as PERKY GIRL.


PERKY GIRL

Oh my God that is such a cute purse!

EDWINA

Want it? It's yours.

PERKY GIRL

No way.

EDWINA

I'm done with it.

HANDBAG

Don't do this to me.

PERKY GIRL

What about your stuff and stuff?

EDWINA

All yours.

PERKY GIRL

Oh my God!

HANDBAG

You can't give the problem away and you know it.

PERKY GIRL

(realization, admiring)

You're wasted.

EDWINA

You're brilliant.

EDWINA downs a kamikaze.

PERKY GIRL picks up HANDBAG.


HANDBAG

Psst. Party girl. Trust me. You don't want to get in the middle of this. Set the bag down and walk away.

PERKY GIRL drops the HANDBAG.


HANDBAG (cont'd)

OK. Ow.

PERKY GIRL

Sorry.

HANDBAG

Shit happens.

PERKY GIRL fakes seeing someone across the room.


PERKY GIRL

Gotta go, bye!

EDWINA

I don't believe you.

HANDBAG

Feeling's mutual.

EDWINA

You talked to her.

HANDBAG

And the likelihood of her remembering or believing that in the morning is -- ?

EDWINA

You're not playing fair.

HANDBAG

I'm not playing.

EDWINA

What is it going to take?

HANDBAG

You're not getting rid of me, or the problem, that easily.

EDWINA

So one day I walk into Claire's feeling a little bit reckless. I see this gaudy purple purse that, I don't know, kinda speaks to me. The next thing I know my whole life is a wreck.

HANDBAG

No it isn't.

EDWINA downs another kamikaze.


HANDBAG (cont'd)

Yet.

EDWINA

"Sparkle like me!"

HANDBAG

Don't you dare order another.

EDWINA

As if I could sparkle.

HANDBAG

The road to perdition is paved with self-pity.

EDWINA

As if anybody would ever see me as sparkling.

HANDBAG

Self-fulfilling prophecy.

Enter MAX FROM THE SOUND OF MUSIC, an aging community theatre actor.


MAX

There you are.

EDWINA and HANDBAG (in unison)

Oh my God.

MAX

We missed you at the cast party. But I thought to myself, "I know where she is."

EDWINA

Did you?

HANDBAG

A regular rocket scientist, this one.

MAX

I love your little prop. How do you get it to talk like that?

EDWINA

Oh, you know. Just a little theatre magic.

MAX

So, Paul, our fabulous Captain Von Trapp, was looking a little glum without you by his side.

EDWINA

Oh I'm sure he's doing just fine. After all, every run ends eventually.

MAX

Too true. But I thought, perhaps, the two of you might have a little - uh, shall we say - ?

EDWINA

Let's not say.

HANDBAG

I'll say.

EDWINA

Girl's gotta have her secrets.

HANDBAG

I'll say.

MAX

Isn't it adorable?

HANDBAG

Hey! Hands, buddy!

EDWINA

Exit stage left, Max.

MAX

Do you want to talk about it?

EDWINA

No.

MAX

I worry about you.

EDWINA

Don't.

MAX

I don't mean to pry.

HANDBAG

HANDS OFF THE ZIPPER!

EDWINA reclaims HANDBAG.


MAX

I'm here for you. That's all I wanted to say.

EDWINA

Consider it said.

MAX

I really do worry.

EDWINA

I'm really OK.

MAX

Come back with me. It's not a party without our Mother Superior.

EDWINA retches. It's not an editorial comment. It's real nausea.

MAX casts around for a vomit receptacle for her. He settles on the handbag.


HANDBAG

Not the handbag, NOT THE HANDBAG!

EDWINA manages not to puke, and once again reclaims her handbag.


MAX

If you're "really OK," I'm sixteen going on seventeen.

EDWINA

I need to be alone, Max. Please.

MAX

You're sure?

HANDBAG

So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye!

MAX exits, stage left.


HANDBAG (cont'd)

Well, it's a little late in the day for morning sickness, but --

EDWINA

You're not funny. You've never been funny.

HANDBAG

Are you going to call him?

EDWINA

Max? Are you kidding?

HANDBAG

You know who I mean.

EDWINA

Yes. I know who you mean.

HANDBAG

And yes, you're going to call him?

EDWINA

What would be the point?

HANDBAG

He might want to know.

EDWINA

There's nothing to know.

HANDBAG

Yet. I've got a pregnancy test tucked away in here. You just have to crack open the box and use it. Then you and Paul might have plenty to talk about.

EDWINA

Is there something wrong with not wanting to deal with it? Just for tonight?

A BAR FLY shambles in and plops down on a bar stool.


HANDBAG

No, just as long as it doesn't become a habit.

EDWINA

Ha. Ha.

HANDBAG

Sorry. Mother Superior joke. You know I had to go there.

BAR FLY

Seen you. Before. Somewhere?

HANDBAG

Hoo boy. You're a magnet tonight.

BAR FLY

Buy drink?

EDWINA

I'm pacing myself.

BAR FLY

You. Buy me.

HANDBAG

We were just leaving.

BAR FLY

Whoa.

EDWINA

Sorry.

BAR FLY

Talking purse.

HANDBAG

Just. Leaving.

EDWINA signals for the bartender.

The bartender is evidently very busy at the other end of the bar.


BAR FLY

Thanks. Trying.

EDWINA

No problem.

BAR FLY

So.

EDWINA

So.

BAR FLY

Talking purse.

EDWINA

Talking purse.

BAR FLY

Rough night?

EDWINA

(confirming)

Rough night.

EDWINA tries signaling the bartender again.


BAR FLY

Busy.

HANDBAG

Leaving.

BAR FLY

Bossy.

EDWINA

I like you.

BAR FLY

I like you. Pretty girl.

EDWINA bursts into tears.


BAR FLY (cont'd)

Oh. Naw, don't. Uh. Pretty girl. See? Talking purse. Ha ha ha! Talking purse!

This is, strangely, no comfort.






(there's more, but the conclusion of the story isn't available for viewing on this website)

copyright 2005 by Anne Bertram & Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com