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Wednesday, September 11, 2013

FREE EXCERPT FROM "THE DARK TOWER" (For 1 male, 1 female)

Scene from "The Dark Tower", as produced by Pope Theatre Boosters, GA
Today, I'm offering a free excerpt of my play, "The Dark Tower", inspired by Robert Browning's poem Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came, which also inspired Thornton Wilder's playlet. 

This play of mine, available from Eldridge, is my interpretation of the story of Roland, as an immortal warrior, trained by Merlin, who has eschewed death, but now seeks it out at the Dark Tower, where he meets three sisters, and must live through some of his memories before he gains admission.

If you want to read more about this play or order it for performance, CLICK HERE.  Feel free to use this scene for acting class work or audition work, just make sure to give the play and the author (me) credit. 

In this scene, Roland, the warrior, remembers the death of his son and his wife, Susannah.  Susannah awakens to find she has lost her child, and that she herself is giving up and succumbing to her mortality. 

Here goes:

 Excerpt from "The Dark Tower", by Bobby Keniston,  available from ELDRIDGE PUBLISHING.  Note:  this work is protected by copyright.

(HE closes his eyes, and the marsh changes its LIGHTING.

A bed appears from stage left, with SUSANNAH upon it. She

is beautiful, but very pale. Her eyes are closed and she

moans quietly in pain. NOTE: If the role of Susannah is

doubled with the DARK SISTER, then the Dark Sister simply

leaves her window, comes out the door of the tower and

takes her place in the bed to play her part. After a moment,

Roland opens his eyes, and rushes to Susannah's side to

offer comfort. She stirs at his touch and opens her eyes.)

SUSANNAH: Roland. Are you by my side in Heaven? The
pain has been so great, but I find solace in your eyes.
ROLAND: Rest now, my love. We both live still. Sleep.

SUSANNAH: (Gently moves her hands down to her middle,
and touches her belly. She gasps, afraid.) Our child?
Where is our child?

ROLAND: Sleep now, until you are strong again.

SUSANNAH: Where is our child, Roland? Tell me I bore you
a son who sleeps peacefully this very moment in the next
room. Tell me our son is sleeping.

ROLAND: (Cannot look at her.) My love, there can be other
sons, but there will never be another you. I pray you let
your mind forget these concerns and rest. You have been
through so much.

SUSANNAH: Dear, sweet God, he was to save us. He was
meant to save us, husband!

ROLAND: Sssh. It is the pain, sweet wife, it is only the pain.

SUSANNAH: How long must we live sequestered from the
world? Secluded from the very act of living?

ROLAND: My love...

SUSANNAH: Let me speak, husband. This pain from my
body I can endure. It is the other which saps my spirit and
will. Let me speak.

ROLAND: We have one another. And we might yet try

SUSANNAH: No. This was our time. This was our hope.
And that hope eludes me now. A strong-limbed young boy,
a son made from you might have cured your fear, might
have delivered us from your desperate need and into the
arms of sweet mortality. You might have seen your own life
continuing as he grew, and given up this quest that leaves
nothing behind. Nothing so tangible as an heir might leave.
ROLAND: I beg you to stop.

SUSANNAH: And so we are alone again. I am an empty
room with no life stirring. (Beat.) Was he beautiful? Was he
as beautiful as we dreamed?

ROLAND: (Softly, turning his head.) Yes.

SUSANNAH: I wish to see him, but not on this Earth.

ROLAND: Susannah, it is only the...

SUSANNAH: It is not the pain that speaks. I do love you and
always will. But I can no longer walk through a land that is
barren of hope.

SUSANNAH: (Cont’d.) My love cannot conquer the
loneliness of immortality.

ROLAND: There is our love. Our love which makes us our
own universe. It is enough. I should never forgive myself if
you were to...

SUSANNAH: No, my dear one. There is another you have
lost that robs you of forgiveness. I ask you to let me go, so
that I might see our son. Do not think I wish to leave you. I
only know deep in the secret chambers of my heart that
you would choose your endless travels to making the final
journey with me by your side. And I feel no bitterness for
this knowledge. I love you completely and without
reservation or remorse. I ask you now to release me. Our
travels have been fair, and there has been much joy. It is
not the way of nature or of God to have walked through as
many ages as we have. I clung to our mortal coil with you,
in the one great hope that I would one day change your
heart and put your terror to rest by creating the greatest
gift a wife can possibly create: our child. And when I finally
managed to bear you down with my insistent
determination, I have failed you.

ROLAND: No, my one love, no. You have failed me nothing.

SUSANNAH: Forgive me, my sweet Roland. I see them in
my mind's eye, and they offer me the chalice.
ROLAND: No, Susannah.

SUSANNAH: Forgive me. I do not drink to leave you.
Perhaps only to inspire you to make this journey yourself.
And let it be soon, my love. Come and join me with our
ROLAND: Don't leave me, Susannah. I beg you.

SUSANNAH: The Sisters hold the chalice, and I drink.
Goodbye, dear husband. I pray you find me soon.
(SUSANNAH is still. ROLAND collapses in sobs over her.)

 All right.  I hope you've enjoyed this excerpt.  Again, to order it or learn more, here's the link:
Until next time, have fun challenging yourselves, and remember--- theater is a sport.



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