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THE BROWN SHOES
by Julie Jensen


CHARACTERS
MARK
STEPH
DEENA

NOTE:  Lines that are underscored are meant to be addressed to the audience.

[STEPH appears in a pool of light.]

STEPH: I’m walking downtown one day.  I come on to this fenced in place.  Might be a private park, someone’s yard, they’re having a party, I don’t know.

Anyway, it’s hotter than hell this day.  And my feet are burning like sparklers on this marble sidewalk.  I’m thinking I gotta get someplace quick, someplace cool, someplace nice.

Over the fence, I see these people.  They’re all very tall.  They’re eight feet tall.  I think, “Where am I?  Am I tripping or something?”  They are, I’m not kidding you, eight feet tall.

So I knock at the gate and go in.

[We see  MARK and DEENA standing on blue chairs, using them as shoes.]

They’re all eight feet tall and they look like they’re going places.

DEENA: We’re all eight feet tall and we’re going places.

STEPH: You’re all using chairs for shoes.  That’s why you’re eight feet tall.

DEENA: We are beautiful and brave.  We are eight feet tall.

STEPH: Yeah, you said that all ready.

DEENA: We like to repeat ourselves.  It teaches us how to speak.  We are beautiful and brave.  We are eight feet tall.

STEPH: That’s right.  You ARE eight feet tall.  Except you’re standing on chairs.

DEENA: We are beautiful and brave.  Would you like to see us dance?

STEPH: Yeah.  Sure.  I guess so.

DEENA: For my first number, I will dance “The Dance of the Beautiful and the Brave.”

[MARK hums low and DEENA dances.  She walks up and down on tables and benches.  It lasts about five seconds.  It is nothing but walking.  Not a dance.  She ends with a flourish.]

MARK: You were brilliant.

DEENA: You were also brilliant.

MARK: Thank you so much.  You inspire me to go on.

DEENA: You must go on.  We must all go on.

MARK: We are destined for greatness if we only go on going on.

DEENA: How beautifully you speak.

MARK: I speak with a deep voice.  I have studied for many years.

DEENA: Just as I have studied many years to dance as I do.

MARK: And we both give our talents to the cause that is true.

DEENA: To the cause that is true!  How glad am I.  To work with you.

MARK: Do you think we’ll see each other again?

DEENA: I feel certain of it.

MARK: Then I’ll not say good bye until we meet again.  For I must leave.

DEENA: We all must leave.  We have miles to go before we sleep.

MARK: We have miles to go before we sleep.

[THEY rush off as if they were going places.]

STEPH: Well I’m just standing here thinking, “That was just about the weirdest thing I ever seen.”  Then up comes the guy.  The guy with the deep voice.

MARK: Excuse me, Miss. Your shoes.

STEPH: Shoes?

MARK: Yes.  Your shoes.

STEPH: Yeah, I got shoes. “Got shoes, got shirt, got service.” [MARK doesn’t get it.]  Never mind.

MARK: You must wear brown shoes to come here.

STEPH: I ain’t got no brown shoes.  I got this pair of flip flops and a pair of running shoes, used to belong to my brother, but he died, so I don’t like to wear them.  You understand....

MARK: You are wearing white shoes.

STEPH: Yeah, I could argue with you.  But I won’t.  They’re blue and white actually.

MARK: You must wear brown shoes when you come here.

STEPH: All right, brown shoes the very next time I come here.  And every time after that, brown shoes.  Without fail.

MARK: We believe in brown shoes here.

STEPH: Yeah, I can tell you do.

MARK: We believe that’s the only way to go.

STEPH: Well, it’s nice to be so sure of everything.

MARK: Yes, that’s one of the good things about brown shoes, they are sure.  No one slips, no one dies, no one spreads disease.

STEPH: Yeah, well, good day then.  Nice talking to you.

MARK: You cannot go any further in those shoes.

STEPH: I’m just gonna leave.

MARK: No one leaves without brown shoes.

STEPH: [Exploding.] Look, you're not wearing brown shoes.  They're blue.  And they’re not shoes at all, they’re chairs!

MARK: You are precisely the kind of person we’re looking for. You’ll love our brown shoes.  You won’t be able to take your eyes off them.

STEPH: All right.  You wear your “brown shoes.”  I’ll wear these. I’m quite good at wearing these.

MARK: Here we have rules.

STEPH: Yes, it looks like you do.

MARK: We all wear brown shoes.

STEPH: And you are all eight feet tall.

[Out comes DEENA again.]

DEENA: We are all eight feet tall.  And we dance.  Do you want to see me dance?

STEPH: Yeah, I guess so ...

MARK: Little Miss Deena will now dance “The Dance of the Brown Shoes.”

DEENA: For my second number, I will dance “The Dance of the Brown Shoes.”

[MARK hums low. DEENA dances her dance.  It is the same dance as before.  She ends with a flourish.]

DEENA: That was the “Dance of the Brown Shoes.”  All dances are about brown shoes.  It’s how we think, it’s what we do.

MARK: You were brilliant.

DEENA: You were also brilliant.

MARK: Thank you so much. You inspire me to go on.

DEENA: You must go on. We must all go on.

MARK: We are destined for greatness if we go on going on.

[DEENA moves off as if she were going places.]

Yes, we believe in Brown Shoes.  At first it was difficult.  We didn’t know how to believe in Brown Shoes.  It seemed so unnatural.

STEPH: I can see how you’d have that trouble.

MARK: Then we began to wear them.  We put our feet to them.  And we knew we were free.

STEPH: Free?  That’s about the last thing I’d call you guys.

MARK: Look at Little Deena dance.  She dances like a dream.  She dances “The Dance of Freedom.”

[DEENA comes on again.]

DEENA: Look at me.  Look at me dance.  I dance like a dream.  Do you wanna see me dance?

STEPH: Yeah, sure, go ahead.

DEENA: For my third number, I will dance “The Dance of Freedom.”

[MARK hums low.  DEENA dances the same dance as before.  She ends with a flourish.]

MARK: You were brilliant.

DEENA: You were also brilliant.

MARK: Thank you so much. You inspire me to go on.

DEENA: You must go on. We must all go on.

MARK: We are destined for greatness if we only go on going on.

[DEENA goes off as if she were going places.]

Yes, Little Deena is the most famous dancer of all.

STEPH: But what she’s doing is not hard.  I mean, even I can do that, what she does, I really can.  Probably better than Little Deena.

DEENA: You can do nothing better than Little Deena.  We have been working at this for generations.  We have become accustomed through time.  You cannot expect to know what we know.  Do what we do.  And know the reason why.

STEPH: I see, well listen here, I’ll just be on my way, then.

MARK: Uh-uh.  Not in those shoes.

STEPH: All right, give me the brown shoes.  And point me toward the gate.

MARK: [Pointing.] It’s there.

STEPH: [Looking.] But they’re all coming in the gate. I want to go where they’re going out.

MARK: We have very few people going out.  Once they try our shoes, they can’t take their eyes off them.  Here, slip your foot in these.  You’ll not be able to take your eyes off them.

STEPH: Hell no, you’d fall off if you took your eyes off them.

[STEPH gets on the chairs, takes a couple of steps with effort.  Then jumps off and does the same dance DEENA did.  She ends with a flourish and runs off barefoot.]

[THEY watch her.]

MARK: She was not suited to this work.

DEENA: She would not learn to dance.  She would never understand the way of the brown shoe.  She is addicted to something else.

MARK: She was addicted to the work of the wrong way.  But you were brilliant.

DEENA: You were also brilliant.

MARK: Thank you so much.  You inspire me to go on.

DEENA: You must go on.  We must all go on.

MARK: We are destined for greatness IF we go on going on.

DEENA: And IF we repeat ourselves.

MARK: And IF we remember the dangers of all other shoes.

[THEY move off on their chairs as if they were going places.]



Copyright © 2010 by Julie Jensen

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that The Brown Shoes is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at JulieTwoHeaded@aol.com

 

 



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