THE PRINCEMAKER: Exceprt From The First Scene

My new play THE PRINCEMAKER will be hitting the stage for the first time at this year's FringeNYC. I'm sure as the rehearsal process starts I'll be writing some updates, but for now I thought I'd share a little bit of the script with you. Here's a small excerpt of the first scene. All you as an audience person knows at this point is that George is a first-term congressman, age 35, and Les, 18, is a filthy rich snob of a teenager. Les has invited George to his home and has surprised George by offering him a blank check to fund his Presidential campaign. George has no intention of running for President, but damn if that blank check doesn't look sexy. Just before this excerpt begins, George has been startled by a large dog in a kennel in Les's living room.

Oh, and it goes without saying that I own the copyright on all this. ©. So there.

Sorry, that was uncool. Enjoy the excerpt.

LES: Are you afraid of dogs?

GEORGE: No, it was just surprising.

LES: Don’t worry. The truth is that I’m afraid of dogs. Hence the kennel. But you need a dog if you want to keep up appearances. You know all about that, don’t you, George?

GEORGE: I have no idea what you’re talking about.

LES: Of course you don’t, because to you keeping up appearances is so second-nature that you don’t even realize you’ve been doing it since you were seven when you decided you wanted to be President. My question is, why?

GEORGE: Why keep up appearances?

LES: A fine question. What I meant was, why do you want to be President?

GEORGE: I don’t. I want to be a Congressperson.

LES: Okay. Great. But why do you want to be President?

GEORGE: I’m not going to answer that question because I don’t have an answer because I don’t want to be President.

LES :Okay, fine, we’ll play the long version of this game. Why do you want to be a Congressperson?

GEORGE: I want to serve the people of the eleventh district by championing their voices in Washington.

LES: Okay, we’ll play the really long version of this game. Why do you want to be a congressperson?

GEORGE : Because I want to be President, why the fuck else would you be a congressperson?

LES: There we go! I’m not asking you to tell the truth, I’m asking you to be honest. There is a difference.

GEORGE: I’m sorry, Les. I’m nervous. You can’t fault me for being nervous.

LES: No, but I can fault you for being drunk.

GEORGE: You offered me a drink!

LES: You didn’t have to drink it. Just take it, hold it, and keep up appearances. Now answer the first question, why do you want to be president?

GEORGE: The truth?

LES: I don’t care about the truth. Just be honest.

GEORGE: Because I don’t think I’d be very good at it. I’m humble. I’m critical of myself. That’s the only way to make progress. I think most Presidents have lost sight of that. You need to have empathy. You need to be self-aware. You need to be humble. I’m humble; shouldn’t that be enough?

LES: It should be, but it isn’t.

GEORGE: I don’t think I’d be a good President. That’s why I have to be President. One day, Les. One day, but not now. It’s not my time.

LES: Are you sure about that? Why don’t you do me a favor and take out your cell phone?

GEORGE: Seriously?

LES: Yeah, seriously, take out your cell phone.

GEORGE : takes out his cell phone

LES : (cont’d) Who’s the most powerful person you know?

GEORGE: You?

LES: No. In journalism. On the news. On the TV. Somebody with an audience.

GEORGE:  I know an editor at The Times.

LES: New York Times? That’s good enough. Alright, I want you to call them, and - here’s the catch - using your brain, I want you to take out a full page ad in tomorrow’s A-section detailing your plan for America.

GEORGE: I don’t understand.

LES: You’re humble. That should be enough, right? So, using your humility, take out a full page ad in The Times.

GEORGE: I won’t even get past the intern who answers the phones.

LES: And that’s exactly how far you’ll get without me.

There you go. The middle of the first scene of THE PRINCEMAKER. Come on down to FringeNYC this August for the whole thing. More details to come.