Saturday, January 14, 2017

Women in the Age of Trump: NEW ACTS FOR OLD LESBIANS

NEW ACTS FOR OLD LESBIANS by Carol Weliky is a semi-finalist for NYCPlaywrights project "Women in the Age of Trump."

CAROL WELIKY's stories and poetry have appeared, variously, on large magnets around Brooklyn, New York, stamped in concrete at a Portland, Oregon transit station, in several small press journals, and in the anthology “What Does It Mean to Be White in America,” in which she explores intersections of white and Jewish identity. “New Acts for Old Lesbians” is her first play.

Thanks to Carol Weliky for allowing NYCPlaywrights to publish this excerpt from her play NEW ACTS FOR OLD LESBIANS.

   KATE
   (louder) 
Jayyy-Touffffe! 
   SANDRINE
   (laughing) 
That’s not stuffed. It means that you’re choked, suffocating. 
   KATE
Like Erica, remember last Thanksgiving, on that bone? That was one scary… 
   SANDRINE 
Like…mmm 
(searching for correct word) 
…asphyxié…asphyxiated! Smothered. 
   KATE
By any name. I had to marry a French teacher. 
   SANDRINE 
Stifled?
    ( Comes back over to KATE and plants kiss on her forehead.)  
And yes, one of the many benefits of being married to you, mon amour, has been getting to stay in the country, and actually have a teaching job… Muffled? Suppressed! Not that I didn’t love waitressing. That’s it – choking, suffocated, suppressed. 
   (Walks back to kitchen.)
   KATE 
Just fat as shit. That’s all I’m trying to say. 
   SANDRINE 
You’re 115 pounds with your clothes on, Katie – you need a fat layer. Christmas in Montreal, man. (remembering) Growing up I had a Kanuk, fur-trimmed, oh mon dieu! That thing was impenetrable, and you’d still be cold, come February. Of course, you couldn’t play hockey so
well in it, so jackets ended up flung off, warming the snow. No substitute for a good constitution
and a bit of blubber. 
   KATE 
I’m well on my way then. 
   SANDRINE 
With boots! 
   (Comes back into living room, with two glasses, and stops in front of KATE.) 
Kate, I’m sorry, but we have to talk about life after Christmas week, the eighth day – 
   (SANDRINE sets glasses down on table but continues standing.) 
I can’t live like this, without a plan.
   KATE 
We’ve been planning all year for it. Christmas vacation. We go, we come back. 
   SANDRINE 
And if I can’t come back! 
   KATE 
Then I buy boots. It’s not going to happen! 
   SANDRINE 
But if it does? You’re two minutes from Medicare and full pension, Kate – you can’t give those up. For me, for anything. 
   KATE 
You’ve said a dozen times you can still get a job in Montreal. Enough to support the two of us.
If we had to stay! Big if!

   SANDRINE 
Your home is here, Katie! You can’t just leave a lifetime, flat. 
   KATE 
My home is with you. 
   SANDRINE 
That was what marriage meant. And we hope will still mean: here, in our house, in our normalcy. But what seems normal lately, Katie? How long can we coast on not likelys and ifs? 
   KATE 
So, okay! IF something happens – 
   SANDRINE 
That’s right – 
   KATE 
You can’t stay! 
   SANDRINE 
You can’t go! 
   KATE 
It won’t happen!