TANGO4, the Script         
a play in 3 acts by Jimmy Warner
 


Characters in order of appearance:

Reporter for ART6
Pan
The Tangoist, the two Tangoettes (three dancers )
Ezra, the dark star
Bart Dumont, Brooke's father
Mrs. Thelma Trent, Robby's mother
Wilma Dumont, Brooke's mother
Don Ramirez, Vanessa's father
Mildred Balywac, church organizer
Daniel Balywac, lay clergyman
Doris Shultz, child welfare counselor 
Twyla Harp, saint, famous in town history
Dora Wilby-Dunn, fun raiser
Vic Tanzo, local dance instructor
Xyla Faune, acorn lady and snake charmer
Bazilda, fortune teller and trailer rental
Chorus, choir singers in audience
Audience plants, people planted in audience to perform on queue



Time: Now

Location: Flux River City, middle American small town, pop 4300

Chorus: Choir sings softly ahs, like 2001 Space Odyssey


Act 1, Scene 1

lights up (hand held gooseneck lamps and flashlights)

PAN: (plays a haunting melodic phrase from Afternoon of the Faune on his flute. Sighs wearily and shakes his head. Sits cross leg on floor closing his eyes)

REPORTER: (Approaches cautiously holding a mic in her hand, startles PAN who tries Faune-like to hide.  jumping goat-like.)

Who are you?

PAN: You can see me? (panicking)

REPORTER: Well, yeah. Are you the Devil?

PAN: (Loudly) Ha!  
( Timidly, mumbling )
Devil indeed, Mortals get stupider every year.

REPORTER: More stupid.

PAN: Huh?

REPORTER: (holding hand out ) I won't hurt you, who are you.

PAN: Haven't a clue, have you, haven't a clue.

REPORTER: Should I know you? You're in a play maybe, an actor?

PAN: Oh dear, this is awkward. Mortals don't know art from reality.
Come to think of it neither do I. In fact, I was just dreaming and I thought I saw a fellow satyr and two nymphs dancing, then I thought, no by Jove they're ... mortals. (strokes chin)

REPORTER: I take it ...you're not ... mortal?

PAN: Heavens no, who'd wanna be mor... I'm not supposed to be talking to you, and what, what's that thing, (pointing at the microphone, shaky fingers) a speaking device? (looks opposite direction) get it away from me.

REPORTER: It's not on, look here's the other end, see? (shows him the plug end of the mic)

 PAN: I heard you people can talk into little boxes and it goes all over the planet.

REPORTER: I promise you, we're alone, just you and me.

PAN: O-o-o-o-oh that's comforting, but no. You're a mortal, the gods don't like me talking to mortals. Be gone. Shoosh shoosh.

REPORTER: Not until you tell me who you are.

PAN: (in clipped language) Pan. Ring a bell? I'm a Faune. Pan. Heard of him? No, of course not, why would you..

REPORTER: Pan is just a fable.

PAN:  (emphatically) He -  most  - certainly -  is -  not.

REPORTER: Oh, I assure you he is.

PAN: Is not.

REPORTER: OK, Pan, may I call you Pan? Do you have a last name.

PAN: The horned one, protector of lost children, friend of the forest creatures. (chin up, proudly)

REPORTER: You help lost children?

PAN: (relaxes bashfully) Well, the job's getting more and more difficult, sometimes I want to give up. So many kids lost these days, so many mortals with evil on their minds. I don't know what to do any more. It use to be so simple (voice goes up octave). Show kids the way home, parents were grateful. (looks around nervously) Now, days I could be arrested for being some kind of pervert.

REPORTER: You don't strike me as the pervert type. Maybe you just need a little sympathetic press...

PAN: Naw, naw, naw, they tried that with fairytale books, and cautionary tales, that doesn't work. it wears off , kids grow out of it...
(lurches, scares reporter) ho, did you hear that?

REPORTER: Hear what?

PAN: They're coming back.

REPORTER: Who?

PAN: The dancers, the tango dancers.

REPORTER: Oh my God.

(they hide themselves as the tango dancers approach, dancing to tango music, a masked man and two masked women dance a tango for three)

They perform a complete tango routine (for three)

when the music ends they run off stage holding hands giggling

(lights dim, point to ceiling)

The reporter and Pan sneak behind, following them, Pan lolloping.

PAN: (stops looks at audience ) Oh, what the hell. (follows crowd off stage)

Ezra: (light travels along floor to feet and up to masked face of Ezra)

"There are darker stars in this play than anyone ever imagined."

Chorus: Choir sings “What the hell is this" to Close Encounters.       

blackout

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Act 1, Scene 2

BART DUMONT: (man, sits facing audience with newspaper opened out, huge headline reads:


THREESOME EXPELLED
  (with pictures of three students)

HIGH SCHOOL SEX RING EXPOSED

(a knock at the door, Bart drops newspaper, answers door, right)

MRS. THELMA TRENT: I just had to speak to you all, I'm Thelma Trent, my son, Robby was... the one involved with your daughter.

BART: Come in, you're a brave soul to do this, come in, please.

MRS. TRENT (hesitates, unsure, but enters )

I've never in all my life heard of such nonsense, calling children, CHILDREN, evil, complete nonsense. The nerve of those administrators calling my Robby evil. (sobbing)

BART: You know, this is gotta be some big mix-up, nobody in their right mind would take this seriously... (turns left and shouts upstairs) Wilma, can you come down, please. We've got company.

WILMA DUMONT: Oh, I've seen you at the school meetings, you're Mrs. Trent.

THELMA: Please, Thelma, I think we're past formality. You know my son was invited by the girls, Robby's a bit shy, not the forward type.
He told me the girls offered to teach him to dance because they couldn't find anyone who ...danced as well as they could.

WILMA: I know, Brooke and Vanessa told the truth, they're so innocent, they weren't trying to start anything, they just like to dance, this is so absurdly unfair, how could professionals make such accusations against our children. Makes you wonder about people with ...twisted religious fervor, ruining children's lives for no reason.

 

BART: We're gonna have to fight, but stay positive. How could we lose, this is America...?

(another knock at the door)

DON RAMIREZ: You probably don't want to see me, right now, but I couldn't stay home , the crowd has been doggin me and taunting me for hours.

May I come in?

BART: Please

DON RAMIREZ: I'm Don Ramirez, Vanessa's father.

BART: I spoke to you at the school meeting last year, I was so sad to hear that your wife had passed away.

DON: Oh, I remember, you were kind to me. (vigorous hand shake, arms on arms) Vanessa tells me that Brooke made her feel really welcome when we first moved here. I don't know why I never got around to meeting you and your wife. I feel a little stupid, right now.

BART: We need to stick together. Things could get rough.

DON: They already are, can you hear them out there, amazing how fast they learn Spanish, listen to them,

ANTI-TANGOISTS: (offstage) tango si, tango no, rotten preeverts gotta go.

BART: They want to drive us out of the neighborhood?

THELMA: Oh no, they want us to leave town.

DON: I feel responsible for all of this.

WILMA: What, how could it be your fault, kids don’t do stuff like they’re saying. Fourteen -year-olds don't have orgies.

DON: Well, maybe not, …but …I smoked pot with my daughter. (hides face)

(everyone looks up, rolls eyes like, what now)

 

AUDIENCE: Audience plants hurl insults "Why don't you toke up where you left off?

ANTI-TANGOISTS: (taunting) tango si, tango no, rotten preeverts got to go

Chorus: Choir sings, Wonderful day in the neighborhood

- Blackout

 

BART: I spoke to you at the school meeting last year, I was so sad to hear that your wife had passed away.

DON: Oh, I remember, you were kind to me. (vigorous hand shake, arms on arms) Vanessa tells me that Brooke made her feel really welcome when we first moved here. I don't know why I never got around to meeting you and your wife. I feel a little stupid, right now.

BART: We need to stick together. Things could get rough.

DON: They already are, can you hear them out there, amazing how fast they learn Spanish, listen to them,

ANTI-TANGOISTS: (offstage) tango si, tango no, rotten preeverts gotta go.

BART: They want to drive us out of the neighborhood?

THELMA: Oh no, they want us to leave town.

DON: I feel responsible for all of this.

WILMA: What, how could it be your fault, kids don’t do stuff like they’re saying. Fourteen -year-olds don't have orgies.

DON: Well, maybe not, …but …I smoked pot with my daughter. (hides face)

(everyone looks up, rolls eyes like, what now)

AUDIENCE: Audience plants hurl insults "Why don't you toke up where you left off?

ANTI-TANGOISTS: (taunting) tango si, tango no, rotten preeverts got to go

Chorus: Choir sings, Wonderful day in the neighborhood

- Blackout

 

Act 1, Scene 3

DANIEL BALYWAC: (the couple stand facing the audience like the American Gothic couple) Human beings are nothing but worthless dirt bags, they should all fall down on their miserable knees and thank God they even exist.

MILDRED BALYWAC: We have to organize.

DANIEL: Nothing but worthless dirt bags, they don’t even know God exists.

MILDRED: We HAVE to organize.

DANIEL: Children don’t know that dancing leads to sex and the ways of sin.

MILDRED: Yep, gotta organize, tonight.

DANIEL: Imagine, little children havin orgies.

MILDRED: I’ll call Dora and Xyla, the Lampfoots, and yess the Camelumps.

DANIEL: Orgies, right here in Flux River City.

MILDRED: Ain’t gonna be no orgies, Daniel, We’re gonna organize.

DANIEL: I’ll bet they’re already planning one…

MILDRED: Will you button your lip and help me organize.

DANIEL: Organize what?

MILDRED: The church folks, we gotta get em together on this.

DANIEL: For an orgy?

 

--------------Sound of Shredder

Everybody screams (play is being shredded)

Blackout

 

E-mail Jimmy Warner

Prologue / Afterthought  What the tango dancers symbolize

SR Looks @ Fluxus  What is Fluxus