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Two Short Plays by Lewis John Carlino - Collection / Anthology

Two Short Plays by Lewis John Carlino

Lewis John Carlino

Collection / Anthology

HIGH SIGN. This is a play about a search for personal identity by seek…

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Collection / Anthology

HIGH SIGN. This is a play about a search for personal identity by seeking out the identity of God. It takes place in Al's Gayway Bar, a refuge for derelicts. Guido, agnostic and a broken down self-styled actor, works here, performing scenes for Al in return for drinks and a warm spot near the radiator. The play's action is centered on the antagonism between Guido and Donald, an ex-Trappist, who spends his time carving religious symbols on the bar in hope that God will recognize them and show Himself. In a moment of spiteful perversity, Donald taunts Guido into reenacting a scene most painful to him, a real scene, his betrayal by the woman he once loved. Guido leaves but then in revenge, he returns in a strange disguise, creating weird effects to dupe Donald into believing he is God, finally making His sign. The figure he presents is comic, grotesque, but Donald, who has been waiting so long, accepts it as the real thing. Guido subjects Donald to a series of ridiculous and humiliating trials, then reveals himself. Donald is horrified that he could accept and believe such a God. He has nowhere to go now. He has tried everything, waited too long. In despair he goes off to shoot himself, leaving a sobered Guido to ponder his own lack of reconciliation with the infinite. He picks up Donald's knife and begins carving, taking up Donald's search. (5 men.) SARAH AND THE SAX. It is early morning in a tiny park hidden somewhere in the labyrinth of downtown city streets. Sarah Nodelman, a plump Jewish woman, sits crocheting. She has been shopping and is enjoying a few moments respite before taking her bundles home. Into the park floats The Sax, a black saxophone player. Sarah immediately begins a conversation which becomes anathema to The Sax. She is square. She is conventional. She is everything he avoids in society. Sarah continues to talk. The Sax answers her by playing passages on his saxophone. Sarah tells him of her son, Herbie, who lives on Long Island in a nice home with a nice family, a son she hardly ever sees any more. The Sax is also alone. Sarah invites him to come home for dinner. The Sax takes this as a gesture of charity and furiously upbraids her with his saxophone, playing a theme of rebellion and anger. Sarah is shocked that her offer is so misconstrued. She feels something is wrong and the cause of it has been her lying. She confesses what she has been telling him about Herbie is not true, a lie to help her fight the terror of being alone. Herbie died in Korea in 1952. The Sax, shaken by her story, plays for her. This is the only way he can communicate. This is his token for Sarah's lost son. Sarah knows what his playing means, knows what The Sax is trying to say. She thanks him. (1 man, 1 woman.)
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