Very Best Coffee

 

Screenshot (2)
4+ W / 6+ M | 80 min

Synopsis

In Orington, Men go to Football Rehearsal and Women go to Crying Practice. In Orington, everyone drinks coffee. No one hates. No one loves. Amy is content serving coffee in her husband’s diner. Timothy is thinking about getting married – maybe next week. And Albert, he’s the star of the football team – the glue that holds everything together. This is the way things are done. Just don’t go out into the woods. Yessir, everything in Orington is good, good, good.  And then one day, a stranger comes to town, and people begin to change. Chaos takes hold of the town as hidden desires are revealed and acted upon, as the weirdness emerges, and the social order comes roaring back to assert itself.

This play is appropriate for teens and adults.

4+ Women

6+ Males

(Flexible ages)

 

Background

This play was originally written for and with the young actors of Skybridge Academy. Through kinesthetic dramaturgy and generative exercises, the students helped create the world of the play. The parts were tailored to the specific actors — hence the gender breakdown. The world of the play is slightly absurd, sitting next to realism. Although initially written for teenagers, the play is not necessarily for teenagers. This is my homage to Sarah Ruhl, and it should find a home or homes with similarly diversely-aged companies and audiences.

 

 

 

 

LATER THAT DAY. LAKE SEPSIS. [projection]

 

In a small rowboat in the middle of Orington’s Lake Sepsis.

On a dock in another part of the lake is COLIN, who is fishing.

TIMOTHY is gallantly rowing JESSICA, who twirls a parasol.

JESSICA is a teacher, and you can tell this just by looking at her.
JESSICA

It’s a lazy Sunday afternoon when Timothy asks me to go with him to Lake Sepsis.

The waters seem to shimmer and glisten. It’s a man-made lake.

He hands me a parasol. And he rows me out to the middle of the middle of the lake.

 

TIMOTHY

I like this spot. Hey, Colin.

 

He waves to COLIN. COLIN waves back.

 

JESSICA

What’s that smell? You smell that?

 

TIMOTHY

I’m going to feed some ducks.

 

TIMOTHY throws bread into the water.

 

JESSICA
There aren’t any ducks.

 

TIMOTHY

Then I’m feeding fish.

 

JESSICA
It’s not healthy to feed ducks, you know.

 

TIMOTHY

Women and their diets.

 

JESSICA

This isn’t about carbohydrates. I read that ducks become complacent. Then they never leave. They never fly south or north or, well, elsewhere. They eat gobs of unhealthy bread, rot out their insides, and then they foul the place up. Their waste begets teeming colonies of microbes, and eventually, it makes them all sick.

 

TIMOTHY

They could hire someone to clean it.

 

JESSICA

The ducks?

 

TIMOTHY

There’s gotta be some science that can fix it. Ingenuity. Chlorine!

 

JESSICA

That won’t hurt the ducks?

 

TIMOTHY

They’re just ducks.

 

JESSICA

They can still get hurt.

 

TIMOTHY

Then I guess it’s a good thing there aren’t any here.

 

JESSICA

I suppose you’re right.

 

A moment.

It’s peaceful. Or awkward.

 

TIMOTHY

So, Jessica.

 

JESSICA

Present.

 

TIMOTHY

You probably want to know why I am rowing you about on this small fishing boat.

 

JESSICA

We’re not going fishing, are we?

We don’t have any poles.

 

TIMOTHY

In Orington, for every man, there’s a woman.

I suspect that you could be one for me.

 

JESSICA

Really?

 

TIMOTHY

I made this for you.

 

JESSICA

Oh!

 

TIMOTHY puts up a presentation

Like a business presentation.

 

TIMOTHY

This is your current income.

 

JESSICA

Wait what? How did you find that out?

 

TIMOTHY

It’s 70% of what I make.

And this is my income.

And these are how things would work out if we were married.

 

JESSICA

I’m sorry. Married?

 

TIMOTHY

One mortgage instead of two.

Substantial savings on heating and air conditioning and cable television.

We can buy cheese and soda in bulk.

This is why people get married.

We are both eligible human beings of breeding age. We should seriously consider doing so.

 

JESSICA

All of that makes sense.

 

TIMOTHY

Please stand up.

 

JESSICA uneasily stands up.

 

TIMOTHY

Don’t fall.

 

JESSICA
Trying not to.

 

TIMOTHY bends to his knees.

 

TIMOTHY

Jessica. Will you marry me?

 

JESSICA

I suppose we should.

Okay.

 

TIMOTHY

Great. Great great great.

So, how does Wednesday work for you?

 

JESSICA

That’s when I watch television.

 

TIMOTHY

How about Thursday, then?

 

JESSICA

That should work. I have a staff meeting on Friday, so let’s say 7:00.

 

TIMOTHY

7:30 will be better. I have racquetball after work.

 

JESSICA

7:30.

We should head back.

Thank you for the rowboat ride. It was nice and I didn’t vomit this time.

(We hear something in the distance: a “whoop-whoop-whoop”)

Is that – Albert Finley running? What’s he doing?

 

TIMOTHY

I don’t know. So, Thursday, 7:30?

 

JESSICA

Thursday, yes.

 

TIMOTHY

This is great!

 

There’s an awkward kiss or maybe handshake.

They return to shore.

 

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