A full-length play by Sheila Callaghan

Editor’s note (revised April 2014): Everything You Touch was originally commissioned by True Love Productions and premiered at Boston Court Theatre in Pasadena in April 2014. A full-length play written in three parts, the first of those parts, as presented below, was published in the 2013 edition of The Labletter.

Playwright’s note: Throughout the play, the CHORUS OF MODELS will be used as furniture, wall-paper, lamps, decor, often in a humorous way. But let it be noted— when not parading around the imagination of JESS or in a literal fashion show, they are ever-present objects, to be objectified at will.

PART ONE: FUCK YOU FUCK YOU

JESS appears in her office. She clutches a LARGE SCRAPBOOK. It’s chunky, filled with scraps of fabric, drawings, pieces of metal, etc. She is lit by the glow of her computer screen. LEWIS hangs over her shoulder. Both wear drab clothes. They are colored sickly beneath the fluorescent lights. THE MODELS are the desks, the chairs, the bad art on the walls.

JESS (to us): I hit the down arrow on my keyboard hard several times. I am aware the force of my finger is excessive but I am still meekly satisfied by this minor gesture. With my other hand I raise my coffee mug to my lips, knowing the coffee is terrible cold and also knowing it was terrible when it was hot. The wetness reminds me I am not made of pixels and page hits. I am capable of feeling wetness. I am human. [to Lewis] Okay. The overview is fine. The ‘scope of work’ is fine... You spent a lot of time on this.

LEWIS: Yeah.

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A play by Jacqueline Wright

In memory of Mildred Neil West

Beautiful’s room. Tasha, a 14-year-old girl, is looking up at the stars in the sky. Tasha’s grandmother, Beautiful, lies in bed. Tasha addresses the audience.

TASHA: Beautiful died.
She called me into her room, we were all lined up to say our good-byes at her door. I was the last one. I didn’t want to go in. I didn’t want to say goodbye. I prefer hellos.

She pauses.

I wanted to be strong. I wanted to be generous. I wanted to be anything except what I was.

Tasha crosses to her grandmother.

Hello, Beautiful.

BEAUTIFUL: Hello, Tasha.

TASHA (addressing the audience): She called my brother Flight and my mother Gentle Flower. Me— she just called me my real name, Tasha. That always bothered me.

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A play by Hank Bunker

CHARACTERS: PETER — 30s
MARLÉ (Mar-lay) — 30s

A room with a futon. A desk. A window. A door to the kitchen. A door out.

1

Party noise. PETER on his futon, dabbing at a spill with a cloth. MARLÉ stands in the door, bag packed, coat on, holding a champagne bottle. Party noise down. PETER stops cleaning, looks up at her.

PETER: All right, I'll tell you. I'm afraid of losing this. I hope for more. Much more. But I'm afraid of having less.

MARLÉ: Than this?

PETER: Than what you see. [pause] I should be plotting a future. A portfolio and so forth. My investments and so forth. As you remind me day after day. [pause] Desktop publishing and so forth. [He brandishes an envelope.] But I have to say, I don't think too much about “what's my strategy?” You know? “What's my strategy?” What's your strategy? I'm trying to love a woman. I'm trying to find out if there's a relationship out there. With a woman. In the present. That's the kind of strategy I'm thinking about.

MARLÉ: You're saying I'm this woman? Or what?

PETER: I had hoped to be married.

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