copyright © 2001 bkMarcus

Royro

by bkMarcus

 

 

Characters

 

* Bobby, 7-year-old boy (offstage)

* Phil, father of Bobby, mid 30s

* Dana, early 30s

 

Props

 

* 2 folding chairs, across a table (or stool)

* 1 corduroy hat with pink fuzz, on table (or stool)

 

Phil is sitting at his kitchen table, looking out the window (at audience).

 

Dana enters from behind.

 

Phil does not acknowledge her.

 

 

 

DANA

[smiling]

What's that?

 

PHIL

It's a hat.

 

DANA

I can see it's a hat, but what is it doing there.

 

PHIL

[shrugs, speechless]

 

DANA

 

Phil?

 

PHIL

Yeah?

 

DANA

Whose hat is that?

 

PHIL

It's Royro's hat.

 

DANA

Royro?

 

PHIL

Royro.

 

DANA

Who's Royro?

 

PHIL

Royro is Bobby's new friend.

 

DANA

Bobby's home already?

 

PHIL

Yeah, they sent him home early.

 

DANA

Is he suspended?

 

PHIL

[sighs]

 

DANA

 

Phil? Did the school suspend Bobby again?

 

PHIL

I didn't ask.

 

DANA

You didn't ask why the school would send him home early on a school day?

 

PHIL

I'm guessing it has something to do with Royro.

 

DANA

What?

 

PHIL

[speechless]

 

DANA

 

Phil? Where are they?

 

PHIL

They're playing outside.

 

DANA

[looks out the window (at audience) -- scans yard for Royro]

[pause]

Um, Phil?

 

PHIL

Mmm?

 

DANA

 

Phil, I see your son running around by himself out there.

 

PHIL

Yeah.

 

DANA

Yeah?!

 

PHIL

Yeah. Yes. That's what I see too.

 

DANA

You see your son is by himself.

 

PHIL

When I look out the window I see Bobby laughing and playing and talking to someone, but I don't see the someone he's playing with or talking to.

 

DANA

[straining patience]

So this "Royro" is imaginary?

 

PHIL

That's one hypothesis.

 

DANA

So your son got sent home from school for playing with an imaginary friend? There must be more than that, don't you think?

 

PHIL

I'll ask him later.

 

DANA

When?

 

PHIL

After Royro leaves.

 

DANA

[sighs]

[looks at hat]

I think he must have found this in a dumpster. It's filthy. What's this pink stuff?

 

PHIL

Looks like fluff from an old pink boa.

 

DANA

So Royro's been hanging out at the burlesque?

 

PHIL

[laughs]

Yeah, that's exactly what I thought.

 

DANA

So what are you going to tell Bobby?


 

PHIL

I'm going to tell him that he needs to be careful about Royro.

 

DANA

Careful?

 

PHIL

I'll advise him against playing with or talking to Royro among strangers--

 

DANA

I beg your pardon?!

 

PHIL

I said I think it's a bad idea for Bobby to talk to Royro in front of people.

 

DANA

[disbelieving]

He shouldn't do it ... in front of people?

 

PHIL

Well, not most people.

 

DANA

You're not going to tell him that Royro isn't real?

 

PHIL

Why would I presume to tell him that?

 

DANA

 

Phil, I think you're trying to avoid something here and I think it's going to be harmful to your son if you don't confront it.

 

PHIL

Oh? What am I failing to confront?

 

DANA

I think you're failing to confront the fact that Bobby still hasn't gotten over Brenda's death. He's acting out.

 

PHIL

[holding back]

It's only been a year.

 

DANA

That's almost a 7th of his life. Maybe you're still mourning, but you have to help your son move on!

 

PHIL

Bobby still asks questions about his mother, but I haven't seen sadness in him since last summer.

 

DANA

Maybe not, but he's clearly directing it elsewhere.

 

PHIL

Oh? And where is that?

 

DANA

What do you mean Where? Look, your son -- who is much too old to still be playing with imaginary friends -- is having disciplinary problems at school because he's acting crazy.

 

PHIL

[shirks at the word 'crazy']

That's quite a conclusion to draw from so little evidence.

 

DANA

[pause]

Wait! Are you saying you don't think he was sent home from school because of his imaginary friend or are you saying you're not sure his friend isn't real?

 

PHIL

Of course I'm not sure he isn't real. Do you know for sure what is and isn't real?

 

DANA

He is out there ... playing by himself!

 

PHIL

[calmly]

He's out there playing. We can't see anyone else playing with him.

 

DANA

So, what, you believe this Royro is an invisible kid?

 

PHIL

Why do you assume he's a kid?

 

DANA

Oh, right. I forgot -- he's been hanging out in burlesque houses!

 

PHIL

Maybe Royro is a kid, but I don't see too many kids wearing old corduroy Andy Caps like that.

 

DANA

And you don't see too many kids ... who you can't see at all!

 

PHIL

[slowly smiles]

 

DANA

[turning away]

You're playing mind games with me.


 

PHIL

I'm going to let my son tire himself out in the yard. And I'll wait until he tells me that Royro has gone home --

 

DANA

[interrupting:]

--I wonder what he'll do with his hat--

 

PHIL

--and I'll explain to him that you and I can't see Royro, and that I wouldn't be surprised if his teachers and classmates can't see Royro, and that it would be smart for him -- that it would help him stay out of trouble -- if he were more aware of how his perspective differed from the perspective of those around him.

 

DANA

[turning back]

Jesus Christ, Phil! He's not a dissident! He's acting out!

 

PHIL

Do you disagree with anything I just said?

 

DANA

You can't encourage him to do that kind of me-against-everyone-else thinking. That will just make things worse.

 

PHIL

It's not against anyone. I just want him to develop a sense of how to function in a world that doesn't see things--

 

DANA

[interrupting:]

--Why do you insist on talking as if this Royro is real!?

 

PHIL

I'm not insisting on anything.

 

DANA

Do you believe that Royro's real?

 

PHIL

I don't believe anything.

 

DANA

[pause]

He isn't real, Phil. Your son is playing with someone who isn't real.

 

PHIL

Why are you so upset about this?

 

DANA

[trying to calm down]

Look, I care about Bobby. And I care about you. And I'm scared of what I'm seeing here.


 

PHIL

I understand.

 

DANA

Will you please let me have a word with him?

 

PHIL

[pause]

[sighs]

Tomorrow.

 

DANA

Tomorrow?

 

PHIL

I want to talk to him first.

 

DANA

[seems to think about it]

[touches Phil, who doesn't move]

OK. I can see you're upset. I shouldn't have pushed it. I'll talk to you tomorrow, OK?

 

PHIL

Yes, OK.

 

DANA

[exits]

 

PHIL

[pause]

[looks up and smiles]

Yes, sweetheart, I know.

[pause]

No, I agree completely. Very sure of herself.

[pause]

I know she means well, but that's not an excuse ... telling us how to raise our son ...

 

[Lights go out.]

 

The End

 

"Royro" IS COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL AND MAY NOT BE DOWNLOADED, TRANSMITTED, PRINTED OR PERFORMED WITHOUT THE EXPRESS PERMISSION OF THE AUTHOR

"Royro" debuted December 7, 2001.

[bkMarcus's website]

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