Four in the Park – Four One Act Plays ebook

Mourning the Marigolds: Eccentric, sixtyish Bessie Levinson she sits on a park bench in Russell Square Park in London and tells her life story to Charlie Hampton, a stranger. Elsewhere in the park is Father Frank McAllister, an Irish priest, also in his sixties, strolling with his niece. He’s telling Julie a very similar story… Frank’s and Bessie’s love affair unfolded and ended. However, on this particular chilly autumn afternoon, with Bessie’s beloved marigolds about to gasp their last, there’s a chance meeting between two old lovers…

A Day in the Life of Eleanor Duncan: Eleanor Duncan is a 72-year-old homeless woman living on a park bench in Central Park. She believes her bench to be her “home”, which is wonderfully located so she can overlook skaters and lovers. She has been on the streets for twenty-four years and wouldn’t have it any other way. On this Christmas Eve, Eleanor welcomes a string of visitors and regales them all with stories from her past. As she enjoys Christmas Eve dinner, she’s surprised by her final visitor of the day…the last visitor of her life.

Wednesday: An aging woman chances to meet her long-time housekeeper in the park after thirty years. The time has been kind to one and not so kind to the other. As the two elderly women sit in the chill of a late November afternoon, they discover their differences may not be as great as they always thought.

Thursday:  Two sisters in their seventies–one with Alzheimer’s, the other her caregiver–have taught each other about coping and unconditional love.

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ASIN: B01D4V4UOI     GENRE: Plays     ISBN: 978-1-925191-56-1     Word Count: 19, 241

A Day in the Life of

Eleanor Duncan

A Play in One Act on One Bench

by
S.B Sturdevant

 

Cast of Characters

 

Eleanor Duncan – a homeless woman in her Seventies

Ruby Eleanor’s older sister

Randy and Babe – two teenagers (male or female)

Joey – a ten year old child (male or female)

Laura – a young woman

Mr. D – a stranger

Setting

 

Central Park, NYC – The Present – Christmas Eve

 

A Day in the Life of Eleanor Duncan

 

As the curtain rises, we hear an old ballad playing softly in the background and we see a park bench at center stage. Behind the bench is an iron fence, and hanging between the fence and the bench is an old blanket which forms a sort of makeshift tent. There is a working street lamp upstage, a trash can downstage and around the bench and the ground are a number of old newspapers and books, and a large shopping bag that contains ELEANOR’S belongings. As the music continues, we see ELEANOR DUNCAN slowly emerge from the tent. She is dressed in old, worn clothing but she appears clean and neat, as if she takes great pride in her appearance. She stretches, taking deep breaths and then stands on one leg and then the other in Yoga fashion. She straightens her coat and proceeds to remove the blanket, folding it neatly and placing it behind the bench. She then removes a toothbrush from her pocket and a bottle of water from the bag and brushes her teeth. As she continues to carry out her morning ablutions, JOEY enters wearing a winter coat, a stocking cap and carrying ice skates over his/her shoulder. JOEY sits down on the bench and starts to put on his/her skates as ELEANOR goes to search the trash can. After a moment, she comes up with half of a hamburger on a roll. She wipes it on her sleeve, looks it over, and walks back to the bench where she spots JOEY.

 

ELEANOR

Well, good morning to you, dear child. My name is Eleanor Duncan, welcome to my home.

 

(JOEY looks around confused)

So pleased you decided to stop by on this lovely Christmas Eve.

 

(ELEANOR sits and JOEY continues to stare at her)

Would you like to share my breakfast with me?

 

JOEY

No thanks…it doesn’t look very good.

 

ELEANOR

No? It’s almost a whole bun… see…and it even has a bit of ketchup on it. Very healthy…tomatoes.

 

JOEY

But it’s garbage.

 

ELEANOR

Only if you’re not hungry. What did you say your name was?

 

JOEY

You took it out of the trash can, lady.

 

ELEANOR

Yes, I did. That’s where some of the best things are.

 

JOEY

You live here?

 

ELEANOR

(Takes a big bite)

It’s nice, isn’t it? This is one of the choicest spots in the whole park.  Do you by chance have the time…uh, what was your name?

 

JOEY

It’s Joey. I don’t have a clock, lady, but I got an ice skate lesson at ten-thirty, so it must be close to that.

 

ELEANOR

Thank you, Joey, that’s very helpful. Would you mind holding this?

 

(ELEANOR hands the burger to JOEY who looks at it as if it was alive. ELEANOR takes out an old pocket watch and adjusts the time. She then puts the watch away and takes back the burger as JOEY finishes putting on his skates.)

 

JOEY

Lady?

 

ELEANOR

Yes, Joey.

 

JOEY

Why do you live here?

 

ELEANOR

Because this is my home. Where do you live?

 

JOEY

Over there at the Dakota…on the third floor. We have an elevator with a guy in a red coat.

 

ELEANOR

That’s where John Lennon lived, you know.

 

JOEY

Who?

 

ELEANOR

(Laughs)

Well, I don’t have an elevator, I’m afraid.

 

JOEY

Did you ever have one?

ELEANOR

An elevator? No…I never did. I lived in the Bronx…on 33rd Street. Do you know where that is?

 

JOEY

No…but my Gramma lives in Brooklyn. She has a poodle.

 

ELEANOR

Oh…is she nice?

 

JOEY

Who…the poodle?

 

ELEANOR

(Laughs)

No…I meant your Grandmother.

 

JOEY

Yeah…she’s pretty nice. She always has stiff hair and sleeps with a thing on her head.

 

ELEANOR

Uh huh.

 

JOEY

Yeah…and she always has marshmallows with coconut on ’em.

 

ELEANOR

I see.

 

JOEY

Yeah…I hate coconut.

 

ELEANOR

My grandmother always had molasses cookies with white icing.

 

JOEY

How could you have a Grandma…you’re old?

 

ELEANOR

Well, my dear, I wasn’t always old. But she passed…a long time ago. We lived on the fourth floor, there in the Bronx.

 

JOEY

But no elevator, right?

 

ELEANOR

That’s right…and no bathroom either.

 

JOEY

Yuck, that’s gross, lady! You mean you were dirty your whole life? And where’d ya…?

 

ELEANOR

No, no, no…we had a washroom, but it was down the hall and everybody on our floor had to share it.

 

JOEY

Cool!

 

ELEANOR

Yes…I guess it was…in the winter. But I certainly learned to share in those days.

 

JOEY

Did you have brothers?

 

ELEANOR

No…but I have a sister…Ruby is her name.