Back, It!

I wrote this in 2006 as an acting exercise. Samuel Beckett is my favorite playwright; this obvious parody (with apologies to his Act Without Words) was my somewhat awkward way of introducing the simple magic of his work to high school students. I produced two Beckett festivals while teaching there. I think this would make a great little film. That Beckett guy, he is on to something.

A Play.

The stage is a big dark blue box. Atmospheric music plays. Suddenly, a man appears. He is dressed in work clothing. He looks confused. He wanders around within the box. He touches the walls. Suddenly, a voice.



The man is startled. He looks around quickly. He appears frightened. The voice repeats.



The man jumps. He looks as though he wants to hide. He is desperate. He crouches in a corner. The voice returns.



The man looks out. The voice repeats. The man shrieks and jumps at each command.


Back! Back! Back! It! It!

The man moves with deliberate caution. He investigates the corners, the walls, the floor: he finds the fourth wall and explores this.   The voice speaks.


It! It! Back! Back! It! It!

The man tumbles. He looks frantically for a way to escape. He lies on the floor. He covers his head. He seems to want to sleep. He tosses and turns. He puts his hands near his groin. The voice speaks.


It! Back!

The man covers his face with his hands. He weeps. The Voice laughs. The man looks up. A bright light shines from above, very bright. The man slowly stands, raises his arms, stands on his toes, and waits. There is a long pause. Nothing happens. The man jumps up and down with increasing violence. He stomps about the stage. He hugs himself. He collapses. The voice laughs again. The bright light is extinguished. From a seated posture, the man gazes upward. The blue light slowly fades, and the play is over.

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