Getting Affairs in Order
“Thank you, Mr. Singer, for your Lysistrata. It is…interesting and…provocative.” Frank is standing in front a scarred wooden desk, script in hand, smiling down at the drama teacher. “Unfortunately we’ve decided to go in a different direction. We’re meeting our classics requirement by staging 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum'.”
Frank’s mouth drops open. His brain tries to digest this new information. He stares and finally says, “Forum is a musical.”
“Yes, Mr. Singer. I am aware of that.”
The tone of the teacher’s voice turns Frank’s confusion into fury. He keeps his voice in check by speaking slowly and articulating clearly. “But you wanted a play, not a musical.”
The drama teacher stands up, “I need to go. I have a meeting with the my production team.”
Frank steps in front of him, blocking the door. “You owe me for the play you commissioned me to write. This is your play and you need to pay.” Frank waves the pages in the teacher’s face.
“No, it’s yours now. You are free to shop that…thing…to anyone you think will buy it.” The teacher, who is a foot shorter and nearly 100 pounds lighter than Frank, slips by him and out the door.
Frank steps into the hall and yells after him, “Bullshit! You commissioned this play! ‘Commission’ means ‘you pay me.’ Now!”
The teacher has jogged about 20 yards down the hallway. He stops, turns and smiles at Frank. “Mr. Singer, perhaps you didn’t read the section of the contract about being ‘void without liability if the play does not meet the decency standards of the San Francisco Unified School District.’ I realize it has been a long time, a very long time, since you’ve been in high school, Mr. Singer, but these days you cannot flash tits, fondle breasts or enlarge a man’s charms on a high school stage. Decency, Mr. Singer. Decency.”
Frank walks toward the teacher, who slowly backs away. A switch has gone off in Frank’s body, the switch that used to go off when he was a kid and smashed walls and…Frank stops, breaths deeply and says, with something that is too close to a whine, “It’s Greek drama, for god’s sake. The actors say that stuff but the action happens off stage.”
The teacher, who’s managed hundreds of emotional teenagers in his career, knows he’s won. “Mr. Singer, your first mistake was choosing Lysistrata. Why not Oedipus or Antigone? Much better for students. Less sex, more death.” He even waggles his finger in front of his face.
“You specifically said you needed a comedy.” Frank feels his body moving, fists balled. “Those plays are tragedies, you little shit!”
Realizing that winning and staying out of the hospital are, in this case, two very different things, the drama teacher turns and runs, yelling over his shoulder, “I’ll call a security guard to escort you off the campus.”
©2020 Jeff Raz | ISBN 978-0-9979048-3-3