16.70 Neil LaBute The Mercy Seat: A Play

ISBN 13: 9780571211388

The Mercy Seat: A Play

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9780571211388: The Mercy Seat: A Play

Set on September 12, 2001, The Mercy Seat continues Neil LaBute's unflinching fascination with the often-brutal realities of the war between the sexes. In a time of national tragedy, the world changes overnight. A man and a woman explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they had lived just the day before. Can one be opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness?

"Sinopsis" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

About the Author:

Neil LaBute is currently at work on the film adaptation of his play The Shape of Things.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Characters

BEN HARCOURT male, thirties 

ABBY PRESCOTT  female, forties 

Setting

New York City, not long ago 

NOTE: A / denotes a suggested point of overlap between that line and the next actor's line. 

Silence. Darkness. 

A spacious loft apartment, well appointed. Doors leading off in several directions, suggesting a hallway to bedrooms and a bathroom or two. A stainless-steel kitchen, visible. Three large arched windows display a view of other buildings across the street. A kind of amber haze in the air. 

This is a large sitting room with lovely couches and chairs. Bookshelves heaped high. Framed pictures. A television plays quietly in one corner. A layer of white dust on everything. Absolutely everything. 

BEN, maybe thirty-three, sits pressed into the corner of one loveseat, staring straight ahead. A cell phone rests in one hand. It rings and rings. 

After a long moment, the front door opens and a woman of about forty-five enters, also covered in dust and carrying several plastic bags. This is ABBY. She Sees BEN as she removes an Hermès scarf from around her mouth, but she says nothing, continuing on to the kitchen. She takes off her coat and hat, then begins putting groceries away. When she can't stand it any longer, she walks over and takes the phone out of his hand and pushes a button. The ringing stops and she returns the phone to BEN. White clouds of dust follow her every move. 

ABBY Save it. 

BEN Hmm? 

ABBY The phone. I turned it off to save it. 

BEN That's okay. 

ABBY I know it's okay, I know that. That's why I did it, because it's okay.

BEN Right. / Sure. 

ABBY If you're not going to use it, then you should keep it off. / Save the battery. 

BEN Uh-huh. 

ABBY Plus the sound . . . drives me crazy. You know? 

BEN Sorry . . . I didn't hear it. 

ABBY Oh. (She laughs.) Okay . . . (She stands over BEN until he finally looks up. Doesn't say anything else. She shakes her head and moves back to the kitchen.) So . . . did you call? 

BEN Huh? 

ABBY "Call." I asked if you called. 

BEN Ummm . . . 

ABBY Of course you didn't. I know you didn't.   BEN No, I didn't. 

ABBY I knew it. 

BEN Didn't answer it, either . . . 

ABBY And are you planning to? 

BEN I'm . . . I was, ahh . . . I was going to, maybe . . . 

ABBY Yeah, that's pretty much where I left you. At the 'babbling- to-myself" stage. 

BEN I keep trying to. 

ABBY Really? 

BEN Yeah, but . . . but I'm . . . 

ABBY Huh. (She walks over again, billowing little clouds of white behind her. She takes back the phone for a moment, turns it on. Waits. Checks something as it begins ringing almost immediately.) The last number you called was the Chinese place. Yesterday morning, for your shirts. I called, actually . . . remember? 

BEN Yes. / I do. 

ABBY Good. / Just so we're on the same page here . . . (Looking at the display.) It's for you. (She sighs and turns the phone off in mid-ring. Hands it back.

BEN What I meant was . . . in my head, I was trying to . . . Several times. But I . . . 

ABBY You couldn't. Right? / Just couldn't do it . . . 

BEN No. I guess not. / No. 

ABBY So, you want to, then? You haven't, but you want to . . . 

BEN I dunno. I guess so . . . shouldn't I? 

ABBY Oh, I can't help you with this one. Uh-uh . . . This one's all up to you. 

BEN I know, I know . . . I just . . . 

ABBY You should, of course. Call. 

BEN Yes. 

ABBY I mean, it's the decent thing to do. 

BEN That's true . . . 

ABBY It's the only thing to do, really . . . 

BEN Uh-huh. 

ABBY You know that, right? 

BEN Yeah. (Beat.) Yeah, I do . . . Yes. 

ABBY Yeah. (Beat.) Funny thing is, you were going to, anyway. I mean, for a different reason, obviously, but that's what you said. 

BEN I did. / I did say that . . . 

ABBY That's what you told me. / You said, I'm going to call her. I am. Right now." You were sitting on that couch, the same spot, really, and I was kneeling between your legs when you told me that. Five minutes before it happened. Like, a minute before all this . . . happened. (Beat.) Of course, we've heard about that one a few times now, haven't we? The BIG CALL. 

BEN Yes. 

ABBY Yeah, just a couple. / "I'm going to do it, I promise. This time I mean it." (Beat.) I even threw in a little incentive, didn't I? / Down there on my hands and knees . . . 

BEN I'm aware of that. / Yes. / I did say it, I know . . . and I should. Call. 

ABBY But that doesn't really mean shit. Does it? 

BEN I guess not. 

ABBY That's what I like about you, Ben. Your absolutely rigid commitment to being a flake. 

BEN Thanks. 

ABBY You're welcome. 

BEN A lot. 

ABBY You're welcome a lot. (Beat.) You want a snack? It's cheese. 

BEN No thanks, but . . . no. 

ABBY I'm gonna have some. I'm going to have some cheese.  BEN That's all right. 

Copyright © 2003 Neil LaBute

"Sobre este título" puede pertenecer a otra edición de este libro.

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Descripción FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Main.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On September 12 2001, Ben Harcourt finds himself in the downtown apartment of his lover, Amy Prescott. Over the course of the night, Ben and Amy explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they knew just the day before. LaBute presents the brutal realities of the war between the sexes and explores whether one can be truly opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780571211388

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Descripción FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Main.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On September 12 2001, Ben Harcourt finds himself in the downtown apartment of his lover, Amy Prescott. Over the course of the night, Ben and Amy explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they knew just the day before. LaBute presents the brutal realities of the war between the sexes and explores whether one can be truly opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness. Nº de ref. de la librería AAS9780571211388

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Descripción FABER FABER, United Kingdom, 2003. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Main.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. On September 12 2001, Ben Harcourt finds himself in the downtown apartment of his lover, Amy Prescott. Over the course of the night, Ben and Amy explore the choices now available to them in an existence different from the one they knew just the day before. LaBute presents the brutal realities of the war between the sexes and explores whether one can be truly opportunistic in a time of universal selflessness. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780571211388

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