Don't You Fucking Say a Word

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“Don’t You Fucking Say a Word” is a play about love and hate, about friendly and not so friendly competition. Three sets of tennis and one unforgettable fight as seen through the eyes of two women.

Read Sample

1. The Investigation

Two women walk on stage: Leslie and Kate. They are dressed like lawyers. They address each other, and the audience.

KATE
So….

LESLIE
So.

KATE
So we’re going to get inside this event.

LESLIE
An examination.

KATE
A post-mortem, if you will.

LESLIE
And maybe along the way we’ll make some kind of discoveries. About boyfriends. Or husbands.

KATE
Or men in general.

LESLIE
About what drives them.

KATE
We have many questions.

LESLIE
What are those secret spaces? Those inside parts that they show to each other. Or to no one.

KATE
The deep wells of pathos…

LESLIE
Or is it rage? Or fear?

KATE
The deep wells that drive men forward - to the office, to the track, to the fields of war, to the fields of sport.

LESLIE
Perhaps mothers with sons understand more, having seen their babies grow and stretch, having seen them get socialized, contorting their way into the small spiked box that is civilization.
She notices Kate looking at her.
Too much?

KATE
Kinda.
Outward.
We are not mothers. Not yet. But still, we will try.

LESLIE
Though there may well be less there than meets the eye.

KATE
Less profundity, less imagination.

LESLIE
More limitations.

KATE
Though we’re all limited, in our ways.

LESLIE
We’re talking about a tennis match.
That’s all.
Not my game.

KATE
Nor mine.
My father Robert, he played, back when I was a child. The phone would ring for him. “Hey – Bob there?”, they’d say. And we knew it was a tennis friend. They’d pull up in their cars, and give a honk, “a bunch of savages”, my mother said – rarely if ever did they come in the house. They’d head off for hours. They’d take my father away.

Brian emerges, with his tennis bag, with his tennis gear. He is wearing sweats. He starts getting ready for the match, unpacking his bag, laying out a towel, and various snacks, taking the jacket off, putting on his wristbands, headbands, wrapping grip tape on his racquet handle, engaging in some light stretching, etc.

LESLIE
There. That’s Brian. He’s obsessed. At least he was. He plays, or rather he used to play, all the time. Back then he was a little thinner.

She takes another look at him.

Ridiculous, huh? Or cute? I never could make up my mind.

Russ enters the playing area, with his tennis bag, and gear. He’s wearing old shorts and a sleeveless shirt. He gives Brian a brief nod, then starts laying out his stuff.

KATE
That’s Russ. He’s clean shaven now, though at the time he had a moustache. A work thing. Back then, he did a little acting, was trying to break into commercials, and the moustache was supposed to help. He was waiting tables too, had a couple of lunch shifts at this barely mediocre Italian place in the West Village.

LESLIE
We had done well in our way. They were both handsome fellows, and relatively capable.

KATE
Tightly-wound sure, but that’s New York for you.

Brian turns to Russ and screams at him.

BRIAN
Don’t you fucking say a word!

RUSS
What? What?

They advance toward each other. The women clear their throats. The men retreat, and get back to preparing for the match.

LESLIE
Where were we?

Cast Requirements

2 men, 2 women

Set Description

“Don’t you Fucking Say a Word” takes place during the course of a single tennis match, and over the course of two years. The tennis court may be present, or suggested. It never goes away. Other spaces that may be formed include a dining table for a home-cooked meal, a bar, a sidewalk café, a doughnut shop.

Production and Development History

Workshop/reading with Brooklyn Shakes: March 2013.