THE WEDDING GIFT

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A regular dude named Doug finds himself at an otherworldly wedding not as a guest, but as a gift.

Read Sample

ACT I

Scene 1

In the darkness, strange musical sounds emit from
strange invisible instruments.

Other-worldly lights up on two remarkably regal,
extraordinarily tall figures—one male, one female—
that resemble humans in every respect save their
remarkable regality and extraordinary height. They
are NAHLIS and BESHRUM. The two stand side-
by-side, facing the audience, looking solemn and self-
important. They are elaborately costumed, draped
with beads and jewels and other shiny things,
crowned with massive, glittering headdresses. Their
embroidered robes have impractically elongated
sleeves which presently are being arranged by two
ATTENDANTS who appear almost monastic, both in
dress and in focus. While they are also very tall, they
are not nearly as imposing as the two central figures.

The sleeves of their adjacent arms are then tied together
by ONJAH, who appears as if by magic in a costume that
is far less ornate than theirs, but slightly more luxurious
than those of the attendants. Onjah also appears small
relative to Nahlis and Beshrum.

Onjah begins to hum as she ties. She begins to hum
loudly. A little too loudly for Nahlis’ taste. Nahlis
communicates as much with a cutting look. Onjah
stops humming.

Onjah claps her hands and two more attendants bring in
bejeweled bowls with what appears to be blood in them,
and place them under the free hands of Nahlis and
Beshrum, who dip their freakishly long fingers in
without even turning to look.

Nahlis and Beshrum then turn toward each other and
place their bloodied fingertips on each other’s lips,
leaving bright red stains. They kiss.

Suddenly the music surges to a near deafening level
and there is much cheering from invisible mouths.
More lights come up to reveal KAMSUH, TOROSH,
and a few more GUESTS, all very tall, but perhaps not
as regal. Onjah raises her arms to silence the cheering.
The music gets quiet.

ONJAH:
Kohnsahaaaaaaah!
They are married!

(More cheering.)

ONJAH (cont.):
(bidding the attendants)
Geh beh yevah!
Bring forth the gifts!

(With creepy efficiency, the attendants retrieve
what are obviously gifts, which they carry, one
by one, before Nahlis and Beshrum. Nahlis and
Beshrum, meanwhile, evaluate without much
enthusiasm.

When one attendant brings forth a very intricate-
looking device, Nahlis takes it in her hands for
further inspection. She seems more confused
than intrigued. Onjah steps forward and attempts
to demonstrate how it works, only to be abruptly
swatted away by an annoyed Nahlis. Nahlis then
hands the device back to the attendant who brought
it forth and shoos her off. Beshrum picks a piece of
lint off his robe.

After a short parade of presents—some slightly
more impressive than others—the music crescendos
or perhaps there is a drum-roll to indicate that the
biggest, most luxurious gift has been saved for
last.

Four attendants roll in a giant, gilded cage. Inside
the cage is DOUG, who is scantily clad and
dwarfed, almost comically, by his surroundings.

The invisible mouths buzz with awe and approval.
Doug is mid-rant.)

DOUG:
What the fuck is going on?... Where am I? Why am I— why the hell am I in a cage? What is this, some kind of joke? Hello?! Hello, I’m speaking to you! Don’t you understand? Don’t you speak English? Wha…?

(Nahlis says something nearly audible to
Beshrum.)

DOUG (cont.):
What are you… what is that, Spanish? … Habla Espanol? What the fuck? What did you do to me? WHY AM I HERE? HOW DID I GET HERE? I … HOW DID I GET HERE? I want to
DOUG (cont.)
go home, I need to go…
(truly panicking)
Ooouugh! Let me out! Let me out of this fucking cage right now or so help me God…! (beat) Please… please! I have a daughter, a six year-old daughter, she’s… I have to get back home…
WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME WHERE THE FUCK I AM?

(Beshrum approaches. Everyone hushes. He walks
slowly, cautiously toward the cage and begins to
inspect the man inside it. Doug, fearful of what
Beshrum may have in mind for him, becomes
quiet and alert. Beshrum stares into Doug’s eyes.
Doug stares back at first, but then abruptly
averts his eyes. Beshrum laughs.)

BESHRUM:
(addressing Torosh)
Ha! Tesh yevjeh ploosah, Aga!
Ha! You’ve given me a sissy for a gift, Father!

(Beshrum laughs and makes an aggressive, abrupt
noise to startle Doug. Beshrum laughs some more,
as do the wedding guests. Totally aware that the
laughter is at his expense, Doug decides to reclaim
some dignity by making an aggressive noise at
Beshrum. Beshrum nearly jumps out of his skin. The
guests roar with laughter. Beshrum swells
indignantly.)

BESHRUM:
Basheh!
Enough!

(Abrupt silence. Nahlis, not wanting any
further embarrassment, approaches Beshrum.)

NAHLIS:
(very diplomatic)
Beshrum, pichu, tesh frinseh keshi ronah. Otri kesh ginseh, mmm?
Beshrum, dearest, you’re scaring our guests. Let’s drink and be merry, okay?

(A brief pause during which Beshrum regains
his composure.)

BESHRUM:
Otri kesh ginseh. Ah.
Let’s go drink. Yes.

(He begins to walk off-stage and most of the
guests follow suit, reverting to merriment on
their way out. Nahlis is ushering them
graciously until her mother, who is lingering
quite deliberately next to Doug’s cage, whispers
loudly to get her attention.)

KAMSUH:
Tss! Nahlis!
Pst! Nahlis!

(Kamsuh signals for her daughter to come join
her at the cage, which she does dutifully.)

KAMSUH:
Vah eh vi yevah pa tesh, picha. Tesh hoseh?
This gift is really for you, dearest. You like?

NAHLIS:
Pa esh? Beshrum—
It’s for me? But Beshrum—

KAMSUH:
Fah! Beshrum. Beshrum eh ploosah. Beshrum eh sohnsi, ah, ib na voorsheh. Kesh-kesh kinmeh vah.
Bah! Beshrum. Beshrum is the sissy. Beshrum is handsome, sure, but he wouldn’t know what to do with a woman. Everybody knows that.

(Kamsuh makes an obscene gesture with her
fingers suggesting impotence. Nahlis snickers
a little.)

KAMSUH (cont.)
Tesh kinmeh aptah? Yevah eh pa tesh…
You understand me now? The gift is for you…

(Nahlis examines Doug with renewed interest
and with something like mischief on her face.)

NAHLIS:
Ah…
Yes…

KAMSUH:
Laleh shimsuh, ah?
Beautiful specimen, yes?

NAHLIS:
Aaaahhh…
Yessssss…

DOUG:
Miss, you look like a nice lady. Both of you look like nice ladies. You… you just got married, right? That’s what… all that was about, right?

(Nahlis continues to scrutinize Doug, even
daring to grab the bars of the cage to pull herself
as close as she can get. Meanwhile, Onjah
appears in the margins of the space, unbeknownst
to Nahlis and Kamsuh.)

DOUG:
I was married, too. Not anymore, but I… I have a daughter. We have a daughter… she’s six—

NAHLIS:
“Six”…

DOUG:
(excited at Nahlis’ acknowledgement)
Yes! She’s only six years old, her name is Hannah…

NAHLIS:
“Hannah”…

DOUG:
Yes! Yes!!! Oh my God, I—

(Nahlis beckons Doug with her pinky
finger.)

DOUG:
You… you want me to…?

(Doug cautiously walks over to Nahlis,
stopping about a foot away. He really looks
so small near her. Nahlis beckons for him to
come closer with her pinky. He obeys, hopeful.
Suddenly, Nahlis slips her fingers between
the bars of the cage and lifts Doug’s loin cloth
or skirt or whatever strategically placed thing
is concealing his bits and pieces. Doug jumps
back, appalled.)

DOUG:
What the…?!

(Nahlis and Kamsuh crack up laughing. At that
moment, Onjah clears her throat. Kamsuh is
immediately defensive, as she does not know how
much the priestess has witnessed.)

KAMSUH:
(sharply)
Pa kah tesh onseh? Pa kah tesh eh win?
What do you want? Why are you here?

ONJAH:
Esh… desh bortreh esh hixameh yevah.
I… they told me to keep guard over the gifts.

(Kamsuh looks annoyed, but convinced.)

KAMSUH:
Ah yo. Boh, tesh kini hixameh vah yevah…
Ah yes. Well, you better watch this gift…
(indicates Doug)
… fehsooni.
…closely.
(winks and smiles at Nahlis)
Weh, picha. Otri kesh ginseh.
Come on, sweetie. Let’s go have that drink.

NAHLIS:
Ah yo, Ama.
Yes, of course, Mother.

(Nahlis and Kamsuh exit snickering and
chattering like schoolgirls. When they are safely
out of sight, Onjah looks at Doug, who is backed
against the farthest bars of the cage. He looks
forlorn, like he has just been hit with the gravity
and probable permanence of his situation. Onjah
then beckons the man with her hand. He looks at
her and does not move. Onjah beckons him with
her entire arm. He does not move. Onjah lets her
arm fall by her side and gives Doug a look: “I’m
not going to do anything bad to you…” Doug
is convinced and slowly, approaches the woman,
with his hands nevertheless shielding his crotch.
When he is close enough, Onjah passes a piece of
exotic looking fruit, which she had concealed in
her garments, between the bars of the cage. Doug
looks quizzically at it for a moment. Onjah
gestures that he should take it, being careful to
check in the direction where the others have gone to
make sure no one sees her doing it. Doug
cautiously takes it from her and doesn’t quite know
what to do with it, as he has bigger concerns. There
is a moment of silence while Onjah watches Doug
who, in turn, stares at the fruit. Once again, Onjah
checks her surroundings to make sure that no one is
watching. We see her make the decision to speak.)

ONJAH:
I have a daughter once too.

(Doug looks up at her.)

ONJAH (cont.):
Eat.

(END SCENE)

Cast Requirements

4+ women
4+ men
All races & ethnicities.

Set Description

A futuristic palace and a lush tropical forest.