Seeking financial backing and other creative artists to mount stage production of:

"NORMA JEANE ENLIGHTENED"
a one-act play.

Synopsis:
Following her death, Marilyn Monroe finds herself on a beach where she encounters an ethereal female (Italian actress Eleonora Duse) who enlightens the now young looking Norma Jeane on life, love and death.


EXCERPT:
ENTER: ARTHUR
ARTHUR (continues reciting)
Whatever happened to love, healthy sensual love? It died somewhere along the way...
NORMA JEANE
You were my chance, my chance to be known as a serious actress - married to the greatest playwright...
ARTHUR
But, it was not love.
NORMA JEANE
I thought I loved you, in a way...I didn't mean to...
ARTHUR
Manipulate me?
NORMA JEANE
I was afraid to fail. I was afraid I wouldn't be good enough.
ARTHUR
You were good enough...perhaps not suited to me...but, you were good, and brave...
NORMA JEANE
Brave?
ARTHUR
Do you think I was unappreciative?
NORMA JEANE
How?
ARTHUR
You stood by me...at the risk of your career...at those awful hearings..
NORMA JEANE
I had to...I wanted to...it was so unfair...
ARTHUR
Yes, it meant so much to me...I was so grateful. You showed such strength. It was then I knew that you were strong, that you could stand up to anyone - and you did, Norma. But, then, it fell apart...you fell apart. You used me...well, I became a lobby boy for you...a butler, and a nurse. I was like a pet, performing for you. Even my work. You consumed my creative spirit. I thought only of you. I wrote only for you. In the end, my work suffered. And, the fiery promise of your acting ability was drowned in insecurity and paranoia. The words I wrote for you intimidated you, frightened you, and you crumbled. No one paid attention.
NORMA JEANE
But it was your idea, Arthur. You, yourself said, ‘Attention must be paid "
ARTHUR
Don't, please You wanted too much attention The way a child needs attention. Norma...
NORMA JEANE
You called me Norma..
ARTHUR
You were always Norma...a child...badly in need of a father...you called me Daddy...why, it was almost...it was flirting with incest.
NORMA JEANE
I never....
ARTHUR
You always...it was suffocating...I tried to protect you, and you...you dismissed me...like a servant. What was left, Norma, was pity. I pitied you and you pitied me. Not even mutual respect survived. It was never love.
NORMA JEANE
Our baby Our baby boy We would have loved him
ARTHUR
You would have smothered him, too. Don't misunderstand me, Norma, at the time, I truly wanted you to have the baby. I honestly thought you would have grown up when the baby came, but now, I see that the baby would have suffered from your endless need for affection.
NORMA JEANE
I would have been...would have been...somebody's mother...but, the baby died...I couldn't stop it...he slipped out of me and his life ended in a red pool on a cold floor.
ARTHUR (gently)
That was terrible...terrible for you and horrible for me. I was left with the burden of caring for you. What you didn't know was that I had guilt, crippling guilt.
NORMA JEANE
About me? About the baby boy?
ARTHUR
Some, yes...the baby...but, before that - my family - my children...
NORMA JEANE
You took care of them...
ARTHUR
It was difficult.
NORMA JEANE
It wasn't easy for me, Da...Arthur. Somehow...you..well, you changed - you were different after a while...
ARTHUR
I had no choice. You were impossible to keep up with - exhausting You know, Norma, in a way, I died when we met. With you, I thought I'd happily and surprisingly stumbled on my lost youth. The consequence was that I had to die as a young man, still filled with all his yearnings and desires. It would have been better to have left it where it belonged. There is a time for everything. When something is gone, it is gone. And, you Norma, whenever you lost faith or trust in someone, you felt betrayed, so you let go - with a homicidal blow - cruel, really...
NORMA JEANE
I k..k..killed you?
ARTHUR
Let's just say you were an unwitting accomplice to a suicide. (ARTHUR notices NORMA JEANE's bewilderment) Norma, it's not your fault. You were supposed to make me forget my girl with the flaxen hair, but she came to life in you, and I was forced to watch her suffer. She was better off living in my mind, where she would have remained perfect. As I said, when something is gone, it is gone. I know that now.
NORMA JEANE (resigned)
I was looking for a father and you were searching for her. We were both fooled. (pauses and studies ARTHUR) But your talent That could never die. Your voice...
ARTHUR
My voice was your voice...for too long...
NORMA JEANE
That wasn't my fault...you used my words...my own words...you took my words for a character in a movie...
ARTHUR
Did I? A character? I was a writer, Norma. Writers need a source of inspiration. You were the only one there. And, who was Roslyn? She was you, Norma. You couldn't see that I wanted to bring out the best in you. You took your cues from a second-rate acting coach who strained your wallet, and who wanted to keep you just good enough - or bad enough - to ride the gravy train. So long as you trusted her, you were doomed. There was enough inside you - if that was the game - to incarnate Roslyn...
NORMA JEANE
I fired Paula...but, you must admit, Roslyn was weak...
ARTHUR
No You could not see that Roslyn was my gift to you...a tribute to your goodness and kindness - the woman inside you. You were a gentle woman with a steely spine. You were strong, Norma...you took on the Hollywood bosses. If only you were able to overcome the neediness - if only you could have looked in the mirror and were able to see the real woman - whole - with everything to offer the right man. It was no crime to be gentle. You would have survived it all. Roslyn was the best performance you ever gave. It was honest - it was true. My words, your words...what did it matter. Roslyn, like you, could not see anything suffer. To me, you were like one of the wild mustangs. I didn't want to see you get slaughtered and fed to the dogs. The only way for me to save you was with words. I was a warrior, but my weapon was a single pen - my artillery, words. You could not hear the words - you could not see the truth. In the end, I was tired. My arsenal of words was used up. And, you...you remained that frightened little girl. Norma, it was okay to grow up.

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"JUDY'S DEAD"
a play in two-acts
(Winner - First Prize - 79th Annual Writer's Digest Competition)

Synopsis:
Star-struck Emily and practical Lena cope with mothers, morals, society and secrets in this coming of age - through middle age - story of two friends growing up in1950's - 1990's New York. A third girl, Cathy, disliked by Emily and Nancy, unwittingly brings reason to the story.


Excerpt:

(ROSE is talking on a public telephone; she’s wearing her best dress and a hat [the same hat OLDER EMILY is wearing from Prologue]; she’s extremely agitated)

ROSE

Cloverdale 9-1379. Thank you, operator.
(She hangs up, picks up the receiver again, drops in a coin, dials) Cloverdale 9-1379 (sighs, waits)

Yes...hello...Mrs. Workman...this is Rose December...don’t hang up...you could have at least opened the door?....we have a situation... (pauses and listens) your son...Mrs. Workman...don’t hang up! (pauses and listens) your son is also responsible...

LIGHTS UP ON MIDDLE EMILY and MIDDLE LENA
(MIDDLE EMILY speaks indirectly to MIDDLE LENA; ROSE’s conversation is separate; neither can hear each other’s dialogue)

MIDDLE EMILY
My mother said I’m the one responsible...

ROSE
They’re both responsible, Mrs. Workman (pauses and listens) her fault?? It takes two to tango Mrs...(pauses and listens) Yes, but your son, Danny...(pauses and listens) What do you mean, she’s ‘of age’...your son is also nineteen - isn’t he ‘of age’ enough to take some responsibility. It’s not all Emily’s fault...

MIDDLE EMILY
My mother thinks this is all my fault...

ROSE
Mrs. Workman, if you don’t want to talk to me alone, let’s sit down and talk about this with...with...we can talk to Father Ryan at St. Michael’s Church...(pauses and listens) I know you’re Jewish, but the priest won’t mind...(pauses and listens) [angrily] We all answer to the same God, you know! (long pause as she listens and gets more agitated) What!? Out of the question! Take my daughter to some butcher!? We’re Catholics, Mrs. Workman, we don’t believe in abortion. First of all, it’s illegal, but most of all, it’s a sin...it’s...

MIDDLE EMILY
Murder...

ROSE
Murder! I have never committed a crime in my life, and I won’t start by killing my grandchild (pauses and listens) But, it’s your grandchild, too - how can you be so...(pauses and listens) what is that? What is she? My daughter is a what?

MIDDLE EMILY
A shiksa...

MIDDLE LENA
What’s that?

MIDDLE EMILY
I don’t know...maybe it means ‘fat.’

ROSE
Not a Jewish girl? What the hell does that mean? Do Jewish girls do it any differently? (Pauses) So, you’re telling me because we’re not Jewish you’re willing to kill..(pauses and listens) I don’t care!

ROSE (continues)
Shiksa, Shmisksa, Emily is not going to have an abortion - we can work something out - even if we aren’t Jewish...

MIDDLE EMILY
We can’t work anything out because I’m not Jewish...

ROSE
You tell your son that if I ever get my hands on him, I’ll wipe the streets with him!

MIDDLE EMILY
Rose wanted to wipe the streets with me, but she didn’t want to hurt the baby...

ROSE
Your son’s name is going on the birth certificate, Mrs. Workman -
(pauses and listens)
That’s right...if my grandson is going to be a bastard, he’s going to be a half-Jewish bastard - tell that to your Rabbi!
(pauses and listens) If Danny won’t take half the responsibility, he can carry half the shame...there are consequences!
(pauses and listens) I’m not finished!! There are always consequences! (takes the phone away from her ear - looks at it - listens again) Hello? (slams down the receiver, resigned) She’s finished...

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"The Convent of St. Clare"
stage play excerpt

EXIT MOTHER IGNAZIA (As MOTHER exits, ANTONELLA turns to watch her leave, extends her hand, starts to speak, but retracts, and continues silent prayer, then in a whisper to [a holy statue], she speaks)

NOVICE ANTONELLA Oh, Holy Mother, how can I speak the unspeakable. How can I tell Mother Ignazia what is troubling my heart? How can the peace and tranquility of this cloistered convent seep into my heart. My heart is already full with the weight of my sin. I have asked God for forgiveness, but I cannot forgive myself. I carry this not only in my heart, but as a phantom weight in my womb, a heavy weight, much, much heavier than the child would have been at birth...or even now,[ after six months.] Each day, it weighs more heavily. Will the weight of my sin increase as I picture him growing up? Will I weigh the unborn child every day he would have lived in this world until my own death either frees me or condemns me? Will the [my] guilt for my dead child ever die? I try to tell myself that it was just a dark spot on a sheet, lifeless, but I don’t believe it. And, which is worse, as much as I love my God, I am still in love with the man I jilted - the father of the aborted baby - the man that did not know why I fled - conceiving a child out of wedlock in a family such as mine (sighs, shudders at the thought). No, no clever arithmetic would fool them. They would desert me...disown me. Yet Holy Mother, my sin is amplified because I yearn for my him, Marcus, who was my husband in the flesh, but was not sanctified by God. I long for him as much as I long for forgiveness and salvation. I am a false nun. (ANTONELLA bows her head)

LIGHTS DOWN

(Later the same day, MOTHER IGNACIA is alone, kneeling a pew, rosary beads in hand, speaking to the holy statue)