“The Grab” a #MeToo pop-up play

no groping signI wrote this 5-minute play because I couldnt’ find one. Feel free to use it. It is maximum impact and minimal fuss: all actors wear black and hold scripts onstage.

Props needed:

  • text book
  • briefcase
  • shrink-wrapped small plate of brownies
  • diary and pencil
  • large gloves on sticks, (like fireplace tongs)
  • 3 monkey grinder vests, or similar

 

THE GRAB, by RM ALLEN  2018

Contact at: ExeterNhArts.com

ACT [1]

A SINGLE CHAIR ON LEFT, LARGE CURTAIN IN CENTER, AND A BENCH ON STAGE RIGHT

(Monkeys in vests are seated in a row on the bench)

MONKEYS: (In unison)

1982!

 

(Woman walks onstage from the left holding school books, talking to someone, then pauses in front of curtain)

WOMAN

 

Yes, that class was interesting, Mr. Smith. By the way, I am glad you liked my English essay…

(Before she can finish, large hands being manipulated by the puppeteer emerge from behind the curtain and start groping her- just as suddenly, disappear back behind the curtain. Woman freezes, mortified, and looks down in shame before running silently off the stage.  Monkeys have seen this)

MONKEY #1

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over eyes before sitting back down)

 

I did not see that

MONKEY #2

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over ears before sitting back down)

 

I did not hear that

MONKEY #3

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over mouth before sitting back down)

 

I will not speak about that

 

(All the monkeys are seated on the bench.  They speak in unison)

MONKEYS

1992!

 

(Woman walks onstage from the left, holding briefcase, talking to someone, then pauses in front of curtain)

 

…I really enjoyed that seminar, David.  By the way, how many widgets should we order…

(Before she can finish, large hands being manipulated b y the puppeteer emerge from behind the curtain and start groping her- just as suddenly, disappear back behind the curtain. Woman freezes, mortified, and looks down in shame before running silently off the stage.  Monkeys have seen this)

MONKEY #1

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over eyes before sitting back down)

 

I did not see that

MONKEY #2

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over ears before sitting back down)

 

I did not hear that

MONKEY #3

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over mouth before sitting back down)

 

I will not speak about that

 

(All the monkeys are seated on the bench.  They speak in unison)

 

2012!

 

(Woman walks onstage from the left, holding paper plate of plastic-wrapped brownies talking to someone, then pauses in front of curtain)

WOMAN

…What a great BBQ, I am bringing some brownies home for my daughter. Goodbye Lynne, bye Liz, bye Mark…

(Before she can finish, large hands being manipulated by the puppeteer emerge from behind the curtain and start groping her- just as suddenly, disappear back behind the curtain. Woman freezes, mortified, and looks down in shame … before slowly going over to sit in chair. Monkeys have seen this)

MONKEY #1

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over eyes before sitting back down)

 

I did not see that

MONKEY #2

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over ears before sitting back down)

 

I did not hear that

MONKEY #3

(Stands up, speaks, and claps hands over mouth before sitting back down)

 

I will not speak about that

 

(Woman sitting on the chair, picks up a diary. Opens diary and writes…)

WOMAN

 

“Dear Diary, Yesterday it happened again!!!! Why does this demeaning groping persist?? That new boyfriend of Liz’s is a real creep. Such a jerk!

This crap has been happening to me my whole adult life, usually more discreetly, but this time it was right out in the open. Those people are all my good friends, yet no one stuck up for me.

I am SO mad. Even my date was SILENT! Ugh. He just said the next day “oh, I saw it but I thought you had something going with him”. WHAT????

Why does this happen to me?

 

(She stops writing)

WOMAN

 

Hmm, yes why? ……And why do I go silent? Why don’t I defend myself?

 

(she thinks for a minute)

Have I bought into the old-school “Good girls don’t make waves” culture? (pause)

Have I bought into the fear-based “he’ll make my life miserable, so I’ll just be silent & avoid him” culture? (pause)

Have I bought into the victim-blaming “She must have brought it on herself” culture? (pause)

Hmm…now THAT makes me mad. Madder than I was before, but in a different way. I have done nothing wrong. I am the victim here…

(thinks some more)

 

Well, now that I really think about how I used to be silent, I am FURIOUS …..at MYSELF! This will NOT happen again. I swear it!  I have found my voice and will school myself on what to do next time. YES! I will be soooo ready for the next perp.”

 

(WOMAN stands up fiercely and walks off stage)

(Monkeys are seated in a row on the bench)

MONKEYS: (In unison)

2017!

 

(Woman walks onstage from the left, talking to someone, then pauses in front of curtain)

WOMAN

 

Yes, my darling husband, just a minute, let me say goodbye to our hosts Mr & Mrs Jones — thank you so much for the lovely meal…

(Foam hands emerge from behind the curtain again and start to grope her.  Woman pushes hands away and yells…NO)

WOMAN

“NO!”

 

(MONKEYS have witnessed this, turn to look at the woman.)

 

WOMAN

 

Ha!  I swore that would never let that happen again, and it WILL NOT. I will persist, but I can’t do it alone.

(addresses audience)

Me, your mothers and sisters and daughters, and everyone – we need YOUR help too. Don’t enable. Do NOT be a silent bystander anymore.

MONKEY #1

(Stands up and speaks)

I SAW that!

(Puts hands up to eyes like binoculars)

MONKEY #2

(Stands up and speaks)

I HEARD that!

(Cups hands over ears)

MONKEY #3

(Stands up and speaks)

 

I WILL speak up about that.

(steps toward woman/puppeteer and says)

“That is NOT cool, dude, don’t do it again!”

ALL

Don’t enable. Speak up, call it out…

 

(then all raising hands)

 

ALL

“PERSIST!”

***

monkeys

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