Read All New People Online

Authors: Zach Braff

All New People

BOOK: All New People
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World premiere by Second Stage Theatre, New York, 2011
Carole Rothman, Artistic Director

Cast List

All New People
was originally produced by Second Stage Theatre at the Tony Kiser Theatre, New York City, opening on 25 July 2011. It featured the following cast and creative team:

Charlie

Justin Bartha

Emma

Krysten Ritter

Myron

David Wilson Barnes

Kim

Anna Camp

With special appearances by Kevin Conway, Tony Goldwyn and S. Epatha Merkerson

Director
     Peter DuBois

Set designer
     Alexander Dodge

Costume designer
     Bobby Frederick Tilley II

Lighting designer
     Japhy Weideman

Sound designer
     M. L. Dogg

Projections
     Aaron Rhyne

Production stage manager
     Lori Ann Zepp

The play had its UK premiere at the Manchester Opera House on 8 February 2012, and toured to the King's Theatre, Glasgow before opening at the Duke of York's Theatre, London. Produced by Howard Panter, Adam Speers and Evanna White for Ambassador Theatre Group, it featured the following cast and creative team:

Charlie

Zach Braff

Emma

Eve Myles

Myron

Paul Hilton

Kim

Susannah Fielding

Director
     Peter DuBois

Designer
     Alexander Dodge

Lighting designer
     Paul Anderson

Sound designer
     Fergus O'Hare

Projection designer
     Duncan McLean

Production manager
     Dominic Fraser

Characters

Charlie

Emma

Myron

Kim

Badger

Kevin O'Donnell

Ramona

Supervisor

Pilot 1
(
voice only
)

Pilot 2
(
voice only
)

Contents

Cast List

Characters

Author Biography

Great upbeat music plays as the audience filters in. A scrim covers the stage. As the house lights go down:

Something like the song ‘The Buzzards of Bourbon Street' by Gaelic Storm kicks in loud. The curtain rises to reveal
Charlie
,
thirty-five, standing on a chair with an extension cord fashioned as a noose around his neck. He smokes a cigarette.

We're in a high-end Long Beach Island, New Jersey beach house. It is the dead of winter. We see snow outside the windows. An unlit fireplace is stage right. On a downbeat of the song, lights are full up and the music changes to sound as though it's coming from a stereo in the home.

Charlie
looks for a place to ash his cigarette, but realizes his reach is limited by the noose. He stretches as far as he can for the ashtray on a nearby counter and tosses it in.

Suddenly,
Charlie
hears the ‘bwoop-woop-woop' of a car alarm being turned on. His eyes register his confusion; ‘Who the fuck could that be?'

Emma
(
off stage
)     All right then, Mr Goldberg; well I just got to the house and I'll put all the lights on for you and get the heat started so you'll be able to have a look at the place without freezing yourselves . . . great, and you have the directions? All right, see you in a bit.

Charlie
wrestles with what to do. Just as he begins to try and loosen the cord from around his neck . . .
Emma
enters bundled up. She sees
Charlie
.

Emma
      Oh my God!

In a scramble to get the noose off of him,
Charlie
loses his footing on the chair and knocks it over. He begins flailing around, swinging from the noose.

Emma
      Oh my GOD!!! Oh my GOD!!

Emma
runs over and picks up the chair and helps
Charlie
steer his legs back on to it.

Emma
      Oh my God! What the fuck is wrong with you?! What the fuck is wrong with you?!

Charlie
      Who the fuck are you?!

Emma
      Who the hell are you and why are you trying to kill yourself in the middle of one of my summer rentals?!

Charlie
      This is my parents' beach house. You have no right to just barge in here without knocking.

Emma
      It's the middle of winter at the beach! No one's sposed to be here. I'm trying to rent the place for your parents! I certainly didn't think anybody was gonna be in here trying to hang themselves! To
Riverdance
music!

Charlie
      I'm not trying to hang myself!

Emma
      Really?! Just going for a little swing then? Just gonna dangle by your neck for a bit and think things over?

Charlie
      Would you please just get the fuck out of here?!

Emma
      No I will not! You know, you might start off with a brief thank you to me for saving your life.

Charlie
      I didn't ask to be saved. What I want, is some fucking privacy!

Emma
      Look, I don't wanna be insensitive.

Charlie
      Try a little harder.

Emma
      I have no idea what's going on with you or what your current situation is. It does seem a bit like you might be trying to hang yourself with an extension cord, but I'm fully aware that things aren't always what they seem to be: book by its cover . . . tranny in a trouser suit . . . You may very well have been trying to . . . wire up some Christmas lights when you . . . tripped and got all tangled up in that extension cord. But if I don't rent a house for next summer soon, I'm gonna be fired and they're gonna try to send me back to bloody fucking England because I don't have a Green Card or a visa and there aren't too many jobs I can get. Pretty soon I'll be right up there with you, accidentally hanging myself whilst merely trying to be festive. So would you please
do a stranger a tiny kindness before you die and allow me to attempt to rent your parents' ridiculously expensive beach house to this nice Jewish couple Miriam and Irving Goldberg. Please, fucker, I'm begging you.

He stares at her a beat. Lights a cigarette.

Charlie
      Go ahead.

Emma
      Thank you.

She sits there. After a beat.

Charlie
      Well, where are they?

Emma
      They're not here yet. They said they were on their way. But they're old and Jewish; it could be hours. They said they had to first pick up their grandson, Saul. Why Saul needs to come, I have no idea. Personally I think they're gonna try and set me up with him. With Saul, a dentist. A dentist who does amateur dramatics. He probably wears
Les Mis
t-shirts to the gym. Jesus Christ; do you mind if I have a drink?

Before he can answer, she pulls a liquor bottle out of her purse and takes a swig.

Emma
      I'm sorry, I'm being completely insensitive and bloody fucking selfish. I suck at being human; desperation has made me evil. So I apologize . . . New chapter: why were you trying to do yourself in? And why hanging; it seems to be the most aggressive of all methods. Haven't you any pills?

Charlie
      I have pills.

Emma
      Really. What have you got?

Charlie
      Xanax, Valium, Klonopin.

Emma
      Party, party, party. We could turn this day around for both of us real quick, couldn't we? I'm just kidding. Well not really; but that's irrelevant. Back to you . . . What put you over the edge?

Charlie
      I really don't wanna talk about it.

Emma
      Well what's the point in being coy about it now? If you're gonna do it, you're gonna do it, right? They always say that people who really wanna do themselves in are gonna find a way. (
Realizing.
) Maybe God sent you me and the Goldbergs for one last shot at talking you out of it. Don't you believe in fate? I'm sorry what's your name?

Charlie
      Charlie.

Emma
      Don't you believe in fate, Charlie? Here you are, in an empty beach house, on a deserted island, in the middle of the fucking winter, moments away from ending it all, when in I walk. Does that give you no pause? Maybe God sent me to provide you with some sort of . . . access to the doors of your mind that remain rusted closed.

Beat.

Emma
      Sorry. I should tell you that I am
super
stoned right now. So if I say silly nonsense like that, you're gonna have to forgive me.

Charlie
      Sure. Look I . . .

Emma
      You want me to go.

Charlie
      You seem like you're a very nice person –

Emma
      Really?

Charlie
      No. And I don't wanna be rude . . .

Emma
      But you've got things to do . . . Hmmm. You know you've put me into a smidgen of a moral conundrum here; you do realize that, Charlie. I don't think I can leave.

Charlie
      And why is that?

Emma
      I think I may have been sent here to help. You may believe that or not depending on where you stand on God and fate and destiny and all that; it's none of my business. But I do know that it's a little bizarre I walked in when I did since I wasn't even gonna show them this house because it's outside their price range. This morning they called up and
asked to see it. Out of the blue. Spooky. A religious person might think God intervened. I don't know what you believe, but . . . Jesus or Moses or Muhammad, Vishnu, who's the one with the arms? The elephant with all the arms?

Charlie
      Ganesh.

Emma
      Ganesh. I doubt it was Ganesh; don't know what his deal was, but it doesn't strike me as him.

But whoever your God is, I think may have channeled an intervention through two cranky old Jews from the Newark suburbs. I think I'm here to help. So why did you tie a noose around your neck my new friend?

Charlie
      To put it as simply as possible: I'm not happy.

Emma
      Who is? Have you ever met
anyone
that's happy for longer than fifteen minutes every once in a while? If they told you they were, they were full of shit. Who told you you were owed happiness?

Charlie
      I don't think I'm owed anything.

Emma
      A man gives his child a million dollars and says, ‘Son, this is everything I've worked for, go enjoy your life.' The kid comes back the next day and says, ‘Thanks for the million, Dad, but I'd also like a fucking robot sidekick.' Is that kid a dick?

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