All I Want Is a Better Life
This is the original synopsis, but as I started writing the play, things changed just a wee bit. 🙂 . And, while the ending will be pretty much the same, how the characters get there is likely to change some, so don’t count too much on the descriptions of the scenes for Act II. I will hopefully keep those updated as I work on the play.
The scene opens on a young woman standing at a clothesline singing. the yard is surrounded by run down houses or apartments. the impression is of poor, but still maintained neighborhood. At the end of the song, another young woman peeks over the fence to talk with first woman. they discuss her upcoming marriage and whether its right or not. Young woman leaves scene carrying basket of clothes
The young woman is in her room putting her clothes up. She sings about her upcoming marriage and is it the right thing to do. She wants to live her own life in the country and write poetry and music, but its safer to marry like her mother did. On the other side of the stage a young man comes on into what is his room. He also ponders marriage and whether it’s right. He wants to start his own business but its safer to marry and work for his father like his father did. The two blend into a duet.
The marriage. Assorted guests are assembled waiting for the bride to come out. She is off to the side, singing while her attendants make here ready. The wedding takes place and we fade out to black. Duet, ‘What’s Love?’
It is a year after the marriage and Meg is in a room with a baby. The scene looks very contented, but as Meg looks out the window, there is a look of what might have been in her eyes.
it is twenty years later and the scene opens on an older couple eating breakfast. He is reading the paper and she is working on a list. Various children run in and out. After a few minutes they start to argue and the arguement grows more heated. She wants to go to a camp for writers and he doesn’t want her to. He wants to invest in a busines and she worries about the money. Off to the sides the young couple come out and are spotlighted. they sing about what happened to their dreams, in a duet, neither realizing what is going on with the other.
The woman is in her bedroom, packing. She has a ticket to go ‘out west’ to find her dreams. She sings all I want is a better life as she goes off stage.
The scene opens on a forest, but not a forest primeval. it is filled with souvenir stands and eating places and people selling ‘nature’. our heroine enters the stage, suitcase in hand and a map. She looks around trying to find her way but people only want to sell to her. After wandering around trying to find directions, she finally goes off stage.
The woman is now sitting on the front of a ‘rustic’ cabin. A neon sign is in the background, advertising the wonders of back to nature and a satellite dish can be made out by the cabin. She has a notebook and is trying to write, but is having difficulty because of the noise from the dance hall ‘Bobby Bills’ next door. She sings “Where are the bird songs’.
We open back upon the fast food forest and see her husband wandering around. He is trying to find his wife. No luck here again. He goes off singing about his love and his wife.
At last, she has found the forest and wilderness of her dreams. She is singing about the beauty, and finds a place to write. As she is writing, there are awfully strange noises going on out there. She gets very nervous and finally runs off stage. Her husband follows behind her, still singing and looking.
She is lost in the woods and realizes she doesn’t fit in here. She wants to go home and realizes she can make a life there with her poetry. Her husband comes out and they end with a duet. He tells of wanting his own business and she tells of wanting to write. They walk out hand in hand vowing to start a new life. The younger couple comes on stage singing ‘This is who I fell in Love with’
It’s a Year later and we open on the same city as in act one. There is a new small store ‘City and Country Dude Clothes’. The woman comes on stage with a small book of poetry in her hand. She’s been published by a small press. Her husband comes out of the store, obviously the proud owner of his own business. The cast comes out to sing ‘All I want is a Better Life’