CRITICS ARE RAVING!

"Layon Gray is a renaissance man with imposing imagination."

                                                                         - Los Angeles Times                           

"Mr. Gray has the instincts of an entertainer."
                                                          - New York Times

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© 2019 by Layon Gray Enterprises

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Layon has been critically  acclaimed for his his ability to create dynamic voices and natural  conversational tones in all his characters, Below is a scene taken from his powerful play "Searching For Willie Lynch."  

 

THE PLAY: 

In 1712, a slave owner Willie Lynch allegedly read a letter to slave owners on how to keep black people divided for 300 years. Three families in 2008, 1961 and 1878 show how a door could be a portal to the past and a celebration to the future. 

 

                                                  SCENE 1 ACT 1                  

 

 

 

CHARLENE (O.S.)

BASIL TURN THAT OFF! BASILLLLLL!

 

BASIL

HUH!

 

CHARLENE

TURN THAT OFF! 

 

BASIL

THAT'S MY FAVORITE SONG!

(He sings)

 

CHARLENE

TURN IT OFF! ITS TOO EARLY FOR ALL THAT!!!

 

(BASIL walks over and turns the RADIO off. He then proceeds to walk over to sit in his ROCKING CHAIR. He takes another sip of the COFFEE than opens the newspaper left on the END TABLE. His great mood changes)

 

BASIL

Looka hea, CHARLENE. CHARLENE-- looka hea!

 

CHARLENE (O.S.)

I'm folding clothes, Basil.

 

BASIL

Come on naw-- you gotta see dis hea. CHARLENNNNNNNNE!!!

 

CHARLENE

What’s wrong?

 

(CHARLENE enters, slowly walking over near BASIL with a  BASKET full of clothes. She’s pregnant ready to pop)

 

BASIL

White folk done lost dey minds.

 

CHARLENE

What’s that?

 

(CHARLENE places the BASKET on the SOFA walking over near BASIL. She looks over his Shoulder) 

 

BASIL

Got a man walking in space. Ain't that crazy. Looka hea--  what it say. “Ed White made history today when he stepped out of his Gemini 4 capsule into the void of space.” Ain't that crazy? The VOID of space. 

 

CHARLENE

Well the world is changing, a lot of new things starting to happen. Out with the old -- in with the new.

 

(CHARLENE sits on the SOFA talking out a few SHIRTS and begins to fold)

 

BASIL

Well I don't care how much money you pay me -- I ain't hanging out no spaceship. Looka hea, got a pitcha of him smiling and everything How in the hell they get a picha of him smiling in space!? 

 

CHARLENE

Technology Basil.

 

BASIL

Humpf. Crazy dats what it is... crazy. You ain't get’n no Niggas in space. All dis nonsense talking bout he was attached to the capsule by a 25 foot umbilical cord. Ain't  that's what babies are attached too??

 

CHARLENE

Em huh.

 

BASIL

And this is where our tax money is going... nonsense like this.

 

CHARLENE

Its not nonsense Basil. I keep tell'n ya the world changing.

 

BASIL

You keep saying that but I ain't seeing no change round hea. Niggas still get'n shot and beat up by other Niggas. You know what Cronkite said yesterday.

 

CHARLENE

No, but sho you goin tell me.

 

BASIL

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.”

 

CHARLENE

You memorized that, Basil?

 

BASIL

I Sho'll did.

 

CHARLENE

And you cant `member to take the trash out?

 

BASIL

I'm serious woman.

 

CHARLENE

Me too-- look-- trash can been sitting up there full since yesterday.

 

BASIL

Ill take it when I leave, but ain't that something?

 

CHARLENE

What’s that?

 

BASIL

What Cronkite said.

 

CHARLENE

What he say again?

 

BASIL

“There is no such thing as a little freedom. Either you are all free, or you are not free.”

 

CHARLENE

Em. That's what he say?

 

BASIL

Sho nuff!  And he’s right. All this madness about a man hanging in space, but the Nigga sleeping on the corner still locked up in a society whereas no one cares. Hell he don’t even care. 

 

CHARLENE

Why you say that word so much.

 

BASIL

What word.

 

CHARLENE

You know what word. 

 

 BASIL

Nigga? Cause dats what we is. Me punching numbers at the  sugar mill don't change nothing. I'm just a Nigga wit a job. And any of em will stab me in the throat to get they from me. Killed Malcolm in his church. And that was just 4 months ago so you can go head on with that Charlene. Dats how dey see me. Us.

 

CHARLENE

Who is dey?

 

BASIL

You know damn well who dey is. Everybody -- the world. 

 

CHARLENE

You need to change your thought pattern and stop being so bitter.

 

(CHARLENE please the SHIRTS in the basket. She walks into the KITCHEN places the BASKET on a chair as she goes into the REFRIGERATOR taking out  some FRUIT. She eats)

 

BASIL

Bitter -  Oh-- my though pattern gone change the world?

 

CHARLENE

Maybe... it has to start somewhere, right?

 

BASIL

Somewhere?! Its 1965-- slaves done been free... what - going on 100 years now and people still getting hung and burned. Proof right there when they found them three civil rights boys in Mississippi Boo yah- head feet in da dirt. I'm try’n to tell ya. 

 

CHARLENE

Basil you gon be late for work and take the trash out.

 

BASIL

See. That's what I'm taking about. Man try to talk to his wife about his feelings and what she say you gon be late for work.

 

CHARLENE

All I'm saying is -- its  eight-twenty -- you have to be to work at nine.

 

BASIL

I know what time I have to be to work woman. What if I don't want to go to work today. What if I want to sit up hea and read my paper-- all day, and talk to you about the world and events.

 

CHARLENE

Well, if you don't go to work-- that man you talking about laying on da corner --  well he’s gone have a roommate.

 

BASIL

Oh -- so you just gone put me out, huh.

 

(BASIL walks up to CHARLENE, and gives her a hug from behind)

 

CHARLENE

Like an old  pair of shoes.

 

BASIL

Who goin pay all the bills then-- cause I do pay all the bills up in hea.

 

CHARLENE

I’ll get my other beaux to pay it.

 

BASIL

Awwwwwww -- your other beaux. Who is this other beaux?

 

(They begin to flirt with each other)  

 

CHARLENE

Lee. 

 

BASIL

Lee huh.

 

CHARLENE

That's right.

 

(CHARLENE smiles as BASIL kisses her on the neck)

 

BASIL

Is he a handsome guy?

 

CHARLENE

Sho’ll is. 

 

BASIL

Does he knows you're pregnant with my baby boy?

 

CHARLENE

He knows.

 

BASIL

So your saying he doesn't care.

 

CHARLENE

Oh he cares.

 

BASIL

What if he strokes your hair like this...

 

(BASIL runs his fingers through her hair)

 

BASIL (CONT’D)

...takes you to the bedroom, and shows you how much he REALLY cares.

 

CHARLENE

Well-- I  would then tell him not to start something he can’t finish.

 

BASIL

What makes you think he cant finish it??

 

(He flips CHARLENE around moving in closer) 

 

CHARLENE

He cant finish it-- because...

 

(She strokes his face)

 

CHARLENE (CONT’D)

...he has to get to work-- and take out the trash.

 

(She gives him a kiss on the cheek, pushes him away and picks up her BASKET. BASIL pouts. THUNDERCLAP)

 

BASIL

See there! Now you got me all riled up.

 

CHARLENE

You got YOURSELF all riled up. Get your coat and umbrella-- Look like rain coming.

 

(BASIL walks to the closet and takes out a JACKET and UMBRELLA. He walks towards the door)

 

BASIL

We gone finish this when I get home.

 

CHARLENE

If you say so.

 

BASIL

Well I say so.I love you.

 

CHARLENE

I know.

 

(BASIL begins to exit)

 

CHARLENE (CONT’D)

Aren't you forgetting something?!

 

(BASIL smiles and walks over to CHARLENE -- he puckers his lips to give her a kiss)

 

CHARLENE (CONT’D)

The trash.

 

(BASIL pouts as he takes the GARBAGE BAG out of the CAN and walks towards the DOOR)

 

CHARLENE (CONT’D)

On your way home --  stop by the Woolworths-- get me some ammonia and peroxide.  I want to get them stains off the floor that you tried to hide.

 

BASIL

Stains?

 

CHARLENE

Don't even try to tell me you didn't do it-- just bring me the stuff man.

 

BASIL

Okay.

 

(She smiles as he exits)