I wrote a ten-minute play. Here’s the first bit. Enjoy!
a one-act play
by Sørina Higgins
PYGMALION A sculptor
ONESIMUS His assistant
GALATEA A statue
Pygmalion’s studio. Maybe on Cyprus, maybe anyplace.
At the height of the Greek Empire. Or anytime, really.
(PYGMALION is working away at the statue of GALATEA, polishing it with a cloth.)
Here comes my comic relief. Now I won’t get any more work done today.
Good morning, boss! Isn’t it a lovely—
Is she finished?!
Not quite. It’s nearly complete, though. I’ll finish today.
(He stands back from the statue. They admire it from a distance, walking around as they talk.)
She’s… she’s unearthly. No, that’s not the right word. Maybe if I stand on my head I can think of it.
As long as you’re out of the way when you stand on your head, I don’t care what you do. I have to polish it, and then it’s done. It’s good, isn’t it?
Good!?! It’s divine! No, that’s not the right word either. Curse my memory; I can barely remember my own name. At least I don’t forget what life is for: food, drink, girls…. You seem to have forgotten those exist, boss. Now, what’s the word for her?
‘Perfect’? Is that it?
No… I mean, oops, sorry. Sure, it’s a perfect work of art, no question there. You’ve outdone yourself. You’ll go down in history for this masterpiece! Can I get your autograph? Can I have a lock of your hair, or the finger-bone of your left pinky? I’ll sell it in my old age and retire rich.
(tries to grab PYGMALION’s hand; he slaps it away)
Or I’ll steal your statue and sell that. It’s sheer genius. But the girl herself? She is…hm. I don’t know.
Well, she is a looker, I’ll give you that.
(he moves towards the statue, dreamily, hand outstretched)
Stop! Don’t touch it! You know you’re not allowed to touch the sculptures!
I… I forgot for a moment that she was a sculpture. I’m sorry, boss.
(snapping out of his daydream and stepping away)
But you know how I am with the ladies! They can’t resist me; I can’t resist them! Why, just today in the market, this flower-seller, she says to me—
It’s just a lump of marble, Onesimus, no matter how it’s shaped. No need to get worked up over it.
I know. But somehow…. Pygmalion? Why do you call her ‘it’?
Why do you call your beautiful statue ‘it’? Why don’t you call her ‘her’? After all, I remember your sculpture of the young Achilles; you always called that ‘him.’ Remember those early days? You were always mooning about the studio—I mean, oops, sorry. I’m sure you were thinking deep artistic thoughts—but you were talking about ‘him’ or ‘he’ all the time like a girl cooing over her lover.
Ha ha. Very funny. Well, that was long ago. I am grown up now. No mooning over a piece of stone, or a girl, or a lover.