A poignant and bittersweet tale about friendship, loss, and the turning of seasons. Lifelong pals, Saul and Murray, enjoy the ritual of meeting every day for lunch on a park bench. A perfect opportunity for teens to work on old-age characterization.
Novelist, poet, playwright, performer, and screenwriter, John Biscello, is the author of four novels, Broken Land, a Brooklyn Tale, Raking the Dust, Nocturne Variations, and No Man’s Brooklyn; a collection of stories, Freeze Tag, two poetry collections, Arclight and Moonglow on Mercy Street; and a fable, The Jackdaw and the Doll, illustrated by Izumi Yokoyama. He also adapted classic fables paired with the vintage illustrations by artist Paul Bransom for the collection: Once Upon a Time, Classic Fables Reimagined. His produced, full-length plays include: LOBSTERS ON ICE, ADAGIO FOR STRAYS, THE BEST MEDICINE, ZEITGEIST, U.S.A., and WEREWOLVES DON’T WALTZ. He is the founder and director of the Taos Youth Ensemble, a theater collective, and as an independent drama educator, he has worked in various schools, creating plays with grades ranging from K through high school.
Excerpt from the play:
SETTING: City park
(Two old men seated on a park bench: SAUL and MURRAY. They are taking their respective lunches out of brown paper bags or lunch pails. They should take their time unwrapping their sandwiches, putting on condiments, etc. A quiet, ritualized procedure.)
What’d you get, Saul?
Of course, boiled onions. Agnes knows I can’t eat liverwurst without boiled onions.
(Silence. SAUL goes back to eating his sandwich.)
What’d you get, Murray?
It was… yesterday.
(takes a bite)
(Both men share a laugh.)
Wanna trade lunches?
In all the years we’ve been coming here, have you ever known me to swap lunches with you, even once?
Hey, Saul, why is that?
That’s because I love my lunches. I love what Agnes gives me.
Hey, I love my lunches too. I love what Trudy gives me.
Then why do you always want to swap lunches with me?
Not always. Sometimes. And, I don’t know. I just, I don’t know.
(SAUL and MURRAY go back to eating their sandwiches.)
So, you wanna trade?