Push - Scene 2a

By Kristen Lazarian


Scene 2a

[Brooke's gallery-- her office]

Brooke stands in front of her desk. On her desk, her laptop is open. Her office is modern, sleek, and extremely clean. A young, good looking man of 24, ANSGAR, stands across from Brooke. He speaks with a German accent. Next to him is a large wrapped art print.

BROOKE: (referring to the wrapped print) What is that?

ANSGAR: Something for you. I bought it. As a thank you.

BROOKE: The show isn't for a couple weeks. Maybe you should wait and see how it goes before you give me a present.

ANSGAR: That's why I'm giving you this now. I already know I'll hate the show.

BROOKE: Your confidence in me is overwhelming.

ANSGAR: I'm never pleased. You should know that by now.

BROOKE: Next time remind me not to try so hard -- you'll hate it anyway.

ANSGAR: I don't hate everything you do.

BROOKE: It seems like you do.

Brooke walks around her desk to sit down but is stopped by Ansgar's next comment--

ANSGAR: I don't hate the way you walk.

BROOKE: The way I walk?

ANSGAR: It's cute.

BROOKE: Cute?

ANSGAR: Sexy.

BROOKE: Really?

ANSGAR: Everything about you.

BROOKE: I think you're a master manipulator. That's what I think.

ANSGAR: You think too much.

BROOKE: One of us has to.

ANSGAR: Maybe you should open the gift.

Brooke opens it hesitantly.

Inside is a Vermeer print. It is a print of the painting -- The Procuress.

ANSGAR: You like Vermeer?

BROOKE: I do.

ANSGAR: You like this print?

BROOKE: I saw the real one when I was in Germany.

ANSGAR: You were in Germany and you didn't call me?

BROOKE: It was nine years ago.

ANSGAR: I wish I'd known you nine years ago. Then I could've stolen you away from your husband.

Ansgar is like a fidgety kid. He sits at Brooke's desk, moving things. It's as if his mere presence is disturbing her neatly organized space. He messes things up just by being in the room.

BROOKE: Ansgar, nine years ago you were 15.

ANSGAR: I still could've stolen you away from that talking head.

BROOKE: No one could have stolen me away from my husband. And please-- don't call Owen a talking head.

ANSGAR: Ahh, you're very strong. But you're not really.

BROOKE: Yes, I am.

ANSGAR: No. You pretend to be strong. But women are the same.

BROOKE: That's so insulting. Thank you.

ANSGAR: One little push-- they fall down like feathers.

Ansgar gets up and comes around the desk, accidentally brushing papers onto the floor.

He moves close to Brooke-- too close. She holds her ground. His breath hits her neck softly.

BROOKE: Not all women.

ANSGAR: All women. Even you.

BROOKE: You're wrong.

ANSGAR: Am I?

BROOKE: I love my husband.

ANSGAR: I believe you.

BROOKE: Do you love your wife?

ANSGAR: Does your husband love you?

Beat.

BROOKE: Yes, he does.

ANSGAR: Then I love my wife.

BROOKE: But you have no problem pursuing other women.

ANSGAR: I don't pursue other women-- just you.

BROOKE: You are such a liar.

ANSGAR: I can't help it if I'm attracted to you. I'm human. So are you. Really there are no rules.

BROOKE: Maybe in your world-- but not in mine.

Beat. Brooke breaks away and goes back to her desk. She reorganizes what Ansgar disturbed. She tries to conceal her agitation.

ANSGAR: Fine. Tomorrow I'm leaving for New York. I won't bother you while I'm there.

Ansgar turns to leave.

BROOKE: Wait-- you can't go to New York. Your show opens in less than two weeks.

ANSGAR: I can go wherever I want to go. You cannot tell me where I can and can't go.

BROOKE: Yes, I can. This show has to live up to all the hype you've had lately.

ANSGAR: You know as well as I do that it doesn't matter if I'm here or in New York. I have two weeks before it opens.

BROOKE: It matters to me.

ANSGAR: Why?

BROOKE: Because I would like you to be participatory-- and -- and present so you don't fall on your face.

ANSGAR: So you don't fall on your face.

BROOKE: I think of as a team, Ansgar.

ANSGAR: Is that so? What did we decide on for the color of the invitation?

BROOKE: A dark orange.

ANSGAR: That's disgusting. Pumpkin.

BROOKE: It's not pumpkin.

Ansgar turns to walk out. Brooke catches him.

BROOKE: Look-- that's not what you care to concern yourself with--

ANSGAR: Are you telling me what I care to concern myself with?

BROOKE: I'm just saying -- I'm here so you don't have to worry about those details.

ANSGAR: Would you like to know the details of my trip to New York?

BROOKE: No.

ANSGAR: I got a call from a potential buyer--

BROOKE: I don't care.

ANSGAR: Somebody at Tribeca.

BROOKE: DeNiro's company?

ANSGAR: Impressed?

BROOKE: Not really.

ANSGAR: Well, they like my paintings and they want to meet with me.

BROOKE: It's great. Have a good time.

Brooke, giving up, goes back to her desk and starts to work on her laptop.

ANSGAR: You could come with me. It's just a couple days. Maybe you meet DeNiro.

BROOKE: First of all, I doubt that. Second, are you thinking you could sell some of your paintings without me?

ANSGAR: Of course I can.

Beat. She considers this—

BROOKE: Fine. Go ahead.

ANSGAR: I'd rather have you there to handle the -- you know-- details. I just want to meet DeNiro.

BROOKE: God damn it-- where is your focus?

ANSGAR: I hate Los Angeles. I need a break.

(beat)

Come with me. You love New York. You said youmissed it.

Beat.

BROOKE: I don't know.

ANSGAR: I'm leaving tomorrow.

BROOKE: I can't come tomorrow.

ANSGAR: Come later in the week.

BROOKE: You should've asked me.

ANSGAR: For permission?

BROOKE: Don't we have a contract?

ANSGAR: Ahh yes. Back to your rules.

BROOKE: They serve a purpose.

ANSGAR: What's that?

BROOKE: Protection. I need to protect my interests.

ANSGAR: Good for you. You stay on the defensive.

BROOKE: I have to.

ANSGAR: Or what? What are you afraid of?

BROOKE: I'm not afraid of anything--

ANSGAR: Then drop your rules and live a little.

Ansgar moves in and kisses Brooke on the mouth. She doesn't exactly resist.

BROOKE: I told you-- I love my husband.

ANSGAR: It's okay. Sometimes things just happen.

Eleanor enters carrying three pairs of blue jeans. Ansgar walks out, passing Eleanor without acknowledging her.

ELEANOR: I see you have a good working relationship.

Lights fade to black.

 

Kristen Lazarian is an award-winning playwright based in Los Angeles who has had her full-length and short plays produced, work-shopped and stage-read at many venues in L.A. including the Geffen Playhouse, Theatre 40, East-West Players, Theatre Geo, the Road Theatre, Pacific Resident Theatre, 68 Cent Crew, and the Blank Theatre. Her plays have also been staged across the United States, including New York City. She has had productions internationally in Holland, England, Australia, and Canada. Her plays include Push, Love Like Blue, Flesh & Tenderness, Inviting Karma, Sophisticated Barflies & Other Short Plays, and more.

In its first production, at the Lyceum Theatre, downtown San Diego, Push swept the Fritz Blitz Award for New Plays winning in every category including Outstanding Playwright. Push was praised in the San Diego Tribune ("Lazarian deals a winner with Push") and other local papers. Push has received multiple honors, including first runner up for the Stone Playwriting Award and was most recently produced at Theatre 40, Beverly Hills. Push is also being developed as a feature film.

Most recently, Kristen's full length play Love Like Blue, produced at the Whitefire Theatre in Los Angeles, received raves from the critics, who called it a "must see for anyone who has ever been in love." Kristen's newest play Flesh & Tenderness was one of three finalists for the 2008 Saroyan Prize for Playwriting.

In addition to writing plays, Kristen is a screenwriter. Her most recent film, The Shift, based on the spiritual teachings of self-improvement pioneer, Wayne Dyer, was released in January 2009. She is currently a writer and script consultant for the new series Everyday Magic (Hay House).

Kristen is a member of the Dramatist Guild and the Alliance of Los Angeles Playwrights. She currently serves on the board of board of trustees for the Armenian Dramatic Arts Alliance where she is also the administrator of the Lillian & Varnum Paul Award for Screenwriting.

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