Excerpt from Goddess of Cancer and Other Plays by Gabriel Constans.
Goddess of Cancer – Scene 1
GODDESS: Multi-cultural woman of no particular age. Face painted a variety of flesh tones. Hair a mixture of blond, brown, red, black and gray. Long rainbow-colored robe. Changes persona frequently.
VICKI: Asian-American woman in her twenties. Casual dress. Animated. Angry. Anxious. Scared.
WENDY: European-American woman in her thirties. Conservative dress. Quiet. Shy. Fearful.
JENNIFER: African-American woman in her forties. Business suit (beeper). Intellectual. In control. Avoids emotion.
LENNIE: Mexican-American woman in her fifties. Flowing skirt, flowery blouse. Insightful. Compassionate.
BARBARA: Arab-American woman in her sixties. Gray skirt and sweater (wearing a cross). Strong. Survivor. Dogmatic. Angry. Tired.
CHANTALL: Jewish-American woman in her seventies. Slacks and blouse (gray wig, in wheelchair). Humerous. Matter of fact. Sarcastic. Worried.
Living room. White couch center stage facing audience. White chair next to couch, stage left and black coffee table in front of couch. Large green plant on floor between couch and chair. Flowers in a vase on table. White door stage left. Three large pictures with red frames on wall behind couch. One picture is of the Grim Reaper, one is of an angel and the other an hourglass. Black bar facing audience stage right, with potted plant on its corner. A light switch is on the wall by the bar. Closed cupboard behind bar is full of cigarettes.
A slide-projector (with a color slide of each actor’s face shown at beginning of each scene) is placed on one end of the bar for the Goddess to operate or in front of the stage and controlled by a stage member.
Afternoon or early evening. Present.
(Stage is dark. Slide of Vicki appears on wall or screen.)
GODDESS: Vicki. Twenty-two years old. Student. Single. Boyfriend named Carlos. Close family ties. Recently diagnosed with acute leukemia.
(Goddess turns on lights. Vicki barges through door.)
VICKI: What in hell is going on! Are you the Goddess of Cancer?
GODDESS: What if I am? What gives you the right to barge in here?
VICKI: You know damn well what gives me the right. Who invited you into my body?! No way are you staying. It’s not fair!
GODDESS: Not fair? Who made up that rule?
VICKI: I don’t know. Everyone says so. I’m too young to die. This is a sick joke, isn’t it?
(Vicki drops her head and paces back and forth around the room as she talks, gesturing frequently with her hands. The Goddess moves closer.)
GODDESS: It’s sick all right, but not a joke.
VICKI: Sure it is. The doctors are wrong. They must be. They made a gigantic mistake, OK?! By tomorrow you’ll be history.
GODDESS: Believe what you want Honey, it won’t change a thing. Like a soda or something?
(Goddess turns towards bar and gets out soda. Vicki goes over, grabs drink, guzzles it quickly, then throws it down.)
VICKI: Why me?! What did I ever do to you?
GODDESS: Nothing particular. It just happens.
VICKI: Well, make it unhappen! My family is going crazy. They keep acting like it will be OK.
GODDESS: Maybe it will.
VICKI: How do you know?
GODDESS: I don’t.
VICKI: (Quietly) My boyfriend is scared to talk about it.
GODDESS: He’s scared or you’re scared?
VICKI: I’m not scared of you! You’re just a . . . just a bad dream.
GODDESS: If I were you, I’d be real scared.
VICKI: Well, you’re not, so get lost!
GODDESS: (Smiling) Not that simple sweetheart.
VICKI: Look at me. Once I start that chemo. crap, I’ll look like shit. No wonder Carlos is freaked. Who’d want to live with a hairless, skinny wreck? I really love him. I’m afraid he’ll split.
(Goddess steps closer to console her. Vicki screams.)
VICKI: Get away from me you creep!
(Vicki pushes the Goddess away.)
VICKI: Go pick on someone else!
GODDESS: If you insist.
(Goddess turns and shrugs towards audience. Vicki gives the Goddess the finger while she’s turned and slams the door behind her as she leaves.)
GODDESS: Youth. What a waste.
(Goddess turns off light.)
Goddess of Cancer Continued – Tomorrow Scene 2