PROLOGUE

 

An apartment in Shorewood, Wisconsin. An empty glass sits next to the bed. An iPhone 5S which no longer has a working speaker buzzes in the place where a bedside shelf will exist once our protagonist installs it this summer. It is 7:30 a.m.

 

Protagonist Mark awakens only to fumble with said iPhone and hit the “touch to snooze” button. Blissful silence returns for nine minutes. Repeat. Nine more minutes.

 

It is 7:50 a.m. The iPhone buzzes once again.

 

MARK(groan to himself) Fine.

 

Mark walks slowly to the kitchen to prepare a healthful spinach smoothie.



 

MARK(to himself) Yuck.

 

The television snaps on with the usual “Today Show” banter. The laptop opens for morning emails.

 

MARK(to himself) 16 emails. Not bad.

 

Computer keys click with surprising agility for the morning hour. Mark scowls with disgust at Al Roker’s ill-timed humor. A gym bag is prepared at sloth-like speed. The television is turned off.  Car keys acquired.

 

The television turns back on. It is 8:20 a.m.

 

MARK(to himself) Just 10 more minutes.

   

ACT 1: MORNING

 

Scene 1: The Gym

 

It is 8:50 a.m.

 

MARK: (to himself) Get up. Go. Now.

 

The television is off. Down the stairs. “Hi” to the neighbor. Out the door.

 

Exterior: The Gym. 9:10 a.m. Mark works out. Mark showers. Mark gives himself a hearty pat on the back.

 

Scene 2: The Office

 

It is 10:15 a.m. Mark sweeps past his student assistant already working hard outside his office.

 

MARK: Good morning, Emily.

 

Her name is not Emily. It’s an inside joke.

 

 

Interior: Office. An iMac is littered with 17 Post-it notes with to-do items on them, half-crossed out. Several scripts, papers, attendance sheets and assignments litter the desk. Mark finds a Post-it note on his keyboard – an indication not to forget about this particular Post-it note. An email is immediately written before he forgets.



 

10:25 a.m. The phone rings. It is Mark’s sister, Kristin, who also works at Cardinal Stritch University, inquiring about lunch. A conversation listing the same six possible lunch places is had. Mark tries to think of a lunch location other than Panera, even though he knows that’s what he wants.

 

ACT 2: MID-DAY

 

Scene 1: Class

 

It is 11 a.m. Interior: Classroom CFA125. An adoring group of students cheerfully greets Mark as he enters the room. They all display an unyielding enthusiasm for the course topic – public speaking – and laugh at all of Mark’s well-timed and intelligent jokes.

 

Cut to: 11:50 a.m. Adoring students stay after class for witty banter and sage advice from their professor.

 

Cut to: Exterior, parking lot. It is 12:15 p.m. Mark is picked up for lunch by his sister.

 

It is 12:22 p.m. They arrive at Panera for Lunch. Lunch montage: There are salads, sandwiches and shop talk.


 

Scene 2: The Office

 

It is 1:12 p.m. Mark hurriedly prepares for an upcoming meeting while students come in and out of his office with life stories and questions.

 

Scene 2.1: The Production Meeting

 

It is 2 p.m. A group of eclectic, creative professionals and students sit around a conference table littered with MacBooks, scaled drawings, costume renderings and script pages from “Godspell.” Mark begins a lively discussion about the initial concept of the musical that will grace the Nancy Kendall Theater stage in November. The technical director perks up.

 

ALLYN(with a sideways glance at Mark) Glam rock?

 

MARK: Yes, modern glam rock. Think “Lady Gaga” for starters.

 

(Allyn smiles.)

Scene 2.2: The Office

 

3:36 p.m. Mark returns to his cluttered office to send off requisitions and budget items related to the show for approval. A panicked look crosses his face. Did he forget a procedural item? Is all lost? He picks up the phone and frantically dials.

 

A friendly voice is on the other line.

 

Irene from the business office restores his calm and he can continue about his day.

 

4 p.m. The familiar sounds of Skype dial tones are heard. A bearded face and fashionable lady pop up on the screen. They commence a quick production meeting for the Shakespeare on the Ridge show Mark is directing this summer. Mark struggles to keep the production details from both shows straight.

 

4:44 p.m. Skype is closed. Mail Chimp opens. Time to design an e-marketing blast for next year’s children’s show “Jack and The Beanstalk” so teachers can get the dates on their upcoming academic calendars.

 

ACT 3: The Evening

 

5:35 p.m. Mark swings by the scene shop to check in with Allyn on his way out to dinner. Mark pauses in his car and takes a breath.

 

MARK(to himself) No rehearsal tonight. This feels weird.

 

A smile crosses his face. A free evening!

 

7:12 p.m. 13th Street Theater lobby. Mark greets alumni Mallory Metoxen and Izetta Rees from Renaissance Theaterworks with a hug and orders a Spotted Cow. They move quickly to the theater to observe the latest offering from one of Milwaukee’s exciting professional storefront theater companies.

 

9:02 p.m. Intermission. Whoa, this is a long one!

 

10:36 p.m. The show is over. Mark, Mallory and Izetta trade lively thoughts and critiques on the walk to the car. There is never just “seeing a show” for a theater person. The curse is real as Mark explains his very technical opinions on all aspects of the show and comes to some conclusions. The other two ladies share the same curse – the conversation is oddly intelligent for this hour of night. Theater people are their best in the evening.

 

11:05 p.m. Mark returns to the Shorewood apartment where it all began. There are dishes to be done, laundry to fold and certainly more emails to write. Our protagonist chucks his messenger back on the floor, puts his coat on the hook and throws his keys in the basket on the table. He decides he will just sit down on the couch for a minute before getting started on all of that.

 

The TV pops on and Hulu fires up the next episode of “Top Chef.”

 

11:25 p.m. Asleep. There aren’t enough hours today…

 

EPILOGUE

 

The audience thinks the story is finished as the lights fade almost to black. Suddenly, Mark awakes with a start. He looks at his iPhone, checks the time. Looks around. Gets up, stumbles, but triumphantly walks to his bedroom and gets under the covers. This is a victory for today.

 

He sets the alarm on his iPhone for 7:30 a.m. Switches off the lights.

 

- End scene -