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Analgesia
A Play in One Act by James Celenza 

  

James Celenza was born in Brooklyn, NY, and resides in Providence, RI. His plays have been performed at
Culture Park Marathon, Theatre of the Bewildered, Barplays Project, Think Tank Festival, and New Plays Festival at Perishable Theatre.

Analgesia was originally published in Ars Medica, University of Toronto Press, 2013.





                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


 
                                                        Cast of Characters

Mr. Kampo:   Tall, thin, composed; a regal European

Dr. Neyer:      An attractive female doctor

Dr. Max:               A Specialist  

Scene:              A doctor’s office

Time:               The present

  
                                                        ====================


Setting: 
Centre stage is occupied by a large glass desk with portable X-ray/MRI imager display off to the side. New York City East River bridges (Williamsburg, Manhattan, Brooklyn) are projected on the back wall.

Curtain Rise: On one side of the desk is Mr.Kampo. Behind the desk is Dr. Nyer in a white frock with her name stitched on the breast pocket. She resonates confidence and energy.



                              Dr. Nyer
You don’t mind being examined by a woman doctor?

                                 Kampo
Not in the least.

                                 Dr. Nyer 
                (scrutinizes a document, lays it in a file.)
Have you had any recent change in eating habits?

                                 Kampo 
                
(shakes his head.)

                                 Dr. Nyer
Bowel movement OK?  Don’t smoke … Did you ever?

                                 Kampo
I quit almost twenty-five years ago.
            

                                Dr. Nyer
No headaches
                    (Pauses.)
These symptoms you mention, I’m sure we can find a simple explanation . . . I would like to have X-rays and an ultrasound . . . nothing unusual . . . nothing to worry about . . . routine.  
                
(Takes up a dressing gown and hands it to Kampo, points to a door off to the side.)
Would you please undress in the next room.

                                
(BLACKOUT)

                                        
   Dr. Nyer
                    (alone peering at bank of X-rays. She speaksinto a tiny recorder.
                        Inaudible. Pauses. Wheels about and goes to her desk, picks up the phone.)
Max, could you take a look at something?

                      (Max appears stage left. He has a stethoscope
                       around his neck. Without  preliminaries he advances to the bank of 
 X-rays.  
                      He takes out a set of magnification glasses and peers at each intensely
.
)
                
                                Dr. Nyer 
                     (at her desk across from Mr. Kampo.)
I like to be thorough, just to complete the picture. Nothing to worry about . . . But the pictures and the ultrasound unfortunately were inconclusive. 
                    
(She is writing on a pad.)
I would like to schedule you for an MRI. You know what that is?

                                            Kampo
I have heard of it.

                                Dr. Nyer
Are you afraid of tight spaces?

                                             Kampo         
                           (shrugs.)

                                 Dr. Nyer
You will be slid into a tube. It is a large a magnet. It gives us images of . . . soft tissue . . .
                  (She looks up at him, then roots in a file.) 
It says you are in the theatre . . . An actor . . .

                                 Kampo

 Yes.
                                 Dr. Nyer

 Have you always been an actor?

                                 
Kampo

 I started in the circus. I was a clown. 
                
(He pulls a big red nose out of his pocket and puts it on. He leans forward and picks
                    up three red balls out of a brown paper bag at his feet. He juggles.)

                                Dr. Max
                       (comes out of the darkness and into the illuminated patch.)
God, Sam, you are a lucky one. . . . You get the most interesting patients. That opera singer who used to bring you pastries: boxes of cannolis, wandees, and sugar cookies . . . He was a little in love with you I think. . . and that poet . . . What was her name? We went to see her at the 92nd Street Y. And that TV anchor woman. 
                
(Pauses.)
And that sculptor, the tiny elegant Asian woman. And that Russian gangster; he was quite a piece of work. Quite charming. 
                
(Sighs audibly.)
I get lawyers and brokers. 
                
(Shrugs and moves out of the light.)

                                           Dr. Nyer
How does one become a clown?

                                Kampo
I
t’s a secret.

                                (BLACKOUT)

 

                                                                                      ....continued in the Analgesia chapbook.

 

 

 

                                                            Copyright © 2013, James Celenza 
                                                                         All rights reserved.   

 

                                             

                                                                  
        
                                                                                       
         
          

                                                   


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