Draft 1 – 1949

Written by Dusty Wilson and directed by K. Hannah Friedman, here is a sneak peek of The Comfort Station Plays: 1949. The following is a selection from the first draft of the play. Please leave us your feedback and stay tuned to see how the script evolves.

1949

The Logan Square Comfort Station, 1949. WALT DISNEY, 48, sits on a bench, wearing a beige trench coat and a brimmed hat. He is hunched over a notebook that he vigorously writes in. Moments pass. ANNA SORENSEN, 20s, enters. She stands, occasionally looking over at Walt. Silence.

ANNA
John?

WALT
Pardon me?

ANNA
John. Are you…I’m meeting a person here named…you’re not John, I assume?

WALT
No. Walt.

ANNA
Sorry.

WALT
Quite alright.

Long pause.

ANNA
Have you seen anyone else here? Dressed a lot like yourself?

WALT
Afraid not. I’ve been the only one here for about-

Walt checks his watch.

WALT
Twenty minutes.

ANNA
Thanks.

Anna pulls out a cigarette case, selects a cigarette, then searches for a light. Walt stops drawing and holds out a lighter for Anna. Anna accepts it and lights her cigarette.

ANNA
Thank you.

Anna hands the lighter back.

WALT
Don’t mention it. If I had a dime for every lighter I lost or forgot, I’d have been able to buy a whole warehouse of those things.

ANNA
It’s just maddening is what it is. It’s like they turn invisible or weightless the second you’re in a hurry. I’d suspect a Communist plot if it didn’t make me sound crazy.

WALT
One can never know. Day 1: Nuclear power. Day 2: Frustrating lighter technology.

ANNA
Truly devious minds. Now what we need is a self-lighting cigarette. Just a snap of the fingers and voila, a nice sustainable ember.

WALT
I’m not entirely certain that would be safe.

ANNA
Well, if it’s not, send them to Russia.

Short pause.

WALT
When are you expecting your friend?

ANNA
He should have been here by now.

WALT
Do you think you might have time for a quick question?

ANNA
Depends on the question I would suppose.

WALT
Understandable. How about if he shows up mid-answer you can stop and go on your way without need of conclusion.

ANNA
Once again, it depends on the question.

WALT
Alright. Hypothetically, let’s say you’re building a park-

ANNA
Like Humboldt?

WALT
More like Riverview.

ANNA
Okay.

WALT
Only bigger.

ANNA
How much bigger?

WALT
Twice. Ish.

ANNA
Why would you want to build a park that big?

WALT
Lots of ideas need lots of room.

ANNA
You don’t need twice the space for some rides and concessions.

WALT
Yes you do. There’s more to fun than just a few rides and sugar water.

ANNA
…so, not hypothetically.

WALT
No.

ANNA
You’re building an amusement park.

WALT
Ideally, yes.

ANNA
Of all the wacky come-ons, that one is definitely up there, Mister.

WALT
It’s not a come-on.

Walt holds up his hand, showing his ring.

ANNA
Sorry to say, but a little circle of metal isn’t exactly the Great Wall of Fidelity.

WALT
I’m not coming on to you.

ANNA
Then where’s your wife?

WALT
At home. With our children.

ANNA
And why is that?

WALT
Because trains bore her.

Short pause.

ANNA
Was that supposed to make sense?

WALT
I’m in town for the Railroad Fair. And to get ideas.

ANNA
There’s a Railroad Fair?

WALT
It’s the biggest collection of railway owners in the history of America.

ANNA
You’ve heard of cars, right?

WALT
Do you wish to hear the question or not?

ANNA
Go right ahead.

WALT
Every park I’ve been to, everyone’s having fun, but they’re having fun by themselves or with immediate family. If you compare a person at a park by themselves, or a couple, or a family, the more people who are communally having fun, the more it shows.

ANNA
Alright.

WALT
I want my park to have the ability to make everyone have fun not just within their family, but with everyone around them. How do you do that?

ANNA
Honest answer?

WALT
Absolutely.

ANNA
You don’t.

WALT
Not even a guess?

ANNA
If it was a guess, it’d be a lie.

WALT
I don’t believe that.

ANNA
When was the last time you’ve had a conversation like this?

WALT
I have conversations fairly often-

ANNA
I mean with a stranger. A complete, never met, never seen before, stranger. For me, this is the longest talk I’ve ever had with someone I’ve never met. And mind you, that’s not counting business or planned meetings. If you walk up to anyone in this city and try to just start a regular conversation, they’ll do everything they can to either stop it or avoid it.

WALT
And why is that?

ANNA
People want to be alone.

WALT
Then why are you talking to me?

ANNA
You gave me a light. You seem sane. I don’t get that twitching awfulness in my stomach…that instinctual warning system when you’re near someone you know you should never trust. The one that goes off the second a stranger comes to talk to you.

WALT
I understand that feeling, but not that many people make that happen.

ANNA
You’d be surprised. We all have that warning system. We’re not built to immediately trust, no matter how much fun we’re having.

 

Stay tuned for the THRILLING CONCLUSION of 1949!

The Comfort Station Plays runs April 14th-17th at the Historic Logan Square Comfort Station. To make reservations, please email opensourcetheatreproject@gmail.com.

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