One Act Play by John Ladd


 

Trump’s Brain

A Play in One Act

by
John Ladd
with Lyrics by
AJ Amherst

CHARACTERS
(In Order of Appearance)

YURI
FEMALE STRANGER

SETTING

It is deep in the night in a secluded section of Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

AT RISE

Enter, from stage-left, YURI. Although he is an highly-respected scientist, outside of the lab, he is a consummate nerd and a scatterbrain. YURI is dressed is a long coat and has a manila envelope tucked inside of it. He paces carefully and deliberately. Occasionally, he stops to look around- and listen- before resuming his pacing. Finally, he stops so as to prepare to wait, and checks the time.

YURI

          (frustrated, then to the surroundings)

Where are you?

(to the audience)

I have been waiting, here in the park- in this green den of American decadence-

(pause)

drugs, prostitution, crime-

(pause)

indulgence, sex, money-

(pause, then a deep sigh)

money-

(pause)

and here I am- waiting for my contact-

(pause)

my drop-

(pause)

my live drop-

(pause)

for an hour and twenty-five minutes!

(pause)

He’s-

(pause)

a reporter for the Washington Post-

(pause)

and I was told his name is Ernie-

(pause)

and-

[YURI pulls a small manila envelope out from inside his coat.]

I have this for him.

(pause)

It’s Top Secret- very Top Secret.

(pause, then sighs)

You see, in my country- Russia- I am a scientist. I am the Director of Laboratory “T” at the Moscow Institute for Genetic and Molecular Compromise and Reprogramming-

(pause)

and what we have done has succeeded far beyond our wildest expectations-

(pause)

-the project was called “The Kallstadt Imperative”-

(pause)

and the subject was-

(pause)

Donald Trump!

(pause)

It’s named after his ancestral village.

(excitedly and quickly)

We have penetrated and are now in complete control of his brain!

(gleefully)

Yes! Yes! Do you believe it?

(pause)

[YURI points to the manila envelope.]

(excitedly)

It is all in here!

(pause)

Everything! The methodology, the evolution of the technology- the delivery system- everything!

[YURI puts the envelope back inside his coat and, then, pauses to think.]

It ended up being so simple-

(pause)

a combination of nanotechnology and our discovering of how to penetrate the blood-brain barrier-

(pause)

and the most brilliantly fascinating aspect was that we were able to engage all aspects of his brain with multi-modal, simultaneous, optioned programming!

(pause)

He could- for example- be negotiating a trade deal with, say, China. On one hand, his brain will be directed to make a deal that benefits him, the Chinese and us.

(pause)

But, halfway through the meeting we can switch on his sexual brain function and have him say something like- “I’d really like to fuck a Chinese bitch. Can you hook me up?

(pause, smiling)

Beautiful- isn’t it? And with him you can imagine how many different ways we can go!

(pause, then seriously)

Think it’s crazy?

(pause)

Then, let me ask you- where do you think all those “tweets” come from?

(pause)

Now, without boring you with the science, let me just tell you that the delivery system was ingenious; at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in 2003- while in Moscow for the Miss Universe Pageant, we had a special room prepared for him- The Presidential
Suite. Specifically, there was the food, the drinks, the condoms, but, of all things-

(pause, then a laugh)

we knew he wouldn’t be able to resist the bidet.

(snorts)

The water was saturated with satellite directing nano-molecule-particle probes that made their way up through his rectum, intestines, stomach, mouth, nose and then through the blood barrier into his brain. From there, the satellite took over.

(pause)

Initially, we only wanted to do it for economic reasons-

(pause)

but, who would have guessed-

(pause, then quickly)

no, no-

(pause)

who would have imagined- believed- he would- could- be president?

(pause)

Yes, quite the opportunity- but-

(pause, then seriously)

the FSB- The President- Putin-

(pause)

they are hesitant, unwilling to take it to its ultimate end result.

(pause)

They have failed the project-

(pause)

and- more so- they have failed me!

(pause)

All the years I have spent working in secret-

(pause)

for which I should have won the Nobel Prize!

(pause)

But, no- nothing.

(pause)

And, so- I’m here- with-

[YURI checks the time and shakes his head.]

the time is going on an hour and an half, now- and-

(pause)

I wait some more.

(pause)

You see, my instructions are to wait in this area of the park until I am approached and asked the first part of a coded exchange.

(pause)

I will be asked- “Do you have a light?

(pause)

My response is to be- “I used to use forty watt bulbs, but now I use sixties.”

(pause)

To which they will say- “Living in darkness is sometimes better than living in the light of truth.”

(pause)

I, then, hand him the package and we go our separate ways.

(pause)

Simple as that, but-

(pause)

lately, as the day has gotten closer, I have worried that if someone else is around, my accent will give me away.

(pause)

So, I have been practicing.

[YURI then proceeds to demonstrate how he has “sanitized” his accent by going through multiple repetitions of his coded response of- ”I used to use forty watt bulbs, but now I use sixties.” He does so, repeatedly in different tones, cadences, and less and less of a Russian accent until he can say it in a Bostonian, Brooklyn, Midwestern, Wise Guy- or any other accent.]

(finally)

[YURI says it one last time in another accent.]

There! How was that?

(an impatient pause)

People have come by-

(pause)

but no one asks me.

(pause)

I stand here- almost like an idiot- waiting, but all they do is look at me in a strange way, shake their heads-

(pause, then quickly)

sometimes they even laugh at me-

(pause)

but, always, they keep walking.

(pause)

So, I have to wait.

(pause)

Because, I can’t go back with this envelope-

(a nervous pause)

it would be stupid-

(pause)

someone would notice- and that would be it for me!

(pause, then with painful honesty)

I’m too young to waste away in the camps, and I’m too old to think I would survive.

(pause, the with resignation)

No, no, I have no choice- I must wait.

(a quick pause, then listening intently)

Wait!

(looking and listening and straining to hear)

I hear-

(pause, still listening intently)

Yes!

(pause, then excitedly)

Yes! Someone is coming!

[Enter from stage-left, FEMALE STRANGER carrying a shoulder bag and dressed like a hooker. She approaches YURI with an accentuated sexual swagger.]

FEMALE STRANGER

Hey, sweetums, whatcha doing in the park all by yourself at this hour? Looking for something?

YURI

          (uncomfortable and nervous)

No- I mean yes- I mean, I’m waiting for somebody.

FEMALE STRANGER

          (nodding, knowingly)

Well, I’m here-

(pause, while running her hands down her body)

What do you think?

YURI

That’s not why I’m here.

FEMALE STRANGER

          (with faux frustration)

I see, so-

(pause)

“Do you have a light?”

YURI

          (surprised, looking her up and down)

It’s you? You’re Ernie?

FEMALE STRANGER

          (serious, perturbed and impatient)

“Do you have a light?”

YURI

(sensing the urgency)

“I used to use forty watt bulbs, but now I use sixties.”

FEMALE STRANGER

          (nodding, relieved)

“Living in darkness is sometimes better than living in the light of truth.”

[YURI reaches into his coat, takes out the manila envelope and hands it to the FEMALE STRANGER.]

YURI

          (sighs)

Here it is.

[The FEMALE STRANGER takes the envelope, puts it into her shoulder bag, then takes out an lightly smaller envelope and hands it to YURI.]

FEMALE STRANGER

This is for you.

YURI

          (looking over the envelope)

What is it?

[YURI begins to open the envelope.]

FEMALE STRANGER

           (smiling)

Let’s just say it’s a little bit of thanks from the powers that be.

[YURI opens the envelope. There is money- in U.S. dollars- that he puts in his pants pocket, a notebook and a U.S. passport. He opens the passport and looks at the photo.]

YURI

          (shocked)

That’s me!

(pause)

How did you get this photo?

FEMALE STRANGER

          (shrugs)

You don’t need to know.

YURI

          (reading the passport)

It says- Lawrence Price.

FEMALE STRANGER

That’s you, now.

(pause)

And, if I were you, I wouldn’t go back to your embassy.

YURI

I know, I know- but what will I do?

FEMALE STRANGER

The notebook, has phone numbers inside. Call them- in sequence-everything will be taken care of.

(pause, then looking around)

But, I’ve got to go.

(pause)

Good luck- and welcome to America.

 [The FEMALE STRANGER exits at stage-left. YURI,
looks suspiciously from side to side, then, puts the notebook

and passport in his pants pocket.]

YURI

          (nodding in self-satisfaction)

Yes, I have been waiting for this day-

(pause)

and practicing, too!

(pause)

I was hoping this would happen-

(pause)

and I have come prepared!

[YURI throws off his overcoat to reveal he is dressed
as a rapper. He begins to rap and perform.]

It’s Lawrence Price Mothafuckas!!!

(barely a moment’s pause)

I been waiting my whole life/happy and drunk and high like you/I wanna watch football and baseball and Nascar too/an All American Red___white and blue/I wanna eat French fries in nacho cheese/on a piece of pizza in NYC/I gotta get outta the swamp, I hate D.C./Time to get an Uber, Trump Tower please!/

BLACKOUT

CURTAIN

END OF PLAY

 

John Ladd has had pieces produced in New York at Manhattan Repertory Theatre, The Short Play Lab, Bad Theater Festival, ActSense Theatre Company, The Puzzle, and the Piney Fork Theatre Press. He is a Resident Playwright at the Manhattan Repertory Theatre.

Jim Agpalza was born and raised on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. He is a freelance illustrator/painter of the weird and profane. He now resides outside of Portland Oregon with his wife and kids and cat (plus ghost cat).

 

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