the wax paper

Sunny Afternoon

CAPTAIN FRITZ’ OFFICE. There is a doorway UPSTAGE RIGHT, just off of center, where all entrances are made. UPSTAGE LEFT is a bathroom. DOWNSTAGE LEFT sits Captain Fritz' desk. On that desk sits a red rotary phone, paperwork, files and a Rolodex. On the UPSTAGE CENTER WALL is a small frosted window (where projections can be played). In front of the window is a small work station with two chairs and a small table. On that table sits a black rotary phone, paperwork and newspapers. Somewhere near station on a wall hangs a dartboard with three darts sticking out. STAGE RIGHT WALL sits a coffee/water/snack station. A small refrigerator sits on the floor beneath.

A framed photo of John F. Kennedy hangs STAGE RIGHT, with a small bench beneath it.

PROJECTION: (John and Jackie Kennedy getting off the plane at Love Field, waving to crowd, getting in topless limousine. Jump cuts. Houston to Main. Kennedy's last closeup slowed down for effect. All this should last no longer than 75 seconds.)

AUDIO: (sound of 8mm projector) The weather couldn't be better, we have a brilliant sun at this moment and here comes the President now. Governor and Mrs. Connelly on the second seats or jump seats and then the official driver of the Secret Service. 

AUDIO JUMP CUT: (John Kennedy speech) The very word secrecy is repugnant in a free and open society. And we are as people inherently and historically opposed to secret societies, to secret oaths and to secret proceedings.

AUDIO JUMP CUT: The President's car is now turning onto Elm Street and it'll only be a matter of minutes before it arrives at the Trademart.

(Only sound 8mm projector.)

PROJECTION: (Plays the entire Zapruder film.)

AUDIO: (Loud gunshot on head explosion.)

Cut Projection//Black Stage Actors enter.

AUDIO: (Walter Cronkite broadcast) From Dallas, Texas the flash apparently official, President Kennedy died at 1pm Central Standard Time.

Sound of a bottle opening.

BUMP LIGHTS UP

LEE HARVEY OSWALD (24) sits in a chair with his back to the audience, he looks around and is slightly enamored. DETECTIVE ELMER BOYD (30) looms by front door and DETECTIVE RICHARD ‘DICK’ SIMS (34) stands with his arms folded by Fritz’ desk.

CAPTAIN WILLIAM FRITZ (55), with a Stetson on his head stands directly in front of Oswald.

                                      We join this performance shortly after its opening in Scene 1 -ed.

OSWALD: High Security. I was a radar operator. I tracked U2 flights over Russia.

FRITZ: Sounds like a lot of responsibility for a young man.

OSWALD: I enjoyed it.

FRITZ: Where do you work?

OSWALD: Texas School Depository.

FRITZ: How’d you get the job?

OSWALD: A lady that I know recommended me for the job.

FRITZ: What can you tell me about Alec Hidell. (hit short i on Hidell until notified not to.)(Oswald thinks, says nothing.) You can tell me something boy, cause we found it written on a card in your wallet.

OSWALD: It’s just a name…I picked up in New Orleans.

FRITZ: You livin' out in Irving?

OSWALD: No. I’ve got a room in Oak Cliff.

FRITZ: I thought you lived out in Irving.

OSWALD: No. I live at 1026 Beckley.

FRITZ: North or South?

(Oswald thinks.)

OSWALD: Well I’m not certain, sir.

FRITZ: Who lives in Irving?

OSWALD: My wife is staying out there with friends.

(There is a hard knock on the door. Elmer opens it.)

Enter JAMES HOSTY (38) and JAMES BOOKOUT (40).

(They pull out their badges.)

HOSTY: I’m Special Agent James Hosty of the FBI, this is Agent James Bookout.

(Oswald gets angry.)

OSWALD: Oh, so you’re Hosty. I’ve heard about you. You’re the one who accosted my wife! Why don’t you go fuck your mother?

HOSTY: What did you just say to me?

OSWALD: I said go put your dick in your mom!

(Oswald rushes Hosty. Mini-mayhem ensues. Elmer pulls Oswald from Hosty with a little help from Dick.)

FRITZ: OHHHH! Sit down!

OSWALD: My wife is a Russian citizen who is in this country legally and is protected under diplomatic laws from harassment by you or any other FBI agent. The FBI is no better than the Gestapo of Nazi Germany. If you wanted to talk to me, you should have come directly to me, not 

my wife. And YOU stay away from my little girls!

(Oswald smiles.)

FRITZ: Elmer…get Mr. Oswald here a glass of water.

(Elmer nods and walks to coffee station.)

OSWALD: You never responded to my request.

FRITZ: What do you mean he accosted your wife? He touch her titties or something?

OSWALD: No…he threatened her. He told her she’d have to go back to Russia.

(Oswald uncomfortably fidgets with his cuffs.) Jim.

HOSTY: What?

OSWALD: Can you undo these cuffs?

(Hosty looks to Fritz.)

FRITZ: Cuff ‘im in the front.

HOSTY: You fuck around, he’ll break your neck. (points to Bookout)

(Fritz looks at Oswald and then to Hosty.)

OSWALD: (doesn't wait) Thank you, thank you.

(Dick recuffs him in the front. Oswald looks to Hosty. Elmer discreetly spits in water, turns around, walks over to Oswald and hands it to him.)

I’m sorry for blowing up at you. And I’m sorry for writing that letter to you.

(Hosty nods.)

FRITZ: Lee, do you own a rifle?

OSWALD: No, but I saw Mr. Truly, my supervisor at work, he had one at the Depository on Wednesday, I think it was. He was showing it to everybody on the first floor.

FRITZ: Have you ever owned a rifle, Lee?

OSWALD: Oh, I had one a good many years ago. It was a small rifle, a twenty-two or something, but I haven’t owned one for a long time.

HOSTY: (interrupting) Ever been in Mexico City?

(Oswald hesitates.)

OSWALD: Sure…sure I’ve been to Mexico. When I was stationed in San Diego with the Marines, a couple of my buddies and I would occasionally drive down to Tijuana for some cheap cervezas over the weekend.

ELMER: (to Hosty) Cervezas means beers.

Beat.

FRITZ: Thank you, Elmer. You said you have a wife who is a Russian?

OSWALD: That’s right.

FRITZ: Have you ever been to Russia?

OSWALD: Yes.

HOSTY: (inserts fast) How long were you in Russia?

OSWALD: About three years.

FRITZ: Ever own a rifle in Russia?

OSWALD: (chuckles) You know you can’t own a rifle in Russia. I had a shotgun over there. 

(laughs)... You can’t own a rifle in Russia.

FRITZ: Do you have any political beliefs, Lee?

OSWALD: No…but I am a supporter of the Castro revolution.

FRITZ: Whooptyfuckindo. What is the Fair Play for Cuba Committee?

OSWALD: I was the secretary of that organization in New Orleans a few months ago.

FRITZ: Secretary?...Are you a queer boy?

OSWALD: No, I'm married.

FRITZ: What is that organization about?

OSWALD: Why don’t you ask Agent Hosty?

(Fritz looks to Hosty, Hosty jumps in.)

HOSTY: Mr. Oswald, have you been in contact with the Soviet Embassy?

OSWALD: (doesn’t like this question) Yes, I contacted the Soviet Embassy regarding my wife, and the reason was because you accosted her twice already!

(Oswald is beginning to boil.)

HOSTY: Mr. Oswald, have you ever been in Mexico City? (in Oswald’s face) Not Tijuana; Mexico City?

OSWALD: No! I’ve never been there! (Dick and Elmer stand.) What makes you think I’ve been to Mexico City?

HOSTY: I know you've been there! 

(Dick rushes Hosty, pushes him away. Elmer hovers over Oswald.)

OSWALD: I deny it! 

(Oswald is shaking.)

HOSTY: (warns Dick) Keep your goddamn hands off me, doughboy.

(Oswald crumples empty cup, Elmer signals for it. Oswald aims for trashcan by coffee station, he misses. Elmer picks it up.)

FRITZ: All right…all right….let’s just everybody calm down.

(Hosty calmly walks back over to the corner of the room and begins jotting notes down in a little black notebook.)

The black phone rings TWICE. Everybody looks.

(Dick answers it.)

DICK: Detective Sims…yessir. (Dick holds phone away from his mouth.) They’re set for the lineup whenever you’re ready Captain Fritz.

FRITZ: Thank you Dick. You tell ‘em (loud and into phone) we’ll see ‘em when we see ‘em.

DICK: (on phone) D’you get that? Good. (hangs up phone)

FRITZ: Lee…I’m a little confused about why your wife is living in Irving and you’re living in Oak Cliff. Can you tell me about that?

OSWALD: My wife is staying with Mrs. Paine who’s trying to learn Russian. Marina teaches her, and Mrs. Paine helps out with our small baby, Audrey. It makes a good arrangement for both of them.

FRITZ: How often do you go out there?

OSWALD: Weekends.

FRITZ: Why don’t you stay out there?

OSWALD: I don’t want to stay there. Mrs. Paine and her husband are separated. They don’t get along too well. I, myself, find her to be a bitch a lot of times, I do not believe she is fond of men. I happen to know for a fact, she and Mr. Paine don’t have intercourse.

FRITZ: (giggles a bit) Is that right?

OSWALD: Yes sir, not in over two years. Mr. Paine told me one afternoon, while we watched the Cowboys play the Cleveland Browns on television. (Oswald sips his water.) I remember the game in particular because Jim Brown broke loose two big touchdown runs, both over fifty-yards. Mr. Paine made a bad joke right after the second one.

FRITZ: About Jim Brown?                                               

OSWALD: Yeah.

FRITZ: What’d he say?

OSWALD: It was very inappropriate, I prefer not to repeat it.

FRITZ: Try me Lee. (Oswald shifts, uncomfortably, he looks down and shakes his head.) I seen a man shoot his momma in her face for five dollars son, how bad can it be?

OSWALD: He said, “Why do niggers have flat noses?”

FRITZ: Why?

OSWALD: “That’s where God put his feet when he was pulling off their tails.” He said.

FRITZ: That’s a horrible joke Lee.

OSWALD: I agree, that’s why I didn’t want to say it.

FRITZ: Well I ain’t never heard that one before. (impressed over the originality) You a football fan Lee?

OSWALD: I enjoy football very much and missed it immensely while in Russia.

FRITZ: ...greatest game in America. Who's your team?

OSWALD: New York Giants.

FRITZ: Jew Bastards. (halfbeat) I remember that ‘Boys/Browns game well, week two at The Cotton Bowl, Jim Brown ran all over Jerry Tubbs that day…I believe it was to the tune of two hundred and thirty two yards, Larry Benz picked off two passes…one from Dandy Don...the other from The Little General. Dandy did do some running that game however…

OSWALD: I think Frank Ryan also had a good game.

FRITZ: Good game? Man threw for nearly two hundred yards and two TD’s, scored with his legs. Cowboys almost made it a game in the third when they got within three, but Gary Collins second TD catch and Jim Brown’s sixty-two yard run in the fourth quarter. Fucktemharrrrd.

OSWALD: You remember much about that game.

FRITZ: I got a good memory Lee, I'm also a season ticket holder of the ‘Boys. I’m at all their home games.

OSWALD: That must have been something to see Jim Brown run like that.

FRITZ: I’ll tell you what Lee, Mr. Paine wasn’t so far off, racism aside…Jim Brown is part beast on the football field, sans tail. Although I suppose if he had one, he'd be a lot easier to tackle.

OSWALD: Mr. Brown is like no other halfback…in the NFL or AFL for that matter.

FRITZ: Let me tell you son, Jim Brown doesn’t run around you, he runs through you and you better hope you don’t swallow your tongue and break your asshole in the process.

(Lee chuckles.)

FRITZ: Do you have a car Lee? 

(Elmer crosses to small refrigerator Stage Right.)

OSWALD: No sir. The Paines actually have two vehicles, but I’ve never driven either. 

FRITZ: You seem like an intelligent young fella Lee… (Elmer pulls a Coke from refrigerator.) Didya win any awards for rifle shootin' while in the Marines?

OSWALD: Just the usual medals.

FRITZ: Like what?

OSWALD: I got an award for marksmanship.

(Elmer pops the top off a Coca-Cola.)

AUDIO: Disturbing feedback in Oswald’s head.

BUMP LIGHTS OUT/IMMEDIATE SINGLE BEAM ON OSWALD

(Oswald’s body tenses hard, an earthquake in his mind - "Focus Lee".)

(Actors in black freeze. When feedback ends, everything is back to normal.)

BUMP UP LIGHTS/BUMP OUT SINGLE BEAM ON OSWALD

(Elmer swigs his Coca-Cola.)

From the World Premiere of Sunny Afternoon written & directed by Christian Levatino

Produced by Corryn Cummins & Leon Shanglebee for The Gangbusters Theatre Company 2013/2014

The first in the cycle America: The Pentology; this production won Best of Fringe award at the 2013 Hollywood Fringe Festival