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TDF presented the first sign language interpreted performance of a Broadway show, The Elephant Man, in 1980.


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Rose
by Rosalia Rodriguez
The following scene was written by a student in the TDF Residency Arts Project at DeWitt Clinton High School. It explores the element of drama as a playwriting tool.

Rose

AT RISE: 
(Rose is sitting in a rocking chair. There is a tiny bit of light from the fireplace. She is staring up at a painting hung over the fireplace. The painting shows an old couple holding hands, sitting on a bench in a park with many trees embellished with colorful birds, and a crystal clear pond where ducks played.)    
 
ROSE
(Lights shine on Rose) Oh George, I wish we could someday be together again. I miss you so much, George. You were all I had and you left me here alone in this cold and bitter world. I will die alone. You left me too soon. If you were still alive today we would be celebrating our 50th anniversary together. Fifty years ago, I married you and only 13 years later you left me. We never even had children. (Falls to her knees crying.) I still remember the night I was called and told that you had been killed in a car crash. I died that day. I couldn't think or sleep. I sat on the couch and didn't move for days. I never was with another man and I always tried not to fall in love with another man. I refuse to be with anyone else. For 37 years I avoided falling in love again. I haven't been able to sleep at night since you died. Now, I fear if my neighbor keeps asking me to be with him, I will not be able to reject him. I am so lonely and afraid of being with someone again. I am afraid that they might leave me like you left me. I still love you and I will always love you.

(The doorbell rings. Rose quickly wipes her tears and turns the lights in the apartment on. She opens the door.)

BILL

(Playing with his hat and speaking in a nervous voice.) Hi, Rose, I came downstairs to tell you that I cooked dinner for myself, but I feel I made too much for me to eat all alone. So I thought it would be nice if you came down and had dinner with me.

ROSE
(With a serious look on her face.) Sorry, Bill, I can't have dinner with you. I'm too busy.  

The Gift
BILL
(Sounding anxious.) What do you have to get done? Maybe I could help you.    

ROSE
(Trying to end the conversation.) No, Bill, you can't help, but thanks for the offer.    

BILL
How about some other time? (Twiddling his fingers.)    

ROSE
Yes, Bill, I'll eat dinner with you the next time you cook too much food. If I'm not busy, of course.     

BILL
Okay, then I'll see you tomorrow. (Waving goodbye.)

ROSE
Okay, bye. (Waving.) 

BILL
All right then, bye. (Bill stands at the door looking at Rose. He slowly begins to walk away, but he runs back to the door before Rose is able to close it.)    

ROSE
Yes, Bill, did you forget something?    

The Gift
BILL
I forgot to ask if you have any, ummm... salt. (Sounding unsure about his request.)   

ROSE
Salt? Let me go get some. (With a confused look on her face.)        

BILL
Should I come in and wait? It is kind of cold out here, in the hallway. (With an anxious look on his face.)

ROSE:
If you must. Just sit on the couch. (Walking into the kitchen.)        

BILL:
Really, okay, thank you. This is a really nice place. It feels warm and cozy. (Trying to continue the conversation.)    

ROSE:
Yes, it is. My husband and I decorated it ourselves. We had the most wonderful times in here. Sometimes I sit down, right on that couch and think about all the things we did together. (Giving the salt to Bill.)       

BILL:
Sounds really nice. I've never been married. People say I'm too old to get married,
but I feel you are never too old to get married or fall in love. (Sounding nervous.)    

ROSE:
Yes, well, that is really nice. I hope you find that someone someday.  Umm, shouldn't you hurry up and finish cooking. It is getting a bit late. (Looking down at her watch.)

BILL:
How about you? Are you looking for a special someone. (Ignoring Rose's last comment.)   

ROSE:
I already found my special someone. (Looking a little unhappy.)    

BILL:
Who? (Sounding disappointed.)    

ROSE:
(In a firm voice.) My husband George.

BILL:
I thought he was dead? (Sounding and looking confused.)      

ROSE:   
He is, but that doesn't mean he isn't my special someone. (Stepping up to Bill.)

BILL:
Yes, but, you can't be all alone for the rest of your life.

ROSE:  
I am a 68-year-old woman. (In a secure voice.) Of course I can be alone for the rest of my life.

BILL:
But wouldn't it be nice to spend it with someone else? (Looking up at Rose.)

ROSE:
I guess it might be nice to spend the rest of my life with someone.

BILL:
(In an anxious voice.)  Are you sure you're still to busy to come to dinner with me?

ROSE:
All right, I guess dinner can't hurt anyone. (Walking towards the door.)

BILL:
Great! I know this great restaurant a couple of blocks away. (In an excited voice.)

ROSE:
Restaurant? I thought you cooked dinner. (Sounding confused.)

BILL:
(In a nervous voice.) Yeah, but that food's probably cold.

ROSE:
All right then. (Putting on her coat.)

(Bill and Rose both walk out the door. Lights fade.)