Pigeons



The entire action of this play is set in a very old two-story house in Philadelphia. The acting area consists of two rooms in the downstairs area of the house. The most important of these rooms is the living-dining room combination. A large stuffed sofa is located at stage right and is decorated with crocheted doilies on its arm rests and center head rest. A stuffed chair with a foot rest is decorated similarly to the sofa and faces a very old TV set standing against the right wall. Against the rear wall right is an old china closet filled with magazines, old pigeon trophies, and sundry items. Upstage right is a door that leads to the roof. Center stage is a round wooden table covered with a table cloth. Over the table is a multi-colored lamp shade from the 1890’s era. Placed around the table are four matching wooden chairs. Stage left is a kitchen cabinet over a small sink, a gas stove, a refrigerator, and an ironing board set up with an iron on it. This entire area serves as the kitchen. The walls are done in a cheap wood paneling. The small window over the sink is dressed in cheap curtains. Next to the window is the back door, and this is the only outside entrance and exit used during the entire production. Drapes cover the entire right wall with the exception of the front door down right that is never used. Upstage center is a small table with a telephone; next to the table is a floor model Zenith radio, with all the bands from police to radio Moscow. On the wall upstage center is a large photograph of Grandmother (Lester dressed like an old woman), and to the left of the photograph is a clothes tree. In the kitchen area there are three large and relatively new garbage cans that contain a variety of feed. They are marked CORN, RACER-BREEDER, and GRIT. These cans are used frequently throughout the play. As the play opens the time is 5:30 P.M. and the day is Thursday, sometime in April. The sound of pigeons cooing is heard coming from the area over the stage. Suddenly a rustling of wings is heard and the sound of them ascending in flight. Sounds of shrieking whistles and Lester’s voice screaming.

 

 

Lester

Go! Go!

 

    The sound of the flock of pigeons circling low over the roof is audible. The back door opens, and Sistine enters. She is dressed in the traditional habit and wears a pair of wire frame glasses. She carries a large bag  filled with ready-prepared food and staple groceries. In her other hand is a copy of the American Racing Pigeon News. She sets everything on the table and crosses to the sofa, takes off her shoes, wipes her brow, and wiggles her toes. She appears very tired although she radiates an atmosphere of contentment and happiness. After a moment she speaks with a loud, but dignified voice.

 

Sistine

Lester! .........Lester, I’ve brought your supper! (No answer) Lester, do you hear me!?

 

Lester

(From the roof) What?

 

Sistine

(She rises and goes to the door leading to the roof) I said, I’ve brought your supper.

 

Lester

I’ll be right down. (She crosses to the table, takes out a large jar of stew, puts the contents into a pot on the stove, puts the pot on the burner, and turns up the temperature. She begins to set the table from the cabinet over the sink. Lester enters from upstairs) It’s that goddamn hawk again! He got three of my best birds last week!

 

Sistine

Lester, please watch your language while I’m in your presence.

 

Lester

I’m sorry, Sistine. I keep forgetting that you’re a nun now.

 

Sistine

It’s not that I don’t want you to feel relaxed. I do. It’s only, when one is exposed to that kind of language, one may begin to use it too. You wouldn’t want me to slip in front of another nun or the Mother Superior with one of your undesirable expletives, would you?

 

Lester

No. I wouldn’t want to see you get into any trouble because of me.

 

Sistine

I know you wouldn’t. Now, be a good boy and watch what you say from now on, okay?  

 

Lester

(He nods his head in the affirmative. Pause) It’s just that damn hawk...(He slaps his hand over his mouth) I guess I did it again. I’m sorry.