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Finals...what a concept.


A picture of an old dusty Western town.
Retribution Takes Place in a Western Town, So This Picture Does Make Sense In That Way

Hey y’all! You know what season it is?! Finals season! Woot Woot! (I feel like I’m using too many exclamation points, but it’s how I feel). Yes, finals are upon me and my collegiate siblings, and since it is my senior year I had to devise a senior seminar project. Guess what it is? You’re right (maybe I can’t read minds yet), I’m producing an audio drama. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you know how much I adore audio drama (and how much I can't wait till WGC starts producing them).


For my senior project I'm producing an audio adaptation of my two-act play, Retribution. The process so far has been so smooth. I am used to theater which, oftentimes, takes a long time to plan and produce; relatively, audio drama is so much simpler. There are fewer moving parts (no one is going over safety precautions for stairs or trying to plan a 10 second quick change, for instance), and the parts that are there requires skills that are similar to the ones in theater which leaves me in a pretty sweet space.


Anyhow, it’s what I’m focusing on right now and I know that so much of what I learn in this process is going to directly affect my work in the future. I would highly suggest that anyone who is interested in starting an audio drama to take it. It isn’t easy work, but it’s not intimidating. If you do make one, email it to me at connect@withgoodco.com, I’d love to hear it and see what you made (my favorite part about art is the sharing).


Alrighty, that’s all I really go this week. Also, I started listening to Death By Dying this week and I am immensely enjoying it, so mark that down. Okay, next time I’ll talk to you I’ll be a few days away from recording Retribution so wish me luck. Also the script below is the first scene of Retribution (consider it a sneak peak).



Scene One


(It is a dusty old western town. A singular water pump is in the middle of the stage. The BUSYBODIES, a gaggle of old women and gossips, a Greek chorus of sorts, linger around.)


BUSYBODIES

Sweet Lord above-


MS. BETTY

Sweet Lord in His eternal love-


BUSYBODIES

It is hot. Sweatin’ through my Sunday’s best.


MS. BETTY

And it’s only Tuesday.


BUSYBODIES

Hot enough to make the devil sweat. Hot enough to drive a man from his wife and into the arms of some lusty sinner. Hot enough to-


CLETUS

Hotter than a bitch-


BUSYBODIES

Cletus!


CLETUS

Sorry, Lord. But it is ain’t it? Ain’t never know it to be this bad an’ I lived here near my whole life. Nearly five whole families have fled the town. The heat killed their prospects and future hopes. What could have driven Him in His eternal kindness to this I’ll never know.


MS. BETTY

So you ain’t heard?


BUSYBODIES

Heard what?


MS. BETTY

Well, I don’t like to gossip, but I think you oughta’ know since you’re a farmer and this drought and heat might just kill all your crop. It would only be good neighborly kindness. Willow Gravis-


CLETUS

The butcher’s daughter?


BUSYBODIES

That little girl? What’s she got to do with anything? Why she’s so shy she once ran off stage right in the middle of the Christmas pageant. Baby Jesus had no mama for the rest of the show.


MS. BETTY

She’s….in a family way.


BUSYBODIES

That little girl?


MS. BETTY

Not little anymore. Her Daddy, when he found out, he was furious. Yelling and screaming all night. I just couldn’t fall asleep. That was six or seven months ago now. Course she never leaves the house, but I see her through my curtains every so often and she is very, very swollen.


CLETUS

Who did that to her?


MS. BETTY

That’s the question of the century. She won’t say. A situation like that, a father who won’t claim his child, it just ain’t right. And when things ain’t right things don’t work….like the weather. Of course, that’s just what the pastor says.


BUSYBODIES

Will the drought ever end if the child remains unclaimed?


MS. BETTY

I can’t say for sure, but I don’t see why it would start again unless the dog comes forward.


(TERRA enters carrying a bucket. She tries to pump water.)


BUSYBODIES

What is she doing? Don’t she know there’s a drought? Ain’t right for her to be working. Look what she’s wearing. Dressing like a man. Who does she think she is?


MS. BETTY

How Terra McHale's parents simply haven’t keeled over and died from shame and disappointment I’ll never know. Why if my girl was 27, unmarried, and playing in the dirt for a living…. I could never be that strong.


TERRA

Hello there. Awful hot morning we’re having isn’t it, Ms. Betty?


MS. BETTY

Yes indeed, deary. You really oughtnt’ be working in this heat.


TERRA

I gotta. Otherwise, all my crops would die and we just wouldn't want that now, would we?


BUSYBODIES

What a girl. What a strange, vicious girl.


CLETUS

Why don't you let me pump that for you, Ms. Terra? Wouldn’t want you to hurt yourself, would you?


TERRA

I spend my days and nights toiling in the soil doing backbreaking labor to raise my crops. This is a pump. Sure to say I won't hurt myself, but thank you for your thoughtfulness, Cletus.


CLETUS

Course Ms. Terra. Just trying to lend a neighborly hand.

(To the BUSYBODIES)

Miserable girl.


(CLETUS exits. IRVING, a charming, puppy-dog-of-a-man, enters.)


IRVING

Morning Cletus, looking as lovely as ever. Morning Ms. Betty. I thought the drought was causing this heat but it is clearly you. And you too Ms. Caper and you too Mrs. Donahue. Maybe if we ran all you lovely ladies out of town we’d poor folk finally stand a chance. Course with none of y’all in town what’s the point of being here.


BUSYBODIES

Oh, Irving. You really are the most charming young man. Even when you were a boy your smile would send us all to pieces. How is it you haven’t been snatched up yet?


IRVING

I wonder that too.


BUSYBODIES

Oh, I see. You’re sniffing ‘round that girl again.


IRVING

What can I say? I’m hopeless. Now, don’t mean to be rude, but my future’s calling.


(IRVING starts to TERRA)


BUSYBODIES

If I were younger…. If he were older-


MS. BETTY

If he weren't so stupid he’d almost be perfect. Let’s go, girls. Our bridge club is meeting soon.


(The BUSYBODIES turn their backs to the actions, but they do not leave.)


IRVING

Hello Terra. You are a hard woman to find. Been looking for you all morning.


TERRA

Not now, Irving.


IRVING

I got you a present.


TERRA

Not now, Irving,


IRVING

Don’t you at least want to know what I got you? Never met a woman who didn’t like presents.


TERRA

Well, now you have.

(IRVING sighs until TERRA stops pumping)

Fine, what is it?


IRVING

Here.

(He hands her some seeds)

We barely have enough water down at the flower shop to keep the flowers we already have alive. Figured these might fare better in your mighty pretty….mighty capable hands.


TERRA

This is really sweet of you, Irving.


IRVING

Sweet enough for you to rethink my marriage proposal?


TERRA

You do so well when you don’t talk.

(TERRA turns back to pumping, but nothing is coming out.)

Come on you stupid….just a drop. Can you do that for me? Just a…..dangit you confounded lump of metal.


IRVING

Terra, I think you're beating a dead horse, so to speak.


TERRA

What else am I supposed to do? I’m a farmer, Irving. I farm and farming needs water. It hasn’t rained in months and my reservoir supply is running dangerously low. If I don’t get water from somewhere my whole crop is gonna’ die.


IRVING

So you’ll just try again next year-


TERRA

Next year? Won’t be no next year. I can barely pay the mortgage now, and my parents hate that I’m doing this. They think I should be married off to someone I don’t love making babies I don’t want. Forced to spend my life pricking my thumbs with sewing needles to momentarily escape the cold numbness that exists there and dreading the day when that won’t be enough.


IRVING

You’re so pretty when you talk.


TERRA

I’m serious, Irving.


IRVING

I know.


TERRA

I’m getting desperate.


IRVING

How desperate?


TERRA

Irving, if you start talking all that nasty again-


IRVING

No. None of that this time. Listen, I heard from my Momma who heard it from Ms. Laureli who heard it from Ms. Betty who heard it from the pastor who heard it from God that this here drought is ‘cause something ain't right. I also heard Willow is eating for two now.


TERRA

Willow is pregnant? Willow Gravis? The butcher's daughter? I’ve never even seen her look at a man and she’s managed to go and find one to have her? Well, good on her, I suppose. But what’s a drought got to do with any of that?


IRVING

Ms. Betty says it’s cause God doesn’t like it when young girls and their children are left without fathers. Or that cause He’s a father and all, he doesn’t like bad ones. Something like that. The point is the rain won’t come because someone’s already come and gone.


TERRA

Irving!


IRVING

Sorry. It was too perfect.


TERRA

That mouth’s gonna’ get you in trouble.


IRVING

Hasn’t yet. So, you believe it?


TERRA

Do I believe that Willow is gonna be a mother? No, but I could see it happening. Do I believe that one person could cause all this mess? Do I believe God Himself would stop the rain in order to drive out one man? Well, I don’t know, more unbelievable things have happened.


IRVING

Glad to be a help.


TERRA

Hey, Irving...if it’s not too much trouble-


IRVING

You’re the only trouble I ever want to be in.


TERRA

Nevermind.


IRVING

I didn’t mean it. Thought it was funny.


TERRA

I was going to ask if you could go to Willow’s and ask her to come over to my farm an hour or so after sunset. Don’t have time to go myself and I’d like to talk to her-


IRVING

Don’t even need to ask.


TERRA

Thank you. I really appreciate it.


IRVING

I appreciate that you appreciate it.


TERRA

Bye, Irving.

(TERRA exits)


IRVING

I’m going to marry you one of these days, you know. We both gotta married some time, why not marry each other? We’re gonna have a family, Terra.

(To himself while exiting)

A big family. With a coupla kids and a home, we’ll be proud of.


(IRVING exits. )



I hope you enjoyed it cause I certainly had fun writing it.


Jade Madison Scott is the founder of WGC Productions.

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