GEORGE IS A MAN
George ………. As a young woman
Narrator…………a man or woman
Mike……………..a young man
George as a little girl
George a little older
George as a teenager
The mother and father
Grandmother and Grandfather
Karen, a teenager
A teenage girls and boys
……can be simple; a park or a bare stage or whatever. Along the back wall is a white curtain onto which silhouetted actions will be displayed. The props that are silhouetted: A bed, table, Christmas tree, birthday cake, baby doll, play baby carriage, school desks and lockers. Rather than using silhouettes.film or projected photos could be used.
One ACT PLAY
THE STAGE IS EMPTY. GEORGE ENTERS FROM THE BACK RIGHT SIDE. HE IS DRESSED AS A WOMAN, WEARING BLUE JEANS AND A SLEEVELESS SHIRT WHICH SHOW OFF HIS BREAST AND THE FACT THAT HE HAS THE BODY OF A WOMAN.
GEORGE IS TROUBLED. HE SWINGS HIS ARMS ABOUT. LOOKS UP INTO THE SKY, HOLD HIS HEAD, WALKS A CIRCLE AND THEN SITS DOWN AND HANGS HIS HEAD AND SHAKES IT SIDE TO SIDE.
THE NARRATOR ENTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE. GEORGE DOES NOT SEE HIM AND WON’T SEE HIM AT ANY TIME. THE NARRATOR LOOKS AT GEORGE AND SHAKES HIS HEAD SHOWING HE SYMPATHIZES WITH THE YOUNG MAN. HE LOOKS TO THE AUDIENCE. HE SHRUGGES AND LOOKS TO GEORGE AGAIN.
Poor George. He’s got trouble. Maybe you can see…well it’s hard to not to see, isn’t it? It’s embarrassing. George, as you can see, is a man who has the body of a woman.
[THE NARRATOR STARES AT GEORGE AND THEN LOOKS UP HELPLESSLY THROWS OUT HIS ARM]
How do you explain it?
[THE NARRATOR ALSO THROWS OUT HIS ARMS]
I don’t know. Genes, Chromosomes, DNA: whatever this or whatever that, X’s and O’s however they come out. The will of God, the hands of fate, plain bad luck that he developed looking just like a woman. Or…..
I…. I hate this lie. I do, I do. I hate it…yet I got so I liked it. I did. I got so I liked it. But now, now? Why? Why did I have to fall in love.
And now. Now? Why me? And why did I…..why did I have to fall in love?
[HE GETS UP AND THROWING HIS ARMS ABOUT, SITS AGAIN AND HANGS HIS HEAD]
[HE WATCHES GEORGE, AND TURNS BACK TO THE AUDIENCE]
Or was he made this way, because…because. Well, here. Look. Here he is a boy of five. It is his birthday. He’s opening a present.
[SILHOUETED NOW IS GEORGE AS A CHILD OF FIVE. HE HAS A PONYTAIL WITH A LARGE RIBBON AND HE IS WEARING A DRESS. HIS MOTHER AND FATHER WATCH HIM OPEN A LARGE PRESENT. HE RIPS AWAY THE WRAPPING AND REACHES IN. HE PULLS OUT A DOLL. HE LIFTS IT UP, LOOKS AND TOSSES IT ASIDE TO DIG AGAIN IN THE BOX. HE THROWS OUT PAPER THEN THROWS HIS HANDS UP
OUT INDICATING THAT HE DOESN’T KNOW WHERE THE PRESENT IS. THE MOTHER PICKS UP THE DOLL AND HOLDS IT OUT FOR HIM AND HE WALKS PAST IT AND DIGS IN THE BOX AGAIN AND THE SCREEN DARKENS. IT LIGHTENS WITH A BABY CARRAGE SILHOUTTED AND ANOTHER WOMAN]
Birthday or Christmas, it was always the same. Here his Aunt Loraine bought him a baby carriage. “Isn’t that sweet, you can put your dolly in and push her down the side walk just like a real mom.” For Christmas that year it was an ironing board, little plastic dishes with knifes and forks, and play oven with plastic cookies: just like mommy makes.
[THE SILHOUTTE SCEEN DARKENS. IT LIGHTENS WITH A LADY GIVING GEORGE A DOLL]
He got dolls; sometimes even when it wasn’t his birthday. Gramma just had to buy it for him. It wet its pants and come with little diapers for him to change. Only she said “her to change.”
[THE SCREEN DARKENS. IT LIGHTENS WITH A GROUP, HIS MOTHER, FATHER, HIS AUNT, HIS GRANDMOTHER AND GRANDFATHER PRESENTING HIM MORE PRESENTS]
And then there were ribbons, bows and barrettes for his hair. There were pajamas, power pink or baby blue, with short puffy legs and tops and frilly silly dresses with lace
that tickled. His mother would say: “You have to put it on now for them to see you sweetie”
[GEORGE, SOMEWHAT STOOPED, MODELS A SKIRT THAT FLAIRS OUT LIKE AN UMBRELLA AND THE MOTHER AND OTHERS CLAP. THEN THEY HUG AND KISS HIM]
She called him Brenda. And times like this were kissy times. Doesn’t Brenda look adorable. Give mommy a kissy, daddy a kissy, grandma, grandpa, aunty Loraine a kissy. Kissy and hugs. Kissy, always kissy. What boy wants to do kissy?
But it was funny because he liked giving Uncle Teddy a kiss. That felt nice and he kissed and hugged Uncle Teddy and kissed and hugged him.
[THE SILHOUETE SCREEN DARKENS. AND IT OPENS WITH GEORGE RECEIVING PRESENTS FROM A MAN IN AN UNIFORM, PROBABLY BEST INDENTIFIED BY THE HAT.]
Uncle Teddy came home from the Army. His mother and Aunt Loraine were excited that he was
coming back. They talk about it all the time. George was excited that he was going to see a real army man. That was as good as a cowboy. He wasn’t disappointed. He’d never seen such a handsome man before. Uncle Teddy had presents for everybody, mom, dad, aunty Loraine and for him.
[GEORGE OPENS THE PRESENT AND IT’S A COWBOY HAT, A GUN AND HOLSTER. GEORGE IS VERY HAPPY AND JUMPS UP AND DOWN. HE PUTS ON THE HAT AND STRAPS THE HOLSTER ON, PULLS OUT THE GUY AND PRETENDS TO SHOOT IT IN THE AIR. HE HUGS HIS UNCLE TEDDY AND RUNS OUT SHOOTING HIS GUN IN THE AIR. THE SCREEN DARKENS]
George’s mother was shocked “How could you forget something like that Teddy? Didn’t the name Brenda, tell you anything?” Uncle Teddy shrugged. He didn’t know, he just did. George loved watching cowboys on the television and this was the best present he ever got. He went to bed wearing the cowboy hat and holding the six shooter. The next day, Uncle Teddy said, “ you want me to show you how to make a lasso.” The rope they cut from the clothesline. George’s mom got
angry. “You’re worse than a kid”. So Uncle Teddy and he went to the hardware store to buy a new clothesline.
[SILHOUTTED NOW IS UNCLE TED GIVING GEORGE A HAMMER AND THE BOX OF NAILS.
HE PAYS THE CLERK AND GEORGE HOLDING HIS PRIZE SKIPS OUT AHEAD OF UNCLE TED]
While they were there, he bought George a little hammer and some nails. He loved his Uncle Teddy. He was a horse and bucked when George got on. They laughed and had all sorts of fun.
[THE TWO ARE SHOWN WITH TEDDY BEING THE HORSE, ON ALL FOURS, AND GEORGE RIDING]
George knew then why he didn’t like dolls, baby buggies or play dishes. He knew now that he was really a boy. He made friends with other boys. They played in the sandbox, made roads and pushed cars and trucks along them. George made a sound just like real cars make. They played catch. They played cowboys with the play gun and the hat. They climbed trees and
built things with the hammer and nails and the saw his friend got from his dad’s garage.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS NOW WITH GEORGE SITTING ON A HIGH STOOL AND AS HIS MOTHER PUTS A BIG BOW IN HIS HAIR. GEORGE GETS DOWN FROM THE CHAIR. HE’S IN A DRESS. SHE TAKES HIS HAND AND THEY WALK OFF.]
And then school started. “They’ll all laugh at me,” he said. “ I know they will.” She didn’t pay any attention. She told him he looked adorable, and then she got the camera. Brenda’s first day of school she said and took his picture. He didn’t smile like she told him to. She had to tug him along. He knew how boys point their fingers and laugh. She had him dressed just like a girl.
When he got to the school, he was ready. He kept his fist clenched. But none of the boys laughed. They thought he really was a girl. And after a few days, there was no way he could tell them it wasn’t so.
[THE SCREEN BRIGHTENS. GEORGE IS A LITTLE OLDER. HE HAS A PONYTAIL AND IS WEARING A DRESS. HE IS FACE TO FACE WITH ANOTHER BOY, A BIGGER BOY WHO WEARS A BASEBALL HAT AND HAS ON A BASEBALL GLOVE WITH A BALL. OTHER BOYS ARE GATHERED AROUND]
It was bound to happen. George had insisted that he was a boy and that he could play ball just as good as any of them. Bruce laughed and said that if George was a boy, he was the biggest sissy he ever saw. The other boys laughed. So George did what he knew any boy would do.
Maybe he’d get hurt, but it didn’t matter. He had to show them he couldn’t be talked to like that. “Come on then, come on.”.
[BRUCE WAVES OFF GEORGE AND WALKS AWAY. GEORGE SWINGS IN THE AIR AND KICKS THE DIRT. THE SCREEN DARKENS]
Bruce laughed and said he’d never fight a girl.
[THE SCREEN DARKENS AND THEN LIGHTENS WITH GEORGE AND HIS MOTHER. A TELEPHONE IS THERE AND THE MOTHER USES IT HERE]
George went home and told his mother he wanted short hair. “ You want it cut short, sweetheart? I don’t know. You have such lovely hair.” But then, She said she’d think about it. And finally, she said it. “Maybe it is time for a change”, and she called up Aunt Loraine
[THE SILHOUETTE SCREEN DARKENS AND LIGHTENS. GEORGE IS IN A HIGH CHAIR AND TWO WOMEN, ONE WITH SCISSORS. HAIR FALLS TO THE FLOOR. THEN COME THE ROLLERS. THE WOMEN PUT ON PLASTIC GLOVES AND POUR THE PERM ON HIS HEAD. RUBS IT AROUND AND THEN CURL THE HAIR AROUND THE ROLLERS.]
She made him wear a plastic hat all day and then they combed it out. His long hair was gone and there were all these tight little curls sprouting from his head. They looked silly. And his head stunk. Aunt Lorraine said he looked adorable, and his mother got out the camera again. George didn’t smile.
[ON STAGE GEORGE STANDS AND WAVES HIS HANDS IN THE AIR.]
[THE SCENE IS STILL ON THE SCREEN BEHIND HIM] What am I going to say? How am I going to tell him? Why did I have to …why didn’t I …and now.[HELPLESS, HE SITS DOWN AGAIN.
George was old enough now to know what was really going on. His mother had wanted a girl and had him instead. That was plain enough. He thought once he grew more and got older, she wouldn’t be able to pretend any more. She’d have to buy him boy’s clothes and treat him as the boy he was. [THE SCREEN DARKENS]
He grew. But this was not the where he wanted to. He got fat. One day his mother come into his room with a shopping bag, and it was humiliating. Very humiliating.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE IS SITTING ON HIS BED. THE MOTHER COMES IN WITH A SHOPPING BAG. SHE REACHES IN AND TAKES OUT A BRA. SHE DANGLES IN FRONT OF GEORGE. HE JUMPS AND BACKS AWAY. THE MOTHER DEMONSTRATES HOW TO USE THE BRA BY PUTTING IT AROUND HER. THEN SHE
PUTS IT ON THE BED AND WALKS OUT. GEORGE PICKS IT UP LIKE IT WAS PIECE OF SLIME, LIFTS THE MATTRESS AND HIDES IT UNDER THERE.
How many boys had to put up with a mother like that? And then there was another, bigger problem at home. Mom and dad were fighting. He knew it was about him.
And then at school now the other boys looked at him in an odd way. They looked at his chest and it made him feel very uncomfortable. They smiled, snickered and nudged each other. Then, for no reason one of the boys would turn around, walk by George again and look right there where he got fat.
[GEORGE RETRIEVES THE BRA FROM UNDER THE BED, HOLDS IT UP AND THEN QUICKLY PUTS IT ON.]
He made it good and tight. He hoped to push them away.
That wasn’t all.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE IS AT A SCHOOL DESK. BEHIND HIM IS A GIRL AT HER DESK. GEORGE SUDDENLY LOOKS UP. HE REACHES UNDER HIS REAR PULLS HIS HAND OUT AND LOOKS AT HIS FINGERS. HE LOOKS THIS WAY AND THAT DESPERATELY. THE GIRL WHO SITS BEHIND HIM STRETCHS FORWARD TO TALK. GEORGE TWIST TO TALK TO HER. SHE TAKES OFF HER BUTTON DOWN SWEATER AND GIVES IT TO HIM. HE STANDS AND QUICKLY TIES IT AROUND HIS WAIST COVERING HIM FROM THERE DOWN. THE TWO WALK OUT.]
Karen beccame his best friend. She saved him from what would have been a completely humiliating experience. He decided he would marry her one day.
His mom and his dad called him a “little lady” now. It embarrassed him. But he would start going to high school now, and that was a new beginning.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE IS STANDING BEFORE THE PRINCIPAL WHO IS BEHIND A DESK. GEORGE IS WEARING BLUE JEANS AND A SHIRT. THE PRINCIPAL POINTS. GEORGE LOOKS DOWN AT HIMSELF]
The first day, the principal sent him home to put on a dress. Girls weren’t allowed to wear pants.
His mother hollered at him. His mom and dad fought that night. It was about him. He knew that because when he walked into the room, they stopped talking.
And so much for the new start. It was no new start. High school was the same as when he started kindergarten wearing ribbons in his hair and a dress. Nothing changed. The only real friends he could make were girls.
One friend was Karen, however, and she would be his friend no matter what. He knew that. Seemed like he
always had to talk to her, tell her things, and she had to tell him things. He even enjoyed dressing like a girl now just because she’d tell him when he looked nice. They’d laugh when something was funny and she made him feel good about himself. George was certain he’d marry her one day.
THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE AND KAREN ARE BY THEIR LOCKERS, BOOKS IN HAND, LOADING SOME IN TAKING OTHERS OUT. A COUPLE BOYS WALK BY AND STOP. KAREN TALKS TO THEM. THEN SHE WALKS OFF WITH THEM GIVING A SMALL WAVE
TO GEORGE. GEORGE WATCHES. HE IS ALONE. A BOY COMES TO HIS LOCKER. THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER BRIEFLY. GEORGE DROPS A BOOK. THE BOY PICKS IT UP AND HANDS IT TO HIM. THE TWO TALK. IT IS ANIMATED. THEY WALK OFF TOGETHER. THE SCREEN DARKENS]
So George finally found another boy he could talk to, somebody he could joke, kid around and laugh with. After school, Mike walked part way home with him. They joked and laughed. George felt like he wanted to skip the rest of the way home.
Still something funny and very disturbing happened when once their eyes met. It was like they got silent, a deep within silent. It was weird. George knew something was wrong really wrong, and he was scared.
He thought of Mike all the time, dreamed dreams of Mike. Sometimes even of Mike touching him. At school he’d catch himself writing the name Mike on his notebooks, making the name in big fancy letters that he filled in or drew a heart around and an arrow piercing. When he’d hear somebody approach, he quickly closed the book.
[SILHOUETTED IS GEORGE AT HIS DESK DROOLING IN HIS NOTEBOOK. ANOTHER PERSON COMES AND GEORGE CLOSES THE BOOK AND COVERS UP HIS HANDIWORK]
At home, his mother said he was acting funny. She wanted to know if something was wrong at school. He said no, everything was fine.
[THE LOCKER SCENE AGAIN. THEY ACT OUT WHAT THE NARRATOR SAYS]
Mike asked George to go to the homecoming dance. It was what all the girls were talking about. Karen was asked by a boy name Bud, and Janie by Kevin, Renee by Steven. But, George? How could he go to the dance with another boy? How could he dance with him? He told Mike he’d have to think about it.
[MIKE TURNS AND WALKS AWAY. GEORGE TAKES A STEP AND REACHES OUT. MIKE TURNS]
George went home and asked his mother if they could buy a dress for the homecoming dance. It was as if he bought her a new car. Her face that seemed always to be worried become bright was a big smile. She was delighted. And she hugged him. Then, of course, she called aunt Lorraine to talk about what kind of dress he should be wearing.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE AND HIS MOTHER ARE OUT SHOPPING LOOKING AT DRESSES, PUTTING THEM UP TO GEORGE, HOLDING THEM OUT AND TURNING THEIR HEADS]
George put on dresses like a hungry boy eating cookies. He stood before the mirror, turned this way and that, posed like a woman, he admired and smiled at himself. His mother pulled the material this way and that to fit it over his hips and then she’d stand back to get a long look at him. Finally they made up their mind. They turned the price tag around and decided the one before was just as nice.
[THE SCREEN DARKENS AND THEN LIGHTENS WITH GEORGE SITTING AT A TABLE LOOKING INTO A MIRROR. HE IS APPLYING LIPSTICK, SMACKING THEM TOGETHER TO MAKE IT EVEN. HE DOES HIS EYES AND PUTS ON EAR RINGS]
You can see what happened. George enjoyed this. He looked at himself before the mirror, posed and turned to see himself this way and that. Even now he went to school with make up and jewelry. And when he’d get home, he’d wonder at how strange he was acting. It was fun and exciting. His mom and dad weren’t fighting anymore. They just kept talking when he come in the room.
[THE SCREEN LIGHTENS. GEORGE IN HIS DRESS AND MIKE ARE DANCING AT THE HOMECOMING DANCE.]
He told himself he’d only do it once. It would be over after this one time. Still as the night progress and the waltzes filled the air, he wanted to be close, to touch and press against Mike. And then, after the dance and at his doorstep something happened.
[ON THE DOOR STEP. THEY SAY GOODNIGHT. THEY HOLD HANDS AND THEN THEY KISS. GEORGE PUTS HIS HAND TO HIS MOUTH, BACKS AWAY AND THEN OPENS THE DOOR AND GOES IN LEAVNG MIKE STARING AFTER]
George told himself no. It wouldn’t happen again. But there was other dances, the prom in the spring, graduation and then came a summer of picnics, swimming, pow-wows, outdoor movies and nights that always ended the same way
[THE TWO SILHOUETTES COME TOGETHER. AND THEY KISS. THE LIGHT DIMS SLOWLY ON THIS]
[GEORGE, THE ONE ON STAGE, LIFTS HIS HEAD]
I have to tell him. I can’t lie to him forever.
Brenda, what’s the matter? Why’d you call me? Something happen?
We have to talk.
Talk? Just talk? Brenda, I just started this job. I haven’t been there two weeks now. I can’t tell them I got to go because my girlfriend called. I had to say I was sick. What is it? We can talk anytime.
I’m sorry. I know we can talk anytime. I always mean to. I tell myself: this time I’m going to tell him. I can’t let him go on like this, not knowing. But then we do something, go to the movie, meet friends, you know, and it too late all ready. So, I
thought if I called you… If I called you, I’d have to tell you.
Tell me what?
It’s not easy, Mike. My real name is George. Mike, I’m really a man. There. I said it. You know.
You called me up, got me off the job, just to joke? I better get back. Gezz, Brenda.
[HE TURNS TO WALK AWAY. GEORGE STOPS HIM. HE TURNS]
Mike, I’m serious. I am a man.
[THEIR EYES MEET AND THEY STARE AT EACH OTHER. A FEW MOMENT PASSES]
You are serious. You’re a man? You’re likeme? I mean even though you got these here.
[HE MOTIONS WITH HIS HANDS MAKING MOUNDS OVER HIS CHEST, AND THEN PUMPS HIS HANDS DOWN A COUPLE TIMES AT HIS GROIN]
And nothing there.
Gezz. Brenda. I can’t believe it. I can’t. that means…
But you didn’t know.
I’ve been kissing another man! I feel like I should be wiping my mouth. Why didn’t you tell me? Why? Kissing another man. Brenda….George…I’m not that way. I’m not. No.
I know you’re not. You couldn’t have known. How could you have known? I look just like a woman. I even act like one now. It’s all my fault. I should have said. I should have told you when you first asked me to the homecoming dance. I should have said before we kissed, before all our loving.…. But I let it go, just let it go. I’ll tell him next time. And then next time comes and I feel so wonderful with you. I’m so much in love. And then I know it’s not right. Not for you it isn’t.
I have to go. I need to … I don’t know. I don’t. I need to get away. …to think. I’m not that way. I’m not. No. I like girls. I do, I do. I know I do.
[HE STARTS WALKING OFF STAGE]
Mike, I’m sorry. It’s never been easy for me. Ever since my Uncle Teddy gave me that cowboy hat, I’ve known I was really a boy. And then I loved him so and wanted to kiss him. I should have known right then I was gay.
[GEORGE WATCHED MIKE AS HE IS ABOUT TO EXIT. MIKE SLOWS AND STOPS. HE PUTS HIS HAND TO HIS HEAD AND THEN HE TURNS]
What, what’s the matter? You’re pale.
I know. I feel pale. Real pale…it just hit me, Bren… it just hit me. [HE COMEs CLOSE AND TOUCHES GEORGE]
Brenda. I got to be that way too. [MIKE SWALLOWS HARD] I have to. I’ve kissed girls: pretty girls like Emma Lovelace. I thought I was in love with her. But it didn’t feel like it did with you. Never. Something wonderful happened inside of me. And when I’m with you, I am happy, so glad just to be talking, laughing and doing what we do. I love you Brenda….. I mean
Ge…Geo.. . I can’t get myself to say your real name. You’re a man. And so I know I have to be …. don’t know how it could be. But I’m…I’m the same as you. I can’t believe it. I can’t. But I have to be.
Have to be?
Yes, I have to be… the same as you.
I never thought. But, I suppose. Yes, you would have to be, wouldn’t you? I mean you would have known I was a man if you weren’t that way. You would have been repulsed, pushed me away and spit the kiss from your lips.
Yes, that’s what I mean. I should have been repulsed. But I wasn’t. I was just the opposite. But…you know…Bren, I mean George, George, we could just go on, couldn’t we? Do you think we could? Nobody would know. They wouldn’t. I mean, you do look just like woman, and I could just keep calling you Brenda…and…
And that would be wonderful. Oh Mike.
[THEY HUG AND THEN WITH THEIR ARMS ABOUT EACH OTHER THEY WALK OFF STAGE]
Mike: “You know. We could even get married.” George: “And I could become a mother. You a dad. Nobody would ever know then”, Mike: “That’s right, they wouldn’t would they?”
[HE STEPS TO THE CENTER OF THE STAGE AS HE WATCHES THEM LEAVE, HE SMILES, STRUGGES AND THROWS OUT HIS ARMS]
It looks like things worked out for George after all.