Nuns by Robert Luxford

This Play is the copyright of the Author and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author’s prior consent

      We open on a bare stage. Three nuns enter looking very nervous. They
      are looking around as if someone is looking for them or they expect to
      be found.
      SISTER CATHRINE::Can you see anyone ?
      SISTER ROZZA: No. You ?
      SISTER BERNADETTE: All clear.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Thank god, I thought weíd never get away.
      SISTER ROZZA: Yeah
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Cigarette ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Thanks .
      SISTER ROZZA:  Cheers.
      BERNADETTE - looks for her cigarettes.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Oh dear !
      SISTER ROZZA: What ?
      SISTER BERNADETTE: I think I left them inside.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Tell me youíre joking.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Sorry, Do you have any idea what I go through to get
      us here.     
      SISTER ROZZA: Calm down.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Calm down. Calm down ! I havenít had a cigarette
      SISTER ROZZA: Sister relax.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Iíll go back inside and get them.
      SISTER ROZZA: You canít. If mother superior sees you sheíll make
      you do dishes.
      SISTER CATHRINE: And were stuck out here with nothing.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Itís okay. Look.
      BERNADETTE takes out half a cigarette.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Give me that. Did you bring the lighter ?
      SISTER ROZZA: Of course.
      SISTER ROZZA: takes out a lighter and tries to light the cigarette
      but it doesnít work.
      SISTER ROZZA: (CONTíD) Itís not working.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Keep trying.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Give it to me.
      BERNADETTE tries it. Still doesnít work.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: (CONTíD)I think itís out of fluid.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Itís a disposable.     
      SISTER CATHRINE: Disposable ! You bought a disposable lighter ? What
      good is that ? Itís not as if we can go out and buy lighters whenever we want, is it ?
      SISTER ROZZA: Canít exactly go out and get lighter fluid either .
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Wait nearly got it.
      They try again and get a small flame. SISTER CATHRINE: puffs away
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Oh yes, Oh yes, Oh God. That is better then sex.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Pardon ?
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  How do you know itís better then sex ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Uumm…well think about it you can suck on a
      cigarette and….
      SISTER BERNADETTE: puts her hands over her ears.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Thank you I donít need to hear any more.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Actually cigarettes are better then men.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I donít need to hear this.
      SISTER ROZZA:  They donít leave the toilet seat up for one.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  They donít hog the sheets
      SISTER ROZZA:They donít care what you look like naked.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  You two need to go to confession.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  A cigarette is always long and hard.
      She looks at the half smoked cigarette.     
      SISTER CATHRINE: (CONTíD) Most of the time.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  You two have a very unhealthy preoccupation with
      SISTER ROZZA:  Sister donít be such a fuddy duddy.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Weíre just having a little fun.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I suppose. Itís not as if you would really do
      anything… like that.
      Cathrine & Kimberly shoot each other a knowing look. BERNADETTE:
      catches it.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Tell me you havenít..
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Alright. We wonít tell you.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: gasps and does the sign of the cross.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Mother Mary and Joseph.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Actually Brother Michael if you must know.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  I thought he was gay.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Bi actually.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  This is sinful. I must report this to mother
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Whoa ! Hang on a second.
      SISTER ROZZA:  If you say anything she will ask exactly how you found
      out. Which means you will have to tell aboutour little sessions together.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I am willing to suffer the consequences of my
      actions. And I will do penance accordingly.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  And the fact you also found out about her and
      Father Calligan.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  What do you mean ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Lets just say their shoes share the same space
      under the bed.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  No, you are lying.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  I wouldnít lie. Itís a sin.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Then how do you know ?
      SISTER ROZZA:  Weíve seen the video.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  How could there be a video unless someone
      SISTER ROZZA:  Brother Samuelson. For a bottle of scotch no less.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  A very good bottle of scotch.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Brother Samuelson!
      SISTER CATHRINE:  He likes to watch.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Very artistic with the lens.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Bit arty for my liking.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I donít believe any of this.     
      SISTER CATHRINE:  We can show you if you like.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  NO ! Please I really donítÖ...
      SISTER ROZZA:  And itís not just the Mother superior. Sex, drugs
      rock and roll They’re all into it.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Yep. Brother Edwardsí quite the head banger.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  This is wrong I need to report this.
      SISTER ROZZA:  To whom ?
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I..Iíll go to the Bishop.
      Kimberly and Cathrine burst into laughter.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: (CONTíD)  Whatís so funny ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Letís just say weíve also seen his private
      SISTER ROZZA:  And he looks very smart in leather.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Let me put it this way. You can do anything you
      SISTER ROZZA:  Provided your discreet and donít tell anybody.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Anything and I mean anything.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Except smoke.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  And why is that ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Well, for starters smoking is bad for you.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Itís also political.     
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Thatís ridiculous.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Itís like this Cigarettes are owned by big
      business. And even though they donít admit it, corporations influence
      government policy.
      SISTER ROZZA:  The government gets support from corporations during
      election time and even though they canít be seen to support corporations they
      canít win without them.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  And once theyíre in power the corporations
      exercise their influence. But the government still puts up the front to oppose
      cigarettes in order to keep the votes of the people.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  And what about the Medical association ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The medical association.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Donít get us started about them
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The medical community is funded by the Government
      and the corporations.
      SISTER ROZZA:  It needs the funding from both to stay in business. So
      even though it is seen to be against cigarettes it doesnít do a lot really.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  This has nothing to do with the church or what
      seems to be going on here.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Thatís were youíre wrong.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Even though Church and state are separate, theyíre
      not really.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The church and the government have been in bed
      together for a long time.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Each lends support to the other.     
      SISTER CATHRINE:  But everything needs to be seen to be above board.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Otherwise the people will get wind that something
      isnít right. And neither the government, the corporation or the
      church want that.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Which is why we are not allowed to smoke.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  They turn a blind eye to everything else except
      SISTER CATHRINE: (nods) Itís political and corporate poison.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  But itís discrimination.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Tell me about it.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: I mean we should have the right to choose for
      ourselves if we want to smoke.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  No argument there.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  We should stand up for our rights. We should
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Hold on a second sister.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Shout from he roof tops.
      SISTER ROZZA: What ? No ! No, shouting.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Come out of the closet. (yells) IíM A SMOKER AND
      IíM PROUD OF IT !
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Will you keep it down.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Mother superior will hear you.     
      Cathrine puts her hand over BERNADETTE:s mouth.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Be quiet dammit.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  We need to write up petitions, picket the bishops
      office. Burn huge cigarette effigies outside the Vatican.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Activism isnít the answer.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  No, we have to stand up for our rights.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Protesting doesnít work. People loose interest
      after the first few minutes of a rally.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Itís a headline one day and kitty litter the next.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  But smokers need a voice they have to be heard.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Itís not how things are done.
      SISTER ROZZA: Real change happens from within.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I donít understand.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The same things that keep corporations, governments
      and the church in power is the same tool that can be used to bring change.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Funding ?
      SISTER ROZZA:  Leverage.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  If you have leverage you have power.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  But we donít have any leverage.     
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Oh but we do.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Oh.(realizes) OH !
      SISTER CATHRINE:  When the time is right.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Soon we wonít have to hide behind the convent.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: But wonít we go to hell for this.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The devil is a business man.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Iím sure we can come to some arrangement.
      The cigarette butt is offered to SISTER BERNADETTE:.She takes it and
      gleefully drags on it.   
      SCENE 2
      Cathrine, is preening herself. At least as best she can considering
      her attire.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Another date with Brother Michael ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Actually, No. Brother Simon has asked me to assist
      him in preparing his art class.
      SISTER ROZZA:  (knowingly) Oh, really.
      Cathrine just grins. Clearly there is more to it.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I think itís very commendable.
      SISTER CATHRINE: Do you now ?
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  The importance of art in ones overall education
      is so often overlooked.  What sort of art will you be preparing ? Still lifeís perhaps ?
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Trust me there will be nothing still about it.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  I donít understand.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  This will be more an appreciation of the human
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Wonderful. Figure drawing can be very
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Stimulating, yes.
      BERNADETTE notices the looks and giggles Cathrine and Kimberly are
      passing back and forth.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Youíre not really helping Brother Simon with
      his drawings are you.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Of course I am. But what he will be drawing wonít
      be on display in the class.
      SISTER BERNADETTE: Thatís disgusting.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Oh, Bambi. I thought youíd learnt by now.
      Anything is fair game.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  So youíve said. Iím still adjusting to that.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Well donít sweat it. Just remember the
      SISTER BERNADETTE: The Ten commandments.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  The unwritten commandments.
      SISTER ROZZA:  Thou shalt do whatever thou wants provided thou
      doesnít get caught.
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Thou shalt do whatever it takes not to get caught.
      SISTER BERNADETTE:  Yes, but what if Brother Michael finds out….     
      SISTER CATHRINE:  Finally, and most importantly. THOU SHALT NOT
      SISTER ROZZA:  Violation of this last one can result in eternal
      SISTER CATHRINE: You got that. ?
      Oh yes. I understand perfectly.

[end of extract]

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