Excerpt of Amici Recast
From the beginning
(PLAYWRIGHT sits at a computer, composing. As she writes, she says aloud what she is writing, may use a different “voice” for each character. Notes: When “ACTOR” follows the name, the actor speaks, not the PLAYWRIGHT. “Stops” means she stops typing and thinks; we hear her thoughts aloud. “Resumes” means she is typing again. Characters may sit beside the playwright or move around. Howard enters first, wearing khakis and a white undershirt. As she types each costume change, characters start to put on each item, then quickly change it, trying to keep up. Parenthetical remarks in Roman are stage directions playwright types and speaks. Parenthetical remarks in italics are regular stage directions the characters in this play follow.)
(Types.) (Howard sits waiting at a table at Amici Trattoria, a small family-owned restaurant.) (HOWARD ACTOR enters.) (He wears a plain white dress shirt and khakis.) (Stops.) No. (Types.) (He wears a plain blue dress shirt with a black tie. A stripped tie.) (Stops.) Overkill. Samantha wouldn’t like that. (Resumes.)(He wears jeans.) (HOWARD ACTOR stares apprehensively at his khakis.) (Stops.) Too casual. (Resumes.)(Howard wears khakis and a short-sleeve, stripped shirt open at the neck.) (Stops.) Perfect.
(Resumes.) (Sam arrives at the restaurant door and enters.) (SAM ACTOR enters.) (She wears black leggings and a save-the-environment t-shirt.) (Stops.) Nope. Politically correct, but not pretty. She wants to look pretty. (Resumes.) (SAM ACTOR looks mortified but changes her top.) (She wears a silky, hip-length blouse. Her outfit is fetching, demurely low-cut, but not as revealing as she’d like.) (Stops.) I like that. Demurely low-cut. Perfect.
(To SAM ACTOR.) Speaking of overkill. This is a play, not a short story. Her stage directions are a bit overblown, don’t you think?
I like it. Don’t interrupt.
(Resumes.) (Opening the door, she sees Howard and smiles. Howard stands and pulls out her chair. She doesn’t notice and sits.)