Anthony Maraini





Anthony is a Baltimore born playwright and screenwriter and director of Film and Stage. Published, "I GOT YOU, BABE." in the Smith and Kraus anthology, The Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2018 by Lawrence Harbison. "The Liberty Well" One Act Published by Drama Notebook. Anthony is a member of the Dramatist Guild of America, Writers Guild of Great Britain. He now lives Little Rock, Arkansas and when he can stay in Pimlico, London. MFA Theatre and Film Directing – California Institute of the Arts.His plays have been produced in NYC, London, Edinburgh, Los Angeles, Fair Fax VA, Chesterton IN, Little Rock AR.

Anthony was also lucky enough to be invited to speak at the Royal Court Theatre in London, as part of the Writer Guild of Great Britain's Olwen Waymark Theatre Encouragement Awards. Speaking a few words about his friend, London Actor Jon McKenna, whom he recommend for the honor.

EDUCATION MFA Theatre and Film Directing – California Institute of the Arts. Instructors:               Alexander Mackendrick, Lou Florimonte. Rudi Fehr, Jules Aaron, Robert Benedetti, and Lew Palter. Master Class 10-Minute Plays The Dramatist Guild Institute, Instructor Garry Garrison. 2018. Master Classes Playwriting The Kenyon Playwriting Conference, Instructors Steven Dietz. Diana Nneka Atuona, and Phillip Dawkins, 2017.

THEATRE THE MORNING CHAIR Winner: SWTP Playwrighting Competition, Austin, TX 2019. THE BEST 10-MINUTE PLAY, I GOT YOU, BABE. The 10x10x Infinity Stage Festival. Fair Fax, VA., 2018.  Honorable Mentions, CAMOUFLAGED NAILS. STAGE IT Festival, Bonita Springs CA, 2018.    Short Listed the British Theatre Challenge I GOT YOU, BABE. Sky Blue Theatre, London, 2017. Short List the Sustainable Practice Award THE ROOSTER REBELLION Edinburgh Fringe, 2016. 3rd place THE ROOSTER REBELLION, The London Film Awards Stage Play competition, 2016. 3rd place THE ROOSTER REBELLION, The Cannes Film Awards Stage Play competition, 2016.




FILM  Gold Remi DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, the 49th WorldFest International Film Festival 2016. The Maple Leaf Award DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, Best Short film Canada Film Awards 2016. Best Screenplay DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, NYC INDIE Film Awards 2016. Best Director DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, NYC INDIE Film Awards 2016. Best Short Film DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, NYC INDIE Film Awards 2016.                  Best Screenplay DON’T YOU FORGET ABOUT ME, the LA Shorts Film Awards 2015. Anthony also worked for years in Los Angeles for as a First Assistant Director in both films and commercial television.




PUBLICA TIONS "I got you, Babe." Published - Lawrence Harbison's Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2018.Winner Best Short Play  10x10xInfinity Short Play Festival 2018. Short List The British Theatre Challenge. "The Liberty Well" One Act Published by Drama Notebook.








SELECTED PLAYS -FULL LENGTH

The Moring Chair  - Drama Winner:  SWTP Playwrighting Competition, Austin, TX 2019.  - Chris Flower is removed as the co-anchor of a network morning show just before going on air. Sabastian the show’s producer has to hold internal office investigation trying to find out the truth about the accusations. With grey lines crossed becomes a case of he said she said, which leads to chaos during the breaks of the next morning’s show. Workshop -Southwest Theatre Productions 2019.

ANNE LUNA  - Anne Luna, a Hollywood starlet, whose career and life is spiraling out of control, she has just broken up with her boyfriend Ian, and the paparazzi, are all around her 24/7. It’s Halloween, and She has just struck a man dressed in a suit and a bunny helmet, with her car. Anne drags him into her house and finds out he has amnesia. She needs to keep him in her home and figure out who he is by the morning. With the help of her assistant, they figure out that the man she has hit real identity is Tres Harrison, a notorious paparazzi reporter. Now they have to figure out does he have amnesia or is he on the scoop of a lifetime.

Dearg-Due (Celtic Vampire Legend) - A Play with Music. Dearg-Due- A Celtic myth play, Shaun Clonegan, an American, learns from a visit to his grandfather’s deathbed, of a family curse. To break the curse, he must visit the village of his ancestors in County Waterford, Ireland. When he arrives at the town he learns more of Dearg- Due, a female Irish vampire, who’s unmarked grave he must find and pile stones upon before his dance with Dearg-Due runs out.

 The Rooster Rebellion - Drama - The story of Shell (Jon McKenna), the ex-history teacher who is now homeless and lives in an abandoned Aldwych ghost station deep in the underground of London. Reece-Anne (Augusta Woods) the student who runs away from her religious, zealous mother Mrs. Wheeler (Rowena Bentley) to take care of her teacher. They panhandle together in front of the National Gallery competing with Norris a homeless Veteran (Richard Oliver) for handouts. The Drayton Arms Theatre - July 2016 -  The Edinburgh Fringe Festival August - 2016 The Weekend Theatre, Little Rock, AR Sept 2019.








SELECTED PLAYS SHORTS/ ONE ACTS.




 I Got You Babe -  A dark comedy - A modern-day \"A Doll\'s House\" Fredric builds himself the perfect Android girlfriend, Leslie. Except for one thing, she keeps breaking up with him. The Manhattan Repertory Theatre - April 2017 * Winner Best Short Play 10x10xInfinity short play Festival 2018, Asher Wyndham: 11 Oct. 2017
What starts out as an cliche encounter turns into an unexpected break-up, one of the best I've read in a short play. The themes on relationships and what is said about love are delivered more effectively with the sci-fi spectacle. The pizza ordering, the repetition of re-booting, and the unusual setting for the action is memorable and a lot of fun. I recommend this play highly for college theatre classes (for study and performance) and professional theatres. Produce this play NOW!

The Whiz-Bang Watch - Drama - Black History Month -Marcus inherits a magical watch which allows him to travel back in time. Starting with Teagu, a slave in a Baltimore slave jail, Marcus Travels through time back to the present, meeting, Harriett Tubman, The Buffalo Soldiers, Bessie Coleman, The Tuskegee Airmen, Rosa Parks, a young John Lewis, and Trayvon Martin along his journey.

The Liberty Well -  Ghost Story - Emma falls down the shaft of an old New England Well. She soon finds out she is not alone in the well and she must find a way to liberate, Samuel Garrick, a ghost of a colonial boy, wrongfully cursed as a traitor and to live out eternity at the bottom of the Liberty Well. Publish in Drama Notebook's Script Library.

Teenage Ancestry - Dark Comedy - Phoenix Grandville, in his 50s’ is unexpectedly thrown into a prison holding cell where he is reunited with childhood friends and unlocks the mystery why they have been arrested.

Diana's Ark -  A dark comedy- Darcy, a twin-less twin, breaks into The City Zoo and with a knife holds a Panda Bear JIE, who is also twin-less, hostage. Her demand is that The City Zoo build a Noah’s Ark Memorial. The Manhattan Repertory Theatre- September 2017. Jordan Elizabeth Henry: 18 Nov. 2017
An imaginative short play with high stakes and beautiful imagery. How do you mourn the loss of someone you never met? How do you reconcile the life you have with the life you know could have been? I would love to see this play develop into a longer one-act piece -- Mariani has created characters with depth and history that I would love to see more of.

Camouflaged Nails - Drama. Lisa is one of the thousands of female veterans who live couch surfing or in their cars on the streets. Camouflaging the fact that they are homeless. Lisa has to move her car for the cities Memorial Day Parade. Matthew Weaver: 3 Aug. 2017
Had the pleasure of reading this as part of the Trade a Play Tuesday program. Mariani shines a light on several important issues - lack of respect for veterans and the homeless - and on an all-too prevalent hypocrisy in society. I can see this being popular with theaters and festivals, as it ends with a little justice and quite a lot of heart.

The Hole In the Wall - Short Play- Maria sits on Donald Trumps Wall hoping to see her son who is 400 miles away but instead finds a young Space Alien in the desert who is mourning the loss of his mother.

Stand? -  Bobby Sears and Vic Kavanaugh are Professional football players, who are giving the ultimatum by the teams Head Coach, to stand during the National Anthem. Bobby and Vic are then forced to decide whether to stand or kneel during the playing of the anthem.

Transylvania Travel Ban-  A dark comedy -Dracula, Renfield, Lucy Westenra Frankenstein and Van Helsing fly into the Atlanta Airport on Halloween night. Little did they know the President issued a travel ban of people from Transylvania while they were in mid-flight

On Account  - ROMCOM  Mike unexpectedly shows up at Louise's house with his newly purchased A Green 1968 390 V8 Ford Mustang fastback. She sees the car and his spur of the moment purchase as a sign that he wants his freedom and wants to break up their romance. Little does she know that could be the furthest thing from the truth. This is a cute little Romantic Comedy that I wrote with the idea for Valentine’s Day Festival submissions.

The Pit -  Drama - Chris, a town sheriff with amnesia since his youth, has called a meeting with his long-time friend Rick, at their childhood fort, a pit in an abandoned lot. They are there to solve the cold case of a missing neighborhood boy whose body has just been discovered, decades later.   Jordan Elizabeth Henry: 23 Apr. 2018  A creepy, inventive short play that turns the ideas of -victim- and -victor- on their heads. Mariani makes strong thematic and staging choices which propel the story forward and complicate the characters in very interesting ways. THE PIT would be a great addition to a short play festival, particularly one that focuses on mysteries and/or horror. I'd love to see this expanded into a longer one-act as well!

Film work: Award Winning Short-"Don't You Forget About Me" World-renowned journalist and political cartoonist who is killed by ISIS now haunts his home until his untold life story it published. Screened at: The London Shows International Film Festival (London, United Kingdom), LA Shorts Awards, (Los Angeles, CA, United States), Barcelona Planet Film Festival. (Barcelona, Spain),I Filmmaker Independent Film Festival (Marbella, Spain),Miami Independent Film Festival (Miami, FL, United States),NYC Indie Film Awards (New York City, NY, United States), Roma Cinema DOC (Rome, Italy),Access Code Short Film Festival (Bangalore, India), Ozark Shorts (Lamar, MO, Untied States), The 16th Ozark Foothills Film Fest (Batesville, AR, United States), Texas Ultimate Shorts (Fort Worth, TX, United States), Canada International Film Festival (Vancouver, BC, Canada), L-Dub Film Festival (Lake Worth, FL, Untied States), Crimson Screen Horror Film Fest (Charleston, SC, Untied States)The Best Shorts Competition (La Jolla, CA United States), Colossus Film Festival (Rodos, Greece), Little Rock Picture Show, (Little Rock, AR, Untied States), The Swedish International Film Festival (Stockholm, Sweden), Venice Film week (Venice, Italy)Blow-up Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival (Chicago, IL, Untied States), Afterlife Paranormal Film Festival (Gettysburg, PA, United States)

Awards: 2016 Remi Winner Best Suspense Thriller Houston WorldFest                                   2016 Winner Best Screenplay LA Shorts Awards                                                                             2016 Best Screenplay NYC Indie Film Awards                                                                                  2016 Best Short Film Canada Film Festival 2016. 

A Lulla By In Birdland - Romantic Comedy - Feature Film.  Tabitha Cornwall a BBC Radio reporter travels to America to find \"What\'s going to make America Great Again.\" She gets stranded in a small southern town that is being terrorized by a boy who controls a flock of ducks. She soon falls in love with the boy’s uncle who is the town drunk.

I Got You, Babe - TV Pilot -(Comedy): Fredric a divorced deadbeat Dad who hides from the world to build his perfect android girlfriend Leslie. However, he never programmed her to love him. She lives him to start a new life, he searches with no luck. Then when responding to a parent-teacher meeting Fredric discovers Leslie has become Lexi his son’s new teacher. She makes him attend weekly meetings to explain how he has used the week to open up to new experiences in the world.

Reading the World - TV Pilot: Ray is a bookmobile man who is on a daytime work release program from the LA County prison as assistant to Walter a bookmobile man. Ray befriends Bill, a highly functioning autistic boy who lives with his racist older brother Dex.  Walter is murdered and Ray is used as bate by the police to find the killer.

 



Overseas



None at the moment.

"I got you, Babe." Published - Lawrence Harbison's Best Ten-Minute Plays of 2018. Smith and Kraus, inc.

"The Liberty Well" One Act Published by Drama Notebook.

Screenplays: Don't you forget about me, Reading the world, Lulla by in Birdland, The Rooster Rebellion. 




 TV Pilots: I Got You Babe, The Rooster Rebellion, Reading The World.




Animation: "The Night Before A Hobbit Christmas."

Poems: She DancesLondon Lost, The Wasteman.

Childrens writing, Comedy, Film, Radio, Television, Theatre

ACT II

Scene 1

The lights fade-up on two downstage bar stools.  Chris Flowers,  sitting on                  one of the seats in a pool of light, nervously sipping a double scotch, as he sits and waits for someone to arrive.  He can hear the sound of the morning traffic jam outside the bar. He takes another sip of his drink when the street sounds momentary grow louder, representing someone, swinging a door open and entering from the road.  Sebastian  Spector, dress in a long trench coat walks over and give a nod to Chrs.

SEBASTIAN

Chris.

CHRIS FLOWERS

Sabastian, thank you for coming.

Sebastian sits down on the stool next to   Chris.

CHRIS FLOWERS

Want a drink?

Sebastian shakes his head no.

SEBASTIAN

Under the circumstances, I better not.

CHRIS FLOWERS

Well, Under the circumstances, I’m having a double.

Sebastian looks at his watch.

SEBASTIAN

Chris, I don’t have much time. I came here to find out the truth.

CHRIS FLOWERS

You, mean did I do it?

SEBASTIAN

That's precisely what I mean.

CHRIS FLOWERS

You have known me for years, Sebastian, what do you think?

SEBASTIAN

What I think is that my ass is on the line here, just like yours. Now I need you to tell me the truth. Did you do it?

CHRIS FLOWERS

It’s complicated Sebastian.

SEBASTIAN

These things usually are. Chris. I need to know. Did you force yourself on that girl?

CHRIS FLOWERS

No.

Sebastian pause and looks deep into Chris’s eyes to see if he is telling the   truth.

SEBASTIAN

That's all I need to know. I better be getting back to the booth; the show starts in ten minutes.

CHRIS FLOWERS

Sabastian, thank you.

SEBASTIAN

In the old days, we would have just fired her. Now, well now we have all this Me-too crap, to worry about.

CHRIS FLOWERS

In the old days, she would not have been an associate producer.

SEBASTIAN

Ture.

Sebastian gets up from his stool.

SEBASTIAN

Sit by your phone Chris and wait for my call.

Chris rises from his stool and shakes Sebastian’s hand.

CHRIS FLOWERS

Thanks, for sticking your neck out for me.

Sebastian nods and starts to exit but stops and turns back towards Chris.

SEBASTIAN

And Chris lay off the sauce, I need you sober today.

Sebastian turns back, and leaves and the sound of the street traffic grows louder for a moment as he exits. Chris sits back down and slams down his drink.  He then raises his hand like he is getting the bartenders attention.

CHRIS FLOWERS

I’ll have another double.

Both the sound of the traffic and the lights fade together into silence and black.

ACT II

Scene 2

The lights Pop-up on the end of the morning broadcast. Kelly Bryant is reading a network statement, and Janel has her head down with a disconcerting frown on her face. An empty chair sits between the two women.

KELLY BRYANT

Today’s final note. I think we need to address the elephant in the room. Chris’s chair has been emptied today for a reason. It’s with troubling thoughts Imust report that our colleague has been temporarily relieved of his duties pending an internal investigation over accusations of inappropriate behavior in the workplace. All of us here on the morning show are shocked and deeply saddened by this event. Chris has dedicated his life to this network. We can only hope that these allegations are falseand that Chris can return to work soon. However, let me be clear, this is a problem in our society that needs fixing, and we can't ignore or condone the charges brought against Chris. Personally, I've been distraught this morning. Chris has been a mentor to me, and I have to say that in all my time working with Chris, he has never misbehavedwith me or others around me. However, as we have seen in the past few weeks, these events are happening in workplaces everywhere, and we should not pass judgment until we have all the facts. (Pause) Have a good day.

The lights soften. Red light turns off.

THE DIRECTOR (V.O. from the booth.)

And we’re out!

KELLY BRYANT

Whose fucking idea was it to spring this shit on us right before we’re on air?

There is a small thud from a hand covering an open microphone in the control booth and whispering.

THE DIRECTOR (V.O. from the booth.)

That would be a Sebastian call, Kelly.

Kelly bursts from her anchor chair, sending her news scripts into the air. She points up to the booth.

KELLY BRYANT

Couldn’t you have just told us he was sick, then told us the truth after the show?

There is another thud from a hand covering the microphone, however this time, Sebastian, the show’s producer replies.

SEBASTIAN (V.O. from the booth.)

Kelly, the story was breaking. It already hit the other networks; I had no choice.

KELLY BRYANT

That’s bullshit! You could have told us when you found out!

Kelly storms into her office, slamming her door and then shutting her blinds.

JANEL EDWARDS

It didn’t bother me, Sebastian.

The sound of the microphone being turned off. Eric West enters.

JANEL EDWARDS

Eric.

ERIC WEST

Hey Janel. Crazy day.

JANEL EDWARDS

Have you seen Sidney?

ERIC WEST                                                         She has been in her office since the news broke.

JANEL EDWARDS

God, she must be heartbroken. She idolized him.

ERIC WEST

Didn’t we all.

JANEL EDWARDS

How are you holding up?

ERIC WEST

I’m just kind of still in shock over all this, Chris doing that to Sid. Ijust feel violated, too.

JANEL EDWARDS

Well, you better snap out of it. They are not going to put three women at this desk tomorrow. So, you better get your shit together, Eric. It’s your time to shine.

ERIC WEST

Thanks, Janel.

Eric goes back to work in his office. From the other side of the stage, another office door opens. Sidney slowly checks to see if the studio has emptied out yet. Janel, who is fixing her makeup in her compact, notices her in her mirror.

JANEL EDWARDS

Sidney. (Pause) Are you okay?

Sidney sheepishly melts backward into her office and shuts her door. Janel gets up, walks over, and knocks on her door.

JANEL EDWARDS

Sidney? (Pause) Come out here, baby, let Janel make it better. Sidney?

She knocks on the door again but gets no response, so Janel walks back to her desk to gather her things. Then, the door opens again, and Sidney comes out of her office.

SIDNEY

Thanks, Janel.

Janel turns and opens her arms wide to receive a hug from Sidney.

JANEL EDWARDS

“Turn your wounds into wisdom," Sidney. Now get some love from Janel!

Sidney, like a child forced to do something she hates, creeps into Janel’s arms and is smothered with a hug.

JANEL EDWARDS

Seriously, Sidney. Are you okay?

SIDNEY

Yeah, just embarrassed.

JANEL EDWARDS

Honey, you did nothing wrong. He is the one that should be embarrassed and ashamed.

SIDNEY

Thanks.

JANEL EDWARDS

You should just go home for the day. Get out of here.

SIDNEY

I can’t.

JANEL EDWARDS

Just do it.

SIDNEY

Have you checked your email?

JANEL EDWARDS

No.

SIDNEY

HR wants us all to stay around for some interviews today.

JANEL EDWARDS

Oh,shit. Well, they better not drag their asses today. I got Hamilton tonight.

SIDNEY

Sebastian is doing the interviews himself.

JANEL EDWARDS

Fuck. He treats Chris like a son.

SIDNEY

Yeah, fuck.

Sidney starts to walk across the newsroom to the crafts service table for some coffee when Eric sees her from his office and joins her.

ERIC WEST

Hey.

SIDNEY

Hey.

ERIC WEST

Look, Sid, I'm sorry.

SIDNEY

Eric, I just don’t want to talk about it for a while.

ERIC WEST

I understand. I just wanted you to know that I’m on your side.

SIDNEY

Side?

ERIC WEST

Yeah, I believe you.

SIDNEY

What’s not to believe?

ERIC WEST

Well, come on, we’re journalists. The story.

SIDNEY

This is not about sides, Eric.

ERIC WEST

Then why the HR thing?

SIDNEY

It’s HR protocol.

 

ERIC WEST

Protocol, like getting to the truth.

 

SIDNEY

Yes.

 

ERIC WEST

Then like I said. I believe you, Sid.

 

SIDNEY

Jesus Christ, Eric, just leave me alone, okay!

 

Sebastian has just entered the newsroom to witness the outburst.

SEBASTIAN

Is everything okay over there?

 

SIDNEY

Sebastian, yes. Everything is okay. I will be in my office when you’re ready to speak with me.

 

She exits to her office. Eric picks up a donut and eats it.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Hello Sebastian.

 

SEBASTIAN

Yes, Janel, I’ll get you out in time for tonight’s gala. Where is Kelly?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Not sure, Sebastian.

 

He marches over and knocks on her door. Then he enters, shutting the door behind him.

 

ERIC WEST

Jesus, Sebastian.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

He is not so bad.

 

ERIC WEST

Have you seen some of his old interviews? Hell, he could get the Pope to confess to boiling babies in toxic waste if he wanted to.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

You’re sick.

 

ERIC WEST

I’m just saying there is a reason they call him Se-bastard.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

What are you worried about?

 

ERIC WEST

What?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

This is about Sidney and Chris, not you. If anything, you should have a big fucking smile on your face.

 

ERIC WEST

Yeah, I know I’ll be in the chair in the morning.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Damn, Eric, think big picture. You got them by their balls. That means a new contract.

 

ERIC WEST

Yeah, I got them by the balls.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

If I were you, I would go right into your office and order the desk chair you have been bitching about.

 

ERIC WEST

Yeah, you’re right Janel. Thanks.

 

Eric exits to his office and then draws his blinds. Kelly’s office doors open, and she and Sebastian walk over and knock on Sidney’s door. Sidney opens the door and lets them in, before shutting the door Sebastian calls back to Janel.

 

SEBASTIAN

Janel, can you do me a favor have Eric wait out here with you.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Sure thing, Sebastian.

 

SEBASTIAN

Thank you.

 

Sebastian shut the door. Janel sits and listens but hears nothing. She then strolls over and knocks on Eric's doors, and he opens it.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

(Imitating a slave girl voice.)

Isa has been sent to fetch you to the killing field.

 

ERIC WEST

What?

 

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Sebastian wants us to wait out here for him.

 

Sidney’s door opens, and Kelly, Sebastian, and Sydney enter the newsroom, with Sebastian in the lead.

 

SEBASTIAN

Can everyone gather in here for a minute?

 

Eric and Janel move closer.

 

SEBASTIAN

First off, I have to thank you in advance for your professionalism for what is about to happen today. Look I know this is going to be hard, that’s why I asked if we could keep this first round of interviews among our sleeve, as one family.

 

The room grumbles a little.

 

SEBASTIAN

Look, I don’t think we should sit down in one group, but I need to know what has been going on here. Now, HR won’t let me talk to each of you alone. So, I’m going to meet with you in pairs with the three of us fulling allowed to speak freely about the topic at issue. I know you see me as this old man from the past, a journalist relic dead but just not buried. This is true; I know my days are numbers here at the network. However, I'm still in charge here. I'm in charge. I did in that position by treating people like shit. (Pause) Now, I would like everyone but Eric and Janel to return to your offices.

 

They follow his orders and disperse to their offices.

 

ACT II

Scene 3

 

Janel and Eric sit in the anchor chairs, and Sebastian sits across for them, at the round News table.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

So, you want me to go first, Sebastian?

 

SEBASTIAN

Acutely I was planning on starting with Eric.

 

Eric sits up at in his chair.

 

SEBASTIAN

Eric, you have been out the network for what looks like a year now.

 

ERIC WEST

Yes, sir. I’ve been contributing here on the morning show for the past six.

 

SEBASTIAN

Yes, I'm aware of that. You have worked here with Chris enough for the last few months for me to ask you these questions. I want you to be honest, forthcoming if you have seen anything that you might think was behavior not befitting of this workplace. Understood?

 

ERIC WEST

Yes, Sir.

 

SEBASTIAN

Well?

 

ERIC WEST

Well, I have worked a lot with both Chris and Sidney on their projects. They seemed to me to have a healthy workplace relationship.

 

SEBASTIAN

Relationship?

 

ERIC WEST

I’m sorry, I’m they seem to just co-workers.

 

SEBASTIAN

So, the thought never crossed your mind that Chris’s actions were in inappropriate?

 

ERIC WEST

Well, I guess the craft service table.

 

SEBASTIAN

What?

 

ERIC WEST

The Craft Service table, it’s right outside of my office window. I like to check out and see what people are eating off it.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did something happenat the craft services table?

 

ERIC WEST

One time at the table I saw Chris…well, I saw Chris kind of grab Sidney’s hand and gently caress it. She pulled away. Then he slid down closer, and she left the table.

 

SEBASTIAN

When was this?

 

ERIC WEST

About a week ago, I think.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you see this ever happen again?

 

ERIC WEST

No, it was just that once. I thought it very weird at the time, but now I think I understand.

 

SEBASTIAN

Let me make this clear Eric. You are not to pass judgment here. I only want the truth in what you saw. The Network will be the one that passes judgment, Understand?

 

ERIC WEST

Yes, sir.

 

SEBASTIAN

Good, then if you have not seen anything else, we will move on. Eric, and Janel you may go to your offices.

 

JANEL EDWARDS

I’m I not next?

 

SEBASTIAN

No.

 

Sebastian gets up and knocks on Kelly Bryant’s door, she Answers.

 

SEBASTIAN

Have a seat, Kelly.

 

Sebastian then Knocks on Sidney’s door, and she opens it.

 

SEBASTIAN

Sidney, we’re ready, would you also have a seat?

 

The two women sit opposite of each other leaving an empty chair between them for Sebastian.

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

Scene 4

Sebastian sits down between the two women.

 

SEBASTIAN

This interview is going to be with Kelly, Sidney; you are here as a witness and are not to interject into the conversation. Kelly, I know this has been a hard day for you. You have known Chris for how long now?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Twenty-two years.

 

SEBASTIAN

God, has it been that long. I forgot you two knew each other back at the other network.

 

KELLY BRYANT

Yes, that's how we first met. I was his assistant at first. He was my mentor. I learned a lot from him back then. Tricks of the trade Chris called them. Things that other male newsmen were not willing to share to up and coming female reporters.

 

SEBASTIAN

So, Chris was a very giving mentor. Did he ever step over the line with you back then?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Step over the line?

 

SEBASTIAN

Inappropriate behavior?

 

KELLY BRYANT

No, Never. In fact, he would warm me who to watch out for. Therewere no social media back then. Things were a lot looser around that newsroom. He warned me who to watch out for when I was editing late at night.

 

SEBASTIAN

Why do you think he did that?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Chrisis a caring person. He wears his heart on his sleeve sometimes. Never having any children, I just think he had a soft spot of me.

 

SEBASTIAN

You mean he was more than just a mentor?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Yes, I think he felt like he was a father to me.

 

SEBASTIAN

And how did you feel about that?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Well, I already have a father.

 

 

SEBASTIAN

When he came to our network did you two stays in touch?

 

KELLY BRYANT

No, you know how that is. Once you go to work for a competitor, then you become that competitor.

 

SEBASTIAN

When you came here how did Chris great you?

 

KELLY BRYANT

He was wonderful from day one, that’s all I  really can say.

 

SEBASTIAN

Have you ever noticed any inappropriate work behavior with Chris?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Chris, no. I've seen him flirt with some of our guests. However, he is an Older single man is, and I guess he is afforded that from time to time.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did any guest every complain?

 

KELLY BRYANT

On the contrary like most of us, they found Chris quit charming.

 

SEBASTIAN

Is there anything else you noticed about Chris’s behavior?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Sebastian, likeyou, said I'd known him for a long time. That's why this is all such a shock to me. I trust your judgment on the matter, but It makes me uncomfortable, the way this has been handled, so far.

 

SEBASTIAN

Well, Kelly, You have my word things will be handled properly from now on, and I will get to the heart of the matter. That I can promise you.Kelly will you return to your office and Sidney; please stay.

 

Kelly Gets up and walks to her office and shuts her door while Sebastian gets up and walks over to Eric's and knocks on his door.

 

ACT II

Scene 5

Eric comes out into the newsroom.

 

SEBASTIAN

Eric will you have a seat with Sidney. Sidney, would you like some water?

 

SIDNEY

Yes, please.

 

Sebastiangrabs two bottles of water from the craft service table. Then walks over and sits between Eric and Sidney and hands her a bottle of water. He then removes the cap and takes a sip of the other bottle.

 

SEBASTIAN

This is Sidney’s interview. Eric knows the ground rules; However, I will warn him again. This is a very private matter. Since Sidney is the accuser here, I want to make that entirelyclear. Nobody is passing judgment. Only the Network will do that.

 

ERIC

Yes, sir.

 

SEBASTIAN

Sidney, just how long have you been with The Morning Show?

 

SIDNEY

I got here a year and a half ago.

 

SEBASTIAN

And during the past year, you primarily worked with Chris?

 

SIDNEY

Yes, as an associate producer, I worked directly with Chris developing the daily lineup of stories.

 

SEBASTIAN

So, you weren’t working exclusively on his work with him?

 

SIDNEY

No, it was mostly just divvying up the day’s top stories. He would pick which stories he wanted to cover and then assign the others to Kelly or Janel.

 

SEBASTIAN

Alone?

 

SIDNEY

We worked in his office, yes.

 

SEBASTIAN

Was this where the advances first started?

 

SIDNEY

No.

 

SEBASTIAN

No? Then when did you first feel uncomfortable with Chris?

 

SIDNEY

It's embarrassing.

 

SEBASTIAN

It's essential that I know how this all started.

 

SIDNEY

It was after theWhite House Correspondents Dinner.

 

SEBASTIAN

Last April

 

SIDNEY

Yes. As I said, it's embarrassing. I went to the dinner with Chris.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you attend as his date?

 

SIDNEY

No, as a colleague. Well, it was so funny, I just kept laughing and drinking. Well, I got sick in the town car on the way home. I kind of passed out. Well, the next thing I know, I'm lying in my bed. Chris came in and put a wet towel on my forehead.

 

SEBASTIAN

Was he in your bedroom?

 

SIDNEY

Yes. He asked if I was ok, and I said I was still dizzy. He took another cloth and wiped the puke off my face. I had to close my eyes because the ceiling fan was making me dizzy again. Then I felt his lips kiss my cheek.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you tell him to stop?

 

SIDNEY

I didn’t have to. That was it.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then what happened?

 

SIDNEY

Well, he left.

 

SEBASTIAN

Was this the only time he kissed you?

 

SIDNEY

No. After that night, he seemed more focused on me when we were together. Then I started noticing he liked to touch me. There was always a brush of the body or hand. Gentle but sensual. He made it a point to see me in his office first thing in the morning and last thing in the evening.

 

SEBASTIAN

Is that how you ended up alone the other afternoon?

 

SIDNEY

Yes. He had called me in to talk about the lineup for the next morning. It seemed like any other afternoon; he always liked to get a jump on the next day’s show. I handed him a file, and then suddenly I felt his hand pat me on my ass. He was cupping my cheek and caressing it.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you stop him?

 

SIDNEY

Yes, I slapped his hand away and told him to stop.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then what happened?

 

SIDNEY

He cornered me againsthis couch and pushed me down on it.I tried to slide between the sofa and the window to get away. That's when I felt his hand go up my skirt. I kicked him off me, then got to my feet, and ran out of his office.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then what?

SIDNEY

I went to my office, locked the door, and cried.

 

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you tell anyone?

 

SIDNEY

Not immediately. I waited until this morning to call HR. I knew this time I was going to report him. I just needed some time to get up enough courage to do it.

 

SEBASTIAN

Had you talked to anyone before about Chris and his advances?

 

SIDNEY

I mentioned something in passing to Kelly once. However, now that I know their history, it’s no wonder she never helped me.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did you report this to Kelly?

 

SIDNEY

No, not reported. I just mentioned what a flirt Chris was.

 

SEBASTIAN

Is there anyone else you talked to about Chris?

 

SIDNEY

No.

 

SEBASTIAN

Anything you want to add?

SIDNEY                                                      Yes, Sebastian, is Chris like a son to you?

SEBASTIAN                                                     Well, thank you, Sidney. Thank you for being so open with me. I know this was hard. You can go back to your office now — both of you.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACT II

Scene 6

Sebastian walks over and knocks on Janel’s door, and then he walks over and knocks on Kelly’s door. The two women come out and sit down in the chairs once more.

 

SEBASTIAN

I just wanted to thank you both for your patience today. We’re almost done. Janel, this is your interview, please feel free to be as open as you can about the subject. How long have you been working with Chris?

JANEL EDWARDS                                                 I’ve been here four years, Sebastian. Inappropriate office behavior with Chris? I find a lot of things Chris does to be inappropriate.

 

SEBASTIAN

Example?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Well, I don’t like how he treats people. He has this arrogance about him.

 

SEBASTIAN

Arrogance?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Yes, he likes to put people down. Make them feel small.

 

SEBASTIAN

Has he done this to you?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

All the time, Sebastian. You have seen the show. Whenever I try to weigh in on a serious subject, he rolls his eyes at me and belittles me. I know why I'm here. I know you hired me for my Hollywood connections and ability to get the inside scoop, but I have brains, Sebastian. I can give my opinion.

 

SEBASTIAN

Regardless of his arrogance, have you ever seen Chris make any advances?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Chris and I run into each other from time to time out at galas and parties. I’ve seen him out with the boys.

 

SEBASTIAN

The man is a bachelor, Janel.

 

 

JANEL EDWARDS

I know that, but whenever I do run into him like that he always takes it out on me on air the next day. That's a bully, Sebastian, not a bachelor.

 

SEBASTIAN

Have you ever seen him misbehave towards Sidney?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

No?

 

SEBASTIAN

Were you at the White House Correspondents Dinner last year?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

No.

 

SEBASTIAN

Have you ever seen him out in public with a coworker?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

No.

 

SEBASTIAN

Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

JANEL EDWARDS

Yes, now that he is gone. I want the freedom to choose my own stories to cover.

 

SEBASTIAN

I meant about inappropriate behavior.

 

 

JANEL EDWARDS

I find it inappropriate for me not to choose my own stories.

 

SEBASTIAN

Point taken, Janel. Thank you. You can go back to your office now.

 

Janel gets up, walks to her office, and shuts the door behind her. Kelly starts to get up.

 

SEBASTIAN

Kelly, please stay.

 

She sits back down. Then Sebastian pulls out his cell phone and makes a call. Someone answers him.

 

SEBASTIAN

Yes, I’m ready.

He hangs up the phone.

 

ACT II

Scene 7

The office elevator doors, open and Chris Flowers steps out of the elevator.

 

KELLY BRYANT

What is he doing here?

 

SEBASTIAN

Everyone deserves to be heard, Kelly. Especially Chris.

 

Sebastian walks over and greets Chris.

 

SEBASTIAN

Chris, thank you for coming in.

 

Chris gives Kelly a nod hello.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

I thought this was going to be a private interview?

 

SEBASTIAN

  1. They insisted that someone else sit in on the meeting. I thought with your history with Kelly that she would be the best choice.


 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Under the circumstances, I'm not sure who would be the best choice but understood.

 

SEBASTIAN

Look, Chris. We're not here to pass any judgments on you.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

No, the network has already done that.

 

SEBASTIAN

Suspending you from today's show was not a judgment; it was crisis management. What is said in these meetings and future HR interviews will determine your future here at the network.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Well, you better ask your questions now, Sebastian, because in the future my lawyer is going to be present.

 

SEBASTIAN

Understood, please sit down, Chris.

 

Chris is very uncomfortable as he sits back in his old TV anchor chair. He can barely make eye contact with Kelly.

 

SEBASTIAN

Chris, when was the first time you heard about these allegations against you?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yesterday morning when I arrived and shuttled off to HR.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did they explain the charges against you?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, in detail.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then you understand that I need to get down to the truth here.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

I understand that you're worried about your ass, Sebastian.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then you do understand the severity of these charges.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

We live in a “Me Too” era, Sebastian. Of course, I understand. In the eyes of the public, I'm already guilty until proven innocent.

 

SEBASTIAN

Look, Chris, we go way back. I was there when you married Gloria, and Iwas there when you had to bury her. I'm not doing this to cover my ass; I'm doing this because I've trusted and respected your friendship for years. I'm doing this to see that you do get some justice with the network.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

“The Network of Justice” sounds like a good title for a new show.

 

SEBASTIAN

Chris, have you always had female assistants?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, as far as I can remember.

 

SEBASTIAN

Why?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

It was a promise.

 

SEBASTIAN

A promise?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

I made Gloria a promisethat I would help bright female reporters get a leg up in the world. That's how I first met Kelly. She was the first assistant I ever had.

 

SEBASTIAN

At the other network.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes.

 

SEBASTIAN

And over the years you have had several female assistants.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, Sebastian, for twenty years now, and this was the first time anyone has reported accusations against me.

 

SEBASTIAN

Reported. (Pause) Did you attend the White House Correspondents Dinner with Sidney this year?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, as colleagues. The Morning show always gets two tickets. If you remember last year, I took Janel.

 

SEBASTIAN

How could I forget? What did you and Sidney do after dinner?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

I guess she told you she got sick. I took her back to her apartment and made sure she did not drown in her puke.

 

SEBASTIAN

Why did you do that?

 

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

I was concerned with her condition.

 

SEBASTIAN

So, you have feelings for Sidney?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Sid is an extraordinary person in my life, yes.

 

SEBASTIAN

How special?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Anything that went on between Sidney and me was entirelyconsensual.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then you were sleeping with her?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

No.

 

SEBASTIAN

Were you pursuingher then?

 

Chris looks over at Kelly.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, I was pursuing her.

 

SEBASTIAN

Did she reject your advances?

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

The only thing I’m guilty of is being a lonely old man who never had children of his own. Yes, I fell in love with Sidney. I fell in love with her and thought that maybe she could have my children.

 

SEBASTIAN

Chris, you and Gloria separated for a while.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

Yes, but we worked things out.

 

SEBASTIAN

The rumor back then was that she caught you sleeping with one of your assistants.

 

CHRIS FLOWERS

That was a rumor.

 

SEBASTIAN

Then there is no truth to that?

CHRIS FLOWERS

No.

SEBASTIAN

Then why did you two separate? (Pause) Was there truth to the rumor?

 

KELLY BRYANT

Sebastian, I think I need to say something.

SEBASTIAN

Kelly, you know the ground rules.

KELLY BRYANT

Yes, but if you want to get to the truth here, then I need to interrupt.

SEBASTIAN

Ok

KELLY BRYANT

I was the reason that Chris and Gloriasplit up. I was young and did some foolish things. Chris took me under his wing and was an amazing mentor. Soon, I found that I had fallen in love with this older man. I became obsessed with Chris, and well, I tried to break up his and Gloria's marriage. I wrote her letters. Letters that I was very ashamed of for years. The first day I started at this network, Chris called me into his office. He pulled out those letters and tore them up in front of me. I was the girl that the rumors were about, and they were just that, rumors. Chris was always faithful to Gloria.

SEBASTIAN

Well, one truth revealed. Thank you, Kelly, for being honest with me. (Beat) However, Chris, it looks like you have been pursuing Sidney against her will. I think at this point we should leave the matter up to HR.

CHRIS FLOWERS

And, the Network.

SEBASTIAN

Of course. (Beat) Kelly, will you escort Chris down to HR?

KELLY BRYANT

Yes, Sebastian.

The three of them get up from the news table, Chris and Kelly walk to the elevator, and Chris presses the down button. Sebastian knocks on Eric's door. He answers.

SEBASTIAN

I’m heading down to HR. Can you let the others know they are free to leave?

Eric looks over and sees Chris.

ERIC WEST

Yeah, Sebastian. No problem.