A short play




D. M. Bocaz-Larson


Copyright 1990

All Rights Reserved



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Cast of Characters


August: A boy of eighteen who lives in

the Vienna Conservatorium.

His main ambition is to be a

composer. He is content and

is concerned about others

around him. He looks strong,

well kept, and dresses nicely.


Adi: AUGUST'S nineteen year old

roommate. He wants to be an

artist, but is beginning to be

discouraged by his failures.

His mood goes from solemn to

furious to sadness instantly.

He dresses poorly and looks as

if he is ill.


Time and place

1908. Vienna, Austria.


Scene 1

(Lights come up on a crowded apartment with two

beds [R and L], a door [UC], a drafting table and

easel, both with scattered drawings and paintings,

next to an imaginary window that faces L. A piano

would be RC [if possible] to make for a crowded

room. ADI, sort of a sickly boy, looks sadly out

the window. AUGUST, stronger and better kept than

ADI, sits at the piano [or on his bed, R] studying

some music. AUGUST sees his friend in distress,

lays down his music, and goes to him)



Adi, what's wrong?

(No response)

You've been standing there, staring out that window for who knows how long. What could be so bad that it would make you lock eyes on that gloomy patio for an eternity?



Leave me alone, August. Go back to your music.



I can't work with you standing here, being all glum. The atmosphere's all wrong.



(Annoyed. Crosses away from him)

Well, excuse me, Herr Composer. Forgive me for disturbing you. I'll just go sit in the dismal patio. I'll fit right in.



Adi. Don't be like that.

(Motions to drafting table)

Why don't you do some drawing or painting? That always cheers you up.



(Crosses DR)

What's the use anymore? I'm a failure at art. I don't even know why I bother at it anymore.



You're a great artist. Don't give up.



Why not?



You have a lot of talent...



Not according to the Arts Academy.



You shouldn't give up after only one try. Maybe they ran out of space the first time you applied. Surely you'll make it into the Academy next time.



I'm afraid not.



What do you mean?



(Goes to a letter that's on his table. Shows it


I already tried.


They won't even let me into the exams! "Lack of talent," they said.

(Looks at drawings)

Maybe they're right.



(Finishes reading letter)

This doesn't mean anything. What do they know? What makes them the authority on Art?



They're the Arts Academy, August. I think they would know what they're talking about.



Then keep trying. Take some more art classes and prepare for the next exams.



It's no use. There's no future in art for me.

(Upset. Looks out window)

There's no future in anything for me. Nothing works out for me. What use am I? I may as well be dead.



Quit talking like that.



(Crosses away)

Why should I? Nothing in this life had worked for me. Everything I touch seems to wither and die.



It's not that hopeless, Adi.



Isn't it? As a child, probably one of the most wonderful gifts God gave me was a little brother. He meant so much to me. We were always together. And most of all, he loved the little pictures I drew for him. Every day he had me draw something new. I drew animals, castles, anything. I got better and better, and he asked for more and more. Pretty soon our room was plastered with things he asked me to sketch.


When he was six, he became very ill. Then one morning he was gone. The most wonderful thing in my life had left me.

(Almost in tears)



I'm sorry, Adi...



My father blamed me for his death. He made my life into a nightmare after that. That man hated me and I soon grew to to hate him. Each day, I wished for his death and finally my wish came true. I was rid of him forever.



I didn't realize your father was that horrible. He seemed nice enough. He sent you to the nicest schools...



School was a waste of time. I'm so glad I dropped out.



I thought you had finished.



Why should I? I wanted to be an artist and Mom gave me everything I needed.

(Gets a picture of his mother from his table)

She wanted so badly for me to do art. She never made me work any kind of job so I would have plenty of time to draw and paint.

(Angry. Puts picture down)

But, now I've failed her, too. I promised on her death bed that I would become a great artist. I swore I would make all the world know my name, but in reality I will be nothing. I will slip away from sight, never to be heard from again. And no one will care.



You will be a great man one day. Just hold on and keep fighting.



No. It's over. There's nothing left.



What about Architecture school?



That's not real art.



But, it's a job.



Why waste my talent on something like that?



You need to make a living. Besides, your high school drawing professor was always telling you to be an architect. I heard him mention it to you several times. He said you'd probably be one of the first to be chosen.



(Almost pouting)

I want to be an artist.



Then, be one.



But, everyone keeps telling me I can't do it.



I haven't told you that. I think you have a lot of talent. I know you can do it.



I don't know if I can. I'm getting tired of failing. Most artists have a small victory here and there that keeps them going, but I have nothing to show for it. Will I ever do anything with my art?



Of course, you will. Just give it some time.



How much time? What if I spend my whole life trying and I never do anything? Things are getting worse for me. I seem to be falling deeper into a darkness that I may never escape from.



You will escape, Adi. But you must keep trying. You'll never succeed if you don't try.




Do you really think I can do it?



Definitely. I know you have it in you to succeed. You have more drive than any other person I've seen in my life. When you set yourself to a goal, you achieve that goal. Once you put your mind on a certain track, you never veer off. You stand firm in your desires. You will succeed, Adi. And one day, all the world will know the name Adolf Hitler. You will be immortal.



I'll try, August. But, I don't want to disappoint you.



I'll be satisfied with what ever you do as long as you do your best.



I'll do the best I can.



Good. Now, let's both get back and continue our journeys toward fame and fortune.

(They sit in their respective places. ADI looks

at a picture for a moment. He then smiles and

signs it)

"Adolf Hitler." A name that I pray will never be forgotten.

(Lights fade to black)