February 20 & 21: Happy Freedom to Read Week
Happy Freedom to Read Week
The lawyer holds a script (old-fashioned paper) at a distance like it’s contaminated.
PLAYWRIGHT: I just thought… because of the government’s new laws… that I’d better have you review the script first because it’s about the pi-
LAWYER: The P-Word.
PLAYWRIGHT: You mean the pipe –
LAWYER: THE P-WORD.
PLAYWRIGHT: Okay, because it’s about the P-Word. It’s satire, so I’m sure it’s fine but –
LAWYER: Oh yes, absolutely, because this government is known for their fantastic sense of humour.
LAWYER: And their great fashion sense. Snappy dressers. All of them.
PLAYWRIGHT: You’re kidding, right?
LAWYER: (Whispers) They might be listening.
PLAYWRIGHT: You’re my lawyer. Don’t we have that confirmational, confi, privacy thing?
LAWYER: You mean confidentiality?
PLAYWRIGHT: Sure. I guess.
LAWYER: Not if you’re a person of interest.
PLAYWRIGHT: I write for the theatre. In Canada. My agent doesn’t even think I’m a person of interest.
LAWYER: But you’re writing about… (whispers) The P-Word.
PLAYWRIGHT: You can say Pipeli-
LAWYER: NOT IN MY OFFICE!
PLAYWRIGHT: So is there anything wrong with my script? Anything you think I could get in trouble for?
LAWYER: Depends. Do you like being audited?
PLAYWRIGHT: I’m a Canadian writer, why would anyone audit me?
LAWYER: Why does anyone audit anyone?
PLAYWRIGHT: Because they’re rich and they’re hiding money?
LAWYER: Bzzz. Wrong. Try again.
PLAYWRIGHT: Big company. Complicated taxes.
LAWYER: (Laughs.) You should put that in your play – big companies don’t pay taxes.
PLAYWRIGHT: Um.. So why would anyone audit me?
LAWYER:If you’re going to write about the P-Word.
PLAYWRIGHT: The pipe-li –
PLAYWRIGHT: I’m not allowed to write about the P-word?
LAWYER: Not unless you want people to think you’re an E-Word.
LAWYER: (whispers) Environmentalist.
PLAYWRIGHT: What’s wrong with being an environmentalist?
LAWYER: Nothing – as long as you don’t mind being audited.
PLAYWRIGHT: Did you have any concerns about my script?
LAWYER: Just a few. I crossed out anything that I thought might concern the Canadian government or the US government or Revenue Canada or CSIS or the shareholders at any of the oil companies. So just a few minor changes.
The lawyer hands back the script.
LAWYER: Not bad, eh? I studied writing in school. I’ve got this idea for a screenplay if you’re interested. It’s about a crusading lawyer who –
PLAYWRIGHT: The only world left in the script is “the.”
LAWYER: Keep looking.
Playwright flips pages.
LAWYER: Exactly. And.
PLAYWRIGHT: You crossed out every other word.
LAWYER: Not every other word. Keep looking – there’s a “he” and a “she” and there are several numbers.
PLAYWRIGHT: This isn’t my play anymore it’s like…
LAWYER: Beckett. Everybody loves Beckett. Sure, nobody understands him, but they all love him. And if the audience knows it’s about the P-Word, they’ll understand that it’s a statement.
PLAYWRIGHT: But what kind of statement?
PLAYWRIGHT: But how will the audience know what it’s about? You crossed out the title.
LAWYER: It was inflammatory.
PLAYWRIGHT: But all I did was name the pipeli- p-word.
LAWYER: Exactly. Inflammatory.
PLAYWRIGHT: So what happens if we just do the show as written?
LAWYER: We’ve never met. I was never here. You were never here. No one was ever here.
PLAYWRIGHT: But what about free speech?
LAWYER: That’s really a question for the auditors. Or maybe CSIS.
PLAYWRIGHT: (reading) The. The. The. And… She… Seven… The.
LAWYER: Sounds like Beckett to me.
Playwright gets up to go – shellshocked.
LAWYER: Break a leg. And if you win a Governor General’s Award I expect to be credited as your dramaturg!