Creative Comedy Project

A Break with Tradition By Tom Jensen

FATHER, MOTHER and SON are standing in the living room, holding drinks.

FATHER: (To Mother) Painting has always been my true vocation, darling.

MOTHER: (To Father) So now you’re a world-famous artist, my love! Just like your father and his father before him.

FATHER: Likewise you, my dear, have a long family tradition in theatre. Your earliest ancestors trod the boards, didn’t they?

MOTHER: That’s right. (Paces around) So naturally I too embarked on a stage career and became our greatest living actress.

FATHER: (Paces around) We both suffered for our art – I starving in a garret, you doing occasional burlesque shows…

MOTHER: But our dedication paid off, and now we’re living symbols of our nation’s culture.

FATHER: And rightly so! Art and drama are the only truly noble professions, aren’t they, darling?

MOTHER: Absolutely! (Raises glass) To painting and acting!

FATHER: (Raises glass) To acting and painting! Cheers!

MOTHER: Cheers!

Mother and Father clink glasses and drink.

Son drinks too, awkwardly.

FATHER: So, son, have you decided which career to pursue?

SON: Um…

MOTHER: We don’t want to put any pressure on you…

FATHER: You don’t have to follow in Leonardo da Vinci’s footsteps…

MOTHER: Many young people emulate Leonardo di Caprio instead.

SON: Well, er…

FATHER: Of course, if you can’t decide between the two careers, you could always combine them.

MOTHER: For example, you could be a theatre set designer …

FATHER: Or a performance artist…

MOTHER: Then you’d have the best of both worlds!

They laugh.

Silence.

SON: I, er…

FATHER: Yes?

Silence.

SON: I… don’t actually want a job in theatre. Or art.

Long silence.

MOTHER: (Claps) Hurrah!

FATHER: So convincing!

MOTHER: I always knew he’d be an actor!

FATHER: You win, darling!

They do a high-five.

SON: No, no, you don’t understand!

MOTHER: Excuse me?

SON: I wasn’t playing a part! In fact, I couldn’t care less about drama! Or… or fucking art!

FATHER: What?! How dare you!

SON: I want to be a scientist!

MOTHER: A… scientist?!

SON: Yes! (Paces around) It’s all I’ve ever wanted to do! Crack the codes of chemistry and physics, solve the mysteries of nature… Find cures for global pandemics, send spacecraft to new galaxies… It’s my vocation, it’s my decision… and it’s my life!

Silence.

Father whispers in Mother’s ear.

They nod to each other.

FATHER: We understand what you’re saying, son.

MOTHER: Not everyone has the same desires.

FATHER: You must find your own path in life…

MOTHER: Explore your own identity.

FATHER: So we’re very happy for you.

MOTHER: It’s great that you’ve come out…

FATHER: And told us frankly that you’re…

MOTHER: } (together) Gay.

FATHER: }

Blackout.


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