"Scenes from Supper Tables"
A Play in Two Acts
Inspired by a painting by Jacopo Bassano (1515-1592) and the conversation at dinner last night
Setting: An upper room in a house in Jerusalem. The lighting is subdued. Thirteen men are seated around a rectangular table.
Peter: What did he say? Something about one of us betraying him?
Judas: I didn’t hear anything.
Bartholomew: Aw, man. Lamb’s head for dinner again?
Matthew: Hey, there’s no plates. Who was supposed to bring the plates?
Philip: Not me. I brought the half empty bottle of wine and one glass.
Simon: I think James was supposed to bring plates.
James: Not me. Maybe the other James.
James (the other): I brought plates last week.
Thomas: I doubt it.
Andrew: Scoot over. Why is everybody squished onto one side of the table?
Philip: Who brought the dog?
John: Zzzzz….smarfl....leper....goat cheese….snort….zzzzz.
(Lights fade out.)
Setting: A kitchen in a suburban home somewhere in Utah. Two adults and three children are seated around an oval table. A fourth child (the baby) sits on her father’s lap and spends the scene trying to pull his plate onto the floor. A heavy cloud of garlic hangs in the air. The table is set for dinner with dishes of garlic chicken, baked potatoes and mixed vegetables.
Child #2: (inspecting the inch-thick layer of ranch dressing on his baked potato) I need more ranch dressing.
Father: I think you have enough already. It’s supposed to be a garnish.
Child #2: But I can still taste the potato.
Mother: So how do you guys all like my new chicken recipe? I thought it would be fun to try something different.
Child #1: (with desperation in his voice) Do I have to eat it?
Child #2: (dutifully) I tasted it, Mom.
Child #2: It was gross.
Child #3: Mine’s too hot.
Mother: Why don’t you eat your potato while it’s cooling off?
Child #3: Okay. Please pass the ranch dressing.
Mother / Pitiful Martyr: Why do I bother? Nobody likes my food.
Father: What about me? I had two pieces of chicken. I thought it was fine.
Mother: Thanks dear. But you’d eat anything I made, even if it were blackened to a crisp.
Baby: Gaaah…emmm…buh! (translation: Don’t lump me in with my ungrateful brothers. I am really looking forward to garlic flavored breastmilk tomorrow.)
Child #1: (having spent the scene peeling the skin off his potato, poking it with a fork and eating one baby carrot corn-on-the-cob style by nibbling around the outside edges and leaving a little vein behind) Can I be done now?
Child #3: (getting down from his seat for the 17th time to chase sparkly things or poke his sister) I’m done too.
Mother: But you haven’t even tried your chicken.
Child #3: It’s too cold.
Mother: (exasperated) Forget it! From now on I’m just going to cook Ramen Noodles for every meal!
Children: (in unison) Yeah!
(Mother keels over and dies from fatal heart wound.)
Tags: last supper, art, dinner table, parenting