Magic Garbage (2016)
Lizzie Arnold and Kyle Rubio in Avery
Norris’ play “Magic Garbage”
by Avery Norris
Donna Pearson: An 18-year-old girl who visited Disney when she was eight and has always wished to work there when she was older. She is a very positive and bubbly spirit and strives to make every guest’s visit to Disney World as magical as her visit was. She should look similar to Belle from Beauty and the Beast.
Beast (Adam): A 20-year-old guy who works at Disney World as the Beast. He feels as if he can’t be truly expressed as an actor under his mask and takes what he has for granted. He is negative and grumpy at first but soon learns the magic of an “escape”.
Outside Voice: Has one line. This character is the park announcer for the firework spectacular.
(The play begins with Tomorrowland entrance music which fades out but stays in the background until the end of the opening monologue. Donna wears a Tomorrowland cast member outfit. It is light gray with gray pockets. Similar to a futuristic stewardess uniform. Although it is not yet revealed, Donna is sitting at a picnic table, stage right, in Tomorrowland in Disney World. Leaning against the table is a broom and a long dust pan that can stand on its own. Stage left is to be imagined that it is behind the bathrooms. There’s a blacked-out stage and a sharp spotlight on Donna only revealing her face.)
Donna: The first time I arrived, I was welcomed. The next time I arrived, I did the welcoming. Let me tell you though, it was magic both times and each time after. I mean, all anyone wants in the world is to belong somewhere. To be able to mean something. Here, here I could change the world. Here, I could make people happy, make ME happy. Growing up in a divorced home, you want to escape sometimes. Even though I had the most loving parents, you don’t always want to be in your house, or houses. But I don’t have to worry about that feeling anymore because whenever I wanted to escape, it was here that I wanted to go. Now I’m here, in paradise, in heaven. I smile all the time, not only because it’s my job but because I want to and I can’t help smiling. Places like this is where true magic exists and dreams are made. And even when I have to leave and everyone says “See ya real soon”, I don’t have to live in doubt because I know it’s true. I WILL see this place real soon. I truly belong somewhere now and it feels great. (Lights fully come up to reveal that Donna is sitting at a picnic bench in Disney World, Tomorrowland.) And that’s why I got a job at Disney World!
(Donna snaps out of her “moment” and realizes that the person she was talking to has left halfway through.)
Donna: What? Where’d ya go, Bud? (She looks around.) Son of a tea cup. Ooh! That would be Chip, because Mrs. Potts and- (She realizes that still no one is listening to her.)
(Donna gets up and returns to sweeping up the ground. She spots people in the distance.)
Donna: (Waving very enthusiastically.) Hi kids! Welcome to Walt Disney World, the happiest place on earth! (Donna upsettingly shrugs and continues sweeping.) It’s okay, it’s okay, Donna. You know what? They probably didn’t see you because if they did, they would have TOTALLY waved back. Phew. Sweep, sweep, sweep. (Donna starts singing.) Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay. My oh my, what a wonderful day. Plenty of sunshine heading my way. Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah, Zip-A-Dee-Ay.
(Donna’s phone cuts her song off. Her ringtone It’s A Small World. She answers it.)
Donna: Hello?… Olaf is that you? Hahaha! I’m just kidding. Hello Mr. Miller, how are you?… Well I’m just fine, it’s a wonderful day out and I’m having a great time greeting and wav- oh you’ve gotten more complaints. People think I’m evading and loud? Oh. Okay, sir. I’ll try and tone it down, it’s jut I get so excited being here and seeing all the kids’ faces light up. It reminds me of when I came here for the first time, back when I was- oh, I’ve already told you this story?… More than twenty times?… My bad. I’m sorry. Yes, I understand this is my last warning. I won’t let you down. Thank you, Mr. Miller and have a magical day!
(Donna hangs up the phone.)
Donna: Come on, Donna! What’re you doing?! This is not the type of behavior a Mousketeer should uphold. (Beast starts overlapping.) I can’t make Disney a magical place if I can’t even do my job properly!
Beast: (Entering stage right passing Donna upstage to go stage left. Beast is taking off his costume head. Overlapping Donna.) Cheap, fake, stupid, worthless job! I can’t do this anymore!
(Donna sights Beast and runs over to him.)
Donna: Agh! Jiminy Cricket! Sir! Sir, what in Walt’s name do you think you’re doing? And how come you’re not in Fantasyland?
Beast: I’m quitting while I have at least a bit of my dignity left.
Donna: Now sir, I am in no position to tell you what you should be doing but you CANNOT just dismantle you- ugh, your- friend’s body like that!
Beast: Oh, please, this is a costume. A sweaty, smelly, FAKE, costume.
Donna: No, no, no! You see, to kids you’re a hero. This, dare I say, costume is magic. You’re bringing the friend that has sculpted their childhoods to life!
Beast: I can’t just add gasoline to a fire that is falsifying reality for children.
Donna: Look, as far as I’m concerned sir- wait a minute, do you have something else that I can call you other than sir?
Beast: (Sarcastically) Oh sure. Just call me Beast.
Donna: Aw, now that’s the spirit, Beast!
Beast: No, I was just kid-
Donna: Anyway, as I was saying, as far as I am concerned this is a completely real place on Earth in which real people are walking around in. What about that says to you “no reality”?
Beast: Okay, sure. All of your statements there were correct but the thought and the idea of this place is something so far from reality. Life is not all happiness and roses. Here we are in this fantasy place while people are in and out in the world dying, risking their lives. Innocent people are being slaughtered but god forbid a child see the Beast with no head on! What vision of the world are we giving children if they think everything ends like a Disney movie?
Donna: You know, everyone needs an escape every once in a while. Maybe parents aren’t trying to alter reality for their kids. Maybe they’re just showing them the magic that exists between breaks in life. Everyone needs breaks.
Beast: You really like that “M” word, don’t you?
Donna: Mufasa? Well, of course!
Beast: No, you fool!
Donna: Gee, you could have at least called me Dumbo or something.
Beast: Whatever. I was talking about the word, magic. Magic, magic, magic. You use it so freely as if you’re trying to prove you own it.
Donna: Well, no. But magic was something that helped me to escape when I was younger.
Beast: But still, you say the word but what are you really saying? What is it to you? Magic, what does magic mean to you.
Donna: Well, magic doesn’t have a meaning, Beast. It’s a thing, I guess. Magic exists everywhere as long as we’re accepting enough to see it. Ah, I know! Have you ever stepped foot somewhere and had all of the hairs on your arms stick up? A place that causes butterflies to overpopulate your belly and your eyes to widen?
Beast: Yes, it’s called Hooters.
Donna: I’m serious Beast! What was your magical, eye-opening moment?
Beast: (Pauses, staring at her.) The first time I stepped into a theater. I saw Beauty and the Beast on Broadway when I was eight years old. My parents and I were visiting my aunt for a weekend in April. You probably can’t see it but I actually am a big Disney fan and ever since that day, all I have wanted was to be an actor in Disney. I tried so hard to make my dreams a reality. I wanted to be able to tell stories of characters, people if you will, that were entirely different from me. But here I am, stuck behind a literal mask. I can’t express myself how I want to because I’m hidden, I’m trapped. You know, when I auditioned for this job, all I wanted was to be Gaston, but no. They said I would be a much better Le Fou but even then, they already had enough actors for him. It just so happened they had a shortage of full suit characters. They just thought, “Hey, this guy isn’t good enough so let’s just stick him inside the body of a huge, brown, Beast rug who hugs kids all day. Coincidence that I’m playing a Beast, I guess.
Donna: Your attitude, yes may be a tad morbid. But all humans have a Beast inside of them and not all Beasts are beastly creatures. Heck, Disney teaches that lesson best in the Beauty and the Beast. That’s the magic of Disney, you’re always learning new-
Beast: (Snapping at her.) Would you quit it with the magic word? I don’t know one magician that isn’t secretly a con man with good tricks. Magic does not exist anywhere in this world! I can’t believe that you made me spill all that personal stuff out to you when I don’t even know your name! You are a child living in an illusion because this is the only place that accepts pieces of garbage like you. Speaking of garbage, you missed a spot.
(Beast storms off stage left.)
Donna: (Soft, timid, and upset.) Donna. My name is Donna.
(Donna stands still for many moments. She begins humming the song “Home” from the Beauty and the Beast musical. She quickly sweeps up the piece of garbage she missed. She pulls out her phone and dials.)
Donna: Hello Mr. Miller. I’m really not feeling well and I was wondering if I could leave early just for today.. Yes, I know, I’ll be missing the fireworks but I think I just need to go home.. Thank you, sir. Have a good night.
(Fade in. It is now nighttime. Beast is seen wearing clothes sitting on Donna’s picnic table. He is on the phone.)
Beast: Thank you, Mr. Miller. I’m so glad you understand.. I’m going to watch the fireworks and then I’ll be on my way. I’ve got a great seat at a picnic table right on the edge of Tomorrowland.. This is Donna’s spot?.. Who’s- oh. Yes, Donna, I know her.. The first time she has missed them since working here?.. Well I’m sure you’re right, they will be.. magical. Yes, please take care.. Thank you.
(Beast looks guilty as he hangs up his phone. He grips the seat as he feels something on it. He kneels down to read an inscription engraved onto the seat.)
Beast: “Dedicated to Donna Pearson. A true Mouseketeer.” Oh, god. What have I done to that poor girl.
(Lights fade. It is a brand-new day now. Donna is seen sitting and eating lunch at her picnic table. Her phone rings and the ringtone has been changed to an obnoxious tone that scares Donna.)
Donna: Agh! (She throws her sandwich.) What the fried is that?! Oh. Silly Donna. (She answers it.) Hello?.. Someone threw up in front of Space Mountain?.. Yes, okay. I’ll be right there. Let’s get the Monster’s Inc. Dance Party going to distract people. Oh and close off the entrance for a few minutes while I deal with this, okay?.. Thanks, Space Ranger 4!
(Beast enters stage left and Donna stops as she sees him.)
Beast: Hi, Donna.
Donna: I thought you didn’t know my name?
Beast: Well, I do now. Look, I wanted to apologize about yesterday. It was selfish and rude of me to say those things. Especially when I could have YOUR job. I mean, I was ungrateful.
Donna: Didn’t your parents ever teach you not to judge a book by its cover? What makes you think that I’m wearing a mask too? Sure, not the same kind of mask but a mask. I mean what makes you think I’m putting on an act? Unlike you, this was what I was destined to do. When I was eight years old my parents took me to Disney World for the very first time. It was right after they had told me they were getting a divorce and they figured I deserved one last family trip. How nice, huh? Well, anyway nothing can ever make up for the loss of a parent’s marriage for a kid and let me tell you it didn’t. But it provided me with an escape. Everyone was kind, welcoming, and warm. Each ride took me through a different story to distract me from mine for a bit. Each area gave me different feelings in my stomach. We have such wonders in the world that can mean different things for different people. We have moments in our lives in which define us as our own person. Then, I saw them. The fireworks. Beautiful bursts of light exploding in the night sky. And her. Tinkerbell flying from Cinderella’s castle to Neverland. I saw them, my dreams, my wishes forming in the sky. It was all just so-
Donna: Yes. It was magical. It still is magical. Every night. Well, except for last night because I didn’t see them.
Beast: God. I’m an actor and I couldn’t empathize with you. I can’t believe it took me this long to understand. I was going against what I had said myself. People in the world are dying, others going through hard times and here I am with the power to just make people smile and I took it for granted.
Donna: You know, to tell you the truth, I am pretty jealous of you. Sure, I’m happy with my job but no kid wants to say hi to the garbage clean-up girl. No, they want to snuggle and hug the Beast! To them, you are no beast at all!
Beast: Honestly, I’m not too sure what a beautiful girl like you is doing scraping gum off of the-
Donna: You think I’m beautiful? But I’m just a garbage lady.
Beast: Well yeah.. Yeah, I do! (He looks at Donna and realizes something. He mutters at first.) Magic is everywhere if you just accept it. Magic is everywhere if you just accept it! I see it now, Donna. And it’s you. You are truly magical. You think you’re just a garbage lady? Well, look what you’ve done. You’ve helped to preserve the magic. Donna, you have so much potential, don’t you see it?
Donna: Me? Oh, I don’t know about that. Unless you mean scraping five pieces of gum in one, swift, swipe then I think you’ve lost your marbles.
Beast: No, Donna. I really haven’t. I’m hidden under a suit for my job because I didn’t accept the magic at first. I went in thinking things would be handed to me but you, you went in with expectations that were too low. You taught me the beauty that our world can hold. It’s almost like… we’re the Beauty and the Beast.
Donna: (Her eyes widen as she grows a huge smile.) Holy Buzz Lightyear, you’re right! Except you’re no beast. You, you are my new best friend.
Beast: And as your new best friend I am going to help you out, okay?
Donna: Well, sure! With what though?
(Beast whispers in her ear. Donna gets a nervous look on her face. Beast nods at her as she takes out her phone and dials a number.)
Donna: Hello, Mr. Miller? It’s Donna Pearson here. I was wondering if you could possibly consider me for a promotion.. Well, I was thinking maybe I could audition to be a princess.. Really? Right now? Okay! Well, I’ll be right there then! Thank you so much, Mr. Miller.
Beast: You’ve got this. Just be you. I’ll wait right here for you!
Donna: Okay, okay! See ya real soon!
(Donna knocks into the garbage can as she runs off but recovers excitedly! She exits stage left. Lights fade to a blue showing the passing of time. Lights come back up and Donna enters stage left. She looks defeated.)
Donna: Unfortunately, they’ve been very low on disposal cast members.
Donna: But even lower on their Belle cast members! I did it!
Beast: Oh my god! You did it! I’m so happy for you!
(They hug and an outside voice is heard.)
Outside Voice: Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls, in just one minute we will present our nighttime firework spectacular, Wishes.
Donna: The fireworks are about to begin!
Beast: Would it be okay if I joined you?
Donna: (Her face lights up with a huge smile.) Of course it would!
Beast: (After a few moments) You know, my real name is actually Adam.
Donna: (She is utterly shocked and almost star struck.) Jiminy Cricket! Just like in Beauty and the Beast! You really are Prince Adam! (Music cue for When You Wish Upon a Star from the Wishes fireworks soundtrack.) Well, my Prince Adam.
(They look at each other and then look out at the sky which is facing the audience. They are sitting next to each other on their picnic bench. They touch hands and the lights begin to slowly fade out.)