The Many Minds of Mary Malone
A one act play
By Whitney Robinson

Cast: Mary Malone- a schizophrenic who is looking for a man. Poet- a flowery personality in Mary; speaks in rhyme Stripper- a bad personality in Mary, enjoys showing her body off

Rich Lady- an extremely posh personality; very proper

Poor Lady- a depressed personality; very humble Child- a happy go lucky, innocent personality Waiter- serves Miss Malone her food while looking for a man Man 1 & 2- men who are preyed upon by Miss Malone Terry Contrary- Man who eventually falls in love with Miss Malone

Setting: Outside a coffee shop in the city, modern day.

Poet: There once was a woman All dressed in red Was never alone From morning till bed.

For you see, this lady Of plain estate Had more than one mind In her brain's silver plate.

There was I, the poet, The child for so long The rich and the poor The dame who did wrong.

And oh our poor Mary, Who has such a filled head She needed a man To come into her bed.

So now sets the story Sad but true- A husband to find Who accepts her mad hue.

(Enter scene. Mary Malone, a plain woman, sits at a table outside of a restaurant. The table is made so that she can see the audience. Behind or around her are extra chairs, filled with people. There is a woman dressed in rich clothing, a woman in rags, a woman dressed as a stripper, and a child. The poet sits in an empty chair nearby after giving her speech. )

Rich Lady: Well, I do believe it is getting too hot out here. I don't know how I let you all talk me into this.

(Mary fans herself)

Poor Lady: We need a man! Do you realize that we are now middle age and without a man? If we don't soon get one, I might try and kill all of us!

Child: Anyways! We need a man to love us and read bedtime stories to us..

(Mary goes dreamy)

Stripper: (snorts) We need a man for the same reason any woman needs a man. To scratch some itches we still haven't had scratched. (sits in a very un- lady-like position.)

Waiter: (walks outside.) More tea, Miss Malone?

(Mary looks confused, as if fighting something within herself)

Poet: Well, thirst has taken me.
I say, why not more tea?

Stripper: Well then tell her already, ya stupid idiot!

Rich Lady: (throws up hands) Someone, tell him already! Our throat is quite parched, and I do not wish our thirst to continue..

(Child stands up and mouths out words behind Mary's body)

Mary: Yes, please, sir. And sir? Can you bring us.. I mean me out some more sugar cookies?

(Waiter nods, Child sits)

Waiter: Certainly, Miss Malone. (goes back into restaurant.)

Poor Lady: (looks slightly cross) You slipped! Now he's going to think we're wierdos! And we'll starve..

Stripper: (stands and yells at Poor Lady) Shut up! I'm tired of you! If it weren't for you and your stupid ideals, we'd have a man already! I say we show the next man that comes by some skin!

Poet: And tell me please,
Why the sugar cookies?

Child: (pouts) I want something sweet. Is that a problem?

Rich Lady: Yes, dear. It is. I do not wish for our teeth to fall out and rot. Despicable child.

Child: (pouts some more)

(Mary looks sad)

Stripper: (faces Rich Lady) Well, it's no picnic living with you either, dear. If you weren't so uptight-

Child: (cries) Don't fight! This won't help us at all!

Poor Lady: (reaches over and slaps child, then sits) We should be happy with what we have! After all- we have a job, we have food-

(Mary slaps self. Looks shocked.)

Rich Lady: (smirks) Ah yes, food that will make our teeth rot.

Poet: Sugar and Spice, and everything nice-

Stripper: (sits down, crossing legs in promiscuous position) Sorry, gal. I do not think we should be a good little girl. I think we should get a job in a nice strip joint-

Rich Lady: We would never do that!

Stripper: You can't be on watch all the time, ya scuzbag!

Waiter: (enters, with dish and tea) Your tea and (pauses) sugar cookies, Miss Malone.

Child: (stands up behind Mary, who mimics her once again)

Mary: Thank you! (grins too much like a child) Thank you very very very much. You're a nice man.

Waiter: (gives Miss Malone a weird look) I'm sure, Miss. I'll be inside if you need anything else.

(Child holds out hand, Mary still mimicking, to eat cookie. Rich Lady stands up behind her and holds her hand. Child wails, then mouths out words.)

Mary: But I want the cookie!

(Rich lady mimics Mary)

Mary: (fights herself with her other free hand) But I don't want my teeth to rot!

(The two behind continue their fighting. Finally, the Poet puts her hands on the two and smiles. Mary stops speaking, and lays the cookie down.)

Poet: Find peace sisters, deep within
And perhaps a medium will win.

Poor Lady: We're never going to find a man if we keep fighting!

(Child and Rich Lady sit, cross with each other. Mary stares out at the sky.)

Stripper: We'll find a man- If we have to take our clothes off in public. Rich Lady: REALLY! I should hope not! That's despicable. Why, any man should want to have us! We're well bred!

Stripper: Check into reality, sweetie. Men want our body. That's it. Capishe?

Poor Lady: Well I think that we need to have a man to rely on. Maybe if we play our cards right he won't use us..

Child: I don't want a man to use me! (wails more)

(suddenly, off in the distance, Man 1, a rather dashing example of a man, walks by. Mary and the personalities stare. Man 1 stops, waiting for a bus.)

Stripper: Well, he's a fine lookin' filly!

Poet: Were the sun to glean from his heavy chest
I would not yet hope to see that breast.

Rich Lady: (stands) Well, I am going to snatch this upstanding man to be ours!

Poor Lady: I just hope he's not a gangster.

Stripper: I think a Gangster would be fun!

(Mary stands up, the Rich Lady behind her. The personalities watch as she approaches the man, who has taken a sudden interest in his watch.)

Mary: (stiffly) Well, hello there, sir! And how are you today?

Man 1: (looks around, then sees her.) Oh, hello there. I'm just watching for the next bus to come this way.

Poor Lady: Men that wait for buses are usually poor! Don't do it!

Child: As long as he can afford to buy us ice cream.

(Poor Lady looks incredulously at Child.)

Mary: (still stiff) Buses? Are they a good form of transportation?

Man 1: (seems disinterested) Yeah, they're okay.

Mary: (smiles) Would you need a partner to ride the bus? Are you (pause) lonely?

(Mary comes behind him & lays her hand slightly on his arm. Rich Lady is still imitating.) Stripper: (laughs) There's a lot of nice things you can do on a bus! Like-

Poet: Making love in the winter breeze,
Men fall fast upon their knees.

Man 1: (seems flustered) Um.. Well, you see, I'm already married and..

Mary: (steps closer to him, entwining her hand around his arm) Don't you see? With a girl such as myself, your children would be marvelously bred! And you and I could share walks in the country, and-

Stripper: (stands up) Oh, I'm sick of this- (walks over to Rich Lady and pushes her back towards the other personalities)

Mary: (suddenly takes on sensual position, imitating Stripper, placing thigh on his leg) We could get to know each other real, real good. Intimately. I can make a man scream-

Man 1: (looks scared) I told you, lady, I'm married. Can you please just leave me alone!

Rich Lady: (angry) Well see now- You've screwed us all up! Thanks a lot!

Child: (cries) I wanted a man to buy me ice cream.

Mary: (leans in closer to him) I can make your fantasies come true.

Man 1: (gets extremely scared and starts to run away.) I just remembered.. I can walk home- I don't have to take the bus- (runs off stage)

Poor Lady & Child: (starts to sob) Come back!

Rich Lady: Now see what you've done! You've gone and upset us!

(Mary pouts, still imitating the Stripper, and sits back on her chair, flouncing and pouting. Stripper sits in her chair.)

Stripper: (smirks, but still pouting) Well, at least I got somewhere with him. That's more than you did, upper crust.

(Rich Lady crosses her arms and turns her nose up into the air.)

Child: (looks sad) Isn't there anyone who will love us? Take us to be their wife?

Poet: Love is hard to find,
Especially for many in one mind.

Poor Lady: I guess it's just too much to ask for a man who would love us all. (Mary sighs deeply, looking disappointed)

Rich Lady: Wait! Eureka! I have it!

Stripper: (looks dubious) Yeah, well let's hear it. Your first idea didn't pan out so well.

Rich Lady: We should act noble, yet playful. Innocent, yet knowledgeable. Maybe then we'd get a man.

Poor Lady: I'm sick of you all getting your turns! I get the next man that comes this way!

(Mary looks resolved)

Child: Well, I'm just going to look around lost-

Stripper: Dear, aren't you usually doing that anyways?

Child: (pouts) I'm just going to look around as if I'm lost, and see if perhaps he'll offer to help me home. (thinks) And then buy me ice cream.

Poor Lady: (thinking) It could work- just let me help. We don't want a poor man. Goodness knows if he's going to buy us sweets and keep her happy- (she motions towards the rich lady) and indulge her hobby (points at poet) and hers, (looks pointedly at stripper) then he's going to have to be rich.

Rich Lady: For once in my life, I agree with you. Let us now win ourselves a man- Look! I believe I see one there.

(Man 2 is walking by, dressed casually. Looks over Miss Malone appreciatingly)

Mary: (Child stands behind Mary, Mary begins to imitate) Hello there-

Man 2: (turns back and smiles) Yes? Are you talking to me?

Mary: Yes, sir. I was wondering if you could help me- you see, I'm lost and-

Man 2: (smiles) I understand. You need help? (comes and sits next to her, he still has a hungry look in his eyes)

Mary: (nods) Yes, I do! I just came here for some sweets, they're so yummy-

Man 2: (nods, is still looking her up and down) I know another thing that's yummy- (he proceeds to lean forward, closer to her) Mary: (blushes) You're too nice. I just needed some help with-

Man 2: (going for it now, grabs her shoulders and smiles wickedly) So, your apartment or mine?

Mary: (child looks confused, so does she) I'm sorry, what do you mean?

Stripper: (laughs) He wants to please us! YES! Take him! Take him! (laughs some more)

Rich Lady: (puts hand to mouth) Oh my.

Poor Lady: (pushes kid back) Let me do this- you don't have any tact!

Mary: (now being controlled by Poor Lady) Do you have any money?

Man 2: (misinterpreting her words) Oh, yes, lots. How much would a weekend cost?

Mary: (Poor Lady and she finally realize what he is asking) Oh- You sick, sick man! AH!

Man 2: (continues to pressure her, is nearly on top of her) Oh come on now. Don't tell me that you didn't want to. That all too cute innocent act-

Poet: Let me handle this
Before this becomes a bigger mess. (pushes Poor Lady away)

Mary: You are a man of worthless tact
You'd best be getting back on track.
I'm not interested in your sex games, get out
Before I have to scream and shout!
(pushes man back, stands and gets ready to scream)

Man 2: (looks around, tugs at collar) Please now, don't yell- there are people who know me in this neighborhood- (looks at her once more, and clamps her mouth shut with his free hand)

Mary: (bites his hand, man yelps) I'll have none of that my dear,
And the police of this shall hear.

Man 2: (looks around, then backs away from Mary- finally, his face dawns in recognition) You're some sort of freak, aren't you? Talking about something sweet and then asking me about money, then talking in rhyme.. You're a psycho, lady. I wouldn't do you if you paid ME! (runs off)

Mary: (sits down, starts to sob. Poet also sits down, but looks sad. All personalities look sad. Poor Lady stands and exclaims behind Mary-) Why me!

Stripper: (smirks) I still say you guys should have left me do the talking. I could have had him in the best positions..

Child: (cries) I just wanted him to buy me ice cream!

Rich Lady: (looks pompous, but is tearing up) I just need a companion!

Mary: We just wanted someone to love us..

(Suddenly, walking down the street is a rather strange man. He wears a cowboy hat and a suit, and is looking at everything around him. His name is Terry Contrary, and suddenly our fine man notices Mary crying. He sits next to her.)

Terry: Why my dear, what's the matter?
Your tears stain pitter patter!

(All the personalities look up and stare in wonder. Mary imitates, then the Child stands behind Mary, imitating.)

Mary: I wanted a man to give me an ice cream, and he tried to hurt me.

Terry: (looks hurt) He probably wasn't very nice, then. If he were here, I'd go POW! (imitates shooting a gun) and kick him in the kisser!

Mary: (child sits down, and poor lady stands) And then there was a man earlier who was poor, and had to ride a bus to get home.

Terry: (looks sad) Yes, it is terrible to be poor. But I'm lucky. I drive a truck.

Mary: (showing excitement, the Poor Lady sits and the Rich one stands) Is it a higher class truck?

Terry: (sits up straight and looks her in the eyes.) A very fine model, a very fine model indeed. It can sit up to two in its front compartment.

Mary: (now smiling, rich lady sits and stripper stands. She perks up an eyebrow) And what kind of things could you do in such a truck? Would they be nice and.. sultry?

Terry: (smiles rather pervertedly) Very nice things. I could make you scream-

Mary: (squealing, Child stands up and stripper sits, Mary stands, and holds out her hands to hold Terry's.) You are the one! The one who buys ice cream!

Terry: (stands up excitedly as well, very properly, though. He smiles and holds her hands.) Yes, I enjoy buying sweets from time to time.

Mary: (Child sits, poet stands) And to what name do you impart,
That would be imprinted on my heart?

Terry: (acts roguish, passes hand through hair) Why, Terry Contrary. (he looks her up and down.) And what might you be, you pretty thing?

Mary: (poet smiles) Mary Malone.
And I'm all alone.

Terry: (grins) Well, I'm quite alone,
Miss Malone.
Would you pair me?
And be Mrs. Mary Contrary?

Mary: (smiles, all personalities standing behind her) We'd all be yours!

Terry: (smiles as well) And we'd all be yours too!
Now let's find ourselves a church with a pew..

(The two walk off, hand in hand, off-screen. The poet remains behind, and faces the audience)

Poet: Two hearts alike,
With thoughts many their own,
Will share a life,
And now share a home.

So what is the moral,
You ask of me?
Was what you heard
And what you see

Not enough for you?
Well here it is, true.
In a world of hate
Where all is blue,

Two can be one,
And one can be two,
Especially if,
As I've told to you,

Many become one,
And one and one make two.

(fin)