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Also by Keith Barker

The Hours That Remain

For Aaron, Craig, Daniel, and Carol.

Contents

Also by Keith Barker

Production History

Characters

This Is How We Got Here

Scene 1 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 2 — Fox Story Part 1

Scene 3 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 4 — Two Weeks Before The Anniversary

Scene 5 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 6 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 7 — Fox Story Part 2

Scene 8 — Two Weeks Before The Anniversary

Scene 9 — Fox Story Part 3

Scene 10 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 11 — Four Months After Death

Scene 12 — Day Before The Anniversary

Scene 13 — Four Days After Death

Scene 14 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 15 — One Day Before Anniversary

Scene 16 — One-Year Anniversary

Scene 17 — Fox Story Part 4

Scene 18 — One-Year Anniversary

Acknowledgements

About the Author

Copyright

Production History

This Is How We Got Here was first produced by Theatre Continuum and New Harlem Productions as part of the SummerWorks Performance Festival at Factory Theatre, Toronto, from August 4 to 14, 2016, with the following cast and creative team:

Lucille: Peggy Coffey

Paul: James Downing

Liset: Deborah Drakeford

Jim: Martin Julien

Voice-over: Marc Blanchard

Director: Eli Ham

Set Design: Ryan Howard Clement

Artwork and Graphic Design: Travis Murphy

Fox Prop: Deb Erb

Costume Design: Isidra Cruz

Sound Design and Live Performance: Deanna Choi

Lighting Consultant: Wendy Greenwood

He gave one last long look across the sky, across that magnificent silver land where he had learned so much.

“I’m ready,” he said at last. And Jonathan Livingstone Seagull rose with the two starbright gulls to disappear into a perfect dark sky.

 — Richard Bach, Jonathan Livingston Seagull

Characters

Paul: Craig’s father, Lucille’s husband, and Jim’s best friend.

Lucille: Craig’s mother, Paul’s wife, and Liset’s sister.

Liset: Lucille’s sister, Craig’s aunt, and Jim’s wife.

Jim: Liset’s husband, Craig’s uncle, and Paul’s best friend.

Please note the character of Craig is revealed in a voice recording at the end of the play.

This Is How We Got Here

Scene 1 — One-Year Anniversary

jim walks in dressed up for the cold. He carries a flashlight. He stops and looks around. paul enters dressed much the same.

jim: So? Where should we start?

paul: Depends. Which way did she go?

jim: That way or was it? No. No, she went that way.

jim starts to walk in the direction he indicated.

paul: Where you going?

jim: She went that way.

paul: Yeah, but the creek runs that way. Which means she probably followed it down past George’s and over — 

jim:  — to Harland’s. Good thinking.

jim starts to walk towards Harland’s.

paul: Now where you going?

jim: You just said Harland’s.

paul: Yeah, but there’s nothing past Harland’s except the lake. Which means she probably headed north along the hydro lines to Carol’s Creek.

jim: You really think she’d go that far?

paul: Only one way to find out.

Both men exit in opposite directions.

This way.

jim immediately adjusts his mistake and follows paul.

jim: Right, this way.

Scene 2 — Fox Story Part 1

paul: Once there was a fox who lived in the forest and he had a magical gift for storytelling. Animals would come from all around and from far away just to hear his stories. And the fox would spend all of his days making up story after story and telling them to anyone who would listen. But one day, as sometimes happens, things changed, and the fox — when asked by the badger to tell his own story — could not remember it. In fact, he could not remember any of his own stories. It seems he had told so many stories to so many people that he had, in fact, lost his own. This worried the fox. He had never lost his own story before. It had always been there to tell him which way to go and what to do next. But now it was gone and he felt very alone. Luckily he still had the story of today, and today, like all the days before it, had been good. But today was quickly coming to an end. And if today ended before he could find his story again, what would that mean for tomorrow? With no story there would be no tomorrow. What was he going to do?

Scene 3 — One-Year Anniversary

liset and jim’s house. paul is waiting at the door. He knocks and waits the appropriate amount of time one does when waiting for someone to answer. Then he starts to leave. liset opens the door.

liset: Paul? Is that you?

paul: Oh hey, Liz, how’s it going?

liset: Good, and you?

paul: Oh you know, it goes.

liset: Yeah.

Beat.

I’m sorry but we have to make this quick — I’m in the middle of making dinner.

paul: I don’t mean to interrupt — 

liset: You didn’t. What’s up?

Beat.

paul: Liz, I know things haven’t been good between us lately.

liset: Uh huh.

paul: But I was just wondering if maybe we could put our differences aside for one night so I could see Lucille.

liset: Seriously, that’s what you’re here for?

paul: Listen — 

liset: No, you listen to me. She made it very clear she doesn’t want to see you.

paul: A couple of minutes is all I’m asking for.

liset: I’m sorry.

paul: If she says no I’ll go away, I promise.

liset: She doesn’t want to see you.

paul: Just go in there and ask her, would ya?

liset: I’m not doing that!

paul: why not? Am I that terrible of a person that you won’t even let me see my wife on the anniversary?

She holds her ground.

You are unbelievable; you really are.

paul walks away.

liset: wait . . . She’s been . . . struggling. With you two and the divorce it’s only made things worse. She spends most of her days outside in the backyard. She doesn’t talk; she doesn’t want to talk; she barely eats; and I know she’s not sleeping. Mostly she wants to be left alone, so that’s what I try to do: I try to leave her alone. Some days are better than others. Today is not one of those days. She’s fragile and I’m afraid if she sees you it’s gonna . . . you know — 

paul: Yeah.

Beat.

liset: Anyways I’ve got to get back inside, dinner is on the stove.

paul: Yeah, no, of course. I’ll get out of your way.

paul goes to leave.

liset: Listen . . . I’ll tell her you stopped by. If she wants to see you I will drive her over. Deal?

paul: Deal.