A Play by Stephonn

Performance: July, 2002
Youth Guidance Center, San Francisco

CHARACTERS: Big A the ant & Sheena, the Ladybug
TIME:  Early morning.  7:30am
PLACE:  The ant mound outside in the backyard behind the kids’ sandbox.  You see stabbings with toothpicks, sardine can fights, robberies of other ant mounds. You hear spiders lurking and plotting, dogs barking.  You smell Raid from trying to be killed, charcoal fluid on Sundays.  You taste watermelon rinds, occasional beer bottles.  You touch bait traps, toothpick as Big A’s weapon and a Band-Aid as his bandana.
AT RISE:  Big A by himself standin watch.


Scene 1:
Big A:

I’m feelin kinda nervous and kinda queasy right now.  I gotta kill another ant to get what I want to be king of the ant mound.  I might get retaliated on.  I might fail my mission.  I still lack a tool to get away clean with it.  I gotta get some guidance from Sheena cause I don’t know how to pull it off.
           (Big A goes lookin for Sheena)

Scene 2:
TIME:  8:22am
PLACE:  Sheena’s front porch.  You see dirt, on the corner see gangsta ants, watching neighbors kids across the street playing, roses smell good and sweet.
AT RISE:  Big A walks up and sees Sheena on the porch like she’s waitin for him.


You came to ask me the question that you’ve been longing for.

Big A:

How did you know I was comin?

Sheena: Just an assumption
Big A: So how can I solve my problem?

You have to give before you receive.

Big A: How can I receive if I have nothing to give right now?
Sheena: You do have something to give.  A promise.
Big A: What promise do I have to make to get what I want?
Sheena: You have to provide me protection from other ants and spiders for me and my soon-to-be children.
Big A: How am I gonna protect you when I don’t even have enough ants to protect myself right now?
Sheena: Because haven’t I told you enough what to do already?  Haven’t I built your character up enough?  Your self-esteem?  Every time I see you comin by with your head down lookin like you’re lost.  Damnit, now you’re found.  I talk to you and helped you find who you’re supposed to really be.  I encourage you and tell you you can be who you want to be– a strong ant to overtake the king.
Big A: Yeah, you help me.  I’m grateful for that.  You gave me advice when no one else would.  Alright, I’ll make you a proposition.  You can sit here and pour your heart out all over the world.  I need the key to the door that’s locked and you have it.

That sounds like manipulation.

Big A: I’m tired of all this BS.  The time to kill the ant is getting restless.  He will only become stronger cause ants don’t die, they multiply.

You’re stubborn.  You can lead a horse to water but you can’t make it drink and I’m not buyin it.

Big A: I don’t want to force you to do anything but you’re getting on my last nerve. 
Sheena: Force me?  Whaddya mean force me?  Like a rock I will not move.  Like a tree I will stand still.
Big A:

No, you’re missing the point.  You’ve very sarcastic.  If you want what I want and I want what you want, how’re we gonna get it?


Back to square one.  You’re still not tryin to make that promise.  Tell me what I need to hear.

Big A:

Sheena, my biggest problem is self-esteem.  I know how to use brute force, but I need the brains to go with it.  With those words, I can rule the ant mound.


I can help you with that.  If I can help you, you can help me.  Where do we stand now?

Big A: How do I know you’re not tryin to trick me?
Sheena:   Because I’m the only one who made you the strong ant you are now.
Big A: How’m I supposed to believe that when I’m still at point A?  I’m still a soldier ant.  How do you know I would not deceive you?
Sheena: I just have that kind of trust in you.  You can always trust a leader.
Big A: You shouldn’t trust me cause I’m not a leader yet.  I can take what I know and just run.
Sheena: I’m startin to lose faith in you by the way you’re talkin.  I feel like you’re gonna start to abandon me, Big A.  I gave you all this knowledge that you’re not thankin me for.  I think you need to praise me for what I’ve done.  You’re startin to get big-headed.
Big A: I sure am standin here takin a whole lot.  You must have somethin to say.
Sheena: Let me get this off my chest.  I feel society is threatening my chances of life and me producing kids.  I feel with an ant like you around, I got protection from this ant world.  I’m nervous , scared.  I wish that I’d have protection and wouldn’t have to walk through the streets with fear.
Big A: I feel I’m standin here listenin to enough.  I’m outta here.
Sheena: No, not so fast.  I have to power to make you.  I can break you.
Big A: Are you threatening me?
Sheena: No, make that a promise.  You think there aren’t ants out there that aren’t as hungry as you are? 
Big A: If I can overtake the king, what makes you think I can’t overtake them?
Sheena: See, there you go with the big-headedness again.
Big A: Alright, time’s a wastin. Let’s lay all the cards on the table. You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours.
Sheena: Now we’re getting somewhere.  I thought you were never gonna come around.  Let’s step outside on my porch.  Stare across the street.  You see how happy my neighbors are with their kids?  Now look to your left.  See all those gang ants on the corner shootin rice?  Now look to your right.  See the Budweiser Bottle Bar?  I’m in the middle of this.  So how’re you gonna solve my problems, Big A?
Big A: Help me get the ant mound, and I’ll personally put patrols around here that will cater to all your needs.
Sheena: Big A, I think you’re ready now.
Big A: How’m I ready when I still ain’t got the key?
Sheena: Alright, Rule number 1:  Self-reliance
  Rule number 2:  When you get to the top, trust no one, not even me.
  Rule number 3:  Make sure you provide enough so that nobody deceives you.
  Rule number 4:  make a strong army so that you will not fall to rival ants or jealousy
  And last but not least, Rule number 5: 
Think ahead.  Thnk of everything that can happen
Big A I feel you gotta keep your promise.  I know you don’t have a lotta time to do what you gotta do because the king is getting stronger and I’m getting older.  So stop hesitatin and do what you gotta do.
Big A: You helped me out a lot.  I’ll make sure I fulfill my promise to you.  It’s time for me to go and kill the king.  Goodbye.
            (They hug)
Sheena: Good luck.
Big A: I believe you gave me more than enough to conquer my goals so don’t worry, I’ll be back.
            (Big A leaves)
Sheena: I hope he succeeds.  My greatest fear is that he won’t return and I won’t get my wish. And I’m feeling a whole lotta emotional stress right now like if he dies, I don’t know why I put him up to it and so I feel a whole lotta self-guilt.  Let me stop thinkin bad so all the good can happen.
Big A: I shoulda gave her a whole lotta credit for my success.  Now if I don’t succeed, I can deal with that, but keeping a promise is a different subject.  What the hell, I’m gonna succeed and I’m gonna keep my promise.
    The End.