Our Yard by William Lottering
Four homeless people meet under the bridge and share their food. A fifth, the aggressor, threatens their peace and mental stability.
Genre: Drama, Dark Comedy
Run time: 70 minutes
Content notes: Contains some strongly worded insults, but minimal. No swearing.
There is a physical struggle (wrestling) between the male characters.
The fight leads to a stabbing and the death of a character.
The play deals with social issues such as gender, homeless, poverty and morality.
Set notes: This is a one set production. The drama plays out under a bridge; we can see the reflection of water through an arch. On one side is a concrete wall with colourful graffiti. There are two shelters concocted of trash, a rusted oil drum for an illegal fire and a few milk crates to sit on. A shopping cart with bottles is parked on the side.
Cast size: 5 actors
Male roles: 3
Female roles: 2
Dirk the Smirk
Veteran soldier, suffers from PTSD. he remembers the violence in Afghanistan. He blames the system and likes conspiracy theories. He saw his best friend die in an explosion. This friend was his mental support.
A young escort. She is hiding from a pimp, Nick and realizes she is pregnant. When Nick finds her, he assaults her and the group.
Harry won’t Marry
Former intellectual; a classics professor with a shady past. After an incident at university, his career was finished. After doing many jobs, he had a nervous breakdown and gave up. Excellent chess player.
A former nurse who lost her husband and house in a fire when she was on holiday with a friend. When she received disastrous news in Brussels she had to fly back. After trying to put her life together, she failed and became an alcoholic, which led to her mental collapse. She often sings on the square for money.
Nick the Prick
Abusive gangster, aggressive. Racist. Robs people, has friends in the right places. He is a brutal pimp and harasses Tina Toots. Has a cell phone and a gun. It turns out he is a collector for a drug kartel.
ACT 1Scene 1Dirk and Flora live under the bridge. Dirk has his shopping cart and Flora her tricks. They share the space and call it their yard. When they are joined by Harry, the three characters forge a friendship. Later, Tina joins them and asks to hide under the bridge. Harry sees the girl as a threat; however, she is charming and Flora takes Tina under her wing.Scene 2The four friends bring food and enjoy a junk food feast. They are discovered by Nick, who has been searching for Tina. There is a commotion when Tina is mishandled by Nick, who violently dominates the group. Tina is hurt. Nick throws their food on the ground and attempts to leave with Tina.ACT 2Scene 1The beggars plead with Nick and try to prevent him from taking Tina away. They fear Nick’s aggression, even if Harry has a knife. Nick assaults Tina and Harry. When Nick points a gun at them, Dirk finally steps in. He finds the knife and stabs Nick.Scene 2Now, the friends have a problem. They are presented with moral questions and problems. e.g. was Nick’s death justified? When they discover that Tina is pregnant and that she wants to have a normal life, they become more sympathetic. Together, they make a plan, which leads to their redemption.Scene 3It is one year later, on Dirk and Flora’s wedding day. They reminisce and the secret is revealed.