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Gump - DOC

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									Gump
ACT ONE
An empty stage, except for a bench far D.L., which remains in place throughout all three acts. Some scenes are played on a stage bare of anything else, others are set with furnishing and props as noted. There are no breaks between scenes. At the end of each scene, black-attired stage crew will swiftly and silently replace any stage props with anything needed for the next scene, as music, narration, or dialog continues without interruption.

Scene 1: Bus Stop
A man walks onstage carrying an old-fashioned suitcase. There is nothing else on stage except a bench, D.L. The man is OLD GUMP, one of three Forrest Gumps we shall meet. He is dressed neatly, but just a bit dishevelled. Everything about him, in fact, seems just slightly . . . different. OLD GUMP Hello. My name is Forrest Gump. [pauses, eyeing the audience somewhat fearfully ] OK. [pauses ] I‟m going to sit over there and wait for the bus. He moves to bench and sits, arranging himself carefully. Then he notices a small leaf on the ground. He rises, picks it up, returns to the bench, and carefully places the leaf in a book. Before closing the suitcase again, he takes out a box of chocolates. A YOUNG WOMAN , dressed for an office job, enters D.R. and joins him at the bench. OLD GUMP Those must be comfortable shoes. I‟ll bet you could walk all day in shoes like that and not feel a thing. I wish I had shoes like that. YOUNG WOMAN Excuse me? Would you like a chocolate? YOUNG WOMAN Ah . . . thanks, but no. OLD GUMP I could eat about a million and half of these. [pauses, looking again at her shoes] I‟d like to try them on. YOUNG WOMAN What? OLD GUMP Could I try on your shoes? YOUNG WOMAN What‟s wrong with you? Are you some kind „a pervert? Get a life. [exits ] OLD GUMP [after watching her leave ] I guess I said the wrong thing. I do that a lot. [pauses again, puzzled ] I have a life. I‟m not very smart, but I like my life. I always have. OLD GUMP

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Scene 2: Playground
**** music up: “Nature Boy” **** sung as solo by member of the CHORUS LITTLE GUMP, a boy of 10, is trying to fly a kite. He is badly pigeon-toed, and walks with embarassing awkwardness. OLD GUMP Look! There I am. That‟s me, when I was little. I didn‟t walk very well. Lyric: “There was a boy, A very strange enchanted boy They say he wandered very far, very far, Over land and sea A little shy and sad of eye, But very wise was he. And then one day, A magic day he passed my way And while we spoke of many things, Fools and kings. This he said to me, "The greatest thing you'll ever learn Is just to love and be loved in return" During song, LITTLE GUMP tries repeatedly to get the kite flying, but can’t run fast enough to get it flying. At the conclusion of song, two boys, RALPH and WEASEL, enter R, tossing a basketball. Spotting GUMP, they decide to have some fun. RALPH Hey, Twinkle-toes. You wanna play? [“offers” ball, but pulls it away when GUMP reaches for it, nearly falling ] WEASEL C‟mon, Crip, let‟s see summa your moves! RALPH I didn‟t think he could move. As they speak, they are circling GUMP, bounce-passing the ball threateningly all around the wide-eyed GUMP, who keeps trying, pathetically to catch the ball. OLD GUMP There were boys that wanted me to play with them, but I never was very good. RALPH Hey, Gump! Catch! WEASEL bounces the ball off the back of GUMP’s head, who pitches forward and falls, RALPH breaks the kite over his knee, and the TWO BOYS exit, laughing.

Scene 3: Doctor’s Office
(examination table, wheelchair, hospital scales) MRS. GUMP enters L and picks up her son, as DOCTOR enters R with table and leg braces.
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MRS. GUMP Oh, Forrest! What did they do to you? There. Straighten yourself up. Always stand straight up, tall as you can, Forrest, you hear? We‟re gonna get your legs fixed, and you‟ll be just as fast and strong as you want to be. They move to the DOCTOR’s “office”, where the DOCTOR pats FORREST on the head and starts putting leg braces on Forrest. OLD GUMP My Momma always seemed to know the right thing to do, like when she bought me my “magic shoes.” DOCTOR Yep, we‟ll have you fixed up in no time. Now, you ain‟t going to be no track star, Forrest. But with a little hard work, there‟s no reason you can‟t learn to get around just fine. [She has been speaking slowly, as if addressing a foreigner, and he now looks up, winking, at Mrs. Gump] „Fact, likely as not, your legs is gonna be the quickest thing about you. You know what I‟m talkin‟ about, Forrest? LITTLE GUMP Yes, Ma‟am. My legs is crooked but my magic shoes gonna make „em straight. DOCTOR That‟s right, Forrest. It‟s important to recognize our limitations. You don‟t want to go expecting things that just ain‟t in the cards. MRS. GUMP Doctor Wilmot, my son Forrest don‟t need your cards, and we don‟t care about no limitations. Because right now, the only one here I see has any limitations is you! Takes Forrest by the hand, and picks up the brace that the DOCTOR hasn’t yet attached, and they walk “out” to D.R., Forrest stumbling, dragged along behind. The DOCTOR exits.]

Scene 4: Street
While MRS. GUMP puts on the other leg brace, a NURSE sits on the bench next to Forrest, and begins reading a magazine. OLD GUMP Hello. NURSE Hello. OLD GUMP My name‟s Forrest Gump. When I was a baby, my daddy, that I never met, named me after the great Civil War hero, General Nathan Bedford Forrest. Said we was related to him in some way. And, what he did was, he started up this club called the Ku Klux Klan. They‟d all dress up in their bedsheets and act like they was a bunch of ghosts. NURSE My. Isn‟t that something? OLD GUMP Momma said it was a good name because I would never forget the foolishness of grown men. That‟s how I got my name, Forrest Gump. As MRS. GUMP finishes with the brace, a middle-aged couple, MR and MRS CARTER, enter and study FORREST with disapproval.

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-4MYRTLE CARTER Would you look at that . . . MABEL CARTER [yelling, as he is hard-of-hearing ] Damn! What the heck are they? LITTLE GUMP Hello, Mr. Carter. Hello, Mrs. Carter. MRS. GUMP Well? What are you two staring at? Haven‟t you ever seen a little boy with braces on his legs before? The CARTERs walk off . MRS. GUMP Don‟t ever let anybody tell you they‟re better than you, Forrest. If God intended everybody to be same, he‟d have given us all braces on our legs. **** music up: “Careless Love” **** sung by MRS GUMP, LITTLE GUMP, and members of the CHORUS

Scene 5: Dining Room
(table, eight chairs) Halfway through song, as stage crew brings out stage props, MRS. GUMP takes chess set from her bag, and gives it to Forrest, placing it on the table for him. LITTLE GUMP starts right in playing. OLD GUMP Momma was always thinkin‟ of things for me to do. She seemed to know that I‟d take right to playing chess. I started playing all the time. Course, there was never anyone who wanted to play with me, so I had to play against myself. I got pretty good at playing against myself, and most of the time, I won. NURSE Well, I expect that you probably did. OLD GUMP After my daddy went away, Momma decided that it wasn‟t fair for us to have such a nice old house and not share it, so there was always people comin‟ and going . . . salesmen, and vacationers, and such. While Forrest has been furiously playing chess with himself on table, chairs have been set up, and three BOARDERS arrive for supper while MRS GUMP sets table for supper. MRS. GUMP Forrest, time to eat. Can you put the game aside for a few minutes? SALESMAN Gumbo again? We just had gumbo, day „fore yestuhday! MRS. GUMP Oh, hush! It‟s good for you. MABEL CARTER What‟s that she said? MYRTLE CARTER She said, “Old fools like you should mind your own business.”
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a nervous boy, BOBBY FISCHER, just slightly older than Forrest enters with his mother, MRS. FISCHER, and takes an immediate interest in the game, sitting down opposite Forrest at the D.S. end of the table. MRS GUMP serves Gumbo to the boarders from a tureen. MRS. GUMP „Evenin‟, Mrs. Fisher. Ya‟ll get yourselves settled in alright? MRS. FISCHER It‟ll do, Mrs. Gump. Bobby, let that boy alone, you‟ll have plenty of time to play at the tournament tomorrow. BOBBY [to Forrest ] That‟s the Queen‟s Indian defense. LITTLE GUMP It is? BOBBY Look--- [he pushes a piece ] you can play the Zirkowski gambit right away now. LITTLE GUMP You can? BOBBY [abruptly clearing the board and starting to set up the pieces] Let‟s start a game. I‟ll beat you easy. LITTLE GUMP O.K. SALESMAN Ah think I pay plenty enough, I shouldn‟t have t‟eat gumbo every night. PREACHER “And the Lord spread gumbo on the earth, that His creatures might eat.” Genesis, chapter 2 verse 18. MRS GUMP That‟s in the Bible? PREACHER “The hungry soul doth seek its own truth.” Leviticus 8, 15. MABEL CARTER [after noisily slurping a spoonful ] Playin‟ checkers are ye, boys? BOBBY Checkers? Are you stupid, or what? MRS FISCHER Bobby! That‟s not nice! MABEL CARTER Yes. I used to be quite good. MYRTLE CARTER Henry, hush. And you, young man, should mind your manners. BOBBY Yeah, yeah, yeah. MRS FISCHER Now, Bobby--MYRTLE CARTER Well, I never! Come on, Mabel, I don‟t think we need to hear any more of this! [they exit ] OLD GUMP I played a game of chess with that boy, Bobby Fischer. He was real smart. He knew the name for everything.
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-6BOBBY The Blindside Foodad Variation!? Are you stupid, or what? LITTLE GUMP Stupid is as stupid does. BOBBY [staring at him, dumfounded ] What? What is that supposed to mean? LITTLE GUMP Check. [BOBBY moves again ] If you do that, I can get your king in three moves. BOBBY What do you mean? [frantically studies his position, reacts with silent horror, then sweeps the piece from the board ] This game‟s dumb. We‟re starting again. MRS GUMP How‟s your gumbo, Mr. Peterson? SALESMAN [finishing his second bowl ] I always love a good gumbo. Say, if I may ask, is there a mister Gump at home? LITTLE GUMP My daddy went away on vacation about 8 years ago. MRS GUMP Forrest, that‟ll do. SALESMAN Been having quite a vacation, sounds like. Well, (winking) good night, Mrs. Gump. MRS. FISCHER [as she and the other boarders leave the table ] Bobby, dear, you‟ve got to get some rest . . . BOBBY Leave me alone! MRS. FISCHER Now, Bobby--BOBBY [screams ] Go away! [focusing again on board ] What are you doing!? The Lasker Double Turnbuckle!? You idiot! OLD GUMP I was so happy to have someone to play with, all smart like, knowing all the names, and stuff. BOBBY Aargghh!! [pounds table, knocking over most of the pieces] You cheat! MOM!! I hate this place!! [exits, with MRS FISCHER following behind] LITTLE GUMP [following Bobby offstage ] If you wanna play later on, I‟ll leave the board set up, OK?

Scene 6: Dining Room
OLD GUMP I saw that boy, Bobby Fischer, later on when he was older and was in all the newspapers. He still didn‟t seem very happy, but I guess he got better at chess because he got to go play chess in Russia and Iceland and Atlanta. NURSE Too bad his manners didn‟t get any better. OLD GUMP There was always new people coming and going. One fellow stayed with us for a week, and every night he‟d play his guitar and sing. MRS GUMP and ELVIS PRESLEY enter, Elvis carrying a suitcase and
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-7guitar case. MRS GUMP Well, you just make yourself comfortable, Mr. Prester--ELVIS Presley, Ma‟am--MRS GUMP ---and if there‟s anything you need, you just holler. ELVIS Thank you, Ma‟am. LITTLE GUMP [running onstage ] Is that a guitar? Can you play it? ELVIS has sat down on a chair and begun strumming his guitar, playing the chords of ”Heartbreak Hotel.” LITTLE GUMP is at first transfixed, but soon begins moving awkwardly, his leg braces giving his dance a curious, jerky look. ELVIS [sings ] “Well, since my baby left, I found a new place to dwell, Well, it‟s down at the end of Lonely Street, at Heartbreak Hotel. Well, I‟ll be so---, Heartbreak is so lonely, baby, Well, I‟m so lonely, I‟ll be so lonely I could die.” [to LITTLE GUMP ] Say, I like that. MRS. GUMP [offstage ] Forrest! Are you in there botherin‟ Mr. Presley? ELVIS Oh, it‟s alright, Mrs. Gump. We‟re just foolin‟ around on the guitar here. MRS GUMP [offstage ] Well, Forrest you behave yourself. ELVIS Say, man, show me that crazy little walk you just did there. Slow it down some. Let‟s try it with somethin‟ different. **** music up: “All Shook Up” **** performed by ELVIS and, after the first verse, with the GUMP BAND Forrest begins to dance again as Elvis plays and sings “A well‟a bless my soul, what‟sa wrong with me? I‟m itchin‟ like a man on a fuzzy tree My friends say I‟m actin‟ wild as a bug I‟m in love, I‟m all shook up. Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay.” The BOARDERS come in, drawn by the music, making disapproving noises and rolling their eyes. They speak over an instrumental verse. SALESMAN Well, what in the world . . .? PREACHER Boys… boys! That‟s the devil‟s own music, there! MABEL CARTER [yelling ] Myrtle! What‟s going on? What‟s that noise? MYRTLE CARTER
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-8[yelling ] It‟s a kind of music, Mabel . . . I think. MABEL CARTER What? Are they injured or sick? PREACHER No good can come of this! MYRTLE CARTER You know, Henry, I kinda like it. MRS. GUMP Forrest! Now, what did I tell you? MRS. FISCHER Come on, Bobby, they‟re playin‟ that Rocky Roller music! The stage crew sets a microphone in front of ELVIS, now standing, as drums, bass, and electric guitar kick in behind. Before long, taking their cues from the gyrating hips of LITTLE GUMP, the whole gang of BOARDERS begins swaying to the music, and soon are doing passable imitations of the moves initiated by Forrest and Elvis. Only BOBBY FISCHER stands by, sullenly refusing to move. “Well, my hands are shaky and my knees are weak I can't seem to stand on my own two feet Who do you think of when you have such luck? I'm in love, I'm all shook up. Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay. My tongue gets tied when I try to speak My insides shake like a leaf on a tree There's only one cure for this body of mine That's to have that girl that I love so fine! She touched my hand what a chill I got Her lips are like a volcano that's hot I'm proud to say that she's my buttercup I'm in love, I'm all shook up Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay, yay Mm mm mm, mm, yay, yay I'm all shook up.” At conclusion of song, the BOARDERS, suddenly embarrassed at their display, quickly re-arrange their disheveled clothing, and with slightly guilty glances, head offstage. ELVIS takes LITTLE GUMP under his arm. ELVIS Hey, you ole Hound Dog, you‟re all right. [ they exit ]

Scene 7: Classroom
(8 old-fashioned desk-chairs, chalkboard) OLD GUMP I liked that young man. He sounded good. Later on, we saw that young man on T.V., and do you know what? That little dance that I showed him--- he was doin‟ it right there on the T.V.
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-9NURSE On the T.V.? Is that a fact? OLD GUMP Yes, Ma‟am. But later on they made him a king, or some kind of king, or somethin‟, and he forgot how to do the dance, and then he died. NURSE Tsk, tsk. What a shame. OLD GUMP [Studies NURSE’s shoes.] I‟ll bet those are very comfortable shoes. NURSE Why, yes, they are. OLD GUMP [Struggling with himself, wanting to ask, but knowing he must not. With relief, he remembers his manners and offers her a chocolate.] Would you like a chocolate? NURSE Well, thank you very much. OLD GUMP It was right around that time I met Jenny. It was at the start of fourth grade---well, for me it should have been sixth grade, but they kept me back because I couldn‟t, you know, read, or write, so well. I never really learned how. She was wearing a yellow dress, and she sat down next to me in math class. I thought she was prettiest girl I ever saw. Meanwhile, a group of eight STUDENTS, including JENNY and LITTLE GUMP, who keep looking at each other, have arranged chairs in two rows, and a TEACHER has set up a portable chalkboard, and distributed test paper to all the students. TEACHER All right, class. You have fifteen minutes to do the 20 problems on the board. Do your own work and put your pencil down when your finished. The students busy themselves with the exercise. One girl, JENNY, is in obvious discomfort, and it’s clear that she doesn’t know how to do the problems. FORREST, seated next to her, leans over and whispers an answer. Delighted, she writes it down. Forrest starts to help her with another, when he is spotted by the teacher. TEACHER Forrest Gump! Do your own work and don‟t you dare go asking anyone else for answers, you hear! RALPH [in an insulting sing-song] Faw-wurrrst Guh-uhmp. SALLY What a loser! ARNIE Hey Gump! As Forrest looks his way, the boy tosses a paper wad at his face, and at just about the same time, DARLENE shoots a spitball at him. JENNY [rising to Forrest’s defense ] Cut it out! You‟ve got no right to do that! TEACHER Jenny Curran, that‟s enough! The class goes grimly back to work, all but Forrest, who sits quietly looking ahead (and stealing glances at JENNY). After a while the TEACHER sees that he isn’t doing his test. TEACHER

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- 10 Mr. Gump? I‟d like to see you at least making some kind of effort here. Please do the problems like everyone else. LITTLE GUMP OK. TEACHER [as Forrest simply sits quietly, making no effort to write ] Forrest? Hello, earth to Forrest? Did you hear me? LITTLE GUMP Yes, ma‟am. TEACHER And? [FORREST rolls his eyes anxiously, with no idea what to say ] All right, Forrest. We‟ll do it your way. [she writes on his quiz paper and whisks it off his desk ] Zee-ro. Now just sit quietly and don‟t bother the others. LITTLE GUMP Yes, Ma‟am. [pause] I know the answers, Mrs. Trimble. TEACHER Forrest, please! LITTLE GUMP [pause ] 15 times 20 equals 300. TEACHER Forrest, this is a quiz! LITTLE GUMP 850 divided by 5 is 170. TEACHER Forrest, you can‟t just--LITTLE GUMP 240 times 83 is--TEACHER Forrest!! Stop it! [she pauses, trying to make sense of the boy, and becomes curious ] You‟re not fooling with me, are you Forrest? You really can do these? LITTLE GUMP Yes, ma‟am She writes a problem on the board. No sooner has the chalk finished moving than Forrest has the answer. LITTLE GUMP Eighteen. [She writes another, harder this time; FORREST scowls, thinking for just moment ] Five hundred and eighty-nine. [She is astonished, but after a moment writes out a final, difficult problem; this one takes Forrest a little longer.] Fifteen point three seven seven. TEACHER [taking Forrest by the arm] You come with me. We‟re going to see the school psychologist. FORREST and TEACHER exit R. The STUDENTS furtively sneak off L.

Scene 8: Psychologist’s Office
(small desk and two chairs) OLD GUMP They was all excited about me for a little while, because when you are slow--and you see, that‟s what I am, slow---hyou‟re not supposed to be slow at some things and not slow with other things.
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- 11 NURSE Thank goodness you‟re a human being and not a clock. And who‟s to say what “slow” is? Did you know that Einstein never spoke a word till he was six? OLD GUMP Albert Einstein the Nobel-prize-winning physicist? NURSE Um-hmm. OLD GUMP He was like me? NURSE He had a big bushy moustache, but otherwise, sure. OLD GUMP Well, back at my school, they didn‟t think so. PSYCHOLOGIST: LITTLE GUMP: PSYCHOLOGIST: LITTLE GUMP: PSYCHOLOGIST: LITTLE GUMP: PSYCHOLOGIST: see. LITTLE GUMP: PSYCHOLOGIST:
LITTLE GUMP:

Good morning. I‟m Mrs. Freud, the school pyschologist. Good morning, I‟m Forrest Gump. How are you feeling today? OK. Are you having any problems you‟d like to share with me? No. [holding up an ink blot test ] Now, Forrest, I‟d like you to tell me what you I see you, and some inky paper, and a desk… [ laughing ] Ah, no, Forrest. I mean, what do you see here, in my hands? A blotch.

PSYCHOLOGIST Well, yes, of course, Forrest. But what does it suggest to you? LITTLE GUMP What does the blotch suggest? PSYCHOLOGIST Yes, Forrest. What-does-this-shape-make-you-think-of!? [after a moment, in which Forrest merely sits politely ] Forrest? Can you answer my question? LITTLE GUMP About the blotch? PSYCHOLOGIST About the blotch. LITTLE GUMP What it looks like? PSYCHOLOGIST Yes---what it looks like! [long pause ] Now, just relax, Forrest. Breathe. That‟s it. Forrest, when you look at this shape, what do you see? Take your time. [pause] That‟s it. Now, just say the first thing that comes into your mind. LITTLE GUMP Blotch. The PSYCHOLOGIST drops her head to the table and moans. From offstage comes a school bell announcing recess, and cheering kids can be heard. The TEACHER comes back to help her out, and they exit.

Scene 9: Playground

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- 12 LITTLE GUMP shrugs and moves downstage, chasing imaginary grasshoppers. 14 kids (the MEAN BOYS, MEAN GIRLS, NICE BOYS and NICE GIRLS) run on, hootin’ and hollerin’. JENNY straggles on last of all. WEASEL [indicating LITTLE GUMP ] Hey, guys… ARNIE, BUSTER, WEASEL [advancing together on LITTLE GUMP, making a turkey gobble of his name ] Gump-gump-gumpgump-gump-gump-gump-gum-gump. DARLENE Hey, Gump, ya want a Hershey bar? LITTLE GUMP OK. DARLENE Me too! SALLY Oh, Forrest, what‟s this on your shirt? [she points, and then thwacks his nose when he looks down ] BUSTER [to LITTLE GUMP ] Hey, Einstein? Wanna play a game? LITTLE GUMP What kind of game? BUSTER [making “horns” on his head with his fingers, and moving toward ] A…game…called…. ALL [big yell ] Wooly Bully! **** music up: “Wooly Bully” **** by the kids, CHORUS and the GUMP BAND During the song, the kids have a lot of fun, but increasingly make LITTLE GUMP the focus of their teasing and some rough horseplay. He is the wooly beast, and they, the brave hunters. The MEAN BOYS and MEAN GIRLS do all of the actual teasing, while the NICE BOYS and NICE GIRLS dance and have a good time, and pretend not to see the bullying of the others. Jenny starts dancing with the others, but after a while, stops and stands to the side, watching Forrest. At first, Forrest tries gamely, bewildered, to participate in the fun, until even he realizes its real purpose, and stands quietly defiant. ALL “Uno, dos, one, two, tres, quatro Matty told Hatty about a thing she saw. Had two big horns and a wooly jaw. Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully. Hatty told Matty, „Let's don't take no chance. Let's not be L-seven, come and learn to dance.‟ Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.” JENNY [moving to Forrest’s side ] Wooly bully, yourself! [she now inserts herself between Forrest and each teasing “hunter”, pushing them angrily away ] RALPH
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- 13 Ah, forget it. Let‟s go. [music and voices fade as the kids, except JENNY and LITTLE GUMP, exit ] ALL “Matty told Hatty, That's the thing to do. Get you someone really to pull the wool with you. Wooly bully, wooly bully. Wooly bully, wooly bully, wooly bully.” JENNY [arranging Forrest’s mussed shirt and hair ] I‟m sorry they treat you like that. LITTLE GUMP It‟s OK. JENNY Come on. You want to walk with me? [she starts off ] I‟m Jenny. LITTLE GUMP I know. I‟m Forrest Gump. [they exit ]

Scene 10: Curran’s Living Room
(a La-Z-boy chair, scattered trash) NURSE Tsk. Why, they were awful to you, those children. OLD GUMP Oh, mostly they were just playing. Jenny and I walked around together that day, and we started walking around together every day, just talkin‟ and climbing trees and such. Jenny never seemed to want to go home. She lived in an old house with junk all around. Her momma had gone up to heaven when she was five, and her daddy was some kind of farmer, but I don‟t think he really did much work. CLYDE CURRAN [sitting in la-Z-boy chair, in a dirty tee, old food wrappers and beer bottle piled around him ] Jenny! Get in here! Jenny!! OLD GUMP Jenny asked me not to come around her house. She said that her Daddy needed his peace and quiet. CLYDE CURRAN Damn it, girl! Don‟t you keep your daddy waitin‟. [he thrusts a fistful of empties at her ] Git me some more. JENNY [having run on, fearfully, and now backing away toward the “kitchen”] Yes, sir. OLD GUMP One day, I went to Jenny‟s house, anyway, because she hadn‟t been to school in three days. CLYDE CURRAN [as Jenny returns with beer] That‟s a good girl. Tomorrow, you get started fixin up that shed like I told you. JENNY Daddy, wait---you said--CLYDE And you‟d best git it right this time, girl. JENNY But you said I could go back to school, tomorrow---

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- 14 FORREST has appeared behind them, and he stops there, watching in confusion. CLYDE You don‟t need no school! You need to take better care „a your Daddy. JENNY But Mrs. Trimble said--CLYDE [ grabbing her ] You getting‟ sassy with me, girl? JENNY No, Daddy, it‟s just---I gotta go back--CLYDE You want schoolin‟? That what you want? How „bout we start with a little lesson right now [makes a fist and prepares to strike ] JENNY [ screaming ] No, Daddy… please… LITTLE GUMP [advancing with all the ferocity he can muster, moving, as ever, awkwardly in his braces ] Stop! Stop! Let her go! CLYDE CURRAN [knocking FORREST to the ground ] You get outta here. I told you, Jenny, I don‟t want that little half-wit around here. [he throws her to the ground, on the other side of the stage, and removes his belt ] You gonna learn to mind what your daddy tells you, girl. LITTLE GUMP has removed his leg braces, and now begins to use them as clubs, managing to knock CLYDE down. He helps JENNY to her feet, and they back away from the startled drunk. LITTLE GUMP Y-you stay away from her! I won‟t let you hurt Jenny no more! The children exit, as CLYDE gets up, thinks about chasing them, and decides, with a muttered “Damn!”, to open a beer instead, and walks off.

Scene 11: Playground
OLD GUMP Jenny prayed that God would make her into a bird so she could fly far away. Momma said never mind about that, and then the police came and said that Jenny didn‟t have to stay with her Daddy no more. NURSE Tsk, tsk. Well at least she was out of that awful house! OLD GUMP She went to live Stoneman Avenue with her Gramma, which made me happy because it is so close by. [pause ] My legs were better then, and it turned out I could run pretty fast. The boys who used to chase me started in to just throwin thing instead, since they couldn‟t catch me no more. LITTLE GUMP runs on L while SCHOOLBOYS yell O.S.L.; a barrage of objects are thrown at him. LITTLE GUMP defends himself best he can, then runs off R. Three SCHOOLBOYS run on L, but give up chasing when they see Forrest is gone, and they walk off. Then FORREST appears again, R, and is again pelted with objects. OLD GUMP
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- 15 Momma gave me an ole fry-pan, cause it seemed that someone was always throwing something at me---dirt clods, old apples, cow patties, eggs, stuff like that. MRS GUMP walks on with a towel and a frying pan. She wipes off his face, leaves him with the pan, and exits. Once again, yelling from offstage, and objects rain on Forrest, but now he begins successfully fending them off with the pan. OLD GUMP I got pretty good with that ole fry-pan. Coach Mavis seen me one day, and said she liked my style. She gave me my own tennis racquet, and put me on the tennis team. NURSE You don‟t say! COACH MAVIS Here you go, champ! Just think of the ball as one of them old apples or eggs you‟re so good at knockin‟ down! Just as Forrest had been bombarded with objects from offstage, he now returns tennis balls that fly at him as quickly as he can hit them. OLD GUMP I liked hittin‟ those fuzzy balls, but they is some things about tennis that you would not believe. They have special numbers, like “zero” which is really called “love” and “one” is really “fifteen,” except when it‟s five, and two is thirty, and so on. You wouldn‟t believe it, but it‟s true. [pause ] Jenny used to watch me play tennis, and then we‟d walk home together. Jenny and me was like peas and carrots.

Scene 12: Playground
The barrage of tennis balls stops, and JENNY enters with bicycle, smiling at Forrest. They talk asJenny tries to balance in place on her bike. JENNY Forrest? You know what I‟m going to be? LITTLE GUMP No. JENNY I‟m going to be a folk singer, Forrest. I‟m going to be famous, like Joan Baez. LITTLE GUMP I think you‟ll be a very good folk singer, Jenny. JENNY What are you going to be Forrest? LITTLE GUMP I‟ll be Forrest Gump. JENNY I know that, silly! I mean what are you going to do? LITTLE GUMP The counselor said there was lots of jobs for slow people, and I could do one of them. JENNY Forrest, don‟t say that. LITTLE GUMP No. OK. JENNY
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- 16 You‟re really special. And you‟re really good at lots of things. LITTLE GUMP OK. JENNY Really, Forrest, I mean it. LITTLE GUMP I can‟t read, Jenny. JENNY I don‟t care. LITTLE FORREST I never know what to say. JENNY Oh, Forrest! OLD GUMP You won‟t believe it, what Jenny did then. She leaned over and kissed me. NURSE Oh, my! I thought I was going to fall over. ED and MARTHA appear S.L. and S.R., shyly watching Forrest and Jenny. DONALD Wh-wh-what‟re you g-g-g-guys doing? JENNY Would you like to play with us? DONALD Sh-sh-Sure. Alright. MARTHA [she has a nervous tick, causing her head to jerk every few moments ] Me, too? JENNY Come on, Martha. You want to ride my bike? RALPH and WEASEL, the bullies from earlier scene, appear, with basketball, and a mean attitude. RALPH Whaddya know? The Losers Club. WEASEL Faw-wust Guh-ump. RALPH Hey, Duh-duh-duh-Donald. W-w-wanta p-p-play with us? [he fakes a hard throw at Donald, laughs, and toss ball to WEASEL ] WEASEL Got all your dummy friends together, huh, Gump? WEASEL fakes a throw at FORREST, who doesn’t flinch, then throws ball, hard, at Forrest’s head. Forrest catches the ball, and throws it back so hard that WEASEL, catching it, falls over backwards. WEASEL Jeez, Gump, what are you, psycho?
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OLD GUMP

- 17 RALPH has been tormenting MARTHA, getting close and imitating her tick. He makes a violent gesture in her face, and she falls down, hurting her hand. FORREST moves between them. OLD GUMP That‟s when somethin‟ just came over me. What did you do? I told that boy I was going to hit him. LITTLE GUMP You shouldn‟t do that. RALPH [imitating Forrest’s speech ] But---I like to, dummy, OK? LITTLE GUMP If you don‟t leave her alone, I‟ll hit you. [he makes a fist and pulls back his arm ] OK? WEASEL Ralph, the kid‟s psycho. Let‟s just go. RALPH Psycho. Freak. WEASEL C‟mon, Ralph. RALPH [as he backs away from the unwavering FORREST, and the other kids, who have formed a line beside him. ] We‟ll be back for you, freak. [leaves, with WEASEL ] LITTLE GUMP [to MARTHA ] Are you OK? JEFF and TOM, from S.L., and SANDY and CADDIE, from S.R., move toward Forrest and his friends. JEFF Hey, Forrest. TOM We was watching. Were you really gonna hit „im, Forrest? LITTLE GUMP I don‟t know. CADDIE He coulda hurt you. SANDY You were really brave. LITTLE GUMP OK. JENNY [taking his arm ] Yeah, Forrest, you really were. OLD GUMP Later on, Jenny left to go be a folk-singer and to find herself. Whatever that means---I never did know. But for a while there, she was happy, and it was the best time of my life. NURSE OLD GUMP

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- 18 ***** music up: “Stand by Me” ****** FORREST, JENNY, the 6 others, and the CHORUS END OF ACT ONE

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