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AUTUMN LEAVES

Helen has been living on the farm since her marriage to George 54 years ago. George has recently passed away and Helen's mind isn't as sharp as it was. Her son Mike visits her everyday much to the objection of his overbearing wife Margaret. Noticing that his mother is showing signs of dementia he calls his sister who arrives out of the blue to "sort it all out." As the family struggles with the decision of where to put Helen it becomes very clear that she has no intention of going anywhere. After finally managing to remove her from the farm she returns to the there one night. It appears Helen has some unfinished business to deal with and the only place she finds comfortable to deal with it is the only home she has known all her married life. CAST 3 WOMEN 2 MEN Time: 2005 where: Ontario


Exerpt from Autumn leaves

LIGHTS UP.

ACT 1
Scene 1

A quaint little farmhouse that has seen better days. There is 
a Living room with an old woodstove and a set of stairs next to 
it going up. A radio can be heard in the background. There is 
also a closet and a door into the kitchen. An elderly lady 
(Helen) walks through the door, She is carrying a tray with 
cookies and coffee on it. She places it down and opens the 
front door. 

HELEN
	(Calling)
George! George! Oh there you are, coffeeís ready, Love.

ENTER GEORGE. 

He enters carrying a large pile of wood. He is a young man in 
the prime of his life around late twenties. He wears 6oís 
jeans and t-shirt and his hair is 60ís style.

HELEN
Oh, careful of my figurines.

GEORGE
If youíll move out of the way I can. . . .woman, youíre not 
being a help here.

HELEN
Be careful around my horses.

He turns around and knockís a horse figurine over.

HELEN
Oh George, youíve knocked over the Gelding.

She goes over and picks it up and sees that the leg has come 
off. 

HELEN (CONTíD)
Itís broken itís leg.

GEORGE
Helen, Iíve told you before about having them so close to the 
door. 

HELEN
Poor Gelding, that was my first one. 

GEORGE
If youíd have stayed out of the way. Iíll fix it, no one will 
know itís broken after Iíve finished with it.

HELEN
Iíll know! 

He puts the wood down in a large box next to the fireplace 

GEORGE 
There, that should do us for a few days. Iíll chop some more tomorrow.

HELEN
You broke off the leg, I wish youíd show a little more concern.

GEORGE
Itís a stupid, cheep, ornament, I said I was sorry what more do 
you want, blood?

HELEN
No you didnít and itís not stupid. You know Iíve been 
collecting these since I was a girl. Apology accepted. Now 
sit yourself down and put your feet up, you havenít stopped 
all day.

Helen starts to make the tea for them both. 

GEORGE
Thereís not much time to sit around when thereís a farm to run. 
But I will take a few minutes to rest my shoulder. 
	(rubbing his shoulder)

HELEN
Is it playing up again, love? Sit yourself down and Iíll rub 
some cream into it.

GEORGE
Ah, Iím fine, Iíll just rest it for a while and donít forget 
the sugar.

HELEN
I havenít forgotten the sugar, though Iíd like to. Too much 
sugarís bad for you, rots your teeth.

Hands him his coffee.

GEORGE
Stop fussing woman I got perfect teeth, a darn site better 
than yours.

HELEN
I got perfect teeth too, theyíre just not mine.

GEORGE
	(Leaning forward he listens to the radio)
Hey, listen. . . 
	(he gets up and turns the radio up)
theyíre playing our song. 

On the radio AUTUMN LEAVES is playing..

HELEN
	(Singing along with the music)
The autumn leaves of red and gold. . .

GEORGE (CONTD)
Come on, dance with me.

HELEN
What! No, Iím not. . . 

George pulls her off her chair and they start to dance.

HELEN (CONTíD)
Oh George, Iím too old.

GEORGE
	(Singing along too)
The sun burnt hands I used to hold.

HELEN
	(Singing)
Since you went away the days grow long.

BOTH
	(Singing)
And soon Iíll hear old winters song.


Helen starts to really enjoy herself.

GEORGE
Helen, you still got it. 

HELEN
	(Singing)
When autumn leaves start to fall. 

They continue to dance to the instrumental. They are interrupted 
by the sound of a car horn. They stop and Helen looks out.

HELEN
Itís our Michael.

GEORGE
	(Turning down the music)
Thatís enough to spoil the moment. 

HELEN
Oh George, be nice.

GEORGE
Iíve got stuff to do out back. 

HELEN
Please George, at least stay and say hello.

GEORGE
No, weíll only end up getting into it Helen, and today Iím 
not in the mood to be confrontational.

George exits through the kitchen as Michael enters through 
the front door. 

MICHAEL
Hi mom, I got your prescriptions but they were out of your 
silver polish so I got you this instead.

HELEN
	(Taking it from him)
This is no good, love, I canít use that on my silver frame. 

MICHAEL
Silver polish is silver polish, besides, this was half the 
price of the other stuff. 

HELEN
Because it does half the job. You mark my word, Iíll be 
redoing the silver a week from today. 

MICHAEL
Alright, Iíll take it back.

HELEN
All that rubbing and polishing, my wrists will be sore for 
weeks

MICHAEL
Iíll take it back mom.

HELEN
Besides that, the smell is awful, they put ammonia in it.

MICHAEL
	(Picking it up and putting it in his pocket)
Look, itís going back.

HELEN
Like kitty litter.

MICHAEL
Kitty litter? You want kitty litter.

HELEN
No, thatís what the ammonia smell reminds me of, when I used 
to change the kitty litter.

MICHAEL
You havenít had a cat in twenty years!

HELEN
But I remember the smell of the kitty litter. . . . He was a 
large ginger tom, one of the barn cats, what was his name?

MICHAEL
I donít remember. How is everything else mom? Are you well? 

HELEN
Iím very well, thank you love, howís work?

MIKE
Itís going okay. Iím still running the stall at the market on 
the weekend and doing the accounting through the week, trying 
to save for that new house is killing me. 

MARG
Youíre still going ahead with buying that cottage then?

MIKE
Margaret has her heart set on it. Weíre having a conservatory 
built on the back overlooking the water.

HELEN
And youíre going to live there?

MIKE
Yep. 

HELEN
Why you want to live at a cottage is beyond me. A cottage is 
used to spend the summer in not live there all year. The 
wind coming off that lake will be terrible in the winter. 

MIKE
Itíll be fine.

HELEN
Howís David and Lucy? 

MICHAEL
You know kids, too busy to spend much time with their 
parents. Lucyís hopefully getting her driving license this 
week and Davidís still planning the wedding of the century. 

HELEN
Is he getting married then?

MICHAEL
Mom, you know heís getting married, in July. 

HELEN
Do I? I forget. Did I get an invite?

MIKE
Of course.

HELEN
Whoís he marrying? 

MICHAEL
Malikah. You remember meeting her at the party last year.

HELEN
Malikah, Malikah, Oh yes, sheís that Lesbian isnít she?

MICHAEL
Lebanese mom. Her families from Lebanon. 

HELEN
Thatís a long way to come for a wedding. They must be 
foreign. Still, itís his life. Heís not planning on moving 
there is he?

MICHAEL
	(Exasperated)
No, heís not moving there. 
	(He sits)
Look, Iím not going to beat around the bush with you mom, 
Margaret and me, weíre worried about you. 

HELEN
Margaretís worried about me? 

MICHAEL
Of course she is, we both are.

HELEN
Whatís she so worried about? Does she think Iím going to 
change my will?

MICHAEL
Of course. . .

HELEN
Does she think Iím going to leave everything to the cat? Well 
tell her thereís not much chance of that, I canít even 
remember his name. My estate will be divided equally between 
you and Karen. 

MICHAEL
Mom. 

HELEN
Oh Michael, you and that wife of yours can cease worrying about 
me because Iím fine. You have your own problems with your 
family and your work and Lesbian weddingís you donít need to go 
concerning yourself about me. 

MICHAEL
I know, but  itís only been six months since. . . dad died and 
I canít help worrying about you being here in this drafty old farmhouse on your own.

HELEN
Oh now youíre speaking nonsense! I wish you wouldnít talk like 
that. Weíve been through this a million times, Iím not selling 
the farm and Iím not alone.

MICHAEL
I know, Mrs. Jarvis comes over to see you and then thereís 
that weird chap next door. . .

HELEN
Michael, Listen, if it all gets too much for me to handle I 
will call you and let you know. 

MIKE
Alright mom, itís a deal.
	(He kisses her)
Iíd better be off, Iíve got a million things to do before 
the weekend.

HELEN
Have you called your sister?

MIKE
Karen, no, why would I call her?

HELEN
She IS your sister, love. 

MIKE
And she could call me, but she wont! Sheís too busy living 
the life of Edmontonís newest socialite. Besides, if I need 
someone to remind me of what a loser I am I have a wife that 
does that. Iíll call in to see you on Sunday.

HELEN
Alright, see you Sunday. Oh, Sunny!

MICHAEL
Sunny?

HELEN
The catís name, it was Sunny. 

MICHAEL
Bye mom.

Michael exits. Helen goes over to the kitchen door and 
calls George.

HELEN
George!. . Okay Mr. Itís safe to come out, the troops are retreating. 

George enters with a newspaper. He sits down and opens it 
up as Helen unpacks the bag that Michael brought in. 

HELEN
Did you hear any of that?

GEORGE
Mm, mm. 

HELEN
You know our son thinks youíre dead donít you?

GEORGE
Mm, mm.

BLACKOUT.