A monologue from the play by Lauren Gunderson
REBECCA HEMINGES (sixties)
All right. Yes. This is mostly absurd and rather improbable, and you’re not even publishers. And the project is enormous and costly,
and it is all on your head because this theatre has come to depend on you for its very life. But not its art. You gave up the stage,
the stage you loved, the stage that made you and made you alive, to make The King’s Men great, and they are, you are.
That’s why you have to do this. That book is … it’s you. Those plays are you at your best. You gave up what you loved once, I won’t let you do it again.
A theater is an empty thing. A theater you fill up. With words. I’m tired too. I’m tired after my long days,
and I know my lines aren’t grand ones, “apples, pears, figs and nuts,” but I say them every day, on cue, with no applause.
Because not everyone doing good work gets applause.
And not everyone gets the chance at a legacy. Dammit John, that book is mine too. Those plays are mine and Ali’s and your sons’,
and I should tell you to abandon this thing just so I can have you at home, so your children can have you.
You know, the little people who sleep here at night.
I should tell you to drop this whole thing because that would make my life better and probably yours.
But those plays are not yours and not Will’s and not Burbage’s, no, they’re ours, and if they are lost to time,
I’m sorry my love, but that will be on your head. So you will do it. Yes, you will.