Ned Bobkoff

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The Man At The Piano Is Not Here

Opening Monologue


(1856. Clara Schumann's sanctuary, her music room. A photo of Robert and Clara Schumann on the piano that dominates the room. Clara writing in the diary that she and her husband shared, filled with the secrets of their life together. Places a flower between the pages of the diary. Closes it.)
The Man At The Piano Is Not Here

Suzanne Sturn as Clara Schumann
Robert Schuman, my dearest, why don't you write to me?! Are you so weak that you cannot write to your wife? For two and half years they have not let me see you. Two and a half years!

(shuffles through medical reports)

All I have are these absurd reports from Dr. Richardz. He says you are comfortable. Well taken care of. Comfortable, well taken care of? I am your wife, I have every right to see you! It was a mistake, a disastrous mistake. I will never forgive myself for sending you away...
(eyes well up)

How can I forget the night you rose from our bed? Eyes wide open. Terrified. Tossing your head violently, from side to side, you kept hearing hideous passages of wild, clanging notes.. Shouting that the notes were being played endlessly in space. Demons, you said, were after you. Demons? Only you could hear them. Hush, darling. Hush....

(at the piano)

Come, my sweet, I will play music to soothe you….

(Music: R. Schumann, “Kinderszenen, Op.15” (Scenes of Childhood).

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Ned Bobkoff
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