[ A street bench, spotlight above a random couple comes on stage in a romance that lingers. They find comfort on the bench, as the music slowly builds from a base rhythm to a more middle eastern vibe. They hug and kiss, young sirens wail, and they take flight. ]
Patrol. [ a patrol of some discreet origin walks the periphery with wild eyes searching the crowd and flashlights ]
Egyptians. [ two Egyptians hidden in the audience burst into the flashlight beams ] Over here!
Patrol. [ lights pointing so only their feet are illuminated ] Quiet! You are like sand in the eyes of the sultan. Be quiet and come here before you are wiped away!
Egyptians. [ feet circling the bench now in anxiety ] What do we do now?
Patrol. We have the square!
Egyptians. [ pleading ] What do we do?!
[ a cell phone buzzes and ring tone goes off, it lays on the bench ]
Patrol. Gunfire! Get down!
Egyptians. No, look there. A phone. [ one picks it up ] A text message. “Meet at Tahrir Square.”
[ “with the lights out, this gets dangerous” clip from Nirvana on the sound system ]
[ a cheerful wave of protesters, praising each other, and yet ominously fashioned with machine guns and bullet vests, encircling the bench, riotous dance-able egyptian music ]
Iris. [ female reporter edging her way in ] In the clearest display of democracy in action in this country in ages, Tahrir is ablaze with the communion of revolution.
Egyptians. [ cheering ]
Iris. These are the people of Egypt. Under the dictatorship of democratically elected President Mubarak, the people have faced years of growing inequality and have united to make their presence known.
Egyptians. [ cheering ]
Iris. [climbing up on the bench ]
The President is on the balcony now. He’s announcing… he’s stepping down!
Egyptians. [ even more cheering ]
Iris. What a sight, from what I can see the people are more connected than ever with their power, the military has pledged their support of this non-violent protest that has Occupied the square for months.
Iris. [ climbing down and putting down the microphone ]
[ gunshots ring out, the dancing and circling continues, but armed vigilantes enter the ring around the bench ]
Iris. [ pleading to someone, someone in the audience ] Are you getting this? Followers of Mubarak have entered the square in a rage of violence. There’s anarchy!
Egyptians. [ the dance gets aggressive, instead of flowing arms and legs, punches and kicks start getting thrown ]
Iris. [ again, searching and pleading for someone unknown in the audience ]
We’ve got to get out of here!
Egyptians. [ some from the circle ] Get her!
Iris. [ a few men grab her and hold her arms and legs, hold her down on the bench, like she’s about to be drawn and quartered ] No!
Iris. [ struggling ] Help! Help!
[ a voice from off stage, the dance settles down and they listen ]
Cassandra. Don’t hurt her! She’s one of us!
Egyptians. She’s an American! Supporter of the bastard Mubarak!
Cassandra. She’s a working woman. She’s fighting for you to share your story!
Egyptians. Who says?
Cassandra. Check her phone.
[ they release her and signal her to hand over her phone ]
Egyptians. It’s true. Pictures of brothers. The Flag. The Square. She is one of us.
[ with the lights out: end scene ]