TOBY CAMPION

LOGLINE:  Mike thinks he is doing the right thing when he dismisses Rocio as his counseling client.  He has developed amorous feelings for her.  Then, presto!  Her simmering mother issues burst forth in flesh.  Synchronistically, so do his.  Mike's mentor, a Jesuit, complicates this mash-up with a passion both sacred and profane.  Doctor, heal thyself.  Priest, pray for thyself.  Lover, love thyself.

​Alejandra Flores as Otilia, and Shelly Kurtz as Father Godfrey.

Mike Etzrodt as Mike, and Liz Del Sol as Rocio.



SAMPLE DIALOGUE.  

FULL SCRIPT AVAILABLE UPON REQUEST


(IN ACT ONE, AS MIKE, 34, A PSYCHOLOGIST, CONCLUDES HIS THIRD SESSION

WITH ROCIO, 26, HER MOTHER OTILIA WALKS IN ON THEM.)


(The door opens.  Enter OTILIA.  She surveys the scene.  With put-on cordiality...)

OTILIA
Mm-mm.  Good afternoon, everybody.  

ROCIO
Ohmigod.  Mom? 

MIKE
Your mother...?  (on his feet; up)  Good afternoon, Mrs...

ROCIO
(standing)  Galindo.

MIKE
(flustered)  Mrs. Galindo, welcome.  This is unexpected.

OTILIA
Oh, really?  You think so?

MIKE
I’m Mike Shaw, Rocio’s psychologist. (offers to shake; she ignores this)  I’m not sure why you...but here, have a seat. 

OTILIA
(doesn’t sit)  Thanks you, Doctor.

ROCIO
Mom, what you’re doing here?

OTILIA
To give you a ride home, mi vida.  

MIKE
(relieved)  Oh, I get it.  You’re Rocio’s ride. 

OTILIA
No, Doctor, she lives with me.  I am her pro-gen-i-tora. 

MIKE
Rocio, didn’t you tell me you lived with a roommate?

ROCIO
(nodding at Otilia)  Well...! 

OTILIA
Andale, chulita, vámonos.  En la casa vamos a placticar todo esto, pero en de-ta-lle.  (stumbles on therapy doll)  Y esta cosita?

MIKE
We were still in session when you came in, Mrs. Galindo.  

OTILIA
(simmers a beat, then)  Muy bien, todo en orden.  Órale, preciosa.

ROCIO
Wait in the car.  I’ll be down when my hour is over.

OTILIA
Oh, no, chulita.  It’s over.

MIKE
If your mother would like to stay a few minutes, it could be very fruitful.  That is, from a therapeutic stand-point.

OTILIA
(to Rocio; calm)  ¿No me oíste?  Que esto ya pasó a la historia, y a buena hora.  Vámonos.

ROCIO
No, Mom, you’re leaving.

OTILIA
Perdon, mi amor.  ¿Cómo me dijiste?

ROCIO
No?  Okay, then let’s do what he says.  We’ll have it out, the two of us, you and me, here and now.

MIKE
Mrs. Galindo?  Would you give your consent to do that?

OTILIA
I’m sorry, Doctor, there is a big confusion.

MIKE
A good two-way conversation can be very healthy, I assure you.

OTILIA
Nothing assures me here.  ‘Specially you, Doctor.

(OTILIA sits heavily, more from emotional fatigue than agreement.)

MIKE
Would you like to go first, Rocio? No?  Then, uh, how about you, Otilia?  You haven’t walked in on us like this before.  Why did you show up here now?  Why today?

OTILIA
Well.  (reluctant, but)  As I was driving home from work, I get a certain feeling that we mothers get, so I call my daughter.  I call her three times, only she is not answering the two-hundred-dollar cell phone with a camera, you know?  Then something tells me, no.  The situation up there with that doctor -- no, no, no.  Not condoo-sive. 

MIKE
Not conducive to what?  

OTILIA
I’m sorry...?

ROCIO
In her version of English, that word means--

OTILIA
--tú no empieces.  

ROCIO
(to Mike)  See?  See how she does it?

OTILIA
(shoves the therapy doll with her foot)  Better not to ask, eh, Doctor?

ROCIO
It’s you, Mom.  

OTILIA
Ah, sí?  Qué preciosidad.  

ROCIO
I’m serious, it is.

MIKE
Careful, Rocio.

ROCIO
Right.  Surrogate transference is way over her head. 

OTILIA
(first explosion)  Que qué?  

ROCIO
Psychology, Mom.  You wouldn’t understand.

OTILIA
Well, I detest the psychology, eh?  I want you to es-stop es-studying the es-stupid psychology.  Keep to being a teacher, mijita, that is your destiny.  Es más -- I want you never come to see this doctor again.  Si no, I demand you will leave home, leave the apartment, pero ya!  Entendida?

ROCIO
Oh, wow, great.  I’ve been trying to leave for three years and get my own place, only guess what?  You’ll die, Mom.  You’ll get your asthma back, your foot fungus, your ulcer.

OTILIA
That is all the past.

ROCIO
You promise to stop living in it?

OTILIA
Cómo?  Me estás amenazando?

ROCIO
No, Mom, I’m challenging you.

OTILIA
Andale, muñequita.  Esta fiesta ya se acabo.

MIKE
All right, okay.  If this were an actual session, we would start to explore what each of you is feeling right now.

ROCIO
Mom?  You want to say how you’re feeling?

OTILIA
Para que?

ROCIO
Fine.  Then I want to tell you something.  (summoning courage)  I hate you, Mom.

MIKE
Good opening, Rocio.  

OTILIA
Good?  Not for me good!  

MIKE
No, no, that she can get out what she has to tell you.  Very healthy.  Your turn, Otilia.    

OTILIA
How about your turn, eh, Doctor?  How you feel about everything in your life?  For example, about me.  

MIKE
Mrs. Galindo, I’m sure you are a wonderful human being.

OTILIA
I am not a human being.  I am a mother!

                     ​Hands-On Therapy 

is a play in two acts.  It premiered at The Secret Rose Theatre in North Hollywood, CA in 2008, produced by C.Raul Espinoza and directed by Eddie Padilla.  The action unfolds mainly in English, with brief exchanges in Spanish where appropriate.