Cast of Characters
RICO                      MARIA’s roommate. Kicked out by his parents for being gay at the age of twelve. Now 18 years old.

MARIA                   Found RICO sleeping on a bench one night and decided to take him in. Now 40 years old.

OFFICER JONES       The young officer that raids the Stonewall Inn on June 28, 2029. 

MS. FIELDS                Owner of the Stonewall Inn. A caring woman of about 80. Was part of the first Stonewall Riot. Took MARIA in when she was young.

Scene
New York, New York. At the Stonewall Inn.


Time
The year 2029.

Scene 1
AT RISE:                  June 27, 2029. New York, New York. Inside the Stonewall Inn. 
MARIA and RICO sit at the bar. MARIA gets a drink from MS. FIELDS.     

MARIA
You know, no matter how many times we come here I’m always a little in awe. Sixty years ago, this place was somewhere to hide and be who you are. Thirty years ago, it was a place we could celebrate a win. Now look at it— 
            (Flicks a crumpled-up napkin)  

Back to where we started. Having to hide from the world.  
            (Scoffs) 
When I was a kid it didn’t matter that you were different as long as you never let anyone take away what you believed. I guess at some point we got to be ungrateful for what we had.  

RICO
(Sighs)  
God, I’d give anything to live then. I can only imagine what it would be like to hold another boy’s hand and not be afraid of who saw. Can you tell me a little more of what it was like? 

MS. FIELDS
We had these parties in the streets of cities. Thousands of queer people would show up, wear their flags and celebrate life. They were always pretty magical.

MARIA
You never heard of the pride parades, Rico?

RICO
Nah. Growing up outside of the city with suffocating parents will do that to a person, though. 
(OFFICER JONES walks through the doors. In a panic RICO and MARIA run for the back door. The OFFICER stops MARIA before she can make it.) 

OFFICER JONES
Where are you going in such a hurry, ma’am? 

MARIA
  (Turns and smiles at the officer.)  
I was just heading upstairs to my apartment. 

OFFICER JONES
You live above this place? How can you stand it with all the queer shit that happens down here? 

MARIA
Oh, I’ve lived around here for quite a while. You just sorta get used to it, I guess. I best be on my way now, I’ve gotta start dinner.
(She turns to leave but the officer clears his throat. MARIA quickly puts on a fake smile and returns her attention to the officer.)
 Yes?                         
OFFICER JONES
You wouldn’t happen to be one of those queers, would you, Miss? 
MARIA
(Hesitates before answering) 
No, sir.           

OFFICER JONES
Do you know where any of them from here ran off to?

MARIA
No, sir. 

OFFICER JONES
You might want to stay away from these places then. Gives you a bad look in the community. Don’t want nice men getting the wrong idea. 
(MARIA nods softly but stays put as OFFICER JONES turns to MS. FIELDS and nods.)

MS. FIELDS
I think your welcome here is over. Goodbye. 
(OFFICER JONES exits. MS. FIELDS walks over and hugs MARIA who is shaking.) 

MARIA
That was way too close, Ms. Fields. 

MS. FIELDS
I know, dear. But he’s gone now. Don’t worry too much. 
End scene

Scene 2
AT RISE:                  June 28, 2029. MARIA’S apartment.
RICO and MARIA get ready for the party at Stonewall. Today marks sixty years since the first riot.  
 
MARIA is standing in the kitchen looking at her phone when RICO enters looking unsure of himself

RICO
Hey, Maria. Can I ask you something?

MARIA
       (Without looking up)
Of course, what’s up?

RICO
Why is it that you helped me that day you saw me on the bench seven years ago?

MARIA
            (She looks at RICO and shrugs)  
I don’t know, kid. I guess I just wouldn’t have been able to live with myself if I hadn’t. After all, you were a helpless 11-year-old kid. Why is this coming up now?

RICO
I dunno. My parents called last night and told me the same things they did when I first came out and it had me thinking.
(At this, MARIA tenses)

MARIA
Oh, cool. You block their numbers yet?

RICO
Well… no. But you see this is the first time they’ve called in like six years. 
            (MARIA sighs. RICO gets defensive)
RICO
You can’t really expect me to throw everything away so soon. I mean look at you, you got yourself kicked out too and disowned 23 years ago and yet you still have these pictures around the apartment.
(MARIA nods softly. She doesn’t say anything and looks down at her phone.)

MARIA
We should start getting ready. I told Ms. Fields you would help her set up.

RICO
All by myself?                       

MARIA
Well yeah, you don’t expect Ms. Fields to do it, do you? 

RICO
What about you? 

MARIA
I’ve got other things to handle. Let’s go.
(She shoos RICO out the door and goes to grab her jacket which is sitting on the dining table. As she heads toward the door, she stops and picks up the picture frame on the side table. Without hesitation she goes back to throw it in the trash.)

Scene 3
 AT RISE:                  Downstairs in the bar 
RICO begins setting up chairs and tables. MARIA heads toward the door

MARIA
I’ll be back in a little bit. I’m going to go see if anyone knows where the police rounds are today. Don’t forget to sweep under the tables when you’re done. 
            (MARIA exits) 

RICO
            (Aside)  
Rico do this, Rico do that. Damn, that woman is lucky I owe her my life.
(Moves extra chairs out of the way and sets up tables. Once finished, RICO sits at one of the tables waiting for MARIA to get back. MS. FIELDS sits next to him.) 

MS. FIELDS
Thank you for your help, Rico. 

RICO
No problem. We’d help you with anything ya know. 
(MS. FIELDS looks around at the empty, dust-covered tables and sighs.) 

MS. FIELDS
This place used to be so much different.

MARIA
            (Walks in, and sits next to RICO and MS. FIELDS)
We should be good for the night. Mr. Gonzales from down the road said they’re making their rounds early this year. As long as no one acts a fool and gets us noticed.  

RICO
How long do you think it’ll last? You know things get pretty rowdy most nights.
MARIA
I give it a few hours before things get out of hand. Though, Ms. Fields has been pretty adamant about telling people not to mess this one up. It’s an important year. 

RICO
I overheard some people talking last night about how cops were busting people last night. You really got lucky that cop believed you. 

MARIA
Yeah. Lucky. I had to lie about who I am. There’s nothing I love more in life. 
  (She rubs her eyes and groans) 
God, I’m so tired of this. Really what’s so hard about letting people love who they want? 
RICO
(Awkwardly)  
I don’t know. I guess it’s too much for some people. But, hey, we’re getting there. Slowly, but we’re progressing. 

MARIA
Progressing? Nothing has gotten any better. Not with society and not with family. Everything stays the same. These people don’t want to change themselves, they want to change us. And they’re not giving up anytime soon.
(As MARIA finishes, music fills the small room. They’re songs of queer love and acceptance. MARIA and RICO are sitting at a table in the back, watching as people stroll in.) 
RICO
What do you think this was like before we had to hide? Do you think there were more people or louder music? 

MARIA
The only thing I know is that there wasn’t as many dirtbag cops around. Do you know why we still celebrate?
 
(RICO shakes his head. MARIA looks at MS. FIELDS.) 

MS. FIELDS
Things used to be a lot different around here. Back in the early sixties and before it used to be illegal to be gay, like it is now kind of. This building has always been a safe place for the queer community, and back in 1969 there was a raid, on this night, that sparked a riot. In response to the raids, a woman named Marsha supposedly threw a brick at an officer and that’s when things really let loose. 
  (RICO is staring wide-eyed) 

I was there that night but I don’t really remember a whole lot. After that it was like someone lit a fire under our asses. The fight was more real and raw and intense until things got better for us. 

RICO
When did things get bad again?  

MS. FIELDS
Sometime during 2023. The president at the time was repealing laws that protected us pretty quickly. People were terrified, so pride parades stopped and in their place protests happened. 

MARIA
It obviously wasn’t perfect before all that, though. I was seventeen when my parents found out. I mean, my dad beat the absolute hell out of me and threw me out.
(The door gets violently kicked in. RICO and MARIA get up as OFFICER JONES walks toward them. MARIA and RICO get up and run through the back, but the door is locked. RICO tries to get past the cop to the front entrance but OFFICER JONES runs after and tackles him before he can make it to the door)
OFFICER JONES
(As he’s handcuffing RICO)
 Let’s go, faggot.
            (He tries to pull RICO, who refuses to stand) 
I said, let’s go! I don’t have all day! 
            (RICO stands unwillingly. MARIA is frozen     watching in horror. Some people are getting arrested. Others try to make a run for the doors.)  

RICO
(In a cocky tone)

Seems to me like you have a lot of free time. Don’t pigs just sit in mud all day? You know, I should’ve known you were coming, really, I could smell the bacon from down the road.          

(RICO oinks and tries to kick the officer but it isn’t hard enough. The officer tightens his grip and RICO winces in pain) 

MARIA
Let him go! He’s done nothing wrong!

MS. FIELDS
       (Calmly)
Rico, behave please. Don’t give him reason to hurt you. Just do everything they tell you and everything will be alright. I promise you.
(In a panic, MARIA races toward the cop and tries to fight off OFFICER JONES but he pushes her on the floor roughly.) 
OFFICER JONES
Get out of my way, Dyke.
(He makes a point to kick MARIA as he walks over her. RICO thrashes about.) 

RICO
Don’t touch her you scumbag! Let me go! Maria, are you okay? I will kill you.
(OFFICER JONES drags RICO out of the building. MS. FIELDS lightly grabs MARIA’S arm and helps her up. MARIA begins to sob as MS. FIELDS just holds her.) 
MARIA
They can’t just do that. They have to bring him back. He’s just a kid.
 
MS. FIELDS
Shh. It’s okay, dear. It’s okay. It’s not your fault.

MARIA
(Sobbing) 

Rico is in jail! He doesn’t deserve to be there. He’s just a kid. It’s my fault. He didn’t choose to come. I brought him here, and now who knows what they’re doing to him. 

MS. FIELDS
Don’t beat yourself up, dear. You did nothing wrong. He was living his life. Did you want him to do nothing but hide away for all his life? That’s no way to live and you know that. If you had been too strict with him, he would have rebelled a long time ago and gotten caught years before this. Now, what you need to do is stop feeling sorry for yourself, get up and fight back. Stand for what you believe in and get the boy back. And don’t stop no matter what happens.
(MARIA sniffles and wipes her eyes, then she straights herself and nods. She looks toward the door and take a deep breath, contemplating her next decision)

MARIA
You’re right. I’ve been sitting in silence for too long.  
(MARIA opens the door, takes note of a brick on the ground and picks it up. She looks back at MS. FIELDS, who nods with a look of approval. MARIA runs outside and throws the brick. The sound of its impact echoes and the sound of OFFICER JONES yelling is the last thing heard as the door shuts leaving MS. FIELDS sitting and smiling at the table.)