The Tea Party
A Short Play
by Ralph Maltese
Setting: Cold December night in 1773. Griffin’s Wharf, Boston Harbor.
Nathaniel: So, Sarah, what’s the plan?
Sarah: We have to find a way to protest the intrusion of government into our lives.
Samuel: Agreed. The King keeps on governing our daily actions. Now we have a tea tax.
Sarah: Yeah, next he’ll institute a health care reform bill. As if people cannot dress their own wounds.
Nathaniel: Would that be bad? I lost my daughter Naomi because I could not afford to take her to the doctor/surgeon/barber.
Sarah: Then she shouldn’t have gotten sick. We have to start relying on ourselves instead of others.
Samuel: Well, the representatives in Parliament thought it was a good idea.
Sarah: What do they know? We have no representatives that explain our view of things.
Nathaniel: Actually, Sarah, there are representatives in Parliament that represent the colonies.
Sarah: There are? Well, I don’t see them around my farm. How about that Stamp Act they enacted? More reaching into my pocket.
Samuel: Actually, the Stamp Act was passed to pay for the troops and fort on our northern border. Remember, we requested the Crown protect us from the Natives?
Sarah: I don’t need no protection. I got my flint musket here and my husband has his shotgun. If the entire infernal Native nation attacks my farm, the two of us ought to hold them off.
Nathaniel: You truly think so?
Sarah: The government just spends too much money on wasteful things like defense and health care and pensions.
Samuel: What’s a pension?
Sarah: Not sure. As you work you put money in a fund and as you grow old the money grows so that when you are old you can live off the money you saved.
Nathaniel: Sounds useful.
Sarah: Plain foolishness. My father stopped working at the ripe age of 48 and he didn’t have no pension.
Samuel: How’s your father doing?
Sarah: He died, and he died hungry but full pride.
Samuel: So what do we do?
Sarah: How about if we protest the Tea Act?
Nathaniel: What do you mean “protest?”
Sarah: We take an action that demonstrates our disagreement with the government.
Samuel: Kind of what farmers did in the sixties. You know—what led to the Boston Massacre?
Nathaniel: Isn’t that kind of a liberal thing to do? I mean the first man killed there was Crispus Attucks and he was, well, you know, not exactly in the mainstream if you know what I mean….and don’t conservatives generally support the King and Parliament?
Sarah: “Liberal” is a dirty word. We’re just conservatives protesting against, uh, well, other conservatives.
Samuel: I ask again. So what do we do?
Sarah: How about if we get some men together, not the Crispus Attucks types, and board the ships and throw the tea in the harbor?
Nathaniel: Where do we get the men from?
Sarah: The guilds.
Samuel: I thought we were against unions?
Sarah: We are. Unions are not guilds.
Nathaniel: What’s the difference?
Sarah: Uh…..Guilds are special people, like country clubs. There is the silver guild, the carpenter’s guild, etc. and they control who gets in. Unions anyone can join as long as they are willing to work. But they demand equal pay for their labors and demand representation in government affairs.
Samuel: Kind of like we want representation from Parliament?
Sarah: Not exactly. What am I? An economist? Just get the men together and have them meet us at the wharf here so we can start throwing the tea overboard.
Samuel: Wow! That’s pretty adventurous. But suppose we get caught? I mean, do we believe enough in what we are doing to face the consequences?
Sarah: Hmmm. That presents a problem.
Nathaniel: I know! We can dress ourselves as Mohawk Indians.
Sarah: Perfect! Blame it on the illegal immigrants.
Samuel: All right. Let’s go, but watch your step. The blackness is thick this night.
Sarah: It certainly is. I can’t even see Russia from here.
The rest is history. The End.