E-VATAR - A Podcast Musical

E-Vatar Episode 1 - Peyton, I'm Coming Home to You

September 03, 2021 A Big Dumb Buildings Production Season 1 Episode 1
E-VATAR - A Podcast Musical
E-Vatar Episode 1 - Peyton, I'm Coming Home to You
Show Notes Transcript

During quarantine, a 20-something searches for acceptance and love using a new social media robotics technology in this new kind of musical.

Episode 1 - "Peyton, I'm Coming Home"  - Taylen travels from Beijing to their hometown Seattle to patch things up with Peyton and finds themself in a new pandemic world.

In order of appearance:

Narrator/Peyton - Sean Rooney
Taylen - Thomas Farnan-Williams
Flight Attendant - Kia Hightower
Newscaster - Travis Guillory
Airport PA/Man in airport terminal - John Burns

Music and Lyrics by Brian Eads and Gregg Standridge
Book by David Wilson-Burns
Directed by John Burns

Episode 1

Scene 1 - Terminal

Start - Terminal underscore 


Short hair.

Boy jeans.

Hot mess

Dragging their luggage through a Beijing airport. 

Nothing is cooperating, least of all the wheels on the fifty-buck suitcase they received from mom and dad for graduating a thousand-and-five in their class for a degree they’ll be paying for until they die. 

The fog in their glasses, caused by heavy breathing into a protective mask, 

obscures their vision

and adds to their growing sense of division

And uncertainty in a new world. 

Then THUD--they lose the battle of the suitcase. Dropping the duffle and the suitcase handle, they stop, close their eyes, and shake their head

--ears turning red

Taylen: Nope. You’re not going to cry. Just get to your terminal and get home. 

Narrator: Taylen picks up their bags and takes a long, stifled breath through the protective mask.


The fog creates a complete white out

--visual doubt. 

They drop the bags and wipe their glasses off with their t-shirt, 

grab the boarding pass from their back pocket

and take a quick look at it.

Taylen: B23. I just need to get out of this germ-pool. Peyton will be ready to talk by now. We’ll be ok. 


They tuck it away

pick up the bags

and walk away, 

this time with a more strident beat, 

at times dragging the bag until they can deftly flip it back on to its wheels with a small grunt, but never stopping. 

Just keep on walking, Tay.

Taylen: B21. B22. B23. There it is. Just get to good old B23, break open this bag of White Rabbit...really the best thing about this germ-hole...sweet, milky, chewy.  I would have smuggled in a case if I could’ve.


Even from a terminal away and through dewy lenses, 

Taylen can see that B23 is the busiest terminal. 

When they arrive in front of it, they check their boarding pass once again and begin looking for a seat

--they compete.

After some searching through the mass of masked humanity 

enduring a calamity 

perhaps trying to return to a family, 

they find a seat between an elderly Chinese woman holding a scarf firmly over her mask

and a very broad-shouldered white guy with a buzz-cut, 

Very tall

No mask at all.

Taylen (under their breath): I guess this virus only kills the Chinese?  

Narrator: They stand in front of the seat, waiting for the man to let them into the spot, but he doesn’t budge.

Taylen: Sir? I could really use that seat. Can you make a little room?


The man looks Taylen up and down,

faintly rolls his eyes with a frown,

and scoots over a few inches.  

Taylen: Thanks.

Narrator: They squeeze in and arrange the bags in front of them. They pull out the bag of candy, tear it open, unwrap one, pop it in their mouth, and close their eyes.

End - Terminal underscore 

SONG: “Terminal” (Taylen/Ensemble)


Verse 1

Masked inside the airport, fortunate to find a chair Am7/FM7

Don’t really want to wear it but there’s something in the air Am7/FM7

I’m constantly refreshing till my battery flashes low Am7/Gadd9

My flight it may not happen and I just want to go home FM7/E7

Verse 2

The people of Wuhan they just have to stay Am7/FM7

As Americans fill the airport, hoping to fly away Am7/FM7

Half our faces hidden but our eyes reveal the fear Am7/Gadd9

Sinking realization, we might not get out of here FM7/E7

Chorus 1

Terminal, Waiting to see if I will get away Asus2/Cadd9

It might not be today Gadd9/Dsus2

Terminal, Afraid of the air that I have to breathe Asus2/Cadd9

Is it killing me? Gadd9/FM7

Verse 3

Waiting in the standby section when the intercom calls my name Am7/FM7

Disappointment sounds around me, I’m the last one to board the plane Am7/FM7

As I reach for my luggage a young woman starts to cry Am7/Gadd9

I mutter my apologies but I don’t say “goodbye” FM7/E7

Chorus 2    (solo female)

Terminal, Waiting to see if I will get away Asus2/Cadd9

It won’t not be today Gadd9/Dsus2

Terminal, Afraid of the air that I have to breathe Asus2/Cadd9

Is it killing me? Gadd9/FM7

Chorus 3    (all voices)

Terminal, Waiting to see if I will get away Asus2/Cadd9

It won’t not be today Gadd9/Dsus2

Terminal, Afraid of the air that I have to breathe Asus2/Cadd9

(solo female)  Is it killing me? Gadd9/FM7

Scene Two - On a Jet Plane

Start - fade in Coming Home underscore


Secure in a seat 

Taylen’s standby ticket puts them by a window toward the back and before the 787 rises they are falling

--falling into deep sleep.

The cool early spring Seattle air is just settling in

--into their skin

As they walk the four blocks from the Beacon Hill stop, they see a figure on the horizon

--near the top.

Taylen takes flight

--half running, half flying, they reach the figure with a firm embrace.

Peyton: Jesus, Taylen, I missed you. Please don’t ever leave me again.


And then it’s just touch and skin and smell. No masks to quell.

The smell of a long-awaited embrace of a lover who’s been long out of time and space and then the taste and warmth of lips, then hands on hips.

Flight Attendant: Excuse me. Ma’am? Um, sir?


Taylen awakes, disoriented, the taste of Peyton lingering

while they’re figuring

out where the hell they are.

Flight Attendant: So sorry to wake you, but I’d hate for you to miss a meal. We’re serving turkey on rye, chicken piccata, or perhaps you’d like vegetarian?


They stretch a bit then look out the window.

Nothing but water.

Neither son nor daughter, they turn to the attendant and say.

Taylen: Just call me Taylen or excuse me, please. No sir or ma’am.

Flight Attendant: Pardon?

Taylen: That’ll work, too. I’ll have the chicken.

Flight Attendant: Certainly.  And can I get you a drink?

Taylen: Is it too early for a gin and tonic?

Flight Attendant (cheerily): We’ll be arriving in Seattle soon and it will be 5 pm. The drink is on me.


Content with a hot meal and a cocktail in their belly, they think back to the dream and what awaits them in Seattle. From a distance, land is coming into view.

Home awaits

Back to The States.

End - Coming Home underscore 

Song: Coming Home (Taylen)

Coming Home

Verse 1

On a jet plane Cadd9/G

From Halfway around the world Cadd9/G

I hear the wheels go down Cadd9/G

And sunshine fills my soul Em/D


Oh, Peyton, I’m coming home to you Cadd9/G

With a million “I’m sorrys” and a dream for two Cadd9/G

Oh Peyton, I’m coming home to stay tonight Cadd9/G D

Verse 2

We’ve had some bad times 

I don’t care about the things we’re said

I know I’ve let you down

But the good times are just ahead



Coming home to stay (tonight) Em/Csus2/Dsus2

Coming home to stay (tonight)

Coming home to stay (tonight)

Tag    Em/Csus2/Dsus2/GM9/13

Scene 3 - Quarantine

Start - incidental sounds (announcements, etc.)


With a carry-on bag over their shoulder, Taylen walks through the jetway with feet that talk

Of homecoming and reconciliation

--they hasten.

But as they enter the Seattle terminal everything is standing still.

Passengers who should be racing off to families and lovers and homes

Congregate under two large television sets

--in distress.

Newscaster: In a brief press conference today, the President announced a ban on all travel from China to the U.S. effective immediately. 

Narrator: Taylen approaches the crowd and taps the shoulder of a passenger transfixed by the tv.

Taylen: What’s this all about?

Passenger:  Dude. It looks like we made it home just in time. One more day and we would have been stuck in China for who knows how long.

Taylen: Shit.  I guess we got lucky.

Passenger: Lucky? Not if you call a fourteen-day quarantine lucky. You and me and everyone on this germ-infested jet have to stay in our homes so that we don’t spread the virus.

Taylen: Come on now. Where did you hear that?

PA: Attention.  Attention all passengers arriving from Beijing flight 354. To prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus found in the Wuhan province of China, the governor of Washington has decreed that all those travelling from China must begin an immediate fourteen-day quarantine.

Passenger: See?


Seeing a hand sanitizer station,

Taylen pumps a dab onto their hands and rubs.  

Many follow suit, presenting themselves as a new oblation

To a newly forming God

--a new revelation.

Taylen moves out into the stream of men and women and children and whatever

Living in their own worlds.

What were they thinking?

Were they worried about an unseen threat from thousands of miles away?

Were they scared of Tay?

Or the hundreds of people—black, Latino, Caucasian, or Asian,

Flowing into a tinder box already rife with division?

Would the coming election be rife with infection?

Taylen: Just get home to Peyton. They’ll know what’s going on and what to do. At least we’ll have each other. Wait. Will they have to quarantine from me, too? It’s just a precaution. I feel fine, and besides, I never set foot in Wuhan or wherever the hell this thing started.

(Coming Home reprise...more subdued)

End - incidental sounds 

Scene 4 - Reunion


Goes to claims

Grabs the luggage

Hops a train.

When they reach the stop

They step out onto a damp street

--journey complete.

Taylen looks up the hill hoping to see the open arms of Peyton

But the street is empty

No arms, no lover awaits

Only steam from grates and a light rain dampening their hair.

Taylen pulls out their phone and dials their home.

It rings. 

And rings.

Taylen: Um, babe? Hey, so I just stepped off the train. Are you home? Ok. Well I’m headed your way. Love you!