“Does It Matter?”

This short play was performed in the Stay Awake! Theatre (NYC) Prism Festival in June 2017. It was also translated into Spanish and produced as part of “Una noche de las obras cortas” (A Night of Short Plays) in June 2018 in Oaxaca de Jauréz, Oaxaca, Mexico.

“Does It Matter?” is one of a series of eight 10-minute plays that made up the night of short plays. (The others will follow.) It’s also the only one in the series which has been produced in English, which is a pity as they are all entertaining plays.

The style of the plays is somewhat unique in that lines of dialogue are five words or less, no location is specified in any of the plays and in most cases, no age, race or gender is given for the actors.

Anybody wanting the Spanish version of this play or any of the eight, please contact me through the Home page.

“Does It Matter?” synopsis: two people discover they have the same objective for their meeting.

CHARACTERS
A
B
They can be any combination of age, race or gender
PLACE
Anywhere
TIME
It’s always the present
(Two actors somewhere)
A
So, do it.
B
I will.
A
Alright then.
B
I’ll do it.
A
You’re all talk.
B
Don’t think I won’t.
A
Talk, talk, talk.
B
I’m a doer.
A
Then do it.
B
When I’m ready.
A
That’s the best time.
B
Damn straight.
A
When you’re ready.
B
When I’m ready.
A
Not before.
B
Not a second before.
A
I’m waiting.
2.
B
You think I won’t?
A
Hard to say.
B
You don’t know me.
A
I know you.
B
Not that well.
A
Better than most.
B
Then you know I’ll do it.
A
If you say so.
B
I’m saying so.
A
You say this is big.
B
Bigger than big.
A
Huge?
B
Bigger than huge. Enormous.
A
As jobs go, ever done enormous?
B
No, my first time.
A
That could be a problem.
B
I’ve done huge.
A
But, enormous is…well, enormous.
B
Huge, enormous, matter of degree.
A
You’ve done huge? (pause) Remind me.
B
Last year.
A
I didn’t hear about it.
B
Didn’t tell anyone.
A
It was huge?
B
Closer to enormous.
A
But, a secret?
B
A secret.
3.
A
Why?
B
Personal reasons.
A
Why do something big—
B
Not big. Huge.
A
—huge, and not tell anybody?
B
I told you.
A
Personal reasons.
B
Yes.
A
Tell me one.
B
I can’t.
A
They’re personal.
B
Exactly.
A
Otherwise—
B
I’d tell you.
A
Are you ready, yet?
B
I’ll tell you when.
A
I may be dead by then.
B
I certainly hope not.
A
How will you know?
B
I’ll know.
A
How?
B
I just will.
A
You’ll receive a phone call?
B
No.
A
Text message?
B
You don’t need to know.
(B’s phone BEEPS. He turns away and looks at it)
A
Now you’re ready?
4.
B
There’s no rush.
A
Life can be unpredictable.
B
I still have time.
A
How much?
B
Enough.
A
How do you know?
B
I know.
A
You don’t know. Nobody does.
B
Color me optimistic.
A
You might die tomorrow.
B
Not gonna happen.
A
Or later today.
B
Don’t make me laugh.
(A’s phone rings. A turns away for a few seconds, then ends call)
A
Maybe even now.
B
Now? How?
A shows a weapon.
A Me.
B
You?
A Yours truly.
B
Kill me?
A
I could.
B
You could.
A
I would.
B
Doubtful.
A
You think I wouldn’t?
B
That was the call?
A
Does it matter?
5.
B
A
You’re smirking.
B
No, I’m not.
A
Looks like it to me.
B
You’re mistaken.
A
Hardly ever.
B
Why?
A
Why what?
B
Why kill me?
A
Personal reasons.
B
Those are the best ones.
A
Not always.
B
But, you can’t.
A
I can. And I will.
B
No, it’ll ruin everything.
A
How?
B
I won’t be able to—
A
You weren’t going to anyway.
B
I was and I am.
A
Then do whatever it is.
B
Okay.
A
You’re ready now?
B
Ready as I’ll ever be.
A
Go. Then I’ll do it.
B
You won’t be able to.
A
What’s to stop me?
B
You’ll be dead.
6.
A
You want to kill me?
B
Yes.
A
Why?
B
Personal—
A
–sonal reasons.
B
Good memory.
A
Are they valid?
B
In my mind. Yours?
A
My reasons? Of course.
B
What’s your motivation?
A
I’d rather not say.
B
Just in general. Anger? Revenge?
A
A bet.
B
A bet? To kill me?
A
Not you specifically. Anybody.
B
Why me?
A
Why not?
B
How much?
A
No money.
B
Then why?
A
They dared me.
B
I can relate to that.
A
What’s your reason? In general?
B
Money. Always money.
A
Someone is paying you?
B
A
Who? How much?
7.
B
Does it matter?
A
Yes. What’s my value?
B
Who cares? You’ll be dead.
A
Good point. Still…
B
Seems we’ve reached a stalemate.
A
How do we resolve this?
B
Rock, paper, scissors?
A
No, I always lose.
B
Do you have an idea?
A
We could arm wrestle.
B
No. You’re stronger than me.
A
We could flip a coin.
B
Ok. Can I flip?
A
If you’d like.
B
Call it.
A
Tails.
(They look at the coin. Lights down)
THE END