“All or Nothing”

This is the third play from the “Night of Short Plays.” The local actors we used possessed such talent which surprised me a little because Oaxaca isn’t known for theatre. They should be because all eight of the actors we used were fabulous.

“All of Nothing” synopsis: Is setting a timetable for having a baby the right thing to do?

CHARACTERS

A

B

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Somewhere

*Author strongly recommends creative casting.

1.

(B looks at phone occasionally)

A: Wow. That’s a big gamble.

B: I know.

A: You’re not a gambler.

B: No, I’m not.

A: It’s also a huge responsibility.

B: The hugest.

A: Are you up to it?

B: Totally.

A: There’s a middle ground, y’know.

B: Not for this.

A: There’s always a middle ground.

B: That depends.

A: On?

B: The degree of commitment.

A: I’ll buy that.

B: Thank you.

A: Your mind is made up.

B: It is.

A: I should go home, then.

B: No.

2.

A: Why should I stay?

B: Tell me your thoughts.

A: It’s a waste of time.

B: I respect your opinions.

A: Usually, but this time…

B: This time, too. Please?

A: You’ve thought about this thoroughly?

B: Constantly on my mind.

A: Looked at all the angles?

B: Right, acute and obtuse.

(B looks at phone)

A: Expecting a call?

B: You’re very clever.

A: I am. Anyone special.

B: You could say that.

A: But, you won’t.

B: I will. Later.

A: What changed your mind?

B: Lots of things.

A: Care to divulge?

B: Hard to explain.

A: Why?

B: Because there’s no identifiable reason.

A: Please elucidate for me.

B: It was a feeling.

A: That’s it? A feeling? Mental?

B: Biological.

3.

A: Your eggs (sperm) started jumping around?

B: No, silly.

A: Then what?

B: I told you. Hard to—

A: Explain. I remember a time…

B: So do I.

A: When you were adamant—

B: Absolutely no kids. I know.

A: Now, out of nowhere…

B: Not nowhere. A process.

A: First I’ve heard of it.

B: I know. Sorry.

A: That’s okay. It’s personal.

B: The decision was recent.

A: I see. You’re thirty-five, right?

B: In a month.

A: You’ll search until forty.

B: That’s the plan.

A: How? Where?

4.

B: I don’t understand.

A: Like, the Internet? www I want a baby . com

B: Does that exist?

A: I don’t know. Probably.

B: Maybe an introduction through friends.

A: You should try fliers.

B: What?

A: Distribute fliers on the street.

B: Like, “Hey, are you fertile?”

A: Yup. Then give a flier.

B: That’s ludicrous.

A: The direct approach.

B: No one will say yes.

A: You don’t know that.

B: Who would?

A: Someone desperate like you.

B: That was mean.

A: It looks like you are.

B: I’m not.

A: I’m sorry.

5.

B: I thought you’d see that.

A: …

B: You’re a social worker.

A: You’re right.

B: You should have seen it.

A: Please understand something.

B: What?

A: I’ve seen your situation before.

B: I’m sure.

A: So many times.

B: Give me your advice.

A: Keep emotion out of it.

B: Difficult.

A: Almost impossible, but necessary.

B: Still, some compassion from you…

6.

A: Would be detrimental. Trust me.

B: Ok.

A: Back to the topic.

B: Ok.

A: You seem desperate.

B: Why, because I want kids?

A: No.

B: Then why?

A: Your “all or nothing” plan.

B: It works for me.

A: Any person who doesn’t want—

B: Not the person for me.

A: Maybe they’ll change their mind.

B: I’m not dealing in maybe.

A: Ever hear of compromising?

B: Heard of it.

A: But?

B: Not doing it.

A: It worked for me.

B: For you and…

A: Yes. I compromised big time.

B: On what?

A: Certain sex acts.

B: That’s disgusting. Which ones?

7.

A: Ones that I really liked.

B: And you’re happy?

A: You know I am.

B: My situation is different.

A: To you.

B: To everyone.

A: To everyone who wants kids.

B: True. You didn’t.

A: Neither of us.

B: Ok, then. To me.

A: Think about this.

B: Why?

A: You find your perfect match.

B: My dream come true.

A: You try to have kids.

B: What fun!

A: You discover they can’t.

B: Imposs—oh. Ohhh.

A: Yeah. Now, what?

B: I hadn’t thought of that.

A: Nobody does. End of relationship?

B: Could be.

A: Why? They’re perfect.

B: Not quite.

A: What if you’re already thirty-nine?

8.

B: I see what you mean.

A: No time to find another.

B: I’d raise the age.

A: To what? Forty-two? Forty-five?

B: Possibly.

A: Why not fifty?

B: That’s too old.

A: Is it?

B: Yes.

A: If you’re alone at forty-five?

B: Okay, maybe fifty.

A: Really?

B: If I’m still able.

A: Are you now?

9.

B: Able to have children?

A: Yes. Are you?

B: Of course. I think so.

A: But, you’re not sure.

B: I find out today.

A: You went for tests?

B: Yes. I gotta know now.

A: Better now than later.

B: Absolutely. Because if I can’t…

A: Even if you can.

B: What?

A: Statistically, your chances stink.

B: You know that for sure?

A: Pretty sure.

B: You studied this?

A: Not clinically.

B: Not at all.

A: Think about it.

B: It’s doable.

A: You have a good prospect?

B: At the moment? No, but…

A: Three years minimum.

B: Could be less.

A: If everything happens immediately.

B: Let’s hear it.

A: One year dating.

B: Maybe less.

10.

A: One year plan the wedding.

B: Definitely less.

A: Getting pregnant, having the baby.

B: That’s the unknown.

A: Could take five or more.

B: You’re not on my side.

A: I just want you happy.

B: Sure doesn’t sound like it.

A: (As B’s phone rings) I—

B: Hello?

(Lights down)