“A Terrible Tourist”

I wrote this play after overhearing a tourist complaining to a local in Oaxaca for not being able to speak English. Granted, it would help her because she comes into contact with foreigners regularly at the souvenir store where she works.  BUT, this is Mexico so I put all the fault on the tourist, with his white privilege and arrogance, for not learning even the basics of tourism Spanish. This happens more often that you think.

This play will be produced later this year as part of our second “Una noche de las obras cortas.”

“Terrible Tourist” synopsis: a tourist in Mexico who can’t speak Spanish learns a lesson.

CHARACTERS

Ray, an American, average build and good looking

Blanca, a Mexican, very attractive

PLACE: A side-of-the-road restaurant in a mountainous rural area in Mexico

TIME: The present

1.

(Lights up on two small tables with two or three chairs at each. A chalk written menu hangs on the wall listing 4 or 5 food offerings in Spanish. A radio plays Mexican music. BLANCA, dressed casually and wearing a traditional Zapotec apron, sits at a table and reads a magazine. RAY, his t-shirt sweat soaked and his face a little grimy, enters and stops as he wipes his face with a small towel)

RAY: Oh my god, food. Finally. (To Blanca) Hello, uh, hola.

BLANCA: Hola. ¿Cómo estás?

RAY: I’m fine. Ok. Buena. No, Bueno. She’s a girl so maybe buena, but I’m a man, so maybe bueno. Speaker or spoken to. Dammit! I’m fine, thanks. Wow, you’re beautiful.

BLANCA: Boo-ti-ful. Ah, bonita. ¿sí?

RAY: I don’t know bonita. But, you are definitely beautiful, hot. Uh, like Salma Hayek.

BLANCA: Yo? Como Salma Hayek? Conoces a Salma Hayek?

RAY: Co-no says? Cono-six? Uh, no comprendo.

BLANCA: Cansado?

RAY: What?

BLANCA: Te ves cansado.

RAY: This is not good. Do you speak English? (pronounces the ‘h’) Haba English?

2.

BLANCA: No hablo Inglés.

RAY: I speak Chinese. Do you speak Chinese? Ni hao.

BLANCA: Hablo español.

RAY: Dammit. Oh, wait. Uno monumento. (Takes a cell phone from his backpack) Do you have WiFi?

BLANCA: No wee-fee.

RAY: Shit.

(RAY puts the phone back in the backpack and rummages for something else)

BLANCA: ¿Hablas español?

RAY: No.

BLANCA: ¿Un poquito?

RAY: ¿Poquito?

BLANCA: (putting her thumb and forefinger close together) Poquito. Un poquito.

RAY: Small? Close? Little?

(RAY rummages in his backpack again)

Great. Just freakin’ great. I lost my notebook. I need food. (gestures eating) Food. Food.

BLANCA: ¿Comida?

3.

RAY: What’s comida? No, I want food. You know, tacos, enchiladas.

BLANCA: No tacos. No enchiladas. Tenemos sincronizadas, enfrijoladas y tlayudas.

RAY: Toyotas? I’m hungry enough to eat one.

(RAY sits and drinks from a bottle of water he took from his backpack)

I’ll be adios-ing in a minute. (waving) Just let me rest for a minute.

BLANCA: ¿Cómo se llama?

RAY: Ah, finally something I understand. My se llama is Ray.

BLANCA: Ray?

RAY: Ray. R-A-Y. Ray. Like a ray of sun.

BLANCA: Ray. Soy Blanca.

RAY: Soy Blanca. Interesting name.

BLANCA: No soy Blanca. Solo Blanca.

RAY: Ok, Solo Blanca. My bad.

BLANCA: No, no. Soy Blanca, pero no Soy Blanca. Solo Blanca.

(RAY is totally confused)

RAY: You know what? I’m just going to call you Blanca. It’s easier. And my favorite movie is Casablanca.

BLANCA: ¿Qué?

RAY: Ok? No, it’s great! A real love story.

(BLANCA smiles and nods. RAY gestures as needed during the following)

This has not been my best day. I started on a hike this morning, you know, walking, in the mountains. But, I never found the village I was looking for. You know village, right? Small place, only a few people, not many houses. Dammit, what’s that word? So, I’ve been walking for hours trying to find someone to help me. You don’t understand anything I’m saying do you? Let’s try food again. Do you have eggs?

BLANCA: Ex?

RAY: Yeah, ex. Like from a chicken.

(RAY walks like a chicken while clucking. He gestures that eggs fall from his butt)

BLANCA: (laughing) Ah, huevos.

RAY: Yeah, ey-bos. Do you have ey-bos?

BLANCA: No hay huevos. Te voy a cocinar una tlayuda.

RAY: Try—

BLANCA: No, no. Tlay. Tlay.

RAY: Tlay.

BLANCA: Sí. Ahora dices tlay-uda. Tlayuda.

5.

RAY: Tlayuda. Tlayuda. I got it!!! Sí, I want a tlayuda. What is it? Chicken, beef, vegetables? (No response) Ahh, this is useless. Where can I find a bus? (More gestures) You know, big car. Many people.

BLANCA: ¡Ahh! ¿El autobús?

RAY: Autobús. Yeah, that’s probably it. To Puerto Escondido. To la mer, la mar, la more. (beat) The ocean.

BLANCA: Sí. Mañana en la mañana a las ocho.

RAY: Tomorrow, tomorrow, eight. Two days from now?

BLANCA: Autobús. Mañana en—

RAY: I know, I know. Mañana, mañana. Ok, let’s try for a hotel. Somebody will speak English there. Uh, dónde hotel?

BLANCA: ¿Hotel? ¿Quieres un hotel?

RAY: Yes. Sí, sí. Hotel.

BLANCA: No hotel.

RAY: Okay. Adiós.

(RAY puts on his backpack and exits. BLANCA waits a few seconds, moves towards the exit and stops)

BLANCA: Hey, Ray. I thought you wanted a tlayuda.

6.

(RAY enters)

RAY: What the hell? All this time you knew…

BLANCA: I’m sorry, it gets boring up here. This is just my way of having some wicked fun.

RAY: Fun for you, maybe.

BLANCA: Have a seat over here.

(THEY both sit)

RAY: Have you lived in the US?

BLANCA: Colorado. Ten years.

RAY: So, that’s where you learned English.

BLANCA: I actually knew a lot before I went. That’s what Americans want, right?

RAY: It is.

BLANCA: So, when I see foreigners in Mexico who can’t speak Spanish, I have some fun with them.

RAY: I’m such a terrible tourist. (beat) Do you finally speak English to all of us losers?

BLANCA: No.

RAY: Why me?

7.

BLANCA: Porque tienes unos ojos bien bonitos.

RAY: What?

BLANCA: Never mind. One tlayuda coming up.

(Lights down)

THE END

“Totally Committed”

The next several plays I’ll publish haven’t been produced, but the first four are scheduled for a production later in 2019 here in Oaxaca. They’ve already been translated into Spanish. These are also plays that were written at various times over the past 25 years. “Totally Committed” was written in 2001.

These plays fall into the standard play format meaning the characters have names and genders and locations are given. Unlike the previous 10-minute plays I published, each line of dialogue isn’t limited to five words. Your basic normal plays. 🙂

Synopsis: A celibate woman goes back on her promise of sexual activity upon her engagement.

CHARACTERS

Stevie, female

Jordan, male

Note: Actors can be any age, just so long as it’s believable that the female has had a sexual life and has been celibate for almost a decade. Diverse casting is encouraged.

TIME: 2001

SETTING: Stevie’s apartment. The only necessary set piece is a couch (or a bed if the play is set in the bedroom).

1.

(Lights up on JORDAN and STEVIE, some clothes off, kissing and groping. Jazz plays in the b.g. STEVIE moans)

JORDAN: Oh, yeah. Feels good. Feels sooo goooood.

STEVIE: Jordan, stop.

JORDAN: Can’t stop.

STEVIE: Please stop.

JORDAN: Don’t wanna stop. (STEVIE pushes JORDAN with such force that he rolls across the floor) What?!!

STEVIE: (covering her breasts with her shirt) I can’t.

JORDAN: You have to.

STEVIE: I do not.

JORDAN: But, you promised.

STEVIE: My promise to the Lord is stronger.

JORDAN: If he were sitting here with the raging stiffo I have, he’d be saying, ‘Stevie, grabbeth thy rod and leadeth me to salvation. Giveth me salvation. Stroketh me to ejaculation.’

2.

STEVIE: This is no joking matter.

JORDAN: Who’s joking? You can’t leave me in this condition.

STEVIE: I felt a shooting pain. It was a sign.

JORDAN: It was pleasure. The intense kind. You just can’t tell the difference after all these VIE: I know the difference. It started when you touched me down there.

JORDAN: Down there could use a little touching. I’m surprised your clit hasn’t divorced you for neglect.

STEVIE: I take my vow very seriously. And so does my clit.

JORDAN: Is that why your hand made a bee-line for my dick?

STEVIE: I’m not immune to temptation. Just because I’m celibate doesn’t mean I’m not human.

JORDAN: Stevie, you haven’t masturbated in nine years. I question your humanness.

STEVIE: I pray. Especially when it’s throbbing like it is now. Pray with me.

JORDAN: Let me do a laying of the hands. Isn’t that what Jesus did to relieve to pain?

STEVIE: I know Jesus. You’re not Jesus.

3.

(JORDAN plays a sexy song on his phone)

STEVIE: I don’t think that’s a good idea.

JORDAN: We always dance to this song.

STEVIE: This is different.

JORDAN: What about the ring?

STEVIE: It’s beautiful.

JORDAN: It’s commitment.

STEVIE: Yes, it is.

JORDAN: So?

STEVIE: I just don’t think we should dance, Jordan.

JORDAN: Forget the music, then. Talk to me. Don’t look at me like that. That ring is supposed to be my ticket to the Promised Land.

STEVIE: I’ve had a change of heart.

JORDAN: You had what, Cruella?

STEVIE: Don’t be mean.

JORDAN: When did you have this revelation?

4.

STEVIE: The other day. And I owe it all to you, sweetheart.

JORDAN: Don’t blame me for your fit of temporary insanity.

STEVIE: I’m not crazy. This is about fulfillment. Our fulfillment.

JORDAN: (Taking her in his arms) Then let me start fulfilling.

STEVIE: I’m talking spiritual.

JORDAN: Excuse me, but I’ve had enough spirit to fill ten heavens. You promised me some sex and I want it now!

STEVIE: God will forgive you for that lie.

JORDAN: Did I say intercourse? Did I?

STEVIE: No, but I naturally thought so.

JORDAN: Sex is comprised of many activities, if you recall.  None of which I’ve been able to enjoy for sex—I mean, six—months. Six agonizingly loooong months.

STEVIE: I never forced you into anything.

JORDAN: Granted, but you did say that once we were totally committed to each other, we could commence with touching, caressing and kissing, right?

STEVIE: Yes.

5.

JORDAN: Baby, I’m tired of taking matters into my own hand.  I’ve had the patience of, of—

STEVIE: Job.

JORDAN: Yeah, Job. And I’d say that ring you accepted tonight—accepted willingly, I might add—that’s about as totally committed as two people can get, wouldn’t you say?

STEVIE: Why are you questioning me like a criminal?

JORDAN: Because what you’re doing to me is a crime. Do you agree with my last statement?

STEVIE: Yes, I do, Mister Mason.

JORDAN: Very funny. Listen, if you go back on this, what’s next?

STEVIE: Like what?

JORDAN: Before your condition—

STEVIE: Celibacy is not a condition. It’s a privilege.

JORDAN: Fine. Before your privilege, what was your favorite thing about sex?

STEVIE: You know.

JORDAN: Humor me.

6.

STEVIE: Oral sex.

JORDAN: What if you decide next year that it’s disgusting?

STEVIE: Never happen. You don’t know how much I loved it.

JORDAN: See, you said loved. Past tense. You’ve already changed your mind.

STEVIE: Oh, sweetheart, I can’t wait for the moment we put our mouths to work.

JORDAN: This is torture. To love someone more than the world and not be able to touch them.

STEVIE: It’ll be worth the wait. You’ll see. Besides, we’re more than just sex, aren’t we?

JORDAN: It’s not natural to suppress these feelings.

STEVIE: It’s what made you so special, though. You saw beyond the physical.

JORDAN: Everybody told me I was nuts to go along with this, but I said, “Nope, I know what I’m doing. We have a pact.  Appetizers before the ‘I do,’ the main course after.”  Baby, I haven’t eaten a full meal in six months and I’m hungry.

STEVIE: Oh, but how good that first mouthful is going to taste. And all the ones after it. Listen, I know it’s hard.  (giggles) Sorry. You said you understood why I wanted to wait.

7.

JORDAN: Easy for you. You’re not human, remember?

STEVIE: That’s not true.

JORDAN: Anybody who can go ten years without sex…

STEVIE: I told you I pray.

JORDAN: I know, I know. Which means you’ve questioned your decision.

STEVIE: Not giving in has made me stronger.

JORDAN: Lucky me. You promised physical contact when we committed. You’ve changed your mind without consulting me, and now I have to suffer until we get married.

STEVIE: It’ll be easier for you if you see it as something besides suffering.

JORDAN: Let’s elope. Tonight. There’s got to be a state close by that will marry us.

STEVIE: No. We’re sticking to our plan. Jordan?

JORDAN: (pouting) What?

STEVIE: You say you understand my faith, but do you?

JORDAN: Something about being used by men.

8.

STEVIE: Bingo. And the solution was the commitment I made to Jesus Christ. I know that whomever I’m destined to share my life with will see this greatness that surrounds me, and enlarges itself every moment of my life. Selah.

JORDAN: Jesus never went back on his word.

STEVIE: Is something else bothering you? About us, I mean.

JORDAN: Not a thing. You know you’re the only woman I’ve ever wanted to marry. Ever.

STEVIE: Then what’s another six months compared to decades together?

JORDAN: What about kissing? Kissing is not a bad thing.

STEVIE: It’s a wonderful thing. One of the most intimate acts two people can share.

JORDAN: How about one teeny, tiny kiss to commemorate our commitment?

STEVIE: Just one? I don’t know.

JORDAN: I know you have a heart.

STEVIE: Well, it is a special occasion.

(They kiss. Jordan caresses her breast. She puts her hand near his penis, but instantly pulls it away and ends the kiss)

You said just a kiss.

9.

JORDAN: Your hand was on a journey, too.

STEVIE: God, but you’re a great kisser.

JORDAN: I want to sleep with you tonight.

STEVIE: Jordan.

JORDAN: I mean just sleep.

STEVIE: And you wonder why I insist on no contact. Look where this is heading.

JORDAN: But, just now, the kiss, you liked it. Loved it, even. You can’t tell me you can turn it off until the wedding just like that.

STEVIE: I must avoid the temptation.

JORDAN: I want the real reason you changed your mind.

STEVIE: About two years ago I met this guy, a real ladies’ man so I was shocked when he stuck around. We’d been dating about seven months when he said he’d finally found the woman he wanted buried next to him.

JORDAN: How romantic.

STEVIE: It was the way he said it.

JORDAN: Whatever.

10.

STEVIE: Anyway, we kissed and before I knew it, his head was between my legs.

JORDAN: You were naked?! With a man?!

STEVIE: Quit making fun. I was ashamed of my behavior and stopped it right away. I told him there’d be no more until the wedding and that was the last time I saw him. I shouldn’t be surprised, really. My point is, just because you say you’re committed, it doesn’t mean…

JORDAN: But, I gave you a ring.

STEVIE: If you can wait until the wedding, then I’ll know you were sincere. There’s no better way to show your love.

JORDAN: Physical contact between two people as they grow closer is completely natural. More, it’s totally essential.

STEVIE: What you say makes perfect sense. The answer is still no.

JORDAN: Then I want my ring back.

STEVIE: You’re not serious.

JORDAN: I’m not leaving without it.

STEVIE: What has happened to you?

JORDAN: Me? You’re the one denying us an essential element in our relationship.

11.

STEVIE: Leaving would be the biggest mistake of your life.

JORDAN: I can’t live with this new arrangement.

STEVIE: Are you really leaving?

JORDAN: No contact?

(STEVIE shakes her head. JORDAN opens the door)

STEVIE: See, I was right. You’re just like all the others.

JORDAN: None of the others stayed this long. Or gave you a ring.

STEVIE: No, but they left just the same. (long pause) I’m going to bed. Alone. Will I hear from you tomorrow? (pause) I love you, Jordan. You’re very special. In my eyes and His.

JORDAN: Yeah, you’re special, too.

STEVIE: It’ll be worth it, you’ll see. Just put your faith in the Lord.

(JORDAN kisses her cheek and leaves. STEVIE leans against the door and slides to a crouching position. She closes her eyes and puts her hands on her breasts as the lights fade to black)

THE END

You can request the Spanish translation of this script by emailing me at mjinoaxaca@gmail.com.

Los 8 textos de “Una noche de obras cortas”

Para mis amigos hispanohablantes en Oaxaca y hispanohablantes de todo el mundo, aquí están los textos de “Una noche de obras cortas”.

Por favor, disfrute de leerlos y por favor comparta esta página. Gracias.

importa (does it matter)

un plan (a plan)

todo o nada (all or nothing)

percepcion (perception)

relaciones sexuales (sexual relations)

la broma (the prank)

y si…(what if)

lo harias (would you)

“Would You?”

“Would You?” is #8, the final play from “Una noche de las obras cortas” (A Night of Short Plays) that was produced in Oaxaca, Mexico in June 2018.

Please scroll down the page to read the other plays I’ve published. You can read them quickly and I know you’ll find them enjoyable.

“Would You?” synopsis: Beauty vs a bad habit in determining whether to approach someone.

CHARACTERS

A: a male

B: a female

TIME: The Present

PLACE: At the beach

The characters have no names which puts no limits on who can be cast. All ages, races and ethnicities should be considered.

1.

A: It’s hard to say.

B: That’s no answer. Would you?

A: Are you listening?

B: Yes.

A: Okay then.

B: You still have to choose.

A: I’m tired of this game.

B: You chose it.

A: I know. I’m an idiot.

B: Maybe a different topic?

A: Are there any left?

B: Not many.

A: Let’s just finish this one.

B: Ok. Would you?

A: Tell my mother?…

2.

B: That your father is cheating.

A: Is she dying?

B: What difference—

A: A lot.

B: Fine.

A: If she is, then no.

B: If she isn’t?

A: I don’t know.

B: At least you answered something.

A: Thank you.

B: You’re not very decisive.

A: It’s my burden.

B: You like to ponder.

A: I almost majored in philosophy.

B: Now you teach physics.

3.

A: Yeah. How’d that happen?

B: There’s the “work” you.

A: And the “personal” me.

B: Unlike me.

A: Unlike you. The decision maker.

B: Not about everything, though.

A: No?

B: You’d be surprised.

A: Such as?

B: Socks.

A: Would you wear yellow socks?—

B: On Christmas? How’d you know?

A: I didn’t. That’s your dilemma?

B: It’ll give me a breakdown.

A: Red is the obvious color.

4.

B: Not in my world.

A: Glad I don’t live there.

B: Pray you never do.

A: So many beautiful people here.

B: More than usual.

A: I wonder why.

B: Don’t question “eye candy.”

A: True.

B: Especially her.

A: Who her?

B: Over there. Tall, thin, beautiful.

A: That doesn’t help.

B: Reading the book.

A: Oh my god!!!

B: Unbelievable, right?

5.

A: Never seen her before.

B: Me, neither.

A: Definitely my type.

B: Definitely everybody’s type.

A: Agreed.

B: Go talk to her.

A: Maybe she wants you.

B: Maybe, but I doubt it.

A: Got your gaydar working?

B: No, just a feeling.

A: Could I afford her?

B: She does look high maintenance.

A: And I’m just a teacher.

B: Ask her to join us.

A: If she says no…

6.

B: Nothing lost. But, if she—

A: Say yes…

B: So, go.

A: I will.

(A doesn’t move)

B: What?

A: Don’t rush me.

B: Is there a problem?

A: Yes. I need something.

B: What?

A: Courage.

B: I’ll wave her over.

A: Don’t do that.

B: You don’t go, I’m leaving.

A: Ok, I’ll talk to her.

7.

(A starts to walk)

B: (loud whisper) Wait!

A: What?

B: Look.

A: Look at what?

B: What she’s doing.

A: Scratching her nose.

B: Not scratching!

A: Well, she’s not picking it.

B: Really? Look closer.

A: Girls that beautiful just don’t.

B: You’re the expert?

A: They don’t do anything nasty.

B: No bodily functions?

A: I like to think not.

8.

B: Mister Dream World.

A: She didn’t do it.

B: Not yet.

A: You think she will?

B: I’m willing to bet. You?

A: How much?

B: Twenty dollars.

A: Where’s your confidence? Fifty.

B: Wanna see confidence? One hundred.

A: It’s a bet!

B: So, let’s say she does.

A: Pick it?

B: Yes. You still approach her?

A: No. (pause) I don’t know.

B: So, you might.

9.

A: Nobody’s perfect.

B: But, doing it…in public?

A: She hasn’t done it, yet.

B: What if she did it—

A: It won’t happen.

B: —After a great first date?

A: I saw her do it?

B: Yes.

A: Hmm. Tough decision.

B: What about after great sex.

A: Wow. Yellow socks on Christmas.

B: Exactly.

A: Sex changes everything.

B: With her it would.

A: Difficult to give that up.

10.

B: Look. She’s going for it.

A: No.

B: Such long, thin fingers.

A: For playing the piano.

B: (B puts finger next to her nose) And this.

A: No way.

B: The finger is in.

A: I can’t believe it.

B: I win!

A: I’m devastated. Heartbroken.

B: Double or nothing?

A: On what?

B: She does it again.

A: She won’t.

B: Then, let’s bet.

11.

A: Ok. Oh my god!

B: What?

A: Can you see? It’s huge.

B: Like a grape.

A: A kiwi.

B: Imagine if we were closer.

A: Yeah, maybe a grapefruit.

B: And her nose is small.

A: Must be deep.

B: Nobody sees her.

A: Just us, you think?

B: We have the perfect angle.

A: Behind and to the side.

B: Now, she’s playing with it.

A: Arrgh. (hands over eyes) Saving it for later?

12.

B: Maybe for lunch. (beat) Oh, cle-ver.

A: What?

B: She hid it.

A: Where?

B: Inside her book.

(A spreads his fingers to look)

A: I don’t see it.

B: Covered her face with it.

A: Never thought she’d do it.

B: She’s a professional.

A: Is she going in again?

B: Looks like it.

A: To the other nostril.

B: With her other hand.

A: She’s ambidextrous.

13.

B: She’s had lots of practice.

A: Gotta admire talent like that.

B: You owe me two hundred.

A: I know.

B: Double or nothing again?

A: On what? She’s outa hands.

B: She eats them.

A: That’s disgusting.

B: Maybe, but that’s the bet.

A: Okay. She’ll never…

B: You’re sure about the bet?

A: Absolutely.

B: Would you? Right now?

A: Would I what?

B: Would you still date her?

14.

A: Depends.

B: Are you kidding?! On what?

A: If I win this bet.

B: So, just picking is okay?

A: It’s not a deal breaker.

B: It’s a habit. Like heroin.

A: She’s not an addict.

B: What if you lose?

A: I won’t.

B: Maybe you spoke too soon.

A: I think she’s just yawning.

B: Hand close to her mouth.

A: Close means nothing.

B: Mouth opening.

A: (Pointing finger towards girl) Don’t, don’t, don’t.

B: (Pointing finger towards girl) Eat, eat, eat.

(Lights down)

THE END

“What If?”

This is play #7 in “La noche de las obras cortas” (The Night of Short Plays) produced in June 2018 in Oaxaca, Mexico.

“What If?” synopsis: Two people wanting to move on after recent breakups.

CHARACTERS

A

B

They can be any combination of age, race or gender

TIME: It’s always the present

PLACE: Anywhere

1.

(Two actors somewhere. Each has their phone out and a drink in front of them)

B: You’re not listening.

A: Huh? Uh, yes, yes.

B: What’d I just say?

A: Something about more shit.

B: Not even close.

A: Um, Dover cliffs.

B: Pay attention!

A: Okay.

B: Are-you-over-it?

A: So over it.

B: Like me and my –ex?

A: You’re not over that.

B: Have been.

A: You constantly call.

2.

B: Owes me money. Lots.

A: You’ll never see it.

B: Maybe, but I’m over it.

A: Never.

B: Just like you.

A: Totally different situation.

B: Exactly the same.

A: I dumped. You got dumped.

B: A breakup is a breakup.

A: So not.

B: What are you doing now?

A: Message—nothing.

B: So not over it.

(B extends their hand asking to see the phone.)

A: No.

3.

B: I can just take it.

A: Hah! Try it.

B: You know I can.

A: Try.

B: I’m stronger.

A: I’ve been working out.

B: Since when?

A: Since…I have more time.

B: Hard to tell.

A: Just toning. Not muscles.

B: You don’t need muscles.

A: That’s what I thought.

B: Getting back in the game?

A: Just getting fitter.

B: You’re good looking.

4.

A: Thanks.

B: Won’t take you long.

A: I’m not available.

B: Not now.

A: Not for a long while.

B: Who are you messaging?

A: No—no one.

B: You promised to quit.

A: I’m deleting.

B: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

A: Honest.

B: What if…

A: I’m not playing.

B: Afraid?

A: Waste of time.

5.

B: Fun to play, though.

A: What’s done is done.

B: Just one. Different topic.

A: Let’s hear it.

B: What if…I died tomorrow?

A: I’d take your Beemer.

B: So sensitive.

A: What, I should cry?

B: It’s an option.

A: What if I died tomorrow?

B: Before me or after?

A: Such a comedian.

B: I’d go to work.

A: No shit?!

B: You die, the world stops?

6.

A: I guess not.

B: What if the call comes?

A: (sings)Stop right there.

B: (sings) Before I go any further?

A: You got it, Meatloaf.

B: My favorite album.

A: What if you get one?

B: A call from—?

A: Yes. Or they came here?

B: This isn’t about me.

A: Touchy, touchy.

B: Not at all.

A: Because (sings) You’re cold as ice.

B: (sings) Willing to sacrifice.

A: (sings) Your love.

7.

B: Told you. Way over it.

(THEIR phones ring. They look at them and disconnect)

A & B: Was it?…No.

B: You were hoping.

A: No way.

B: I saw your face.

A: You still have feelings, too.

B: Honestly?

A: Of course.

B: A few.

A: How strong?

B: Medium and waning. You?

A: Depends on the day.

B: Yeah.

A: We need to move on.

8.

B: Definitely.

A: What if…?

B: Yes?

A: No, it’s crazy.

B: Tell me.

A: You and me.

B: Us?

A: You. Me. Us.

B: Ridiculous.

A: I know, right? Sorry.

B: It’s okay.

A: You and me. Never work.

B: Probably, not, but…

A: What? You think it could?

B: Why not?

9.

A: (pause) Yeah, why not?

B: We know each other.

A: Better than anybody.

B: We have common interests.

A: Totally.

B: Might be worth a shot.

A: Be foolish not to try.

B: Absolutely!

A: So, we’re actually a couple?

B: From this moment on.

A: Wow.

(The sound of a DOORBELL [KNOCKING]. A & B look towards the door. Blackout)

THE END

“The Prank”

Play #6 in “La noche de las obras cortas” (The Night of Short Plays) produced in June 2018 in  Oaxaca, Mexico.

Synopsis: A patient pranks their doctor.

CHARACTERS

A

B

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Some place

1.

A: You said you’d help me.

B: And I will.

A: You won’t back out?

B: No.

A: Everyone else has.

B: I’m not them.

A: That’s encouraging.

B: I always keep my word.

A: This could test that.

B: We’ll see.

A: You don’t know the task.

B: It doesn’t matter.

A: It’s extreme.

B: Extreme doesn’t scare me.

A: I’ve had a good life.

2.

B: Better than good.

A: Almost perfect.

B: I wouldn’t go that far.

A: As lives go.

B: Better than most.

A: Better than most.

B: Successful business.

A: I’m rich.

B: Quite rich!

A: But, not happy.

B: Really?

A: I’m not into things.

B: What then?

A: Experiences.

B: Such as.

3.

A: Saving that woman.

B: From her burning car.

A: Right place, right time.

B: You’re a hero.

A: No, but it was fulfilling.

B: You were on CNN.

A: I didn’t want that.

B: What else?

A: Winning the spelling bee.

B: When?

A: Fifth grade.

B: Good experience?

A: Good? Great! The best!

B: Why?

A: I beat Frank Collins.

4.

B: Who was that?

A: Smartest kid in the class.

B: Good for you.

A: My greatest moment growing up.

B: You’ve had a full life.

A: Yes.

B: Many achievements and memories.

A: Yes. There’s another. Happened yesterday.

B: Let me guess.

A: Go ahead.

B: I know you well.

A: Then it should be easy.

B: You won the lottery?

A: You don’t know me.

B: Why not?

5.

A: I don’t play the lottery.

B: One time we played.

A: Yeah, jackpot was a billion.

B: Never again?

A: Never. Next guess.

B: You’re dating your personal trainer.

A: That’s so shallow.

B: You’re shallow.

A: I am not.

B: You used to be.

A: Not anymore.

B: Prove it.

A: How?

B: See that guy over there?

A: The one with five chins?

6.

B: Yes. I know him.

A: Would I date him?

B: Great singer. Wicked SOH.

A: SOH?

B: Sense of humor. Fabulous cook.

A: Probably taken.

B: He’s not.

A: Not?

B: Not.

A: Wow. I don’t know. Tempting.

B: I’ll call him over.

A: I’ll kill you.

B: Still shallow.

A: I have standards.

B: So, no personal trainer?

7.

A: No. Last guess.

B: (thinking) I give up.

A: You wanna hint?

B: Ok.

A: What’s my favorite sport?

B: Golf. Oh my god!

A: What?!

B: You didn’t. No, you did!

A: Did what?

B: You made a hole-in-one! Congratulations!

A: Thanks. What a thrill!

B: So hard to do.

A: Perfection.

B: Exactly.

A: It’s also the end.

8.

B: End of playing golf?

A: End of living.

B: That’s funny.

A: I’m serious.

B: You can’t be.

A: Why not?

B: It’s crazy!

A: People commit suicide every day.

B: Every hour, maybe, but still…

A: So, you think I’m crazy.

B: Not in a clinical sense.

A: I’m perfectly sane.

B: Ok, then explain your decision.

A: I’ve achieved perfection.

B: That’s your reason.

9.

A: Nothing more to live for.

B: You can find perfection again.

A: How?

B: Bowling.

A: I’d rather be dead.

B: There must be something else.

A: Stop it. I’ve decided.

B: I want a better reason.

A: Go out on top.

B: That’s bullshit.

A: It’s not.

B: You must have other goals.

A: None I can’t live without.

B: Or die. What about Africa?

A: What about it?

10.

B: You’ve always wanted to go.

A: Haven’t been lotsa places.

B: Well, there you go.

A: Perfection in travel is difficult.

B: There’s travel perfection?

A: Sure. Visit every country.

B: Yeah, go for that!

A: I’m rich, not Gates rich.

B: True.

A: It’s a hassle. Tickets. Hotels.

B: Your mind’s made up.

A: Yes.

B: Suicide it is.

A: Suicide it is.

B: What’s your plan?

11.

A: You mean the method?

B: Yes.

A: I’m not sure. Look.

(A opens the backpack and takes out some rope, a bottle of pills and a knife)

B: No imagination.

A: What about the subway?

B: Also trite.

A: Any creative ideas?

B: A pit of poisonous snakes.

A: Sounds painful.

B: Very poisonous snakes. Quick death.

A: Where would I find them?

B: I know someone. A herpetologist.

A: A herpe-what?

B: Herpetologist. Person who studies snakes.

12.

A: Really?

B: Works at a university.

A: You’re going to help me?

B: Of course.

A: But, you’re my doctor.

B: And your friend.

A: You’re supposed to dissuade me.

B: It’s your wish. When? Tomorrow?

A: No.

B: The sooner the better.

A: No, I’m only joking.

B: Joking?

A: (laughs) Yeah. A prank.

B: A prank.

A: With a new twist.

13.

B: What’s that?

A: Patient gives doctor bad news.

B: Unique.

A: Are you mad?

B: Am I mad?

A: Yeah, mad, angry, pissed.

B: Nah, but here’s a suggestion.

A: Go see a psychiatrist?

B: No. Follow through with it.

A: I told you. A joke.

B: It’ll be quicker.

A: What are you talking about?

B: I saw your bloodwork results.

A: Ah, my cholesterol kinda high?

B: You have a rare disease.

14.

A: You’re kidding, right?

B: A blood disease.

A: This is a revenge prank.

B: There’s a treatment.

A: I’m sorry I pranked you.

B: Chance of survival is 30%.

A: You’re serious aren’t you?

B: What’s your decision? Treatment? Suicide?

A: Shit.

(Lights down)

THE END

“Sexual Relations”

Play #5 in “La noche de las obras cortas” (The Night of Short Plays) performed in Oaxaca, Mexico in June 2018.

Anybody interested in producing these eight plays–scripts available in English and Spanish–please click on contact and send me a message.

“Sexual Relations” synopsis: a vow of celibacy,  a change of heart and family.

CHARACTERS

A

B

TIME: The Present

PLACE: A bar and a park in a small city

1.

(Lights up on a bar signified by one tall table people would stand at. Music PLAYS in the b.g.)

A: Ready for another?

B: Are you?

A: If you are.

B: Maybe. You?

A: I’m good either way.

B: Me, too. Glad that’s settled.

A: Nothin’ happenin’ here.

B: No.

A: So?

B: Up to you.

A: A movie?

B: Which one?

A: Too much pressure. I’m open.

B: Anything is fine.

2.

A: Scifi?

B: Not a big fan.

A: Anything but scifi.

B: Yeah. Comedy?

A: What about a comedy club?

B: Ooh, that sounds good.

A: Great. Let’s go.

B: Oh, we can’t.

A: Why not?

B: It’s Tuesday. It’s closed.

A: Ah, crap.

B: Yeah.

A: I need to move.

B: Where?

A: A city with more action.

3.

B: Yeah, this burg is boring.

A: One comedy club. One cinema.

B: But, four screens.

A: Whooooppeee! What’s your dream city?

B: Hmmm. Springfield.

A: Springfield? What about Miami? LA?

B: Too big.

A: New York. That’s my city.

B: Ever been?

A: Once. Didn’t want to leave.

B: What’s stopping you now?

A: Money. And you?

B: Me what?

A: Springfield.

B: Umm…a possible situation.

4.

A: Ooh, how cryptic.

B: I think you know it.

A: (smiles) Maybe. Go for a walk?

B: Sure. Where?

A: With walking, destination doesn’t matter.

(The ACTORS walk aimlessly around the stage and through the audience if possible, for the next several lines. They stop at the park bench. B takes A’s hand. A pulls away)

B: You didn’t like it?

A: No. I mean, yes.

B: But, you pulled away.

A: Maybe too soon.

B: For holding hands?

A: Well…

B: We’ve done it before.

A: I know.

5.

B: Then what is it?

A: Nothing.

(B holds out hand. A hesitates, but takes it)

B: How does it feel?

A: Fine.

B: That’s it? Just fine?

A: Soft. It’s a nice hand.

B: Are you nervous about something?

A: (quickly) No.

B: You don’t have to lie.

A: Okay, maybe a little.

B: About what?

A: One thing leads to another.

B: It can.

A: Yes, it can.

6.

B: Do you want it to?

A: Yes, but…

B: But, what?

A: Where are we going?

B: I thought my apartment.

A: Why?

B: One thing leads to another.

A: Let’s stay here. Please?

B: Sure. For a little while.

(THEY sit on the bench)

A: Thanks. I’m not really afraid.

B: Of what?

A: You know.

B: Can you say it?

A: Of course.

7.

B: Okay.

A: Now?

B: If you don’t mind.

A: The one with three letters?

B: Or four. Your choice.

A: Three.

B: Okay.

A: S-s-sex.

B: That was difficult for you.

A: A little.

B: A lot. Why?

A: I can’t say.

B: Bad experience?

A: Not that.

B: You won’t tell me.

8.

A: It’s too soon.

B: To tell me or sex?

A: Both.

B: I like you.

A: I like you, too.

B: Really, really like you.

A: Oh, thank you.

B: We need to communicate.

A: About “it”?

B: It’s essential to a relationship.

A: Mmm-hmmm.

B: Let’s talk.

A: Anything but that.

B: Just one question?

A: Let’s talk about climate change.

9.

B: The climate is changing.

A: Yes, it is.

B: Between us.

A: Oh. Sorry.

B: Have you ever done it?

A: I don’t want—no.

B: No? Never? At your age?

A: I know. I’m a freak.

B: No, just…hard to find.

A: I made a promise.

B: To whom?

A: It doesn’t matter.

B: To god?

A: Not exactly.

B: What’s the promise?

10.

A: Save myself for marriage.

B: Must be hard.

A: Very funny.

B: My bad.

A: Sometimes it’s very…difficult.

B: I don’t know any virgins.

A: We’re special. Maybe even endangered.

B: I admire your conviction, although…

A: Although what?

B: Finding a compatible partner.

A: Obviously, I haven’t.

B: Maybe an ex-nun.

A: I’ve tried that.

B: Really? And?

A: Couldn’t wait to do it.

11.

B: No kidding?

A: All over me in minutes.

B: Well, don’t give up.

A: It’s a deal breaker.

B: Not necessarily.

A: What do you mean?

B: Maybe you’re worth the wait.

A: I’ve never heard that before.

B: Always a first time.

A: I’m very happy.

B: Me, too.

(A gives B a soft kiss on the lips)

A: A question.

B: Sure.

A: Why did you decide—

12.

B: To deal with it?

A: Yes.

B: Maybe it’s not that important.

A: But, you like it.

B: Too much, probably.

A: There’s one more thing.

B: Is this the last thing?

A: Yes. Are you catholic?

B: Not the best, but yes.

A: Good.

B: Why?

A: My uncle will be thrilled.

B: That’s nice.

A: I need to call him.

B: You promised him?

13.

A: Yes. Say I found someone.

B: Let’s call from my apartment.

A: I can’t wait that long.

(A dials)

Hello. Father Tom Jenkins, please.

B: Stop! Hang up! Now!

A: Why?

B: Just do it.

(A disconnects the call)

A: What’s the matter?

B: Maybe there’s more than one.

A: One what?

B: Father Tom Jenkins.

A: Could be.

B: Does he live in Cleveland?

A: Yes.

B: Works for the bishop?

14.

A: Yes.

B: Shit.

A: What’s this about?

B: Do you know his story?

A: I don’t understand.

B: After he was ordained?

A: We kinda lost touch. Why?

B: He broke a promise.

A: Nobody’s perfect.

B: We’re first cousins.

(Lights down)

THE END

“Perception”

Play #4 from the “Night of Short Plays.”

Synopsis: getting older and looking much younger than they are.

CHARACTERS

A – Woman

B – Man

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Anywhere

1.

B: Don’t leave!

A: I really should.

B: You have other plans?

A: No plans.

B: A curfew?

A: No, but it’s getting late.

B: It’s 6:30.

A: (looks at phone) So, it is.

B: Am I bad company?

A: No, that’s not it.

B: I think maybe you’re bored.

A: Are you kidding?

B: No.

A: Bored with you?

B: With me.

2.

A: Why do you say that?

B: Because I’m old.

A: The universe is old.

B: I’ll bet you’re very active.

A: How do you know?

B: Your look. Healthy. Fit.

A: I try.

B: Do you swim?

A: No, but I work out.

B: I’m not surprised. Anything else?

A: Rock climbing. Triathlons.

B: Jesus, you’re Superwoman.

A: Not really. What about you?

B: Boring stuff.

3.

A: Tell me anyway.

B: I jump out of planes.

A: Oh, you parachute.

B: No. I jump.

A: You’re funny.

B: I’m not active. Bad hip.

A: But, when you were young…

B: I did everything.

A: You look like an athlete.

B: And now you’re going to…ummm.

A: See, you forgot already.

B: No, I didn’t. Wait. Africa.

A: Yes, Sierra Leone.

B: Like the Humphrey Bogart movie.

A: That was Sierra Madre.

4.

B: Right. And, you’ll be teaching.

A: Training teachers, actually.

B: For two years.

A: Yes. If they take me.

B: See, I’ve been listening.

A: I’ll give you a B.

B: Maybe a B+?

A: Closer to a B-.

B: Wow, you’re a tough grader.

A: My students loved me.

B: You’ll be accepted.

A: I think I will.

B: Just my luck.

A: What?

B: Nothing.

5.

A: Africa has always intrigued me.

B: This city intrigues me enough.

A: I love it, too, but…

B: You’re going alone?

A: Three teachers will be selected.

B: All women?

A: Why?

B: No reason. Just wondering.

A: I really don’t know.

B: Until you’re chosen.

A: If I’m—yes.

B: Africa’s so far away.

A: Closer than Asia. Or Australia.

B: Do they speak English there?

A: All classes are in English.

6.

B: That’s good. Are you afraid?

A: Of what?

B: Don’t they have evil mosquitos?

A: I’ve had all the shots.

B: What about Ivanka?

A: Ivanka?

B: Wasn’t that a disease there?

A: You mean Ebola?

B: Are you sure? Not Ivanka?

A: Now, it’s really getting late.

B: Because I didn’t know Ebola?

A: I thought you’d be…

B: More aware?

A: Well, you went to college.

B: Yes. Barber college.

A: Really?

B: No, not really. Northwestern.

A: Then you knew about Ebola.

B: Yes.

A: Why pretend you didn’t?

B: Your sense of humor test.

A: You’re testing me?

B: You gave me a B-.

A: Touché’. Did I pass?

B: So, the disease is gone?

A: I wouldn’t go, otherwise.

B: Some African countries are dangerous.

A: What place is safe today?

B: True. London, Paris, Las Vegas.

A: I won’t live in fear.

8.

B: Positive attitude.

A: What about you?

B: I try to live fearlessly.

A: It’s not always easy.

B: Why are you doing this?

A: Time for a change.

B: Running from something? Somebody?

A: That’s a little personal.

B: Sorry.

(A touches B’s arm, forgiving the question)

A: Running? Yes. But, running to.

B: The best reason. Something new.

A: Teaching middle school got old.

B: There’s high school. Or college.

A: Living here has gotten old.

9.

B: Don’t forget crazy, too.

A: I want to travel more.

B: It’s so enriching.

A: Where have you been?

B: I did Europe after college.

A: What part?

B: Eastern Europe, mostly.

A: No Paris or Rome?

B: No money for it!

A: Got it.

B: What about you?

A: Never been outside the US.

B: Got a favorite place?

A: I love Louisiana.

B: I’ve been to New Orleans.

10.

A: Been to Cajun country?

B: No.

A: It’s wonderful. The food, music.

B: I like zydeco.

A: My favorite!

B: I’ve kinda stopped traveling, actually.

A: Why?

B: Tired of doing it alone.

A: That’s a problem for you?

B: You’re surprised?

A: You’re good looking. Kinda smart.

B: Thanks. I think.

A: I’m joking.

B: Going places solo gets lonely.

A: You must know people.

11.

B: That’s not the problem.

A: Money?

B: No, not anymore.

A: Then I can’t imagine.

B: Age.

A: Age?

B: Age.

A: Explain.

B: You won’t believe me.

A: Try me.

B: I’m older than you.

A: I doubt it.

B: Up for a wager?

A: It would be like stealing.

B: Take my money. I insist.

12.

A: Ok. How about dinner?

B: You’re on. How old?

A: You?

B: Me.

A: Forty-three.

B: I love you. Sixty.

A: No way.

B: Wanna see my license?

A: Unbelievable. But, sixty isn’t old.

B: Woman thirty-two thinks I’m forty-three.

A: Ok.

B: I’m dating material.

A: Of course, you are.

B: But, when she hears sixty?

A: You’re her dad.

13.

B: Bingo.

A: You’re still the same guy.

B: Doesn’t matter. It’s about perception.

A: People are so judgmental.

B: Even you think differently now.

A: I don’t.

B: You’re lying or very special.

A: Neither. Ok, a little special.

B: I’ll go with very special.

A: That’s nice. Now your turn.

B: Twenty-one.

A: Quit playing.

B: Um, thirty-five.

A: Love you back. Fifty-four.

B: No Shit!!?

14.

A: Wanna see my license?

B: So, you go from hot—

A: Chick to cougar.

B: Same coin, different sides.

A: Exactly. I’ve given up trying.

B: For a relationship?

A: Yes.

B: Amazing that two people…

A: Chance or fate?

B: (Shrugs with palms up) This might be brash, but…

A: Go on.

B: We can eliminate our problems.

A: By dating?

B: It’s crossed my mind.

A: Well, you’re interesting enough.

15.

B: I think so.

A: For an old guy.

B: You passed the test.

(A’s phone DINGS)

A: One second.

(A taps on the screen)

B: Important?

A: Very. (pause) I’ve been accepted.

B: When do you leave?

A: (long pause) Next week.

(Lights down)

THE END

 

“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)

 

 

“A Plan”

“A Plan” is the second of the eight plays that made up “A Night of Short Plays.” All of the plays are loosely connected by a common theme: the random nature of life.

How the production of these plays came to be. In April of 2018 I followed up on an introduction made to me in the fall of 2017 at a co-working business with a small outdoor performance space. We agreed on terms and dates and the ball was rolling. The plays would be performed in Spanish using local actors. I found my translator that day; how fortunate that she worked part-time at the business. At the auditions I met a local producer/director who volunteered to recruit directors and actors for me. She has since become one of my best friends and we have planned a couple more events.

On two nights in late June we filled the space (about 50 people each night); I realized then that I could get anything I wrote produced in Oaxaca and it would be accepted and appreciated, given that the work was of good quality. Such a great feeling!!!

Here is the poster for the event.

poster

Synopsis for “A Plan”: two people discuss the merits of having a life plan.

CHARACTERS

A

B

TIME: The Present

PLACE: Anywhere

*Author strongly recommends casting actors other than two white men.

A: And another thing.

B: The doctor is in.

A: I’m already bored.

B: It’s only been a month.

A: Feels like a millennium.

B: Whatya been doin’?

A: Not much. Coming here.

B: Join any clubs or anything?

A: Nah, all snobs and bores.

B: Staying active? Bowling? Golf?

A: With my sciatica?

B: Tell me your day.

A: Eat, watch TV, come here.

B: That’s it?

A: Pretty much.

B: You’re doin’ it all wrong.

A: Says the know-it-all.

B: I know enough.

A: Really?

2.

B: Really.

A: Whadya know?

B: You had no plan.

A: I had, have a plan.

B: I’m all ears.

A: It’s basic. (pause) Simple.

B: They’re always the best.

A: You won’t like it.

B: Why?

A: Because I know you.

B: Try me.

A: Ok. Living life my way.

B: Hmmm. Well…you know…

A: You don’t like it?

B: That’s not a plan.

A: Knew you wouldn’t like it.

B: Sounds like a marketing slogan.

A: For what?

B: Someone without a plan.

A: You have a plan?

B: I’m a planner.

A: You never plan.

B: I plan. Silently.

A: Tell me the last one.

B: My trip to—

A: Bali. Thirty years ago.

3.

B: It was Rio.

A: Either way, you never went.

B: But, I planned it.

A: You got a plan now?

B: You should hear it.

A: A good one?

B: Better than good. Stupendous!

A: Tell me.

B: Can’t. (pause) Not finished.

A: I see. Classified. Top Secret.

B: Ok, I’ll tell you.

A: This oughta be good.

B: When it’s finished.

A: You got no plan.

B: Let’s talk about your plan.

A: I’ve decided, no plan.

B: Got any hobbies?

A: You bet. Poker.

B: Bad choice.

A: Why?

B: You suck at it.

A: I’m improving.

B: Not according to Billy.

A: Big mouth.

B: You always talk about Europe.

A: Yeah, especially Italy.

4.

B: So, go.

A: Takes money.

B: You’re loaded.

A: Not like you think.

B: Oh. Bad investments?

A: I’m paying for aSssisted living.

B: Not you!

A: My parents.

B: They in a good place?

A: The best.

B: Using your money?

A: Mostly.

B: They still healthy?

A: Too healthy to die.

B: That could change. Life’s fragile.

5.

A: We’ll live forever!

B: Here today, gone tomorrow.

A: Not me.

B: So, Europe’s out. See the USA.

A: In my Chevrolet.

B: Go for it!

A: I need a companion.

B: Try eHarmony. It’s the best.

A: You tried it?

B: Lots of times.

A: But, you’re alone.

B: I’m picky.

A: Or they are.

B: You’ve never been picky.

A: And I’m still alone.

B: What a pair we are.

A: You really have a plan?

B: Of course…not.

A: Didn’t think so.

B: Plans are overrated.

A: Absolutely. Only losers plan.

6.

B: We fly…

A AND B: By the seat of our pants.

(A and B clink beer bottles and drink)

B: You’ll think of something.

A: If I want to.

B: You’re smart.

A: Einstein smart.

B: Well…

A: Don’t need to be Einstein.

B: A plan will appear.

A: When it’s time.

B: That’s how it works.

A: You can’t force these things.

B: No, you can’t.

A: That’s not how life works.

B: Amen.

7.

A: I gotta go.

(A stands)

B: Go where?

A: I’m not sure.

B: Then stay. Have another.

A: I could.

B: Of course. You’re retired.

A: I am.

(A sits. B exits and returns with 2 drinks)

B: That’s the beauty of it.

A: Do what I want.

B: When you want.

A: Eat when I’m hungry.

B: Drink when you’re thirsty.

A: Hardly need a clock.

B: The sun is your clock.

A: I’m gonna eat.

B: You love the burgers here.

A: Chinese, maybe.

B: Ok, Chinese it is.

A: Maybe I’ll just walk around.

B: Oh, I envy your life.

A: You’ll be there soon.

B: Yes, I will.

A: With or without a plan.

B: With or without. Can’t wait.

A: Italian sounds good.

B: Sure. Thinking about Italy, right?

8.

A: Pizza or pasta.

B: Your decision of the day.

(A stands and tries to give B some money, but B waves it away)

A: See you tomorrow?

B: That’s the plan.

A: Maybe I’ll check out eHarmony.

B: I knew you would.

A: To plans.

B: Or not.

(THEY clink bottles and drink. A exits. Five to ten seconds after he leaves, car tires SCREECH and a THUD. B reacts. Lights down)

THE END