Cast of Characters
Actors will likely have to play multiple parts, with rapid changes. Roles are very brief.
Playwright: Someone who is onstage at all times to observe the action, can be anyone
Older Man: 40s to 60s
Two Men: 20s to 40s
Three Women: 20s to 40s
Two Younger Women: late teens to 20s
Two Younger Men: late teens to 20s
One or Two Old Men: 60-plus, distinguished
One or Two Older Women: 50 to 60-plus, elegant
Teen Boy: 13 to 16
Teen Girl: 13 to 16
Boy: 6 to 10
Girl: 6 to 10
The playwright observes his or her surroundings on a specific date at a specific location.
The stage is an exterior, outside a cafe in an urban, downtown setting. There is a table, a chair and something
that passes for a tree, the simpler the better, a stick with a sign that says “Tree,’ for example.
(An OLDER MAN stands in murmured conversation with a SLIGHTLY YOUNGER COUPLE, a husband and wife.)
(Enter the PLAYWRIGHT, can be anyone, carrying two differently-colored notebooks and a pen. He or she talks to the audience as they enter and set up, getting comfortable.)
It is Sunday, October third in downtown Spokane (pronounced Spo-Can), Washington. It’s a little before 11 a.m.. I am seated at a parklet, a little makeshift wooden park set up with tables and benches for the public to use. I am outside a little French cafe on Main Avenue, in between Stevens Street and Washington Street. I have ordered a maple bar and an open-faced asparagus and scrambled egg sandwich. My car made a whistling sound again on the way down, but it stopped when I turned off the engine and started it again. A man asked me for a dollar, muttering something about plasma. I gave him the dollar.
(PLAYWRIGHT stops and begins to look around, pen at the ready.)
(The OLDER MAN and the SLIGHTLY YOUNGER COUPLE begin to walk off.)
You guys get through your kids, life will be like, really (extends hand to indicate smooth)
(The OLDER MAN and the YOUNGER COUPLE exit, crossing with TWO YOUNG GIRLS.)
YOUNG GIRL I
All right. Maybe I’ll see you soon.
(The girls hug, exit in different directions.)
(A WOMAN enters from one side of the stage, greets a MAN holding a LITTLE KID. They move fluidly, never stopping as they move to exit the stage.)
They’ve got two high chairs, but they also have booster seats for big boys.
I would rather have a booster.
You’d rather have a booster?
(They exit. Enter WOMAN ON PHONE. She never stops walking as she crosses the stage.)
WOMAN ON PHONE
And you get a free T-shirt at the end. Yeah, I’ve got a few. I’ve got pins and lapels.
(Enter LITTLE BOY with his MOM and DAD.)
It’s not sopping. (for “stopping)
(Enter GUY WITH SUNGLASSES.)
GUY WITH SUNGLASSES
(Exit GUY WITH SUNGLASSES. Enter MIDDLE-AGED COUPLE.)
And I sure want to spend eighty dollars for each of those.
Her tone implies she does not.
(MAN WITH WALKER walks by, using a walker. He does not speak.)
(Enter RUSSIAN MAN HOLDING TWO RED PLASTIC BAGS and his family.)
RUSSIAN MAN HOLDING TWO RED PLASTIC BAGS
(shrugs) I don’t speak Russian.
(WOMAN II walks by, holding a baby.)
(A COUPLE walks by, a YOUNG MAN and YOUNG WOMAN)
I just put it down like this, on its side, and then I pick it up (laughs).
(A MAN IN A CAMOUFLAGE JACKET walks by, using a long, simple stick as a walking stick.)
I like your staff. (to audience) I do. It is a cool, wooden dragon.
MAN IN CAMOUFLAGE JACKET
(MAN IN CAMOUFLAGE JACKET exits. LITTLE BOY returns, now with his MOM, DAD and NANA. NANA beckons the boy.)
Honey, come here and see Nana for a second. (wipes the boy’s face with her thumb.)
I have some wipe-its.
There was a little spider in there.
(unforced enthusiasm) That is so cool!
(They exit. PRETTY GIRL walks by.)
(PRETTY GIRL smiles in response, keeps walking.)
(MAN WITH WALKER returns. On the walker is now a GROCERY BAG containing a box of cereal. MAN WITH WALKER exits.)
(PLAYWRIGHT sits. Sounds of TRAFFIC.)
The YOUNG COUPLE returns.
OK. Let’s go. Let’s go get things.
(They exit together.)
(Enter MOM II, with TEEN SON and TEEN DAUGHTER WEARING GLASSES, drinking a cup of orange juice through a straw.)
(indistinguishable murmuring; the playwright strains to hear) Boom. (Indistinguishable murmuring.)
(GUY WITH SUNGLASSES returns.)
GUY WITH SUNGLASSES
Hey, are you from around here?
GUY WITH SUNGLASSES
Any restaurants I should check out while I’m here?
How long are you here?
GUY WITH SUNGLASSES
(turns to audience) I give him a couple recommendations.
(Exit GUY WITH SUNGLASSES. Enter STYLISH MIDDLE-AGED MAN and STYLISH MIDDLE-AGED WOMAN)
STYLISH MIDDLE-AGED MAN
Ian said Sarah hit the wall pretty hard yesterday.
(STYLISH MIDDLE-AGED MAN and WOMAN leave.)
(A “car” pulls up, and TWENTYSOMETHING GRANDSON helps GRANDMOTHER out, ushers her across the stage. They exit.)
(WOMAN WITH DOG IN A BAG walks by. She and PLAYWRIGHT nod to each other.)
(Enter MAN ON CELLPHONE.)
MAN ON CELLPHONE
(burps, checks phone)
(A family - DAD II, MOM III, BOY II, GIRL III - enters, walks by. Suddenly, DAD II picks up BOY II, who starts to cry.)
(MOM III does not react. They split in different directions, DAD II and BOY II in one direction, BOY II still crying, MOM III and GIRL II in another.)
(WOMAN III enters, joins MAN WITH CELLPHONE. They exit.)
(YOUNG WOMAN II enters, suddenly stops. GUY SHE IS WITH walks behind, bumps into her gently, caught off guard by her suddenly stopping.)
GUY SHE IS WITH
(They link arms and exit.)
(PLAYWRIGHT switches notebooks, gets up, brings in a glass of water.)
A GIRL and a BOY come by, both on “bicycles.”
GIRL ON BICYCLE
Uh, I’m out of breath. Well, not really.
(GIRL ON BICYCLE and BOY ON BICYCLE exit.)
(Enter two guys, pushing “bicycles.”)
Story of my life. Story of my life. Well, not really, but it could be.
(cigarette in mouth, says nothing)
(The guys push their “bicycles” off the stage. GIRL APPLYING LIPSTICK walks by, says nothing.)
(MAN III and WOMAN IV walk by with BOY III, holding a STUFFED DINOSAUR. They exit.)
(The stage is empty. PLAYWRIGHT stretches, accidentally kicks the table, winces.)
(CLOCK chimes noon.)
(A COUPLE walks by, stops, presses their faces against two “storefront windows” peering in, moves along.)
(Enter DAD III with his two sons.)
—and said, we grow potatoes. (flashes thumbs up)
(DAD III and sons exit.)
(LITTLE GIRL runs in, ahead of her family, MOM V and DAD IV. She stops, runs back, playfully runs into her father, then moves to repeat the process, but—)
OK. We’re here.
(TWENTYSOMETHING GRANDSON and GRANDMOTHER return. They look down the street, waiting for their ride. The GRANDSON talks to the GRANDMOTHER, faintly but kindly.)
(The “car” returns, and the grandson helps his grandmother into the car, then sloooooowly spends some time getting in the backseat. The “car” begins to move. PLAYWRIGHT looks
Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.
(The “car” stops, and the grandson gets in. Exit.)
(Enter WOMAN WITH WATCH. She gets halfway on the stage, stops, looks at her watch and then turns back and goes back the way she came.)
(ELDERLY COUPLE walk in, holding hands. They laugh together, grin and—)
(Exit ELDERLY COUPLE.)
(Enter GUY III and GUY IV. GUY III holds a football behind his back for GUY IV to take. They exit.)
(Enter WOMAN WITH DOG. The dog is a stuffed toy.)
It was a real dog.
(WOMAN WITH DOG ties the stuffed animal’s leash to the tree.)
WOMAN WITH DOG
Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. I’ll be right back. (leaves, then returns) No. Don’t be naughty. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Sit. Stay.
(WOMAN WITH DOG exits, casting a few glances back at the dog. Enter a family, kids and DAD V and MOM IV.)
DAD V AND MOM IV
Look at the doggy.
(The family exits. Sounds of DOG WHIMPERING.)
She’ll be back.
(Enter OLD MAN IN WHEELCHAIR, pushing himself backwards with his legs, holding up a MIRROR to see where he’s going. He crosses the stage and exits.)
Ssh. It’s OK, it’s OK.
(Enter three WOMEN.)
(to dog, in cutesy voice) Hello.
(Exit three WOMEN.)
(WOMAN WITH DOG returns.)
WOMAN WITH DOG
(to dog) Hello.
(WOMAN WITH DOG unties the dog’s leash, sits down with the dog in her lap, then at her feet. She waits for her food, checking her phone.)
(PLAYWRIGHT checks watch.)
The End. Twelve thirty-seven p.m.—
(PLAYWRIGHT stops, watches as a FAMILY walks by - MOM VII, DAD VI, BOY III and GIRL III. The boy rides on the dad’s shoulders. They cross the stage, exit.)
Ahem. The End. Twelve thirty-eight p.m., Sunday, October
third, Spokane, Washington.
(Playwright bows. Lights.)
Matthew Weaver was born in Spokane, attended Washington State University and lived/worked for five years in Moses Lake, Wash., before returning to Spokane. So far in 2018, he has had play productions in/scheduled in Spokane; San Francisco; Hollywood; NYC;Grass Valley, CA; Eugene, Ore., Bethesda, Maryland and Jonesville, Michigan.