Reception

A play for three actors by D. M. Larson from freedrama.net

From the published play "Death of an Insurance Salesman"



INT. ROOM. DAY.

James wanders nervously.  He keeps checking his phone.

JAMES

There's no reception in here.

Mindy shrugs.

MINDY

So, who cares?


JAMES

What if someone needs to reach me?


MINDY

Like who?


JAMES

My kids, my boss, my ex...


MINDY

You're ex? (laughs)  Geez... relax.


JAMES

Why aren't you upset?  You're stuck in here too.


MINDY

There's worse places to be stuck.


JAMES

Like where?  Name one.

MINDY

The "It's a Small World" ride at Dizzyland.  Once through is bad enough, but being stuck in there with that song playing over and over.  Why couldn't they write a longer version of the song for that ride?!

James

You were obviously scarred by the experience.

MINDY

Dizzyland destroyed me inside.  I'll never be the same.

She flops down in a chair and covers her face.

JAMES

You're serious?

She lifts her head and smiles.

MINDY

Nope.

JAMES

Those life size cartoon characters are creepy though. 

MINDY

There's something really sexy about some of them though.

JAMES

Uh, no.  Not really.

MINDY

Something about Goofy and those big pants of his.  What is he hiding?

JAMES

You've got problems.

MINDY

What about the princesses?  Aren't they hot?

JAMES

I guess the little mermaid is kind of... well...

MINDY

Sexy? 

James's phone beeps.

JAMES

I got a text.

MINDY

What does it say?

Mindy leans on his to look.  James gives her a funny look and moves away but she moves with him.

JAMES

"Please wait."

MINDY

That's it?

James tries dialing then looks at phone in frustration.

JAMES

No reception again.

MINDY

So enjoy a few minutes of peace and quiet.  When is the last time you just sat and did nothing?

JAMES

Why would I want to do that?

MINDY

It's relaxing.

JAMES

Relaxing?

MINDY

You don't know what that means do you?

JAMES

I wonder if I'm in the wrong place.

James goes toward the door.

MINDY

They're locked.  I've tried them already.

James tries door and it is locked.

JAMES

Why is it locked?

MINDY

No clue but they all are.

James

You check that one.  I'll check this one over here.

James runs off and Mindy sits and relaxes.

JAMES (Cont.)

Locked.  What about your door?

MINDY

Locked too.

James looks at his phone again.

JAMES

Why can't I get a signal?

Wonders around holding up phone.  Mindy goes up to him and takes phone.

MINDY

Stop messing with your phone.

JAMES

Give it back.

MINDY

No.

JAMES

Come on.  That's my work phone.

MINDY

So if we lose it, does that mean you don't have to work anymore?

JAMES

That's not funny.

MINDY

If you can sit and do absolutely nothing for five minutes, then I'll give it back.

JAMES

Why would I do that? 

MINDY

Because otherwise I'm going to break your phone.

She holds it like she is going to throw it.

JAMES

Don't you dare.

MINDY

Sit.  Sit and relax for five minutes and you can have it back.

JAMES

5 seconds maybe.

MINDY

You can't sit still and do nothing?

JAMES

Do I have a choice?

MINDY

Everyone has choices.

JAMES

Mine appear limited.

Suddenly his phone rings.  He rushes for it but she holds him back.  She answers it.

MINDY

Hello... no, he's not here right now.  Can I take a message?

James struggles to get it and Mindy keeps it away.

JAMES

Give it here.

He manages to get it away from her and puts the phone to his ear.

JAMES (CONT.)

Hello?!  Hello.  Hello, hello.  Uh, they hung up.

MINDY

Maybe I did that.  Is that was the big red "end" button does?

JAMES

And the number was "private".  Great.  I can't call them back.

MINDY

No cell service anyway.

JAMES

So how did that call get through?  Where were you standing?

James rushes over to where she was standing.

MINDY

Try standing like I was too.

James does a mocking pose of her.

MINDY (CONT.)

Do I really stand like that?

JAMES

Maybe.

James looks at his phone in frustration and then puts it in his pocket and sits.  Mindy goes up behind him and rubs his shoulders.

MINDY

So why do you think we both got asked to be here?

JAMES

I don't know.  Why are you rubbing my back?

MINDY

Why not?

JAMES

Why not.

James is relaxing. Mindy leans down next to his ear.

MINDY

Maybe they know I'm attracted to you.

James jumps up.

JAMES

What?

MINDY

Huh?

JAMES

You said...

MINDY

What?

JAMES

Are you?

MINDY

Maybe we should change the subject.

JAMES

No, you said you're attracted to me.

MINDY

Did I?

JAMES

Yes.

MINDY

I guess I did.

JAMES

So you are?

MINDY

What?

JAMES

Stop that!

MINDY

You're so cute when you get mad.  You get this funny little fussy face.

She mocks his mad look.

JAMES

When did this happen?  The attraction?

MINDY

A few years ago.

JAMES

A few years!

MINDY

There was this one meeting we were both at.  You had just been promoted and you got up in front of everyone and did this big speech.  And every time you looked at me, your eyes stopped on me a moment longer than everyone else.  And you'd stumble on your words a little.  Maybe it was that low cut shirt I was wearing that day?

JAMES

Really?  I... uh... don't remember... I mean... maybe...

MINDY

Or maybe it was that really short skirt of mine and I was sitting like this.

She does a sexy sit.

JAMES

Gee... I... uh... well, I...

MINDY

Stuttering. Too cute.

JAMES

Wow... I... never knew you liked me.

MINDY

It's not important.

JAMES

Not important? 

MINDY

Look... I didn't think it would work out.  So I didn't say anything.

JAMES

Why wouldn't it work? 

MINDY

Never mind.

JAMES

Please tell me.

MINDY

No.

There is a buzzing.

JAMES

Is that your phone?

MINDY

Oh... yeah...

Mindy looks at it and then puts it back in her pocket.

JAMES

Wait.  What did it say?

MINDY

None of your business.

JAMES

How come you're getting messages and I'm not?

MINDY

I have a better phone?

JAMES

No. I have one of the best.

MINDY

That's because you're soooo important.  You need the best.

JAMES

Wait?  Now you're not being nice at all.  What happened?

MINDY

Nothing.  Can we change the subject again?

MINDY puts her hand on her pocket where her phone is and looks worried.

Suddenly, Pete burst through one of the doors.  James quickly realizes the door is open and runs for it.

JAMES

Don't let it shut!

Pete is on his phone and gives James an annoyed look as James runs past him. The door slams loudly as James gets to it.  He pounds on the door and yanks on it.

MINDY

It doesn't open from the inside remember.

JAMES

I almost got it.

Pete is looking at his phone.

PETE

No reception?  It was fine out there.

Pete heads for the door. 

JAMES

It's locked.

Pete ignores James and tries it anyway.  Pete returns

PETE

Hmmm.  That's strange.

JAMES

Tell me about it. 

PETE

You're James right?  Don't you work on the 10th floor with Mindy?  Marketing or something?

JAMES

Marketing, yes.  Come up any time and I can give you a tour.

PETE

Very nice.  He's a nice man isn't he?

Pete walks close to Mindy.

MINDY

What's that supposed to mean?

PETE

You like nice men.

MINDY

Then how'd I end up with you?

Pete has a flash of anger that suddenly worries James.  But then Pete calms down and gives James a big smile.

JAMES

You two know each other?

PETE

I thought I was her boyfriend but maybe a lot of guys think that.

MINDY

You know that's not true.

PETE

She has a reputation on my floor.

MINDY

I've never been with anyone else. 

JAMES

I've never seen her with any guys.

PETE

Come down to my floor some time.  She gets around.

MINDY

What?  You probably just spread that around to make me sound more exciting for you.

PETE

Did that make any sense?

MINDY

Of all people to be stuck with.  This is just great.

PETE

But you have Mr. 10th Floor Executive here.

MINDY

And it was a lot nicer when it was just the two of us.

PETE

I'll bet it was.

JAMES

Wait a minute... it wasn't like that.

MINDY

What if it was?

JAMES

Hey!

MINDY

It's okay James.  He needs to know.

PETE

Know what? 

JAMES

Wait. This got weird really fast.  What is going on?

PETE

She's playing games as usual. 

MINDY

Me?  You're the king of games.  I've never felt so manipulated in my life.  I'm tired of being your plaything.


PETE

That's all you're good for.

Pete grabs Mindy by the arm.

MINDY

Let go!

JAMES

Stop!

James goes up to them but Pete turns on him and pushes him away violently.  Mindy runs to her purse.  Pete turns on Mindy but she has pulled a gun.

PETE

What are you doing?

MINDY

Putting a stop to this.

PETE

You won't shoot.

Pete slowly goes up to her.  Mindy points the gun and starts shaking.

MINDY

I will.

Mindy starts crying as Pete moves in.  James watches not sure what to do.  Pete is close and Mindy raises the gun to fire. Pete smacks the gun away out of her hands and grabs her angrily.  Mindy breaks away and runs for a door.  James runs and grabs Pete.

JAMES

Leave her alone.

Pete violently grabs James and then throws him to the ground.  Pete runs after Mindy.  We see Pete and Mindy's shadows on the back wall.  Pete starts hitting Mindy and she is screaming.  James goes for the gun.  He gets up and raises at Pete.

JAMES (CONT.)

Stop!

Pete doesn't.  His attack gets worse.  Mindy screams louder.  James raises the gun and fires.  Silence.  Then Mindy cries.  James goes to her and helps her back to the chair.  She falls to the floor and James bends down by her and holds her.

MINDY

Thank you.  Thank you for helping me.

JAMES

I couldn't let him hurt you.  I... I didn't know how else to stop him.

MINDY

You did the right thing.  You did what I wanted to do.  I knew you would.

James suddenly backs away.

JAMES

You knew I would do that?

MINDY

Of any other person in my life, you are the bravest, the strongest... the one who would defend someone in trouble.  I saw how you were at work.  Always doing the right thing.  Always helping those in trouble.  Defending what was right even if it meant standing up against people more powerful than you.

JAMES

But this... this is different...

MINDY

Not really.  I knew you'd be the same way here too.

JAMES

You... you set this up?

MINDY

It's the only way I knew how to stop him. 

JAMES

I killed him.

MINDY

It's self-defense.  You protected me.

JAMES

I'll be ruined.

MINDY

No, you'll be a hero.

JAMES

We need to run.

MINDY

I want to go too.

JAMES

Where can we go?

MINDY

Anywhere.  Anywhere you want... as long as it's away from here.

Mindy types something in her phone.  James looks around nervously. A door buzzes open.  James helps Mindy up and they go.   James' phone is left behind from one of his falls.  It starts ringing.

END OF SCRIPT



For permission to use this script, contact doug@freedrama.net (PLEASE include the title of the script in your request).

The play is FREE... if... and only if... your performance of the script is at no cost (i.e. classroom, workshop, audition or competition). When you use a script for free, I do ask a couple small things in return: www.freedrama.net/nocost.html

This script is COPYRIGHTED material. You are NOT allowed to repost the script online for any reason (even educational). You may create a link to the script, but do not republish or redistribute the text of the script in any way.

However, you may record your performance of the script and place the VIDEO online (as long as no text from the script is included). Please be professional and CREDIT the author D. M. Larson and the website Freedrama.net in the description and/or credits.

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All ARTWORK from the Freedrama website related to the script (i. e. posters) may be used for free for programs, posters and advertising of the script. Please credit artist Shiela Larson. If you would like art created by Shiela for your program, contact us at doug@freedrama.net

Thank you for selecting my script. HAVE FUN and enjoy the play.

Sincerely,

D. M. Larson


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Featured Monologue from the Upcoming Play “Death of an Insurance Salesman”

***

"GUARDIANS OF THE WALLET" by D. M. Larson

RALPH
An ambulance is coming for you now. And the policy will cover that ride so you're in luck.

(Ralph waves good-bye and watches person go)

He's lucky. Most people wait until it's too late. Last minute is always better than never. Sometimes I think I should set up my office in the lobby of the hospital emergency room. I could probably sign up half the room as they are waiting... what else are they going to do while they wait for help? Come on. What's the number one thing on their minds? They worry about how they'll pay for the hospital. That's where I come in. I kind of see myself as a hero... swooping in to save the day... can't pay your medical bill? Let me do it for you. I know no one sees an insurance salesman as a hero but we really are. You know how much that heart attack would have cost him without me? You know how much a car accident would cost without insurance? We're not the bad guys... we're your knight in shining armor, protecting you from going bankrupt. We are the guardians of the wallet. Don't let them suck you dry. Insurance will protect you... save you... rescue you... and that's what I wanted to always do with my life. Be a hero.

END OF MONOLOGUE