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Phone Calls. A Play by Martin Green.



Characters: TEDDY, 27

MARY, 28

GRACE, 24, Mary’s roommate



Scene 1: The stage is divided in two: at the right (audience’s left) is the living room of Mary and Grace’s apartment and at the left is the living room of Teddy’s studio apartment. The girls’ place is clean, neat and has good furniture, an armchair, table with lamp beside the chair, sofa and coffee table with phone on it. Teddy's place is messy, papers scattered around, furniture from Good Will, a sofa-bed, a table with phone on it.

(When the curtain rises, Mary is sitting in the armchair reading a book. She is a plain-looking girl who wears glasses. Her roommate Grace is lying on the sofa doing her nails. Grace is a blonde beauty. Teddy’s apartment is empty.

As soon as the curtain is up Teddy enters from stage left, holding a small address book. He looks into the book, picks up the phone, then puts it down again. )

TEDDY (talking into the air): Hello, this is Teddy. You probably don’t remember me . . . No, that sounds stupid. Hi, my name is Teddy. We met at a party last week and I was wondering if . . . No, that’s no good. Nuts, just go ahead and call her. (He dials. The phone in the girls’ apartment rings. Mary immediately looks up from her book. Grace glances at Mary, then picks up the phone.)

GRACE: Hello.

TEDDY: Hello. Uh, my name is Teddy and we met at a party and . . . Uh, wait, is this Mary?

GRACE: No, this is Mary’s roommate, Grace. Just a minute and I’ll see if Mary is in. (She covers the receiver with her hand and speaks to Mary.) It’s him. See, I told you he’d call. (She hands the phone to Mary.)

MARY: Hello, this is Mary.

TEDDY: Hi, this is Teddy. You probably don’t remember me but …

MARY: I remember you. We met at that party. You work in an advertising agency. You’re a space seller.

TEDDY: A space buyer.

MARY: That’s what I meant, a space buyer.

TEDDY: Right. Well, uh, how’ve you been?

MARY: Oh, I’ve been fine. How about you? How’ve you been?

TEDDY: Good, I’ve been good. Look, I thought, I mean, you wouldn’t like to go out to dinner sometime, would you?

MARY: That would be nice.

TEDDY: It would? I mean, well, would this weekend be okay? How about Saturday night?

MARY: That would be fine.

TEDDY: Good. Then I’ll pick you up at seven, okay?

MARY: All right.

TEDDY: Good, I’ll see you then. (He starts to hang up, then talks into the phone again). Wait, I just realized, I don’t know your address.

MARY: It’s 2030 Clay, at the corner of Union. We’re apartment 3. You ring downstairs.

TEDDY: Ring downstairs. Okay, I’ve got it. I’ll see you Saturday. (He hangs up and exits stage left. Mary also hangs up and speaks to Grace.)

MARY: He’s asked me out to dinner. Saturday night.

GRACE: What did I tell you? (The two girls exit stage right. Their part of the stage goes dark. Teddy returns, holding a can of beer. He looks at the phone, then holds up the beer, toasting himself. His part of the stage goes dark).



Scene 2

(While the stage is still dark, the phone on Teddy’s part of the stage is heard ringing. Mary’s part of the stage lights up and she’s seen holding the phone. After several more rings, she puts it down. She stands up, paces up and down the room once, then picks it up again and dials. Teddy’s part of the stage lights up and he’s seen hurrying in, wearing a coat and carrying a briefcase, which he throws down, then picks up the ringing phone.)

TEDDY: Hello.

MARY: Oh, you’re back. I’ve been ringing you for the last two hours. I was afraid something had happened to the airplane.

TEDDY: It was delayed, that’s all. I just now got in.

MARY: Then you’re okay.

TEDDY: Sure. I’m fine.

MARY: How was the trip?

TEDDY: Good. They liked our presentation and my boss told me afterward I’d done a good job. Who knows, maybe there’ll be a promotion in it for me.

MARY: Oh, Teddy, that’s great news. I knew it would be a success. Can you come over now? I have a dinner prepared for you. I’ll just re-heat it. Then we can talk. I’ve missed you.

TEDDY: I’ve only been gone two days.

MARY: I still missed you. Are you coming over?

TEDDY: Yeah, I guess so. Just give me some time to get cleaned up. Is Grace there?

MARY: No, she went out. Why?

TEDDY: I just wondered, that’s all.

MARY: Oh. Well, why don’t you get cleaned up now. I’ll be waiting for you. I love you.

TEDDY: Okay. See you soon.

Scene 3

(Both sides of the stage light up. Mary is seen sitting and dialing the phone. Teddy’s phone rings. He comes in from stage left and picks up his phone.)

TEDDY: Hello.

MARY: Oh, you’re home. I’ve been trying to get you all week.

TEDDY: Uh, I’ve been working late every night. We’re trying to get the campaign all tied up. I’ve hardly been here.

MARY: I know. Why didn’t you call me?

TEDDY: Uh, I meant to but you know how it is. It’s been really hectic. I just haven’t had a chance.

MARY: Teddy, I haven’t seen you in almost two weeks. When am I going to see you again?

TEDDY: Gee, I, uh, I don’t know right now. I’m really tied up. I don’t really know when I’m going to be able to get away.

MARY: Teddy, is anything wrong?

TEDDY: Wrong? How do you mean?

MARY: Teddy, I love you and I want to see you. Are you trying to avoid me?

TEDDY: Avoid you? I, uh, no, of course not. It’s just the job. You know how it is. I just can’t break away right now.

(Grace comes into Teddy’s room, holding two glasses of wine. She’s nude, well, make it in a short negligee. She hands one of the glasses to Teddy. He takes it and holds it while still on the phone.)

MARY: Well, can I come over and see you now?

TEDDY: Now? No, no, I was just going out. I have to get back to the office. We’re having an all-night session. I don’t know when I’ll be back.

MARY: All right. Will you call me?

TEDDY: Yes. I’ll call you as soon as I get a chance. Okay?

MARY: Fine.

(Mary slowly puts down the phone. Teddy hangs up and speaks to Grace.)

TEDDY: That was rough. She wanted to come over. Wouldn’t that be great?

GRACE: You’re going to have to tell her, you know. Sooner or later.

TEDDY: Yeah, yeah, I know. Do you think she suspects anything?

GRACE: Mary? No, she’s as innocent as a lamb.

TEDDY: I hope you’re right. I’ll give her a call, maybe tomorrow.

(Teddy and Grace sit down together on his sofa-bed with their wine glasses and kiss.)

GRACE: You promise you’ll call her tomorrow.

TEDDY: Yeah. But right now let’s forget about her, okay?

(Mary gets up from the sofa and exits stage right. She comes back holding a large kitchen knife, which she puts in her purse. She takes a deep breath, closes the purse and exits. Her side goes dark. The other side goes dark.)




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