Monday, May 11, 2015

Sneak Preview of the full length stage play script Death of an Insurance Salesman

I've had some requests to take a look at the play Death of an Insurance Salesman that I am currently working on since I have some monologues already shared on my website and actors would like more background on the characters.  Here is a scene that probably gives the best insight in to the characters so far.

SCENE FROM DEATH OF AN INSURANCE SALESMAN BY D. M. LARSON

See three cubicles facing the audience.  There are more on the other side upstage hidden from the audience.  There is loud talking from Parker, Rosie and Moose from the hidden side.  The three workers facing the audience (Ralph, Sue and Skippy) are trying to work:

PARKER
Can you believe they traded Knotinhoffer?

ROSIE
No way!

PARKER
They totally did.

SUE
Do they ever work?

ROSIE
To who?

PARKER
New York.

ROSIE
Are they nuts?

PARKER
I know!

(Sue is angry)

SUE
Do women even like sports?  When did that happen?  It was bad enough when guys talked about it but now women do too?

MOOSE
Speaking of nuts... you hear about the guy who ordered a peanut butter and jelly sandwich?

PARKER
No.

MOOSE
He said... hey waiter... this sandwich tastes funny.

PARKER
Uh-huh?

MOOSE
So they waiter says... "then why aren't you laughing."

ROSIE
Old joke.  You're grandfather tell you that one?

MOOSE
Maybe you did... you're as old as he is.

ROSIE
Watch it bub!

SUE
Don't you all ever shut up! 

(They all peak over and then slowly go back down again quietly. GILL enters and goes up to RALPH. GILL is grabbing his chest and looks very sick... like a heart attack.  RALPH sees GILL and jumps up)

RALPH
Are you okay?

GILL
Fine, fine.  I need some insurance... now.

RALPH
You don't look so good. I better call...

GILL
No!  No... I'm fine. I need some of your health insurance... now.

RALPH
Um... well... if you're sure you don't need any help.

GILL
No... please... insurance... now.

RALPH
Oh... okay.  I remember you were looking at several policies last time you came by...

GILL
The one for heart attacks...

RALPH
The mega care add on?

GILL
Right... mega... add...

(GILL is fading and slipping out of his chair)

RALPH
I really should call someone.

(GILL pulls himself back up)

GILL
No, I'm great... never better... give me the policy!

RALPH
Well, there are several options...

GILL
Give me the best...

RALPH
That will require some underwriting... we'll have to fill out this paperwork...

GILL
Never mind... what's the quickest option?

RALPH
Level 1 and 2 are simple... no underwriting.

GILL
Give me those.

RALPH
You just need one.

GILL
Give me the better one... now... please...

RALPH
Well, I have a lot of your information on file... just sign here and we'll get this processed for you.

(GILL struggles to sign and finally manages with some help from RALPH)

GILL
We good?

RALPH
I'll just need a payment... you can do a credit card or here is a form for payroll deduction...

GILL
Credit card...

(GILL struggles to get wallet and gets card with Ralph's help)

RALPH
I'll run this now for you.

GILL
Now... yes, please...

RALPH
And there we go.  Looks like you're good to go.

GILL
So I'm covered...

RALPH
Yes.

GILL
For say... a heart attack.

RALPH
Yes.

GILL
Good.

(GILL falls on the floor)

GILL (CONT.)
You can call for help now.

(RALPH gets on his phone and motions to SKIPPY who rushes over)

RALPH
Can you carry him down to the lobby?  An ambulance is coming for him now.  And the policy will cover that ride so you're in luck, Gill.

(Gill moans but gives a thumbs up)

RALPH
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?  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 your 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. 

SKIPPY
Wow... he's lucky he bought that policy.  I think he had a heart attack.

RALPH
Just in the nick of time.

SKIPPY
That was amazing... it takes me hours to do a simple policy.

RALPH
That beats the monkeys on the other side of the wall there.

SKIPPY
How come they don't get fired?

RALPH
They're buddies with the boss.

(PETE the Boss enters.  PARKER, ROSIE and MOOSE all cheer.  PETE goes behind wall and they all start talking with him)

PARKER
You hear about Knotinhoffer?

MOOSE
I got this great joke about a pb and j sandwich.

PETE
Oh, I love you guys.  You always put a smile on my face.

SUE
Why did he have to stir them up again?  Why does he have to make so much noise?

ROSIE
Show him your new helicopter, Moose.

MOOSE
This one is a beauty.

SKIPPY
They have a helicopter?

SUE
Toy helicopter.

(Moose pokes his head over)

MOOSE
Model helicopter.

(SUE throws something at him.  It hits PETE (the Boss).  Pete rushes over)

PETE
Who threw that?

(Moose, Parker and Rosie poke their heads over.  SUE holds up her stapler like a gun and has a mean look.  They all point at Skippy)

PARKER, MOOSE and ROSIE
He did it.

SKIPPY
What?

PETE
Now, Skippy. I know you're new and don't quite understand about the professionalism we expect here.

(Moose, Parker and Rosie are all making faces behind the boss as he scolds Skippy)

SKIPPY
But I...

PETE
No excuses... I expect all my employees to be at their top form around the clock.  There's no room for slackers.

(Pete turns and Moose, Parker and Rosie all disappear)

RALPH
I'll work with him.

PETE
Whip him in to shape will you? We're not working unless he's working.

SUE
How pithy.

PETE
Pay attention to Ralph here.  He'll show you the ropes.  He does more work than all these idiots put together.

RALPH
Thanks.

PETE
That's how you get ahead in this company, kid.  Hard work.

SUE
Is that why he's been passed up for promotions?

PETE
Watch out for her... she's a bad influence.

SUE
Takes one to know one.

PETE
Pay attention to Ralph.  We need more workers like him around here.

(Boss exits)

SKIPPY
Wow, the boss really likes you doesn't he?

SUE
Not enough to give him a promotion.

RALPH
I'm happy with the commissions. Who needs the headache of administration.

SUE
Would you do it if it ever got offered to you?

RALPH
I don't know.

SUE
But it never gets offered to you, so we'll never know.

(Parker peaks over the cubical wall)

PARKER
I hear their offering the next promotion to Rogers.

RALPH
What?

SUE
Passed over again.

SKIPPY
But you don't want it right? 

RALPH
No... not really.

(RALPH exits)

SUE
He does.  He has wanted a promotion ever since he got here... wow, it's been a lot of years. But they keep passing him over for some "new blood" from some other company.  They never promote any of us.  No matter how hard we work, none of us get a shot.  It's always an outsider, some guy with new and exciting ideas to revitalize the company. Or someone who brings secrets from another company they can steal. We're all used up here in cubicaland. Useless.

SKIPPY
So why do you stay? Why keep a job you hate?

SUE
It's easy... I sometimes thought about getting other jobs, but everything requires special skills or a lot of hard work.  Here... they just keep us... we never seem to get fired... just settled in our spaces, waiting for something to happen, something to change... or hoping it doesn't so we don't have to work any harder.  Just do enough work to stay unnoticed and hope Ralph does enough work to keep us all in a job.

MOOSE
10, 9, 8...!

(SUE looks at her watch and rushes to her desk to get her purse)

MOOSE and ROSIE
7, 6, 5...

(They all gather their stuff and get ready to leave)

PARKER, MOOSE AND ROSIE
...4, 3, 2, 1!

MOOSE
Quittin' time!

SUE
See you later, new guy.

(They all rush out except for Skippy.  He looks at his watch)

SKIPPY
5pm on the nose.

(Ralph re-enters with coffee as Skippy gets ready to go home)

SKIPPY (CONT.)
You're not leaving, Ralph?

RALPH
I still have a few things to do.

SKIPPY
Need any help?

RALPH
That's okay... it's not much. I can get it.

SKIPPY
I promise I'll help you out more... once I learn the ropes. You deserve a team that backs you up.

RALPH
I appreciate that.

SKIPPY
Okay... well... I will see you tomorrow then.

RALPH
See you... have a good night.

(Skippy leaves and Ralph stops working and looks sadly at a little trophy on his desk)

RALPH (CONT.)
Salesman of the year. Things looked really good back then. They're not looking so good anymore. They haven't looked good for a long time. Something has to change. I can't keep spinning my wheels like this. I need to move forward or move on. I work hard... I deserve more. I deserve respect. Real, genuine respect. Not just plastic statues, but real meaningful gestures that show I am important to this company. I've worked hard for them. I made this company better. Why are they making me worse?

(Ralph has squeezed the statue and it has broken in his hand. He looks at the broken pieces and then tosses them in the trash. He buries his face in this hands and lights fade to black)

END OF SCENE

***
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full length stage play script Death of an Insurance Salesman


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