Saturday, June 20, 2015

"Such a Good Listener" short stage play script for two over 55+ aged actors

For permission to use this play, email doug@freedrama.net (please include the title "Such a Good Listener" in the request).

"SUCH A GOOD LISTENER"
by D. M. Larson

PAULY
I’m here for the sleep study.
EDNA
Here’s some paperwork to fill out. Read this, sign this, check these boxes, sign this, read this and initial here.
PAULY
Could you say that again? 
EDNA
Here’s a form that covers what I just said. Please don’t write on that one.
PAULY
Anything else?
EDNA
Sit over there please.
PAULY
If I sit I might fall asleep.
EDNA
You’re not allowed to stand. Here’s a form explaining why there’s no standing in the waiting room.  You can keep that copy. I have extras.
PAULY
I’m really tired. My eyes are blurry. I’m not sure I can get through all this.
EDNA
Did you want to reschedule your appointment?
PAULY
No, I really need to see someone about my sleeping problem.
EDNA
Then read it, sign it, check it, sign it, read it and initial here.
PAULY
Ooops. I wrote on the one you told me to not write on.
EDNA
Sign this form acknowledging that you’ll pay for a replacement copy.
PAULY
$50! For a copy?
EDNA
I will have to reproduce the form since that was my only copy and that cost covers the labor.
PAULY
You have to be kidding me.
EDNA
I never kid, sir.
PAULY
That’s obvious.
(he goes and sits and tries to do the paperwork. Edna starts to sniffle, gets a tissue and dabs her eyes. Pauly is trying not to fall asleep but nods off and messes up one of the forms as he snores. Edna starts crying loudly and wakes him up)
PAULY
Whoa! Hey! What’s wrong?
EDNA
You hurt my feelings.
PAULY
What? I did.
EDNA
I said… “I never kid, sir.” And you said… “That’s obvious.” That hurt my feelings.
PAULY
Oh, geez. I didn’t mean… I mean I did mean… but I didn’t mean to be so mean.
EDNA
Then why were you?
PAULY
I don’t know… I guess it’s because I’m so tired all time… it makes me grumpy.
EDNA
That doesn’t give you a right to take it out on me. I’m just doing my job you know. I don’t like all these forms any more than you do. You think I like filing all these forms and entering all that information in the computer. You know some people actually write obnoxious things on the forms.
PAULY
Oh really? That’s terrible.
(Pauly takes one of the forms he did and crumples it up)
EDNA
Why are people so mean to me?
PAULY
Well, I think people just misunderstand you.
EDNA
They do?
PAULY
You’re just trying to do your job and be all business like… but people misunderstand that business like nature of yours.
(Pauly starts nodding off during the following)




EDNA
I’m just trying to be efficient. I don’t like wasting people’s time. And we get so busy sometimes, I don’t want people to wait longer than they have to so I try to be really efficient about all the forms. I’m trying to come up with the perfect system, but it’s never quite right. Someone always gets mad… someone always gets mean. But there’s a real person behind these forms… there’s a heart and soul behind this paperwork. There’s a sensitive woman who files these signatures and records these checkboxes. But I do this to help you… I collect information that improves your chances to get better again. The more the doctor knows about you, then better chance you have of finding a cure.
(Pauly is asleep standing up. Edna blows her nose and wakes him up)
Thanks for listening to me.
(Pauly wakes up)
PAULY
Sure, yeah… I see what you mean.
EDNA
I’m so sorry… that was so unprofessional of me.
PAULY
Maybe you need to be a little more unprofessional.
EDNA
What do you mean?
PAULY
Well this professional shtick ain’t workin for ya. Maybe you need to relax a little. Let your hair down.
EDNA
Oh, no. I work very hard getting my hair like this.
PAULY
It’s a figure of speech, Doll. I’m just saying you need to be a little more… personal.
EDNA
Personal? Like friendly? That never goes well for me either.
PAULY
What do you mean?
EDNA
People always get the wrong idea.
PAULY
What kind of wrong idea?
EDNA
Well… if I am a little more relaxed… a little less professional… a little more myself…
(she takes off her glasses and smiles)
I’m a little more like this… “Hi..”
(she does a very sexy hi)
“Welcome.”
PAULY
Oh, wow. I see what you mean there… it’s uh… like you… are uh…
EDNA
Too nice.
PAULY
Exactly.
(She puts on her glasses)
EDNA
It’s better to be professional.
PAULY
Why? Did something bad happen… when you weren’t professional?
EDNA
I don’t want to talk about it. Are you done with your forms?
PAULY
Oh… uh… well, I messed up on one of them. Could you get another one of the pages… which one was it?
EDNA
Why don’t you start over?  Here’s a new packet - read it, sign it, check it, sign it, read it and initial here.
PAULY
Thanks, Doll.
(PAULY goes to sit and starts to nod off again as he tries to do the forms again)
(EDNA thinks, takes off her glasses and looks in a mirror – she gets annoyed and puts them on again)
EDNA
You know what?
(PAULY wakes, messes up another form and stands)
PAULY
What’s that, Doll?
EDNA
I’m tired of being professional all the time. But I’m afraid to be unprofessional too.
PAULY
Try it for a minute… and if it doesn’t go well, you can go back to being professional and I’ll never bug you about it again.
(EDNA takes off her glasses)
EDNA
Okay, well… there’s a reason I don’t like being unprofessional. Last time I was unprofessional, someone broke my heart.
PAULY
Who’s the lowly jerkwod who did that?
(Pauly falls asleep standing during the following)
EDNA
There was this repair guy who used to come here a lot. He was a little cliché’ – not the smartest guy but really good with his hands. He could fix anything. He even had the little crack when he bent over. But it was the nicest crack. And it’s not a plumber’s crack because he doesn’t do plumbing. I don’t think I could date a plumber. But a fix it man… good with his hands… I’d like that. I really like hands. They say so much about a guy. I can’t like a man with soft hands… it would like being with another woman… and it means he never did a hard day’s work.  But I love a man with good strong hands. It means they can take care of you and aren’t afraid to work hard to get what they want. I thought this repair guy… Stanley was his name… was the kind of guy who could make me happy. So I started bringing him treats… bake him cookies and such.
(Pauly opens his eyes a little and smacks his lips when he hears cookies, but then he drifts off again)
He seems to really like it. And he’d take breaks and sit and talk with me. I feel like we really connected and he acted like he really liked me. But then he left his cell phone by accident… I know I should have looked but it kept buzzing and text messages kept appearing… I shouldn’t have looked at them but I couldn’t help it… I was so sad when I did… because they were from his wife!
(Pauly wakes up)
I could tell by what she was saying… bossing him around… wanting him to run errands for her… asking where he was… getting angrier and angrier that he wouldn’t answer… Why did he toy with me like that? Why did he act like he liked me when he knew he couldn’t? It doesn’t matter now though… but it did hurt… a lot.
You’re such a good listener, you know that?
PAULY
Oh… well… I try.
EDNA
I meet so many guys that just want to talk about themselves. I never seem to have anything interesting to say so I usually don’t say too much.
PAULY
That’s ok. I don’t mind. You have a nice voice. It’s nice to listen to. I didn’t get my forms done though.
EDNA
You know what? Forget the forms… the doctor always asks these questions again anyway. We’ll just blame the computer and say it lost the file.
PAULY
I’m starting to really like you, Doll.
EDNA
I’m Edna.
PAULY
Name’s Pauly.
EDNA
Lovely to meet you, Pauly.
PAULY
So what kind of cookies do you bake?
END OF SCRIPT

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