Nines, Nines, and More Nines

Note: If you’d like to produce this play, on stage or in a class — please email me and ask permission. It will be granted, but I’d really like to know about it.

This play is really an inside joke, written for the other PIP playwrights at Theatre Charlotte. It makes fun of the theatre’s Executive Director (at the time).  Everybody really loved it and urged me to submit this as my 9×9 play for the season. Stupidly, I did. Of course, she didn’t allow the play to be performed. I had another ready because I didn’t really intend this to be produced. I regret letting her see it — although she then cast herself in the one that was produced that season, and she cast her granddaughter in my next one.

Nine, Nine, and more Nines
© 2003 by Samuel M. Post

Characters
AMY…the wife
GREG…the husband
DAISY…Executive Director of the Theatre
A GUY IN THE AUDIENCE

Time….present

Setting…kitchen

(AMY slices an onion in the kitchen.GREG sprawls awkwardly on the floor, his head underneath the sink. He’s uses a pipe wrench, trying to repair a pipe.They are a young couple that lives in the house AMY grew up in.)

GREG: This whole house needs new plumbing.

AMY: No it doesn’t.

GREG: It needs new everything.

AMY: It’s fine.

GREG: You think it is.

AMY: It’s a great house.

GREG: To you. You’ve never lived anywhere else.

AMY: We’re lucky to have this house.

GREG: Everything’s falling apart.

AMY: It’s a little drip. If you can’t fix it, say so.

GREG: I can fix this.

AMY: If you can’t fix it without telling me the whole house is falling apart, lemme call Steve.

GREG: That’ll cost seventy-five dollars. It’s just…this whole place went a long time without maintenance. It needs a lot.

AMY: And how much did you pay for it?

GREG: That’s not the point.

AMY: How much?

GREG: That’s not what I’m talking about.

AMY: You’re complaining about a house we got for free!

(DAISY enters from outside the theatre. She’s not part of the play and seems oblivious to it. She moves through the audience and onto the stage. She’s loud and uses good diction. She holds a drink in one hand and a bottle of wine in the other. She addresses the audience.)

DAISY: Hello everybody. I’m Daisy Soaralot, executive director of Charlotte Community Theatre. Welcome to Nine, Nine, and more Nines. These are nine, nine minute plays.

(GREG and DAISY break from their characters. GREG rises. They stare, in disbelief, at DAISY.)

DAISY: As you know, they begin at nine o’clock. This is original work! That means they are written by people who actually live here. We let them meet in the lobby once a week to hooooowwne their craft, and as paaaaaaayment – they write these nine minute plays.

GREG: Excuse me, Daisy. We’ve already started.

DAISY: (to GREG) Shut up! I’m almost finished.

(to the audience)

DAISY: The bar is wide open! Enjoy the show.

(She starts to clap and smiles wildly, inviting the audience to join in giving herself a round of applause. She exits.After a moment, GREG gets back under the sink and resumes his character.)

GREG: This is gross.

AMY: I’d rather call Steve than listen to you.

GREG: I’m not saying it’s not a good house. But I’m telling you – I’ve talked to people about it, including Steve. He looked around. I’m telling you, it needs all new pipes. Your parents didn’t take care of this house.

AMY: Spending seventy-five dollars is easier than listening to you.

GREG: You should care about facts.

AMY: It’s the way you say it. It’s disrespectful to my Mom and Dad. Extremely. Greg. I can’t listen to this.

GREG: It’s not disrespectful.

AMY: It’s most disrespectful.

GREG: It’s just who they were.

AMY: It’s not!

GREG: Why change them in your head just because they aren’t here anymore? It’s not bad. It’s just…the truth. No big deal.

(Enter DAISY. Again, she takes the stage and addresses the audience.)

DAISY: I forgot to tell you. Some of these plays will make you laugh. Some will make you cry. We’re a little more leeeeeenient with the mateeeeeeeeerial, because it starts at nine o’clock — whereas the main stage season features the best from Broadway. By the way, our current show is…

AMY: Daisy, we’re in the middle of the play.

DAISY: (to AMY) Bite my ass! This is my theatre!

(AMY begins to cry.Sweetly, DAISY addresses the audience.)
DAISY: Our current show is the Sound of Music. Tickets are selling fast, but there are still some available. Thank you.

(She exits. She takes a seat and shares her bottle of wine with a member of the audience.GREG takes his place on the floor.)

GREG: They just…didn’t call the plumber when maybe they should have.

(Pause. The emotion of the traumatic interruption has affected AMY. She uses it in her performance.)

AMY: Stop it!

GREG: It’s not them, it’s property – that’s all.

AMY: You’re not talking about property. You’re talking about my parents. And you’re also telling me, in that passive way of yours, that you’re not ready to start a family.

GREG: Not ready to start a family!

AMY: You know we couldn’t afford it if we had house payments.

GREG: I don’t want house payments. I’m talking about this place. It also needs to be wired. And it needs a roof.

AMY: Who’s got money for that? We’d have to get a mortgage. What’s wrong with you?

GREG: I didn’t say we should mortgage the house. I’m telling you what the house needs. It needs…really…it needs new floors.

AMY: Floors? They’re fine.

GREG: They’re shot. Look down once in a while and you’ll see. Look right there. Right under your feet. Look at those boards.

(DAISY makes some noise with her drinking, tapping the glass against the bottle and slurping loudly. She refills her glass and puts the bottle on the floor.

They stop, momentarily, and look at her. Then AMY looks out the window.)

AMY: What the hell is that?
(AMY is looking out the window. GREG looks at the floor.)

GREG: They’re scratches. Gouges, really.

(She moves close to the window.)

AMY: That.

GREG: Gouges. It needs to be refinished.

AMY: No, that.

GREG: What?

AMY: That. Out there.

GREG: What?

DAISY: The window, stupid!

(pause)

AMY: Get up. Look out here.

(GREG gets up from under the sink.DAISY speaks to the person beside her, A GUY IN THE AUDIENCE.)

DAISY: Now I can’t reach it. Hand me that bottle.

(A GUY IN THE AUDIENCE gives her the bottle.)

AMY: There.

(He comes around to the window.)

GREG: It’s a truck.

AMY: What’s she doing?

GREG: How would I know?

AMY: Do you know her?

DAISY: (to the person beside her) This is boring, you think?

(Pause. GREG stops, then focuses on AMY.)

GREG: No.

AMY: What is that?

GREG: That’s not…

AMY: She’s driving away.

GREG: Just a minute.

(GREG exits quickly. AMY watches through the window.Offstage…)

GREG: Hey!

(Moments later, GREG enters with a bassinet. AMY looks inside.)

AMY: It’s a baby.

GREG: It is.

AMY: A baby girl.

GREG: Uh huh.

(pointing)

GREG: That came with it.

(AMY reaches in and pulls out a note. She reads it to herself.)

AMY: That’s it?

GREG: That’s it.

AMY: Why here?

GREG: You’re asking me?

AMY: Did you get that tag number?

GREG: No.

(Looking at the note.)

AMY: “Please take care of my baby.”! (to GREG) I don’t want her baby.

(DAISY begins to clap. AMY and GREG stop and look at her.)

GREG: (to DAISY) We’re not finished.

DAISY: Seems like nine minutes to me.

AMY: (beginning to sob) We just have a few more lines.

DAISY: Go on!

GREG: (to AMY) Line.

AMY: I don’t want her baby.

GREG: Neither does she. (Pause. Looks in the bassinet.) Neither do I.

(Looking out the window.)

GREG: What — is she crazy?

AMY: Yeah.

GREG: Just puts this down on the sidewalk and drives off into the sunset?

AMY: Pretty sunset.

GREG: Yeah. It is, really. The sky is like gold.

AMY: Like an amber sky. Nice name – Amber.

(DAISY claps.)

GREG: (to Daisy) We’re still not finished.

GREG: (to AMY) Wasn’t that my line?

AMY: (breaking down) Yes! I’m sorry.

GREG: Nice name – Amber. Uh, now I’m really off.

AMY: Talk to the baby.

GREG: That’s not what I’m supposed to do.

AMY: Do it anyway!

DAISY: Are you done yet!

(They turn and look at DAISY, blank. After a moment, AMY stomps off with the bassinette. DAISY rises and takes a drink.)

DAISY: Somebody turn off the goddamn lights!

End of play

One Reply to “Nines, Nines, and More Nines”

  1. My students are easy to memorize this drama because each character speak simple (short), so it is easy to practice. Great,….your drama script really help my students to understand English easily. (Zontrisman-Batam, Indonesia)

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