A young woman's desperate attempt for social acceptance renders disastrous results. A play in two acts dealing with the dilemma of acquaintance rape - an ever-present concern in all cultures and societies. A gripping read with some valuable lessons about interpersonal and intercultural relationships and dating.
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When 'Yes' means 'No'.
a play in two acts by
When "Yes" Means "No"
a play in two acts
All rights reserved.
Copyright ©1994, 2015 by Tony Broadwick
For translation, performance and production rights, contact the author at
POOJA SEN an art student
KELLEY MACALESTER Pooja’s roommate
ERICK FOLSOM a tennis player
CINDY HOROWITZ a psychology student
DILIP SEN Pooja’s father
MIRA SEN Pooja’s mother
JAY MISRA a distant cousin of Pooja
TONY-LEE WASHINGTON tennis coach
HARI SINGH another tennis player
WINSTON an acquaintance of Kelly
CARRIE ROBBINS campus security guard
JOYCE BARNS district lawyer
ROBERT SCHULMAN a defense lawyer
SAM BACCARA a medical doctor
A DISTRICT JUDGE,
A COURT CLERK
A JURY FOREMAN.
ACT I. SCENE 1
(The curtain rises. The stage remains dark except for a small window. Through it, dim light from a distant street lamp filters in. The blinds on the window create shadows on the furniture and the floor. The light from the street lamp suggests that it is a one-bedroom apartment on a college campus. In one corner, a digital clock declares the time to be 9: 54 P.M. A telephone rings. On it, a tiny light glows with every ringing. The phone rings four times. Footsteps approach, keys jingle, the front door opens. Someone enters the room and walks into a wooden chair. A grocery bag falls to the floor. A hand rubs across a wall to find a light switch. A switch clicks and a floor lamp is turned on.)
(POOJA SEN is carrying an artist's portfolio and a backpack. She is a 22-year old, attractive young woman, wearing a summer dress that is a little too tight and a little too short. The care and effort that have gone into her makeup and hair hint she could be a fashion model, a dancer, or an actor. She rubs her knee, which bumped into the wooden chair. She puts her portfolio and the backpack on the floor. The phone rings again. Pooja rushes to the phone. She trips over the grocery bag and falls to the floor. She mouths a four-letter word, rolls to a side, and picks up the receiver.)
POOJA: Hello! Hello? Yes, this is Pooja. No, she's not home. Okay, I'll tell her. Right. Bye.
(She hangs up the phone and gets up from the floor. She picks up the grocery bag from the floor and gives the wooden chair a dirty look. Pooja moves the chair away from the door and takes the grocery bag to the kitchen area. A note is taped to the refrigerator door. Pooja reads the note. She puts the groceries in the icebox and returns to the living room. She inserts a videotape in a VCR and turns on the television set. No sound emerges from the TV set. The program is close captioned. For a minute or so, Pooja watches the program. It's an instructional tape about brush technique for watercolor. Pooja looks at the clock. She gets up, moves the wooden chair closer to the door and turns out the light. The TV screen glows in the dark. Pooja returns to the sofa. A key is worked into the lock; the front door opens. KELLY MACALESTER steps inside. She walks straight into the chair and comes crashing down.)
KELLY: Damn it, Pooja. Why are you sitting in the dark?
(Kelly gets up and turns on the light. She is wearing her hair in one long braid and her makeup is hardly noticeable. She is dressed in jeans and a T-shirt. Her T-shirt reads:
I have ESP and PMS.
I'm a bitch who knows everything!
Kelly is about the same age as Pooja)
POOJA: Oh, hi, Kelly.
KELLY: What's the idea of that chair over by the door?
POOJA: You had put it there. You tell me.
KELLY: Yes, that's right, I did. I wanted to reach my box of chocolate at the top of the bookcase.
POOJA: Why don't you keep your stupid box somewhere lower?
KELLY: I don't want to keep it someplace lower; it has to be somewhere I can't get to. Or else I'll eat too many.
POOJA: I thought we had decided that the chair by the door meant we had male company.
KELLY: Chocolate is more enjoyable.
POOJA: You have a lot to learn.
KELLY: I might learn something tonight.
(Pooja rolls her right hand, urging Kelly to continue.)
KELLY: Billy said he'll join us at the Mustang Ranch Bar.
POOJA: Oh, my God! Was that supposed to be tonight? I forgot. Wait till you see my outfit for this occasion.
KELLY: You bought another outfit?
KELLY: For tonight?
(Pooja nods again.)
KELLY: I'm meeting Billy, and you bought yourself a new dress?
POOJA: It's not a dress. And it's not for Billy. (turning to the bathroom) I have to get ready.
KELLY: Pooja, you look great as you are. I'm gonna go just as I am.
POOJA: You do have a lot to learn. I'm not going to dress up for you. I do it for the guys.
KELLY: Guys? As in plural? What happened to that baseball player you were all excited about?
POOJA: He's a tennis player, and I excite him. But I could be excited by a baseball player.
KELLY: Pooja's mission in life: Excite every man.
POOJA: What's yours? Consume all the chocolate in the world?
KELLY: You finish one box of chocolate, you can always get another.
POOJA: Same as guys. You finish one off, get another one.
KELLY: Pooja! Someday, you'll get yourself in deep trouble.
POOJA: What? With guys? Not me. I don't take 'em seriously. You, Kelly, will get in trouble, 'cause you take men seriously. Well, let me get changed.
KELLY: Pooja, were there any calls?
POOJA: Yes, some guy, Winston, called . Here's his number.
KELLY: (becoming very excited) I have his number. Oh, Pooja , did he call? What did he say?
POOJA: First, who is he?
POOJA: You should see him. On second thought, maybe you should not see him. I'll keep him to myself.
POOJA: What about Billy?
KELLY: What about Billy? Tell me, what did Winston say?
POOJA: He said to call him.
(Kelly walks to the telephone, consults her little red book and dials a number.)
KELLY: Come on, come on, pick up. Come on! Fourth ring. Fifth. Oh, hello, Winston. This is Kelly. My roommate, Pooja, said you called. Sorry I missed your call. Yes, I was at the library, just got home.... I know it's Friday, but I have to work on a paper for next week.... I was just going to stay home and study.... What did you have in mind? Oh, I don't know. I won't be able to stay long.... I think she's already gone to bed. I'll ask her. I'll see you around eleven. Bye. (She puts the phone down, makes a fist and pushes it in the air) YES!
KELLY: Winston and two of his buddies want to meet us at the Sundance Club.
POOJA: What about Billy?
KELLY: Billy who?
POOJA: Okay, let me get dressed.
KELLY: Yes, let us get dressed.
POOJA: Who is this Winston? I didn't think anyone was named "Winston" anymore. Is he named after the cigarettes or Churchill?
KELLY: You'll be jealous tonight.
POOJA: I don't think so. You said he was coming there with two of his friends. I'll take both of them and you can have your Winston Churchill and his cigar.
KELLY: Not funny.
POOJA: Wasn't meant to be.
(Kelly and Pooja exit.)
END OF SCENE 1.
SCENE 2. Five minutes later.
(Erick Folsom's apartment. Erick is a young tennis player. His apartment reflects his athletic interests; several of his trophies are on display. The telephone rings. Erick enters in his boxer shorts. He has just stepped out of the shower. He dries himself as he talks on the phone.)
ERICK: Hello, this is Erick.... Hi, Cindy. I'm fine, and you? Good.... I have plans. The coach’s coming over, we may go for a couple of beers.... What? This evening? I don't know... Well, all right.
(Erick hangs up the phone, goes to the kitchen, opens the refrigerator and takes out a can of Pepsi and walks into the bedroom. From inside the bedroom, we hear the can being opened. A moment later he returns to the room. He is wearing light colored casual slacks and a half sleeve shirt. He buttons his shirt and turns on the television set. ESPN is carrying a baseball game. He turns down the audio. The television plays without any sound. Erick picks up the phone and dials a number.)
ERICK: Coach? Hi, listen, I've got to take care of a couple of things. Can you and the guys make it a little later Great. Give me an hour.... Yeah, you know how it is. See you later. (hangs up the telephone; goes into the bedroom and comes back with his can of Pepsi. A knock at the door. Erick opens the door. Cindy Horowitz enters.)
ERICK: Hello! That was quick.
CINDY: I was at the bookstore around the corner.
ERICK: How have you been?
CINDY: I didn't come here to bullshit. I want to straighten some things out. You broke our date, last Friday, and again, the day before yesterday.
ERICK: I'm busy. I've got a big tournament and the coach is putting a lot of pressure on me.
CINDY: You were not practicing last Friday or the day before yesterday. At least not with tennis balls.
ERICK: Is this what you've come to talk about?
CINDY: Who is she?
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