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When friend and fellow playwright, Sharon Reichert, was struggling with writer's block, I invited her to try her hand at a Crimson Cap Ladies script to help work out the creative kinks. Check out her terrific take on these special Ladies.
Written by Sharon Reichert
INTERIOR, LIVING ROOM, AFTERNOON
*Note: Angela spends most of the play entering and exiting the stage. In an earlier production, we decided that she was getting snacks and a drink for herself so whenever she exited, she would come back with a bowl of chips, a wine glass, etc. But she would only bring stuff for herself, never Owen. Feel free to find your own motivation for her frequent exits and entrances.
Lights up, Lisa and Joanne are sitting in the living room chatting. As Owen and Angela enter (from SR), they hear Joanne's first line:
JOANNE: I still can't believe he dumped her!
ANGELA: Hello people! Who dumped who? Or is it ‘whom’? I can never remember.
OWEN: Do girls ever do anything but gossip?
LISA: It isn't gossip if it's the truth.
OWEN: Well there’s my new Facebook status!
LISA: (ignoring OWEN) Larry broke up with Dana!
ANGELA: Again? People like that really annoy me. I knew this couple that broke up about 7 times before they finally got married. Why can't they just make up their minds already? (exits SL)
LISA: (to Owen): So have you told her yet?
JOANNE: Told who what? What’s going on?
OWEN: (to Lisa) Thanks! (To Joanne) Ummm, well, I’m … breaking up with Angela tonight.
JOANNE: Tonight? Like here, now?
OWEN: Well, maybe tonight, later. After supper. Or tomorrow. I’m not sure when.
LISA: Owen!! You can’t put this off any more!
JOANNE: I thought you guys were good?
Owen just shrugs and slumps on the couch.
LISA: Really? You really thought Owen and Angela were good?
JOANNE: Well, I don’t know, maybe not. There was a lot of fighting lately, I guess.
LISA: That’s an understatement, I’d say.
Angela enters SL just in time to hear the last two lines.
ANGELA: I should say they’ve been fighting! It’s been nothing but drama for weeks!
LISA: (quick recovery back to Larry and Dana conversation) Pretty sure this is the end for Larry and Dana. Well, for a while anyway. It was pretty brutal. Really, though, it’s all for the best. (pointedly to Owen) When it isn’t mean to be, it’s better just to end things. Don’t you agree, Owen?
Owen just shrugs again and tries to sink farther into the couch.
JOANNE: The worst part is, Dana just found out the other day that she's pregnant!
OWEN: Is this Larry guy the father? (gets a dirty look from all three women) What? I was just asking! How would I know? (beat) So, this jerk finds out she’s pregnant and dumps her?
LISA: Of course he doesn't know!! She didn't have a chance to tell him before he broke up with her! She couldn't very well tell him AFTER he dumped her! He'd have thought she was making it up just to hang on to him.
JOANNE: She should have told him anyway. It will only be worse the longer she waits.
LISA: Why should she tell him at all?
OWEN: You don't think she should tell him he's going to be a father?
LISA: He contributed sperm. That does NOT make him anyone’s father.
JOANNE: Hey! Gross!
LISA: Well it's true! You're just a prude!
JOANNE: And you're just rude!
LISA: Whatever! What kind of father would Larry make, anyway? He doesn't have a real job and he changes girlfriends like most people change underwear!
ANGELA: Except most people only wear one pair of underwear at a time! (exits SL)
JOANNE: Ha! Good one, Angela!! (beat, then to Owen once Angela is gone) So what changed all of a sudden? I mean, you and Angela have always fought. Why are you breaking up now?
Owen and Lisa look at each other with great meaning.
OWEN: Well …
LISA: (smiling playfully at Owen) Let’s just say, Owen was … motivated to make a change.
Owen smiles back at Lisa kind of shyly. Joanne misses the whole thing.
JOANNE: Motivated? What does that mean, motivated to (sees Angela returning SL and thinks fast) … get a new job? Now that there’s a baby on the way?
ANGELA: I thought Larry was a musician? Doesn't he play in a band? Or sing at a bar or something? I knew a guy once who was a lounge singer but he was SOOO annoying! And he never wore anything but pastels. Can you imagine? A grown man in pastels ALL the time! I couldn't stand him!
LISA: Have you heard Larry's voice? He can't even carry a tune! At least the last guy they had could sing.
JOANNE: But Larry is much better looking and he does play piano.
LISA: That's not even him! He has a tape playing in the background and he just moves his hands.
OWEN: Why would anyone hire a musician who can’t sing or play an instrument?
ANGELA: That’s a good question! It’s not like they didn’t have any other choices.
OWEN: Wait a minute … What does any of this have to do with whether or not Larry will make a good father? If it's his kid, he has the right to know! Maybe he loves kids and would make a wonderful father!
LISA: You really have no idea what you're talking about! He treated Dana like dirt. He was sleeping around on her the whole time they were dating. He probably broke up with her now because it's almost Christmas and he doesn't want to get her a present.
ANGELA: I bet that’s true! Larry really is an ass, Owen. You have no idea!
OWEN: Or maybe Dana's a boring airhead who drives him crazy. Boy, do I know that feeling!
ANGELA: What's that supposed to mean?
OWEN: Oh! I - uh - hmmm - I didn't mean you, Angie, Sweetie! I was, ummm, talking about my ex. You remember Ashley?
ANGELA: Oh! She was an airhead! She thought she was so smart just because she was in medical school. I could have been a doctor but sick people really bug me! All that moaning and groaning. And standing around all day, listening to people talk about themselves and their problems? No thank you! Can you imagine how boring that would be? (exits SL)
LISA: No, not at all.
OWEN: All I'm saying is, no matter what kind of a jerk he is, he has the right to know about his own kid.
LISA: So you're saying that people have the right to know about things that directly affect their lives? Is that what you’re saying, Owen?
OWEN: Would you let up already? I’m going to tell her, OK? I just … I don’t want to hurt her more than necessary, you know?
LISA: The longer you wait, the worse it’s going to be, as Joanne pointed out.
JOANNE: She’s not wrong! If you don’t want to date Angela anymore, you have to tell her, Owen. Like, now! But Owen is right, too. Dana really does have to tell Larry she’s having his baby.
LISA: Who says?
OWEN: Are you serious? It's his child. His flesh and blood.
JOANNE: And what about when the baby grows up and asks who its dad is? What's Dana going to say then?
OWEN: Oh that's easy, you don't have a father, just a sperm donor who made a deposit and left.
JOANNE: Still gross!
LISA: Still true! The point is, Larry's a typical male, takes what he wants and leaves the girl to pick up the pieces.
OWEN: (a little taken aback by her harsh tone) Wow, that’s pretty cynical. Is that really how you feel about guys?
LISA: (blushes and backtracks a little) Oh, I don’t know. Not ALL guys, of course. I certainly don’t mean you! I know what a good guy you are.
OWEN: (smiling at Lisa, flirting a bit) Really? Tell me more!
JOANNE: (still oblivious) What’s with you two tonight? You aren’t making any kind of sense.
LISA: (standing up suddenly) Oh, we’re still talking about Larry and Dana, of course. What makes you think Larry even wants to know about the baby?
OWEN: Oh I can't wait to hear this theory. Go on, Lisa …
LISA: Like I said, maybe he would rather not have to deal with it at all. The birth, custody disputes, child support, weekend visits …
OWEN: But shouldn't he have the chance to decide that for himself? Maybe he does want to deal with it. Maybe having a kid would be the push he needs to grow up. He could settle down, get a real job. Maybe he could even get custody and raise the child himself. A lot of guys want that these days. (Angela enters SL)
JOANNE: Then there would be a court battle because Dana wouldn't just hand over her baby!
ANGELA: Oooooh! I bet that's exactly what they'll do! That would be really exciting!! They'll all go to court and have a big juicy fight over the baby! That happened to this couple I know. They got divorced and then fought for more than a year over their kids! Imagine fighting over these little - things who are always dirty and noisy and just suck you dry of all your money, your energy, everything! Not to mention what they do to your body!
JOANNE: Don't you ever want kids, Angela?
ANGELA: I don't think so. Maybe someday when I'm old and married and have nothing better to do.
OWEN: (sarcastic) Good to know.
JOANNE: I can't wait to have babies! I want at least half a dozen!
LISA: You want six kids? Are you serious?
JOANNE: I don't know, maybe. I just know if I got pregnant like Dana, I would definitely tell the father. I wouldn't want my baby not to know who his or her dad is.
LISA: If I got pregnant and the father was a jerk like Larry, I'd go and have an abortion and no one would ever know. That's what Dana should do. It's quick and easy and no one gets hurt.
JOANNE: (softly) Except the baby …
LISA: Baby doesn't count. It wouldn't even BE a baby, yet. Just a mass of tissue that could potentially mess up my life.
OWEN: (quietly) That's pretty cold, Lisa. (Lisa looks at Owen and just shrugs, looks away)
JOANNE: I could never have an abortion. To me it would be murder.
ANGELA: I had a friend who had an abortion. She was so depressed afterwards that she tried to kill herself. Can you imagine being so depressed and insane over a baby? People are so stupid sometimes. It's not like she couldn't have another baby later.
OWEN: Even if you were considering an abortion, Lisa, you should still tell the father. Maybe he'd want the baby.
LISA: Oh we're back to that again! I would never give my baby to a jerk like Larry!
JOANNE: You could put it up for adoption. Lots of people out there are looking to adopt a baby.
LISA: (sounding a little angry now) Right! Carry it around in my body for nine months, get swollen ankles, stretch marks and haemorrhoids and then give the baby away to the highest bidder? No thanks.
OWEN: You aren't even thinking about the baby! No matter what you say, that mass of tissue is a potential human being! He could be a genius, a doctor, a great artist …
LISA: A thief, a murderer, a deadbeat! Or worse! A lawyer!
OWEN: (getting angry himself now) Oh right, we're talking about your kid!! Even someone with your genes deserves a chance at life! It's not like having a baby takes two years or something.
LISA: Men don't understand anything! I've heard how you guys whine at the end of hockey season when it's barely three months until the next one starts. Don't tell me nine months isn't a long time!
JOANNE: But Lisa, you wouldn't actually be able to go through with an abortion, would you? I don't think you could actually do it when it came right down to it.
LISA: Whatever! It's not likely to happen, anyway. Don't get all choked up about it.
OWEN: Is this really how you feel, Lisa? About having kids? About being a mom?
LISA: (challenging him) What if it is? What does it matter to you?
OWEN: (quietly) It matters. We’re … friends, aren’t we?
LISA: Friends? We’re friends, now? I thought … Never mind.
ANGELA: What are you two talking about? Am I missing something here?
JOANNE: You and me both, I think. Last I was following the conversation, Lisa was saying Dana should just get an abortion and not tell Larry anything. Or something like that.
LISA: (deliberately not looking at Owen now) What I was trying to say was, even if she keeps the baby, I don't think Larry should be involved. He's not fit to be a parent!
OWEN: (deliberately looking at Lisa, trying to catch her eye) And Dana is? Getting pregnant doesn't automatically make a girl a good mother. Does she have a full time job? Has she been in a committed relationship for longer a typical vacation? What gives her the right to decide she will be a good parent and Larry won't, just because she happens to be the one with the womb?
LISA: It's just that you don't know what an ass Larry is! He started dating Dana while he was still engaged to her sister …
ANGELA: and before that he was sleeping with his boss's wife. They got divorced and then Larry dumped her.
JOANNE: And before that …
OWEN: (interrupting) OK, OK … I get it. Larry's scum. So when Dana tells him about the baby he'll probably tell her to take a hike. But if she doesn't tell him now, he could make trouble for her later. And what if he puts two and two together and figures out it's his kid? It doesn't take a genius to count backwards nine months.
ANGELA: Yeah, even Larry can count to nine! He won't even have to take his shoes off! Ha!
LISA: OK, you've made your point. Maybe Larry does have the right to know. (now looking at Owen pointedly again) Like I said before, people do have the right to know about things that directly affect their lives.
ANGELA: There she goes again! Lisa! What are you and Owen talking about?
JOANNE: Is this about… what you were saying earlier …
ANGELA: What? What happened earlier? I’ve been here the whole time, how did I miss it?
OWEN: Well … I … ummm … (takes a deep breath) Angie, could we maybe talk alone for a minute? Maybe Joanne and Lisa can, like, step into the kitchen or something? (Joanne tries to protest as Lisa grabs her wrist and drags her off SL)
ANGELA: What? What’s going on? Are you … (gets a big smile on her face) Are you proposing? Is that what this is?
Owen’s face drains of colour.
OWEN: No!! No! I … No, I’m not proposing, Angela. Definitely not that. In fact … kind of … the … opposite.
JOANNE: (yelling loudly from offstage) You and Owen?! You and Owen? But how? When?
LISA: Shhhh!!! They’ll hear you!
Angela is shocked by what she just heard, Owen looks a little sick, guilty, etc., leaving no doubt that it’s true.
ANGELA: (loud enough for the girls to hear her) Too late!
Lisa and Joanne slowly enter SL. Lisa picks a corner of the room as far from Angela and Owen as possible. ANGELA: (for once rendered almost speechless) Wow, I did NOT see that one coming. (recovering her composure, determined to save face) Well, that’s that then, I guess. I … ummm … Wow! I have to go home!
OWEN: I’m really sorry, Angela. I’ll take you …
ANGELA: (cuts him off) No! No, I’ll take a cab. It’s fine. I’ll… be fine. Good night, Joanne. (pointedly not mentioning Lisa)
JOANNE: Good night, Angie. Are you sure you don’t want a ride? (but Angela has vanished SR) Owen collapses onto the couch, looks like he might cry or throw up or maybe start laughing hysterically. Lisa is still standing off by herself in a corner of the room (SL), not sure what to do next.
JOANNE: (not really sure what to say but feeling the need to fill the silence) So, are you two … I mean, ummm … how long …. OK, can one of you tell me what happened here cause ….
LISA: It happened a couple months ago.
LISA: (quickly) Or started to happen, I guess I should say. We were supposed to meet at the movies, the three of us. Remember when you had that cold? That’s why you weren’t there. And then Angela got held up at work or something, I don’t know. Anyway, Owen and I decided to stay and watch the movie together anyway. Then we went for coffee and started talking.
OWEN: And I told her how I was starting to feel like Angela probably wasn’t the right one for me, you know? She’s a great girl but just … Anyway, I was thinking I might want to break up but wasn’t sure yet.
LISA: I told him to give it another chance, to really make sure before he did anything, right? And then I called to see how he was doing …
OWEN: And suddenly we were texting all the time, talking on the phone a couple times a day, meeting for coffee whenever we had the chance.
JOANNE: But you never …
LISA: (interrupting her) No!! No! We didn’t even date, not really, just went for coffee a few times.
OWEN: (smiling at Lisa now) More than a few times. A few times a week!
LISA: We certainly didn’t want to hurt Angela. Owen isn’t a cheater, he isn’t like that at all! This just – happened.
OWEN: We didn’t plan it. Not at all.
JOANNE: I know that, I know you’re a good guy. That’s why I was so surprised! Thought for a minute that maybe you were defending Larry because you were acting just like him! Ha!
LISA: Owen is NOTHING like Larry!
OWEN: I certainly hope not! (beat) By the way, how do you girls know Larry and Dana? I don't think I've heard you mention them before.
Lisa and Joanne look at each other with surprised, amazed, incredulous looks and then burst out laughing.
OWEN: What? What did I say?
JOANNE: You really don't know?
LISA: Wow, I can't believe you don't know!
OWEN: Know what? Did I meet them and forget? Why are you laughing?
LISA: Owen, Larry and Dana are characters on Young and the Restless!