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Cell, a 10-minute comedy by Bonnie Culver, is a zip line between inter-related cell phone users.
On a bare stage, 4 characters try to communicate–one by text which he doesn’t know how to use–with a minimum of success.
One sister, looking for a mate, connects with a high-flying medical supplies salesman while her sister struggles to sell her house with the aid of a St. Joseph statue.
Their trials and tribulations are interrupted by a teen who is trying to text his potential girlfriend; the only problem is, he doesn’t understand the text message code of initials that most people have encountered – like LOL, ROFL LMK – and more
As each of the characters is isolated this is an excellent play for online streaming digital performance.
From the Play
SETTING: Empty stage. Characters hold various types, styles, colors of cell phones with them. Otherwise, they talk in isolated pools of light. A projection screen can be used to project text messages, IMs. Instead of exiting or entering, all actors remain onstage, but remain in their own pool of light, isolated from each other as they speak.
AT RISE: Lights up on LISA (30s). She paces, looks at phone, dials, then snaps phone shut. Opens it. Dials again. Snaps cell phone shut again and looks as if she is about to throw it away from her. She takes a deep breath, dials slowly, hits send.
One. Two . . . four. Good. She’s not home. I can leave a mess . . .
(Stepping into the light, answers her phone)
Sh . . . Sheila?
Lisa! I was just going to call you.
Oh . . . great.
Right. You were supposed to call me. Last week? Let me know about the house.
Yeah . . . that’s what I was doing. I mean I’ve been busy, too. Work and all.
(Sighing, not happy)
Look. We both know I’m the oldest and we both know that I’m . . . well . . . more settled than you. I know I’m out here in Chicago and . . . too far away from PA . . . maybe that’s why she did it, she made you the executor, and well . . . that’s it. But then you have to handle it. Understand?
(Overlapping SHEILA’S speech)
Sheila . . . I mean . . . Sheila? I . . . can’t. Well. Yes . . . now, yes. She did. But can’t we? I mean . . . Sheila?
I promised Michael we’d get out from under any expenses on Mom’s house. You did list it?
Of . . . course.
(Not believing her)
Lisa, did you list the house?
With a . . . . Jeffrey Dahmer.
You listed Mom’s house with a serial killer?
No . . . well . . .
Meanwhile, we’re paying on the mortgage. Did you do at least do what Aunt Dorie told you?
No . . . that sounded too hokey.
St. Joesph is not hokey. It works, Lisa. We sold two houses that way. In three days.
But burying somebody in the back yard? Don’t you think…
It’s not some body. It’s a figurine of St. Joseph. (More gently) Lisa? How about I call you every few days. Kind of help keep you on track?
Sure . . . that would be great.
Right. O.K. I’ll call you Sunday. Remember St. Joseph. Kiss kiss. Love you. All that.
She hangs up her phone, redials immediately.
Yeah . . . Sunday. Ditto. Yeah . . . love . . . you . . . too. Right? I’ll get my rabbit’s foot, too.
Disconnects, redials phone immediately. LISA moves from her pool of light as SHEILA moves from hers. They now stand in the light the other just vacated.
Michael? Yes, I spoke with her. . . She hasn’t listed the house . . . How do I know? I just do.
(Lights up on EDDIE.)
Lucy, what do I have to say to you, heh? Have I ever lied to you? I mean, how long you and me been going out? It’s me . . . Eddie. (Softly) That’s my baby. Look, I have a few more stops to make. Two quick hospital stops. Drop off some kits. No . . . the VA and the County Home. How about we meet for a coffee, OK, Luce? Mark II? Perfect. . . . see you there. 5:30. Don’t keep me waitin’. Well, we’ll see . . . ‘bout comin’ over . . . mmm. You know you’re my Baby. Kiss Daddy? Hmm. Me, too. . . 5:30.
Presses speed dial button
Donna! Hey, Darlin’; it’s your Bear. . . . Yeah, it’ me Eddie. I know . . . it’s been way too long. Hey, yeah . . . still selling the hospital shit. It’s a living, you know. Hey, you up to meet later for a drink? Yeah . . . I’ve missed you, too. Me? I’m always seeing someone,