“The Yellow Canary Sandwich Shop”

In Drama on April 29, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Cast of Characters

JUDY, a 44 year old disillusioned wife, reporting for her first day of work as a waitress

PEARL, the proprietor of the diner Judy is working in, a 67 year old woman

CHRISSY, 30, another waitress

ED, a regular customer

BOB, Judy’s husband

CECILE, Bob’s much younger, secret girlfriend


One act play that takes place over one afternoon, in the present day, in a diner called the Yellow Canary Sandwich Shop.




At Rise:

(The interior of a small diner that has a long counter with stools near the entrance.  More tables are visible behind a mesh screen at center stage.  CHRISSY is wiping down countertops, and PEARL is pouring coffee for ED, who is sitting at the counter reading a newspaper when JUDY arrives.)


                   (Looks up as JUDY enters, wearing a mauve uniform dress and white tennis shoes identical to those worn by CHRISSY and PEARL)

Hello again, Judy.  Come in and Chrissy will show you where you can put your bag.

(CHRISSY moves toward JUDY and gestures toward a space behind the counter, PEARL exits)


Hi, I’m Chrissy.  Yeah, just anywhere down there is fine.  You waited tables before?


Well, yes I have, but it’s been a while.  My last job was as a waitress. (Pause)  That was in ’86.


We need to roll silverware before the lunch rush.  Here, you carry these and I’ll go get some napkins.

(JUDY takes the silverware bin and sits at the near end of the counter; CHRISSY joins her with the napkins a moment later)

You haven’t worked since 1986?  Why now?


Just decided I wanted to have my own money, that’s all.


(Points at JUDY’s wedding band)

Your husband stingy?


There’s a sweet boy that lives on our street.  (Pause)  He graduates from high school this year, and I want to send him on a trip somewhere.  He’s such a nice young —


Is he kin to you?  Shouldn’t his family get stuck with that bill?  Did you babysit him as a baby, or what?


(JUDY giggles at this comment, and becomes visibly nervous.  ED puts down his paper, interested in how JUDY will answer)

No.  I never knew him as a child.  They only moved to our street last fall.  He really is a wonderful boy…


Uh-huh.  (Pause)  Well, want a tour of the kitchen?  Come on, I’ll show you the basics before we get busy.  You really lucked out, you know, getting a job here after being out of the loop for so long.  It’s a pretty basic place.  Easy to find things.

(JUDY and CHRISSY stand up together.  CHRISSY places the rolled    silverware in a bin behind the counter.  Lights fade)





At Rise:

(Lights go up, ED is still seated at the counter, now eating his breakfast.  JUDY and CHRISSY are returning from their tour, moving downstage through a doorway in the mesh screen as a family approaches the entrance)


So that’s where you get the mayo and mustard.  Sometimes people want ketchup, or worse, horseradish.  Then you have to go spoon it out of the tubs in the walk-in I showed you.  You’ll get behind a lot running back here for that stuff.  I told Pearl we ought to keep this stuff in the front, but she never budges –


People are coming in.

(JUDY points at the entrance)


Alright, I’ll take these so I can show you how to fill out a ticket and turn it in.  I’ll be back in a minute with their order.

(CHRISSY passes through the doorway leading to the dining area.  ED raises his his coffee cup)


Miss Judy, would you mind?  It’s regular.  I see that you’re married.



(Pours coffee)

Yeah I’m married.  You?


Thank you.  I hope to be someday when I’m older.



That’s funny; I hope to be single again someday when I’m younger.


Aw, is it that bad?  (Pause) Is there another woman?


No, it’s not that bad.  Just empty.  But I’m a lot like you.


How so?


I still want to be in love, too.

(Leans in close to ED and whispers)

That’s why I’ve decided to leave my husband.  That’s why I’m working.  Today’s the first day of my new life.


I bet your husband will miss you sorely.  What’s his name?


(BOB and CECILE are approaching the entrance, and CHRISSY is returning from the dining area.  JUDY watches in disbelief, no longer paying attention to ED)


(CHRISSY approaches JUDY)


You ok?


(Pause) No.  I’m sorry.  I can’t work here.


(Removes apron and hands it to CHRISSY)

I quit.  I’m going home.  Thank you.  Nice talking to you, Ed.

(ED waves as JUDY runs out the back, just before BOB and CECILE enter.  CHRISSY stands with the apron in her hands, stunned, until BOB speaks)


Table for two, please?



Sure.  Follow me…

(Turns to lead BOB and CECILE to a table in the dining area.  Lights fade)


At Rise:

(It’s now dark outside.  A full moon is shining brightly and CHRISSY is standing at front entrance with sweater and purse in hand.  PEARL is closing her register and ED is folding his newspaper)


Crazy day, right?  I saw more excitement here today than I’ve seen all year!

(PEARL doesn’t look up from the money she’s counting, just grunts)


I agree.  Does seem a little dull around here sometimes.


Must not be too dull for you, you can’t seem to find much else to do these days except hang around here!


(Steps out of door, almost shouting)

Good night Ed!  See you tomorrow Pearl!


                   (Not speaking until sure CHRISSY is gone)

Why don’t you go home, get a sleeping bag, and camp out on the sidewalk there so when she gets here in the morning, she’ll know for sure that you’re after me.


                   (Laughs very loudly)

That girl doesn’t suspect a thing!  And anyway when are you going to stop caring?


You know I can hardly bear to listen to her mouth run as it is.

(Turns toward ED)

Can you –


Imagine?  Yes, I think I can.

(Both laugh and exit.  PEARL locks the door, then the couple exits stage right as the lights fade)



exercise, p. 298

In Journal on April 27, 2011 at 9:20 pm

Developing a dramatic premise for “The Tortoise and the Hare”

Premise- Plodding wins the race.

Based on the ideas that- 1. Boasting does not win races, or anything else, and 2. If a person is boastful, he or she will be defeated by those who work slowly, with diligence and humility.

Scene 1- Tortoise’s morning at home.  Must rise very early in order to eat breakfast and get ready for school.  Has very long lists of tasks to complete and a large calendar he uses to track school work.  Very type A and a health nut.  Rides the bus to school.

Scene 2- Hare’s morning at home, opens with Hare jumping out of bed upon realizing that he is late for school.  Struggles to find what he needs for school, his caffeine pills, and his keys.  Angry, he decides to run all the way to school instead.

Scene 3- In the school’s courtyard, before the first bell.  Hare has run all the way, and is arriving just as Tortoise is getting off the bus.  Hare is tired and clumsy, and knocks Tortoise off the curb as he passes him.  Hare doesn’t stop to help, but crosses the yard to brag to his friends about the distance he had run that morning.  Tortoise has righted himself and makes his way toward Hare.  Tortoise approaches just in time to hear Hare’s call for a challenger.  Confident with anger, Tortoise accepts.

Scene 4- Group moves to the school’s track for the race.  Hare speeds ahead of Tortoise, who is reciting his multiplication tables as he moves.  Hare runs completely out of sight of Tortoise, and doubles over.  He’s having heart palpitations due to all the excitement and his long time addiction to caffeine pills.  He is confident that he will have time to lay down and take a nap before Tortoise rounds the entire track.

Scene 5- Hare wakes to Tortoise about to finish.  He tries to win, but it’s too late.  Hare is stunned and reacts wildly.  A teacher approaches just in time to see Hare bouncing around Tortoise, slapping his shell and shouting for him to “come out of there!”

Scene 6- Hare is given after school detention.  He can see Tortoise board the bus after school through a window.

exercise, p. 328

In Journal on April 27, 2011 at 1:31 pm

BETH:  The pitcher has my goldfish in it right now.  You’ll have to use a mixing bowl.

KEVIN:  Looks like one of them has gone to paradise.

BETH:  What are you talking about?  (Looks at pitcher) They’re both in the pitch…

KEVIN:  See the one floating at the top, belly up?

BETH:  Oh, no-Bubbles!

KEVIN:  That means he’s a floater.

BETH:  What a jerk you are!  Everything you see is a joke, and everything you say is sarcastic.  You won’t even hold off when my pet has just died.

KEVIN:  Yeah he’s dead, whether I was sarcastic about it or not!