Mail: A Short Play

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Mail: A Short Play

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Hennessy Hernandez, Featured Writer

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CAST OF CHARACTERS

 

ALEXANDER: ALEXANDER is a man in his 60’s. He never married, and the only thing he has going for him is the post cards he sends to his college sweetheart.

 

WAITER: The waiter of the going out of business coffee shop.

 

OFFICER: Police officer who is trying to evict ALEXANDER.

 

NEIGHBOR: Jeanie’s neighbor.  

 

Scenes

Coffee shop

ALEXANDER’S house

Sidewalk

JEANIE’S house

 

Time

Present day

 

Act 1

Scene 1

 

SETTING: This takes place at a coffee shop. There are multiple tables around, but it is obvious that it is going out of business soon, and ALEXANDER is the only one who still goes to it. The walls are peeling and the place is obviously run down. A cup of coffee sits on the table ALEXANDER is sitting at.

 

AT RISE: The curtain opens to see ALEXANDER sitting by himself at the table in the middle of the stage. He has a cup of coffee besides him, and he is writing on a postcard. ALEXANDER writes in the same rhythm as his voiceover.

 

ALEXANDER (V.O)

My dearest Jeanie, oh how I miss our times together. Life will never be as exciting as it was when you were mine. Remember our high school adventures? Our shenanigans? Our love? Of course you do…Our love shall always be remembered.

(A beat)

I am in Colorado now. It’s a beautiful place. The Colorado Springs remind me of you. Your beauty is timeless. You would’ve loved it. I wish you were here. Love, Alexander.

 

(ALEXANDER stops writing and places his pen down. The WAITER comes up to him as soon as he does this).

 

WAITER

Can I get you more coffee sir?

 

(ALEXANDER looks deep in his thoughts but then dazedly looks back up at the waiter).

 

ALEXANDER

Um, no I’m good.

(ALEXANDER searches his pockets and takes out crumpled bills and loose change. He places it on the table)

Have a good day.

 

(ALEXANDER walks out the door, and the waiter watches him leave).

 

(End Of Scene)

 

Act 1

Scene 2

 

SETTING: This is ALEXANDER’S house. The same walls are used, but now pictures of various landmarks from different states are all over the wall. There are no family photos, and, in the middle of the room, there is one table and chair. These can be the same kind as the ones in the coffee shop. There is a pile of letters with warning stamps on the table. There is a rack of postcards on stage left.

 

AT RISE: ALEXANDER is sitting at the table with one of the letters in his hand.

 

ALEXANDER

Life was easy.

(ALEXANDER opens the letter and looks it over, with a disappointed look on his face)

Life was easy!

(ALEXANDER crumples the letter in a ball and throws it in the corner of the room)

Can you believe that?

 

(ALEXANDER gets up from his chair. He travels to the back of the stage and runs his hands along the peeling walls. Once he gets to one of the pictures from the landmarks, he stops in his place).

 

I was just like you.

 

(ALEXANDER points to a picture of the Statue of liberty).

Beautiful.

 

(A beat)

Just beautiful.

 

(ALEXANDER goes to the rack full of postcards. He points to each when he talks about them).

 

Utah. Idaho. Kentucky…What’ll it be this time, Jeanie?

 

(There is a knock on the door. ALEXANDER goes to open the door, but then retreats, frightened. There is a knock again)

 

OFFICER (off)

Mr. Pella!

(More knocks)

Your eviction notice was posted last week. Your neighbors said they saw you enter the residence a few minutes ago. Evacuate the premises or it will be considered trespassing.

(ALEXANDER looks with wide eyes and takes off running towards stage right. He knocks over the rack of postcards. He looks between them and the door frantically).

Mr.Pella! Open this door, or I will have to force my way in!

(ALEXANDER opens the door for the OFFICER. They walk back on stage)

Mr.Pella you will have to leave the premises.

 

ALEXANDER

Please officer this is all I have.

 

OFFICER

I’m sorry, but that’s the law. I think your landlord had been very accepting up to this point.

 

ALEXANDER

I need this place! I’ve been here my whole life…

 

OFFICER

You should’ve paid your bills sir.

 

ALEXANDER

You don’t understand! I don’t have a job. No children- There’s no one left-

 

OFFICER

You still have to obey the law sir.

 

ALEXANDER

O-Okay. Okay.

 

(ALEXANDER looks around the apartment one last time and starts to exit stage left.He knocks over the rack of postcards. He bends over and frantically picks them up. Then, he exits stage left).

 

Act 1

Scene 3

 

SETTING: It is midday. The setting is outside, on a sidewalk. A large “Coffee Shoppe” sign hangs from stage right, but it has a huge “closed” sticker over it.

 

AT RISE: ALEXANDER is shaking, holding nothing but his postcards and a pen. He doesn’t seem to notice the closed Coffee Shoppe sign.

 

ALEXANDER

Oh god. Please. What has my life come to?

(A beat)

What have I become? Why is this happening to me?

(ALEXANDER looks at the post cards)

You…Jeanie. Are my only joy .

(ALEXANDER notices the closed sign. He walks towards it.)

No! No, no, no, no, NO!

 

(The waiter comes out of the shop, locking it up. ALEXANDER goes up to him)

What happened?

 

WAITER

Hello sir. Well, we’ve been going out of business for years.

 

ALEXANDER

But…the place was thriving! You’ve been around for so long! This place is…timeless.

 

WAITER

It hasn’t been thriving for a long time, sir. I think you were the last customer we had that wasn’t around because a more popular coffee chain wasn’t available.

(ALEXANDER hangs his head in sorrow. The waiter’s eyes land on the post cards)

Can I lend you some advice?

 

ALEXANDER

Advice?

 

WAITER

You have been coming here without fail at least once a week for years on end. Always the same coffee. Always writing on a postcard. Each, to which, are from a different place. Maybe instead of dreaming about the world, you should go see it. And, whoever you are writing to for that matter.

 

(ALEXANDER nods).

 

ALEXANDER

Thank you.

 

(The WAITER walks offstage. ALEXANDER looks at his postcard one more time and walks off stage as well).

 

(End Of Scene)

 

Act 1

Scene 4

 

SETTING:This is the entrance of Jeanie’s house. All that is seen is a front door and a step.

 

AT RISE: ALEXANDER goes to the front door and is about to knock. He is interrupted by the NEIGHBOR. ALEXANDER still has the postcards in his hand.

 

NEIGHBOR

Excuse me sir. Can I help you?

 

ALEXANDER

I’m here to see Jeanie. This is the right house, yes?

 

NEIGHBOR

Oh…You didn’t hear?

 

ALEXANDER

What is it?

 

NEIGHBOR

I am so sorry…Jeanie died last summer. Had a massive stroke. Her husband moved out just last week.

 

ALEXANDER

No…

 

NEIGHBOR

Did you know her?

 

(ALEXANDER gets teary-eyed)

 

ALEXANDER

Know her? We were in love…

 

(The NEIGHBOR puts a hand on his shoulder).

 

NEIGHBOR

God bless your heart.

 

(The neighbor exits stage right. ALEXANDER sits on the step of the house. He shuffles through the postcards and grabs the one with the Statue of liberty on the front. He begins to write. He starts to break down.)

 

(Curtain Warning)

 

ALEXANDER

Dearest Jeanie; My name is Alexander, but I don’t feel so great. I guess it doesn’t matter where this postcard is from, or where it’s going to, because you’re everywhere now. In the wind. In the trees. In my heart. You are my landmark Jeanie. You are…timeless.

 

(ALEXANDER wipes his eyes and places the postcard on the steps. He exits stage left. As soon as ALEXANDER leaves, the post card is swept up by the wind).

 

(Curtains close)

(End of Scene)

(End of Act 1)

(End Of Play)

 

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