One-Act Play

Not Here Yet

A Play in One Act by William Fowkes

Two women struggle to dominate their small piece of real estate in Midtown Manhattan.

 

LENGTH: 25 minutes

CAST: 1M, 2F

Sondra Hunt (Eleanor) and Ariel Griffin (Charlene).
Sondra Hunt (Eleanor) and Ariel Griffin (Charlene).

 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Presented at The Changing of the Season: Autumn One-Acts, 
Brief Acts Company (A Division of Love Creek Productions Network), The Producer's Club, NYC, September 2012.

 

Directed by Bradley Le Boeuf and starring Sondra Hunt, Ariel Griffin, and Joseph Sexton.

 

 

HONORS

 

Finalist, the Warner International Playwrights Festival, Torrington, CT, 2015.


Honorable Mention, 13th Annual New Voice Play Festival, The Old Opera House, Charles Twon, WV, May 2013. 

 

 


 

SYNOPSIS

A woman trying to find her place in the world stations herself outside the entrance to a subway station in midtown Manhattan and comes up with a way to reach out and help other people from all walks of life. When another woman shows up and threatens her position, they make a surprising connection.

  

SETTING

The entrance to a subway station in midtown Manhattan.   

 

TIME

One summer afternoon.

 

CHARACTERS: 

 

ELEANOR: A woman of indeterminate age. Dressed casually but stylishly. Well educated, articulate, and sensitive. A lonely woman.  

 

CHARLENE: A woman of indeterminate age. Dressed simply. Scrappy and full of personality. A survivor.

 

RICHARD: A man of indeterminate age. Wears a business suit and carries a briefcase. Superior in attitude and bearing. A confident and busy man.   

 




EXCERPT

 

The Scene: A summer afternoon at the entrance to a subway station in midtown Manhattan.

 

Eleanor holds a cup and stands at center stage. From her vantage point, she can see both the train tracks below and the people approaching the station on the street, none of whom will be able to see the train tracks for themselves until they reach her vantage point.

 

ELEANOR

(announcing)

Not here yet! You can take your time, people! The subway’s not here yet!

 

She holds out her cup to accept coins.

 

ELEANOR

Thank you very much, sir. … Not here yet! Slow down—not here yet! … Lovely day, don’t you think? … Not here yet!

 

She looks around. Checks the tracks again.

 

ELEANOR

Wait—I think maybe… O.K., NOW it’s coming.

(speaking more rapidly)

Train pulling in, people! You can make it! Pick up the pace. You can make it! That’s right, ma’am. It’s a good one, too. Not too crowded. Move it and you can still make it. Let’s move it! Last chance, people! This is it! Now or never! O.K. O.K. … Oops—too late!

(slowing down)

Sorry—too late. Just missed it. Relax. … Slow down. … Just missed it!

 

She accepts a coin.

 

ELEANOR

Thank you. … Just missed it. Take your time, folks. The train’s gone. There’ll be another one. There’s always another one. … Just like men. There’s always another man…

(sarcastically)

…if you care! … Not here yet! Take your time. Not here yet!

 

She accepts a coin.

 

ELEANOR

Thank you, ma’am. Nice outfit. Good color! Goes well with your skin tone. … Not here yet! … Slow down there! Don’t wanna fall. Don’t wanna have to sue the city. Don’t wanna open THAT can of worms.

(puzzling to herself)

Do worms really come in cans? … Not here yet!

 

She spots a man with an umbrella.

 

ELEANOR

Oh, you won’t need that umbrella, sir. It’s going to be a beautiful day. “Expected high in the mid seventies. Light breeze from the west. No chance of rain till Thursday.”

 

She accepts a coin.

 

ELEANOR

Thank you, ma’am. … Not here yet! Not here yet!

(after a pause—contemplatively)

“Not here yet.” The thought’s almost comforting, isn’t it? … A pause. … A break. … A little slice of eternity. … The “not” in the “not here yet.” … No, the “not yet” in the “not here yet.” … That moment before. … Enjoy it. Don’t rush. … God knows there are enough people rushing around giving themselves hypertension and heart attacks.

(said with disgust)

Investment bankers—they’re the worst! Talk about pressure! Deals. Trades. My percentage. Your percentage. Mergers. Acquisitions. Leveraged buyouts. Make that deadline. Close that deal. … What’s the point? … What are these bankers investing in anyway? Certainly not their future. At this rate, they’ll be all burned out and dead before they ever see that future. You’re better off savoring life’s pleasures.

 

She sighs.

 

ELEANOR

Isn’t this lovely? Just love…

 

She cocks her ear.

 

ELEANOR

Wait a second—O.K.—back to work!

(speeding up)

Here it comes! Pick up the pace! Train a’comin’! Almost here. Step it up! Step it up! Train arriving in the station! Train arriving. You can still make it. Move it, dear! The train’s in the station, folks. You can still make it. …

(slowing down)

O.K.—that’s it! Doors closed. Too late. Sorry—so sorry—too late. … Slow down, miss! You missed it! And you should never run in high heels. What brand are those, anyway? And frankly, I wonder if you need to show so much midriff. … Not here yet! Slow down, sir. Not here yet! … The train’s not here yet.

 

Charlene enters carrying a box of folding umbrellas.

She stares at Eleanor for a moment, confused by her

presence. She puts her box down on the ground a

few feet from Eleanor, holds out a cup and “goes to

work.”

 

CHARLENE

Not here yet! Not here yet! You can slow down—train’s not here yet.

 

ELEANOR

Not here yet! Take your time.

 

CHARLENE 

The train’s not here yet. Slow down.

 

ELEANOR

Not here yet!

(to Charlene)

What are you doing?

(to the public)

Not here yet!

 

CHARLENE

(to Eleanor)

What do you think I’m doing?

(to the public)

Not here yet!

 

ELEANOR 

(to Charlene)

I think you’re imitating me. Didn’t your mother teach you manners?

 

CHARLENE

(to Eleanor)

I’m just doing my job.

(to the public)

Not here yet!

(to Eleanor)

And don’t you talk about my mother!

 

ELEANOR 

(to the public)

Not here yet!

 

CHARLENE

Has she been here?

 

ELEANOR

(to Charlene)

Who?

 

CHARLENE

My mother.

 

ELEANOR

I don’t know your mother.

 

CHARLENE

Well, I don’t either—ha! Trick question! Gotcha!

(to the public)

Not here yet!


END OF EXCERPT