The Play's The Thing
The stage is divided into two-thirds the living room, with usual furniture and table with telephone, and dining room of a suburban house, with the front door at stage left and another door in the back off the livingroom, and one-third stage right a jail with holding cell that turns later into a one-room apartment. Stage left there is also a small area that is the walkway and outside of the house. Lights shine and darken on whichever part of the stage is the one in which a scene is happening.
Lights are on the jail area where a woman is standing barefoot in a thin dress at a metal counter and the dining room where Helen and Gil are giving a small supper party for two guests. The telephone rings. Helen excuses herself with a nod from the dining room table and walks into the living room.
Nell [in a low whisper] : Helen?
Nell: I need help.
Helen: What's wrong?
Nell: I'm in jail.
Helen: What happened?
Nell: They think I'm someone else.
Helen: I'll be right down.
Helen: Somesby, right?
The jail scene goes dark as Helen hangs up the telephone and turns toward the front door and dining room. Gil and the guests are laughing at a joke they've just made.
Helen: Gil! Gil!
Helen: I've gotta go to town.
Helen: There's been an accident.
Gil [sitting very still and lowering his voice] : Who?
Helen: Walk me to the car.
Gil also excuses himself from their guests, standing up and walking toward Helen and, taking her arm, walks through the front door with her.
Helen: It's Nell.
Gil: What happened?
Helen: She in jail.
Gil [frowning] : What?
Helen: She says they think she's someone else.
Gil [frowning more deeply] : There's an accident?
Helen: That's an accident.
Gil: [reaching into a pants pocket for his wallet] : Right. You might need some money.
Helen: I might need the deed to the house.
Gil looks confused and is frowning again.
Helen: For bond. Will you got get it so everything won't look too strange?
Gil: That won't look strange?
Helen: It's in the top drawer of the desk upstairs. Say I forgot my pocketbook.
Gil: Okay. Cool.
Gil turns back through the front door and passes his guests.
Gil: She forgot her damn pocketbook.
He disappears through the stairway door backstage and the guests murmur with their heads leaning toward each other. Gil reappears in the living room with a large envelope in his hand.
Gil [rushing and turning his head toward the guests]: It's gonna be okay. Not fatal. It's a friend of hers.
He goes through the front door and hands the envelope to Helen.
Helen [opening the envelope and checking to make sure the right papers are there] : Whew! Okay.
Gil: Call me when you know.
She walks offstage and he turns back toward the living and dining rooms.