10-Minute Plays | Ten-Minute Plays
Production Rights  |  Scenes for Actors  |  Monologues  |  Online store  |  Theatre News  |  Links

by Nick Zagone

JANELLE - 19 babysitter, musician, songwriter
STEVE, 40's parent, musician and playwright

Middle-class family unit living room - with child. Remnants of the child are scattered about; toys, dishes, clothes, etc.


[Janelle strums on her guitar quietly. Steve enters with two glasses of wine. A beat as he watches her.]

JANELLE: (seeing him) Oh. (stops playing)

STEVE: No, no! Please…

JANELLE: No, it’s definitely… time for wine.

STEVE: Oh. Was he a bit of a bear tonight?

JANELLE: Of course not. Zach’s a dream.

(Hands a glass to her.)

STEVE: Nostrovia.

JANELLE: Are you sure?

STEVE: Listen to your elders. Nostrovia.

(They raise glasses. Drink.)

JANELLE: What’s that mean? Nostrovia?

STEVE: A toast! I’m supposing.

JANELLE: Okay. But what does it mean?

STEVE: Haven’t the slightest. It’s Russian, that I know. A friend of mine reiterates it.

JANELLE: Is he Russian?

STEVE: No. Scottish. But interestingly his father received a degree in Russian history. Thus, he grew up with…

TOGETHER: Nostrovia.

JANELLE: Is he a History Professor?


JANELLE: Your friend’s father dummy.

STEVE: (drinks) Orthopedic surgeon.


STEVE: You do? Well, you’ll have to explain it to me then.

JANELLE: I know a lot of people who aren’t what they seem.

STEVE: It was nothing. Really.

JANELLE: Is that who you saw tonight? This Scot who speaks Russian?

STEVE: Sure! Why not. Any other questions?

JANELLE: Yes. Why back so early?

STEVE: Award shows, please… they’re not all that.

JANELLE: Come on.

STEVE: Oh, you’ll be turning into a pumpkin around 10pm soon enough my dear.

JANELLE: Come on, no after-party? You’re Writer of the Year.

STEVE: Is that what it says? (crossing to the trophy and reading it) “Popularity Contest Winner” 1st place.


STEVE: Small print: “This award is purely a conciliatory prize for most tickets sold and does not in any way reflect proof of professional writing ability. The actors and director saved your ass. Nostrovia.”

JANELLE: You won. Who cares what you think. Right?

STEVE: I’m sorry. I used your songs.

JANELLE: I know what you were saying sorry for.

STEVE: I stole them. Really.

JANELLE: You changed them, but I knew.

STEVE: It wasn’t me entirely. You know.

JANELLE: Can’t get the toothpaste back in the tube. We’re studying Watergate.

STEVE: Ah. Junior College.

JANELLE: Not for long. California here I come!

STEVE: Right back where I started from. Well I’m glad to see you’re studying something.

JANELLE: My grades are up. I have more. Songs.

STEVE: Of course you do. Not even a contract. I’m a cad.

JANELLE: You’re okay. I still see the good in people. Even when there’s not much there.

STEVE: Thank you. I think.

JANELLE: Those songs weren’t even that good. You made them better. I figure if someone’s using what I write at my age, I’m on my way.

STEVE: You play wonderfully.

JANELLE: Just play?

STEVE: And sing and write and all of it. You’ve come a long way. Baby.


STEVE: It’s an old ad. Before your time. I’m sorry. For robbing your music sure, but subconsciously for not having any ideas of my own. I’m… out of gas. But… I can abscond and appropriate, then reformat and revise… I’m good at that, thank Christ, because at this moment in time I colloquially “Got Nothin’”. This is really yours…

(Drops the trophy.)


JANELLE: Ok. You need to chill. You’re going to wake up Zach and frankly I don’t want the damned thing.

STEVE: Shit. Oh no. Did you hear him? I’ll listen.

(Goes to listen.)

JANELLE: Is he up?

STEVE: Quiet as a mouse. You want to leave.

JANELLE: I do. But. I just got my drink. And it’s making my headache go away. Nostrovia.

STEVE: I’m sorry. I’ll chill. You’re beautiful… person.

JANELLE: God. My first drink. From you. Of course, I see where this is…

STEVE: Janelle, I hope you don’t think…

JANELLE: Oh I do think… and that’s a lie.“I hope you don’t think…” but it’s okay.

STEVE: Thank you for being ingratiating. ‘Cause you’re right I do think and I am trying…

JANELLE: I’m not going to do anything with you. And you’re not going to do anything with me. Don’t try to deny it. I know that’s what this is…

STEVE: I’m not denying it.

JANELLE: Okay. How do you feel? Relief?

STEVE: No because you merely believe I’m attracted to you and want to sleep with you…

JANELLE: Oh my Goaaaaaaaaaad…

STEVE: Oh yes if it was only that plain and uncultured…

JANELLE: You guys, you guys need to stop…

STEVE: Now I am NOT some douchebag at some club who finds your derriere appealing to my sensibilities…

JANELLE: Doesn’t matter! Lalalalalalala, not listening…!

STEVE: You are brilliant and talented and I can’t…

JANELLE: “You love me for my mind.” Baby.

STEVE: I love you period. I didn’t ask for it. So fuck you. You’re breaking my heart. And that’s fine. I’ll take you home.

JANELLE: I have my own car.

STEVE: You do? You do. That’s right. Well. I used to take you home. It’s been four years. Four years you know. And you’ve been accepted to…

JANELLE: More like seven.

STEVE: Seven?

JANELLE: More like my whole life. You’re my uncle.

STEVE: By marriage!

JANELLE: You know, you’re sick and wrong. Really. All of you. It’s a wonder I’m alive. I put my trust in men. I have to put my trust… in men. All. The. Time. It’s… all I can say is it makes me… afraid. Of everything. Everything I first believe to be good.

STEVE: You should question everything. Young people should. Everyone should. Your naive.

JANELLE: And you took advantage of it.

STEVE: I haven’t laid one finger on you.

JANELLE: You stole my music.

STEVE: I just apologized for that. And you accepted it.

JANELLE: Whoever said forgive and forget was an idiot. Did you expect me to forget? And then what, fall in love with you?

STEVE: Carin and I are…

JANELLE: Having troubles. Sure she told me.

STEVE: She told…?

JANELLE: Sure! And she’s out of town! Of course. Boy, you… Yes. I should have expected this.

STEVE: You did. You did expect it. You didn’t get up and go. You knew Carin was gone and we were having problems. But here you are. You accepted a drink from me… you knew what was coming.

JANELLE: Wow. You’re terrible. I really liked you. You helped me with my music. Introduced me to… but meanwhile.

STEVE: I’m sorry I can’t help my feelings.

JANELLE: Yes, yes you can. You’re an adult. And you’ll get over it. And maybe you’ll make it work with Carin or otherwise get a divorce and then meet someone on Craigslist. But you’ll get over it. While I… I might not. I might never.

STEVE: Yes you will. You will.

JANELLE: But you do. You still do.

STEVE: All right. All right. All right. (holding back tears now, fumbling through wallet) Let me pay you for your services and you can go. Let’s see, twelve dollars an hour… is it twelve? Carin usually does this… help me out.

JANELLE: It’s twelve.

STEVE: Right. Yes. Um… my multiplication. Here, here take it. Take it all, really. Considering…

JANELLE: (taking it then counting out cash) This is enough. Here, that’s all that I need.

STEVE: No! No, no, no, you take it. It’s the…

JANELLE: That’s enough. This is all that I… twelve times three hours…

STEVE: Four hours, four hours, plus tip…

JANELLE: Fine then that’s…

STEVE: No I want you to…

JANELLE: I don’t want it! I don’t want it!

(throws the extra cash at him)

I only want what is fair!

STEVE: (stooping, picking up the cash, stumbling) I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

JANELLE: That’s all. That’s all.

STEVE: You need to go.

JANELLE: I know. But god help me, dammit I don’t want you to feel…

STEVE: Oh yes, yes I feel… ellipses… dot, dot, dot. But you’re right, I’ve had things not go my way before. With… And believe me in the back of my heart I knew this wasn’t going to happen and it was quotes “sick and wrong” but you’re right, I will get over it.

(sitting on the floor now)


JANELLE: I can’t leave you like this. Get up. I really didn’t… Get up.

STEVE: Go. Please.

JANELLE: I’m probably not going to want to ever see you again. But I’m not going to see you in my mind’s eye like this. Do me the goddamned favor, of standing on the porch and making sure I get to my car safely, like a gentleman, and waving goodbye like the proper end to a parent-babysitter relationship. Can you do that for me?

(He nods.)

Get up.

(She helps him up.)

(There’s a beat as they hold each other.)

(She kisses him lightly.)

(He responds. Wants more.)

(She has to pull away violently.)

JANELLE: You had to ruin it. You fucking ruin it.

(She exits, slamming the door.)

(A beat. Steve goes to the door and opens it.)

(Stops. A car starts up and peels out.)

(He waves. Then puts his hands over his face. Laughing pitifully.)

(Steve goes to the trophy… and wants to throw it but can’t. Only slams it down hard. He sees the guitar. She left it. He picks it up.)

(A child begins to cry… and cry… and call for his mom.)

(Steve doesn’t move as lights fade … to black.)


Copyright © 2015 by Nick Zagone

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Trophy is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at zagonenick@icloud.com or www.facebook.com/nickzagone



Home  |  Playwrights  |  Comedies  |  Dramas  |  Cast Size  |  FAQs