"...audiences are doubling up with laughter"Asbury Park Press "Simonelli displays an adept comic touch...the group therapy sections alone are worth the price of admission!"Phil Dorian - Two River Times --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- PRODUCTION HISTORY First Ave. Playhouse NJ 2003 (Premiere) Iron Mountain Stage NJ 2017 Center Players NJ 2005 Island Theatre Company FL 2017 Producers Club NYC 2006 (Pro / equity ) Old Academy Players Phil. PA 2017 Ware Comm Theatre CAN. 2007 Mansfield Playhouse OH 2017 Russell Community Theatre KS 2007 Prescott Fine Arts Center Az. 2017 American Theatre of Actors NYC 2008 James Downing Theatre Chicago 2018 First Ave. Playhouse NJ 2008 Cornerstone Playhouse NJ 2018 Elgin Academy IL. 2009 Cultural Park Theatre FL 2018 Grange Playhouse NJ 2009 Brook Arts Center NJ 2018 Traco Theatre NJ 2010 Lemon Bay Playhouse FL 2019 Hornell Comm. Theatre NY 2010 Pumphouse Players GA 2020 Cultural Park Theatre FL 2011 Cherokee Comm Theatre Iowa 2020 Granite Theatre MA 2011 Wasaga Beach Theatre Canada 2020 Full Cup Theatre NYC 2011 Bourne Comm Theatre TX 2021 Key Players Fl 2012 Berlin Players MA 2012 Pensacola State Fl 2012 Braid Productions MA 2013 West Coast Players FL 2013 Oklahoma Univ OK. 2013 First Ave, Playhouse NJ 2013 Unatarian Church NYC 2014 Manvers Dramatic Society CAN 2014 Theatre Aurora CAN 2014 Helena H.S. MT 2015 Yuma Arts Center AZ 2015 Stage 43 Theatrical CAN 2015 Narrows Comm Theatre NYC 2016 Kaposvar Valley Capers CAN 2016 Braid Productions MA 2016 Chesley Community Players CAN 2016 Sample Pages: CHARACTERS
Cecelia Monahan - 40- 50 - Therapist
Rose Monahan – 65-75 – Her Mother
Bob Crowley – 40-50 postal deliveryman
Tony Rumson 35-45 actor
Allison Taylor 25 group therapy member
Madeline (any age) group member
Jane (any age) group member
Loretta (any age) group member
The home office of CECELIA MONAHAN. A desk is right. A couch and wing chair are center. Two other chairs are up right.
AT RISE: CECELIA is sitting at her desk .The room is a study in her home which she has converted into an office.
(On phone as lights come up)
CECELIA. (Into phone) No mother, I’m not bringing anyone to the party. (pause) That nice Harvey Frankel turned out to be a creep just like the rest of them. (pause) I’m sorry mother, I apologize for my husband dying and for not giving you any grandchildren, but if you’re still holding out for that all I can say is that I’m getting a little long in the tooth. (pause) No, I don’t want Paula to set me up with her dentist, I’m perfectly capable of meeting men on my own, I don’t need my little sister to fix me up. Besides, I’ve heard stories about Dr. Campbell. (Pause) Like he’s another (Pause) pretentious jerk having a mid life crisis who left his wife and kids to buy a Porsche convertible, electric guitar and a hairpiece. (sarcasm) Your right mom, nobody’s perfect. Yes, my neck is still bothering me a little. Who knows what’s causing it…stress probably. (impatiently as she listens to more unsolicited advice)Yes mom, yes mom…mom, the only pain in my neck right now is on the phone with me… I have to go, I have another call coming in…we’ll discuss this later. When later? Well since you live here with me and your calling from upstairs I’d venture to say pretty soon. Bye mom. ..(takes next call) Hello Doctor Monahan, oh hello Ruth, how are things at the employment agency?(Pause) You do, does he have any acting experience? Bartender, huh. Close enough. Send him over around one thirty. Yes, I hope he works out better than the last guy too. Bye Ruth.
(There is a knock at the office door)
(Bob Crowley, mid forties, enters carrying a small package. He is a delivery person for an overnight courier service. He is dressed appropriately in uniform)
BOB. I’ve got a delivery for (he looks at address on package) C. Monahan. Would that be you?CECELIA. YES IT WOULD. What happened to Sarah? She’s been delivering the packages here for years.BOB. She’s away for a few weeks with the Army Reserves, I’m filling in…My name’s Bob. (He looks around) Ah, nice office you’ve got here. Did it come with the house or did you design it yourself?CECELIA. Pretty inquisitive aren’t you? If you must know…ah, what did you say your name was again?BOB. Bob, Bob CrowleyCECELIA. This was my den. I converted it to an office.BOB. You’re a doctor, right?CECELIA. (She reaches across desk for package) Psychologist, how’d you guess?BOB. (He pulls package away to read label) Says right here on the package. C. Monahan PHDCECELIA. Very good. Most men aren’t that observant.BOB. (Looking her up and down) I notice a lot of things.CECELIA. (She stands) Well Bob, it’s been a real pleasure meeting you but I have a new patient due any minute so if you don’t mind…BOB. Oh, yeah…sorry. (He turns to leave still carrying the package)CECELIA. Ah Bob? (She holds out her right hand and he shakes it) The package, aren’t you going to give it to me.BOB. Something you’ve been expecting?CECELIA. (She studies the package)Yes, but this isn’t it. I’m expecting a book.BOB. Oh, new research book. Let me guess. Women are from Heaven. Men are from Hell, the new way to cope with relationships in the millennium.CECELIA. Men are from Hell?BOB. Yeah, that’s a hot title huh. Get it, a hot title.(He laughs at his own joke)CECELIA. You really crack yourself up don’t you?BOB. Don’t mind me. My ex-wife always said I was missing a frontal lobe.CECELIA. No kidding. Why was that?BOB. I guess because I usually say what ever is on my mind without thinking about it. You see the frontal lobe controls your ability to disseminate information and…CECELIA. I’m familiar with the function of the frontal lobe, I’m a doctor, remember. (She rises and crosses out from behind desk) So you were married. That thought kind of frightens me.BOB. Must have frightened my ‘ex’ too, the wedding reception lasted longer than the marriage.CECELIA. Interesting.BOB. So what book was it that you were waiting for. Oh, I’m sorry, it’s none of my business. (he points his index finger at his temple) Frontal lobe again.CECELIA. Actually I’m waiting for the final draft of a book I co-wrote.BOB. You co-wrote it. Impressive. What’s it about?CECELIA. Guess?BOB. Relationships?CECELIA. (sarcasm) Very good.BOB. What’s the title?CECELIA. Well I was going to call it ‘Men are Dogs’ but then that wouldn’t be fair to the dogs, would it?BOB. That’s a joke, right?CECELIA. What do you think?BOB. I think you don’t seem very impartial for a relationship therapist. If I were in your position I think I’d…CECELIA. Well, you’re not. And I think I’m a little bit more qualified on the subject than you are.BOB. (slight sarcasm) You’re right. I’m only a deliveryman with an ex-wife and a few kids. What would I know about relationships?CECELIA. Now you’ve got the picture, Bob.BOB. Only it seems to me that some of the ancient Indian tribes had it right.CECELIA. What do you mean?BOB. Some Indian tribes used to segregate the men and women. The men would live together up in the hills above camp while the woman stayed at the bottom in the tepees.(He sits on couch)The men would come down the hills once in a while to procreate while the women stayed in the valley and took care of the children. Great system huh? Eliminates all the idle chatter. You know, the warrior comes home and the squaw asks him how his day went. He says, I killed a few buffalo, massacred some settlers, the usual routine. What’s for dinner?CECELIA. How perfectly politically incorrect of you…. Tell me, how did you learn so much about Native American Culture?BOB. I watch a lot of ‘Jeopardy’! CECELIA. Why am I not surprised?
(Allison Taylor Enters)
BOB. Looks like the new patient is here. Back to work.
ALLISON. (She is a blonde, mid-twenties hair dresser. She is chewing gum She mistakenly introduces herself to Bob.) Hi, I’m Allison Taylor. I hope I didn’t interrupt. I have a one o’clock appointment with Doctor C. Monahan?.
BOB. Right there. (Bob points her to Cecelia as he exits)
ALLISON. Hi, I’m Allison, I’m your one O’Clock.
CECELIA. So I heard.
ALLISON. Was that fellow your twelve o’clock?
CECELIA. No, but he probably should be. I’m Doctor Cecelia Monahan. Please have a seat.
(Allison sits on sofa)
CECELIA. (She refers to notes) Let’s see, you told me you were a hairdresser, is that correct, Allison?ALLISON. That’s right. ‘Hair Apparent.’ That’s the name of my shop. I run it with my two sisters.CECELIA. ‘Hair apparent’ That’s a great play on words. Did you think of the name?ALLISON. No, my sister Annette did. But what play on words were you referring to?CECELIA. Play on words, you know, double entendre.ALLISON. I don’t get it?CECELIA. It’s not important… Now, Allison, I want you to feel perfectly at ease. Are you comfortable?ALLISON. (SHE ADJUSTS HER DRESS) Yes.CECELIA. Excellent. Now, what is it that’s bothering you?…(no response) wait, let me guess, your boyfriend.ALLISON. (Genuinely surprised the doctor knew) Yeah, how did you know?CECELIA. After twenty plus years of relationship training you kind of sense it. What’s his name?
(She starts to take notes)
ALLISON. (Dreamily) Brian.CECELIA. How long have you been seeing him?ALLISON. About six months… three weeks and four days.CECELIA. Uh-huh. So tell me your problem. Let’s see, the first three months were terrific then you started noticing signs, right?ALLISON. Actually I started noticing signs after two weeks.CECELIA. Really. Well, how long had you dated him before you slept with him?ALLISON & CECELIA. Two weeks.CECELIA. Okay, so you’ve been dating him for six months and what happens?ALLISON. Well at first its little things. He used to bring me presents when he came over .Nothing expensive but things I’d like, you know, for my apartment. One time we went shopping and he dragged me into a lingerie shop and bought me the cutest negligee and well…well we used to spend all weekend at my apartment and hardly go out at all, and now…CECELIA. He doesn’t bring you presents?ALLISON. Now he brings over a six-pack of beer, some microwave popcorn, his laundry and he doesn’t even stay the night.CECELIA. Is that so?ALLISON. But the worst was last month. Do you know what he pulled last month?CECELIA. Why don’t you tell me?ALLISON. He breaks his date with me on a Wednesday for the following Friday because all his old frat buddies have rented a beach house for the weekend. So we have this huge argument and I stopped talking to him.CECELIA. Go on.ALLISON. Well, that Friday afternoon around five o-clock he calls me and he’s sweet as can be. He’s already down the shore with his friends and tells me he misses me and asks me if I would drive down to the shore and meet them for dinner. He also says he forgot some things at his apartment and could I stop by and bring them to him. So I call my girlfriend Nancy and break our date, take a shower, set my hair, put on my makeup and drive two hours! After getting a flat tire, I finally make it to the restaurant.CECELIA. And what happened when you got there?ALLISON. I walk in and he’s sitting there with his buddies totally trashed.CECELIA. How could you tell?ALLISON. He was asleep at the table! His head was face down in a platter of lobster fra diablo. When I called his name and he lifted his head there was a piece of claw hanging out of his nose.CECELIA. Oh, my!ALLISON. Then he looks at me and says, ‘What the hell are you doing here?’ And I say, you invited me remember? And he says, ‘Can’t you see I’m here with my friends, get lost.’ So I pour a glass of water over his head, throw his clothes at him and walk out.
(She starts to sob softly as Cecelia passes her a box of tissues and she takes one)
ALLISON. Why do men always do this to me Doctor? Before Brian there was Brad. Oh boy, was he gorgeous! He swept me off my feet. I only dated him one night. It was a blind date. We had dinner, then went dancing, then back to my place and everything was so romantic.CECELIA. And what happened with him?ALLISON. He spends the night at my place, gets up the next morning and I offer him some coffee. Well, he goes in my refrigerator and asks me if I have any milk. I say I think I’m out and he says he can’t have coffee without milk so he’ll go to the store and get some.CECELIA. And?ALLISON. That’s the last time I ever saw him. And the strange part was that there was a container of cream sitting right on the top shelf. I guess milk was easier on his stomach.CECELIA. Come now, Allison, don’t tell me you’re trying to defend his actions? What did you say his name was?ALLISON. Brad. I dated him after Barry. Of course there was Ben before him, and Bud…CECELIA. Bud, Ben, Brian, Brad, Barry. Allison, aren’t you noticing a pattern here?
ALLISON. Yeah, all men are jerks.CECELIA. That’s not what I mean. All the men you’ve dated have names that begin with a “B.”ALLISON. Hey, you’re right. Wow. You’re good.CECELIA. Just out of curiosity. What’s you father’s name?ALLISON. Oh, I see where you’re going doctor. You’re way off- base. My father’s name is William.CECELIA. What does your mother call him?ALLISON. Bill.CECELIA. I see.ALLISON. What do you think I should do about him doctor?CECELIA. Who, Bud, Brad or Bill?ALLISON. Brian! Bill’s my father, remember?CECELIA. Oh, that’s right.ALLISON. I’m talking about Brian. What do I do about Brian?CECELIA. Well how long has it been since you’ve seen him? Let’s see, the restaurant was over a month ago.ALLISON. Oh, we didn’t break up after that. He apologized to me when we woke up the next morning.CECELIA. You slept with him the same night he humiliated you like that?ALLISON. Well…Yeah. I felt a little guilty about leaving him so suddenly so I went back in the restaurant and he did look kind of cute with that lobster hanging out of his nose. So anyway I talked things over with my father a little later…CECELIA. (Exasperated) You talked to Bill…I mean your father, about your relationship with your boyfriend?ALLISON. You don’t think I should have? But where else would I go for a man’s point of view? I don’t have any brothers and well, a girl’s dad would never steer her wrong.CECELIA. You know Allison, as a counselor I can safely say that’s it’s not very healthy to talk to your parents about every little crisis in your life. Don’t you think you should cut the apron strings at some point? ROSE. (enters and stands at interior entrance doorway) Oh I’m sorry, I didn’t realize you were with someone.(to Allison) I’m Doctor Monahan’s mother, I live upstairs with her.(to Cecelia) Just wondered if you were getting hungry. But we can talk later. (She exits) CECELIA.. I’m sorry about that interruption Allison. Where were we? ALLISON. (sarcasm) Cutting the apron strings.CECELIA. Oh yes! Well, look, Allison. I think it may be helpful to you to join my bi-weekly support group. We have people who basically discuss the same problems that you have.ALLISON. You mean their rotten relationships?CECELIA. Exactly. We meet tomorrow night at seven. Would you like to join us?ALLISON. Sure, why not? It’s not like I have anything else to do. I mean, I was going to color Mrs. Edelbaum’s hair, but I guess those gray roots can wait another day. Besides, my sister Audrey can always fill in.CECELIA. Your sister’s name is Audrey. And your other sister’s name?ALLISON. Annette.CECELIA. This is just a wild guess, but does your mother’s name start with the letter A?ALLISON. Whoa. You must be clairvoyant. Her name is Amanda. But everyone calls her Betty.CECELIA. Why?ALLISON. Well, Betty’s her middle name. Well, it’s really Elizabeth. Amanda Elizabeth Taylor.CECELIA. Oh, just like the movie star.ALLISON. What movie star?CECELIA. Never mind, Allison. (She rises) I’ll see you tomorrow at seven.ALLISON. Right. Tomorrow at seven. Goodbye, doctor.
(She exits as Cecelia picks up a reference book on her desk and begins to page through it)
CECELIA. (To herself) Father fixation, Father fixation(knock at the door)…ah later.
(CECELIA. Come in.
(Tony Rumson enters)
TONY. Hi, I’m Tony Rumson. The Employment Agency sent me over.CECELIA. Oh, yes, Mr. Rumson. I was expecting you. Please sit down.TONY. (He sits) Thank you.CECELIA. Did you bring a resume?TONY. (Smiling) Yes, I did.CECELIA. May I see it?TONY. Oh, of course.
(He pulls a crumpled paper from his back pocket hands it to her)
CECELIA. (To herself) Um hum. That’s interesting. (To him) Are you married, Mr. Rumson?TONY. (very proud of himself) Deevorced.CECELIA. I see. (Writes on resume) Commitment phobic.TONY. Yeah, the agency said you were a psychologist.CECELIA. That’s correct, I am.TONY. That’s interesting.CECELIA. (She looks at him) You appear to be an excellent physical specimen.TONY. (checks himself out) I do.CECELIA. Do you work out?TONY. A little bit when I have time, why do you ask?CECELIA. (She’s back to resume again) I see you’re a part time bartender. You must meet plenty of single women doing that.TONY. Yeah, and some of them aren’t even single!CECELIA. Such braggadocio!TONY. (not understanding word , He looks down at his crotch then back at CECELIA) Can you notice it from there? I mean, all things being equal, I do pretty well with the women.CECELIA. And modest too. You must sweep those ladies right off their feet.TONY. Never get many complaints.CECELIA. I bet you don’t. (She rises and walks out from behind desk) Tell me Mr. Rumson…are you the athletic type?TONY. (getting hopes up) Please, it’s Tony, call me Tony. CECELIA. I will. And you may call me Doctor Monahan.TONY. (Ego deflated) Oh, okay.CECELIA. Did you play any sports in school?TONY. Football and wrestling in high school. I did a little boxing in college.CECELIA. (She feels his chin) Strong jaw. Excellent.TONY. (While she has hold of his chin) Say, just what kind of position are you hiring for anyway?CECELIA. I’m looking for someone to help with a support group I run.TONY. (Rises) Oh, well. I hardly think I qualify to help with…CECELIA. (Gently pushes on his shoulders to re-seat him) Let me be the judge of that…Tell me Tony, did the employment agency inform you that I pay my people three times the going rate?TONY. Yes they did, as a matter of fact. That’s why I jumped at the chance for this interview. They also said that you have quite a high turnover rate.CECELIA. Did they?…Do you have any acting experience Tony?TONY. A little. Is that important?CECELIA. Well the position does require you to interact with other people.TONY. Oh, you mean like an improv thing.CECELIA. That’s a good way of putting it.TONY. I think I’d like that. I played Casanova in our high school production.CECELIA. Did you really? That’s great…Ah, now Tony, do you mind if I ask you some personal questions?TONY. Like you haven’t already? Go ahead, ask away.CECELIA. Tell me about your divorce.TONY. My divorce. Gee Dr. Monahan, is that really necessary? I mean, I know you’re a shrink and all…CECELIA. I’m a psychologist, not a psychiatrist. I don’t dispense medication. Now, if you’re not interested in the position, I can just have the agency send over another candidate.TONY. (He rises and slowly walks behind the couch.) All right, all right. For the money you’re paying, I’ll answer whatever question you want…Let’s see, my divorce…well I guess it was the typical story.CECELIA. How long were you married?TONY. About ten years. No... eleven.CECELIA. You’re not certain how long you were married?TONY. I guess that’s why I’m divorced.CECELIA. Continue. You had been married eleven years and what happened? You started to feel unfulfilled, unappreciated right?TONY. Basically, yeah. It’s like I felt I needed some space, you know.CECELIA. After all, it would have been ‘healthier’ for the relationship.TONY. That’s it exactly.CECELIA. Never mind that your ex-wife probably worked like an animal to support you while you got your degree, or took acting lessons or learned to sky dive or something. After all, what man wants to be held back by a trusting, supportive wife when he has so much to offer the world? No wonder you left her!TONY. Does that make me a bad person?CECELIA. What do you think?TONY. I think if I want abuse like this, I’ll go back to my ex-wife.
(He starts to rise)
CECELIA.I’m sorry Tony. Forgive me. I think you’re exactly the person I’ve been looking for. Can you start tomorrow evening?TONY. I AM SERIOUSLY CONSIDERING IT DOC.CECELIA. Excellent. The group meets at seven but we won’t get to your part until about seven thirty.TONY. And what did you say my part was again?CECELIA. I thought I explained it to you Mr., Rumson. I simply need you to interact with my support group. You know, role play.TONY. But what kind of support group is it exactly?CECELIA. It’s a divorced and single women’s support group.TONY. Divorced and single, huh? And I’m the only guy? I think I’m going to like this.CECELIA. Yes, I thought you would. So I’ll see you tomorrow at seven thirty then?TONY. You know, Tony spelled backwards is “Y-Not”. See you manana!
(Cecelia escorts Tony out the door as her mother, Rose enters from interior doorway carrying a laundry basket and a container of dip)ROSE. Hello Cecelia, is the coast clear? CECELIA. Yes mother. And how many times have I reminded you about not interrupting me during business hours? ROSE. What’s the matter, you don’t take a lunch break anymore? Here, try this dip. It’s a new recipe.CECELIA. (Crossing to her desk) No thanks, mother. I’m watching my weight.ROSE. For whom? You never go out. ( She starts folding laundry)CECELIA. I’m sorry I’m not a social butterfly like you, mother, but my work is my priority. Besides, I’ve been out of circulation so long I wouldn’t know where to start.ROSE. There are plenty of places. How about taking a cooking class?CECELIA. Really, mother, to meet men?ROSE. I’m taking one. How do you think I got this dip recipe? And, as a matter of fact, I met a pretty nice fellow in class. Maybe I’ll invite him over tomorrow and we’ll prepare dinner for that support group of yours. I’m thinking beef bourguignon. Don’t you keep some sherry down here?CECELIA. That recipe calls for burgundy.ROSE. It’s not for the sauce.CECELIA. (Crosses right) Mother, I agreed to let you move in upstairs after your last marriage broke up only after you promised you would let me have my space and not invade my privacy. Especially during office hours.ROSE. I’m sorry, sweetheart, I didn’t mean to interrupt the lonely hearts club.CECELIA. They’re women who need relationship counseling mother, not lonely hearts.ROSE. Counseling? In my day we didn’t have therapy to deal with men. We just took a valium and hoped for the best.CECELIA. They need someone to talk to about their relationship problems.