A Two-Minute Play With                                                                      One Word of Dialogue


                                                               Willie Jones





Cast of Characters


BLACK MAN:                                         Educated brotha in his 40s

WHITE WOMAN W/ TODDLER:        Woman in her 50s

TODDLER:                                              Little white girl





An elevator at a vacation resort


Just after 9pm, Thursday October 27, 2016





                                             ACT I

                                             Scene 1



We are at a family-friendly vacation resort lodge in the Poconos. The elevator, like the rest of the resort, is clean, well maintained, and well-lit.

AT RISE:                                                              

BLACK MAN is standing at the elevator bank in the lobby. He’s dressed casually in jeans, a v-neck sweater, running shoes, and a baseball cap that says “Smithsonian Institution.” The door opens.

                                                                            BLACK MAN
(Steps inside the empty elevator, presses the button for the third floor, and steps aside.)

                                                                            WHITE WOMAN W/ TODDLER
(Steps onto the elevator behind BLACK MAN, smiles, stands near the wall opposite the one with the buttons, and looks at BLACK MAN. Says one word.)


(Thinks, Did this self-entitled heifer just tell me—not ask me—to press the button for her floor like her hand is broken? Says to himself, "Excuse me," "Please," and "Would you mind, sir" must not be in her vocabulary. Leans back against the wall of the elevator. Looks at the shoulders of his sweater just to make sure that he hadn’t mistakenly worn the one with epaulets. Takes off his hat and glances at the lettering to prove to himself that it doesn’t say “Resort Staff” or “Elevator Operator.” Puts hat back on.)


(Stands behind the child, staring blankly at BLACK MAN.)


(Closes his eyes in the hope that when he reopens them, he’ll finally see the fourth person inside the elevator car—the one to whom WHITE WOMAN W/ TODDLER must be speaking. Opens his eyes just in time to witness the bursting of the bubble of obliviousness surrounding WHITE WOMAN W/ TODDLER.)


(Realizes that BLACK MAN has absolutely zero intention of playing whatever role she mistakenly cast him in. Grabs toddler’s hand, steps forward, and presses the number 6.)


Elevator reaches the third floor and the door opens.

                                                                         BLACK MAN
(Gives WHITE WOMAN W/ TODDLER a black-belt-level side eye. Remembers his mama’s warnings from his childhood days: “Fix your face. One day, your eyes are gonna get stuck like that.” Holds his head high and steps off the elevator.)