Stories Scripts Videos Music Non-Fiction Books Blog


Jason Sharp as Al, Sharon Barto Gouran as Patty, Brandon Ryan as James, Annie Lareau as Nancy. Photo by Omar Willey.

This Isn't Happening

Produced at the 14/48 festival, 1/15/16. The randomly drawn theme for that night: "Unfinished Business." My random actor draw: write a play for two men and two women.

Two separate, interleaved conversations: James & Nancy; Al & Patty.

JAMES: I want to get the band back together.

NANCY: Are you out of your fucking mind?

JAMES: Iím not.

NANCY: The band broke up because we all hated each other.

JAMES: That was five years ago.

NANCY: Have you even spoken to Al or Patty in the last five years?

JAMES: I just had coffee with Al.

NANCY: What?

JAMES: Heís back in town.

NANCY: When did that happen?

JAMES: I donít know. Recently I guess.

NANCY: What about Patty?

JAMES: Al said he would talk to Patty.

PATTY: Are you out of your fucking mind?

AL: Heís been writing songs again.

PATTY: Great. He can put out a fucking solo record.

AL: Yeah I suggested that, and he said, ďWhat am I, Paul McCartney?Ē

PATTY: He fucking wishes he was Paul McCartney.

AL: Anyway the point is he wants to tour again. As a band.

PATTY: Heís broke, right? Thatís what this is about?

NANCY: Because it sounds like youíre broke.

JAMES: Iím not!

NANCY: Do you know how ugly it is when bands get back together because theyíre broke?

JAMES: Iím not broke. I still live uptown. I just bought a $12,000 espresso machine.

NANCY: What?

JAMES: I mean, I bought it used. It has some light scuffing. Look, Iím not rich, Iím not broke, Iím just - Iím writing songs again.

PATTY: Are they any good?

AL: Yeah, the feel is definitely there. I mean, theyíre just demos. But theyíre really tight.

PATTY: What are they about?

AL: I donít know. Heís just laying down scratch vocals right now. Placeholders.

PATTY: Whatever. All he ever writes about is himself.

AL: To be fair, heís considered one of the most nuanced practitioners of the autobiographical idiom in songwriting-

PATTY: Donít you fucking quote Pitchfork at me, Al.

AL: Sorry.

JAMES: And we didnít all hate each other. I mean, you guys never hated each other, right? And you and Al didnít hate me or Patty, you just hated me and Patty.

NANCY: And Patty hated you in the end.

JAMES: Obviously, but look, I never hated anybody, not even Patty. I was sad about her, yes. Iím still sad about her.

NANCY: Ohhhh. Thatís what this is about?

JAMES: What?

NANCY: You want to get the band back together so that you have a rational excuse to be in the same room with Patty again. Am I getting warm here?

JAMES: No, thatís ridiculous, I mean, I told you already, Iím just - Iím writing songs again.

NANCY: About what?

JAMES: About Patty.

NANCY: Dammit!

AL: You should come into the studio and just listen to the demos.

PATTY: Thereís no point.

AL: Sure there is. Theyíre good songs. I think if you heard them-

PATTY: If I heard them, what? Iíd drop everything going on in my life to be a side player in his band again? Because why would I do that?

AL: Well - the studio has an extremely nice espresso machine.

NANCY: Anyway you did actually hate somebody. You hated yourself. Thatís what all your songs were about. Thatís what Patty hated about you in the end.

JAMES: Did she tell you that?

NANCY: No. She didnít have to. Thatís what her songs are about.

JAMES: What songs?

NANCY: The songs on her albums? Please tell me youíve listened to her albums.

JAMES: I havenít. Are they any good?

NANCY: Of course theyíre good!

JAMES: Donít say ďof courseĒ like itís some automatic thing to write good songs.

NANCY: She spent most of her twenties playing your songs in your band. She had plenty of exposure to genius songwriting. Trust me, she picked up a few things. You really havenít listened to her albums?

JAMES: I didnít know about her albums! Are they on Spotify?

NANCY: Of course theyíre on Spotify!

JAMES: See, I hate Spotify, I prefer vinyl.

PATTY: Are you recording with him?

AL: I was thinking about it.

PATTY: Why donít you play in my band instead?

AL: What band?

PATTY: Iím opening for Airee Macpherson. East coast for sure, probably Europe.

AL: Really?

PATTY: Yes ďreally,Ē Jesus.

AL: No, I just meant - thatís huge. Congratulations.

PATTY: Thank you. Itís all happening very fast though, and Iím scrambling to pull together a touring lineup. I mean - I realize you now have access to an extremely nice espresso machine...

AL: I donít care about the espresso machine, Patty.

PATTY: It sounded like you were pretty into it.

AL: No, Iím not into it - itís lightly scuffed, for godís sake.

PATTY: Anyway I hear they have espresso in Europe. If touring Europe in the near future interests you.

AL: Yes of course it does. You know, you should ask him too. The man can still play drums, Patty.

PATTY: So can my drum machine, Al. And I wonít be tempted to sleep with my drum machine.

NANCY: You can get her albums on 180 gram vinyl. You should. She practically recorded them for you.

JAMES: I will. Iíll go to the record store right now.

NANCY: And then maybe, after you listen to them - instead of staging a big reunion tour - you can just try calling her sometime.

JAMES: But I want a big reunion tour.

NANCY: You might not, after you listen to her albums.

JAMES: Oh. Long pause. Why - is something wrong with the way theyíre mixed?

NANCY: The mixes are fine, you jackass! Jesus, no wonder she went solo.


You must be logged-in to post comments.
About Scotto
Bio & photo

Scotto's Web Trail

The Tumblrs
Much Preferred Customers
Undeniable Presence
Campaign Against Cliche
Things That Cannot Save You

Don't sign up for my non-existent newsletter! Just don't submit your email address, and I'll respond by not emailing periodic updates.

Contact Scotto
Email scotto.moore (at)!

About This Site
Log in / create account
Powered by Supermassive

Copyright until 2087