Last Chance Tuesday

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9 characters, approximately 25 minutes long. Funny and touching script about friendship. Three kennel dogs dream of their forever homes. Will they be adopted?

Fayo, a one-eyed dog, hopes that someday he can find his forever home. Until then, he keeps up the spirits of his fellow kennel dwellers with songs and words of encouragement, even if he’s a little scared on the inside. When his best friend is chosen by a new family, Fayo doesn’t want to think about how lonely his heart will feel when she’s gone. Things take a turn for the better when someone finally decides to give him a chance even though he must become roommates with a grumpy Afghan named Delphine. A lucky chance reunites old pals and begins new friendships.

About the Playwright:

Patricia Lawler Kenet’s plays have been performed at The Aloha Festival in Hawaii, New York New Works Festival, and The Bath House Theatre in Dallas. She is the author of “Nighttime Stories for Rescued Dogs” and the co-author of “How to Wash Your Face.” Her essays have appeared in The Washington Post and The New York Times.  A native of Philadelphia, she resides in NYC with a variety of rescue animals and her husband.

CHARACTERS:

FAYO– A one-eyed mutt
DELPHINE- haughty Afghan Hound
SUZIE– Pudgy, friendly, poodle
PARENT
CHILD 1
CHILD 2
JOANIE or JOHN
A LITTLE CHILD
PAM or PAUL

Scene 1

A dog shelter. Early morning. Cinder block walls, a concrete floor, and a series of cages. The dimness gradually brightens as a glint of the rising sun peeks through a window, and the flicker of overhead lights signals the start of a new day. A broom rests against the wall.
Inside the cages:

FAYO, a 20-pound mutt with wiry hair, and some bald patches. FAYO’s back is to the stage, so we don’t see his face right away.

DELPHINE, a high-strung, mean-spirited Afghan Hound facing front. A sign on her cage reads “WARNING” followed by fine print.

SUZIE, a slightly pudgy poodle mix with a beautiful heart, also facing front across from FAYO.

The KENNEL KEEPER walks in, a little wearily. He wears a long sleeve uniform shirt, long pants, and a wool cap. He carries three empty bowls, a bag of food, and a scoop. Two of the bowls are red plastic and one is stainless steel. (note that while dogs talk, KENNEL KEEPER and other humans don’t actually hear/understand or respond to them.)

KENNEL KEEPER
Chow time. Who wants breakfast?

FAYO barks politely, SUZIE joins in, and DELPHINE grumbles. The KENNEL KEEPER stands still for a moment and looks at the dogs. FAYO paces left and right, trying to catch his reflection in the stainless-steel bowl. He gets a distorted glimpse, then gives up. The KENNEL KEEPER carefully places the stainless bowl outside of DELPHINE’s cage. Then he pushes the filled bowl into DELPHINE’s cage through a small door, with a broomstick.

Talk about bitin’ the hand that feeds you! You settle down, DELPHINE.

DELPHINE haughtily sniffs at the food.

Take it or leave it.

DELPHINE takes a nibble.

That’s a girl.

He then goes to SUZIE who wags her tail with anticipation.

Little SUZIE. How you gettin’ on today?

She gobbles the food.

Slow down. Nothing ‘’til dinner. So take your time.

He then goes to FAYO.

Look alive, FAYO, it’s visiting day.

FAYO stands up against the bars and presses his face toward the man.

Good luck.

The KENNEL KEEPER walks out.

FAYO
Did you hear that?

No answer as SUZIE gobbles and DELPHINE grumbles.

I’m so greatly excited.

No answer.

Visitors. You know what they say?

No answer.

Good things happen if you are good. And try, try. And you can’t always lose. And… there’s a lid and a pot and keep a smile in your pocket.

DELPHINE
Good lord, FAYO. What kind of nonsense are you babbling about today?

FAYO
People are coming. People with… houses and beds.

DELPHINE
You were here when I got here, and you’ll be here when I go. You were here when SUZIE got here and that was even before me. And every time I ask you how long you’ve been here, you give me a different answer. That’s because you don’t even remember anymore.

FAYO
I do know. A hot summer. A rainy fall. A windy winter. We had chicken on… Santa Day. Remember?

DELPHINE
Christmas, FAYO. And now it’s spring.

SUZIE
Smell the grass out there? I love grass. I love wet grass and muddy dirt under the wet grass. I love the way it squishes into my paws.

DELPHINE
Look who decided to come up for air. (back to FAYO) So you see, FAYO, that means almost a year has gone by. A year for you.

FAYO
So?

SUZIE
So?

DELPHINE
They don’t keep us forever. Sometimes…

SUZIE
…DELPHINE… we don’t want to hear your ideas, please. Nobody knows for sure what happens.

DELPHINE
Ha.
A red light flashes on and off.

DELPHINE turns her back on the two other dogs and rolls into a ball. It’s quiet for a while. FAYO continues to angle for a glimpse of himself in the stainless bowl.

SUZIE
What’re you doing?

FAYO
Trying to see what I look like.

SUZIE
That’s not a mirror. It’s a bowl.

FAYO continues to try to look and gets a distorted glance.

SUZIE
Do you have any idea what you look like?

FAYO
I never gave it much thought till just now. I saw a peek and a peck of me in the bowl mirror… kind of stretchy. I want to see again. Is it important, to look as lovely as you do, SUZIE?

SUZIE
Owww. Thanks, FAYO. Before I came here I lived with a nice man who took me to a place… called a groomer. Kind of hard to remember… it was a long time ago.

FAYO
I know what you mean.

SUZIE
They put me into a sink filled with water and squirted a terrible, sweet liquid on me, and rubbed my body until white bubbles popped out. Then they pulled something from the wall that looked like a silver snake that squirted more water. I kept shaking that water off, but they blew hot air on my body with a black gun and dragged something with teeth through my curls. A comb.

FAYO
A comb?

SUZIE
A comb. Then something buzzing, BUZZ. BUZZ. Buzzing like a bee made my hair fall out.

FAYO
A bee!

SUZIE
After, when I got home, the man said I looked beautiful, but I actually felt itchy and tired, and I smelled awful.

FAYO
But he liked you because you were beautiful?

SUZIE
Yes. He did. But then…

FAYO
I know.

SUZIE
He… got… sick.

FAYO
I’m so sorry, SUZIE.

SUZIE
Thanks.

A little silence. FAYO moves about his cage, trying to line up his face with DELPHINE’s silver bowl. DELPHINE, catching on, moves the bowl so FAYO can’t see. A bit of cat and mouse ensues. FAYO settles down.

FAYO
Am I beautiful?

SUZIE
I think you are.

FAYO
Tell me what I look like.

SUZIE
Well, you have pretty patches… and…

DELPHINE
You’re ugly.

SUZIE
DELPHINE!

DELPHINE
He needs to know the truth. Tell him.

FAYO
Yes. I do. Tell me what you see. It’s important.

SUZIE
As I was saying. You have patches of fur here and there. And you have a very beautiful chocolate brown eye.

DELPHINE
Hmmmf. One. Only one.

FAYO
Chocolate brown. And I can see very well with it too. (FAYO straightens up) Go on, SUZIE.

SUZIE
And two of your little teeth hang over your lower lip. And a bit of your pink tongue. So sweet.

DELPHINE
You’re a mutt, a mongrel, a mixed-up, beat-up bucket of half-breeds. You might even have a bit of pig in you. Oink. Oink.

SUZIE
That’s quite enough, DELPHINE. Not everyone can look like you.

DELPHINE
Isn’t that the truth?

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