Leaving the Light On
Michael-10 years old
William-4 years old
Amy-Megan’s Best Friend
Ross-Amy's 9 year old son
Tammi-Girl that hits on Ryan
Various people sitting at the bar
The stage is set up to show two scenes. The first half is the inside of a house and the porch right outside the door. Inside the house is a family room where there is a sectional, children’s toys in the corner with some of them on the floor right next to an open toy box, a small entertainment center with a TV. There is a cordless phone on an end table next to the couch and on the wall facing the audience is a large portrait of a family consisting of a mother, father and two boys. Sitting on the couch is a woman and on the floor playing are two boys. On the other side of the stage is a bar with counter and stools. A bartender stands behind it cleaning glasses. Several customers are sitting on the stools around the bar.
Megan is sitting on the couch watching her two sons playing with their toys. You can see through the window of the family room the stars showing that it is night time. The side of the stage with the bar is dark.
Megan: Boys, 10 more minutes to play then it is time for showers and bed.
Boys: (in unison) Okay Mom
Michael: Mom, when is Dad going to be home?
Megan: I don’t know Michael. He probably had to work late again.
Michael: (Looks down disappointed) He always has to work late.
Megan: (sighing) I know honey, but he will probably be home in a little while.
Michael: You always say that and then sometimes he doesn’t come home at all.
Megan: Honey, that’s because he works late and he gets tired while he is driving home so he pulls off to the side of the road to sleep.
Michael: I know I just wish he was home more.
Megan: Okay guys let’s go get you in the shower and to bed.
William: Can I sleep with you tonight Mom?
Megan: We will see if your Dad comes home before you go to bed then no, but if he doesn’t then yes
William: I hope he doesn’t because I like sleeping with you.
Megan: Don’t say that William and you get in my bed half of the time even when your father is home. I wake up in the morning and you are lying right next to me.
William: (with a sheepish look on his face) I know, but I like sleeping with you.
Megan: I know, now clean up your toys so you can go take your shower.
Megan: Michael go take your shower but leave the water on so your brother can get in after you’re done.
Michael walks out of the living room as if he is going to the bathroom and walks off the left hand side of the stage. William continues put a few toys away but then gets distracted and playing with the rest. Megan picks up the phone and begins dialing. The other side of the stage lights up and you see the bar with the bartender and several customers sitting at the stools. Ryan, Megan’s husband walks onto the edge of the set but stops when he hears his phone ringing. He looks down at it to see who it is he picks up.
Megan: Did you end up working late tonight?
Ryan: Yeah we had to work late. I am just leaving now to come home.
Megan: So you are coming home for sure?
Ryan: That is the plan unless I get tired and pull over
Megan: Well hopefully you make it home tonight. I was hoping to have some time for us tonight. I am just getting ready to put the boys to bed.
Ryan: we will see what traffic looks like. If it is as busy as it was last night it may take a couple of hours.
Megan: I don’t know why the traffic has been so bad lately especially since you have been working late and there shouldn’t be that much traffic at 8 o’clock at night
Ryan: You don’t know what it is like to commute you work less than 10 miles from home.
Ryan: I swear everyone live in a 45 minute world. You don’t understand what it is like because you don’t commute.
Ryan: You know sometimes it takes up to 4 hours to get home if the traffic is really bad.
Music from the bar starts playing. It is not really loud but loud enough that Megan can hear it over the phone.
Megan: What’s that noise I hear in the background? Sounds like music
Ryan: I just got in the car and started it. That’s the radio you must hear.
Megan: Oh, ok
Ryan: Well I am going to get on the road I will text you or call you in a bit. Or after you get the boys to bed give me a call back.
Megan: Ok, I will
Ryan: I will talk to you in a bit then. I love you.
Megan: I love you too.
They both hang up the phone. Megan sets the phone down and gets off of the couch. She walks over to where William is still playing with his toys. She starts picking up toys and putting them in the toy box. Ryan puts his phone in his pocket after he turns it off. He walks the rest of the way into the bar and sits at an empty stool. The bartender looks at him reaches for a beer and sets in front of Ryan, then turns around and starts fiddling with something at the bar.
Megan: (Projecting her voice) Michael, are you out of the shower yet?
Michael: (still off stage calls out) Yes Mom and I left the water on for Willy
Megan: Ok, get your pajamas on, get your dog and get in bed.
Michael: Missy is already in my room, on my bed like usual I am getting my jammies on right now.
Megan: Where was she? Was she under my bed again?
Michael: No actually this time she was in my room. I guess she is ready for bed too (Chuckles)
Megan: Ok, I will be in to say good night after I get your brother showered and to bed.
Michael: Ok, Mom
All of the toys are now picked up. Megan picks up William and walks out of the room. That side of the stage dims and the other side lights up. Ryan is still sitting at the bar talking with a couple of the guys. There are about 4 empty beer bottles in front of him and he is holding a fifth. A woman walks up to him.
Tammi: Hi my name is Tammi
Ryan: Hi I am Ryan. How are you doing tonight?
Tammi: I doing great. Do you mind if I sit down next to you?
Ryan: Sure, can I buy you something?
Tammi: Sure thanks, Bud Light
Ryan: (to the bartender) Can I get one Coors light and one bud light over here.
Bartender: Sure thing just a min
A moment later bartender walks over with two beers and collects the empty ones in front of Ryan. He shakes his head a little as he walks away.
Ryan: Sure, no problem
Ryan: You are a pretty lady. How did I get so lucky you’d chose to sit next to me tonight?
Tammi: I walked in thought you were good looking and decided what the hell it is worth a shot.
Ryan: well I am glad you did
The light dims but not before the audience can see that Tammi and Ryan get up from the bar and start dancing to music that has started playing softly. The left side of the stage lights up again showing Megan on the couch reading with the phone next to her.
Megan: (picking up the phone dialing and putting it up to her ear) (out loud says) I hope he answers his phone.
The right side of the stage lights up half way. You see Ryan and Tammi sitting back at the bar holding hands still drinking.
Megan: (out loud) His phone must of died. Well I am tired (She yawns and stretches her arms out) I hope he comes home at some point tonight.
Megan walks over to the door and turns on the light on the porch. She then turns off the family room lights and exits the stage. Next scene you can tell its daytime and Megan is sitting on the couch with coffee in her hand another woman her best friend is sitting not too far from her on the couch also with coffee. William is drawing with crayons and a coloring book on the coffee table. Michael and his friend Ross are sitting on the floor with video game controllers in their hands playing a racing game on the TV.
Megan: Hey boys why don’t you go in Michael room and play video games for a while. I think we are done with video games out here.
Michael: Willy too?
Michael: (With his arms crossed over his chest and a scowl on his face) I don’t want him in my room he always messes it up.
Megan: Just give him one of your controllers without batteries that way he can pretend to play without messing any of your stuff.
The three boys leave the set. Willy gives his Mom a hug before he exits the stage.
Megan: He didn’t come home again last night.
Amy: Why not? What was his excuse this time?
Megan: He said because he worked late he was having trouble staying awake driving home so he stopped to pull over and sleep.
Amy: Isn’t this the excuse he always gives you.
Megan: Yeah or he stays at his parent’s house.
Amy: That’s not fair to you. He is never home and you take care of everything. Did he even say whether or not he is going to watch the boys while you work this Saturday?
Megan: I reminded him and he said he should be able to.
I told him that he could not fall asleep on the side of the road on Friday because I couldn’t afford for him not to be there in the morning when I have to leave for work.
Amy: You think he will be there? It doesn’t seem like he helps you much at all.
Megan: I’m not sure. Can you back me up and watch the boys in case he doesn’t show up.
Amy: Yeah but I have to leave right after you get off of work. I have to work at 7.
Megan: No worries! I just want to make sure that I have a backup plan in case he flakes like last time.
Amy: I know just call me that morning if you need me.
Amy: So how long are you going to keep putting up with this?
Megan: I don’t know. I keep thinking that things will change.
Megan: He has been missing so much stuff with the boys. He even missed Michael’s last karate tournament.
Amy: Was Michael upset?
Megan: Yeah he wants to quit because his dad never get to see him in competitions.
Amy: So are you going to let him drop it?
Megan: His dad won’t let him.
Megan: Do you think I am a good mom. I feel that I am always so busy and I don’t have as much time as I want to do things with them.
Megan: It seems like all I do is work, do my school work and keep up with the house. It would be nice if when he was home he would clean more instead of making messes for me to clean up.
Amy: I’m sorry about the way that he is acting. You don’t deserve that.
Megan: I don’t know what I am going to do Amy. I can’t keep faking it for the boys.
Megan: I still love him but I am tired of his bull shit. One of these days I am not going to leave the porch light on for him at night. Maybe then he will get his shit together
Amy: I hope so if that’s what you want.
Megan: well if it happens again I’m done.
Amy: Well let me know if you need anything.
Megan: Let’s go see what the boys are doing.
They both get up and exit the stage you can hear sounds of laughter from the kids and the sounds of video games.
The scene is changed again to reflect the night time and the bar scene is back but only dimly lit. Ryan is sitting at the bar again and a busty brunette is sitting next to him. The left side of the stage is lit and Megan is sitting on the couch with her computer on her lap and phone next to her.
Megan: (out loud) I don’t know why he won’t answer his phone.
She picks up the phone again to dial. Ryan looks at his phone and ignores it. He gives the brunette a kiss, whispers something in her ear. She giggles; they get up hand in hand and walk out of the bar. Right before they go off stage Ryan swats her on the butt. He looks back at the bartender and grins. The bartender shakes his head in disgust.
Megan: (out loud) I am so sick of his crap. I can’t take this anymore.
Megan (out loud) I just want to be happy. I don’t believe he is working late or sleeping on the side of the road. The boys will be ok. I have to make myself happy for once.
Megan gets off of the couch puts her book on the coffee table. She opens the door and peaks outside. She looks up at the porch light for a moment it is still illuminated. She shuts the door and begins to walk off stage. She stops, turns around and walks back to the door. She reaches for the light switch and turns off the light. She turns towards the audience and you can see that she has tears on her face. She turns and walks off stage. Whole stage dims almost all of the way. End of play.