"Poker Night"

The stage has a simple divider down the center, ideally a set
of stairs (to be used as an exit to backstage)as the divider. People could pass behind and in front of the
divider. . One side a pool table and bean bag
chair, the other a futon, 2 round chairs, and 2bean bag chairs. All furniture is moveable.

Character sketch:
Dante- narrator/lead, sex driven, 'involved' with Haile. Sardonic, very attractive, intelligent, well-dressed.
Haile- narrator/lead, sex driven, 'involved' with Dante. Sort of self-centered, well-dressed, determined, very pretty,
Rob- more wholesome, stereotypical teenager, devastatingly good looking, sort of shy, conceited,
a little whiny. Likes Jane.
Jane- Cute, fun, humble, sunshine optimist though she says 'realist' likes Rob
Nate- likes Jane, sweet in front of her, jackass to Rob, who is a jackass right back to him. Very funny, in a stand-up comic way.
Joey- Kevin, funny, in an extremely crazy way. Mostly physical comedy. Acts dumber than really is.
Erik- see Joey

Scene 1

Lights up, Haile stands on an empty stage right in a bath of light ending at center divider, looks around boredly, enter Jane, stage right, crosses to Haile.

Jane: Haile! Very excited, grabs Haile's arm

Haile: Hm? Hey Jane! They hug

Jane: Last night. After we called you. We went back to Dante's.

Haile: Where were you? I could hardly hear you when you called.

Jane: The zoo, anyways, after that-

Haile: Why were you at the ZOO?

Jane: Faculty picnic, Rob works there, remember?

Haile: oh yeah.

Jane: So afterwards we went back to Dante's!

Haile: Who?

Jane: Erik, Rob, Dante, Nate, Joey and I

Haile: ok.

Jane: speaking more and more quickly as she goesAnyway, Joey and them, they all left to go pick up Erik and they told Rob and me to stay there. And I thought that was weird you know? I mean, why would they leave us at Dante's? Considering Dante went with them especially. I mean how often do you just leave people at your house? You know, just sitting there, by themselves, how odd is that? But I wasn't about to complain. Even if it was weird I wasn't going to-

Haile: Jane?

Jane: Yeah?

Haile: Breathe.

Jane: inhales. Ok. So they left us alone. And we were watching Dracula. And he apologized!

Haile: ...for what?

Jane: sighs For how he treated me, in fall. When I told him I liked him!

Haile: Oh. That. A little late isn't it?

Jane: No! He apologized. How sweet is that? Anyway, and then we were alone...

Haile: Oooh Did you kiss?

Jane: No! But he kept scooting closer to me. I couldn't tell if he was about to make a move.

Haile: Did he?

Jane: No. The boys came back. But still!

Haile: So he didn't touch you?

Jane: No. But...

Haile: He apologized. Did he say he likes you?

Jane: No.

Haile: But he still probably does. Right?

Jane: Maybe.

Haile: Maybe? Just admit it. You know he does. He always has.

Jane: No. He would have said it.

Haile: Since when?

Jane: Since always.

Lights down, spotlight on Haile

Haile: aside At this point. I just let her believe what she wants. It's been more than a year since she fell for Rob and his gorgeous blue eyes and golden hair. And his perfect abs. Since then, she's always told me about him. And about her other friends. The boys. I know them. I guess. I know of them, I've seen them around. I've never exactly been a part of it though, they never invited me. Until last night. But I couldn't go. I don't know if I really mind it this way. I guess I'm used to hearing the stories and never being there. Lately I haven't heard too much though. Until now. Did he have to apologize? It's low of me, but frankly. I don't want to hear it anymore.

SCENE 2

Rob: I wish Jane were here.

Dante: ...why?

Rob: She's hot.

Dante: So, you like her?

Rob: Yeah, I guess so. I apologized the other night, for what happened in fall, when I ignored her for that mormon girl.

Dante: Why do you like her?

Rob: The mormon girl, I don't, but she was really hot.

Dante: No. Rob, Why do you like Jane?

Rob: oh, she's hot too.

Dante: She's funny isn't she? Tying to provoke/push him into actual meaningful answer.

Rob: yeah...I guess so. And she's interesting. When she talks, its like, stuff I don't usually get makes actual sense.

Dante: Like what?

Rob: I don't know...I just like the way she talks, the sound of her voice, you know?

Dante: uh-huh...aside Rob and Jane. He acts like its all about her body, then he goes and says something that almost sounds like genuine interest. Lately that's been all any of us has heard, the second she leaves the room he starts on how hot she is and how he blew it last fall, when he treated her like shit, really, we all know she'd do anything for him. I just can't find it in me to actually tell him. Let him find a girl when I don't even have an interest? I'd rather off myself. Besides, if he ever got with her, all I'd ever hear about was what a good kisser she is, and she's my friend, but I don't really give a damn.

SCENE 3

boys in the basement, boys only poker night. A deck of cards and some poker chips sit on a side table, but the boys are on the futon and chairs, ignoring them.

Nate- I rented Kill Bill Volume one, and Anchorman, which do you want to watch?

Everyone- adlib, no one agreeing on either movie

Dante- Fuck it, what's on TV?

Rob- turns on ESPN. The spelling bee national championship.

Joey- Hell yeah, you spell that word! Modicum, Moad, I cum!

Dante- it means a small amount, a handful, you idiot

Erik- hunched over dante's laptop, typing furiously ok, we've got barely legal blondes, or sex IN the city.

Dante- I'd like some sex in a city.

Rob- Jane and her friend, Haile, they love that show, sex and the city.

Erik- I bet they do. Haile's hot.

Nate- Haile, she's one of those can't read them girls. Hot, but you can't make a move because you can't tell how she'll react. I hate it. But I love it.

Joey- What I wouldn't give to see those two having some sex in the city, in the park, in this basement, wherever.

Rob- definitely.

Nate- We've got to get more than two girls to hang out with us, this is ridiculous.

Dante- Next week, lets invite them to poker night

Joey- The Girls aren't going to play poker with us man,

Dante- We don't play poker man.

Everyone looks at the card deck, black out

Spotlight on Dante, stage left: We'd been having poker night at my house every Saturday for over a year. Really we just hung out, watched movies, made sex jokes, played pool, talked about the girls we wanted to fuck. Once Nates mom called, she thought we were drinking or something I guess, so he told her we play poker. She started sending him with his dads poker set. And the name was born. Poker Night. And now the girls were coming. I was pretty excited, but I couldn't put my finger on why just then.

SCENE 4

Haile and Jane stand stage right, Jane is dressed to go out, Haile is in lounging clothes

Haile: No! Jane, I can't! They don't know me, they don't like me! You go, you go every week. It'll be fine!

Jane: Please Haile?! I really need you.

Haile: What for?

Jane: You have to tell me if Rob likes me.

Haile: He does.

Jane: No! You have to come see and tell me. I promise it'll be fun.

Haile: sighs give me 20 minutes then we can go.

Fadeout

SCENE 5

Dantes basement door opens. Haile and Jane walk in center down staircase divider. Rob, Nate, Joey and Erik are in the basement. Dante is nowhere to be found.

Jane: Hi Rob, Nate.

Haile: Hi.

Rob and Jane greet, hug. Go off into corner, flirting shyly. Haile sits down on her own.

Nate: So Haile...half glancing at Rob and Jane enviously. Then at Hailes chest. you and Brett? Obvious disgust

Haile: Not for a few months now, I was bored with the current boyfriend, he was around, you know.

Joey: Yeah, that's a great reason. Sarcasm

Haile: He's a good kisser and I'm...

Joey: Easy?

Haile: I don't know...maybe. slight sarcasm

Dante enters center.

Dante: Jane, when'd you get here? Seeing haile. ...Haile when the hell did you get here? Surprised

Haile: hops up and walks over, Hi Dante. Jane brought me.

Dante: Yeah, god...its been forever.

Haile: Not that we spoke in the first place. I haven't even seen you around though.

Dante: Oh, I stopped acting at Beck. Weren't we in a show together though...Dracula?

Haile: No, Beatrix Potter?

Dante: No, I quit that...Hobbit?

Haile: I didn't get in. Great Expectations!

Dante: Oh yeah!

Haile: I win.

Dante: innuendo You do.

Haile: catching on What do I win?

Dante: What do you want?

Haile: Looks him over. What'll you give me?

Dante: Anything.

Haile: can't keep it up, laughs.

Fade to Rob and Jane sitting together not touching.

Rob: Your hair looks really nice...

Jane: thanks...you look really nice in general.

Rob: ...thanks. Pause So-

Nate: sits on Janes other side. Hi Jane, Rob.

Rob: glaring. ... Hi.

Jane: oblivious. Hi Nate, whats up?

Nate: puts arm around Jane Nothing, this is pretty boring. I was at the best party last night, I was so drunk, I'll have to bring you partying with me sometime, next week maybe?

Jane: interested but hesitant ...maybe

Rob: I thought you said you'd come out with me next week?

Jane: Oh, yeah. Well. Its summer, we'll all have time, I'm sure.

Boys glare at each other.

Rob: Nate, come get a soda with me.

Nate: ...yeah ok.

Cross to other side of divider, pool room set up with pool table, bar stools, and microfridge.

Rob: What the hell are you doing you bastard!

Nate: What? I'm talking to you and Jane.

Rob: The hell you are, leave us alone, I was about to make a move.

Nate: When, after you asked permission to touch her? Come on.

Rob: I like her!

Nate: So?

Rob: So leave her alone you fucking idiot.

Nate: If you like her, fucking make a move, until then, she's free game. I'm allowed to talk to her.

Rob: But I'm trying to make a move!

Nate: No you're not. You haven't made anything that even remotely resembles a move on Jane. I'm friends with her, I like her, whatever, you whine so damn much, just because you're hot, rich, and drive a mustang does not give you right to bitch about everything.

Rob:fuck you! Storms out.

Jane: Rob? What happened.

Nate: I don't know, he got mad at me. I'm sure it'll be fine. Touches her arm comfortingly.

Jane: I guess I better go...Haile?

Light fades in on Haile and Dante, getting to...know each other. He has his arm around her, they're obviously flirting.

Haile: upset at being interupted. Yes?

Jane: Lets go. It's getting late.

Haile: yeah...ok. To dante see you then?

Dante: yeah...

They get off each other, with minor difficulty and Haile and Jane exit center, Jane practically dragging haile. Fade to black

SCENE 6

Haile: aside lights up on stage light, with Haile in a spotlight Ok, So someone tell me when Dante grew up? Last time I saw him he was like thirteen...and we never spoke, like even once. And now all the sudden he's hot, I'm at his house, and he's got his arm around me. Huh. Anyway, so we're both unattached and bored, so he has this idea, well, it's partly mine. We decided Rob and Jane shouldn't be allowed all the fun and entertainment, so we're going to make poker night more fun, we even have two back up plans...fadeout

Dante: aside lights up stage left with dante in a spotlight Alright, so I'm going to suggest we watch a movie, because we usually do, which gives us an excuse to have the lights out, and then if they insist on turning them on or something, I'm going to have two of the beanbag chairs on the other side of the room, by the pool table, and I'll offer to teach Haile to play pool and we can go over there. And if that still doesn't work, I'll get pissed over something, because I'm sure either Rob or Nate will have done something stupid by then and I'll go upstairs and she can follow me. Fade to black, spotlight on Haile, stage right.

Haile: aside its just idle amusement. Something to do because our friends are all falling all over each other. Though. He is really very easy to talk to. Spotlight on Dante, stage left so there are now two spots one on each of them, and no other light.,

Dante: aside She's pretty.

Haile: He's hot. And this plan, I mean, I thought up the initial idea of messing around as an innuendo, a joke! ... I didn't think he'd actually go for it, but it's really cool.

Dante: How many girls suggest messing around, with no strings attached? Of course I said sure, and the plan, that's just to make sure nothing goes too wrong.

Both: I'm a fucking god!

SCENE 7

phone rings, Jane answers Haile stands stage left, Jane stage right, on opposite sides of the divider, lights up, both have phones in their hands.

Jane: Hello?

Haile: Jane! I have the BEST Idea.

Jane: for what?

Haile: Well...it's actually Dante and my idea for ourselves...but I thought maybe it'd be the perfect opportunity for you to finally make a move on Rob.

Jane: Wait...you and Dante?

Haile: You'll see, just listen...

Fadeout.

SCENE 8

Fade in on Poker night, Dante and Haile sprawled on two bean bag chairs, already all over each other. Rob and Jane on the futon, looking nervous.

Dante: Who wants to want watch pulp fiction?

Haile: casually me.

Jane and Rob: Me! Overly excited

Dante: Erik, turn off the lights?

Erik- I can't,

Dante- Why not?

Joey- We're having saltines.

Dante- And?

Erik- You know man, I don't like the ones with too much salt. I have to be able to see them to determine how salty they are.

Dante- Just turn the lights off.

Joey- Seriously, this saltine thing is important, we're going to try that eating 6 in under a minute thing.

Erik- They say it's impossible

Dante- That's ridiculous

Joey- No! Seriously, it's because of the salt absorbing the water in your mouth, then you can't swallow.

Erik- So we need the lights on, to find the least salty ones! Fade to black

Dante: aside. lights out on stage, a spotlight on Dante and Haile who is up against him, anyone else in light freezes. The lights were still on. It was 9:30. And plan one was out the window. And was it just me...or was Hailes tank top, totally sheer?

Haile: aside dante freezes, Erik had to have to lights on...of course. And Jane was obviously nervous, and she was making me nervous. I hadn't bothered to tell her about plan 2 or 3 either...

SCENE 9

everyone is watching pulp fiction...with the lights ON.

Dante: I feel like playing pool, someone play with me.

Joey: I will!

Dante: Nah...looks around Haile, want to learn?

Haile: Yeah, alright. Shrugs calmly

They wonder over to the other side, Dante grabs pool cues, uncovers pool table, and sets it all in the corner, before grabbing haile and pulling her onto bean bag chair. Everyone else is still watching Pulp Fiction on the other side. Erik nudges Joey, nods to pool table. They stand and come over and somehow miss Dante and Haile kissing

Joey: We want to play pool.

Dante- I'm about to teach Haile, I was just explaining the fine points of the game.

Joey- We'll help, you're shit at pool anyway.

Dante- I beat you four times last week.

Erik- Yeah, and then you lost to me twice.

Dante- What happened to the saltines?

Joey- We ate them all.

Haile- Was your attempt successful?

Erik- Nah, my mouth kept drying out, and I had to spit them out. To dante sorry about your carpet man.

Dante- There's another box upstairs. Go try again.

Joey- No way, my stomach kills. And I want to play pool. We'll play in teams, us, verses you two.

Dante- Not fair, Hailes just learning.

Joey- Well, mr-I-beat-you-four-times, wheres your confidence? Fine, I'll take haile, and you can have Erik.

Dante- exasperated fuck. Fine. But I'm breaking.

Haile: aside. spotlight on haile, everyone else freezes did they really HAVE to play pool? When Dante came up with back up plans, I really didn't think we'd need them. I didn't see how on earth we'd need three plans. Yeah, I forgot who we were dealing with. Spotlight off haile

Dante: aside. spotlight on dante, everyone else freezes, And plan two was now fucked as well. So plan three then. Nods Plan. Three. Fade out

SCENE 10

Fade in on Joey, Erik, Dante, and Haile playing pool Joey and Haile are OWNING Dante and Erik. And gloating about it.

Haile: Sinking a ball. This is pretty fun. What next Joey?

Joey: All that's left is the 8 ball, go for that one, goes closer to her, whispers, bottom left pocket.

Haile: nods, lines up shot gets ready to shooot, and is interrupted by screaming from nate and rob on the other side of the divider, sound of a bottle breaking. Everyone freezes, Dante and Haile make eye contact. He smiles, she nods.

Dante: faux-angry what the FUCK?! Crosses the divider into the dark. Joey erik and hail wait, listen. You fucking idiots! Storms by, upstairs, catches hailes eye on way, she smiles.

Jane: Dante! Where are you going?

Haile: sighs I'll go find him. Starts up stairs

Joey: Nah, I know how he is when he's mad, we'll go too. He and Erik and Nate start up stairs behind her.

Haile: stops. Um no, you can't

Erik: why not?

Haile: um...I'll be fine?

Joey: no really, it's cool, I know how to calm him down.

Haile: no, you really can't come.

Joey: why not?

Haile: Just don't.

Joey: Dante's my best friend, trust me, he won't calm down if I'm not there.

Haile: Just let me go alone

Joey: But why?

Haile: um. You can't leave Rob and Jane alone.

Jane: comes over to stairs. What?

Erik: Yeah. What?

Haile: They're planning on messing around the second they get alone.

Jane: HAILE! Storms over to Haile

Joey and Erik: fuck! Disgusted

Nate: turns on rob angrily, looks like fight will ensue

Haile: quietly, to Jane Our plan, our rules. Runs up stairs.

Spotlight up stage right on Haile

Haile: aside. Did I really just sell out my absolute best friend and possibly ruin what she might have going with a guy she's liked for months –years- just so I could go mess around with someone I only met a week ago? I'm at the point when your plans start to fall apart and no matter how inconsequential the final result really is, you're determined for it to happen, if only because you've been trying so hard and refuse to just admit defeat now. So honestly, I don't feel bad at all.

SCENE 11

Fade out, fade in on stage left, pool table and furniture removed replaced by two wicker chairs and some sort of door/window, giving the look of a sun-porch, Dante stands near center of 'room' Haile enters through door...

Haile: smiling Hello lover.

Dante: steps toward her That took a while.

Haile: I sold out Jane and Rob slips hand under his shirt with evil smile I think Nate and Rob are going to fight.

Dante: You wanna fight too? Innuendo

Haile: Oh, I'll take you anytime doll.

They kiss, door opens, Haile and Dante pull apart, look at door, masking guilt, though not very well. Enter Joey center stage through door.

Joey: I thought you'd be out here man. oblivious

Dante: Hey. Obviously hoping he'll leave. Now.

Joey: You're alright?

Dante: writing him off, yeah, I'm totally fine.

Joey: good, 'cause, uh, Rob and Nate are really fighting down there, I'm a pacifist, I can't watch, can I hang out up here with you?

Haile: um. Can you go make sure they don't kill each other?

Dante: I don't want them breaking anything in my house.

Joey: Erik's down there, I won't be able to break it up anyway,

Haile: observing Joey's not small size. Um. Why not?

Joey: I couldn't hit them. One of the rules of being a pacifist is that you don't hurt anyone else.

Haile and Dante give one another oh-dear-god looks.

Dante: Actually, we all better go down there, make sure they don't break a lamp or something.

Joey: I won't have to watch? Scared

Dante: Nah, I'll break it up, you can stand in the stairwell until they stop.

Joey: sigh of relief Thanks man.

All exit, Dante and Haile looking defeated

fade out

SCENE 12

lights up on Haile, stage right, spotlight

Haile: aside. So there goes plan three. At this point I want to rip my hair out. Everyone is just fucking ruining everything. And now, not only have we not had enough time to really kiss, I've also sold out Rob and Jane. A crime viewed as punishable by death, I'm sure. So they're fuming at me. Erik, Joey, and Nate all know about Rob and Jane. They aren't happy. And I'm starting to think tonight is waste of a perfectly good sheer tank top, because God knows I don't wear the same thing in front of those boys twice. Things just aren't coming together as planned. shakes head fade out

Dante: fade in, spotlight on him GODDAMNIT! walks out before lights can fade out. Lights fade out.

SCENE 13

stage is dark for a moment, then a loud crash, like something hitting a wall and a lot of screaming, lights up-stage left, Nate and Rob standing near one another, obviously have just been fighting, Nate's nose is bleeding, he's obviously lost and is holding his fist, there is a hole in the wall (the divider) and Joey stands in the stairwell, semi-cowering. Nate has just punched wall.

Dante: irate what the fuck Nate?!

Nate: AH! Swings with other arm at Rob, is obviously in pain, Rob hits him swiftly, Nate stumbles.

Dante is examining whole in wall, seriously mad

Dante: Get the fuck out of my house Nate!

Nate: Fine. Looks at Rob, who is looking smug. Fuck off you cock sucking bastard.

Dante: GO!

Nate walks off quickly, angrily, moments later a cars screeching tires can be heard.

Jane: breaking silence Oh god Rob, are you alright, steps forward and touches his face,

Rob: Yeah, I'm fine. You missed it Dante, I kicked his ass

Erik: He totally did.

Dante: He fucking put a hole in my wall! furious

Erik: Here, picks up framed poster of kittens hang this over it. No one will ever know the difference.

Dante takes poster, hangs it over hole, which is completely hidden. Everyone looks at it and dante half shrugs like it'll work.

Joey: comes out of stairwell Do you think we should have gotten Nate medical attention? His face was pretty fucked up.

Dante: Maybe.

Jane: I hope he's ok.

Rob: You know, my neck sort of hurts, he hit my pretty hard.

Jane: Oh you poor sweet thing... they sit down, she begins rubbing his neck/back within moments they're kissing innocently.

Joey: looks at them That's sickening.

Erik: Definitely they wander over to the pool table

lights go down, but not off, a dim spotlight comes up on Dante and Haile standing together at the foot of the stairs/divider

Haile: At least they got what they wanted.

Dante: They're so sickeningly cute and happy and... haile and dante look at one another

Haile: Perfect for one another.

Dante: Completely perfect. They make me sick.

Haile: Really?

Dante: Well. Sometimes. Ever think you might want that? They look at the happy couple, now cuddling sweetly and stroking one another's hair. Rob kisses Jane's cheek and she blushes.

Haile: Human nature. Everyone does. Slightly repulsed by this fact.

Dante: Not a bad concept if you do it right. Obvious implication that Rob and Jane do not do it right.

Haile: I could never do it the way they do.

Dante: fuck 're too good.

Haile: Too unexciting. Too Mundane. However, that works for mundane people I suppose.

Dante: It's just not our style, if we dated, it'd be wilder. More passionate.

Haile: There would be drama

Dante: Of course. And chemistry, and fights too.

Haile: We'd fight constantly. But it would be overwhelming, one of those torrid grand love affairs.

Dante: They say selfish people are capable of terrible loves. They pause and look at one another for a moment. Like what if..

Haile: They do...

Dante: so... Bluntly You wanna go upstairs and fool around?

Haile: Shrugs. Ok. He grabs her hand and they run upstairs laughing.

Fade out

SCENE 13

Erik sits on a bar stool typing on a laptop, bent over, surveying it closely on stage left, Joey shoots pool near by

Joey: Rob and Jane I give two weeks.

Erik: Oh obviously. A relationship founded merely on months of idolization and romantic ideals? They're too caught up in wanting to be a stereotypical happy couple. It'll kill them.

Joey: And the others?

Erik: They don't seem to realize it yet do they?

Joey: there will be a lot of tumult.

Erik: I can't imagine Dante could have a relationship without it though.

Joey: They're more obsessed with each other than they are with themselves. It won't be healthy. But they'll be happy.

Erik: long pause Joey, come here, look! Two chicks making out! Joey runs over, they stare at screen, eyes wide, faces close to the computer.

Fade out.