Welcome To The Conference Community

 

                                                                        By Richard Nathan

 

LIGHTS UP.

 

CATHERINE, an executive sits at her desk and dials a number on her phone.  All the other cast members are either off-stage, or lined up against the wall at the back of the stage.  They are not supposed to be physically present in the scene.  They are just voices on the phone.

 

We hear what Catherine hears on the phone:

 

                                                            RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Welcome to the Conference Community.  Please
                                    enter the number of the conference you wish to
                                    attend, followed by the pound symbol.

 

Catherine pushes the keys on the phone.

 

                                                            RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Thank you.  Please enter your personal pass code
                                    followed by the pound symbol.

 

Catherine pushes the keys.

 

                                                            RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Thank you.  You have been admitted to your
                                    conference.  There are Ė ten Ė members in this
                                    conference, including yourself.

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
Who just joined?

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Itís Catherine.  Sorry Iím late.  I was on another
                                    call.  Have I missed much?

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
We havenít started yet.

 

                                                            DEBORAH
                                   
Weíre waiting for Paul.

 

                                                              ANN
                                    As usual.

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
This is Paul.  Iíve been on this call for ten minutes!

 

                                                            ANN
                                   
Oh.  Paul.  I didn't mean you.  I meant Paul - um....
                                    Harrison.  I hope you didn't think I meant you.

 

                                                            PAUL
                                    Never mind.

 

                                                            JANE
                                    We weren't waiting for Paul.  Weíre waiting for Sam.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Sam couldnít make it.  He said to go on without
                                    him.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
I thought the whole point of this call was to get
                                    Samís input.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Sam couldnít make it.

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
Letís see what we can get done without him.  Whatís
                                    the first issue?

 

(Long pause.)

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Who scheduled the call?

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
I think it was Sam.

 

                                                            DEBORAH
                                   
Iím sorry, whatís this call about?  It popped up on
                                    my calendar, but it didnít say what the call was
                                    about.

 

                                                             JANE
                                   
Itís about the Wentworth Contract.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
I thought this was about the Nelson Contract.
 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Thatís what I thought.  The Nelson Contract.

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
Is that what everyone else thought we were
                                    discussing Ė the Nelson Contract?

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
Yes.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Yes.

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
Yes.

 

                                                            ALAN
                                   
Yes.

 

                                                            ANN
                                   
Yes.

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
I thought we were doing to Feldman deal.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
The Feldman deal is dead.

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
No.  Sam wants us to try again.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Sam was the one who said to kill it.

 

                                                             RACHEL
                                   
He changed his mind.

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
Can we get back to Wentworth Contract?

 

                                                            DEBORAH
                                    
I thought it was the Nelson Contract.

       

                                                             ALAN
                                   
It is the Nelson Contract!!!

 

                                                             ANN
                                   
So we're all agreed.  This call is about the Nelson
                                    Contract.

 

                                                            BILL
                                   
This isn't about the off-site?

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
What off-site?

 

                                                            BILL
                                    I need to check something.  I think I may be
                                    on the wrong call.

 

Bill puts his phone on hold, which causes MUSIC to be played on the conference call.

 

(MUSIC STARTS PLAYING)

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                    What's with the music? 

 

                                                           JANE
                                   
Someone put us on hold!

 

                                                            ANN 
                                    Who put us on hold? 
 

                                                            JANE
                                   
It must have been Bill! 

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
Someone call Bill and tell him not to put us on
                                    hold. 

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
And don't put us on hold when you call Bill to
                                    tell him not to put us on hold.
 

(MUSIC STOPS)

 

                                                            BILL
                                   
Sorry.  I was on the wrong call.  I'll get off.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
So now everyone agrees we're discussing the Nelson
                                    Contract.  What's the first issue?

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
If development goes for a year, and then the project dies,
                                    and Nelson gets it back, does he just reimburse costs,
                                    or does he reimburse costs plus interest?

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Costs plus interest!  We always get interest!

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
No we donít. 

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Well, yes, in reality we donít.  But we always say we do.

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
No, thatís not the new policy.   The new policy is that 
                                   we  always get interest, but we shouldnít say we always 
                                    get interest, because sometimes we donít.

 

                                                            DEBORAH
                                   
Sam said getting interest was an ironclad policy.

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
It is.  But the new policy is that we donít always follow
                                    ironclad policies. 

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
If we donít always follow policy, why canít we not follow 
                                    the policy that says we can never say we always get
                                    interest?

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
Because thatís not the policy.

 

                                                            ANN
                                    The new policy is we need to be flexible.   

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
Except when we don't.

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
I already told Nelsonís representatives that he wouldnít
                                    have to  pay interest.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
We need Samís approval if weíre going to agree Nelson
                                    wonít pay interest.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Sam couldnít make the call.

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
I'll try to get Sam.

 

George puts his phone on hold, which causes MUSIC to be played on the conference call.

 

(MUSIC STARTS PLAYING)

 

                                                            ALAN
                                    Someone put us on hold again!

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
It must have been George! 

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
Someone call George and tell him not to put us on
                                    hold. 

 

                                                            PAUL
                                 
  By the time you do that, he'll be back on.

 

                                                            ANN
                                   
Maybe not.

 

                                                          

(MUSIC STOPS)

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
I'm back.

 

                                                            ALAN
                                    Did you talk to Sam?

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                    No.  He's on a conference call.

   

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Let's go on.  Whatís the next issue?

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
Nelson wants a double bonus if anyone else gets a
                                    deferred payment.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
We never give double bonuses!

 

                                                            PAUL
                                   
We gave them to Nelson on his last deal.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
His last deal nearly bankrupt the company!   It was a
                                    disaster.

 

                                                            ALAN
                                   
But Nelson says his last deal is his precedent and it
                                    establishes heís worth a double bonus.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Heís not worth anything.  Every project weíve had with
                                    Nelson has failed!

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
Sam says we have to close this deal.  He thinks Nelson
                                    can put us back on top.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Why would he think that?

 

                                                            ALAN
                                   
Because Nelson gets double bonuses.  Only 900 pound
                                    gorillas get double bonuses.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
We canít give a double bonus without Samís specific sign-off.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Sam couldnít make this call.

 

                                                            CATHERINE
                                   
Look, Iím sorry.  I have to get off.  I   have another call
                                    at three I need to take.

 

                                                                JANE
                                   
Can everyone continue at 2:30 tomorrow?

 

                                                                CATHERINE
                                   
Send me an e-mail with the time.  I have to get off now.

 

Catherine hangs up and dials another number.

 

                                                                RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Welcome to the Conference Community.  Please enter the
                                     number of the conference you wish to attend, followed by
                                    the pound symbol.

 

Catherine pushes the keys on the phone.

 

                                                                RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Thank you.  Please enter your personal pass code followed
                                    by the pound symbol.

 

Catherine pushes the keys.

 

                                                                RECORDED VOICE
                                   
Thank you.  You have been admitted to your conference. 

                                    There are Ė thirty-two Ė members in this conference, including
                                    yourself.

 

                                                                BILL
                                   
Who just joined?

 

                                                                CATHERINE
                                   
Itís Catherine.  Sorry Iím late.  I was on another call.

 

                                                                GEORGE
                                   
Hi.  This is George.  I was on another call.

 

                                                                JANE
                                   
Hi.  This is Jane.  I was on another call.

 

                                                                DEBORAH
                                   
Hi.  This is Deborah.  I was on another call.

 

                                                                PAUL
                                   
Hi.  This is Paul.  I was on another call.

 

                                                                PHIL
                               
    Hi.  This is Phil.  I was on another call.

 

                                                            ALAN
                                   
Hi.  This is Alan.  I was on another call.

 

                                                            RACHEL
                                   
Hi.  This is Rachel.  I was on another call.

               

                                                            ANN
                                   
Hi.  This is Ann.  I was on another call.

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
Hi.  This is George.  Does anyone know what this call is
                                    about?

 

                                                            JANE
                                   
Who called this meeting?

 

                                                            GEORGE
                                   
Sam.

 

                                                            PHIL
                                   
Sam couldn't make this call.

 

BLACKOUT. 

                             

 

© 2006 by Richard Nathan.  All rights reserved

The author grants all internet uses to print these scripts for their own, personal, non-commercial use.  No other use may be made without the author's permission.  Without limiting the foregoing, the plays may not be staged without the author's express  permission.

Send e-mail to the author at Richard-Nathan@att.net.

 

 

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