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“Man Going Cold”

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Witte, Francine E. (American playwright, poet, teacher, 1952-____), “Man Going Cold,”

a 17-minute comedy in English, set in a New York City apartment, on a hot August afternoon, 1999,

1m1f (+m extra);

  •  © 1999 by Francine E. Witte;  •  script/rights available from Francine Witte, P. O. Box 101, Planetarium Station, New York City, New York  10024,  U.S.A., e-mail Franigirl@aol.com, telephone (home)  212-595-8202.  •  Cited by Francine Witte, via ftp August 1, 1999; Witte says,

  § Dramatis Personae Benita Carbona (f), 35, pretty; Franco Marchesst (m), 39, swarthy, check hair, neck
chains, dressed in a gray moving man outfit; Doug (m, optional), 35, immobile.

  § Synopsis “On a blistering hot New York City afternoon, in Benita Carbona’s un-air-conditioned apartment, Benita has turned her boyfriend, Doug, into a block of ice by—what else?—mentioning marriage. When the play
opens, she is frantic.  She, by herself, is trying to defrost Doug to no avail. She is expecting the super, who will
thaw the poor frozen Doug with a blowtouch. Finally, there is a knock at the door, but instead of the super, in walks a moving man with a hand truck, Franco Marchetti. He works for Fast Freddy DiAntonio, the mob guy who’s been visitin’ with Benita’s downstairs neighbor; Doug has been dripping though the floor. Franco is there to move Doug out. Franco does not want to miss the opportunity for a cool moment on this hot summer day, so he leans against Doug. Benita tells Franco to leave. Franco sizes up the situation immediately and asks Benita why a beautiful woman like her would ask a guy to marry her in the first place. Benita, though charmed at being called beautiful, wants Franco to leave because she wants to melt Doug herself. Franco offers to move Doug to the sidewalk in order to melt him. When Benita continues to resist, Franco is puzzled. She insists that the melting process must occur in her apartment. She is afraid that if Doug melts on the street before she has had a chance to talk to him, he will run away. Franco agrees to leave, still unsure why Benita would want someone who would run. Benita says simply, ‘I love him.’ Franco agrees to leave, but before he does, he gives Benita a card with his phone number. A connection now exists between them; and his compliments, of course, have warmed her. He says that if she ever changes her mind about Doug, she should give him a call.  'Maybe,’ he says. ‘I’ll take you out for a Coca-Cola.’ As he leaves, he adds, ‘But no ice, ah?’

  § Comment “There are no scene changes or special lighting requirements. The play has one scene, a very sparsely-furnished apartment. Benita should dress as if the temperature is very hot and there is no air conditioning. Franco must wear a moving man’s outfit and have a hand truck. The only technical requirement involves Doug, the optional frozen man, who may be portrayed any number of ways—such as having the actor stand still, or using a life-size cardboard cutout. This detail is up to the director. The man must be onstage. If the man is not present, the audience may be lost as to what is going on for half of this very short play.  •  Produced by Love Creek Productions in New York City, 1999, and by The Strawberry One-Act Festival (semi-finalist), at The Riant Theatre, in New York City, July, 1999.”

  § Themes gender struggles, relationships, women's problems.

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