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“Asked and Answered”

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McMahon, Bill John (American playwright, 1955-____), “Asked and Answered,”

a 15-minute dark comedy in English, set in the Oak Room, of the Plaza Hotel, New York City, New York, U.S.A., evening, 1999,


  •  © 1999 by Bill McMahon;  •  script/rights available from BillMcMahon, 28-41 42nd Street, #2, Astoria, New York 11103, U.S.A., telephone (home) 718-545-6515; (weekdays) 212-756-5069, e-mail bmcmahon@lf.com.  •  Cited by Bill McMahon via ftp May 21, 2001; McMahon says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Alison (f), 32, attractive, secretive; Mark (m), 33, attractive, professional looking, perhaps a bit too sleek; Jen (f), 32, stunningly beautiful but hardened.

  §  Synopsis “Alison and Mark meet at the Oak Bar at the Plaza Hotel through a cryptic personal ad. Alison, married, apparently is searching for sexual adventure of some sort but nevertheless is holding back from Mark, who increasingly is piqued by what he perceives as game playing. A self-professed cad, he has little patience for being kept on the fence. He has also been aware of a particularly attractive woman in a blue dress at the other end of the room. He and Alison verbally thrust and parry, apparently their kind of cerebral foreplay. Finally, Alison gives Mark the key to her hotel room upstairs, issuing explicit instructions on how he should wait for her. He leaves, and Jen, the woman in the blue dress, enters, looking every inch the male fantasy. She and Alison have prearranged this encounter, and it is Jen who will go up to the room and confront Mark. Jen has been doing paid escort work as a secret revenge against her husband, who she recently discovered had been sexually abusing her underage niece. Since she has brought a supply of ‘accessories,’ it seems Mark is about to get much more than he bargained for.

  §  Comment “One scene, easily produced, requiring only two chairs and a small bistro table along with cocktail glasses.  •  Produced twice in New York City, once at Expanded Arts, once at Raw Space. Finalist for the Ensemble Studio Theatre Marathon of One-Act Plays, 1998. Honorable Mention, Attic Theatre Ensemble’s One-Act Marathon, 1999.”

  §  Themes battle of the sexes, cad, conspiracy, first encounter, foreplay, hotel bar, key, male fantasy, personal ad, Plaza Hotel, sexual game, sexual paraphernalia, woman on top.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays, Vols. 1 and 2

  (Lanham, Maryland, U.S.A.; Folkestone, Kent, U.K.: Scarecrow Press, 1995, 1999),

vol. 1 [1995] ISBN 0-8108-2985-1, vol. 2 [1999] ISBN 0-8108-3600-9

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