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Wiebe, Joe (Canadian playwright, writer, 1970-____), “Chance,”

a 60-minute suspense comedy, in English, set in a ‘funky’ apartment and other locations, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, 1999,


  •  © 1999 by Joe Wiebe;  •  script/rights available from Joe Wiebe, 2-1620 Belmont Avenue, Victoria, British Columbia V8R 3Y7, Canada, U.S.A., e-mail bigfoot@coastnet.com, telephone (home) 250-592-7379.  •  Cited by Joe Wiebe, via ftp October 13, 1999; Wiebe says,

  § Dramatis Personae Harrison Chance (m), 27, poet, playwright, and part-time paranoiac. Miranada Gooden (f), 28, Chance’s girlfriend, a financial advisor; Anne (f), their friend, a card and stationery store clerk; Bill (m), 30's, Anne's new boyfriend, a used car salesman.

  § Synopsis “Harrison Chance, a young poet/philosopher, is shocked to learn that a cross-country con artist who
shares his name has arrived in Victoria.  Dubbed the ‘Broken Heart Bandit’ by the media, the con man preys on women by marrying them within weeks of meeting them and then disappearing with their valuables. That same evening, Chance and his girlfriend Miranda are hosting a dinner party for their friend Anne and her new boyfriend Bill, a used car salesman who has only recently moved to Victoria. Anne arrives before Bill, and soon reveals that she and Bill have decided to marry the very next day. Miranda disapproves of the wedding, believing they are moving much too quickly. When Bill arrives, Chance immediately becomes suspicious. Bill exacerbates his suspicions by telling Chance about how his enjoyment in conning people. Or, is he just talking about selling used cars? Eventually, after Bill tells the group a captivating story about what led him to move to Victoria and ultimately meet Anne, the group settles down to dinner. After dinner in the post-dinner, martini-fueled discussion, Miranda confronts Anne about the wedding plans. A call interrupts them; it is from an R.C.M.P. officer who wants to speak to Chance the next day. Chance, agitated, accuses Bill of being the con man, which Bill implicitly denies. Before anyone can object, Bill finds an excuse to leave the apartment. In his absence, Chance’s suspicions increase, and even Anne admits to suspicions. Anne and Miranda decide to look for Bill. While the women are gone, Bill slips back into the apartment. There, he confronts Chance, tells him that he is, indeed, the con man and implies needing to do something to Chance in order to keep him quiet. But the women return before he can act, and Chance tells what Bill has said. Anne claims to be his partner in crime, but soon her façade cracks, and she breaks into paroxysms of laughter, admitting the ‘sinister con man routine’ was just a practical joke and the phone call from the R.C.M.P. was actually made by a friend of theirs. Chance and Miranda, still confused, are somewhat relieved. Nonetheless, Anne and Bill will indeed marry the very next day. Chance and Miranda promise to attend the ceremony, and Anne and Bill depart. Bill after a moment reenters for one final provocative conversation with Chance. Chance receives another phone call—this time a real one—from an R.C.M.P. Detective wishing to speak with him the next day.

  § Comment “Mostly one set, with some short introductory scenes in other locations (no other set would be required). ‘Chance’ was dramaturged with the assistance of Intrepid Theatre, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, and Playwrights’ Theatre Centre in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. It was included in Playwrights’ Theatre Centre’s New Play Festival, May, 1999 as a staged reading.”

  § Themes con artistry, friendship, hip, paranoia, R.C.M.P. (Royal Canadian Mounted Police), suspense, trick, urban, Victoria, young.

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