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“On The House”

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Lockney, Robert E. (American playwright, 1922-____), “On The House,”

a 45-minute comedy in American English, set in a seedy roadhouse bar, on Highway 99 just outside of Modesto, California, U.S.A., on a slow night, 1939,


  •  © 1999 by Robert E. Lockney;  •  script/rights available from Robert E. Lockney, 577 29th Street, Manhattan Beach, California 90266, U.S.A., e-mail rlock@GTE.net, telephone (home) 310-545-7775.  •  Cited by Robert E. Lockney, via ftp September 22, 1999; Lockney says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Sam (m), 45, bartender with a heart of lead; Harriet (f), mature, chain smoker, whisky
baritone; Grover (m), 25, virgin; Al (m), 65, nasty, kicks dogs.

  §  Synopsis “On a slow night in a roadhouse on highway 99 just outside of Modesto, Sam, the bartender and owner, reads a newspaper while Harriet, the resident hooker, complains about her upset stomach. Into this friendly environment come Al and Grover for a night on the town. Al’s mission in life is to see that Grover gets his first lesson in love. Al sees women as things to be exploited. However, the deal first has to be negotiated.
Al negotiates despite Grover’s complaints. Grover then objects because he does not accept Harriet as a housewife. She gets mad, starts to cry, and drags him off to an unseen area where one can image wild erotic activities.  When Grover returns, tightening his belt, he is a changed man, and his attitude about women has taken a 180º turn. After Al and Grover leave, Harriet returns and confesses that no business was conducted as she threw up all over the bed.

  §  Comment “One set, one scene, no costume changes.”

  §  Themes 1939, barroom, bartending, Great Depression (America, 1929), Highway 99, Modesto, negotiation, prostitution, women’s rights, male-female relationship, male perspective, roadhouse, sexual initiation, upset stomach,

See also Robert E. Lockney’s
  • "The Capture and Arrest of Winnie Borden Vole," a 45-minute crazed farce in American English, set somewhere in Los Angeles, California, U.S.A., on a weekday afternoon, October 11, 1991, 2m2f
  • "French Fry," a 60-minute farce in English, set in Paris, 9:00 a.m., April, 1900, 2m2f
  • "Southern Discomfort," a 45-minute comedy in American English, set in a hotel room, Hollywood, California, U.S.A., 10:00 a.m., 1989, 1m1f

This Website continues under construction and welcomes new citations and comments.

Page mounted November 29, 1999, and updated March 11, 25, 2004, by the site Webmaster.

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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),

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