The opening lines from “Caution” by Julie Saunders:
= = = = = = = = = = =
(A line of Caution Tape separates one half of the stage from another. ONE enters from right. She starts to cross the stage, then is stopped by the tape. Reads the tape curiously, tries to see what’s on the other side.)
(She turns away, setting down a lunch pail. From left, TWO enters, walking very quickly. She stops just short of running into it, steps back confused. She tries to see what’s on the other side. Both ONE and TWO are very ordinary people, perhaps dressed for business. Though I refer to them by female pronouns here, they’re “Gender Indifferent”, and can be played equally well by men or women.)
TWO. Excuse me.
TWO. Do you work over there?
TWO. Over there – what are they doing?
TWO. Well, aren’t they . . . I mean, don’t you work over there?
ONE. Oh. No, I’m just passing through. Do you work over there?
TWO. What, over here? No, I’m just passing through.
ONE. Well then what are you doing over there?
TWO. What are you doing over there?
ONE. There’s a Caution line – “Do not cross.”
TWO. That’s what mine says.
(They approach the line, examine it. Distress.)
TWO. Oh no.
ONE. It’s double-sided.
TWO. This is not good. Not good.
ONE. So then which of us needs the Caution?
TWO. I…I don’t know. Do you think I need it?
ONE. Am I working right now?
TWO. Am I?
(They look around themselves, trying to find some clue, but none are forthcoming.)
ONE. Well, I’m definitely going to need a hard hat.
Read the whole thing
in Out of the Mount,