Wait. Here. Now. (Drama, Supernatural)
GENRE: Drama, Supernatural/Existential
TONE: reakfast Club meets Waiting for Godot
THEME: It’s never too late for love. It’s also never too late for redemption and finding your humanity.
This script takes place in one location, has a limited cast, and was an ISA
AWARDS: ISA FastTrack, Semi-Finalist in 2015.
LOGLINE: Five surgery patients whose procedures have gone awry find themselves in a surreal waiting room where they must collectively decide which one of them will go through the 'double doors' to death. A divorced, romantic man (50) reunites with his college sweetheart and must ultimately decide her fate and his own.
SYNOPSIS: Five hospital patients whose surgeries have gone awry find themselves in a surreal waiting room and must collectively decide which one of them will go through the 'double doors' to death. This existential, fate vs. freewill romp centers on a newly divorced, middle-aged man who reunites with his college sweetheart and must decide her fate and his own.
Two identical, 'mirrored' hospital waiting rooms set the stage for this ensemble drama as the five surgery patients in the 'surreal' waiting room and their loved ones in the 'real' waiting room connect, reflect, and wrestle with their mortality and their previous mistakes.
At the center of this story is HAL STONE (50) who has opted to celebrate his new divorce with a vasectomy. While waiting for anesthesia outside the operating room, he runs into his college sweetheart and one great love, Abby Glockenkopf (48) who's waiting for surgery for breast cancer. A spark still exists between them. He's suddenly single and she's in an unhappy marriage with an unfaithful husband. Their reunion ignites the hope that they'll get a second chance to be together.
The primary antagonist (other than Death itself) is MARIO STROZZI, a philandering, lying, and gluttonous man whose wife, ROCHELLE races him to the hospital in the middle of a heart attack. In the throes of chest pains, he tries to sneak a text to his mistress. Rochelle throws the phone out the window, which sums up their marriage. Mario is the logical choice for the Double Doors, but can only go through them by choice. This is a game of freewill and he's not flinching. His heartlessness and dark humor is revealed in his interactions with the others, then finally crescendoes when he admits that got a vasectomy years ago without his wife knowing about it because he never wanted children, even though she did. He caused her a lifetime of sadness and only told her about it after it was too late and she could not longer get pregnant.
The other two patients, BYRON (26) and Maddie (24), a brother/sister duo share a dark secret between them. She's donating a kidney to him after he destroyed both of his during a drug spree and nearly fatal over-dose with drugs that she provided for him. Their mother, JO (46) has a big chip on her shoulders and a clear favoritism for Byron. Her challenge is to reclaim her life and the heart of her family, without defining herself by her children. Byron and Maddie must come out of denial and confront their entitlement and problems with substance abuse.
In the 'real' waiting room on the flip side of life is Abby's mother, DOROTHY (70) and Abby's two young daughters, CASEY (8) and SOFIE (5) who form an unshakeable bond with Hal's colorful and kindhearted gay brother, KENNY (48). They support each other when they discover the complications of the respective surgeries and join forces to combat Abby's cold-hearted husband, ARNIE (55) when he shows up and threatens to take the girls away if Abby dies.
The hospital attendant in both waiting rooms is GABRIEL (45) an African American male with a booming-voice and a tender heart. He's got a quirky sense of humor, a no-nonsense approach, and urges the patients to decide before the time is up or risk having all of them lose their freewill, which could ruin the rest of their lives, should they even survive. This 'limbo' brings the people on both sides of life and in both waiting rooms closer together.
In the surreal waiting room, the debate heats up with questions and arguments and a fight for their lives. Gabriel offers them some advice, but urges them that time is running out. They finally decide to pull a name out of a hat. Abby selects the name and hands it to Hal to read it aloud. He recites his own name and stuffs the slip of paper in his shoe. There will be no more future left for them.
In their final time together, they discuss their past, confront their mistakes, and forgive one another. While very much in love during college, they had decided to 'experience' other people, which resulted in Hal getting another girl pregnant and marrying her out of obligation (the wife he just divorced). They had the gift of true love when they were young and the opportunity for a lifetime together, but were careless and immature. It took a lifetime for them to understand what they had and to honor that. With only moments left, the two lovers sequester themselves in a makeshift fort giving them some privacy during the remaining time they have alive together.
On the other side, in the real waiting room, Abby's husband threatens to disrupt the custody arrangement and to move away with the kids if Abby dies, even though it's not what she wants. In a heroic confrontation, Kenny frightens and manipulates him, forcing him to sign the custody papers that would give her mother, Dorothy the kids. After that, they discover their previous connection and realize that they would have been actual family, if only Hal and Abby's college romance had survived.
Back in the surreal waiting room, Gabriel arrives to escort one of them through the double doors. Hal says his final goodbyes. Just as they're about to walk through the doors, Gabriel stops and insists that Hal show them the actual name on the paper before they exit. He pulls it out and the name on the paper is not his. It's Abby's. Hal is still willing to go in her place, but in a final act of redemption, Mario does the only good deed of his life and walks through the doors with Gabriel.
One year later, Hal, Abby, Kenny, and her young daughters (Casey and Sophie) are all together, watching their college football team and celebrating their new life together.