The Pit (2019)
By Dante Zangrillo
Hampton Bays/ The YAWP Summer Workshops
Scene 1: Top of ‘Bottomless’ pit.
(HAZEL checks her phone. GINA looks over to her.)
GINA: Hey, are you checking the news again? I think it would be best to stop, but, like, whatever. To each his own.
HAZEL: I don’t think that’s the correct usage of the phrase? But, yeah, it’s been 72 hours.
GINA (Surprised): Okay, really? Three days?
(HAZEL glares at her, clearly annoyed.)
HAZEL (Deadpan): Yes. (She sets down her bag and walks over to the pit.)
GINA: Uh, well, I think we should make this public. Like, we should tell everyone that, “quote, one percent of New York City citizens will fall into this pit in their lifetimes, one percent more than the national average. That’s, uh, 80,000 people. And the government won’t do anything about it. Mostly because it’s shut down.”
HAZEL: Are those the right statistics?
GINA: Sure? Either way, it’s a good scare tactic.
HAZEL: Yeah, that’s fine. (She sighs.) You can make the ad, I’ll get a picture of the pit. I’ll get Karen to put the fliers up.
(HAZEL steps back to her bag, rummages through it, and hands the laptop to GINA. GINA walks over and sits near the edge of the pit.)
HAZEL (Slightly exasperated): Oh my god. What are you doing? Isn’t falling into the pit the entire thing you are trying to prevent?
GINA (Undisturbed): It’s cool? Yeah, everything’s fine.
HAZEL: Uh, no?
(GINA proceeds to fall into the pit.)
The lights go black.
HAZEL (Annoyed, but slightly concerned): Oh my god, Gina? What the hell? (Slight pause) Oh, crap. And my laptop.
Stage right- Pit, Stage left- Entrance to pit
(Both HAZEL and GINA have their phones up to their ears, having a phone call. HAZEL is sitting down. GINA is still actively falling.)
HAZEL: Okay, it’s been 20 minutes. Are you sure everything is still okay?
GINA: Yeah! Everything’s cool! Can you, maybe, drop something down that I can eat?
HAZEL: Did you go to 7th grade science?
GINA (Avoiding the malicious intent): Yeah, we were in the same class? We were in the same group for the cat-spider thing.
HAZEL: (Sighs) Two objects will fall at the same rate unless acted upon by air resistance. So it’s never going to catch up with you. (A pause.) How are you updating your Tumblr? Because you are, in fact, in a pit.
GINA: Oh, well, I have a full Wifi signal.
HAZEL: Really? How did they…
(She trails off. GINA shuffles around awkwardly.)
GINA: Hey, can I ask you something? (A pause.) Do you like me? Like, uh, as a person?
HAZEL: You’re kind of putting me on the spot. (She awkwardly laughs.) Well, I don’t like many people. So it’s not really like you’ve lost anything.
GINA (Disappointed): Uh, can I ask why?
HAZEL: You’re very, um, optimistic? And open? Two things that aren’t that appealing?
GINA: Okay, well that make sense, I guess. (A pause.) Why would you want me to help you with your, uh, pit project?
HAZEL: None of my friends are really passionate about anything like this, especially public works. Especially public works about endless holes. And you’re super passionate. Which I sometimes envy. Most of the time, not, but still. (She smiles. A pause.)
GINA: Okay, well, I should go. My phone’s on 69 percent and it’s only been 25 minutes. (GINA stifles a laugh, and hangs up.)
Stage right- Pit, Stage left- Land/HAZEL’s house
(HAZEL and GINA are still on their respective sides. GINA is, still, in fact falling, and is currently holding a laptop. HAZEL is sitting down, and both are on their phones. Texts said are to be read aloud.)
HAZEL: Are you sure everything’s still okay? Because, it’s been, like, 20 hours.
GINA: Yeah, thanks. You really don’t strike me as the kind of person who would be concerned about anyone, really, especially a, um, distant friend?
GINA: Right. Acquaintance.
HAZEL: What does one do if that person is falling for 20 hours with no gauge of when they’ll get out?
GINA: I’m finishing the ad right now. I slept for 10 hours, 7 more than I usually sleep. So that’s why I’m kind of frazzled. Yeah.
HAZEL: Not because you fell into a pit?
GINA: Well, that too, but this has happened before.
HAZEL: THAT REALLY WOULD HAVE BEEN NICE TO KNOW! WHY WOULDN’T YOU TELL ME THAT?
GINA: It’s not a big deal, okay?
HAZEL: Ugh, sorry. I overreacted. (A pause.) Okay, scary question, how many times have you fallen into this pit, exactly?
(GINA looks at her phone and reluctantly types.)
GINA: Five. At least once it happened twice in a row.
(HAZEL puts down her phone and silently screams. After a bit of time, she picks it back up and continues typing.)
HAZEL: WHAT? (A pause.) I just— WHAT?
GINA: I’m sorry! I thought it was going to be a burden!
HAZEL: You really should have told me that earlier! But that could possibly be useful for our campaign-thing.
GINA: Hey, wait, answer my call.
(She gets a call, and both her and GINA put their phones up to their ears. GINA is now standing on the left of the stage.)
GINA: I’m out!
(HAZEL hears this information, gets up off the floor, and screams again, still silently.)
Entrance to pit.
(GINA and HAZEL are standing on opposite sides of the stage. HAZEL runs over to GINA and hugs her. GINA reciprocates this hug.)
HAZEL (Very excited): OH MY GOD OH MY GOD (She screams.)
GINA: Okay, well, you are clearly very happy.
HAZEL: Yeah, right. (She pauses.) If you tell anyone what just happened I swear to god, I will scoop your eyeballs out and eat them.
GINA: Um? (A pause.) Maybe we should do something? To stop people from falling into this pit? A mildly annoying but terrifying inconvenience?
HAZEL: I think I have an idea. Go tell Ex-mayor Pamela Crow that we are getting something done!
GINA: Yeah! That’s the spirit! Wait, one question, how do I contact Ms. Crow?
HAZEL: Um, no, that’s not what I meant.
(A few hours pass.)
(GINA and HAZEL are standing outside of the pit, a fence now built around it, clearly very badly made.)
HAZEL: Wow, this fence is clearly very badly made.
Gina: Well, it’s something. And now, I guess no one is falling in again. Oh, and now this whole park has a Wifi signal.
HAZEL: Hey, do you think we can get a picture? I like to remember significant moments through pictures.
GINA: Uh, yeah, sure! Here I can take the picture.
(GINA and HAZEL walk over and sit on the fence. GINA attempts to take a selfie, but while doing that, the fence breaks and both GINA and HAZEL fall backwards into the pit. The selfie shows up on the backdrop, GINA and HAZEL unaware that they are beginning to fall.)