Directed by Blake Wiers
Featuring Kelli Crump, Allison Hunter Blackwell & Rinabeth Apostol
Two Strong Female Leads are taking a smoke break in a Janitor’s Closet.
Scene opens with Kitty, smoking in the Janitor’s Closet. There is a sign posted on the wall that reads, “Please, No Smoking in the Janitor’s Closet. THX, The Management”
Someone yells, “Take ten, everybody!” from offstage. Ellie enters the Janitor’s Closet and lights up a cigarette.
KITTY: Hiya, sweetheart.
ELLIE: Howdy, little lady.
KITTY: Needa light?
ELLIE: Well, I surely do. Thank you, kindly.
KITTY: Sooo, what’s a girl like you doing in a place like this?
ELLIE: A Quirky, Blaxploitation Western with Feminist Overtones Featuring a Strong Female Lead. You?
KITTY: A 20s-inspired Film Noir Hitchcockian Spy Mystery About Reunited Lovers Featuring a Strong Female Lead. There’s really a lot going on with the genres these days, isn’t there?
ELLIE: Tell me about it. I’m having trouble keeping my accent straight. Last week I was here doing a Sentimental Biopic Loosely Based on the Life of Lucille Ball Set in an Alternate Reality. I went from ‘Rickyyyyy,’ to [singing] ‘I’m a girl cowhannnnnd/on the Rio Grande’ set to funk music. [Drops accent] They really should pay us extra for shit like this.
KITTY: I think the problem is the audiences. They’re spoiled. Every category’s JUST FOR YOU.’
ELLIE: Ha! And then the next thing you know you’re making a Controversial Talking-Animal Thriller About 9/11 For Hopeless Romantics.
KITTY: Too soon?
ELLIE: Oh, come on! I’m just kidding. I recently got called in for a Slapstick Horror Broadway Rendition of The Hotel Rwanda Live Onstage.
KITTY: Too soon. Forever.
ELLIE: Yeah, really not ok.
KITTY: Did you see that audition that recently went out for A Dramedy About Frienemies Featuring Two Brainy, Foxy, Darkly Complicated But Still Utterly Perfect Female Leads?
ELLIE: I came in for it, but I didn’t get a call back.
KITTY: Well, I did, darling.
ELLIE: Say, aren’t you special?
Fire alarm suddenly begins to sound.
ELLIE: Oh, shit.
KITTY: Seems like it’s time for you and me to make a break for it, schweeetheart.
ELLIE: This door’s done locked up…like…the mouth of a cowhand with lockjaw.
KITTY: You might want to work on that one a little more.
ELLIE: Let’s at least try to turn the alarm off.
ELLIE: This reminds me of my last Satirical Escape Farce Set in The Upper Midwest.
KITTY: How do you turn this thing off!?
KITTY & ELLIE: Help!!! Help!!!
Enter STEPH, who breezes through the door, apparently only locked from the inside. Door is probably off-stage?
KITTY: Don’t let the…
ELLIE: …door close.
STEPH: Dudes. Did somebody say help?
KITTY: And who, may I ask, the hell are you?
STEPH: Chill, man. I’m here from The Hapless Stoner Buddy Flick in which a Surfing Personal Assistant Emerges as a Strong Female Lead in the Final Third of the Movie.
ELLIE: So how far are you along now?
STEPH: Bro. about half. Leading in a female way is within my sights!
KITTY: This is all well and good. But I have a slight problem. It’s called claustrophia. It means you FREAK THE FUCK OUT when you’re trapped in small spaces with strangers.
ELLIE: Well, I have a slight problem. It’s called claustrophobaphobia. It means you FREAK THE FUCK OUT when you’re trapped in small spaces with strangers with claustrophia.
KITTY: Well, my claustrophia also causes me to become confused, disoriented and delusional.
ELLIE: It surely does. It surely, surely does.
STEPH: Dudes, do not despair for I have come to unharsh this particular buzzkill so you may return to your nicotine pacifiers and I may fully enjoy my 10 minute bake break. Steph ‘Shredder’ Michaels is on the job.
ELLIE: Oh, while that’s all VERY reassuring, unfortunately, the door will still be locked and our ‘buzz’ will be very much ‘harshed’.
KITTY: Perhaps we should solve the problem with an eerie, disconcerting voyeurism. Let’s peer out this window. Who knows what we might discover, who might walk by, what secrets they might betray that could be useful later!
ELLIE: Yeah, great idea. We’ll blackmail our way out of this and spirit off to Casafuckingblanca, Martinis in hand. While we’re at it, let’s lasso the janitor, read him some bell hooks and see if he’s got the code to shut this damn racket off.
KITTY: You’re just pissed about the audition. And that dark, shadowy figure hovering ominously in the corner there!
STEPH: Dudes, you do know you can just pull the battery out, right? Oldest trick in the booooook.
Alarm silences as STEPH removes the batteries.
ELLIE: Well that’s one sow hog-tied, one to go.
STEPH: You guys want a hit?
ELLIE: Sure, why the hell not? It couldn’t make this any worse.
KITTY: My vote’s still for blackmail. And double crossing. And slinking. With slinking, we can open this door!
ELLIE: Yeah, you let me know how that goes for you.
STEPH: Brah, wait…I think I read a lifehack about this once. Some serious Macgyver Acapulco Gold.
KITTY: A lifehack? I do murder. I do intrigue. I do double agents. I don’t do ‘lifehacks.’
ELLIE: So far, Kitty, your ideas haven’t exactly been the most…how to say this…applicable, constructive, anchored in reality?
STEPH: Brooooos, chilllllll. We need dental floss, a vacuum cleaner and some paper, which, duh, I have. (holds up rolling papers)
ELLIE: Well, I guess it’s a good thing we’re in a janitor’s closet. (wheels over vacuum cleaner).
KITTY, finally acquiescing, but with resistance: I have floss. Don’t ask me why. Or do. But I won’t tell you! You’ll never pry it out of me!
STEPH: Ok, dudes, first, we tie the floss to the paper.
Then, we slip the paper over the door and lower it down so we can grab it through the bottom of the door.
Tie it to the vacuum cleaner chord and shove that under the door. Gently pull on the floss to loop the chord over the doorknob on the other side, then gently, gently…
OFFSTAGE: STEPH manages to turn the other side of the door handle with the vacuum chord and the door opens.
KITTY: The sweet, sad, mixed up feeling of freedom, where men are men, women are women and you never know which spies you can trust
ELLIE: You, Miss Kitty, are batshit crazy. But you’re also brainy, foxy, darkly complicated and utterly perfect…at least in your dental hygiene habits.
And you, Steph Michaels, well, I think you just earned your Leading Lady stripes. Way to stay in the saddle and stay in character, everyone.
KITTY: Ellie, you’re a damn tramp and I look forward to working with you in a Neurotic Hardboiled Culture Clash Set in The Near Future. And that’s not a threat, it’s a promise.
Thank you, thank you Steph “Shredder” Michaels. You’ve saved me from myself!
STEPH: Dudes, I couldn’t have done it without you. We should all smoke fat Js in janitors’ closets more often. Cowabunga!
ELLIE, breaks character: You’ve been watching a Ridiculous Short Play About a Fire Alarm Set in A Janitor’s Closet Featuring Three Strong Female Leads. Now please enjoy this relevant ad content from our partners. You can skip this ad in [holds up fingers to indicate 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1]