Here is a synopsis of my play Expecting the Worst. It was produced by our local theatre company in the fall of 1997. I directed it, even though I knew that could be dangerous but the cast was fantastic and we built the play together. It was well recieved by 12 packed houses and got a good review in the local newspaper. Here is part of it. The Peterborough Examiner sept 27th 1997. GUILD OPENER KEEPS 'EM LAUGHING The Peterborough Theatre Guild's premiere, EXPECTING THE WORST, had a packed house howling with laughter last night. If the playwright was watching the rows of people laughing out loud, he had every reason to be proud. Playwright Robert Ainsworth both wrote and directed EXPECTING THE WORST. while the play was an unqualified success last night, a playwright can never lose by handing his work over to a director he respects. Sometimes the roles of creator and director must be mutually exclusive. In the meantime, however, if you want a good old-fashioned night out at the theatre, visit this Theatre Guilds production. Jane Bow: theatre reviewer
ACT 1 SCENE 2 LIGHTS UP It is a few days later. Steve is in the kitchen and the telephone rings, he goes over and answers it. STEVE Hello. . . .Oh mom, hi. What am I doing? Iím just hanging out here at the apartment, why?. . . . . . . . . Okay, okay Iíll ask you, what are you doing? . . . . . . Youíre what?. . .where? THE BUS STATION! This bus station! . . Here bus station. . here. But. . . Youíre supposed to be coming tomorrow! You said the 21st. (He goes over to the calendar) Iím looking at the calendar right now and it says the. . . .21st. (Realizing that he had forgotten the correct day.) . . Alright! Okay! Iím coming, Iíll be there in 5 minutes. (He replaces the receiver) Oh No! (He quickly dials another number) Pat! Answer the phone! Donít be out, please be in. . . STEVE(CONTí) Damn! (Replacing the phone) DAMN! STEVE EXITS ENTER MAX As he leaves he slams the door. Max comes out of the bedroom. He has obviously just gotten up. He is wearing a T-shirt and boxer shorts. He walks over to the fridge and takes out the jug of milk. He is just about to drink from the jug when he looks around first to make sure Steve isnít there and he drinks from the jug. There is a knock at the door. He goes over and answers it. MAX (Seeing Pat standing there holding a large garbage bag of clothes) Hey Buddy, itís the garbage man. ENTER PAT. PAT Very funny Max! Whereís Steve? MAX I donít know, do I look like his keeper? PAT No, HE looks like the keeper, you look like the baboon. MAX (He turns around and bends over) Do I have a red bum? PAT You will have in a minute. MAX Oooh Patricia, does Steve know youíre into spanking! This is going to be an interesting marriage. PAT Do you know where he is or not? MAX No idea, why, what you got there? (He goes over and looks into the bag) PAT Itís just that bag of Sueís clothes. I thought Iíd better fill up the closets with them for when his mother arrives tomorrow, at least make it look like heís married. MAX (Pulling out a blond wig) Hey, you left one of your hairpieceís in here. PAT Thatís Sueís, donít you remember that time when she met Steve from work wearing that, he was really mad. MAX (He puts the wig on) Hey, whatís the difference between a blond and a brick? PAT I donít know. MAX A brick doesnít follow you around for a week after youíve laid it. PAT (Not amused) Ha, ha. MAX (Still wearing the wig and looking in the bag) You say this is the stuff Steve brought Sue when they were together? PAT Yeah. MAX God, no wonder she left him! Look at this. . . . (He pulls out a dress) You do realize of course, that you have to wear this stuff while Mommyís here. PAT I am not wearing that! Look at it! MAX (Sarcastically) What are you talking about, itís lovely. PAT You wear it then. MAX (Putting it on) Okay! PAT What are you doing? Max, Steve could be back any minute. (Max stands there wearing the wig and the dress.) MAX What do you think? PAT (Playing along) Hm, thereís something missing. She goes over to the bag and pulls out two pairs of socks that are rolled up and Max sticks them down his front to make a breast. PAT(CONTí) There, thatís better. (She laughs at him) Oh God Max, you look great! MAX (Putting on a voice) Please, call me Sue. PAT Sorry, Sue. Hey, youíve got to show Steve, heíll crack up. MAX Oh yeah, right. If he saw me like this heíd have second thoughts about me moving in. PAT Heís already had second thoughts about that! (She goes over to the door) Hold on, weíve got to make this look really good. Iím going upstairs to get some makeup! MAX Iím not wearing makeup. PAT Oh come on, donít be a spoilsport! God, that dress is ugly, itís big enough for two. PAT EXITS MAX (Looking at the dress) It IS big enough for two. (Has an idea)Hey! (He picks up a pillow and rushes into the kitchen to stuff it under up his dress. We cannot see yet because he is behind the counter. He laughs to himself as he does it) Max hears Steve outside of the door putting his key in. He bends down behind the counter. STEVE Here we are, home sweet home. ENTER STEVE AND EDITH. MAX (Popping up from behind the counter) Hi Honey buns. (Seeing them, he is shocked) Oh! STEVE Oh God! EDITH Hello, you must be Susan. MAX What? ENTER PAT She is unaware that Steve and Edith are there. PAT Oh Sue dear, Iíve brought the make up to help you look beautif . .Oh hello. STEVE Er, mother, this is Patricia, our neighbor. EDITH Hello dear. PAT (Nervous) Hello again. EDITH (To Max) Susan, I have been so excited about meeting you. SUE/MAX Oh really. PAT I should get back upstairs, I think thereís something about to boil over. EDITH Bye dear. PAT EXITS QUICKLY. EDITH Now come here and give your mother-in-law a big hug. SUE/MAX Erí no thank you, I erí have a cold. EDITH (She walks over to him) Oh donít be silly, let me take a good look at you. Oh! (She now sees that Sue looks pregnant. ) Oh, my goodness! Oh Stephen! Why didnít you tell me? STEVE Tell you? Tell you what? EDITH (She leads Max out from behind the counter.) That Iím going to be a grandmother of course! STEVE (Shocked, he falls onto the couch.) Oh shit EDITH When are you due dear? SUE/MAX Due?. . . Do what? EDITH The baby of course. Stephen, I canít believe you didnít tell me. SUE/MAX Erí Steve, I think you need to tell. . . . . STEVE Hello sweetheart! How are you feeling? SUE.MAX Sweetheart? . .. I feel sick, I think I need to lie down. (He walks over to the bedroom) EDITH Oh dear. STEVE (Going over to Max.) Right, you go and lie down, Sue dear, you do look a bit flushed. (Max puts his fist up to him as Steve puts him in the bedroom) EDITH Stephen, do you think sheís alright? STEVE Sheís fine Mom, fine. . . would you like a tea? MAX No I would not. I want you to come here, you have a lot of explaining to do young man. (She sits down.) STEVE (Nervous) Oh, right. EDITH Everything has suddenly become very clear to me. STEVE It has? What do you mean? EDITH For months now, I have been struggling with the idea of you getting married and I knew nothing about it until after the fact. No invitation to the wedding, not even a phone call, now I know why! Stephen why didnít you tell? STEVE Erí I was. . . . EDITH Am I really that unapproachable that you can not tell your own mother that you HAD to get married? STEVE No, I. . . .just didnít want to trouble you thatís all. EDITH Trouble me! When were you planning on troubling me about it? Or were you planning on keeping it from me forever? Hiding my grandchild in the back bedroom maybe? STEVE Of course not, Iím sorry. We were going to call you and tell you about it after it came out. EDITH After what came out? STEVE The . .the baby. EDITH Stephen, sheís giving birth to a human being, not having her gall Stones out! STEVE I know, I didnít mean . . EDITH And how do you expect to take care of this little one, financially? STEVE I have a good job. EDITH You're a house painter Stephen not an engineer. STEVE That's an interior decorator, and I happen to like my work. EDITH That doesn't surprise me in the least. You were always messing with tins of paint when you were young, getting more on you than anywhere else I might add. Of course, I had visions of you becoming a banker, or at least working for yourself like your cousin, Shelton. STEVE Shelton sells AM WAY Mother. EDITH It doesn't matter how he's doing it, he's proving himself, that's what's important, and instead of envying him, you should do something about it. STEVE I do not envy Shelton, I just canít stand him. EDITH You are talking about a sweet, sweet young man, who happens to love his mother, your aunt Lucy, very much. And Iím sure if he was about to have a child, he wouldnít keep it from his mother. STEVE I would think that would be very hard to do, considering his partnerís name is Arnold! EDITH I donít want to talk about that anymore. STEVE Okay! Look, mom, let's not spend this week arguing, please. EDITH What are you talking about? I'm fine, it was you who brought up your financial problems. STEVE Right. Truce? EDITH Hm. Oh, come here, let me have a look at you. Closer, my eyes are getting worse. (He goes to her and she stands and looks at him disappointed) Well, you're getting your fatherís build. Still, you have the Pettyworth looks, that's something I suppose. My side of the family are renowned for their looks. Yes, you're a Pettyworth all right. (Loud whisper.) Letís hope the baby is too. STEVE What do you mean? EDITH Well, you donít know these days. All of that free love going on all over the place. Itís typical of young people today to have more than one partner. STEVE Mother, Max. . . .Sue is not your ďtypicalĒ kind of Girl. Sheís. . . special. EDITH Well, thatís good to hear. I just hope you look after your wife better than your father looked after me. STEVE Yes mother. EDITH I remember meeting your father's parents for the first time. Nice, but absolutely no breeding. Well, you know your grandparents. I should have up and left your father right there and then. STEVE Why didn't you? EDITH I couldn't. I felt sorry for him. I thought I could change his personality, or at least give him one. But after fifteen years I gave up. They say a leopard can't change his spots. Never a truer word spoken. STEVE Look, Iíll go in and check on Sue, why don't I show you your room? You can unpack or something. (He picks up her luggage and takes it into the other bedroom) EDITH Oh, all right, but call me as soon as she comes out, I need to talk to her. (She goes to the bedroom) Oh, lovely. (Steve shuts her door, then goes over and tries to go into his room but itís locked, he knocks on the door) STEVE Sue dear, it's me. Open the door. (Loud whisper) Max! Sheís in the bedroom, Iíve locked her door, open up. (Max opens the door) MAX Steve! STEVE Look Max. MAX How the hell did I end up as your wife? STEVE Donít blame me! Youíre the one who was dressed like that when we came in. Which incidentally, I am almost afraid to ask you about. EDITH It was supposed to be a joke! STEVE HA! Whoís laughing now! MAX I thought she wasnít coming until tomorrow! STEVE So did I, I must have screwed up or something. MAX Iím just starting to realize just how proficient you are at doing that. STEVE What! Youíre the one standing there with a pillow stuck up your dress! MAX Iím not doing this Buddy, Iím not playing at being your prego wife for the next 5 days. STEVE Why not? Sheís already convinced. Itís just going to mean playing along for a little while thatís all. MAX You have asked me to do some strange things in the past but this one really takes the cake! STEVE Max, you look great, youíd fool your own mother. MAX Itís not my mother Iím trying to fool. And what would I tell Jackie if she comes over here? STEVE Make damn sure she doesnít! MAX No, Steve, it ainít gonna work! STEVE Look, Iím desperate here. MAX Huh! Look whoís desperate now! STEVE Okay, . . . you can stay here for the as long as you like. MAX What? STEVE Do this for me and you can stay here as long as you have to. MAX Seriously? STEVE Yeah, seriously. MAX I donít have to leave in two weeks?. . . . Hmmm, tempting. . . ..Okay, Iíll do it. STEVE Right. Where is it? MAX Whereís what? STEVE (Max looks confused.) The. .the bulge you had. MAX Iíve got news for you, I still have a bulge but you have no idea how difficult it is hiding it. STEVE I donít mean that, I mean the big bulge! MAX Excuse me! STEVE The pillow! MAX Oh, itís on the bed. STEVE Put it back in there and come out and talk to her. Edith calls from the bedroom. EDITH (V.O) Stephen! Stephen, I canít open the door. MAX I canít talk to her. STEVE You have to! You canít spend the next five days stuck in here. EDITH (V.O) Stephen! MAX I should never have agreed to do this. . . I'm going to throw up! STEVE (Trying to be funny) Maybe it's morning sickness.