A Late Lunch

category: short play
genre: drama
running time: 20 minutes
setting: a tapas restaurant
period: contemporary

Andrew, a business man
Deva, an aspiring artist
Yentob, a waiter
Julie, a business woman
Ray, a drunk business man
Quentin, upper management
Felicity, a co-worker and friend
Lin, a co-worker

At Ray’s departure luncheon with his co-workers in a trendy San Francisco tapas restaurant, Andrew, when not flirting with his co-worker Julie, finds himself bored and disgusted with his friends and disturbed by a brief interaction with the waiter, who claims to know him. Unexpected, his long lost college girlfriend, Deva, comes into the restaurant and he attempts to engage her in a meaningful conversation. Eventually abandoned by his co-workers who need to head back to the office, Andrew and Deva are able to get past their initial dis-connection to achieve some kind of friendly communication. Andrew recognizes the waiter as Yentob, another friend from college, and finds himself contemplating what he may have lost in the ten years since they all went to school together.

author’s comments:
I started this script as a short movie for Robert Arnold, a Bay Area film-maker who told me about a figure from his own life, a woman who put duct tape on her shoes to make them last longer and was sort of the proverbial “free spirit.” After Robert and I abandoned the idea of making this film, I continued to carve and shape the script, and at some point between the initial draft and the one I ultimately submitted to Wily West Productions at the end of 2009, the original main characters became Andrew and Deva, back from Broken Dates, and two of the co-workers, Quentin and Felicity, revived from Men and Women and thankfully still good friends. The final adjustment was turning the waiter into Yentob, also from Broken Dates, and a character I’d always felt needed some more stage time. With the last draft of this play was born a new category in my larger canon, a series of interconnected plays, some short, some long, all taking place in San Francisco and more or less centering around the disparate members of an urban tribe of professionals. As of yet there’s no real structure to these plays as a whole, and part of me rather hopes there never will be, as life isn’t really structured, particularly modern urban life, and I think it could be fun to see someone assemble different evenings from choosing to combine different plays. Broken Dates and A Late Lunch, however, clearly feed directly into one another and that’s okay: I like the idea of an evening where we start with a set of characters and then find them again ten years later, with no real depiction of what happens in the middle. There is both a hip coldness and a warm nostalgia to the piece that I think elevates it from being just an episode in someone’s life. It’s everyone’s story about how they lost touch with something that mattered to them once- a person, an ideal, a dream- but I’d also like to believe it’s everyone’s story of how they first made that move to get it back.


Wily West Productions, May 13, 14, 15, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 2010, part of the anthology “San Francisco Stories” at Stage Werx Theater in San Francisco, California. Directed by Soumyaa Kapil; Technical Direction by Quinn J. Whitaker; Stage Managed by Amy Lizardo Ryan. Cast: Alex Hersler (Andrew), Kira Shaw (Deva), Jason Jeremy (Yentob), Monique Gonsalves (Julie), Jeff Newton (Ray), Jessica Scalzo (Lin)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *