The November People’s Choice goes to…….

The people have spoken… The November People’s Choice Award goes to Annette Roman for her short play, A PLACE FOR ELIJAH, presented as a staged reading at Monday Night PlayGround on November 26th 2018, at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre. Congratulations, Annette!

Courtesy of Ms. Roman, we’re pleased to share the first two pages from the award-winning script. Enjoy!


A Place for Elijah
A short play
By Annette Roman

A young man in desperate circumstances attempting to burglarize the house of an elderly woman poses as the paramedic she summoned with her emergency alert button. Will his ruse succeed?

The present

A modest home somewhere in America

ESTHER REICHENFELD: A woman in her 90’s, Jewish
EMERGENCY ALERT RECEPTIONIST: Any gender or ethnicity, late-twenties to early-sixties
RUFUS: An 18-year-old boy, any ethnicity
EMT: Any gender or ethnicity, late-thirties to mid-fifties

Note: since the Emergency Alert Receptionist only speaks from offstage, one actor could play both that role and that of the EMT

(At a sideboard in her small cottage living room, ESTHER, wearing glasses, slowly and carefully arranges a tea tray with the pot, tea cozy, sugar bowl, creamer, two cups, two saucers, two dessert plates, and two spoons. She carries the tray over to a pair of armchairs and sets it down on the tea table. A plate of scones and her cell phone remain on the sideboard.)


Oh, I forgot the scones!

(ESTHER turns to get them, takes a few steps, ESTHER turns to get them, takes a few steps, stumbles, and falls to the floor.stumbles, and falls to the floor.)


I’ve fallen.

(ESTHER tries unsuccessfully to get back on her feet.)


And I can’t get up. (Pause.) Damn it, I’m a cliche!

(ESTHER flounders like a fish out of water.)


Help! HELP HELP! Well, there’s no point in squawking, Esther. The neighbors can’t hear you. And the postman has already come and gone for the day.

(ESTHER gingerly checks her head and limbs.)


Nothing broken. Except my glasses… And my ankle hurts… (Tries unsuccessfully to rise again.) Where’s my cell phone? On the sideboard with the scones. Well, damn. Oh, wait!

(ESTHER gropes for the emergency alert button hanging on a necklace around her neck.)


I told Dr. DeLuca I didn’t need this ugly necklace. Hate to prove her right so she can say “I told you so.” (Long pause.) But I can’t just lie here on the floor all day… My tea is getting cold! I guess I’ll just have to press this panic button and see what happens…

(ESTHER presses the alert button and a voice comes through.)


Emergency Alert Services. How may we help you, Mrs….uh…Ray…chan…field? Are you in a safe location?


It’s Ms., not Mrs. And it’s “Reichenfeld.” I am in a safe location. At home. Although the neighborhood ain’t what it used to be… I just sprained my ankle, but I could use a hand…


No worries, Mrs. Ree..shin..flood. Who would you like me to contact? (Pause.) Oh. I see you don’t have any family members listed here…


Didn’t have time for a family. I was a nurse for 55 years, you know. I worked at—


Any friends in the area I could call for you…?


They’ve all moved away to live with their children in the suburbs. Or died.


I’m sorry to hear that, Ma’am.


That’s how it is when you get old. I don’t recommend it. But do you know what’s worse than getting old?


Uh…no, Ma’am. I don’t. (Humoring her.) What’s worse than getting old?


Not getting old! (Laughs heartily.)


Join us for the Next  Monday Night PlayGround of the season on Monday, December 17th, at Berkeley Repertory Theatre  and choose your own favorite. Click here for more info.