The House! The House! The House Is On Fire! A Play by Bob Andelman

And now for something completely self-indulgent…

Thanks to a suggestion by my friend Raffi Darrow, I was invited to participate in the inaugural event of a new St. Petersburg nonprofit, Tampa Bay Plays. Founder and executive director Lora Hogan asked 25 non-playwrights in our community to each create an original, one-minute production.

This is mine. I hope you’ll enjoy it. I’m posting the script below in case you can’t make out a line.

The House! The House! The House is on Fire!

A Play by Bob Andelman

Suggested by Mimi and Rachel Andelman


NARRATOR: Int.: A residential kitchen in Snell Isle. A spotlight reveals a woman wearing an apron and oven mitts. A smoke detector is beeping incessantly.

MOTHER: Oh, my God! The oven is on fire! Oh, my God! (Shouting) Rachel! Rachel!

NARRATOR: Int.: A teenager’s bedroom. The Dollyrots song “Because I’m Awesome” is playing loudly. A second spotlight reveals a 15-year-old girl, oblivious to her mother’s call, furiously texting and reading texts on her cellphone.

RACHEL: L-M-F-A-O, Gaetano!


RACHEL: What??? I’m busy, Mom!

MOTHER: Turn off the music and call 9-1-1!

RACHEL: What? Why?

MOTHER: Tell them the house is on fire! Hurry!

RACHEL: The house is on fire? Surrrrrrrrre, Mom, whatever you say. But aren’t you overreacting a little?

MOTHER: O-M-G, Rachel!

RACHEL: I’m in the middle of something here. Can’t you do it yourself?

MOTHER: The flames are spreading to the wall phone in the kitchen and I can’t find my iPhone. Please, Rachel! Call 9-1-1!

RACHEL: Oh, all right, already! (Rachel stops texting her friends and studies her phone for what seems like an eternity.)

MOTHER: Rachel! Have you called the fire department yet? Can’t you smell the smoke?

RACHEL: (Shouting.) I told you six times I would! … (To herself) Okay, let me see… (She starts texting again.) Pound 9-1-1… House… is… on… fire! No, stupid auto-spell, FIRE, not FOXY! 3000… Brightwaters… Boulevard… St. Petersburg! Please… hurry!

(Mother appears next to Rachel, anxious.)

MOTHER: We have to get out of the house now! What did they say? Is the fire department coming?

RACHEL: No answer yet – let me try again… (Pushing buttons on phone.) Pound 9-1-1… House… is… on… fire! No, stupid phone, HOUSE, not WHORES! 3000… Brightwaters… Boulevard… St. Petersburg! Please… hurry!… Still no answer, Mom. There has GOT to be a faster way!


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