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!


Will Eisner: A Spirited Life by Bob Andelman, Mr. Media Interviews

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About Mr. Media® Interviews-Bob Andelman

Bob Andelman is the host and producer of Mr. Media® Interviews. He is also the author or co-author of 16 books, including The Wawa Way with Howard Stoeckel, Building Atlanta with Herman J. Russell, Fans Not Customers with Vernon W. Hill, founder of Commerce Bank and Metro Bank UK, Mind Over Business with Ken Baum, The Consulate with Thomas R. Stutler, The Profiler with Pat Brown, Built From Scratch with the founders of The Home Depot, The Profit Zone with Adrian Slywotzky, Mean Business with Albert J. Dunlap, and Will Eisner: A Spirited Life. Click here to see Bob Andelman's Amazon Central author page. He is a member in good standing of the American Society of Journalists and Authors (member page).