©John Levine, 2014

©John Levine, 2014

Click HERE to HEAR the playwright


ZAK is relaxing in his backyard. ARI enters his adjacent backyard and begins building a fence. ZAK watches, tries to catch ARI’s eye, but ARI is intent on building his fence.

ZAK: Whatcha building there?

ARI: (without looking up) A fence.

ZAK: A fence?

ARI: Yes.

ZAK: There’s really no need for… I’m Zak, by the way.

ARI continues building.

ZAK: And you are…?

ARI: Building a fence.

ZAK: (making a joke) That’s not your name, is it?

ARI builds, ZAK watches. Suddenly, ZAK lets out a long, ear-piercing shriek. ARI stops

building, looks at ZAK for the first time.

ARI: What was that?

ZAK: Break Time. Local law: No resident shall work during Break Time.

ARI: That’s not a real—

ZAK: Working through Break Time is grounds for expulsion. Didn’t you read the

Neighborhood Bylaws?

ARI: How long does Break Time last?

ZAK: Depends.

ARI: On…?

ZAK: On how long we talk. (ZAK motions for ARI to sit.) Now, what did you say

your name was?


©John Levine, 2014

John Levine (TC 2000) has had plays presented throughout the U.S. International productions include India, Australia, Mexico, and the U.K. His work has also been published in a number of anthologies. He teaches in the College Writing Programs at UC Berkeley. Coming soon: his short film “Human Resources.” Please contact John at jblevine@berkeley.edu

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