New Work
Writers: Jason Engleman



A short play by StageAgent.

This is a royalty-free play and may be performed by anyone (organizations, individuals etc.) for free. Please give credit to Jason Engleman from in any promotional and performance material.

Scene 1

(The set is a large penthouse apartment with a stunning view of the city. The party is in full swing, with guests chatting and laughing as they enjoy drinks and appetizers. The clock reads 11:30 PM.)

(Al Shubert enters and greets his guests.)

Al: Hey everyone! I'm so glad you could all make it!

Maria: (smiling) Hi Al, this place looks amazing!

Marissa: (excited) Al, I love your penthouse! The view is breathtaking.

Farah: (smiling) Al, you always know how to throw a great party.

Jackson: (joking) Yeah, Al, but I thought you were going to have a pool this time.

Al: (laughing) Sorry Jackson, maybe next year.

(Maria, Marissa, and Farah all greet each other with hugs.)

Maria: (excited) Marissa, it's been too long! How's your daughter doing?

Marissa: (smiling) She's doing great, thanks for asking. She's growing up so fast.

Farah: (excited) Marissa, I heard you got laid off from Chez Louise. I'm so sorry.

Marissa: (sighing) Yeah, it's been a tough year for the restaurant industry. But I'm staying positive and looking for new opportunities.

(Jackson approaches the group.)

Jackson: (joking) Hey ladies, what's the gossip?

Maria: (smiling) Just catching up, Jackson. How's your year been?

Jackson: (smiling) It's been great. Just keeping busy with work and staying active.

(Al approaches the group with champagne glasses.)

Al: (excited) Alright everyone, it's almost midnight! Let's raise a glass to the New Year.

(The group all take a glass of champagne.)

Al: (toasting) Here's to another year of friendship, love, and new beginnings. Cheers!

(Everyone takes a sip of champagne and they continue to chat and enjoy the party.)

Scene 2

(The lights go down, except for a spotlight on Maria who is looking sad)

Maria: (sighs) I still can't believe it. My husband wants a divorce. It feels like my world is falling apart. (pauses) Do you want to know how we met? (looks out to the audience) It was at the University of Chicago. I was studying Economics, he was studying Law. We had a class together, and I remember seeing him in the library, surrounded by books. (smiles) I thought he was so smart and handsome.

(Maria takes a deep breath)

We started talking, and it turns out we had a lot in common. We both loved running and had a passion for the environment. We would run marathons together, and he would always be there cheering me on at the finish line. (pauses) Now, after all these years, he's gone. And I don't even know why. He said he wants a "change of pace" and "someone who will support his dreams". I just don't understand.

(Maria pauses and wipes away a tear)

I gave him everything. I supported him through law school, his career, and even his running marathons. I always encouraged him to pursue his passions, and I thought he was happy. (pauses) But now, I realize he was never fully content. He was never satisfied with our life together.

(Maria takes a deep breath)

I tried to make things work. I attempted to run the Chicago Marathon this year, hoping that would bring us closer together. But I quit halfway through when I realized he wouldn't be there cheering me on. (pauses) I don't know what to do. I feel lost and alone. (pauses) I just want my life to go back to the way it was before.

(Maria takes a deep breath and turns back into the scene as her spotlight goes down)

Scene 3

(A spotlight now comes up on Marissa, who is standing with a glass of champagne in her hand, looking sad.)

Marissa: Ay, it's been quite a year for me. I lost my husband two years ago, and since then, I've been holding it together for my daughter. He was my rock, my everything. When I graduated from culinary school, he was so proud of me. He always said I had a gift for cooking.

(She takes a deep breath)

And five years ago, I got my dream job. I became the head chef at Chez Louise, and every day since then, I've been living my dream. But this year, COVID came and changed everything. The restaurant has lost so many customers that they had to lay me off. And now, I don't know what's next for me.

(She takes another sip of champagne)

I just hope that in the new year, things will start to look up for me. I miss cooking and being in the kitchen, creating something beautiful with my hands. But for now, I'll just have to hold onto the memories of my husband, who always believed in me. And I'll hold onto my daughter, who gives me the strength to keep going.

(Marissa looks up and sees her friends, smiling)

But enough about me, let's enjoy the rest of the night. Feliz Año Nuevo! (Happy New Year!)

Scene 4

(Farah takes a deep breath and steps forward into the spotlight. She clears her throat and begins to speak.)

Farah: (with a hint of sadness) This has been a tough year for me. I've been working as a marketing manager for a tech company for the past 5 years and I love my job. But this year, everything changed. My parents moved in with me, and they only speak a little bit of English. It's been a challenge taking care of them, but I love them so much.

But that's not the only challenge I've faced this year. You see, I've been in love with Al for years. He's the funniest guy I've ever known and I just can't help but smile whenever I'm around him. But we're stuck in the friend zone and I don't know how to get out of it. I see other girls looking at him and I worry that he'll get taken soon.

I just feel so much pressure to find someone, to start a family, and have a life partner. But at the same time, I don't want to settle for just anyone. I want someone who understands me, who makes me laugh, who's my best friend. And I can't help but think that maybe that person is Al.

I've been trying to figure out what to do, but I just don't know. I just wish that I could turn back time, to when things were simpler. But I know that I can't. I just have to keep moving forward, hoping that things will work out in the end.

(Farah takes a deep breath and steps back, her mind filled with conflicting thoughts and emotions. She looks at Al, who is now laughing with Jackson, and wonders what the future holds for her.)

Scene 5

(It is Jackson's turn for the spotlight. He speaks to the audience)

Jackson: I feel like the odd one out here, everyone else is so young and I'm already 50. But that's not the real issue. The real issue is my heart. I had a heart attack earlier this year, but I didn't tell anyone. I couldn't bear the thought of them thinking I was old, fragile, unable to keep up with the group. So, I kept it to myself. I've been trying to be more careful with my health, eating better, exercising more. But it's hard when you're surrounded by so much life and vitality.

I've been through a lot in my life, seen a lot of things. I've had some great experiences and met some amazing people. But I've also lost some important people, my parents, my best friend. Life is fragile, and it can be taken away in an instant. That's why I've always tried to make the most of every moment, to live life to the fullest.

But as I stand here, surrounded by my friends, I can't help but think about what's next. What do I want to do with the rest of my life? I've been so focused on keeping up with the group, on making them think I'm still young and vital, that I haven't stopped to think about what I really want. But I know one thing for sure, I want to be happy. I want to find joy in every moment and not waste a single day.

So, my New Year's resolution is to find happiness, to live life to the fullest, and to make every moment count. I'm going to find new hobbies, try new things, and put myself out there. I'm not going to let my heart attack define me, I'm going to define my heart attack. I'm going to make this year my year, and I'm going to make the most of every moment.

Scene 6

(The lights go up on everyone. Al jumps on top of the bar and raises his glass)

Al: Ladies and Gentlemen, I'd like to make a toast. To the past year, filled with memories that I will cherish forever. To my dear friends, who have been there for me through thick and thin.

Maria, you pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me run my first 10k. I'll never forget the way you cheered me on every step of the way, even though you were running an entire marathon yourself.

Marissa, you brought me dinner every night the week I had COVID. Your kindness and care will always be remembered.

Farah, you created the marketing pitch deck that helped me close my biggest account ever. You are truly a talented, beautiful, and brilliant friend.

Jackson, you introduced me to the best Deep Dish Chicago pizza I've ever had! I'm so grateful to have you in my life.

So here's to all of you, and to the memories we've made together. Cheers!

(Everyone raises their glasses and toasts)

Scene 7

(Everyone is gathered together in the living room, glasses of champagne in hand)

Jackson: Alright folks, I have an idea. Let's go around and share our New Year's resolutions. I'll start. My resolution is to eat healthier... but I'm not giving up pizza. That's just crazy talk. (Everyone laughs)

Maria: My resolution is to get back into marathon running. I've been slacking off lately.

Marissa: My resolution is to finally make my dream a reality. I loved working at Chez Louise, but now my goal is to secure the funding I need to open my own restaurant.

Al: My resolution is to spend more time with friends. I've been so focused on work lately, I've neglected the important people in my life.

Farah: My resolution is to be more proactive in getting what I want. No more waiting for opportunities to come to me.

(Everyone raises their glasses in a toast)

(As the clock strikes midnight, Jackson and Marissa give each other a big hug. Maria blows a party horn. Farah runs up to Al and gives him a big kiss on the lips, and he happily kisses her back)