Hold Please

Hold Please $13

Annie Weisman

Published by Dramatists Play Service

0 Male 4 Female

No men are onstage, but their presence is felt everywhere in this office comedy for the new millennium

Two generations of women, career secretaries in their forties and entry-level assistants in their twenties, gather in the break room for a Heart Talk-an emotional tribunal designed to record and report evidence of sexual harassment

Leading the charge is Agatha, a bitter old secretary determined to bring the badly behaving bosses to justice and to institute a purely professional environment

As soon as the meeting breaks up, however, we learn that one of the young assistants, Erika, is carrying on an affair with Solomon, the oldest and most revered of the bosses

Soon, the Heart Talks have a measurable effect. Xavier, one of the partners, gets dismissed for sexual harassment. Only Erika knows that he has been wrongly targeted. Agatha and her fellow longtime secretary Grace enjoy a certain pride in their ability to affect change in the company

They seem to have an ally in Jessica, the other young secretary, who gets a little drunk on their new-found power, using it to manipulate her loser boyfriend and relishing in her ability to navigate the new phone and computer systems that befuddle the older women, Erika is abruptly dumped by Solomon, just as she discovers that she is pregnant

When the new boss arrives, everyone is surprised to learn that she is a young woman, younger than all of them. She immediately institutes an efficiency contest. Whoever can demonstrate the most alacrity at their job, wins

But what will happen to the rest of them? Erika has to decide to stay or go; Jessica has to prove her mettle; and there is a suggestion that Solomon may have had affairs before, even with Grace

When Agatha gets the change she was after, will it turn out to be better or worse?

"Scathingly funny" ~ NY Daily News

"A savage comedy about four secretaries about to be downsized" ~ NY Post

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