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Robert Red-Baer




Promotion photo from "Naked Journey" version

Fred Fernbald
Gladis Goodwater
Franny Claptree
Walter Wormturd

The setting is four large cardboard boxes (the kind that hold washing machines) arranged in a square.

Copyright 1978 by Robert Red-Baer
Robert Red-Baer offers individuals or theatre groups the production of this play royalty free (profit or non-profit)-- but they must receive permission from Robert Red-Baer.  If interested in producing this play, please click on the following box.


Four large boxes are arranged in a square, They have tops on them. The LANDLORD enters and stands in front of the boxes.

LANDLORD: I would like to welcome you all to Sunnydale Apartments. These are reasonably priced apartments in a reasonable part of a reasonable city. Of course, I didn't bring you here to try and rent these to you . As a matter of fact there is no vacancy whatsoever. I have brought you here to meet the people. The most important people on earth-- You don't know Sunnydale until you meet the people. Let us make our first visit to Mr. Fred Fernbald. (Knocks on Fred's lid.) Wake up Freddy old boy. It's me, your friendly landlord.

FRED (inside box): Get away. I'm busy.

LANDLORD: Let's not be harsh, Freddy. There are people out here waiting to see you.

FRED: I ain't no zoo. Get the fuck away!

LANDLORD (pounds on lid): Open up! Open up! We want to look at you! Open up! (Grumbling can be heard coming from other boxes.) You lazy bum! (Yanks the lid off the box.) I have plenty of people who are begging to rent this apartment. If you don't do what I say, I'll have you evicted in less than a minute. (Looks Down at him and pulls a centerfold of a nude woman out of his hand.) So that's what you've been doing. Shame on you. (Shows picture to audience.) Ladies and Gentlemen, as you can see, Fred Fernbald does not live alone. He has this voluptuous, hair-raising nude woman living with him. They are living in sin. Sin! (Shouts into Fred's box.) Goddamn sinner! Don't hide your face. Come out and meet the people, Fred Fernbald. (GLADIS GOODWATER pushes the lid off her box and jumps up.)

GLADIS: You leave Mr. Fernbald alone. You just leave him to himself. He's been my neighbor for years and he never makes hardly any noise and he never bothers me. He never even borrowed a cup of sugar or anything from me. I've never even seen him. He's so quiet. I just hear him rushing to the mailbox every morning. (She leans over and looks into Fred's box.) Hi there, Mr. Fernbald. (Landlord pulls a He-man picture out of her boxes)

LANDLORD: Well, just look what I found! Gladis Goodwater doesn't live alone, either. Is this your boyfriend, Gladis? Is this your lover?

GLADIS (sinks into her box leaving lid off): Oh my God.

LANDLORD: Quite a specimen of a male. What's his name, Gladis old girl? Or does he have many names? Or is he just a faceless, nameless body? (Holds the two pictures next to each other.) You better watch him-- he's liable to have an affair with Fred's woman. Sunnydale Apartments has a lot to offer, folks. A real Peyton Place. Come on, Gladis, tell us... (FRANNY CLAPTREE jumps out of her box.)

FRANNY: I don't think it's fair of you to-make fun of Miss Goodwater. Why she's been my neighbor for many years, and a very excellent neighbor. I'd never even know she lived there, except for an occasional rustle of the wall and a few scattered moans. Why do you have to go and bug her? What's your big hang-up? Being the landlord doesn't make you God.

LANDLORD: I can evict you, Franny Claptree. I can throw you out on the street. You just watch who you're calling God. You just watch it! (Pause. They look at each other. He leans towards her.) How about a kiss?

FRANNY: That's not part of the... (He pulls centerfold of a nude woman from behind her back.)

LANDLORD: I've got it now!

FRANNY: You give that back! You... You...!

LANDLORD (showing picture to audience): Need I say anything? Is there anything I need to say?

FRANNY (sinking back down in her box, in tears): You men are all fucked up. You have no sense of the delicate.

LANDLORD (laughs): Delicate! I'd like to see some of Franny's delicate fantasies. (Pretends to make love to Franny's centerfold as if he were her.): Oh my darling, (Starts believing it himself.) let me kiss you and love you like no terrible, cruel man can love you. I keep you in my heart and my mind twenty-four hours a day. I want to caress and touch you until death. Come to me my love. Closer... Closer... (Long pause. Jumps up pretending he didn't do what he just did. He leans over into Gladis' box.) Better watch it, Gladis. Someone's liable to steal your paper man. (Sets He-man picture between other two pictures.) Just look at that. Imagine all the possible combinations. Just imagine. (A hand comes sticking up out of WALTER WORMTURD's box. It is holding another He-man centerfold.) Well what does Walter Wormturd have in his sweet little hand? (Takes picture from Walter's hand. Hand goes back into box.) Why, Walter, I never knew. (Puts Walter's He-man picture with the other three.) There are my tenant's lovers, all four in a row. Let's see what they can do with each other. (Walter's hand comes out and starts pulling Landlord to the box.) Walter! Walter! Cut it out! I'll raise your rent! I'll evict you! Please Walter, I'm not that way. I'm not paper and besides I'm not even like that. (Walter pulls Landlord completely into his box, closing the lid. There is a short time of struggling and then the other three pop up and look at each other.)

GLADIS (to Franny): So you're Miss Claptree.

FRANNY: Yes. And you must be Miss Goodwater.

GLADIS: Yes. GLADIS & FRANNY (to Fred); And you must be Mr. Fernbald.

FRED: Yes. (They all laugh.)

ALL THREE (pointing to Walter's box): And that must be Mr. Wormturd. (All laugh.)

FRED: Call me Fred.

GLADIS: And me Gladis.

FRANNY: I like to be called Franny. (All laugh.)

ALL THREE: It's the first time I've ever seen you. (All laugh.) You want to meet my lover? (All laugh.

FRED (leans over and picks up pictures): This is yours. (Hands it to Gladis.)

GLADIS: Oh yes, isn't he just wonderful.

FRED: And this must be yours. (Hands Franny Walter's He-man picture.)

FRANNY: Oh no, Fred. She's mine. (Takes her own picture.) I hope you don't mind.

FRED: Not at all. She looks very nice. (Holds Walter's picture up.) This must be Mr. Wormturd's. (Walter pops up.)

WALTER: Hi everyone. Our landlord has passed out from exhausted fright. My name is Walter.

OTHER THREE: Hi Walter, nice meeting you. You have a handsome lover.

WALTER: Thank you. (Each person puts their picture in front of their chests.)

ALL FOUR: Isn't he/she nice. (They turn their pictures inwards and give them a few kisses. They drop the pictures and look at each other.) They're only paper.

GLADIS: Walter, you're very nice. You're not paper.

WALTER: Thank you, Gladis. Fred, you look much better than my paper lover.

FRED: Thank you, Walter. Franny?


FRED: I'd like to see you undressed. A three dimensional lover.

FRANNY: Thank you, Fred. Gladis?

GLADIS:. I think I know what you're going to say.

FRANNY: You're beautiful.

GLADIS: Thank you. Walter...

WALTER: Fred...

FRED: Franny...

FRANNY: Gladis...

GLADIS: Walter... (This goes around a few times. They stop, look at each other in frustration, pick up their pictures, turn their backs to each other, hug the pictures and slowly sink back into their boxes. There is a short pause. Walter throws the Landlord out of the box.)

WALTER; He was lousy. (Everyone pops up, picks up their lids and sink back into the box, putting their lids on their boxes.)


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