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Of Poisoned Pens and Palates

10-Minute Dark Comedy

Man……………late 40’s Self-confident bravado, on the make, dressed casually but well
Woman………mid 40’s Shy, attractive, bookish, awkward socially
Waitress……..mid to late 60’s Brusque, competent, nosy


A man and woman, supposedly strangers, meet at a restaurant, on an internet date. As the “mystery” date unfolds, the audience learns that the man is a journalist, who writes critiques of literary works, and that the woman is a writer and the daughter of a woman who dealt in pesticides. Periodically, an intrusive waitress tries to eavesdrop on her customers’ conversation. The man becomes increasingly disoriented and ill, until the denouement of the play reveals that the man was actually no stranger to the woman, who sought him out in revenge for a devastating critique of her first novel. The waitress, also the woman’s mother, colludes with her daughter in bringing about the demise of the poisoned penned critic.