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Can You Hear Me Now

Amy and Wendy Tucker open a gas station in the little Washington town of Black Diamond. An inept robber armed with a toy pistol is so down on his luck he tries unsuccessfully to holdup the women who easily foil his attempt. But they are touched by the sto

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Can You Hear Me Now

A fun drama/melodrama type of play.

Author:    Edgar Eaton


     Amy and Wendy Tucker open a gas station in the little Washington town of Black Diamond. An inept robber armed with a toy pistol is so down on his luck he tries unsuccessfully to holdup the women who easily foil his attempt. 
     But they are touched by the story of his life that has driven him to this act and they decide to help him. The result is a marvelous opportunity for the audience to meet local folks from two memory handicapped elderly sisters to a motorcycle-riding bank official who is smitten by one of the girls.
     It is a great collection of people including a man on a telephone asking, “Can you hear me now?” He or she (depending on who plays the part the night you see the show) just might be someone you know.

Can You Hear Me Now

Can You Hear Me Now? 

A comedy in three acts


Edgar E. Eaton

Can You Hear Me Now

 Copyright 2003

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

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Amy Tucker  Young woman, co-owner of A&W Service, a gas station she operates with her sister, Wendy. These are two women making a living in what many consider a “man’s world” but their father taught them to work on cars as teenagers and now they do it as well or better than any men around.

Wendy Tucker Amy’s sister, co-owner of A&W Service, earned a doctorate in U.S. history, but finds she can make more money in business with her sister than she can teaching history.

Burton Holdup man, down on his luck.  He has lost his job and his wife has left him.  He is  struggling to support himself and his little boy.  The Tucker sisters come to his rescue.  He later dates Amy.  

Joy  Young lady dropping by the service station looking for a root beer float

Ernie Seegmiller Motorcycle rider who just sticks his head in the door in the first act but later comes back to flirt with Wendy.  He is a Polyanna type guy who doesn’t smoke, drink or swear and loves Disney movies. The sisters like him. He later dates Wendy.

Tom Johnson  A young man interested in golf, cars, and girls, not necessarily in that order.  It depends on the girls. 

Man on Telephone  This walkon part can be played by a different  community icon each night the play is presented.  This is a great opportunity to have fun with the play that will bring back patrons who have already seen the play before.  It is a small part but very important. 

Tony the Tiger Kennedy  Used car salesman, flashy dresser.  

Justina and Laura McKinstry  Two elderly women who stop to get their car,  an extinct Tucker, washed at the gas station fund raiser. 

Mary Swift  A daily columnist for the local paper. She can be any age, 30 and up.  She writes about “good news” in the community.  

Allen Bates  A billionaire philanthropist who, with his wife, has a large foundation that does much good.  This couple can be any age, 35 and up.

Dorothy Bates  Allen Bates’ wife, a wonderful down-to-earth woman who loves people.

Mayor The mayor of Black Diamond.  He can be an adult age.

Teenager  A bit part right at the end of the play for a teenager, boy or girl.  He comes in on a unicycle but if you have no unicycle or any actor who can ride one, the part could be done on solid ground.  


The office of A&W Service, a gas sation. It has a counter, cash register, supply of things sold in gas stations like oil, candy, nuts, etc.  There is a front door in the middle of the set at the back and a side door going out to the garage. 

Time Today

Act I     Scene 1

JOY: (Coming in the front door)  I would like an A&W sugar free Root Beer float.  A&W has the best sugar free root beer made.  How much is a float?

AMY:  I would like a float, too.  It’s hot today.  If you find one any place in Black Diamond, find out how much they are and let me know.

JOY:  Isn’t this A&W service?

AMY:  That’s correct.

JOY:  Well, what’s the problem?  You don’t have sugar free?

AMY:  I think we might in the soda pop machine outside.  That would be 75 cents but you don’t get ice cream with it. 

JOY:   (She looks around and suddenly realizes that she is not in a fast food outlet selling hamburgers, sundaes, and root beer floats.)  I’m sorry.  I thought this was an A&W stand.  Forgive me. 

WENDY:  Forgive us.  When we named our service station A&W Service we were afraid me might have some people thinking we sell hamburgers, milk shakes, and floats. But I’m Wendy and this is my sister Amy – W and A or A and W.  Amy’s the oldest so she gets first billing. 

AMY:  I get first billing because I’m the best looking. 

JOY:  I would guess you are listed first because A is the first letter alphabetically. 

WENDY:  That means if my sisters Missy, Lorraine and Corky and my brothers Carl, Lloyd and even Wendall were in the business, I’d still be listed last. 

AMY:  Would you like some crackers and cheese with your whine?

WENDY:  No, but a root beer float would be nice. 

JOY:  I guess that means I’m not going to get a root beer float, doesn’t it?

AMY:  But could we interest you in a lube job, gas, or brake adjustment?

JOY:  I’m on a bike. I get fantastic gas mileage. 

WENDY:  We have free air. 

JOY:  No thanks.  I’d better get going.  I’ll stop by the library and see if I can get a root beer float there. 

AMY:  Sugar free?

JOY:  I guess it doesn’t have to be sugar free but I really would like a root beer float. 

WENDY:  At the library?

JOY:  I really don’t care where I get it.  Is there a sports bar closer?

AMY:  There’s a Wendy’s around the corner. 

JOY:  But they don’t have A&W

WENDY:  But the library or a sports bar does?

JOY:  A library has everything from A to Z.  That includes A&W. 

AMY:  And a sports bar?

JOY:  I don’t care if they have root beer floats.  I just go there to hit on guys.  Bye. 

(She exits)

AMY:  There goes a winner.  Maybe it’s good thing she was on a bike.  If she was in a car, she might have asked for sugar free regular.

WENDY:  We only have sugar free in high octane gas. 

AMY:  She would have never understood that.  I don’t understand that. 

WENDY:  Actually, we don’t do a lot of business with bikers.

ERNIE:  (He is a motorcycle rider decked out in his leather jacket and pants.)

You asked for a biker?  Got any free air? 

`AMY:  I’m not going to touch that with a ten-foot pogo stick. 

WENDY:  It’s right at the end of the building. 

ERNIE:  (He takes off.)

WENDY:  It’s sugar free. 

(ERNIE sticks his head back into the door and looks at Wendy, then Amy, with a question mark over his head, like in the comics.)

AMY:  Inside joke. 

ERNIE:  Oh . . . right.  (He leaves.)

AMY:  Maybe we shouldn’t rock their boat when we know they’re in Hell’s Angels.

`WENDY:  He wasn’t in Hell’s Angels. 

AMY:  How do you know? 

WENDY:  Because he had no tattoos, wasn’t smoking anything, and his bike had training wheels. 

AMY:  You’re very observant, Sis.  Now why don’t you go change the transmission in the BMW?

WENDY:  Coffee break is over already?

AMY:  You don’t drink coffee, Wendy. 

WENDY:  And you don’t have sugarfree root beer?

AMY:  Get back to work!

WENDY:  Right. 

AMY:  Now maybe I can get some work done. 

WENDY:  (Sticking her head back in the door)  Was I changing the transmission in the BMW or the Volkswagon convertible?

AMY:  (She throws a garage rag at Wendy who laughs and retreats to the garage.)  The BMW.  On the Volkswagon you have to take that engine you put in the trunk and put it in the BACK of the car.

WENDY:  (Offstage)  Why would I put it in the back?

AMY:  Are you sure you’re not the girl who was just in here looking for a root beer float?

WENDY:  (Sticking her head in the door)  You got me a root beer float?

AMY:  (She throws a copy of People magazine at her)

Back to work!

WENDY:  (There is a brief pause)  (Offstage)  Did you know Liza Minelli is getting a divorce?


I don’t care if Bill Clinton is getting a divorce.  Get back to work!  I didn’t give you the  magazine to read. I was trying to hit you with it. 

WENDY:  (Sticking her head in the door)  Is Bill Clinton getting a divorce?

AMY:  You have the magazine. 

WENDY:  Then don’t go starting rumors.  (After a pause)  Oh here it is.  He’s marrying Roseanne Barr. 

AMY:  Wendy!

WENDY:  (Offstage)  Right.  The BMW.  I got it. (A pause again)  Did you say the motor goes in the trunk?

(Before Wendy can reply BURTON walks in with a toy pistol and a handkerchief around the lower part of his face.  He is very unsure of himself.)

BURTON:  This is a holdup, lady.  Er . . . ah . . . Empty that cash register into this bag. (He has a bag, could even be a bag from A&W or Toys R Us)

AMY:  Excuse me?

BURTON:  (Raising his voice, trying to sound tough, but is unconvincing)

I said gimme your cash.  Haven’t you ever been robbed before?

AMY:  First, don’t point that pistol at me. It makes me nervous, even if it doesn’t look real.  Second, no we’ve never been robbed before.  We just opened.  All we’ve got in the cash register is about twenty five dollars in change.  Would you risk going to jail for twenty-five bucks?  Please put down that toy gun. 

BURTON:  Lady, I got no choice.  I need the money.  I’m desperate. 

(WENDY quietly walks into the room unnoticed by BURTON.  She has a wrench in her hand and swings it at the gun, knocking it to the floor.  BURTON screams.)

BURTON:  You broke my hand, you broke my hand. 

WENDY:  I broke your gun.  Your hand is just fine.

BURTON:  No, I need a doctor.  You broke my hand. 

WENDY:  I’m a doctor.

BURTON:  No, I need a real doctor.  My hand is still stinging.

AMY:  Wendy’s a real doctor. 

BURTON:  She looks like a mechanic to me.

WENDY:  Thank you.  Sometimes I have trouble convincing people I’m a mechanic because I’m a woman.  Thanks for the vote of confidence. 

BURTON:  I’m not here to boost your ego.  I’m here to rob you.  I’m outta work, my kid is starving, and now you’ve broken my hand.  I need a real doctor. 

AMY:  Wendy is a real doctor.  She has a PhD in American history and was trying to get a job teaching when we decided to open this gas station.  We think we can make more money going into business together than she can teaching. . . if some Bozo doesn’t come in and rob us.  And she didn’t break your hand.  She broke your toy pistol.

BURTON:  I need a doctor doctor, not a teacher. 

WENDY:  Look, if you want a broken hand that bad, put it out here and I’ll hit it with my wrench and we’ll call 911 and the police will take you to a doctor right after they book you. 

(BURTON takes his hand and puts it under his other arm and turns away from her.)

BURTON:  Don’t hit me again and don’t call the cops.  I’m not a very good robber.  I bungled my first job.  And now my little boy’s pistol is broken.

AMY:  (Putting her arm around him)  You did fine.  I would have given you the money if Wendy hadn’t interrupted us.  Don’t whine about the broken toy pistol.  Kids shouldn’t be playing with guns anyway, toy or otherwise. 

WENDY:  He didn’t ask for one of your sermons on toy weapons, Amy.  Look, if I interrupted something between you two I’ll just take my weapon and go back to changing the transmission.  I don’t need this.  I’ve got enough trouble with that stupid car. 

BURTON:  You’re changing a transmission?

WENDY:  I know.  Women aren’t supposed to change transmissions but tell that to my dad.  He taught both Amy and me how to work on cars and frankly we’re pretty good at it. (Sarcastic)  Although sometimes it does tend to mess up our hair and smear our makeup.

AMY:  I’d be out there helping her but somebody has to watch the shop.  Somebody has to be available for the bad guys to come in and rob us. 

BURTON:  I’m not really a bad guy.  I lost my job and my wife left me when I needed her the most.  I’m working on my friends’ cars trying to pick up a few bucks and support me and my little boy.  My rent is coming due and my wife ran up a lot of credit card bills.  I don’t know what I’m going to do.  Are there any other service stations around here I could rob?

WENDY:  No, but there’s a retirement home in Auburn. 

AMY:  Wendy!

WENDY:  Just trying to suggest a place where someone won’t knock the toy pistol out of his hand with a wrench. 

AMY:  You’d be surprised.  Ever met any of those folks in that assisted living place?  I wouldn’t want to tangle with them.  Why don’t you get back to work?  You’re not much help here, Dr. Tucker. 

BURTON:  I’m sorry I bothered you.  Please don’t call the police.  I won’t rob anyone else.  I am obviously not a very good holdup man.  And I don’t want some 80 year-old grandmother knocking me down with her cane and then kicking me.

WENDY:  How are you at working on cars?  You said you help some of your friends out with their cars.  How good are you?

BURTON:  I’m kind of self taught.  I have had to keep my old bucket of bolts running and I sort of figured it out on my own.  I’ve had no complaints about the freelance work I have done.  But I’ve never been taught formally and I can’t find a job as a mechanic.  I could never change a transmission like you’re doing.  That’s a big job. 

WENDY:  I could use some help.  Would you like to come out to the garage and watch?  I’d be glad to teach you what my dad taught me.  I could use the company.  If Amy doesn’start throwing rags and magazines at us, we might get something done. 

BURTON:  I would love to, but I’m afraid I can’t take the time.  I have to come up with some way, other than robbing gas stations, to put food on the table. 

AMY:  You go with Wendy.  Let me make a phone call or two between waiting on customers and maybe we can help you. 

BURTON:  Help me?  How?

AMY:  Leave that to me.  I don’t know yet, but I have some ideas.  You guys get out of my hair and let me get at it. 

WENDY:  (WENDY puts her arm through Burton’s arm and leads him to the garage.)  Come with me, big fellow.  We got a date with a BMW. 

(They exit.  AMY picks up the phone to make a call.)

AMY:  Wanda.  Do you still work with that church youth group?  Want a great service project? 

   (The lights fade to black with AMY still talking on the phone.)

End of Act I Scene 1

Act I  Scene 2


Same service station but lots of activity is taking place just out the front door.  A local church youth group is putting on a car wash.  Expect to see a lot of local characters during this scene.  Wendy is now running the cash register, a big job today because so many people want change for the pop machine, candy machine, etc.  AMY and BURTON are out helping wash cars and wait on customers who want gas. 


One week later. 

AMY:  (Coming in the front door with BURTON)  You can’t believe how busy we are.  The kids are out holding up signs and waving at cars to get them to stop. Some of those girls are pretty cute and more than once a car has gone on by and then made a U-turn at the end of the block and came back.  We’re not only raising a lot of money to help Burton but we’re doing more business in one day than we’ve done in a week.  Maybe we should do this every Saturday. 

WENDY:  Without the teenagers here, who would stand out there in a bathing suit with a sign and wave in cars? 

BURTON:  I’d be glad to put on a bathing suit and get the pretty girls to stop. 

WENDY:  That’s a good idea. 

AMY:  Don’t listen to her, Burton.  You are not going to stand out in front of our service station in a bathing suit.  It’s bad enough you came in our service station with toy pistol.  Toy pistols should be banned. 

WENDY:  Amy.  There’s a soapbox out in the garage.  Why don’t you get it and go down on the corner and see if you can draw a crowd. 

AMY:  I can take a hint.  No more speeches.  For our non-teenager car wash, maybe we could get Joy to help and all of us could hit on guys.  We’d get more action than a sports bar selling root beer floats. 

(JOY and TOM walk in.  Tom is good looking, wearing shorts and a golf shirt, white socks that come above the calves, and sneakers or sandals.)

JOY:  Did I hear my name mentioned? 

WENDY:  Amy and Burton were just telling me what a great job you’re doing.  Would you like to introduce us to your friend? 

JOY:  That’s why I came in.  Meet Tom Johnson.  He stopped by to get his ’56 Chevy Impala washed and then he’s going to take me for a ride.  What a beautiful car.  He keeps it in top notch shape. 

TOM:(He shakes hands with the sisters.)  Hi.  The kids are washing my car.  It didn’t really need it, but I stopped when I saw how pretty the girls are.  And I met . . . what did you say your name was?

JOY:  Marilyn.  Marilyn Monroe. 

TOM:  Right.  I met Marilyn and she agreed to go for a ride in my car.  She’s a lot cuter than the girls I met at the sports bar yesterday. 

WENDY:  “Marilyn” agreed to go for a ride?

TOM:  Isn’t that lucky for me?

AMY:  Just peachy.  Should we tell him, Wendy?

WENDY:  About Joy?

WENDY and JOY:  Noooooooo. 

TOM:(Looking puzzled, first at Amy, then Wendy)  They lost me.  Come, Marilyn.  Let’s g for a ride up to lookout point and enjoy the view with the top down. 

JOY:  They lost me a long time ago.  Let’s go. 

AMY:  I’m going back to washing cars.  Maybe there’s a guy out there for me. 

BURTON:  I’ll go with you and see if we can find him.

WENDY:  Sure.  Just tell him your name is Madonna. 

AMY:  Madonna Tucker.  Sounds like someone who ought to be on a calendar. 

WENDY:  Maybe we could hang it in the garage so it would seem more like a garage. 

AMY:  I don’t see why you would want a picture of me hanging in the garage. 

BURTON:  Hang that picture up and I’ll work here for free. 

WENDY:  Burton, we’re not hanging any such picture in our garage.

BURTON:  May I hang it in my garage?

AMY:  Burton, there is no such picture.  There’s not going to be. 

BURTON:  I have a camera.  The flash doesn’t work and I don’t remember what size film it uses, but I do have a camera. 

AMY:  Read my lips, my friend.  Now let’s go and see if we can find me a friend with a convertible. 

BURTON:  Right.  Maybe we could rip the top off my car.   Wait for me . . . ah . . Madonna. 

(UNCLE JOE, a policeman, comes in the front door as they leave.)

JOE:  Howdy, ma’m.  My name’s Joe.  Kids call me Uncle Joe. 

WENDY:  Uncle Joe?  That’s a funny name for a cop. 

JOE:  Policeman, ma’m.  I don’t like being called a cop. 

WENDY:  Isn’t that an unusual name for a policeman?  I thought police were tough, no nonsense guys who wrote out tickets.

JOE:  Well, my beat is schools.  I talk to the kids a lot about safety and that kind of stuff. I’ve become pretty friendly with the kids.  I’ve never written any of them a ticket yet.  They started calling me Uncle Joe, I guess, ‘cause I’m like a member of the family.  And I like having a nickname.  If I were the chief, they’d probably call me Chief Joseph. 

WENDY:  You’re not the chief?

JOE:  Oh no.  I’m not old enough for a desk job like that. 

WENDY:  You have to be old to be chief? 

JOE:  Ours is.  He must be 45. 

WENDY:  Oh, that is old?  What can I do for you?  

JOE:  Oh, I thought I’d just stop by and visit while they wash my patrol car.  Those kids will get a kick out of washing a police car.  When it gets dirty, sometimes kids write on it with their fingers, “WASH ME.”  And I do.  Chief doesn’t like us driving around in dirty patrol cars. 

WENDY:  That’s a good idea.  You should get everyone down at the station to bring his or HER car to be washed.  You do have women driving police cars, don’t you?

JOE:  Of course.  It’d be a pretty boring job without women around. 

WENDY:  I know how you feel.  We like to have men around here once in a while. 

JOE:  That’s why I came in.  Women like a guy in uniform. 

WENDY:  You’ve got that right.  You’re one handsome dude, Uncle Joe. 

JOE:  Wish I could stay longer.  Maybe we could get better acquainted and you could call me just Joe.  I gotta get back out there and see that they don’t steal my shotgun out of the back seat. 

WENDY:  You have a shotgun?  Are you going bird hunting?

JOE:  Oh, we’re not allowed . . . You were pulling my leg, weren’t you, ma’m. 

WENDY:  Would I do that . . .ah . . . Joe? 

JOE:  Calling me Joe already?  I better get back to work. I just may get to like it in here. 

WENDY:  Come back when you can stay longer .

JOE:  Maybe I could show you my handcuffs and flashlight. 

WENDY:  That might be fun.  But I don’t want to try them on. 

JOE:  Oh, I would never arrest you, ma’m. 

WENDY:  But you would give me a ticket, I’ll bet, if I were speeding. 

JOE:  It’d be a pleasure, ma’m. 

WENDY:  It might be for you.  I have never really enjoyed the experience myself. 

JOE:  You get a lot of tickets, ma’m? 

WENDY:  Only when I speed. 

JOE:  Isn’t that a coincidence.  That’s usually when I give them.  Funny we’ve never met before.

WENDY:  I’m probably speeding when you’re talking to school kids.

JOE:  You don’t impress me as a speeder, ma’m. 

WENDY:  You can call me Wendy.  I was just kidding.  I’ve never been given a ticket.&

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