When Frankie Got Her Man is my very first attempt at writing a play script. It was an assignment in the online course I am taking and based off of an anonymous poem entitled Frankie and Johnny. I hope you enjoy it!
WHEN FRANKIE GOT HER MAN
FRANKIE, young female
JOHNNY, young male
BARTENDER, mid-fifties, male
BARFLIES: JIM, JACK, JERRY
A bar, the parking lot outside a cheap hotel room
The scene opens in a small, dimly lit bar. The room is smoky, and a thick layer of dirt covers the floor. Assorted liquor bottles line the wall behind the bar where various people sit with their backs turned. The scene focuses on the bartender. He is older, perhaps in his late fifties, not dressed particularly well and seems slow. He stands behind the counter drying a tall glass with a dirty rag, ignoring the people seated before him. A jukebox sits in the far corner of the room causing low music to fill the silence. Once the scene is established, Frankie walks into the bar. The scene focuses on her, a young, woman whose steps are full of life. A fancy dress flows around her as she walks. Her movements are graceful and deliberate. Her excessive jewelry clanks as she stalks over to the bartender.
FRANKIE (Loudly.): I’ll take a bucket of beer, please. (FRANKIE sits down heavily at the bar.)
BARTENDER: Of course ma’am, one large beer is coming up. (He reaches under the counter.)
FRANKIE: Make sure you tip the glass this time, I don’t want any foam.
(JIM, JACK, and JERRY wave but FRANKIE ignores them. JACK mumbles under his breath. FRANKIE glances at him briefly before turning back to the bartender. JACK rolls his eyes at her and turns back to his drink.)
FRANKIE (Concentrating on the bartender.): Hey Mister Bartender, have you seen my lovin Johnny? (The bartender puts down a large glass of beer in front of her.) I love him so, and he loves me, but I think he’s doing me wrong. (She fidgets with her large gold bracelet.)
(The bartender glances at the barflies and they stare at him.)
BARTENDER (Nervously.): Now, Frankie, I don’t mean to cause you trouble, and I do not want to lie. (He picks up another glass and begins to rub it with the dirty cloth.) Your man was just here a half-hour ago. He was making love to that Nelly Bly. If he’s your man, you know he’s doing you wrong. (Avoiding Frankie gaze.)
FRANKIE: Why that no good scoundrel (Frankie slams her fists down on counter. She jumps up from the bar stool and moves quickly to exit to the exit.)
BARTENDER (To himself): Johnny you’ve done it now boy. (He sets the glass and dirty rag on the counter, and the scene goes dark.)
(The stage fills with light as Frankie now stands outside a cheap motel room. The place is deserted and void of life. She stands up on her tippy toes to peer in the window of each hotel room until she spots JOHNNY. He is indeed making love to Nelly Bly. The scene focuses on the door in front of which FRANKIE stands.)
FRANKIE (Shrieking): Johnny how could you. (Tears run down her face. She kicks at the door. Then she pulls a forty-four from under her dress and points it at the door. A rustle comes from behind the door. JOHNNY’s face appears in the window of the door.)
JOHNNY (Panicked): Frankie don’t do it. Please don’t shoot me now. This isn’t what you think it is. (Pleading) I wouldn’t do you wrong. (He raises his arms in protest)
FRANKIE (Angrily.): Johnny don’t lie to me.
JOHNNY (Astonished.): Frankie, I would never lie to you.
FRANKIE (Sarcastically.): Oh really?
JOHNNY (Matter-of-factly): Really!
FRANKIE: Then, tell me what you are doing in there with Nelly Bly if you aren’t doing me wrong.
JOHNNY (Ashamed.): You’re right, my dear Frankie, I can’t lie to you. (JOHNNY fiddles with the doorknob.) I love you so, and you love me, but I am doing you wrong.
(FRANKIE caulks the forty-four and pulls the trigger quick. Three shots, rooty- toot-toot. Dead center through the door the shots went, right into JOHNNY’S gut.)
JOHNNY (softly, in agony): Frankie my love, I never meant to do you wrong. (JOHNNY opens the door and falls at FRANKIE’S feet) Frankie, please roll me over. Roll me over gently and roll me over slow. Roll me over now, because these bullets hurt me so.
(FRANKIE leans down and cradles JOHNNY in her arms. She cries uncontrollably as she rocks him back and forth.)
FRANKIE (Tenderly): My loving Johnny. How I love you so. (She chokes on the words through her tears.)
JOHNNY (Faintly): I was your man, but I did you wrong. (JOHNNY’S eyes close and his head rolls to the side. The breath leaves his body and the stage goes dark.)