Ten Minutes On a Bench

A dating app called Ten Minutes On a Bench is the latest match-making craze, placing singles on a park bench to find common ground. The clock is ticking, but there’s no limit to the variety of quirky, sexy, heartbreaking and humane conversations between a couple dozen characters looking for love. A new salty-sweet romantic comedy about first impressions, dogs and cats, drinkers and smokers, impulse and caution...
A dating app called Ten Minutes On a Bench is the latest match-making craze, placing singles on a park bench to find common ground. The clock is ticking, but there’s no limit to the variety of quirky, sexy, heartbreaking and humane conversations between a couple dozen characters looking for love. A new salty-sweet romantic comedy about first impressions, dogs and cats, drinkers and smokers, impulse and caution, conversation and chemistry. Laugh, cheer and cringe witnessing the universal urge to connect. Sometimes, it only takes ten minutes.

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Set requirement: Blank stage with a park bench.

Ideal Cast: 8 (4W, 4M)

Perfect fit for a company looking for humane comedies in the tradition of Neil Simon and "Almost, Maine."

A two-act play with a prologue, epilogue and 15 separate two-hander scenes ideally designed for a cast of eight (4W, 4M) performing on/around a park bench. 31 speaking roles, 50 characters.

In the eight-performance version, a members of a diverse, protean company each play four scenes (in one case, three scenes).

Currently seeking development and production of an eight-performer iteration, the tracks of which are.

ACTOR 1 & ACTRESS 1: Ages 20s-30s
ACTOR 2 & ACTRESS 2: Ages 30s-40s
ACTOR 3 & ACTRESS 3: Ages 40s-50s
ACTOR 4 & ACTRESS 4: Ages 60s-70s

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>Minimum Cast: 6 (3W, 3M)
>Large Cast: An expanded cast of up to 31 people is possible, with author's permission. In theory, a school or community theater could present a large-cast presentation tailored to their best performers.
>A streamlined hybrid version (intermissionless) is also possible with author's approval.

The cast should represent a wide range of ages, body types, abilities, sexual orientations, races, ethnicities and genders.

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There is an epidemic of loneliness in the human race. Nature eventually urges us to find contact, chemistry and companionship with others. In the early 21st century, some people seek it through technology. The dating service called Ten Minutes On a Bench is not a hookup app for sex; its target is relationship-minded people who want a conversation first. Communication, especially when there’s a ticking clock, is rarely straightforward. Even when you think you’re prepared for the briefest chat, there are surprising sharp turns, dead ends, detours and derailments. This play is a pulse-taking of all kinds of people ready (or not) for relationships. At great risk, they put themselves out in the world in an effort to cure our great epidemic. If a lasting connection doesn’t result, maybe the memory of a misfired exchange or an amiable moment — of grace, kindness, hurt, surprise and laughter — will sustain and inspire them to do better next time, keep looking, keep reaching and keep hoping until they’re no longer alone.



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Ten Minutes On a Bench

Recommended by

  • Dominic Finocchiaro:
    14 May. 2024
    Should be produced by every high school (and college, and regional theater) in America. Alternately hilarious and heartwarming and sad and thought-provoking--a buffet of dynamic two handers. A great vehicle for actors of all ages (perfect for scene studies) and a guaranteed crowd-pleaser.

Character Information

  • Andy (ACTOR 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Jeans-and-graphic-t-shirt type. Clark Kent glasses. Casual, cool, sexy without knowing it. Liberal arts major. Comic book nerd. (Preferably with a forelock curl of hair that dangles over his forehead, as indicated in script.)
  • Hector (ACTOR 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Charming, wily law student. Charismatic and quick on his feet, but his still-forming brain does not have all the answers.
  • John (ACTOR 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    A gym rat/party boy whose confidence hides loneliness, insecurity, self-loathing. Wants more as he’s getting older but unskilled about how to get it. Immature. Defensive. Coolly sexy.
  • Marcus (ACTOR 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Cool, laid back, urban/blue collar bohemian, an artist who grew up in the city went to technical college. Gifted but does not flaunt it.
  • Maggie (ACTRESS 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Slightly pretentious/condescending art history/grad school type, dressed crisply and stylishly for work. Put-together. Judgy. Tough but not unchangeable.
  • Lee (ACTRESS 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Cool, cocky, caffeinated, suburban/upper middle class bohemian, self-involved, pretentious, possibly gifted but leads with her resume, insecure under it all?
  • Andrea (ACTRESS 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Smart, curious, candid, funny, a theatergoer, a city dweller, not impulsive, wants to take it slow.
  • Betsy (ACTRESS 1)
    20s-30s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Perky, chatty, positive, warm, open, affectionate, doesn't know boundaries but not a threat, a young mom.
  • Ralph (ACTOR 2)
    20s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Buttoned-up, charming, patient, emotionally mature, grown-up, maybe a former party boy.
  • Alan (ACTOR 2)
    30s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Smart, curious, candid, funny, loves city life, impulsive.
  • Jeff (ACTOR 2)
    20s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Smart, educated, open, inquisitive, a cynic, practical.
  • Grace (ACTRESS 2)
    20s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Kind, somewhat wounded, with very little experience in relationships. Awkward, but not arrested.
  • Sue (ACTRESS 2)
    20s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    A patient listener who can push back, slow to boil, not a doormat, curious but knows when to step away. A dog owner.
  • Chris (ACTRESS 2)
    20s-40s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Smart, educated, open, a dreamer in cynic’s clothes, a romantic in denial.
  • Multiple People (ACTRESS 2)
    20s-70s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Voicing 10 different women. Variety is key.
  • Tom (ACTOR 3)
    30s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Salty, peevish, critical, insecure, unskilled at communication but tries. Lonely. His own worst enemy. Not self-aware. A quirky, earnest oddball. Not a cartoon. A cat owner.
  • Larry (ACTOR 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Kind, gentle, somewhat wounded, with very little experience in relationships. Awkward, shy, but not arrested.
  • Pat (ACTOR 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Moderate, sober, patient, curious but not judgy. A listener, easily delighted.
  • Tim (ACTOR 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Male
    Patient, game, curious, kind, has processes grief but shows the good character to not shut down someone else who's grieving.
  • Lara (ACTRESS 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Grim, salty, negative, angry, grieving but putting herself out there even though she’s not ready. Glimmers of humor and self-awareness surface.
  • Helen (ACTRESS 3)
    40s-60s,
    Any Race/Ethnicity
    ,
    Female
    A patient listener, slow to boil, knows when to step away and will give a piece of her mind before doing it. Smart, together, has had some therapy.
  • Audrey (ACTRESS 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Divorced mom, tough but vulnerable due to bruised vanity, pissed about being lied to, but ultimately generous. A Southern mama?
  • Becca (ACTRESS 3)
    40s-50s,
    Any Race
    ,
    Female
    Somewhat guarded, but once warmed up, candid, charming, eager to talk, confident but touched by threads of guilt and regret. A storyteller.
  • Mark (ACTOR 4)
    60s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Accomplished, well-read, smart, game, funny, mature, old enough to speak the truth.
  • Multiple People (ACTOR 4)
    20s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Voicing 10 different men. Variety is key.
  • Dave (ACTOR 4)
    40s-60s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Critical, insecure, unskilled at communication but pretends otherwise. Lonely. A widower. Grieving. Hyper-verbal so as to hide pain. Has issues with women, except for perhaps with his late wife. Unskilled at dating. His own worst enemy. Has had no therapy.
  • Mike (ACTOR 4)
    60s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    Looks like a retired school teacher, a bit square, tweed jacket with patches. A good man. An innocent. New to dating apps.
  • Micki (ACTRESS 4)
    50s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Loquacious, on guard, defensive, maybe a little buzzed or maybe hyped-up because she hasn’t had a drink, sleek.
  • Sally (ACTRESS 4)
    60,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Candid, charming, eager to talk, confident but touched by threads of guilt and regret. A storyteller.
  • Claire (ACTRESS 4)
    60s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Accomplished, educated, well-read, smart, game, funny, mature, old enough to speak the truth.
  • Elizabeth (ACTRESS 4)
    60s-70s,
    White
    ,
    Female
    Kind, warm, grown up, open, a retired teacher, a catch.

Development History