The Codependent

  • Cast Number: 2
  • Run-time: 14 minutes
  • Bible Reference: Romans 13:13-14
Alcoholism, addiction, dependency, alcohol, drugs.
A wife is conned into believing that "this time I am quitting for good, you just watch!"
The dreadful sickness of addiction affects all of us in society.

One female actor and one male voice, both middle aged.

Setting: Entire drama takes place in a living room setting. Other than a window with curtain, (which is optional), little is needed other than a chair, chesterfield, coffee table. Background / backdrop could be as elaborate or simple as desired / required.

Sound: Woman should have portable mike if possible as she will be moving around stage. Voice could be live or taped, if possible have it amplified over the phone for greater believability. A sound of phone ringing and a dial tone would be very useful. (For archive of sounds see DramaSounds)

Props: Telephone, magazine.

Costumes: Only normal leisure clothing required.

Conduct of Character: From the moment lights come up, woman needs to display her anxious, distraught attitude, making it clear to the audience that something is wrong. This same characterization needs to continue until near the end of the drama, when, gradually, she starts to cave in to her husband's pleas. Man's voice must display obvious signs that he is drunk, yet be careful that he comes across more as pathetic than comedic. Actor will have to work hard on the voice to make it believable.

Sample of script:

As lights come up, woman is pacing back and forth, picks up phone, checks for dial tone, puts phone back down. Sits down, picks up magazine, pages through, absent-mindedly. Stands up, walks to (real or imaginary) window, pulls curtains back, looks out, goes back pacing again.

Phone rings, woman turns quickly, picks up phone, speaks:Woman: H - h - hello? Is that you, Jim?

Voice: Yeh, it's me all right! Ole Jim, reportin' in!

Woman: And drunk, as usual!

Voice: There ya go agin! "As usual!" Why, I haven't had a drink fer months till t'night! Well, maybe fer days. But anyhow, that's the thanks I git! No wunner I drink a little! Any man'd drink if he's married ta a woman like you, woman who only knows how ta nag, an' ta put a man down! I'm yer husbin fer Pete's sake! Have a little respect, OK?

Woman: Respect? How can I have respect for you when you have no respect for your family? Worse, you have no respect for yourself!

Voice: I don' see how you kin talk that way about me! I've bin a good provider, all these years. Sure, maybe the last few years have been a little rough fer me, an' fer you too, I s'pose. But, remember how it used ta be?

Woman: Yes, Jim, I do remember. The sad thing is, seems that's all I've got now is memories. And, yes, things were good back then. Why, Jim, why? (starts to cry).

Voice: Don't you go cryin'. Look, things will be just like the old days agin, you'll see! Now, come on down ta the bar, an' pick up ole Jimbo up an' bring him, OK?

Woman: I can't do that Jim. You know that. We discussed that with your counsellor, remember? We agreed that I would not be a co-dependent any longer. You have to be responsible for your own actions, remember?

Voice: Counsellor, Schmounsellor! What does that jerk know about anythin' anyhow? He's prob'ly never had a drink in his life! He don't know nuthin' from nuthin'

Woman: You know that isn't true, Jim. Dr. Menzies is a recovering alcoholic. He's been there!

Voice: Worse still! How's a guy like me ta git over this when he's got an alkie quack fer a doctor?

Woman: I can't take it any more, Jim! Just as I told the Pastor, I have run out of strength to deal with you and your drinking.

Voice: Pastor? Pastor? Since when do you go blabbin' our private affairs with some jerk preacher? Next thing ya know the whole neighborhood'll figure I'm an alcoholic er somethin'!

Woman: But, Jim, you are an alcoholic!

Voice: Now that's it! What right do you have callin' me an alcoholic? I tell you I kin stop drinkin' anytime I want ta! An' another thing! What right do you have talkin' ta this jerk preacher? I demand, as yer husbin', I demand that you never talk ta him agin! Here me? Since when are ya goin' ta some jerk church, anyways?

Woman: I told you, Jim. I simply can't do it alone.

Voice: Alone? Since when are you alone? You've got me!

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