A One Act Play

 Bob Westerholm 



The tragedy of death in the prime of life. Young men just reaching the bloom of life must deal with the use of hard drugs. The Ride is about the peril to hard core drug addicts as it was over fifty years ago and the waste of young lives that continues to this day. The play induces the audience to compare it to the drug problem today which has only gotten worse and warns that the so-called ‘war on drugs’ needs much more effort and creative solution or we will continue to waste the potential of our youth.
                                                                                      The time is summer, 1957





RANDAL HAGLER 19. More interested in girls than drugs. His brother Billy died from a heroin overdose and he still seethes with the cruel memory. Wants someone to pay for Billy’s death. He blames Calloway because they were together at the time. Not a user himself, because he’s afraid of dying from drugs. Has hope of a future.

JIMMY CALLOWAY 21. A hard core heroin addict, desperate for a fix. He needs a ride downtown to connect and make a buy. Can’t think of anything else. The craving controls him. He has lost his battle with drugs, knows his life is over and accepts it.

JERRY DUNN 19. Has the only available car. Uses heroin himself occasionally. He believes falsely that he can control it but knows he is on the edge of addiction. Tries to inject humour to defray tensions.

BIG JOHN 59? Polish. Came to Canada after WWII, has witnessed the deaths of young men in war. His wife was killed in Poland. Tall and rotund like a cartoon, owns the pool hall, larger than life character who genuinely likes the young men who frequent his premises. Is disturbed over their continued deaths from drug addiction.

EDDIE WALLACE 23. A greasy minor criminal who also needs a car to execute his planned burglary of a TV store. Also a hype and needs the money to support his habit.

CHARLIE 19. Distraught over best friend Phil’s sudden overdose. Shocked when he comes face to face with death and the realization that something is very wrong with his life. Confused over his own life direction.



Year - The late Fifties. Summer. Early Saturday evening. Big John’s pool hall, a seedy ancient wooden building, but a meeting place for many young men.
Up Right center, the open door to the street. Right, a door to the washroom, and downstage Right, another door for the rear entrance. Street traffic heard passing outside.



Fifties style clothing on all the young men. All have longer hair combed with hair cream. Randal Hagler is dressed neatly, sweater and slacks, as is Jerry Dunn. Both with polished banker type shoes. Calloway is very thin and sloppy, older clothing. Big John in slacks and too tight jersey shirt over his belly. Eddie Wallace in dirty jeans and soiled T-shirt. Charlie is disheveled.



One billiard table center stage, cues and balls. There is an old elevated, three-chair shoe-shine seat against the wall upper Left Center. Upper Right a door to the street, Right is Big John’s battered old desk with an old radio humming 50's tunes amid static and one old upholstered chair with worn arms, and above it; a large pin-up calender showing the year, (1955) a large printed card with the table price rates. Also a handwritten sign that reads; 'NO COASTING - NO MONTREAL ALLOWED'. Various other mismatched chairs surround the pool table. Cigarettes. (Older 50s packages)



50s tunes on the radio - specifically ‘Only You’ by the Platters, and ‘Sixteen Tons’ by Tennessee Ernie Ford. Radio static. Distant ambulance. The sound of a hot rod screeching away. An old toilet flushing. Passing traffic. (CD available with required content, playable from computer)


                                    This play is of interest to high school production - please email for more info and necessary permissions etc


NOTE; the use of the word 'score' means only to make a drug buy.

Running time - about 45 minutes




© 2000 - 2009 by R.C. Westerholm

reg - Writers Guild Canada #S03-7327



                                                                                                                                              back to caterwauls meanderings page -


All writing and photography © RC Westerholm    
website design - Masalla Galleries Graphics - Vancouver BC