Penny Ramsey is a young woman who, like all of us, has different sides to her personality. They are personified in the story by comically stereotypical characters, collectively known as the Egos. The five Egos make up her decision-making process, which gets a lot more complicated when Penny overhears only one side of her boyfriend Matt’s phone conversation and believes he has betrayed her. It’s a stressful time for Penny, made even more confusing by the introduction of a potential new suitor named Rick and the nosy involvement of Penny’s mother (and Matt’s boss) Mrs. Killian. Maybe things could get straightened out if the people in Penny’s head could just get along, for once! Full evening.
This script is also available as a one-act play.
PLAYWRIGHT SCOTT HAAN TALKS ABOUT HIS PLAY
PENNY FOR YOUR THOUGHTS
Q: WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS PLAY?
A: I've always been fascinated with how personality can be fluid depending on our circumstances and by the people around us at any given time; I know I can be bold in some situations and very shy in others. I thought it would be fun to explore that notion literally, with different personality types occupying someone's brain, fighting for attention and dominance. It seemed like a good recipe for comedy, with two different worlds (internal and external) sharing the stage at the same time.
Q: WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY? WHY?
A: Two lines that stand out for me are Penny's "Aaargh! It just makes me want to toss my cookies!" (this line made me laugh out loud when it hit me, because of what's happening in the background) and Gertrude's "The recipe didn't call for calories" as she shoves a cookie into Buffy's mouth. Or maybe I'm just really in the mood for a cookie right now...?
Q: WHERE DID THE CHARACTERS COME FROM? ARE THEY BASED ON PEOPLE YOU KNOW?
A: The "Egos" in Penny's head are each very stereotypical and one-dimensional, but that's purely by design; they are vastly different from each other as a way of representing how well-rounded Penny is. As for the real people, aside from Matt being based largely on myself, the other characters are mostly composites of people I know.
Q: WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE WITH THIS PLAY?
A: As with most of my plays, my goal was to create a crowd-pleasing comedy that makes people laugh; delving deeper into the psyche is just icing on the cake.
Q: DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING ELSE YOU'D LIKE TO ADD?
A: The original cast and crew who first brought "Penny for Your Thoughts" to life did an amazing job with it, and made it a lot of fun for the audience. They made me very proud, and after that production, I hoped that other casts, crews, and audiences would be able to enjoy the story as well. Thank you to everyone who chooses to stage this show, and to Eldridge for publishing it!