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(o)n the 5:31
by Mando Alvarado

Author: Mando Alvarado

Description: A bar. A blind date. And a trip into what could have been and what really happened.

Year Written/Copyrighted: 2010
Date Added: 12/11/2012
Content Advisory: Some adult language and situations
Keywords: Death and the Afterlife · Divorce · Drama · Families · Grief and Mourning · Meta · Non-traditional/Non-narrative/Experimental/Post-dramatic · Romance · Small Cast Size · Tearjerker
1 Act, 100 Minutes
2 Females, 1 Male

NOTE: (o)n the 5:31 is fully protected by copyright law and is subject to royalty. All inquiries concerning production, publication, reprinting or use of this play in any form should be addressed to Rochelle at

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From the Author:

When Daniel approached me about writing the play for Cino Nights, I was pumped. I loved the small space at Jimmy's 43. It's a real challenge to write something that will live in that space. Intimate. I also wanted to write something completely different than what I had written before and here was my chance to do it. I knew that I wanted to mess with the narrative of the structure and push the boundaries of time, space and memories. I think what's important about the play is not the logical, intellectual understanding of the characters but the emotional arc each of them goes through in the course of the play. I was very proud and honored to have had a chance to work with three remarkable, giving actors and a tender, intelligent, on the point director.

Casting/Production Comments:

These characters are people so cast people not color or race.

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Original Production Information

(O)n the 5:31 premiered on October 24, 2010, at the Seventh Street Small Stage at Jimmy’s No. 43, New York City, with the following cast:

Gina Morgan: Jolly Abraham
Benny Maldonado: Bernardo Cubria
Sandra Kertz-Maldonado: Sarah Baskin

Directed by Taibi Magar

Excerpt from (o)n the 5:31

(A back section of an old bar. For now, it’s closed. GINA comes in carrying a bus tub. She puts out candles on the tables. She picks up some dirty glasses.)

GINA: Routine.

When all else fails, that’s what you got.

What you can come home to.

You sign in.

Go over your section. Over the drink specials. How many kegs. Wood. Mirrors. The deer head.

Don’t have to think.

Empty. (Goes into the back of the bar.)

(BENNY walks in. He wears a black suit and carries a rolling suitcase. He looks around. A small shiver shoots up his spine. He’s been here before. GINA comes out of the back. She sees him. They lock eyes. Shift.)

BENNY: When it happens,

When you sit back and think about what you saw,

What you felt,

When you close your eyes and you try to recall the memory,

There are only two things that you can rely on.

What you remember and what really happened.

And they’re not the same thing.

GINA: Can I help you?


(Shift to Present.)

GINA: You need something?


GINA: Hello.

BENNY: Bathroom?

GINA: In there.

BENNY: Thanks.

(He goes in. She begins to clean. She takes a peak in the direction of the bathroom. After a moment, the door opens and she goes back to work. He returns.)

BENNY: I like the way it smells in there.

GINA: It’s a bathroom.

BENNY: No. The scent. It reminds me of Hawaii.

GINA: It’s passion’s fruit.

BENNY: Nice. So? You’re still working here?

GINA: Excuse me?

BENNY: I used to come to this bar.

GINA: I don’t remember you.

(She walks back into stockroom. BENNY’s mind shifts.)

BENNY: She doesn’t?

You enter places.

Lots of places and sometimes you remember the people you come across and sometimes you don’t.

Meaningless connections turning into something, nothing.

What the hell am I doing here?