by Rosary O'Neill

Cast of Characters

CLARK CABLE: 40ish film star, macho handsome, charismatic.

CAROLE LOMBARD: 30ish film star, gorgeous, daring.


Magic realism of letters and phone calls (private or speaker phones). Most originate from Clark's study and Carole's bedroom. Should the space permit we see dreamily Clark's study chair and desk with speaker phone on it. In the background, a window and comfortable easy chair with pipe rack and Clark's favorite pipes. Cowboy posters feature Clark, horses, and the ranch. .

Carole's bedroom with pink, plush pillows trimmed in chiffon to match a plush covered armchair. Nearby, Queen Anne vanity/make-up table with built in lights and mirror tray of crystal cosmetics. Paris and Provence and African posters line the wall. She too has a speaker phone.

The months when contact was made are imagined in the text. These months can be projected on a scrim, on signs, or unread. The actors move seamlessly between quick phone calls and letters. Responses to letters read are interspersed with the letters to create a magical dreamy world.


CLARK GABLE and CAROLE LOMBARD enter the stage as if from a dream. They each carry a book of letters from which they will read. They never look at each other as they exist for each other as figments of the imagination but their voices connect like silken threads forever intertwined. At the end of the play, they face each other.

(LIGHTS shift into swing to the past.)
(SOUND: fire crackling - ambient low)


CLARK Sorry, my line went dead. So did he ever show? Where are you?
CAROLE: It's midnight, foggy, and I'm home alone--
CLARK: Good, you're on line.
CAROLE …by a slow smoldering fireplace. With this raspy cough; Can't stop sneezing.
CLARK: I'll call you from my study. Is your husband home?
CAROLE: No. Divorcing. Is your wife home?
CLARK: No, I enjoy connecting with you amid the smells of redwood and leather. Wait. Come again. Why the hurry to divorce?
CAROLE: I'm not hurrying.
CLARK: Ah …there's a need for novelty but-
CAROLE: I didn't think our age difference would be a problem. I thought I'd found the golden prince, and this'd be the most sacred experience of my life. And it was the exact opposite. I could never understand what I'd done…
CLARK: …...there's nothing wrong with you.
CAROLE: Yeah. After being married to him 3 years,knowing him for ten, I learn this great actor,star of many films, had cheated on me in every one. And his entourage had led me to think that I wasn't good enough for him. I'm in my husband's acting community and he's running all my affairs 'cause I'm at home partially in New York, partially abroad. I made the terrible mistake of introducing him as my business partner.
CLARK: And he was totally conning you?
CAROLE: He spent half my earnings on other women. I'm glad I started the divorce. Next round I want to have children and settle down.


CLARK: I want to take the time to know you so I'm going to write every night, starting now,February 1st (my birthday)
CAROLE: You're Aquarius. Aloof …
CLARK: I like to feel you reading me.
CAROLE: …with a moon in Cancer …irrational.
CLARK: Kinda like a Strasberg "private moment".
CAROLE: I'm Libra. The scales? I can't get trapped in a situation that's imbalanced. My book says,"If you get involved with a MARRIED MAN you are accepting leftovers."
CLARK: So you've left your husband?
CAROLE: Permanently. Moved to Bel Air.
CLARK: The Nancy Reagan area?...My time with...lets call her BLACK, will be winding down nextweekend. Please if you don't want to hear about her, let me know. Strangely when my ex girlfriends (lets call them colors) GREEN, BLUE, and YELLOW would tell me about the other men--I asked them to keep me informed--it hurt but it also made me stronger.
CAROLE: Imagining you as you are in relationship to YOUR WIFE and other RISING STARS clarifies a lot. DON'T WRITE ANYMORE. You are relentless and rapacious!
CLARK Relentless I knew. Rapacious. I had to look up- I've moved out of BLACK'S house and rented rooms at the Beverly Wilshire –
CAROLE: Migratory bird looking for a place to land?
CLARK: Spend Valentine's Day with me there. You and me and the deep soaking tub. Warm water,bubbles, and chocolate fondue.
CAROLE: Get plenty of rest. Your self-esteem is so high, you need to lie flat for a while.

CLARK: Living alone has destabilized me. I see beautiful women and immediately want to couple with them. Am in constant conflict with my genes. When one has not shopped openly for 14 years, there's a desire to shop. Even if nothing is bought.... A bad guy would never have told you about all the "colors" he dated.
How would you have known about RED, BLUE,GREEN and YELLOW, eh? I'm capable of many things which you have on experience with. What are you 42? I'm 50. I've not climbed to this position by strictly being a nice guy. Should I send you my picture in my cowboy hat?
* * *
CLARK: Hey there Star! Write me.
* * *
CLARK: One short letter?
* * *
CLARK: Not seeing your words is a sad thought. I want you to smile when you think of me. Part of me wishes for an intimate relationship - where true love, mystery and surprise are reborn every day. Don't let us lose this powerful thing.
CLARK: I've always loved you - from the moment I saw you, I'd a feeling similar to putting my feet in cold water and feeling fish nibble my toes....I've directions to where you are. Bel Air is 15 minutes away. If you hear a noise, don't shoot.
* * *
CAROLE: I can't believe I LET YOU IN and we were together all night.
CLARK: I love it when our lips touch and we hold still.
CAROLE: I like to brush my tongue against your lips--
CLARK: And when you go wild and kiss me hard I like that.
CAROLE: I want one of your sweet long quiet kisses where it's just me, you and silence.