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IF/THEN

Music by Tom Kitt

Book and Lyrics by Brian Yorkey

New York Performance Draft


!
! !

CHARACTERS

ELIZABETH 38, an urban planner, newly returned to New York City.

KATE 30s or 40s, Elizabeth’s neighbor, a kindergarten teacher.

LUCAS 38, Elizabeth’s college friend, a community activist.

JOSH 30s, a doctor and Army Reservist.

STEPHEN 40s, Elizabeth’s grad-school colleague, a city planner.

ANNE 30s or 40s, Kate’s girlfriend.

DAVID 30s, a pediatric surgeon.

ELENA 20s, a city planner.

and VARIOUS CITIZENS OF NEW YORK CITY.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 b
! !

SONGS

Act One

1. WHAT IF? Company

2. IT’S A SIGN Kate, Passengers

3. A MAP OF NEW YORK Stephen, Beth, Kate, and Company

4. YOU NEVER KNOW Josh

5. AIN’T NO MAN MANHATTAN Lucas, Activists

6. WHAT THE FUCK? Liz/Beth

7. HERE I GO Liz, Josh

8. YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME Lucas

9. NO MORE WASTED TIME Kate, Beth, Elena, Anne

10. SURPRISE Company

Act Two

11. THIS DAY / Kate, Anne, Liz, Josh, and Company /


WALKING BY A WEDDING Beth

12. HEY, KID Josh

13. SOME OTHER ME Beth, Lucas

14. BEST WORST MISTAKE Lucas, David

15. I HATE YOU Liz, Josh

16. YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT Beth/Liz

17. THE MOMENT EXPLODES Beth, Architect, Passengers

18. LOVE WHILE YOU CAN Beth, Kate, Anne

19. WHAT WOULD YOU DO? David

20. ALWAYS STARTING OVER Liz

21. WHAT IF? (Reprise) Company


! !

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 c
! !

Act One

Prologue

(In black: MUSIC [1].

Then a light picks out BETH.

She has a little earpiece and a phone in her


hand.)

BETH
Hey. It’s me.
(then:)
On the plane today, I started thinking about what my life would be if I had never met you. That day, in the
park? Do you remember?
(then:)
You were just back from your third tour. You said “hi”—and in that instant, I imagined our whole life
together. That’s what I do—I get lost in what might be. And what if I had been in that park a day later? Or
what if I had gone with Lucas? And I hadn’t, you know, stopped to listen to that guy playing guitar?

(Guitar.

Beth disappears.

Lights change.)
!
!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 1
! !

Scene 1: Madison Square Park

(A sunny Saturday.

A BUSKER plays guitar. At some point, a


DRUMMER joins him.

NEW YORKERS move through the park, some


stopping to greet us.)

SONG: WHAT IF?

NEW YORKER
HERE’S HOW IT STARTS—
AND HERE’S HOW IT ENDS.

ANOTHER NEW YORKER (#2)


TWO DIFF’RENT HEARTS—
MAYBE LOVERS, OR FRIENDS...

(Lucas enters and takes a seat at a table.)

NEW YORKERS
NO ONE KNOWS THE WAYS THE LONG ROAD BENDS.

(Kate enters and approaches Lucas.)

KATE
It feels like a fateful day.

LUCAS
I’m sorry"!

KATE
It feels like a fateful day. Doesn’t it? Storms all night, dark at dawn, but then the sun breaks through... It’s
portentous.

LUCAS
You’re one of those people who talks to strangers, aren’t you?

KATE
Yes, I am.
(She sits next to him.)

LUCAS
I, uh, I’m waiting for a friend...

KATE
So am I! And now I’ve made another. You see? Fate has brought us together.

LUCAS
See, I don’t think it was fate so much as it was you.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 2
! !

KATE
I met my girlfriend in this park, thanks to fate. And the internet. I think she might be the one. My true love.
My destiny. As I tell my kindergarten students, you never know when life will happen to you.

LUCAS
You’re a kindergarten teacher?

KATE
I’m a fucking great kindergarten teacher.

LUCAS
Do you use language like that in the classroom?

KATE
Only when it’s called for.

LUCAS
Well, I don’t believe in true love. Or destiny. So—

KATE
Really? You know, I have this very very close friend who I just met—she left her husband and her whole
life out west after a decade and moved to New York to look for true love.

LUCAS
Well, my college girlfriend just moved back here, after twelve years, to do important work, which strikes
me as a better reason. She should be here, somewhere, so, if you’ll excuse me...
(stands to go, turns back)
Can I just—why did you tell me all that?

KATE
You looked like you were waiting for something to happen. So I happened.

(He goes. Then she goes, the other way. She


passes the Busker, stops, and picks up a flyer
from his guitar case. He nods, and she leaves.)

BUSKER
ONCE EVERY DAY,
YOUR LIFE STARTS AGAIN.

DRUMMER
NO ONE CAN SAY
JUST HOW OR JUST WHEN.

BUSKER + DRUMMER
SOMEHOW THE WORLD TURNS INSIDE OUT AND THEN...

(ELIZABETH enters.)

NEW YORKERS
AND THEN...
WHAT IF – WHAT IF – WHAT IF
YOU WONDER
WHAT IF - WHAT IF

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 3
! !

(The New Yorkers reveal ELIZABETH.)

ELIZABETH
WHAT IF I ALWAYS BELONGED IN THE CITY THAT MOVES ME,
WITH PEOPLE WHO THRILL ME?
THE MARRIAGE, THE MORTGAGE, I LEFT THEM BEHIND ME
BEFORE THEY COULD KILL ME.
MY PLAN WAS JUST PERFECT, COURAGEOUS, AND DARING,
TO START MY LIFE NEW!
NOW I LOOK AT THIS MORNING, IT MOVES ME TO SAY -
OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL DID I DO?

I CAN DO THIS, I KNOW I JUST NEED TO TAKE CARE,


BE SMART, SELF-SUFFICIENT, AND HYPER AWARE,
CAUSE I’M FLIRTING WITH FORTY, THERE’S NO TIME TO WAIT,
AND I CAN’T HELP BUT FEEL I’M ALREADY TOO LATE.

NEW YORKERS
IT’S NEVER TOO LATE!

ELIZABETH
BUT TELL ME WHAT IF I’M BOUND FOR DISASTER?
TELL ME WHAT IF I FALL OFF THE CLIFF?
WILL I EVER JUST LEARN HOW TO LIVE
AND NOT WONDER WHAT IF?
WHAT IF?

(Kate and Lucas hurry in from opposite


directions.)

KATE + LUCAS
Elizabeth!
(to each other)
Wait–what?

LUCAS
(to Elizabeth)
You know this person?

ELIZABETH
Kate, meet Lucas. Lucas, Kate, although it seems you've met?

KATE LUCAS
Yes! Not really.

ELIZABETH
Lucas. Hi.

LUCAS
Hi.

ELIZABETH
(embraces him)
It's good to see your face, at last. What's it been—six years?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 4
! !

LUCAS
Nine years and four months.

KATE
We met while we were both waiting for you, Liz. What are the odds?

ELIZABETH
Well, let’s see. Start with the estimated daily park usage—

LUCAS
Why are you calling her Liz? Her name is Elizabeth. And who are you, anyway?

ELIZABETH
Kate lives across the hall. She helped me unpack when I got in last night—

KATE
—I brought the wine—

ELIZABETH
—and we liked the sound of Liz.

LUCAS
What about Beth? Beth is a nice, serious name.

KATE
No no no. Beth lives alone with cats. Liz moves to New York City to find her one true love.

LUCAS
Well, maybe Beth moves here to do important work, which is why we’re planning to go to my street action
tomorrow night.

KATE
Oh! Are you a mime?

LUCAS
I’m a housing activist.

ELIZABETH
New York Citizens for Change. They’re a really effective organization.

LUCAS
We're gathering signatures across the park—come meet everybody.

KATE
No, no—boring. Liz wants to get coffee and listen to sexy guitar guy.

LUCAS
Beth doesn’t like to waste time.

(MUSIC CHANGES.)

ELIZABETH
DO I GO THERE WITH LUCAS, OR STAY HERE WITH KATE?
OH GOD, WHY DO I DO THIS — OBSESS AND DEBATE?
I’VE BEEN PRUDENT AND CAUTIOUS FOR ALL MY LIFE LONG,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 5
! !

ELIZABETH (CONT’D)
AND YET MOST OF MY CHOICES TURN OUT TO BE WRONG.

TELL ME HOW COULD IT MAKE ANY DIFFERENCE?


TELL ME HOW COULD IT MATTER AT ALL?
HOW DO I MAKE SUCH A MAJOR EVENT
OUT OF SOMETHING SO SMALL?

KATE
What do you say, Liz?

LUCAS
How about it, Beth?

(MUSIC CHANGES: Liz’s theme, heard once in


the clear as Liz decides:)

LIZ
All right. I choose!sexy guitar guy.

LUCAS
All right then...Liz. I have to go check in with everyone. I’ll bring back some veggie burgers.

KATE
Meat for me, please.

LUCAS
Figures.

(Lucas goes. Liz and Kate cross to the busker.)

LIZ
Oh, now I’ve upset him.

KATE
He’ll be fine.
(waves the flyer)
Hey, guitar guy’s got a band. They’re playing in Brooklyn tomorrow night—we should go.

LIZ
That’s right—they do things in Brooklyn now.

(The crowd parts to reveal a man in desert


fatigues, Army duffel over his shoulder: JOSH.)

JOSH
Hi.

LIZ
Hi.
(looks away. he's still looking. so:)
Bye.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 6
! !

JOSH
Um...hi. I’m really, really bad at this kind of thing, and this is going to sound like a line, but I feel like I
know you.

LIZ
Yeah? Hm. You're in the, what, the Army?

JOSH
I was, until today. Reserves, now.

LIZ
You've been overseas?

JOSH
For a year. My second tour.

LIZ
And I’ve been in Phoenix for twelve years, so...
(her cell phone RINGS; checks number; to
herself:)
Three-four-seven? Huh?
(shrugs, declines call, back to Josh:)
Sorry.
(checks it, dismisses the call)
If you’ll excuse us, and thank you for your service, or whatever the non-condescending version of that
is—

JOSH
I’m sorry, I just—could I get your phone number?

LIZ
Sorry. New phone—I have no idea what the number is.

JOSH
Can I give you mine? Do you believe in fate?

LIZ
Sometimes I wish I did. I believe in choices, good and bad, so...bye.

(Liz goes. Kate moves to follow, but stops for:)

KATE
For what it’s worth, I believe in fate, and if I played for your team, mm-hmmm.

(Kate hurries after Liz. Josh watches them go.)

JOSH
ONCE EVERY DAY,
YOUR LIFE STARTS AGAIN.
NO ONE CAN SAY
JUST HOW OR JUST WHEN.

JOSH + NEW YORKERS


SOMEHOW THE WORLD TURNS INSIDE OUT AND THEN...
AND THEN...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 7
! !

NEW YORKERS
WHAT IF – WHAT IF – WHAT IF –
YOU WONDER –
WHAT IF –

(Josh turns to go as Liz looks back at him.

MUSIC CHANGES.

Spot on Liz. Lucas, Kate, and the New Yorkers


move back to where they were before Liz went
with Kate.)

ELIZABETH
SEE, EACH CHOICE YOU MAKE IS A KIND OF A LOSS.
EACH TURN THAT TAKE AND EACH COIN THAT YOU TOSS.
YOU LOSE ALL THE CHOICES YOU DON’T GET TO MAKE.
YOU WONDER ABOUT ALL THE TURNS YOU DON’T TAKE.

AND SO WHAT IF I’D GONE THERE WITH LUCAS?


AND THEN WHAT IF I’D ANSWERED THAT PHONE?
THINK OF ALL OF THE THINGS YOU’D HAVE DONE
IF ONLY YOU’D KNOWN.

KATE
What do you say, Liz?

LUCAS
How about it, Beth?

(MUSIC CHANGES: Beth’s theme, heard once


in the clear as Beth decides:)

BETH
All right. I choose the NYCC. I did want to meet everyone. Do you mind, Kate?

KATE
Not a bit...Beth.
(makes a face)
I’ll get used to the name. I promise. I’ll see you back at home.
(She goes.)

LUCAS
I like Kate. She’s...spirited.

BETH
She’s fantastic. She’s so sure of herself.
(her cell phone rings, she checks the number.)
Three-four-seven? Huh ?

LUCAS
New York City.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 8
! !

BETH
(answers phone)
Beth Vaughn. Stephen, hi! No, it’s Beth now.

LUCAS
Oh man, not Stephen. Hang up on him.

BETH
You do! Yes, please. Okay, sounds great—Department of City Planning, 22 Reade. I’ll see you Monday.
Thanks.

LUCAS
You just divorced one grad school boyfriend—do you really want to go work with another?

BETH
Stephen was never my boyfriend. And he’s the Director of City Planning.

LUCAS
I’m aware. Beth, you cannot take a job with the City. You need to be making shit happen. Remember
when we got Vassar to divest? When we got military recruiters kicked off campus?

BETH
I also remember going to Hootie and the Blowfish concerts, so it’s not all proud moments—

(Josh starts to approach Beth.)

LUCAS
You were brilliant.

BETH
I was never.

LUCAS
You still are.

BETH
I feel old.

LUCAS
You look amazing.

(He kisses her. And when Josh sees Lucas kiss


Beth, he leaves.)

BETH
Oh.

LUCAS
Oh. Shit.

BETH
Um.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 9
! !

LUCAS
Oh god. I’m sorry. I don’t know where that came from.

BETH
Wow.

LUCAS
I’m an asshole. I don’t—I get it, you don’t want to go to this street action tomorrow night, it’s stupid.

BETH
No. It’s not. I want to go.

LUCAS
Yeah?

BETH
Yeah.

LUCAS
Great. Great. I just have to pick up some gas masks, and we’ll be good to go.

(He goes and she’s alone on stage.)

NEW YORKERS
HERE’S HOW IT STARTS
AND HERE’S HOW IT ENDS

LIZ
WHAT IF I’D GONE THERE WITH LUCAS?

(Lucas returns with gas masks.)

LUCAS
Beth, I'll pick you up at 7 tomorrow night. We'll take the train.

NEW YORKERS
TWO DIFF’RENT ROADS
AND HOW EACH ONE BENDS

BETH
WHAT IF I’D STAYED THERE WITH KATE?

(Kate returns with coffees.)

KATE
Liz, I'll pick you up at 7 tomorrow night. We'll take the train.

ELIZABETH NEW YORKERS


WHAT IF... AND THEN...
WHAT IF... AND THEN...
WHAT IF...
WHAT IF I KNEW... IF YOU KNEW WHAT WOULD COME WHAT WOULD HAPPEN
WHAT WOULD I DO? IF YOU KNEW WOULD YOU KNOW WHAT TO DO?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 10
! !

ELIZABETH + NEW YORKERS


WHAT IF I (YOU) CHOOSE, WILL I (YOU) CHANGE THINGS FOREVER?
IF I (YOU) LEAP, WILL I FALL OFF THE CLIFF?
(YOU FEAR THAT YOU’LL FALL OFF THE CLIFF)
IF YOU CHOOSE, THEN THERE’S NO TURNING BACK...
NO TURNING BACK...
NO TURNING BACK...

ELIZABETH
AND YOU WONDER WHAT IF.

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 11
! !

Scene 1A: Outside a Subway Station

(Lights on Stephen, on the phone.)

STEPHEN
Hi, it’s Stephen. I need you to cancel my nine o’clock Monday morning. I spoke with Beth Vaughn and
she’s coming in to talk about the Deputy Director position. And push my lunch with the Mayor’s idiot
nephew again—make some excuse. Tell him I died.

(He goes.

Lucas and Beth head for the subway. He carries


the gas masks.)

LUCAS
Beth. Take one.

BETH
Are we really going to need gas masks for a protest? Wait, I’m supposed to call it a street action, right?

LUCAS
We’ll be underground. First stop on the Brooklyn side. And tear gas doesn’t dissipate in a subway station.

BETH
Tear gas? Lucas, really? I could be on my way to Brooklyn to listen to music with Kate. I don’t like
causing trouble.

LUCAS
Are you kidding me? What happened to the woman who shut down the dining hall to protest factory beef?

BETH
A decade of eating at Applebee’s.

(She continues off.)

LUCAS
You’re joking, right? Oh, god, Beth, tell me you’re joking.

(He hurries off after her.

Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 12
! !

Scene 2: A Subway Car

(Kate enters a crowded subway car, followed by


ANNE.)

KATE
Oh, yes, Liz, the options are much better in this car. Some of these guys actually look employed.

ANNE
Honey, she can’t meet a man on the subway. Meeting a man on the subway is like doing your Christmas
shopping at Port Authority.

KATE
Anne, you never know when or where you might meet the one.
(looks beyond her to the door)
Where’d she go?

(Liz enters. She wears glasses, and she’s


reading from a pamphlet.)

LIZ
Riding between cars increases your chance of dying in the subway by almost two percent.
(looks up)
Especially if you have new glasses.

ANNE
They’re very fetching.

KATE
They’re part of my strategy—smart is sexy. Liz, how about that guy? Ooh—no! Ugly from the front.

LIZ
I’m not looking for a guy, Kate. I just completed a protracted legal process to extricate myself from a guy.

KATE
When you fall off the horse, you get right back on.

LIZ
I didn’t fall off the horse. I held on for dear life as the horse dragged me along for a period of many years.

KATE
Sucky horse. Get a new horse.

ANNE
Or, you know, another mode of transportation.

LIZ
I’ll be fine with a few good friends. If Lucas forgives me for not going to his protest—wait, I’m supposed to
call it a “street action.”

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 13
! !

KATE
Lucas takes herself very seriously.

LIZ
Don’t use the she when he’s around.

KATE
Truly? That boy is gay as a parade.

LIZ
We were together for a while, in college.

KATE
Together together, or he-likes-to-shop-with-me together?

LIZ
Together together. In college, he slept with guys and girls.

(The car grinds to a halt. GROANS throughout.)

IMPATIENT MAN
The hell?

ANNE
Stalled under the East River. Reason number seventy-six why I will never live in Brooklyn.

(The CONDUCTOR on the loudspeaker


SQUAWKS unintelligibly.)

CONDUCTOR (ON LOUDSPEAKER)


Laybuhjenn. Theestrayna beedeelay. Pleece actuh v-necks stimmimmmbluhbluhbs.

IMPATIENT MAN
What?

DAVID
There’s a demonstration going on at the first Brooklyn stop.

PREPPY MAN
The NYCC. They’re fighting the redevelopment of the waterfront.

KATE
Isn’t that Lucas’ group?

LIZ
Damn—you’re right! I could have been with them.

IMPATIENT MAN
Those criminals are gonna make me late for work.

(Josh enters the subway car.)

ANNE
Well, there’s a handsome male, if you like that sort of thing.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 14
! !

LIZ
(but she looks, and:)
Oh no.

KATE
Oh my.

JOSH
Hi.

LIZ
Um. Hi.

JOSH
I still have my phone number. If you want it now.

LIZ
How can someone so handsome be so awkward?

JOSH
Well, I’m from Nebraska. I’m actually kind of normal there.

KATE
Liz, the fates have intervened. Take his number.

LIZ
The fates have nothing to do with it.

JOSH
It’s really okay—

KATE
(stands on a subway seat)
Ladies and gentlemen, whilst we’re stopped, if I could have your attention, please.

LIZ
Kate.

KATE
I’m conducting an instant public poll of crowd opinion. So ladies and gentlemen of the A train focus group,
I ask you...
(MUSIC [2].)

SONG: IT’S A SIGN

KATE
YESTERDAY THIS WOMAN MET THIS MAN IN MADISON PARK
QUITE BY CHANCE, ALL AT RANDOM, AS IT WERE.
BUT THEY MET AGAIN JUST NOW, IN THIS TUNNEL, IN THE DARK
COULD MERE CHANCE HAVE CAUSED THE TWO THINGS TO OCCUR?
OR COULD THERE BE ANOTHER MEANING TO INFER?
COULD THE UNIVERSE HAVE A MESSAGE...FOR HIM...AND...HER?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 15
! !

LIZ
No.

KATE
YOU MEET A MAN WHO IS HANDSOME AND NICE—
QUITE BY CHANCE ONE DAY...
BUT THEN YOU MEET THAT SAME HANDSOME MAN TWICE—ENTICING!
THAT’S NOT CHANCE—NO WAY.
THE UNIVERSE HAS A MESSAGE FOR YOU,
AND IF YOU’RE SMART, THEN YOU’LL LET IT THROUGH.

IT’S JUST A GENTLE SHOVE,


A SIGNAL FROM ABOVE,
IT’S PLAIN TO SEE
IT’S MEANT TO BE—
YOU’RE DESTINED FOR LOVE!

IT’S A SIGN!
OH, IT’S A SIGN!
LIKE WHEN CLOUDS OPEN UP
OR THE STARS ALIGN.
IT’S A SUDDEN SMILE, A NICE SURPRISE,
SO ACT JUST LIKE THOSE WISEST GUYS
AND FOLLOW THAT NORTH STAR AND YOU’LL BE FINE—
IT’S A SIGN.

LIZ
I don’t believe in signs.

KATE
Whether or not you believe in them has no effect on whether they exist.
(to the car)
People? Who’s read their signs today?

PASSENGER #1
(showing everyone)
TODAY A PIGEON SHIT RIGHT ON MY HEAD—
IT’S STILL IN MY HAIR.

PASSENGER #2
(showing a sandwich)
THE VIRGIN MARY APPEARED IN MY BREAD—I SAID:
“THAT’S HER FACE RIGHT THERE.”

PASSENGER #3
I FOUND A SANDWICH RIGHT HERE ON THE FLOOR!

KATE
NOW THOSE ARE SIGNS THAT YOU CAN’T IGNORE!
IT’S PERFECT AND IT’S PLAIN,
LIKE RAINBOWS IN THE RAIN—
ONE MORE CLUE
THERE FOR YOU
DO I HAVE TO EXPLAIN

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 16
! !

KATE + PASSENGERS
THAT IT’S A SIGN?
OH, IT’S A SIGN...
LIKE THE LEAVES IN YOUR TEA
OR THE CORK IN YOUR WINE!
IT’S A LADY’S WINK, A POET’S RHYME,
A TRAIN DOOR OPENS JUST IN TIME,
IT ISN’T JUST SOME HANDSOME STRANGER’S LINE—IT’S A SIGN.

LIZ
All right! Kate! If I take his number, will you end this torment?

KATE
Directly into the phone, please.

(Liz offers up her iPhone, Josh types, as the


Conductor passes through the car!)

IMPATIENT MAN
Hey! When’re’we gonna be moving again!?

CONDUCTOR
Coodnatellya. Pleece actuh v-necks mmmblllmb.

(!and he’s just as unintelligible in person. He


walks past Liz and out of the car. Josh hands
the phone back to Liz.)

JOSH
It was great to see you again. I hope to hear from you.

KATE
I think it’s meant to be.

(Josh leaves.)

LIZ
Are you happy now?

KATE
I’m always happy.

(With a groan, the train starts going again. The


passengers cheer. Liz gives Kate a warning
look, and Kate says nothing. At first. But the
rhythm of the train becomes too much and Kate
has to sing, softly at first:)

KATE
IT’S A NEW MOON ON A MONDAY NIGHT,
A BLUE MOON ON A LATE-NIGHT FLIGHT,

KATE + PASSENGERS
PATTERNS IN YOUR LATTE CUP,
BUTTERED BREAD FALLS BUTTER UP,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 17
! !

KATE + PASSENGERS (CONT’D)


WHEN A STRAY DOG COMES TO STAY,
WHEN A BLACK CAT WALKS YOUR WAY,
THAT TINGLE IN YOUR FINGERS, TOO,
MEANS SOMETHING GOOD IS HERE FOR YOU...

IT’S A SIGN!
OH, IT’S A SIGN!
LIKE WHEN CLOUDS OPEN UP,
OR THE STARS ALIGN—
READ YOUR TEA LEAVES JUST IN CASE,
READ THE WRINKLES ON YOUR FACE,
THEY’RE TELLING YOU YOUR LIFE IS ON THE LINE...
THE GALAXY HAS GOT YOUR GRAND DESIGN...
IT’S PERFECT, IT’S PROFOUND, AND IT’S DIVINE...
IT’S DIVINE...
IT’S DIVINE...
IT’S A SIGN.
SONG ENDS.
! !

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 18
! !

Scene 2A: Outside a Subway Station

(Lights and sirens.

Lucas, in hand restraints, is being dragged along


by a RIOT COP.)

LUCAS
You can clear this station, but you can’t clear your conscience!
(shouting ahead to:)
Beth! Beth, hold on!
(to someone else ahead:)
Hey! Officer! I need to be in the same van as that woman.
(back to:)
Don’t worry! Beth. They’ll just give us a bench warrant. And we’ve got lawyers on retainer. Actually,
they’re law students, but they’re highly motivated.

!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 19
! !

Scene 3: Stephen’s Office, Department of City Planning

(Stephen leads Beth into an office with a three-


dimensional scale model of New York City. They
are mid-discussion.)

STEPHEN
Beth, Beth, listen to me. Remember all that shit we talked over beers, at that place on Amsterdam? All
those plans we made? Well, this office presents directly to the City Council. We can rezone over a
thousand city blocks in the next three years. We can redraw the maps of Manhattan, Brooklyn...

BETH
It’s an amazing offer, Stephen, it’s a dream job, but I’m hardly qualified to be Deputy Director. I’ve been
out of the game for a decade.

STEPHEN
You have a Ph.D. in urban planning. You’ve been living in a city.

BETH
No, I’ve been living in Phoenix. Occasionally teaching. And teaching urban planning in Phoenix is like
teaching breathing on the moon.

STEPHEN
Which I also believe you could do. And don’t tell me otherwise—that’s Otis talking.

BETH
Orin.

STEPHEN
Orin, Otis, what does it matter now? I told you not to marry him. I told you not to leave New York.

BETH
You also told me to strip for extra cash.

STEPHEN
And it’s about time you started listening to me. So take the job.

BETH
Can I have some time to think about it?

STEPHEN
Yes. Absolutely. You have the rest of the day, and we meet the deputy mayor at 7 A.M. tomorrow.

BETH
Tomorrow?

STEPHEN
We have to make him feel like it’s his decision. Oh, and we’ll have to explain how you came to be issued
a bench warrant in Brooklyn last night at one A.M.

BETH
Oh, god.
(beat, stands)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 20
! !

BETH (CONT’D)
Well, it was lovely to see you—

STEPHEN
Sit. You won’t be the first city employee with an arrest record.

BETH
I didn’t realize we’d end up closing down a subway station.

STEPHEN
You were protesting the expansion of the new Brooklyn Waterfront Redevelopment Zone. Which, starting
tomorrow, you will be overseeing.

BETH
Ah. Got it.

STEPHEN
Look, the Deputy Mayor is going to love you. You just have to show up tomorrow and be your brilliant self.

BETH
I’ve never had a government job.
!
STEPHEN
In city government, experience is not necessarily a plus.
(MUSIC [3].)
Beth, I wouldn’t be here today if I hadn’t copied your notes for years. Now I get to do it again.

BETH
I’m unprepared. I’m out of touch. I’m not convincing you.

(Stephen returns to the three-dimensional map.)

SONG: A MAP OF NEW YORK

STEPHEN
THINK OF EACH PLAZA, PIER, AND PUBLIC PARK—
HOW MANY SIT THERE EMPTY, LONELY, DARK—
THINK OF IT, FOR TOMORROW’S SAKE.
THINK OF HOW YOU AND I CAN MAKE OUR MARK.

BETH
It really is a thrilling offer, Stephen...

STEPHEN
YOU AND I, WE CAN DRAW A BRAND-NEW GRID.
EVERYTHING THAT YOU DREAMED OF AS A KID.
GIVE IT A YEAR, AND GO WITH ME—
SOON ENOUGH, YOU’LL SAY “LOOK WHAT WE TWO DID.”

YOU’VE ALWAYS HAD THE RIGHT DREAM.


WE’VE ALWAYS MADE A TIGHT TEAM.
NOW AT LAST YOU’RE BACK, EXACTLY WHERE YOU OUGHT TO BE—
SO LET’S MAKE A MAP OF NEW YORK, YOU AND ME.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 21
! !

BETH
You think I can do this?

STEPHEN
I know you can. I just need you to know it too. Take the night. Take a walk around the city. And then tell
me this isn’t meant to be.

(They embrace. Transition to:)


!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 22
! !

Scene 3A: Outside 22 Reade St.

(Beth goes outside, and looks up at the building.


She is greeted by various NEW YORKERS.)

NEW YORKER
TWENTY-TWO READE, A BUILDING, SIDEWALK, SHADE.

ANOTHER NEW YORKER


NOW A MEMORY THAT FOR BETH WILL NEVER FADE

BETH
AND I COULD BE PLANNING CITY SITES
WHERE MEMORIES JUST LIKE THIS ONE MIGHT BE MADE.

(They’re joined by more New Yorkers, who point


out buildings to Beth.)

WRITER
THIRTY-THREE BOND, WHERE I WROTE MY FIRST BOOK.

CHEF
GREENWICH AND MOORE, WHERE I LEARNED HOW TO COOK.

YOUNG WOMAN
THE CENTER STREET COURTS. I INTERN THERE.

BETH
THE JOY OF THIS JOB IS EVERYWHERE I LOOK.

(New Yorkers continue to point out buildings to


her. She begins to take notes, as she strides
through them, and off.)

MESSENGER
THAT MARKET WAS MY FIRST JOB...

ELENA
THAT DINER WAS MY WORST JOB...

THOSE SIX
AND EVERYWHERE AROUND ME ARE THESE LIVES I LEFT BEHIND...

FOREMAN
THE TUNNEL WHERE I LAID RAIL...

REALTOR
THE CO-OP WHERE I MADE MY FIRST SALE

ALL EIGHT
THEY MAKE A MAP OF NEW YORK IN MY MIND.

(Transition to:
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 23
! !

Scene 3B: The Deputy Mayor’s Office, City Hall

(Next day.

Beth joins the Deputy Mayor and Stephen. The


Deputy Mayor is looking over her resumé.)

DEPUTY MAYOR
Look, Beth, I like you for this. The only other candidate’s the Mayor’s nephew, and he’s all hat and no
Cadillac.

BETH
I don’t know what that means.

DEPUTY MAYOR
A hunnerd-dollar haircut on a ten-cent head.

STEPHEN
He’s an idiot.

DEPUTY MAYOR
And I get that you’re smart. I get that you can do the job. But why do you want to?

BETH
Because—because I want to make a city where lives happen, and intersect, and there’s always the
chance that the next corner you turn will change your life. The map of this city is being redrawn every day,
whether we like it or not, and I’d like to be part of drawing it. I’d like to make my mark.

DEPUTY MAYOR
All right then.

(He goes.)

STEPHEN
We start after lunch.

BETH
You’re amazing.

STEPHEN
I always thought so.

(They embrace. She leaves the office and joins


Anne, Kate, and Lucas. )

ANNE
PUT A STICKER ON THE MAP WHERE YOU LANDED THAT FIRST DAY.

KATE
PUT A PIN ON THE BRIDGE...

LUCAS
ON THE TRAIN...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 24
! !

ANNE
ON J.F.K....

BETH
ON THE STREET WHERE I SWORE I’D AFFORD A PLACE SOME DAY...

(She goes. Kate, Anne, and Lucas are joined by


other New Yorkers.)

KATE + ANNE + LUCAS +


NEW YORKERS
EV’RY AVENUE AND PLACE, EV’RY BUILDING, EV’RY FACE
OF THE LOVERS AND THE FRIENDS, THE BEGINNINGS AND THE ENDS...
MAKE A MAP OF N.Y.C., WHERE I’VE BEEN AND WHO I’LL BE...
AND YOU’LL FIND ME...

(MUSIC CHANGES: Liz’s theme.

Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 25
! !

Scene 3C: Madison Square Park

(Worlds change.

Liz enters. Kate, Anne, and Lucas enter


opposite.)

KATE
Liz! Hi, Liz!

LIZ
Kate. You guys aren’t actually going with me on the date, are you?

LUCAS
Of course not. We’re observing from a discreet distance.

ANNE
Good luck!

(Kate sings to Anne as Liz crosses to sit next


to the SUIT.)

KATE
GOOD THINGS CAN COME FROM ONE BLIND DATE

(Liz sits at a park table with a SUIT.)

LIZ
So, long story short, they hired the Mayor’s nephew, all because I missed a phone call. Who knew three-
four-seven was a New York area code? Anyway. I’m applying for some teaching positions. What do you
do?

SUIT
I trade securities. I fucking kick ass trading securities, is what I do.

ANNE
SHE HAS NO JOB, BUT SHE HAS KATE

(Liz is now with a GUY.

Lucas joins Kate, observing.)

GUY
I’m a high school guidance counselor. But my passion is performing erotic vaudeville.

LUCAS
IT ISN’T KATE’S FAULT THE DATES ARE NOT SO GREAT.

(Anne enters and drags Kate and Lucas away.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 26
! !

A BIOLOGIST joins Liz. He carries an ice cream


cone.)

BIOLOGIST
Here’s your Mister Softee, Liz. Though I have to warn you, soft serve trucks are rampant with shiga toxin
producing e. coli, and that hemolytic uremic syndrome is a bitch. Diarrhea for days.

LIZ
That’s good to know. Thanks.

(Josh steps in front of them.)

JOSH
Hey—um—Liz.

LIZ
Hi! Wow, it’s so good to see you!
!
(She hugs him. A half-beat, and then he hugs
her back.)

JOSH
Yes—um—hi.

LIZ
(to the biologist)
This is—one of my oldest friends ever. We really should catch up. Do you mind?

BIOLOGIST
Not a bit. Call me.

LIZ
I’m sorry. What was your name again?

JOSH
Josh.

LIZ.
Josh. Thanks for that.

JOSH
This is three times now. So by the law of...three...coincidental things, you have to go to dinner with me.

LIZ
Okay. Dinner. I owe you that much.

JOSH
Since I’m your oldest friend ever.

LIZ
You got the yes.

(He goes.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 27
! !

LIZ
AND YOU’RE FEELING ADRIFT, ALONE, APART
THEN SUDDENLY LIFE WILL SOMEHOW START
AND A MAP OF NEW YORK IS WRITTEN ON YOUR HEART...
(She goes.)

NEW YORKERS
ON YOUR HEART
ON YOUR HEART...
(MUSIC CHANGES: Beth’s theme.

The New Yorkers go, leaving Kate and Anne to


greet Beth.)

KATE
Beth! Hi, Beth!

BETH
Kate. You guys aren’t actually going with me on the date, are you?

(Kate steers Beth to sit by the SUIT.)

KATE
Of course not. We’re observing from a discreet distance.

ANNE
Good luck!

(Beth sits with the Suit, and is in mid-


conversation.)

BETH
!and I truly love my work. So what do you do?

SUIT
I trade securities. I fucking kick ass trading securities, is what I do.

(Lucas enters.)

LUCAS
Beth!

BETH
Lucas! What a surprise!

LUCAS
Surprise? You texted me—

BETH
Shh.
(turns to the Suit)
This is my old college friend Lucas—I haven’t seen him in so long. We really should catch up. Do you
mind?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 28
! !

SUIT
Not a bit. Call me.
(He hands her a card and goes.)

BETH
Not even to repopulate the earth.

(As they go, two New Yorkers sing to us.)

NEW YORKER
ON A GODFORSAKEN STREET OUT WHERE BUSHWICK TURNS TO QUEENS

ANOTHER NEW YORKER


IS A HOME FOR A MAN OF EXTREMELY MEAGER MEANS

(Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 29
! !

Scene 3D: Lucas’s Apartment

(Lucas leads Beth into his apartment.)

LUCAS
Come on in! Sorry about the mess. The maid had a breakdown and is me.

(Beth gingerly steps into the room.)

BETH
It’s...it sort of reminds me of that place we shared in Poughkeepsie. As far as the holes. And the
droppings.

LUCAS
We’re homesteading.

BETH
You’re squatting?

LUCAS
That’s—we don’t like to use that word, so much—it’s sort of outdated and politically incorrect, like “Afro-
American” or “Christmas.” We believe housing should belong to the people.

BETH
Lucas, you can be a housing activist and have an actual house.

LUCAS
I make seventeen thousand a year. These are the options.

BETH
That coffee place only pays you seventeen thousand?

LUCAS
They pay me eight. The rest is tutoring and sperm donations.

BETH
Aren’t you a little old to be living like this?

LUCAS
Aren’t you a little young to be selling out what you believe in?

BETH
A city job on a government salary is hardly selling out.

(Beth’s phone CHIRPS with a text. She checks


it.)

BETH
It’s Stephen.

LUCAS
This late?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 30
! !

BETH
I have to go—

LUCAS
It’s a bad idea, you know. To get involved with the boss.

BETH
We’re not—we have a project going to the City Council tomorrow. Actual housing.

LUCAS
Beth. Wait.

(Beth leaves. Transition to:)


!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 31
! !

Scene 3E: The Streets of New York City

BETH
I’M TOO OLD FOR ALL THAT SHIT—TO BE TOLD I’M SELLING OUT.
THEN AGAIN—ALL THESE YEARS—DID I LOSE WHAT I’M ABOUT?
ON THE STREET, IN THE COLD, IT’S SO HARD TO FIGHT THE DOUBT...

(She’s joined by the New Yorkers.)

BETH + NEW YORKERS


THEN YOU HEAR THE TUNNEL HUM
WITH A TRAIN ABOUT TO COME
AND YOU SURFACE TO THE STREET
AND YOU FALL INTO THE BEAT
YOU CAN TRACE A LINE TO ME
ON THAT MAP OF N.Y.C.
RIGHT WHERE I SHOULD BE...

(Beth and the New Yorkers go.

The Foreman sings to us as Stephen descends


on the walkway.)

FOREMAN
ON THE WEST SIDE A RAILYARD IS RECLAIMED...
WAITING TO BE REBUILT AND THEN RENAMED...

(Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 32
! !

Scene 3F: The Far West Side of Manhattan

(Stephen on a walkway at an industrial site.

Beth hurries in, a few folders in hand.)

STEPHEN
Beth! Over here!

BETH
I’m ready to roll. I walked all twelve blocks. I’m already crunching twenty years of census reports, I pulled
the traffic data—

(Stephen takes the folders away from her.)

STEPHEN
But first. We romance the site.

BETH
We romance the site.

STEPHEN
Center yourself. Breathe.

BETH
Listen, Yoda—

STEPHEN
Let the site tell you what it wants to be. Touch it.

(He takes her hand and touches it to the site.

She looks at him.)

BETH
I don’t do the vision thing. You know that.

STEPHEN
Not true. You drew city after city on bar napkins, once upon a time. And I saved them all.

BETH
You did not.

STEPHEN
I did, Every one. Beth, you were made for this job. You’re brilliant in every way. Maybe you wasted years
in the desert with Otis—

BETH
Oren.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 33
! !

STEPHEN
—Oren, whatever, no one ever liked him. You spent years in the desert, but I know the whole time you
were dreaming of cities.

(She is quiet. He sings.)


!
STEPHEN (CONT’D)
THINK OF HOW HUMAN LIFE WILL EBB AND FLOW.

STEPHEN + BETH
PEOPLE, AND HOW THEY’LL COME AND HOW THEY’LL GO.
REMEMBER THE THINGS WE HOPED AND PLANNED...

STEPHEN
REMEMBER THEM, AND BELIEVE THEM, AND YOU’LL KNOW.

BETH +STEPHEN
WE’LL KNOW

BETH + STEPHEN + NEW YORKERS


WE NEVER WALK A STRAIGHT LINE.
WE NEVER CHECK A STREET SIGN.

BETH + STEPHEN
BUT IT’S IN THE DETOUR THAT WE TRULY FIND OUR WAY...

STEPHEN + NEW YORKERS


WE ALWAYS KNOW THE WAY HOME

BETH + NEW YORKERS


AS LONG AS WE CAN STAY HERE WE’RE HOME

BETH
AND WE MAKE A MAP OF WORK...

(Beth takes the folders back from Stephen and


goes...)

NEW YORKERS
LOVE AND LOSS AND LIFE

(...he looks after her...)

STEPHEN
AND WE MAKE A MAP OF PLAY

NEW YORKERS
WE FIND OUR WAY

(...and then leaves the other way.)

STEPHEN + NEW YORKERS


AND WE MAKE A MAP OF NEW YORK EV’RY DAY.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 34
! !

(Transition: New Yorkers take us to Liz’s


apartment.)

NEW YORKER
ENDING THE NIGHT AT TWENTY-THIRD AND THIRD!

ANOTHER NEW YORKER


LIZ AND HER DATE, WHO’S HANGING ON EACH WORD...

(Liz and Josh enter.)

SONG ENDS
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 35
! !

Scene 4: Elizabeth’s Apartment

(Liz and Josh in the doorway.)

LIZ
Would you like to come in?

JOSH
I would.

LIZ
I mean, for seventy to eighty-five minutes.

JOSH
Okay. That’s a good range.

LIZ
I’m aware it’s unusual to put a specific limit on it, I just—

JOSH
I get it. I really enjoyed dinner.

LIZ
So how is it that you’re still single?

JOSH
We’re getting right into this, are we?

LIZ
Sorry. I’m not good with preambles.

JOSH
I haven’t found the right woman.

LIZ
Let me get some numbers. How many dates in the past year?

JOSH
None.

LIZ
You’re not under oath, but still.

JOSH
I’ve been deployed for most of the last three years. Prior to that, I was doing my residency, and before
that, medical school.

LIZ
But why join the Army if you’re a doctor?

JOSH
To pay for medical school.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 36
! !

LIZ
And you were able to find work in New York City?

JOSH
Trauma is trauma. And I’m just on a temporary contract. I don’t plan to stay forever.

LIZ
Oh.

JOSH
Though nothing’s written in stone.

LIZ
Oh—no—I didn’t mean “oh” in that way.

JOSH
Oh. Of course not.

LIZ
I mean, I like you, but we just met. Let’s not kid ourselves.

JOSH
Let’s not.

(MUSIC [4].)

LIZ
And the odds of two single people, in their thirties, in a major American urban center!Look, start with the
single population, factor in divorce rates, consider the transitory nature of an urban populace!

JOSH
No, I get it. The variables are daunting.

LIZ
I might say prohibitive.

JOSH
The deck is stacked.

LIZ
It’s not that I don’t like you.

JOSH
You just don’t like our odds.

LIZ
Yes.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 37
! !

SONG: YOU NEVER KNOW

JOSH
YOU NEVER KNOW
HOW BADLY THIS COULD GO.
I'VE GOT DISASTER WRITTEN ON MY CHEEK.
THE ODDS ARE I'M SOME TWO-FACED, LYING FREAK
WHO WILL WHISPER PRETTY THINGS, THEN LEAVE YOU FLAT
AND STEAL YOUR CAT.
IT MIGHT NOT BE THAT BAD, BUT EVEN SO...

YOU NEVER SEE


THE WORST THAT THINGS CAN BE
YOU THINK YOU DO, ‘CAUSE YOU’VE BEEN HURT BEFORE.
ANOTHER HURT MIGHT HURT YOU THAT MUCH MORE
AND ODDS ARE I WILL DO WHAT MOST MEN DO—
AND HURT YOU TOO—
‘CAUSE MEN ARE MEN, AND ODDS ARE ODDS, ALTHOUGH—
YOU NEVER KNOW

YOU MAY THINK YOU KNOW THE END AT THE BEGINNING,


BUT THE TRUTH IS, THERE'S NO MORTAL WAY TO TELL.
THE GAME'S NOT OVER 'TIL THE FINAL INNING,
AND I'M GRINNING 'CAUSE THIS GAME MIGHT JUST END WELL.

YOU NEVER KNOW


IF I ONLY WANT YOUR DOUGH.
I MIGHT BE ON THE LAM OR ON THE DOLE,
OFF MY MEDS OR OFF MY NUT OR ON PAROLE—
OR EVEN WORSE, I MIGHT BE SOMEONE WHO
IS MEANT FOR YOU...
AND MAYBE THAT'S THE THING TO LAY YOU LOW...
YOU NEVER KNOW
IF I'M A DRUNKARD OR A DULLARD, TOO CALLOUS OR TOO CLEVER—
OR IF I MIGHT JUST BE THE MAN WHO'S MEANT TO BE WITH YOU FOREVER...
YOU NEVER KNOW.
YOU NEVER EVER KNOW.

(He kisses her. Then:)

JOSH
I think my time’s almost up. I look forward to the next opportunity to spend seventy to eighty-five minutes
with you.

LIZ
All right then.

(He kisses her again and goes.)

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 38
! !

Scene 5: The Far West Side of Manhattan

(The Far West Side project site. Lucas and


Stephen.)

STEPHEN
Lucas, I’ve got a groundbreaking to do. Why are you picketing the Far West Side project? Because Beth
is overseeing it?

LUCAS
Please. That’s not even - a line has to be drawn somewhere. What you’re doing isn’t just bad karma. It’s
bad planning. When there’s only rich people left in Manhattan, who’s going to keep the place running?

STEPHEN
The City Council will only support—

LUCAS
We have enough members to vote the project down.
(MUSIC [5].)
The Council doesn’t believe in favoring the elites.

STEPHEN
Of course they do. They’re the City Council.

(Lucas sings.)

SONG: AIN’T NO MAN MANHATTAN

LUCAS
SO YOU’VE GOT NOTHING MUCH IN COMMON
WITH THE ARTIST DOWN IN RED HOOK
WHO LOST THE PLACE HE WORKS IN
SO YOU COULD BUILD SOME CONDOS ON THE WATER?
BUT HE BUYS COFFEE FROM THE COFFEE GUY
WHO’S RENTING FROM THE ACTOR
WHO’S MARRIED TO THE DOCTOR
WHO IS IN THE E.R. TRYING TO SAVE YOUR DAUGHTER.

STEPHEN
Two sons.
(He goes.)

LUCAS
AIN’T NO MAN MANHATTAN,
NO ISLAND ALL HIS OWN.
ON ROOSEVELT OR STATEN,
AIN’T NONE OF US ALONE.
YOUR ACTION’S MY REACTION,
IN WAYS YOU WON’T EXPECT.
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER—
YEAH WE ALL CONNECT.

(Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 39
! !

Scene 5A: Yankee Stadium

(Recorded FANFARE. Maybe an ANNOUNCER.

Beth and Stephen.)

BETH
Thanks for inviting me tonight. I love the Yankees. They’re so efficient and well organized.

STEPHEN
I’m glad you could come.

BETH
Cathy’s not feeling well?

STEPHEN
Cathy doesn’t like the city.

BETH
Cathy doesn’t––you’re a terrible match.

STEPHEN
It’s fine. I wanted to be here with you. I need you to tame the NYCC. They claim to have the votes to stop
the Far West Side project.

BETH
Stephen, my friend Lucas is the co-director of the NYCC.

STEPHEN
I know. Friendship, politics––it gets complicated. But I know you can sort it out.
(checks his cell)
I should take this. Right back.

(The FANFARE is heard again,. Maybe


ANOTHER ANNOUNCER. And CHEERS.

Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 40
! !

Scene 5B: Citi Field

(MUSIC CHANGES: Liz’s theme.

Worlds change.

We’re at a Mets game. Josh hurries in to sit


beside Liz.)

JOSH
Liz! I’m so, so sorry. There was a pileup on the FDR, we got three critical cases.

LIZ
I watched batting practice. I love the Mets. They’re such adorable losers.

(Lucas, Kate, and Anne arrive, with banners,


hats, beers.)

KATE
Liz! What a surprise!

LIZ
It’s not a surprise at all. You gave me these tickets.

KATE
And I happened to buy three right beside you. How lucky is that?

JOSH
Good to see you again, Kate.

ANNE
Hi, Josh. I’m Anne, and none of this was my idea.

LUCAS
Hi. Lucas. Oldest friend of Liz.

LIZ
Barista—blogger—activist.

LUCAS
And urban farmer.

JOSH
Really! I grew up on a farm.

LUCAS
Shut up, seriously? I’m having problems with my chickens. Liz, switch with me.

LIZ
Really, Lucas?

(They switch places, and Kate and Liz exchange


looks. Lucas starts with Josh.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 41
! !

LUCAS
See, I started the urban farm project so I could write about it in my book. I’m working on a book.

JOSH
Cool.

(sings)

LUCAS
TAKE THE ENVIRONMENT, OR HOUSING
HUMAN RIGHTS, OR EDUCATION—
EVERY ISSUE IS CONNECTED
TO EACH PERSON HERE—THERE AIN’T NO SEPARATION.

(The sound of a home run ball leaving a bat.


CHEERS. The crowd disperses...)

LUCAS + LIZ + JOSH + ANNE + KATE


AIN’T NO “I” AN ISLAND—
ANYWHERE ON EARTH.
HOW MUCH YOU LOVE YOUR LIFE IS
WHAT EV’RY LIFE IS WORTH.
YOUR ANSWER IS MY QUESTION,
MY CAUSE IS YOUR EFFECT—
WE’RE ALL IN THIS TOGETHER,
YEAH, WE ALL CONNECT.

(...and we transition to:


!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 42
! !

Scene 5C: A Bar

(MUSIC CHANGES: Beth’s theme.

Worlds change.

Beth and Lucas at a table, served by a


WAITER:)

WAITER
Single malt scotch for the lady. Chardonnay.

LUCAS
So anyway—I’m writing a book about it.

BETH
Fantastic. Listen, I’ll introduce you to this editor I met—if you’ll help me get the Far West Side project
through the City Council.

LUCAS
Beth. Tell me you’re not doing this.

(MUSIC CHANGES: Liz’s theme.

Worlds change.

The WAITER returns and swaps glasses:)

WAITER
Small-batch bourbon for the lady. Chardonnay.

LUCAS
Liz. Tell me you’re not doing this.

(Josh arrives with DAVID.)

JOSH
Here he is! David, you know Liz, this is Lucas. David’s a pediatric surgeon at New York Pres. Lucas is an
activist, and he’s working on a book.

DAVID
Nice to meet you

LUCAS
Hey.

JOSH
Lucas, I told David about your urban farm.

DAVID
I’ve got an organic kitchen garden behind my house.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 43
! !

LUCAS
You have a house? Hi, David.

(They move away. As Kate and Anne enter,


Josh grins at Liz.)

JOSH (LIZ + OTHERS ECHO)


AND WE ALL SOMEHOW KEEP MOVING EVEN SO...

JOSH + KATE (LIZ + ANNE + OTHERS ECHO)


ALL OF EIGHT-POINT-TWO-FIVE MILLION ON THE GO...

ALL
ALL CHANGING YOU IN WAYS YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW...OH...

AIN’T NO MAN MANHATTAN,


NO ISLAND ALL HIS OWN.
ON ROOSEVELT OR STATEN,
AIN’T NONE OF US ALONE.
WE LIVE IN THESE COLLISIONS,
THESE ACCIDENTS ARISE...
WE SOMEHOW FIND EACH OTHER
IN EACH OTHER’S EYES.

(Worlds change.

MUSIC CHANGES: Beth’s theme.

Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 44
! !

Scene 5D: 22 Reade Street

(We’re at an office party. Stephen enters.)

STEPHEN
The Council passed it! We did it!

BETH
Pour that champagne!

STEPHEN
I’d like to toast the woman who truly made this project happen. My once and future hero. Here’s to Beth.

PARTY GUESTS
To Beth!

(All cheer. The others finish partying and leave


Stephen and Beth alone.)

BETH
We did it!

STEPHEN
Thanks to you.

BETH
And the Harlem Riverfront is next. And Long Island City.

STEPHEN
And someday...the new Penn Station.

BETH
I do love your ambition.

STEPHEN
I love your mind.

(They hug, and then look at each other, without


fully breaking the embrace. CATHY enters.)

CATHY
Sorry I missed the party.

STEPHEN
Sweetheart! Beth, you remember Cathy.

BETH
Of course. It’s good to see you again.

CATHY
Hello.
(to Stephen)
The boys are waiting in your office. I promised them Olive Garden.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 45
! !

STEPHEN
Why would you do something like that? Okay.
(turns to Beth)
See you Monday.

BETH
See you Monday.

(He goes. Beth is alone.

MUSIC CHANGES: Liz’s theme.

A SIREN. Transition to:)


!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 46
! !

Scene 5E: New York Presbyterian Hospital

(Two DOCTORS hurry by to join DOCTORS and


NURSES at an office party. Lucas is there with
David.)

JOSH
Liz! Liz, god I’m sorry, leaving you stranded at an ER office party.

LIZ
Well, the man was impaled.

JOSH
And now he’s not. Still, not much of a date. Unless maybe I’ve earned more than the standard seventy to
eighty-five minutes?

LIZ
I’ll see what I can do.

(Lucas and David watch them go.)

LUCAS
SO A KINDERGARTEN TEACHER

LUCAS + KATE
HELPS A CERTAIN CITY PLANNER

LUCAS + KATE + LIZ


MEET A SURGEON FROM NEBRASKA

LUCAS + KATE + LIZ + JOSH


AND HIS BEST FRIEND IS A DOCTOR

LUCAS + DAVID + COMPANY


AND THE CITY KEEPS EVOLVING
AND THE PEOPLE KEEP REVOLVING
ALL OF EIGHT-POINT-TWO-FIVE MILLION ON THE RUN
A DIFF’RENT WAY FOR EV’RY SINGLE ONE
ALL TURNING AND RETURNING, FAST AND SLOW—

LIZ + JOSH + KATE + ANNE + LUCAS + DAVID


AND WE SOMEHOW FIND EACH OTHER EVEN SO.

SONG ENDS.
(Lucas and David go as we transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 47
! !

Scene 6: Elizabeth’s Apartment (Living Room)

(Liz and Josh.)

LIZ
Everything falls into patterns and pathways. People make choices. As random as something might seem,
you can predict anything if you know enough.

JOSH
You don’t believe in accidents?

LIZ
No. Car accidents are collisions. Accidents of fate are just the probabilities playing out.

JOSH
Can I make a confession?

LIZ
Oh god, what?

JOSH
I didn’t just happen to be at that park that day. Where we met the third time. I’d been hanging out there
hoping to run into you again.

LIZ
You stalked me.

JOSH
Kind of. Can you ever forgive me?

LIZ
I can. Because you proved my point.

JOSH
But the second time you saw me, on the train.

LIZ
No.

JOSH
Oh—no—no, I was on my way to JFK. To go home for a couple of weeks or maybe forever. And then
there you were.

LIZ
Josh.
(kisses him, then:)
Excuse me a moment.
(starts off, bolts back, kisses him again)
Okay, now I really—
!
(She flees into the bathroom.

Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 48
! !

Scene 6A: Liz’s Bathroom

(Liz slams the door and looks at herself in the


mirror.

MUSIC [6].)

SONG: WHAT THE FUCK?

LIZ
HEY YOU THERE, WITH THAT FACE IN THE MIRROR—
WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU LOOKING AT?
NO, REALLY, WHO ARE YOU THERE TO JUDGE ME?
YOU’RE EXACTLY LIKE ME, BUT FLAT.

I’M THE ONE WHO HAS TO LIVE THIS LIFE,


GRAB THE HAPPINESS THAT COMES MY WAY,
SO I’M GONNA SAY...

WHAT THE FUCK?


STAY THE NIGHT.
THERE’S A CHANCE THAT IT WILL ALL BE ALL RIGHT.
IT’S POSSIBLE I’M PUSHING THIS A LITTLE TOO FAR,
BUT IT’S NOT LIKE THINGS CAN GET A WHOLE LOT WORSE THAN THEY ARE—
I’M NOT RUNNING ON A STREAK OF GOOD LUCK...
SO WHAT THE FUCK?

(She takes a deep breath, maybe takes off or


changes a piece of clothing, gets ready...

...and the doorbell RINGS.

MUSIC STOPS.

Lights.

She leaves the bathroom...

Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 49
! !

Scene 6B: Beth’s Apartment (Front Door and Office)

(Beth opens the door to:)

BETH
Stephen.

(MUSIC.)

STEPHEN
Beth. Sorry to disturb. So late. You didn’t answer your phone, which why should you at this hour, but I
thought you’d want to know the Mayor approved the additional housing units.
(lifts a cardboard tube)
And I thought you’d want to see the new plans. Which is why I came in person. The plans.

BETH
Come in. They approved everything? You’re kidding me.
!
(Stephen comes into the apartment, pulling the
plans from the tube. Spreads them on the table,
and he and Beth bend over them.)

STEPHEN
That luxury tower that we hated is gone. They reconfigured the plaza. Put the buildings here and here.
They agreed to hold a design competition...

BETH
Amazing.

STEPHEN
It’s over a thousand units of—

(MUSIC STOPS as Beth kisses him. For a


moment. Until he pulls away. Then:)

STEPHEN (CONT’D)
—of sliding-scale apartments, and another thousand rent-stabilized—

(She kisses him again, for longer. He pulls away


again, and further.)

STEPHEN (CONT’D)
I should go.

BETH
Oh. Okay.

STEPHEN
I just—I came to show you the plans...

BETH
In the middle of the night.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 50
! !

STEPHEN
Nine-thirty? I’m sorry.

BETH
No—I’m sorry. I’m an idiot.

(MUSIC under.)

STEPHEN
You are most certainly not an idiot. You’re brilliant. You’re lovely. I’m married.

BETH
Yes. Of course. And you should go home.

STEPHEN
Yes. See you tomorrow

BETH
Tomorrow.
!
(He leaves the apartment, pauses a moment in
the hall, and then goes.

Beth lifts the plans and looks at them a moment,


then throws them down on the table.)

BETH (CONT’D)
Really, Beth? Really?
(sings)
ANOTHER DAY OF SAVING THE PLANET—
ONE MORE NIGHT OF NOTHING BUT TEARS.
AND STEPHEN PLAYS DUMB, SURPRISED THAT I WANT HIM,
LIKE WE HAVEN’T BEEN FLIRTING FOR YEARS.

AND I KNOW THAT I WAS OUT OF BOUNDS—


IT WAS ME, SOMEHOW, ON THE ATTACK—
BUT THEN HE KISSED ME BACK.

WHAT THE FUCK?


WHAT’S THE DEAL?
CAN I EVER JUST FEEL WHAT I FEEL?
I’M ACCOMPLISHED AND I’M FUNNY—I’VE GOT WISDOM AND WIT,
AND A TASTE FOR CERTAIN MEN WHO WILL TREAT ME LIKE SHIT...
SO ROMANCE HAS AGAIN RUN AMOK—
OH—WHAT THE FUCK?

(Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 51
! !

Scene 6C: Elizabeth’s Bedroom

(Lights. Lucas enters.)

LUCAS
Hey, is everything okay? Your message sounded a little—

BETH
I’m fine. I just—I thought you might want to see these plans. We’re adding a thousand more units of low-
income housing and a community center—you should be very proud—your group and its protests—

(She breaks down. He hurries to her.)

LUCAS
Hey. Hey, what is it?

BETH
You’ll say I told you so.

LUCAS
Well, I will if I did, because I usually do, but...Seriously. Beth.

BETH
I kissed Stephen. And he ran.

LUCAS
Oh. Man. I’m sorry.

(He holds her tight. She cries. Then looks at


him.)

BETH
Will you...stay?

LUCAS
Sure.

(Lights.

Stephen on the street, staring up at Beth’s


apartment. His cell RINGS. He checks the
number. Sighs. Answers.)

STEPHEN
Hi, honey. I’m on my way now.
(listens)
Just a long day at the office. It’s complicated. No, I’m just here alone. I’m heading home now.
(listens)
Love you, too.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 52
! !

(He hangs up and goes.

Lights.

Morning. Beth in her bedroom. She’s up first.)

BETH
WHAT THE FUCK?
WHAT’D I DO?
HOW’D I END UP LYING NAKED WITH YOU?
I WAS STONE COLD STUPID SOBER, SO I CAN’T BLAME THE DRINK.
I WAS NEEDY, I WAS GREEDY, AND I JUST DIDN’T THINK.
THAT’S A LIE—I THOUGHT ABOUT IT A LOT...
I HAD LOTS OF WARNING THOUGHTS I FORGOT...
JUST ANOTHER BAD DECISION, I GUESS...
JUST ANOTHER PILE OF CRAP IN THE MESS...
BUT I’VE MANAGED TO INVOLVE MY BEST FRIEND—
WILL MY TRAIL OF SAD MISTAKES EVER END?
‘CAUSE I’M STARTING TO SUSPECT THAT I’M STUCK...
LIKE A SCHMUCK...
AND I SUCK...
WHAT THE FUCK?

(She flops back down in bed...)

SONG ENDS.

LIZ
This was a terrible idea. Wake up.

(She shakes him, and he wakes up...

...and he’s Josh.)

JOSH
Why was it a terrible idea?

LIZ
Because this can’t end well. I’m very bad at this. I’m incapable of loving.

JOSH
We know that’s not true.

LIZ
Okay, eew, and I’m not talking about the physical act.

JOSH
Neither am I.

LIZ
I’ve satisfied myself that you’re not stupid, but I still believe you’re too naive and too trusting.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 53
! !

JOSH
Trust but verify.

LIZ
Oh, and right, you’re a Republican.

JOSH
I’m an independent.

LIZ
I don’t believe in independents. Like I don’t believe in bisexuals. Choose a side.

JOSH
You don’t really believe that.

LIZ
This is very dangerous for you. This...thing we’re doing.

JOSH
I’m not afraid. Are you?

LIZ
I’m terrified. I’ve done the research. Anyone who enters into a romantic relationship thinking it’s going to
last is uninformed or stupid. But, look, it’s fine to be stupid if you know you’re being stupid.

JOSH
I like you too.

LIZ
Why did you talk to me? That first day, in the park? What was your reason?

JOSH
My...reason? I didn’t have a reason, I just—I guess I had a feeling. That we were...meant for each other,
somehow. I know you don’t believe in that sort of thing, but—you know, my whole life, I’ve never felt like I
belonged anywhere.

LIZ
I find that very hard to believe.

JOSH
On a farm in the middle of Nebraska, with a drunk for a dad. In med school—in the Army, for sure. And
here in New York—I’ve never felt at home anywhere. And I guess I sensed that in you.

LIZ
Oh. Well.

JOSH
And I think I was right. Because with you, I feel like I belong.

LIZ
I want to be with you. But my track record is...not good.

JOSH
Every time is new.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 54
! !

(MUSIC [7].)

LIZ
I know in my heart of hearts that this will most likely end very badly.

JOSH
You do know how to woo a fellow.

SONG: HERE I GO

LIZ
I’M NOT ONE FOR FORTUNES
OR WISHING ON A STAR.
AND I’VE STUDIED ALL THE STORIES
AND WHAT OUR CHANCES ARE.
THEN MY HEART STARTS BEATING FASTER
AND IT MAKES THIS DISASTER WORSE BY FAR.
STILL, HERE I GO...
OH HERE I GO

NOW I KNOW ALL THE MOTIONS—


THE STEPS TO EVERY DANCE.
AND I COUNT CARDS AT THE TABLE;
I NEVER BET ON CHANCE;
I LEAVE NOTHING TO THE GODS;
I KNOW ALL THE ODDS AND EVEN SO—
STILL, HERE I GO.
OH, HERE I GO.
WHY, I DON’T KNOW—
OH, HERE I GO.

JOSH
YOU’RE NOT SOME ROMANTIC—
YOU KNOW, THAT’S NO SURPRISE.
AND YOU’RE NO GOOD AT SMALL TALK,
OR LITTLE, LOVING LIES.

LIZ
I’M AWKWARD, UNGRATEFUL,
AND SOMETIMES, I’M HATEFUL—AS YOU KNOW...

JOSH
STILL, HERE WE GO...

BOTH
OH, HERE WE GO.

LIZ
YOU KNOW, DEEP DOWN, I’M A COWARD,
AFRAID TO LET YOU IN.
BUT THE ONLY THING MORE FRIGHT’NING
IS TO SAY, “WHAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN.”
SO HERE I GO.
OH, HERE I GO.
I LOVE YOU SO...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 55
! !

LIZ AND JOSH


SO HERE I GO.
OH HERE I GO.
SONG ENDS.

(Josh kisses her and goes into the bathroom. Liz


calls after him.)

LIZ
I have to get in there and get ready. I’ve got class this morning. I love the kids, but I feel like such a
fraud—teaching urban planning without ever actually having done it. It’s just a job for now, I guess.

(Worlds change. MUSIC: Beth’s theme.

Lucas comes out of the bathroom.)

LUCAS
I’m sorry, Beth—I didn’t hear you in there.

BETH
I said, it’s not just a job. It’s the first meaningful work I’ve ever done. And now I have to quit.

LUCAS
I’d be the first to cheer if you quit, but this isn’t the reason.

BETH
I’ve made a mess of everything, like I always do.

LUCAS
If you quit, Stephen wins.

BETH
Look, it’s not your problem—

LUCAS
It’s not? Then why am I here?

BETH
Lucas—

LUCAS
Beth, can I ask you a question? What are we?

BETH
What do you mean?

LUCAS
What are we? You act like there can’t be anything between us, it’s all in the past. And then things like last
night happen.

BETH
Last night was the first time that particular thing has happened. Since I’ve been back.

LUCAS
But you call. And I show up.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 56
! !

BETH
And I’m so grateful.

LUCAS
But there’s something missing. There could be more. There used to be.

BETH
Lucas.
(MUSIC [8].)

LUCAS
And there could be again. God knows we both need something.

BETH
You’re my best friend...

SONG: YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME

LUCAS
YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME,
OR TELL ME THAT YOU DO.
DON’T MAKE ME ANY PROMISES—
JUST PROMISE WE’RE NOT THROUGH
DON’T GIVE ME ONE DAMN THING—I WON’T LET YOU CALL THIS GREED—
JUST LET ME GIVE TO YOU—THAT’S THE ONLY THING I NEED.
I KNOW THAT THIS CAN WORK—IF YOU’D PLANT ONE SIMPLE SEED
YOU’D SEE IT GROW...
YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME
TO KNOW.

BETH
I came to New York to make it work, alone. Without needing anyone.

LUCAS
YOU DON’T NEED TO NEED ME—
IT’S BETTER THAT YOU DON’T.
IF EACH OF US CAN WALK AWAY,
IT WON’T MATTER THAT I WON’T.
WE’LL BOTH BE SELF-CONTAINED—BUT TOGETHER, NOT ALONE.
YOU CAN KEEP ME IN THE DARK—HELL, IT’S ALL I’VE EVER KNOWN.
BUT WE BOTH COULD USE A FRIEND—WHO WILL ALWAYS CHECK THE PHONE
AND TAKE THE CALL...
YOU DON’T NEED TO NEED ME
AT ALL.

LET ME BE YOUR EMERGENCY CONTACT,


YOUR OCCASIONAL PLUS-ONE.
YOUR EXCUSE TO TAKE A SICK DAY
WHEN THE FORECAST CALLS FOR SUN.

WE CAN KEEP ON BEING LONELY...


BUT WE DON’T HAVE TO BE APART.
AND I’LL NEVER EVEN ASK YOU
TO LET ME HAVE YOUR HEART...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 57
! !

LUCAS (CONT’D)
SO I’LL NEVER BREAK YOUR HEART.
NO, I’LL NEVER BREAK YOUR HEART.

YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME


TO LET ME HELP YOU THROUGH.
YOU DON’T NEED TO CONFIDE IN ME—
I’VE GOT CRAP ENOUGH FOR TWO.
YOU DON’T NEED TO ANSWER,
I’LL KNOW BEFORE YOU DO...
BUT HEAR ME,
AND BELIEVE ME,
THAT YOU DON’T NEED TO LOVE ME
THE WAY THAT I LOVE YOU.

(Beth stands. He stands. She kisses him on the


cheek and goes. He stays.

Lights.)
SONG ENDS.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 58
! !

Scene 7: A Kindergarten Classroom

(Kate enters with a stool and a storybook, and


sits.)

KATE
Okay. Everyone have a seat in the circle. Now then. We’re scheduled to continue reading from the
“American Heroes” series today, but my effort to alternate male and female heroes has been thwarted by
the fact that the “American Heroes” series has thirty-eight books on men and three on women.
(looks at the book)
One of whom is Betsy Ross, and God bless her, but if I want a book on a lady hero who sews, give me
Donna Karan or Diane von Furstenberg, am I right?
(sets book aside)
So I’m going to tell you the story of another woman hero I know.

SONG: NO MORE WASTED TIME

KATE
ONCE UPON A GRAD SCHOOL, BETH MET OREN, AND HE SAID
MY DEAR, YOU’RE KIND, YOU’RE PRETTY, WITH A BRAIN INSIDE YOUR HEAD
I’VE GOT WORK OUT WEST—WILL YOU COME WITH ME, IF WE’RE WED?”
SO OFF BETH WENT TO PHOENIX—FULL OF CHAMPAGNE, CAKE, AND DREAD.
(pauses)
Now, children, Phoenix is a city in Arizona that you should never, ever visit.
(continues)
TWELVE YEARS ON, HER HOPE HAD ALL BUT DIED
SO SHE CHECKED THE WRECK AROUND HER,
AND WITH A BIG DEEP BREATH, BETH CRIED...

NO MORE WASTED TIME...


NO MORE STANDING STILL.
I ONCE WOULD DREAM OF BUILDING CITIES,
AND NOW I THINK I WILL.

(Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 59
! !

Scene 8: Beth’s Office

(Beth studies a resumé. Opposite her sits


ELENA.)

BETH
Elena, it’s an exciting time here, but it may soon be a bit—unsettled.

ELENA
Most of my life has been unsettled.

BETH
I should warn you, the pay is next to nothing. Do you have student loans?

ELENA
A hundred and fifty thousand dollars. It’s their fault for loaning that kind of money to an urban studies
major. They’ll get it when they get it.

BETH
It’s long hours and hard work. And my impression of your generation is that you don’t like work.

ELENA
I’m different than my generation.

BETH
Me too. We have a dozen candidates who are more qualified on paper.

ELENA
I understand. Well, Beth, thank you for seeing me—

BETH
You’re hired.

ELENA
What? Why?

BETH
I don’t know. Isn’t that interesting? I don’t know. I have a feeling.

(The Deputy Mayor enters.)

DEPUTY MAYOR
I’ve been to three county fairs and a goat race and I ain’t seen nothing like this. You invited the NYCC to
be part of the groundbreaking?

BETH
I did. We give them a little credit for the housing, they lose their outsider status—and they won’t picket
their own ceremony.

DEPUTY MAYOR
Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit. You got a brain behind that mouth of yours.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 60
! !

BETH
(as he goes)
Thank you. And I’m sure you’ve got one under that buttered—
(remembers Elena)
Sorry. As I said, it can be a challenging environment—

(Kate enters.)

KATE
I need a word with you. Lucas told me you’re quitting.

BETH
That man is incapable of keeping a secret.

KATE
And a good thing, too.

BETH
Kate, let’s talk over lunch. This is Elena, I just hired her—

KATE
Well then, she should hear this, too.
(hands Beth a motley pile of folded papers and
small envelopes)
From my kindergartners. You’re their American Hero this week.

BETH
Me? How in the hell am I a hero?

KATE
Because you could’ve given up years ago, and you never did. And you’re not going to now. And our city
will be better for it.

BETH
Well, I don’t know—

(She looks through the notes and letters as Kate


gives her a medallion and cape.)

KATE
NO MORE WASTED TIME—
NO MORE TIME FOR DOUBT.
YOU SAY YOU’RE NOT SURE YOU’RE A HERO?
IT’S TIME YOU SHOULD FIND OUT.
SO SAY YOU MADE A FEW MISTAKES—
HEROES KNOW THAT’S WHAT IT TAKES
TO FIND THEIR WAY.
NO MORE WASTED TIME—
NOT ONE MORE DAY.

WE’VE GOT NO TIME FOR PLAYING NICE


THERE’S ONLY TIME FOR STRONG
WE’VE GOT NO NEED FOR GOOD ADVICE
WE’VE LISTENED FAR TOO LONG
IT’S GONE TOO WRONG

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 61
! !

(Stephen enters.)

STEPHEN
Beth? A word?

KATE
Elena and I will meet you at the restaurant. Come, dear.

ELENA
I wouldn’t want to intrude.

BETH
Oh, you’re in it now, I’m afraid. See you in a few.

(Kate goes, with Elena following. As they go:)

KATE
Nice to see you, Stephen.

STEPHEN
You invited the NYCC to the groundbreaking? Is this about Lucas?

BETH
It’s about fairness—we couldn’t have done it without them. And Higgs just told me he likes the idea.

STEPHEN
(holds up an envelope)
Was this before or after you put your resignation on my desk?

BETH
(takes the envelope)
I’ll be taking that back. And I’ll see you at the groundbreaking.

(She exits, flipping her cape as she goes.

Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 62
! !

Scene 9: The Far West Side

(Kate and Anne. Kate carries a large shoulder


bag.)

ANNE
She said ten-thirty. Are we that early?

KATE
Where’s the giant ribbon? I’m looking for the giant ribbon and the giant scissors.

ANNE
I think you’re thinking of a store opening. This is a groundbreaking.

KATE
So where’s the giant shovel?

(Beth hurries in, followed by Elena.)

BETH
Kate, Anne, it was so great of you guys to come.

KATE
Beth, this is amazing. All this equipment, all these people—this is all you?

BETH
No. I helped oversee the planning, that’s all.

ELENA
It’s all her.

KATE
Hello Elena!
(to Anne, as they move off)
Elena’s a very, very good friend who I just met.

(Stephen enters, harried.)

STEPHEN
Beth. I need you to do the remarks.

BETH
What? I don’t do speeches.

STEPHEN
You’re going to have to. Higgs is resigning this afternoon and the Mayor asked me to step up to deputy.
Which means my job is yours. If you want it.

BETH
He’s resigning? But we’ve made him a superstar—

STEPHEN
Yes, which he apparently celebrated with two hookers and a medium-sized bowl of coke.
(checks his watch)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 63
! !

STEPHEN (CONT’D)
I have to get to City Hall. You got this?

(He hurries off.)

BETH
Have I got this?
(turns to the others)
This is ridiculous

KATE
It’s meant to be.

ELENA
(working her iPad)
Let me pull up his speech.

KATE
We brought the wine.

ANNE
Beth?

(Beth doesn’t respond.)

KATE
NO MORE WASTED TIME

ELENA
I’ve got it!

KATE
NO MORE HOLDING BACK
NO BOWING LOW AND ASKING NICELY

KATE + ELENA
WE NEED A NEW ATTACK.

ELENA
WE GONNA RUN THE WHOLE DAMN PLACE
BUT WITH SOME CLASS, AND WITH SOME GRACE
AND WE’LL DO FINE
NO MORE WASTED TIME—
IT’S ON THE LINE

ANNE BETH
YOU’VE GOT NO TIME FOR PLAYING NICE
I’VE GOT NO TIME FOR PLAYING NICE
ELENA
THERE’S ONLY TIME FOR STRONG
I KNOW I’M STRONG
KATE
AND WE DON’T NEED TO TELL YOU TWICE

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 64
! !

KATE + ANNE + ELENA BETH (CONT’D)


YOU’VE WAITED FOR THIS LONG
YOU WON’T GO WRONG I HOPE I WON’T GO WRONG

BETH
NO MORE WASTED TIME.
NO MORE WASTED BREATH

ELENA
NO HOPING LIFE WILL JUST GET BETTER—
WE’VE HOPED IT HALF TO DEATH.

BETH
NO PLAYING FOR THE PERFECT CARD,

KATE
‘CAUSE LIFE IS SHORT AND LIFE IS HARD,

BETH + KATE + ELENA + ANNE


SO I DON’T CARE HOW—

KATE
BUT NO MORE WASTED TIME...

ELENA
NO MORE WASTED TIME...

BETH
NO MORE WASTED TIME...

ANNE
NO MORE WASTED TIME...

KATE + ELENA + BETH + ANNE


NO MORE WASTED TIME...
STARTING NOW!
NOW!
NOW!
(Beth grabs the iPad from Elena, the bottle from
Kate, takes a swig of wine, hands the bottle
back, and as Lucas would say, she’s good to
go.)

SONG ENDS.

(The others go. Beth steps into a spot.)

(Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 65
! !

Scene 10 : Elizabeth’s Apartment and the Roof Above

SONG: SURPRISE

(MUSIC [10]. In black:)

CROWD
HEY, HEY, AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE?

(Lights on the apartment. Anne leads a CROWD


into Elizabeth’s apartment, but leaves the lights
off.)

ANNE
Shh! Everybody—quiet.

CROWD
(sotto)
HEY, HEY, AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE?

ANNE
Kate is on her way up with Liz.

(David hurries in.)

DAVID
Josh is running late—he had a ruptured spleen on the table—S.U.V. versus bike, this poor delivery guy—

LUCAS
Yes, please, more medical detail at the party. Now hide.
(as David turns away)
Hide with me!

CROWD
HEY HEY AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE...
HOW THE YEARS WILL SLIP ON PAST YOU,
HOW THE TIME JUST FLIES
THEN BEHOLD, YOU’RE OLDER, BOLDER AND
MUCH WISER THAN BEFORE
AIN’T THAT SOME SURPRISE?

ANNE
THEY’RE AT THE DOOR!

(Kate leads Liz through the door.)


!
ALL (EXCEPT LIZ)
Surprise!

(All ad-lib birthday greetings as Anne holds up a


tray of champagne flutes.)

ANNE
Champagne! Time to get our drink on and forget that old age gets us all in the end.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 66
! !

(All pass glasses. Kate dings hers.)

KATE
Ladies and gentlemen of the surprise party. If I could have your attention please—I’d like to make a toast.
(raises her glass)
To Liz—thirty-nine and looking fine.

PARTIERS
To Liz!

ANNE
You did it baby!

KATE
She had no idea. I should be a secret agent.

ANNE
Well...

(All drink, except Liz, who pours hers into a


plant. Lucas and David notice.)

LUCAS
Wait—what was that?

LIZ
What was what?

LUCAS
IF YOU’RE NOT DRINKING—
THEN SOMETHING’S NEW

LIZ
IT’S NOTHING REALLY—
I CAN’T TELL YOU

LUCAS
YOU’RE ON THE WAGON—
OR ELSE—OH JEEZ—

LIZ
KEEP YOUR VOICE DOWN—
LUCAS—PLEASE.

DAVID
YOU HAVEN’T TOLD JOSH?

LIZ
DON’T KNOW WHAT TO SAY

LUCAS
YOU BETTER THINK QUICK THEN—HE’S MINUTES AWAY

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 67
! !

LIZ
THERE’S TOO MANY PEOPLE—AND THAT’S JUST AS WELL.

DAVID
UM, JOSH IS A DOCTOR—THEY CAN OFTEN TELL

LIZ
OH, HELL.

HEY—UM—THANKS FOR THE SURPRISE!


LET’S GO PARTY ON THE ROOFTOP
UNDERNEATH THE SKIES!

(Lucas and David are left alone.)

DAVID
Amazing. She’s having a baby.

LUCAS
What are you getting at?

DAVID
I’m getting at it’s amazing that she’s having a baby.

LUCAS
You want to have kids.

DAVID
Well, someday. Don’t you?

LUCAS
I don’t like children. They’re needy, and moody, and messy.

DAVID
I find those things charming.

LUCAS
Oh, I see what you did there.

DAVID
Move in with me. Officially. We’ll send a hazmat team to get your things—

LUCAS
It just seems so traditional...

DAVID
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE?
BABE, YOU’RE IN A REAL-LIFE COUPLE
TRY THAT ON FOR SIZE
YOU CAN FEAR IT, DEAR, IT’S CLEAR IT’S NOT
ABOUT TO GO AWAY
AIN’T THAT SOME SURPRISE?
!
LUCAS
AIN’T THIS SOME SURPRISE—IT FEELS OKAY.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 68
! !

DAVID
WELL, HEY.

(He kisses Lucas.

Worlds change.

Lights on the roof.

Beth with Elena, Kate, and Anne, who pours


champagne for all.)

KATE
Beth, is it just us to celebrate your big day?

BETH
I wanted something small. No crowds, no surprises.

ANNE
Time to get our drink on and forget that when our parents were our age, we were teenagers.

KATE
I’d like to make a toast.
(raises her glass)
To Beth. The new Director of City Planning.

ANNE + ELENA
To Beth!
(Anne, Elena, and Kate drink. Beth does not.)
KATE
You’re not drinking? Tonight of all nights?

BETH
Ah—I’m not.

KATE
Why? Oh my god. I mean are you...?

BETH
I am.

KATE
But when—who—how?

BETH
I don’t know how. Orin and I tried for years. He always blamed me.

ANNE
I didn’t even know you had a man.

BETH
I don’t. I have a Lucas.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 69
! !

KATE
Well, shut my mouth. Who knew the boy could really—

ANNE
Darlin’.

BETH
NO MORE SURPRISES
NO MEN TO KISS
I MIGHT WANT CHILDREN—
BUT NOT LIKE THIS
HE THINKS HE LOVES ME
AND I KNOW IT’S NOT TRUE
NO MORE SURPRISES—
GOD, WHAT TO DO?

(Lucas appears over the fire escape just in time


for:)

LUCAS
Surprise!

ANNE
Oh, and here’s Lucas.

KATE
Cake! Lucas, come with us. We’ll get the cake.

LUCAS
Oh—okay—I’m trying to cut down on refined sugar but I suppose if we’re wedded to this whole “birthday”
ritual!

(Kate and Anne herd him back down the fire


escape.)

ELENA
So that’s Lucas. He seems great!

BETH
What if ten years from now I look back and wish I had a family?

ELENA
James and I talk about that.

BETH
And what have you decided?

ELENA
That we have time to decide.

BETH
Yes. I don’t.

ELENA
What do you want right now?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 70
! !

BETH
I want that job. I want to give it everything I have.

ELENA
NO MORE SURPRISES –
YOUR LIFE’S ON TRACK

BETH
I’M MOVING FORWARD—
I WON’T GO BACK

ELENA
SO LET YOU’RE HEART WIN,
AND LET THE DOUBT BE GONE!

ELENA + BETH
NO MORE SURPRISES—

BETH
I’M MOVING ON.

(Lights on the apartment. A doorbell.

Lucas hurries to open the door to Stephen.)

LUCAS
Stephen!

STEPHEN
Hi Lucas. I hope I didn’t miss the party.

LUCAS
You did. It’s over. It was great! Bye.

(Anne hurries in.)

ANNE
It’s not over. We’re up on the roof. Hi, Stephen.

LUCAS
I’ll let Beth know you’re here. She’ll be so pleased.

(He hurries out.

Lights on the roof.

Beth and Elena look out at the city.)

BETH
I was with the wrong man for years. I don’t want to do that again. I don’t want to bring a child into it.

ELENA
You could do it alone.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 71
! !

BETH
I could. But could I do it all perfectly? With no regrets?

ELENA
Well – of course not.

BETH
So you see my problem.

(Lucas returns.)

LUCAS
Stephen is here. Don’t tell me this is still going on.

BETH
Stephen? Here?

ELENA
I hope that’s okay—I mentioned we were having a little gathering—he asked me if anything was
happening for your birthday.

LUCAS
It’s all right, Elena. It’s not your fault he’s evil. Should I tell him to go?

BETH
I’ll talk to him.

(She goes.)

ELENA
What was that about? What is it that’s still going on?

LUCAS
Please don’t ask me, because I’m terrible at keeping secrets.

ELENA
Okay.

LUCAS
Fine, I’ll tell you. No, I can’t. Ack!

(He gulps champagne.

Worlds change.

Lights on the living room and Liz. Josh hurries in


the front door.)

JOSH
Liz! So sorry I’m late. I missed the surprise, didn’t I?

LIZ
Not entirely—

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 72
! !

JOSH
Emergency splenectomy, this delivery guy—

LIZ
I’m pregnant.

JOSH
You’re. Oh. Wow. How?

LIZ
Well, Doctor...

JOSH
I mean—we’ve been—we’re very safe!

LIZ
We are, but apparently New York City Transit Novelty Condoms, not so much.

JOSH
WOW—WOW—THAT IS SOME SURPRISE

LIZ
YEAH, YOUR TEENY-TINY SWIMMERS
THEY’RE DETERMINED LITTLE GUYS

JOSH
IT COULD BE THAT WE SHOULD SEE THIS THROUGH
IT MIGHT MEAN THAT—IT MIGHT

LIZ
IT’S JUST SUCH A SURPRISE

JOSH
IT STILL FEELS RIGHT

LIZ
We need to bring up the cake, so these people will eat cake, and go home, and we can talk about this.

JOSH
Okay. Cake.

(Anne and Kate emerge from the kitchen with


the cake.)

KATE
It’s time.

LIZ
Cake!

JOSH
Yes, it’s time for the cake. Give us the cake.

LIZ
Cake.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 73
! !

KATE
Oh—well—of course—

(Josh grabs the cake and goes. Liz follows.)

ANNE
I think she told him.

KATE
I think she did. Marry me.

ANNE
What?

KATE
Marry me. I look around, I see the two of them so in love—and I think, we have that. Let’s make it official.

KATE
HEY HEY AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE
AFTER ALL THIS TIME TOGETHER
I LOOK INTO YOUR EYES

KATE + ANNE
AND I SEE WHAT WE CAN BE IF WE
STEP UP AND SAY “I DO.”
AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE?

ANNE
I DO LOVE YOU...

KATE
AND I LOVE YOU.

(They kiss.
!
Lights on the kitchen.

Worlds change.

Beth is with Stephen.)

BETH
Stephen! Thanks for coming—you didn’t have to.

STEPHEN
Cathy sends her best.

BETH
I’m sure. Come on up to the roof. The view of the park is fantastic.

STEPHEN
Beth—I’d hate to think that whatever happened between us—that you’re still concerned—

BETH
Not at all. We’re good.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 74
! !

STEPHEN
Because we’ve got lots of good work left to do.

BETH
Yes. We do.

(Lucas climbs in from the fire escape..)

LUCAS
There you are, Beth. We were wondering.

STEPHEN
I’ll head on up to the roof, then.

(As he goes:)

LUCAS
You do that.
BETH
I—Lucas, I have to—I have something—

LUCAS
Stop. Before you say anything. I want to move in. You’re a practical person. We have a great deal to
offer each other.

BETH
Lucas, you’re drunk.
LUCAS
That doesn’t mean I’m wrong. I may not remember this tomorrow, but I’ll still agree with it.

(He tries to kiss her. She gently pushes him


away.)

BETH
Lucas.

LUCAS
Let’s have sex.

BETH
Let’s have cake.

LUCAS
Okay.

(Lucas heads out the window onto the fire


escape, and Beth follows.

From above, we hear the partygoers.)

PARTYGOERS
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE...
(Josh is already up on the roof)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 75
! !

JOSH
Thirty-nine candles, Liz! I know how you like candles.

PARTYGOERS
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE...
(Lucas makes it to the roof.)

LUCAS
One candle, Beth. I know how you hate waste.

PARTYGOERS
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME...

LUCAS
We can do this.

PARTYGOERS
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME...

JOSH
This is meant to be.

PARTYGOERS
HEY—HEY—AIN’T IT SOME...
(Elizabeth steps onto the roof.)

JOSH LUCAS
Liz? Beth?

ELIZABETH THE REST


AT THIRTY-NINE, EV’RYTHING CHANGES— SURPRISE! SURPRISE!
I’M OLDER BUT HARDLY MORE WISE. HEY, HEY AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE.
AND JUST WHEN YOU THINK YOU’RE ON COURSE, HEY, HEY AIN’T IT SOME SURPRISE.
THE SEA STARTS TO RISE... HEY, HEY AIN’T IT SOME...
AND FROM CLEAR BLUE SKIES... HEY, HEY AIN’T IT SOME...

LUCAS
Marry me.

JOSH
Marry me.

ELIZABETH
SURPRISE!

ALL
SURPRISE!
SONG ENDS.

END OF ACT ONE.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 76
! !

ACT TWO

Scene 1: Outside Grace Church, Lower Broadway

(In black: MUSIC [11].

Voices.

Lights.

And right away, a WEDDING PARTY spilling out


of a church. They celebrate with vigor.)

SONG: THIS DAY / WALKING BY A WEDDING

WEDDING PARTY
HEY
THIS DAY
OH OH OH
HEY
THIS DAY
OH OH OH HEY

ALL THE DAYS HE THOUGHT HE LOST HER...


ALL THE NIGHTS SHE HAD THAT FEAR...
ALL THE FIGHTS AND ALL THEY COST HER—
ALL OF THAT HAS LED THEM HERE.
ALL THEIR LIFE HAS GONE THIS WAY
SO THEY COULD BE HERE THIS DAY.
OH THIS DAY...

AND ALL THE WRONG TURNS ON THE WAY


SOMEHOW BROUGHT THEM BOTH HERE TO THIS DAY...

(Beth enters, watching from the sidewalk.

Worlds change.

MUSIC CHANGES.

The revelry continues as she watches, but it


changes.)

BETH
WALKING BY A WEDDING
ON EAST TENTH, NEAR LOWER BROADWAY,
IN THE DAPPLED AFTERNOON
OF A NOT-QUITE-SUMMER’S DAY.
!
WALKING BY A WEDDING
WITH THE WISPY, WASPISH BRIDESMAIDS,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 77
! !

BETH (CONT’D)
WITH THE WHITEST CALLA LILLES
IN THE TIDIEST BOUQUET—
IT MUST BE MAY.

(Worlds change.

MUSIC CHANGES.

Lights.

More revelers spill out of the church—including


Kate and Anne, carrying bouquets.)

KATE
I love you.

ANNE
I love you.

KATE
That was a beautiful fucking wedding.

ANNE
Amazing.

KATE
ALL THE TIME I LOST BEFORE YOU,
ALL THE TIME I LEFT TO FATE—

ANNE
ALL THE TIME THAT I'LL ADORE YOU
IS HOW I KNOW WE'RE NOT TOO LATE.

KATE
EV’RY HOUR OF LOVE’S DELAY

KATE + ANNE
DOESN'T MEAN A MINUTE THIS DAY.
OH THIS DAY.
AND WHEN WE FINALLY SAY THOSE VOWS—
I'LL LOVE YOU JUST AS LONG AS TIME ALLOWS.

(They kiss.

Worlds change.

MUSIC CHANGES.

Beth has moved down the sidewalk, still


watching.)

BETH
WALKING BY A WEDDING
AS THE CHURCH DOORS TUMBLE OPEN,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 78
! !

BETH (CONT’D)
AND THE COUSINS AND THE COLLEAGUES
STAGGER OUT INTO THE STREET.

YOU IMAGINE YOUR OWN WEDDING,


AS YOU FLOAT ON DOWN THE AISLE
TO THE MAN UP ON THE ALTAR
WHO WILL MAKE YOUR LIFE COMPLETE...
WHO PERHAPS SOMEDAY YOU’LL MEET.

AND LIFE WILL NEVER SEEM SO BEAUTIFUL


OR TROUBLES SEEM SO FAR AWAY
OR THE ANSWERS BE SO EASY,
AS “I DO,”
AND “I DO,”
THIS ONCE
THIS DAY

WEDDING PARTY
THIS DAY
OH OH HEY
THIS DAY

BETH
WALKING BY A WEDDING
ON EAST TENTH, NEAR LOWER BROADWAY,
IN THE DYING AFTERNOON
OF A SHOULD-BE-SUMMER DAY.

STANDING THERE AND KNOWING


THE WORLD WILL NEVER SEEM SO LONELY
AS WHEN YOU’RE WALKING BY A WEDDING,
AND WAITING,
AND WATCHING,
THEN WALKING, WALKING AWAY.

(She goes.

Worlds change.

MUSIC CHANGES.

Lucas and David emerge and the rest cheer.)

ANNE
There they are!

KATE
The beautiful couple.

ANNE
Well done, David. Well done, Lucas.

DAVID
Thank you.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 79
! !

KATE
You were great. Though you should have been in a dress.

LUCAS
I wasn’t the maid of honor. I was the other best man.

(A PHOTOGRAPHER emerges from the


church.)

PHOTOGRAPHER
All right, everyone, best men in front, then bridesmaids and groomsmen and bridesmen and
groomsmaids and whatever else is going on here. Get ready for the bride and groom.

(Liz and Josh emerge. All applaud and cheer.

The photographer arranges them for photos. Liz


and Josh hold each other as the rest of the
wedding party arranges around them, shifts,
rearranges, and the photographer snaps
pictures. )

LIZ
ALL THE THINGS I MESSED UP BADLY—
ALL THE HURT AND ALL THE SHAME.

JOSH
YOU’D DO ‘EM ALL AGAIN, AND GLADLY—
IF YOU KNEW IT’D END UP THE SAME.

LIZ
ALL MY LIFE A SAD DISPLAY—
ALL OF IT, EXCEPT FOR THIS DAY

LIZ + JOSH
OH, THIS DAY

LIZ
AND I’M A SORRY SIGHT TO SEE
EXCEPT THE FACT THAT YOU LOVE ME

LIZ + JOSH
AND ALL I LOST ALONG THE WAY
IS ALL I HAD TO LOSE TO FIND THIS DAY
OH THIS DAY

(The other two couples say their goodbyes to


Josh and Liz.)

ALL
THIS DAY
OH, THIS DAY

(After Liz and Josh go, the party continues—)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 80
! !

WEDDING PARTY
I’M AMAZED HE SOMEHOW FOUND HER
I’M AMAZED THAT SHE GAVE IN
SHE WILL LIFT AND HE WILL GROUND HER
ALL IN ALL, I’D SAY IT’S WIN-WIN

‘CAUSE HER FIRST TIME WAS DISASTER


WAY OUT WEST AS OREN’S WIFE
SHE’D’A DITCHED HIM THAT MUCH FASTER
IF JOSH WALKED INTO HER LIFE...
OH, THIS DAY

OH OH OH...
THIS DAY
OH, THIS DAY

OH OH OH...
THIS DAY
OH, THIS DAY

OH OH OH...
THIS DAY
OH, THIS DAY

(Transition to:)
!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 81
! !

Scene 2: Josh and Liz’s Apartment, New York City

(Josh enters, working his laptop. He calls off.)

JOSH
Liz! Liz, honey, your test results are up on the hospital server.
(taps keys)
They weren’t going to release until the afternoon, but I sent a few emails.
(scans the screen)
I’m not entirely comfortable with the total score. I think we might want to do it again.

(Liz enters, very pregnant, reading the Times.)

LIZ
I am done with the one-hour ultrasounds. I’m sure...it...is fine.

JOSH
He.

LIZ
It.

JOSH
Still fighting it?

LIZ
You check the tests on the hospital server every day—

JOSH
I’m conscientious.

LIZ
You’re obsessive.

JOSH
I choose not to be hurt by that. I understand pregnancy makes women emotional.

LIZ
I am not emotional, fuck you, I’ll kill you.

JOSH
You keep threatening that, but you have no follow-through.

LIZ
I shouldn’t be doing this. I’ll be a terrible mother.

JOSH
You’re in rare form today. What’s up?

(Liz shrugs, then grabs the newspaper.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 82
! !

LIZ
The Far West Side development. A child was killed, in traffic. A child, because the idiot who got that job at
City Planning wanted the cars to move smoothly to the fucking highway.

JOSH
Oh, man.

LIZ
It was a child, dead in the middle of the road, like a war zone, can you imagine?

JOSH
I don’t have to imagine.

LIZ
(pause)
I know. I’m sorry.

JOSH
It’s okay.

LIZ
It’s not okay. Some things are not okay—you can’t just put this calm face on everything. It’s your worst
quality.

JOSH
I’m a surgeon. I stay calm.

LIZ
And I’m a neurotic mess, and when it’s all so easy for you, it makes it impossible for me. So could we
meet in the middle?
(then:)
I shouldn’t be at home, reading about these things. I should be trying get out there and do something.

JOSH
You’ll get your chance. With this resident job, my schedule will settle down—

LIZ
I’m going to resent this baby. I already do. I’m going to blame him. For everything.
!
JOSH
So you’ll blame him. And resent him. And wonder what might have been. And you’re gonna hold him, and
adore him, and be so glad he’s around.
(a moment; bends to her belly)
Psst. Kid. Tell your mom this is all gonna be great.
(then, pleased)
He kicked! He kicked me!

LIZ
Clearly his mother’s son.
(clutches something)
Oh god, a contraction! A contraction! It’s coming!
(waits a moment)
No, I just gotta poop.

(She goes. MUSIC [12].)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 83
! !

SONG: HEY, KID

JOSH
HEY, KID.
EVERYONE’S WAITING ON YOU, KID.
EVERYONE’S WOND’RING WHAT YOU’LL DO, KID.
IT’S TRUE, KID.
ME TOO, KID.

HEY, KID.
WE’RE SO EXCITED
JUST TO KNOW YOU’LL SOON BE HERE.
SAY—KID
WE’RE BOTH DELIGHTED—
THOUGH THAT MAY NOT SEEM SO CLEAR
SEE KID, I GOTTA TELL YA
I’M NOT READY—NOT A BIT
THERE’S THIS MACHO ACT I’LL SELL YA—
WHILE INSIDE I LOSE MY SHIT.
IT’S NOT THAT I DON’T WANT YOU,
‘CAUSE I DO, DESPITE MY FEARS,
BUT KID—
IS IT TRUE YOU’LL STICK AROUND FOR EIGHTEEN YEARS?

THEN THE CALL COMES ON THE I-PHONE,


I GRAB A CAB CROSS TOWN,
I FIND HER ON THE FOURTH FLOOR,
AND THEY’VE GOT HER IN THE GOWN.

SHE’S NEVER LOOKED LESS LOVELY—


SHE’S A GRUMP AND SHE’S GOT GAS.
AND THE LABOR’S EIGHTEEN HOURS—
OH MY GOD, KID MOVE YOUR ASS.

(Liz gives birth, seen by Josh but not by us.)

JOSH (CONT’D)
THEN AT LAST YOU MAKE YOUR ENTRANCE
AND, WELL, KID, YOU’RE QUITE A SIGHT.
I’LL BE HONEST—YOU’RE DISGUSTING—
BUT I KNOW THAT YOU’RE ALL RIGHT.

THOUGH YOU’RE SCREAMING AND YOU’RE SPITTING


AND I CAN’T QUITE SEE YOUR CHARMS,
THEY CLEAN YOU AND THEY CLOTHE YOU
AND THEY PUT YOU IN MY ARMS...

(A nurse does.)

JOSH (CONT’D)
AND I REALIZE, IN AN INSTANT
THAT I’VE KNOWN YOU ALL ALONG,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 84
! !

JOSH (CONT’D)
THAT I’VE WANTED YOU FOREVER,
THAT I’LL NEVER DO YOU WRONG.

AND WHATEVER THIS WORLD COMES TO


AND WHATEVER COMES OUR WAY—
I WILL WATCH YOU, AND PROTECT YOU,
I PROMISE, KID, WE’LL BE OKAY...
WE’LL BE OKAY...
WE’LL BE OKAY...
HEY...

(The nurse takes the baby to the nursery.)

JOSH (CONT’D)
KID.
I FEEL LIKE YELLING—
RING THE BELL AND BANG THE DRUM.
SAY, KID,
THERE’S JUST NO TELLING
ALL THE THINGS THAT YOU’LL BECOME
AND I THINK WE’LL HAVE SOME FUN HERE,
YOUR MOM, AND YOU, AND ME.
AND BEFORE YOUR TIME IS DONE HERE,
KID OF MINE, I HOPE YOU’LL SEE
THAT THIS LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT—
IT’S CLICHÉ, WHICH MEANS IT’S TRUE
AND KID,
IT MAKES MY LIFE TO KNOW I HELPED MAKE YOU

AS A FATHER, KID, I MAY NOT HAVE A CLUE.


BUT YOUR MOM AND ME WILL SOMEHOW MUDDLE THROUGH.
IF MY ASSHOLE DAD COULD DO IT, I CAN TOO—
IN FACT, I’LL DO BETTER, I’LL START NEW.
‘CAUSE KID,
OUR KID,
MY KID—
I LOVE YOU

(The Nurse wheels in Liz with the baby, and


Josh joins them.)

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 85
! !

Scene 3: Bryant Park

(Lucas sits, tapping away at a laptop. A KID


approaches, shyly.)

KID
Hey, excuse me, I’m sorry to bother you, but could I get your autograph?

LUCAS
Why would you want my autograph?

KID
(rummages in her backpack, pulls out a book)
“Make Some Noise.” Would you mind signing it? I’m a huge fan.

LUCAS
Look—what’s your name?

KID
Paulette.

LUCAS
Paulette. I don’t want fans. The book’s an instruction manual. A call to arms. It’s not about me.
(she offers the book again, he takes and signs it)
I don’t mean to be a dick. I just want you to focus on what matters.

KID
I will. I just—I mean—you should just know you’re a real inspiration. You’re proof that you don’t have to
lose your ideals when you get old.
!
LUCAS
(hands book back)
Yes. Thank you for that, Paulette. Keep fighting.

KID
I totally will. Thanks.

(Paulette goes.)

BETH
It’s a good book.

LUCAS
Beth. Hi. Thanks for coming.
(jumps up to hug her)
How are you?

BETH
I’m well. How are you?

LUCAS
Things are pretty good. You didn’t really read it.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 86
! !

BETH
I did. It’s a good book. I didn’t love the parts about me.

LUCAS
I changed all the names.

BETH
And somehow people figured it out.

LUCAS
Did you get the invitation? To the book party?

BETH
I did, but late. I was out of town. I’m sorry.

LUCAS
Living the life. That’s great. I hear Stephen moved on to Wall Street.

BETH
He did.

LUCAS
And you didn’t go with him?

BETH
Lucas, I sent you emails for months and months. And called, a number of times.

LUCAS
No—yeah—sorry that I wasn’t, you know, in touch.

BETH
I knew you’d need some time to settle down. I didn’t know it would be years.

LUCAS
I guess I was pretty upset.

BETH
Yes, you made that clear at the time.

LUCAS
You should have told me.

BETH
What would have changed if I had told you?

LUCAS
It wasn’t fair for you to make that decision without me.

BETH
Why not? It wasn’t your decision.

LUCAS
You thought I’d want to have the baby.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 87
! !

BETH
Would you have?

LUCAS
What’s wrong with that?

BETH
What’s wrong with that is that it wouldn’t be you having it, Lucas, it would be me, having a kid I didn’t want
with a man I didn’t love.

LUCAS
I see.

BETH
Jesus. Sorry.

(MUSIC [13].)
!
BETH (CONT’D)
I’m sorry I didn’t tell you. I was—I might well have given in to you, and I don’t think either of us would be
happy now if I had.

LUCAS
Did you think about it, at least? The possibility?

BETH
You know me, Lucas. I think about every possibility.

SONG: SOME OTHER ME

BETH
SOMEWHERE THERE’S A WORLD WHERE YOU AND I ARE MAN AND WIFE,
WE HAVE A CHILD,
OR THREE,
AND IT’S JUST FINE WITH ME
TO LOVE THAT LIFE.

AND SOMEWHERE THERE’S A WORLD WHERE FROM THE FIRST WE NEVER MET—
WE NEVER SPOKE,
OR KISSED,
WE DON’T KNOW WHAT WE MISSED—
OR DON’T KNOW YET.

AND I DIDN’T GO TO VASSAR, BUT TO SMITH, OR YALE, OR BROWN.


I ENDED UP IN BOSTON, OR SOME SMALL ALASKA TOWN.
TO PRACTICE LAW, OR NEUTER CATS, OR FISH THE BERING SEA...
THOSE LIVES ARE LIVED SOMEWHERE,
BY SOME OTHER ME.

SOME OTHER ME
IS HOMELESS...
SOME OTHER ME
IS QUEEN...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 88
! !

BETH (CONT’D)
SOME OTHER ME HAS SEEN THINGS THAT NO OTHER ME HAS SEEN.
IF I MET HER I WOULD ASK HER THAT ONE QUESTION WE BOTH FEAR:
SOME OTHER ME—
HOW’D WE END UP HERE?

LUCAS
SOMEWHERE THERE’S A ME WHO NEVER LOVED THAT OTHER YOU,
WHO LIKED YOU FINE,
I GUESS,
AS BUDDIES, MORE OR LESS,
AND THAT WOULD DO.

AND SOMEWHERE THERE’S A YOU WHO SIMPLY WORSHIPPED OTHER ME,


AND WE WERE WILD,
AND HOT,
AND ALL THE THINGS WE’RE NOT—
AND WE WERE FREE.

AND SOMEWHERE I’M THE PRESIDENT, WITH PLANS THAT NEVER FAIL,
AND SOMEWHERE I’M A REBEL KING, AND SOMEWHERE I’M IN JAIL.
I DIDN’T CHASE MY GLORY DAYS LONG AFTER THEY WERE DONE—
I FOUND MYSELF A WOMAN, OR A MAN, AND HAD A SON...

SOME OTHER ME’S


A ROCKSTAR...
SOME OTHER ME’S
STILL COOL...
SOME OTHER ME DOES NOT FEEL LIKE SOME TIRED OLD FOOL.
AND YOU AND I ARE STRANGERS, OR WE’RE LOVERS, OR WE’RE NOT...
THE OTHER MES—
LIVE WITH WHAT THEY’VE GOT.

BETH
LOOK DOWN EACH ROAD LEFT UNTAKEN,

LUCAS
TRACE EV’RY TURN AND TWIST.

BETH
THE LIVES THAT WE JUST LET GO BY...

LUCAS
THE DREAMS WE MIGHT HAVE MISSED...

LUCAS + BETH
NOW WE’RE OLD ENOUGH TO KNOW THAT
ONE ROAD ENDS WHERE ONE BEGINS—
THE MOMENT WHERE THE “WHAT MIGHT BE’S”
TURN INTO “MIGHT HAVE BEENS.”

BETH
SOMEWHERE THERE’S A WORLD WHERE YOU AND I CAN STILL BE FRIENDS,
NOT LIKE WE WERE,
NOT YET,
WE FORGIVE BUT DON’T FORGET,

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 89
! !

BETH (CONT’D)
NO HAPPY ENDS—
BUT FRIENDS...

(Lucas hugs her, then.)

LUCAS
What if it was our last chance?

BETH
At a baby?

LUCAS
Or at love?

BETH
You don’t believe that.
!
LUCAS
Do you?
(gets no answer)
It was really good to see you.

(He goes. Beth watches him leave.

David rides in on a bicycle, and his path almost


crosses with Lucas.)

DAVID
Excuse me. Sorry.

(Lucas continues off, but with a backward glance


at David.)

SONG ENDS.

(Worlds change.

Lights.)

DAVID
Liz! Hey, Liz!

LIZ
David! Hi—where’s your lovely partner with my son?

DAVID
He was right behind me. We’ve been having a very nice day in the park.

(Lucas enters, one foot on a skateboard,


pushing a jogging stroller, a two-year-old child
bundled in blankets and sleeping.)

LIZ
Are you out of your mind? Are you skateboarding with my child?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 90
! !

LUCAS
Shhh! Liz. We finally got him to sleep.

LIZ
Because hurtling down the bike trail didn’t do the trick?

DAVID
Actually, it seemed very calming—

LUCAS
It’s a jogging stroller, someone should jog with it—

LIZ
David, you’re a doctor. You should know better.

DAVID
He’s belted in, and we got him a little baby helmet. See? Adorable.

LIZ
All right. You two are relieved of duty. And we’re good for next week. I’m not teaching. Spring break. And
Josh is on days, so—

LUCAS
But what do I do with my time?

DAVID
Work on the book?

LUCAS
I’m working on the book.

LIZ
Goodbye, you guys. And thank you.

(Liz goes, with stroller. David turns to Lucas.)

DAVID
We could have one of our own, you know.

LUCAS
They’re not accessories, David.

DAVID
Oh, please, I saw you buying stuff on baby J. Crew last night.

LUCAS
Will you—I have a reputation. No corporate brands.

DAVID
You’re so good with that kid. Let’s have a family.

LUCAS
I just don’t think we’re there yet.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 91
! !

DAVID
Then where are we?

LUCAS
We’re having a good time.

DAVID
We’re getting older.

LUCAS
We’re seeing how it goes.

DAVID
We’ve been doing this for three years. We know how it goes.

(MUSIC [14].)

LUCAS
And why mess with a good thing?

DAVID
For a better thing?

LUCAS
I’m not getting older. I’m the same age I’ve always been.

SONG: BEST WORST MISTAKE

DAVID
YOU CAN GUARD YOUR HEART FOREVER,
KEEP IT SAFE AND KEEP IT SOUND—
BUT LOVE WON’T FEEL SO HEAVY,
IF YOU SPREAD THAT SHIT AROUND.

WHAT IS IT THAT YOU’RE AFRAID OF?


BEING HURT? LET DOWN? DESTROYED?
WELL YOU KNOW IT ALL CAN HAPPEN—
AND THERE’S MORE YOU CAN’T AVOID.

YOU’RE A DIEHARD, YOU’RE A RADICAL,


A FIGHTER THROUGH AND THROUGH.
SO TELL ME WHY YOU’RE SO AFRAID OF
A CAUSE THAT’S NEW—
AND TRUE—
LIKE ME AND YOU?

SO MAN UP,
BREAK OUT,
DIVE IN...
THERE’S NO KNOWING HOW IT ENDS
UNTIL YOU GUT UP AND BEGIN.

CLIMB IN...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 92
! !

DAVID (CONT’D)
BREATHE DEEP...
HOLD ON...
YOU CAN’T KNOW HOW GOOD IT GETS
‘TIL YOU GO OR ‘TIL IT’S GONE.

BE LOST...
BE WARY...
BE AFRAID...
BUT DON’T HIDE OUT IN THE DUGOUT
WHILE THAT FINAL GAME IS PLAYED—
MAKE THAT TRADE!
I’LL BE THE BEST WORST MISTAKE YOU EVER MADE

LUCAS
Really? Sports metaphors?

DAVID
Really.

LUCAS
IT’S NOT THAT I DON’T LOVE YOU, ‘CAUSE I DON’T NOT LOVE YOU,
AND I’D LIE TO SAY I’M NEVER SOMETIMES ALWAYS THINKING OF YOU...
BUT WHEN SOMETHING’S DEEPLY FELT, IT FEELS SHALLOW JUST TO SAY
THE THING THAT’S EXPECTED, THE SAME DULL CLICHÉ,
!
LUCAS DAVID
LIKE YOU’RE SO SWEET SO IT’S SCARIFYING, TERRIFYING,
YOU’RE SO FINE, AND YOU’RE PANICKED, IN A SWEAT...
YOU’RE THE ONE, IT’S THE NIGHTMARE OF ALL NIGHTMARES,
PLEASE BE MINE AND THE BEST YOU’LL EVER GET...

CAUSE YOU’RE IN LOVE


LOVE IS NEAT.
LOVE’S A BITCH
LOVE IS NICE.
LOVE’S A QUEEN
LET IT GO.
LOVE’S A WITCH.
PAY THAT PRICE.
LOVE IS JOY.
LOVE IS TRUE.
LOVE’S A BOY.
WHO LOVES YOU.
I LOVE YOU...
I LOVE YOU.
I LOVE YOU...
I LOVE YOU...
FOR ALL TIME...
FOR ALL TIME...

FOR ALL TIME— FOR ALL TIME...

LUCAS
You tricked me into saying that.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 93
! !

DAVID
IT’S TOO LATE,
IT’S DONE,
YOU’RE THROUGH...
‘CAUSE I SAID IT AND YOU SAID IT,
AND I KNOW YOU MEANT IT, TOO.
SO MAN UP...

LUCAS
MAN UP...

DAVID
BREAK OUT...

LUCAS
BREAK OUT...

DAVID
DIVE IN...

DAVID + LUCAS
THERE’S NO KNOWING HOW IT ENDS UNTIL AT LAST WE BOTH BEGIN.
WE’RE LOST,
WE’RE LONELY,
WE’RE AFRAID...
BUT THE SUN WILL STILL BE SHINING
WHEN WE COME OUT OF THE SHADE

DAVID LUCAS
AND PROMENADE... I’LL BE THE BEST WORST MISTAKE
I’LL BE THE BEST WORST YOU EVER MADE...
MISTAKE... I’LL BE THE BEST WORST MISTAKE
I’LL BE THE BEST WORST MISTAKE... YOU EVER MADE...
BEST WORST MISTAKE... I’LL BE THE BEST WORST MISTAKE
YOU EVER MADE! YOU EVER MADE!

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 94
! !

Scene 4: Elizabeth’s Apartment

(Beth holds an infant to her. Rocks her gently


and hums. The baby CRIES.)

BETH
(calming the baby)
Now, now. Be reasonable. Shh. Nothing so cute should be so cranky.

(Elena enters from the bedroom.)

ELENA
Beth, are you sure you want to do this? I can still call the service—

BETH
No Elena—I insist. Your little girl’s first time away from her mother should be with someone she knows.

ELENA
I’ll just be gone an hour, maybe an hour and a half. I’ve got the travel crib all set up in the bedroom.
And thank you for all your help with the extra leave, and pushing the insurance paperwork through.

BETH
Of course. And I want you to take as much time as you need. You can start back slowly, whenever you
feel ready. You can work from home.

ELENA
Right. Yes.

BETH
What?

ELENA
It’s—I—oh, god.

BETH
What?

ELENA
It’s just—I’m not coming back to work. I wasn’t going to tell you until it was a hundred percent certain,
but...James and I are moving to Oregon.

BETH
Oregon.

ELENA
Yeah, he’s going to get his Ph.D. in comparative literature, and he’s up for a teaching job as well, and
there are benefits, and it’s so much cheaper there, I can stay home—
!
(The baby cries. Elena takes her back from
Beth.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 95
! !

BETH
Elena, I—I’m sure James has a wonderful opportunity. But you’ll be number three in my office, we have a
new four-year term, endless opportunities—

ELENA
I know. It’s been amazing working with you, and I hate to go, but I have to.

BETH
You don’t, though. A young woman of your talent in this day and age doesn’t have to do a damn thing she
doesn’t believe in.

ELENA
You’re angry with me.

BETH
I’m not. I’m angry with myself, at your age.

(The baby cries. Still holding her, Elena checks


her watch.)

ELENA
God, I really should—

BETH
Here. We’ll be fine. You go.

(Beth takes the baby from Elena. Then.)

ELENA
Beth. Thank you. For everything.

BETH
Of course.

(Elena hesitates, and then goes.)

BETH
And look me up in ten years. Right, little one? I’ll still be here.
!
(She takes the baby into the bedroom.

Worlds change.

Lights.

Josh emerges from the kitchen on a cordless


phone. Liz can be seen through the open door,
holding a baby, then putting the baby down in
the crib.)

JOSH
That’s right, Barton, Joshua. Captain.
(listens, writes)
Well, as my C.O. is already deployed, is that a different process? Oh—I see. Thank you.
(listens)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 96
! !

JOSH (CONT’D)
No—listen, you’ve been very helpful, I appreciate everything you’ve done. Yes. Thanks.

(He hangs up as Liz comes into the kitchen.)

LIZ
The baby has stopped crying. Jake hasn’t started yet. Let’s have wine while we can.

JOSH
Man, that sounds great. Listen, Liz. I have to ship out.

LIZ
Ship out to—Josh.

JOSH
They want me with the Second Brigade from Fort Drum. Because I didn’t go when mine went.

LIZ
Tell them no.

JOSH
You can’t tell them no.

LIZ
Yes you can. You write them an email. “Hell. No.”

JOSH
I used up my last deferral when we had Cooper.

LIZ
Then quit.

JOSH
Liz.

LIZ
When?

JOSH
I report in two weeks.

(MUSIC [15].)

LIZ
Why would anyone join the Army?

JOSH
You know I wouldn’t be the person I am or have the life I’ve had if—

LIZ
Blah blah blah.

JOSH
I’d never be a doctor. I’d never have been in New York City.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 97
! !

LIZ
Stop.

JOSH
Honey.

(Liz sings.)

SONG: I HATE YOU

LIZ
I HATE YOU.

JOSH
I know.

LIZ
I LOVE YOU.

JOSH
I know.

LIZ
DON’T GO.

JOSH
Liz.

LIZ
I KNOW.

JOSH
I emailed your mom about coming to stay for a while.

LIZ
Oh, good—there’s worse news.

JOSH
I won’t be anywhere near the action. I’ll be in some air-conditioned tent miles from everything.

(...and disappears into the bedroom.)

LIZ
I HATE YOU I HATE YOU
I LOVE YOU I HATE YOU
DON’T DO IT I NEED YOU
FORGET IT I KNOW YOU
MY GOD HOW I HATE YOU
DON’T LEAVE ME I LOVE YOU
DON’T SAY THAT YOU LOVE ME
‘CAUSE WHAT DOES IT MATTER

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 98
! !

LIZ (CONT’D)
YOU’RE GOING TO LEAVE ME
SO LEAVE ME, WHATEVER
IT’S NOT LIKE I NEED YOU
I NEED YOU DON’T LEAVE ME
YOU KNOW I’M NOT SELFISH BUT ME ME ME I I I NEED YOU TO STAY—
OKAY?

(Lights.

Josh returns, dressed in desert fatigues, duffel


over his shoulder.)

JOSH
First bus leaves oh-eight-hundred.

LIZ
Yes.

JOSH
IN MY LIFE I HAVEN’T MADE THAT MANY PROMISES.
JUST ONE TO THEM...
AND ONE TO YOU.
AND YOU KNOW ME LIKE NO ONE HAS KNOWN ME BEFORE
AND SO YOU KNOW
WHAT I HAVE TO DO
AND NO MATTER WHAT YOU SAY, YOU WANT ME TO.

LIZ
LET’S LOOK AT THIS CALMLY
DISCUSS HOW I HATE YOU
THE WAYS THAT YOU’VE HURT ME
THOUGH REALLY YOU HAVEN’T
YOU’RE CLEARLY ABOUT TO
DON’T TOUCH ME—I HATE YOU
JUST LEAVE US, WHATEVER
WE’LL GET ON WITHOUT YOU
I’M TOUGH AND RESOURCEFUL
I’M STEADY AND STURDY
AND FREAKING THE FUCK OUT
I LOVE YOU I HATE YOU SO SCREW YOU YOU’RE MAKING ME CRAZY SO GO!
WAIT—NO!

(He kisses her goodbye and goes.

As she sings, he joins two other officers,


somewhere else.)

LIZ (CONT’D)
IN MY LIFE I’VE ALWAYS I SAID I DON’T NEED ANYONE.
I LIKE OUR LIFE,
AND I LOVE YOU.
AND I SWORE THAT I’D LOVE WITHOUT WANTING OR NEEDING YOU
BUT IT’S TOO LATE...
I NEED YOU, TOO.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 99
! !

(As Liz continues singing, time passes.

Josh comes back to her...)

LIZ (CONT’D)
YOU’RE THE REASON I THINK THIS LIFE MIGHT NOT BE MEANINGLESS.
YOU’RE MY NORTH STAR,
MY MAP TO GRACE.
YOU’RE MY SINGLE BEST DECISION IN A LIFE OF MANY AWFUL ONES.
MY ONE BIG YES,
MY ONE EMBRACE...
WITH YOU I NEVER FEEL I’M OUT OF PLACE.

(...but when he takes off his hat, it’s not Josh. It’s
a SOLDIER.)

SOLDIER
We believe the insurgents intended the RPG attack to inflict the maximum casualties in the medical
facility. Your husband was working his second shift that day. His C.O. wanted you to know that the
number of lives he saved on this deployment alone was extraordinary, and kept more than one unit...

(He fades, maybe even before Liz sings—he


continues speaking but we do not hear him.)

LIZ
GOD DAMN IT YOU DID IT
I KNEW YOU WOULD DO IT
YOU ASSHOLE I HATE YOU
I TOTALLY BLAME YOU
AND REALLY, HOW COULD YOU?
I HATE YOU I HATE YOU
I HATE THAT I HATE YOU
I HATE THAT I LOVE YOU
I LOVE YOU I —
(realizes:)
LOVED YOU.
(tries it out again:)
I LOVED YOU.
(and then:)
I LOST YOU

I HATE YOU
GOD DAMN YOU
YOU ASSHOLE
YOU...
(screams this)
...motherfucker!

(Lucas has entered from the kids’ room and


heard this.)

LUCAS
Liz?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 100


! !

LIZ
Sorry. Sorry. I’m fine.

LUCAS
The kids are asleep. Jake was asking for his daddy—asking when he’d be home. I didn’t know—I mean,
do we have a strategy here?

LIZ
No. We don’t.

LUCAS
You want me to stay?

LIZ
No—you’ve done too much, all this week. Go home to David. And thank you.

(Lucas goes. Liz stands in the doorway to the


kids’ room.)

LIZ (CONT’D)
IN MY LIFE I HAVEN’T MADE THAT MANY PROMISES.
JUST ONE TO HIM,
NOW TO YOU TWO.
THAT I WILL NEVER LET THIS WORLD TAKE ME AWAY FROM YOU...
I BROUGHT YOU BOTH HERE
I’LL SEE YOU THROUGH
WHATEVER COMES, WHATEVER I MUST DO.
IT’S ME AND YOU...
IT’S ME AND YOU...
IT’S ME AND YOU.

SONG ENDS.
!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 101


! !

Scene 5: A Hotel

(A holding room, adjacent to a ballroom. An


INTERN waits. Stephen enters.)

STEPHEN
Hi there. Looking for Beth Vaughn?

INTERN
Doctor Vaughn? Is preparing to speak? In the dressing room?

STEPHEN
Are you asking me or telling me?

INTERN
She’s not receiving guests?

STEPHEN
You’re doing your job very well. Tell her Stephen’s here.

INTERN
I’m not supposed to disturb her?

STEPHEN
No, but let me promise you, if she finds out she missed me, she’ll be far more disturbed than if you were
to slip in there and tell-slash-ask her that Stephen, who gave her the first job she ever had in government,
would like to say hello.

(Beth enters, having heard the end of this).

BETH
Please stop terrorizing the interns.

STEPHEN
There she is. My pride and joy.

BETH
Stephen. What a surprise!

STEPHEN
A good one, I hope.

BETH
Of course. Thank you for coming.

STEPHEN
How could I not? I plan on taking as much credit as I can.
(checks his program)
The International Association of Cities Visionary Award. How do they fit that shit on a plaque?

BETH
It’s a little building. Waterford crystal, no inscription. How’s Cathy?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 102


! !

STEPHEN
Cathy and I...are done. The divorce was final a few months ago.

BETH
Oh.

STEPHEN
We were holding on for the kids, and finally the kids told us to give it up. People change, over time, I
suppose.

BETH
I think they do.

STEPHEN
Which brings me to my second motive for being here. The governor-elect offered me deputy chief of staff,
and I’ve got a job for you. Policy director—point person on urban issues. Come work with me again.

BETH
I’m very happy where I am.

STEPHEN
And you’ll be happier in Albany.

BETH
No one’s happier in Albany.

(MUSIC [15A].)

SONG: A MAP OF NEW YORK (Reprise)

STEPHEN
WITH EV’RYTHING THAT YOU’VE BUILT, THE PLANS YOU’VE DRAWN
ALL OF THOSE FEARS THAT HELD YOU BACK ARE GONE.
ISN’T THERE NOTHING LEFT TO PROVE?
ISN’T IT TIME TO THINK OF MOVING ON?

BETH
We’ve got lots left to do at DCP.

STEPHEN
SO MAYBE IT’S THE WRONG TIME.
BUT YOU’VE BEEN THERE A LONG TIME—
YOU DON’T WANT TO LET YOURSELF GET STUCK THE WAY YOU DO
SO LET’S MAKE A BRAND-NEW MAP, JUST ME AND YOU.

BETH
Stephen!
(MUSIC CHANGES [16].)

STEPHEN
I should have stayed the night. That night. I wanted to. God—how things might have been different.

BETH
It’s hard to know.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 103


! !

(The Intern pokes her head in.)

INTERN
Doctor Vaughn? Five minutes?

BETH
I should look at my speech. It was wonderful to see you.

STEPHEN
You’ve done amazing things, Beth. Learned so much. But have you learned how to make yourself a life.

(A moment.)
I’ll see you out front.

SONG: YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT

BETH
YOU LEARN TO TAKE YOUR COFFEE BLACK...
YOU LEARN TO DRINK YOUR WHISKEY NEAT...
YOU LEARN TO TAKE THE SHOWER COLD...
AND SLEEP ON TIRED FEET.

YOU LEARN TO ORDER DINNER IN...


YOU LEARN TO SEND THE LAUNDRY OUT...
YOU LEARN HOW TO AMUSE YOURSELF—
YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT.

(The Intern returns.)

INTERN
Doctor Vaughn? It’s time?

(She goes. The Intern follows as we

Transition to:)
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 104


! !

Scene 5A: Liz’s Apartment

(Worlds change.

Kate, Anne, David, and Lucas are in the living


room. Kate rocks the baby, and puts him down
to sleep in a crib.)

KATE
Liz went in for the faculty meeting today, but she’s telling them she’s going to extend her leave.

(Liz comes into the kitchen, and listens.)

DAVID
There’s a bereavement group at the hospital. The social worker’s pretty good.

ANNE
Liz doesn’t do groups.

KATE
She has to do something, sometime.

LUCAS
I think she is doing something. She’s working the problem. That’s what Liz does.

LIZ
YOU LEARN TO FALL ASLEEP ALONE.
YOU LEARN TO SILENCE TICKING CLOCKS.
YOU LEARN TO PULL THE SHADES AT NIGHT
AND DOUBLE-CHECK THE LOCKS.

YOU LEARN TO SPEAK SO CALMLY WHEN


YOUR HEART WOULD LIKE TO SCREAM AND SHOUT...
YOU LEARN TO STOP, AND BREATHE, AND SMILE—
YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT

YOU FIND THE COAT AND TIE YOU THOUGHT YOU’D GIVEN TO GOODWILL...
YOU TOSS HIS FAV’RITE SHOES ONTO THE PILE.
YOU SEE HIM IN THE FACES OF THE BOYS HE LEFT BEHIND,
AND DIE A BIT WITH EV’RY TINY SMILE...
BUT ONLY FOR A WHILE.

(From the ballroom, the Intern calls to Beth.) (From the hallway, Kate calls to Liz.)
INTERN KATE
Doctor Vaughn, is everything all right? Liz, sweetie, I’m going, anything you need?

LIZ/BETH
I’m great. Thanks. You go on.

INTERN KATE
Okay. Love you.
!
(Both women go. Elizabeth steps into her own
space.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 105


! !

ELIZABETH
YOU LEARN TO COUNT THE QUIET WINS—
AN HOUR WITH NO UNPROMPTED TEARS—
AND NOT TO COUNT THE DEADLY DAYS
AS THEY FADE INTO YEARS.

YOU LEARN TO STAND ALONE AT LAST,


SO BRAVE, AND BOLD, AND STRONG, AND STOUT.
YOU LEARN SOMEHOW TO LIKE THE DARK
AND EVEN LOVE THE DOUBT.
YOU LEARN TO HOLD YOUR LIFE INSIDE YOU
AND NEVER LET IT OUT.
YOU LEARN TO LIVE
AND DIE
AND THEN TO LIVE...
YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT...
YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT...
YOU LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT.

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 106


! !

Scene 6: A 757

(PASSENGERS in business class, including a


handsome, stylishly-dressed BUSINESSMAN
working on a laptop.

A distant but unmistakable WHINE of turbine


engines.

A PILOT is heard over the speakers.)

PILOT (ON SPEAKERS)


Folks, we’re at our initial cruising altitude of twenty-eight thousand feet, on our way up to thirty-four
thousand. Flight time to London’s Heathrow airport is six hours, eleven minutes. Our flight path today
takes us along the coast of Maine, over Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland, across the north
Atlantic, then Ireland, Wales and into London. Turning off the seat-belt sign now, but as always, please
keep your belt fastened while seated.

(Beth makes her way down the aisle from the


restroom. She sits, buckles in, and pulls out her
laptop to work, over:)

ARCHITECT
Heading home?

BETH
No.

ARCHITECT
Oh.
(a beat, tries again)
Home is New York?

BETH
Yes.

ARCHITECT
Me too.
(a beat, tries again:)
I see a CAD reader—you must be an architect.

BETH
No.

ARCHITECT
(waits, then:)
Oh.

(He goes back to his work. A moment. Beth


sneaks a look at him. Back to the laptop. Then:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 107


! !

BETH
I’m a city planner.

ARCHITECT
Wait. Beth Vaughn.

BETH
Have we met?

ARCHITECT
I saw you get the Burnham Award from the APA. I’ve been a fan for a while.

BETH
City planners don’t have fans.

ARCHITECT
My firm designed the Hunt Hotel, on the Far West Side project.

BETH
It’s a fine building. Congratulations.

ARCHITECT
Thank you. And thanks for having us redesign the public areas three times.

BETH
You got off easily.

ARCHITECT
I’m Scott.

BETH
It’s nice to meet you, Scott.

(With a muffled but loud THUMP, their seats


rattle and jump a bit. A DING and the PILOT:)

PILOT (ON SPEAKERS)


Seat belts.

ARCHITECT
(as they buckle up)
Listen, I work downtown, I wonder if you might like to—

(Another THUMP, followed hard on by a BANG,


and the seats rattle and jump even more.)

ARCHITECT (CONT’D)
That doesn’t sound good.

PILOT (ON SPEAKERS)


Folks, we’ve had a bit of a—

(The sound of the engines STOPS abruptly.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 108


! !

BETH
What do you suppose that means?

PILOT (ON SPEAKERS)


Pilot. Brace, please. Brace.

(In quick succession, another THUMP, the cabin


lights click to glaring emergency lights, and
Beth and the Architect disappear.)

Blackout.

MUSIC [17].

Split scene with:)


!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 109


! !

Scene 7: A Nice Bar in Manhattan

(A television, perhaps unseen, over the bar,


Kate enters in tears, A BARTENDER comes
over.)

KATE
Whiskey, neat, please.

BARTENDER
You okay?

KATE
No.

(On the plane:)

SONG: THE MOMENT EXPLODES

BETH
THE ENGINE STOPS...
THE PLANE DROPS...
THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

A SUDDEN RUSH...
A BRUTE HUSH...
AND THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

BETH + ARCHITECT
THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

BETH
INTO THOUGHTS OF ALL THE THINGS I’VE LEFT UNDONE,
AND FLASHES FROM A LIFE I’VE JUST BEGUN...

BETH + ARCHITECT
EVERY FRIEND I EVER KNEW, OR THOUGHT I DID,
THE LOVE THAT I COULD GIVE, THE LOVE I HID,

ARCHITECT
EVERY STUPID, LIFE-BEFORE-YOUR-EYES CLICHÉ—
COULD I PLEASE GO OUT SOME LESS EXPECTED WAY?

BETH
BUT NONE ALIVE OR DYING CRACK THOSE CODES
WHEN THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

(The Bartender pours Kate another whiskey.)

BARTENDER
You’ve lost someone.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 110


! !

KATE
How did—how did you know that?

BARTENDER
I’m a bartender.

(Kate drinks the whiskey.

On the plane:)

BETH
THE STAIRCASE DIPS...
THE FOOT TRIPS...
THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

PASSENGER
THE DARK ROAD CURVES...
THE CAR SWERVES...
AND THE MOMENT EXPLODES.

ALL PASSENGERS
AND THE MOMENT EXPLODES...

ANOTHER PASSENGER (ANNE)


AND IT REACHES TO THE FUTURE AND THE PAST,
TO EVERY MOMENT EVER, FIRST TO LAST.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (STEPHANIE)


AND EVERY LIFE I REACHED, BUT COULD NOT TOUCH,

FLIGHT ATTENDANT (STEPHANIE) +


THIRD PASSENGER (CURTIS)
AND EVERYONE I LOVED, OR LOVED TOO MUCH.

ALL PASSENGERS
AND EVERY CHANCE I TOOK, OR DID NOT TAKE,
CONNECTIONS THAT I MADE, OR DID NOT MAKE,
BUT I’LL NEVER TAKE THOSE TURNS TO OTHER ROADS

BETH
ONCE THE MOMENT—

+ FLIGHT ATTENDANT + ARCHITECT


WHEN THE MOMENT—

+ ALL PASSENGERS
WHEN THE MOMENT—

(MUSIC STOPS.

Lights fade on the plane.

MUSIC CONTINUES under.)


!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 111


! !

KATE
There are so many things in this life, you wonder, what if it had just been a little different? What if I had
never met her in the first place?

BARTENDER
Those what-if’s. It’s a long and winding road, and if you start down that way you might never get back.
Best to stay on the way you chose.

KATE
You should write.

BARTENDER
(pulls from under the bar:)
My novel. Keep it, I’ve got, like, a thousand copies.

(Anne enters, hurriedly.)

ANNE
Kate. Come home.

KATE
I don’t feel at home there anymore.

ANNE
Baby, she’s just a friend. I flirted with her. That’s what I do.

KATE
I saw the way you smiled at her. And in that moment, I knew—you’re in love with her.

ANNE
Oh, god, I’m not. I’m in love with you.

KATE
And nothing happened with you two? Nothing?

(A moment. Anne does not answer. Until:)

ANNE
She is just a friend.

(Kate looks away—and then up at the television


over the bar.)

KATE
Oh, god.

ANNE
What is it?

KATE
(gestures to the television)
The news. Wasn’t Beth flying to London today?

(They watch. Anne goes to Kate and holds her.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 112


! !

Lights.)

SONG ENDS.

(Lights.

A spot of Beth, on the phone.)

BETH
Lucas. It’s me – Beth. Listen, I’m fine, but I was just on a plane to London that made an emergency
landing, in Portland, Maine, and I – I found myself thinking about my friends. About you. We should be in
each other’s lives – we should know each other again. Look, we’ll always have history. I want us to have
a future. Call me back. I love you.

(Lights.

Transition to:)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 113


! !

Scene 8: A Bookstore

(Kate and Anne at a table. Other PATRONS in


chairs, standing, leafing through books.

Kate, pen in hand, writes in a workbook. A stack


of other books beside her.)

ANNE
After what happened last night—we’re still doing this?

KATE
According to this, it’s no-fault. We can do the paperwork ourselves.

ANNE
Kate, I made a mistake. We can get past it.

KATE
I don’t want to be “a new kind of married.” I want to be married.

ANNE
You knew this about me, you know I like sex more than you do—

KATE
We’re in public.

ANNE
—and you know that whatever stupid shit I do, I love you more than anything I can even think of to
compare.

KATE
That’s too easy.

ANNE
It’s not easy at all.

(Beth enters.)

BETH
Lucas told me you’d be here.

KATE
Beth! Oh, Beth!

ANNE
Lord, is it good to see you.

(They run to her, and she embraces both of


them at once.)

BETH
Sit. Both of you.
(As they do.)

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 114


! !

BETH (CONT’D)
I took the train down this morning – I came straight from Penn Station. You weren’t going to tell me about
the divorce?

ANNE
Fucking Lucas. I told you he can’t keep a secret.

BETH
I called him last night, right after I called you.

KATE
We didn’t want to upset you.

BETH
Listen to me. You’re not doing this.

KATE
Beth, I love you, but—

BETH
Don’t give me “Beth, I love you but.” You have interfered with my personal affairs for going on four years
now, you have set me up on innumerable dates, you have promised me that there is someone out there
destined for me, and though I would never think of admitting it to you, when I looked at you and Anne I
dared to believe It might be true.

KATE
I don’t know what I believe anymore.

BETH
(calling out)
Ladies and gentlemen, if I could have your attention please. I’m conducting an instant public poll of crowd
opinion—

KATE
No you don’t.

PATRON
Shhh.

BETH
Here’s the thing. On the plane, after they told us to brace, I held the hand of a man I had just met, tightly,
for some time. An architect. I think he was just about to ask me out, before...before.

ANNE
And are you going out with him?

KATE
Anne.

ANNE
It's a reasonable question.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 115


! !

BETH
Well, no. It didn't come up at the emergency exit. But I asked myself if—if I've had love in my life. I haven't
had much romance. I had a marriage, but in name only. No kids—though I do feel like I mothered a whole
bunch of buildings and parks and city blocks.
(looks at them)
But I've had love. You two—you are two of the loves of my life, and I can’t lose that. Not now.
(then:)
So, yes, I'm essentially saying, have you thought about how your personal heartbreak will affect me?

(MUSIC [18].)

ANNE
No, we haven’t. And we should have.

SONG: LOVE WHILE YOU CAN

BETH
WE’RE NONE OF US GETTING ANY YOUNGER
YOU CAN FEEL THE TIME GO BY
AND MAYBE WE CAN’T LOSE OUR HURT AND ANGER—
BUT GOD DAMN IT ALL, LET’S TRY.

WE PLANNED A BETTER DAY,


BUT PLANETS TURN ONE WAY,
SO THOUGH IT SEEMS UNLIKE ME, GIRLS, THIS IS WHAT I SAY:

LOVE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER


AND HOWEVER YOU SHOULD
YES MARRIAGE IS A BASTARD,
BUT LOVE IS ALWAYS GOOD

IT’S NOTHING YOU PREPARE FOR,


IT’S NOTHING THAT YOU PLAN.
SO LOVE WHEN THIS WORLD LETS YOU—
LOVE WHILE YOU CAN.
(stands)
I will leave you two to figure this out. Take all the time you need—I’ll expect a positive report in two hours.

(She goes. A moment.)

ANNE
Kate?

KATE
It can’t be that simple—because Beth told us to.

ANNE
OUR LOVE BELONGS TO EVERYONE WHO LOVES US
SO IT’S NOT JUST YOU AND ME.
AND WE BOTH KNOW LOVE DOESN’T MAKE US PERFECT—
IT JUST MAKES US WANT TO BE.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 116


! !

ANNE (CONT’D)
IF WHAT WE HAD BEFORE
IS BROKEN ON THE FLOOR—
WE CAN SEE THE WAY THE PIECES WORK, AND MAKE IT SOMETHING MORE.

AND LOVE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER


AND HOWEVER WE FEEL.
LET ANGER CLEAN THE CUT OUT—
LET LOVE HELP US HEAL.
IT’S NOT THE LOVE WE DREAMED OF,
BACK WHEN WE BEGAN...
BUT LOVE IF YOUR HEART LETS YOU—
LOVE WHILE YOU CAN.

KATE
I BELIEVE THAT FATE WILL FIND US –
I BELIEVE THAT WE GET BUT ONE TRUE LOVE
I BELIEVE IN SEEING SIGNS, AND I BELIEVE AND TRUST THE STARS ABOVE
AND I THOUGHT YOU BELIEVED IN ME
THAT DEEP DOWN WE WERE MEANT TO BE
I TRY TO LET YOU GO

ANNE
BUT I CAN’T LET YOU GO...

KATE
WHEN THESE FEELINGS FLOW...

KATE + ANNE
I STILL LOVE YOU SO...

KATE + ANNE + ENSEMBLE


SO LOVE WHEREVER AND WHENEVER
AND HOWEVER LOVE LIVES.

ANNE
IT’S FEAR THAT HIDES THE HEART AWAY—
IT’S LOVE THAT FORGIVES.

KATE
IT WASN’T WHAT WE DREAMED OF,
IT WASN’T IN THE PLAN...

KATE + ANNE
BUT LOVE THE WAY LOVE FINDS YOU—

KATE
LOVE WHILE YOU CAN.

ANNE
LOVE AND KEEP ON LIVING
WHEN THE SHIT HITS THE FAN

KATE
LOVE AND BE FORGIVING

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 117


! !

ANNE
OH, MY KATE

KATE
MY ANNE...

KATE + ANNE
LOVE WHEN THIS WORLD LETS YOU
LOVE WHILE YOU CAN.

SONG ENDS.

!
!
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 118


! !

Scene 9: Dover Air Force Base

(Lucas and David stand in a large open hangar,


in coats against the cold.)

DAVID
It was a very nice service.

LUCAS
I didn’t think they were ever going to bring him back.

DAVID
The General said the recovery mission took time. They had to—um—put all the pieces together.

LUCAS
Oh, god. That’s awful.

DAVID
Regulations, I guess.

LUCAS
Speaking of, are we going to ask her? About...

DAVID
We have to, sometime.

(Kate enters, pulling on a coat.)

KATE
She wanted to see the plane. She’ll be along in a minute.

LUCAS
Are we going to ask her about the honor guard?

KATE
If there’s a right time. Yes.

(Liz joins them. She carries Josh’s dog tags.)

LIZ
It’s the oddest thing. Watching that plane land, I had a flash of me, and my life, if I had never met him.

LUCAS
(a la Linus)
One night Chuang Tzu dreamed he was a butterfly, and he woke the next morning, and for the rest of his
life he didn’t know if he was Chuang Tzu who dreamed he was a butterfly, or a butterfly who dreamed he
was Chuang Tzu.
(This settles, then:)

LIZ
So Chuang Tzu was, what, an idiot?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 119


! !

LUCAS
No, he—no.

KATE
Liz. The liaison officer was asking—

LUCAS
—very gently—

KATE
—very gently was asking about the remains?

LIZ
The remains.

DAVID
When they’re interred—they want to give him an honor guard—

LIZ
No.

LUCAS
It can be wherever you do it—

LIZ
He wanted to be cremated and scattered over some river in Nebraska—the Platte River?—and who knew
there even was a river in Nebraska...

DAVID
(hesitates, then gently)
Liz, maybe you want to think about it—maybe the kids—

LIZ
I don’t need to think about it. I want to be done with this.

KATE
When you lose someone—

LIZ
You didn’t lose someone, Kate. You divorced her.

KATE
Yes.

LIZ
Shit, I’m sorry—

KATE
Don’t be.

LIZ
If I had known, I never would have let you do it.

LUCAS
There should be a service.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 120


! !

KATE
Lucas.

LUCAS
Liz, you married a soldier and a good man—

LIZ
—and a Republican.

LUCAS
—there’s some question there, I remember he was an independent—in any event, he believed in what
he was doing, and you loved him. You two had a great story, and it deserves an ending.

LIZ
It’s had its ending. David, you’re a man of science. You know this means nothing.

DAVID
You said you imagined what your life would have been without Josh. I’ve thought about that these past
weeks.
(MUSIC [19].)
He was my best friend. He introduced me to the man I love.

LIZ
And then he broke your heart.

SONG: WHAT WOULD YOU DO?


!
DAVID
IF YOU MET HIM TOMORROW AND KNEW YOU WOULD LOSE HIM,
IF YOU SAW HIM AND SAW ALL THE HURT YOU WOULD KNOW,
WOULD YOU HOLD HIM WHILE YOU HAD HIM—
OR LET HIM GO?

IF YOU KNEW THAT YOUR LAUGHTER WOULD NOT LAST FOREVER,


BUT YOU KNEW WHILE IT DID YOU WOULD BREATHE IT LIKE AIR,
WOULD YOU LET HIM MAKE YOU LOVE HIM?
WOULD YOU DARE?

FEELING LIKE YOU FEEL TODAY,


TELL ME YOU’D JUST WALK AWAY...

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU COULD DO IT ALL OVER?


WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF YOU COULD START IT ALL NEW?
IF YOU COULD GO BACK KNOWING WHAT YOU KNOW NOW—
WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
!
(This hangs in the air.)

LIZ
Could you all get the car? I just need a minute.

LUCAS
Of course.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 121


! !

(They go.

Liz looks at the dog tags, then wraps them


tightly around her hand. Looks somewhere.

MUSIC CHANGES [20].)

LIZ
So. Hey. It’s me.
(then:)
On that plane today, I started thinking about what my life would be if I had never met you. That day, in the
park? Do you remember?
(then:)
You were just back from your second tour. You said “hi”—and in that instant, I imagined our whole life
together. That’s what I do—I get lost in what might be. And, what if I had been in that park a day later? Or
an hour later? Or what if I had gone with Lucas, and I hadn’t, you know, stopped to listen to that guy
playing guitar?

SONG: ALWAYS STARTING OVER

LIZ
IN MY LIFE I NEVER THOUGHT I’D GET A SECOND CHANCE
I THOUGHT I WAS DONE—THEN I MET YOU
AND THOUGH I NEVER DREAMED I COULD LEARN HOW TO LOVE AGAIN
I PLACED MY BET
AND YOU CAME THROUGH
I SOMEHOW STILL LOST
I SOMEHOW ALWAYS DO
THIS TIME FEELS NEW

THANK YOU FOR FINDING ME — AND THANK YOU FOR THE CARE—
AND FUCK YOU FOR MAKING ME THINK THAT THIS LIFE MIGHT BE FAIR.
YOU PROMISED TO LOVE ME — A PROMISE YOU KEPT—
AND I WON'T BE SORRY THAT YOU SAID TO LEAP AND I LEAPT.
I WON'T REGRET
WHAT I DID THEN,
THOUGH IT HURTS MORE THAN I COULD IMAGINE BACK WHEN,
ALL THE SAME, EVEN SO
I WOULD LOVE YOU ALL OVER AGAIN

AM I ALWAYS
STARTING OVER?
IN A BRAND NEW STORY
AM I ALWAYS
BACK AT ONE
AFTER ALL I'VE DONE?
'CAUSE I'VE BURNED ALL OF MY BRIDGES
AND LEARNED EV'RY LAST LESSON TOO
SO HOW CAN I START NEW?

I’LL LOVE OUR CHILDREN, BOTH FIERCELY AND WELL


WHEN THEY ASK ABOUT YOU, OH LORDY, THE STORIES I’LL TELL
AND I WON’T REGRET THE LIVES I DIDN’T LEAD

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 122


! !

LIZ (CONT’D)
I KNEW YOU, I LOVED YOU, AND LET THAT BE ALL THAT I NEED
SAY THAT IT'S FATE
SAY IT'S FORETOLD
I’M THROUGH WITH FIGHTING IT—I'M MUCH TOO OLD
WHAT THE GODS HAVE TO GIVE
I'LL TAKE, AND I’LL LIVE, AND BE BOLD

IF WE’RE ALWAYS
STARTING OVER
EV’RY BRAND-NEW MORNING
THEN WE'RE ALWAYS
STARTING OUT
WITH THE END IN DOUBT
WE CAN LEAVE LIFE FOR TOMORROW
OR GRIEVE ALL THAT WE THOUGHT WE’D DO
OR MAKE EACH MOMENT NEW

ALL THAT HAS HAPPENED IS HAPPENING NOW


ALL THAT MIGHT HAPPEN IS HERE, SOMEHOW
ALL OF THE CHOICES THAT MADE ME, ME
ALL OF THE ACCIDENTS YET TO BE
ALL THAT’S AHEAD
AND ALL THAT’S BEHIND
IT'S ALL IN THE MOMENT
I MAKE UP MIND
AND OPEN MY HEART
AND START
AND START

‘CAUSE WE’RE ALWAYS


STARTING OVER
EV'RY LIFE WE'RE LIVING
AND WE'RE ALWAYS
JUST AWAKE
EV'RY STEP WE TAKE
AND MY LOVE, OUR LIFE IS OVER
BUT LOVE, I'LL MAKE YOU ONE LAST VOW
TO START OVER
AND OVER
AND OVER SOMEHOW
MY NEW LIFE STARTS RIGHT NOW!

SONG ENDS.
!

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 123


! !

Scene 10: Madison Square Park

(MUSIC [21]. The Busker and the Drummer [or


even better, the Fiddler we didn’t use at the top
of the show] on a busy day in the park. New
Yorkers greet us, again.)

SONG: WHAT IF? (REPRISE)

NEW YORKER
HERE’S HOW IT STARTS
AND HERE’S HOW IT ENDS

ANOTHER NEW YORKER


TWO DIFFERENT HEARTS
MAYBE LOVERS, OR FRIENDS...

SOME NEW YORKERS


NO ONE KNOWS THE WAYS THE LONG ROAD BENDS...

(Liz enters with Stephen and Cathy.)

STEPHEN
And we’re moving back to the City.

CATHY
It was that or divorce, Liz, and the boys got into Dalton—

LIZ
That’s wonderful.

STEPHEN
Liz, I’m so glad we finally reconnected. I wish it had been under better circumstances.

LIZ
It was lovely of you both to come to the memorial. I wasn’t sure I wanted one, but it was very nice.

STEPHEN
Listen, I don’t want to push, but—I have a job for you.

CATHY
Stephen—

STEPHEN
I said I’m not pushing—it’s just such a great—I thought of you last year, the governor was putting together
his policy team, but Cathy talked me out of going to Albany. Which is a good thing, because they’re finally
doing the new train station. The old one goes, the Garden goes—

LIZ
You’re kidding me. And you’re heading it up?

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 124


! !

STEPHEN
I’m heading it up for the governor. They need a lead planner on the city side. You could get out of
academia, get your hands dirty—But maybe the time’s not right—

LIZ
The time’s never right. I want to do it. I want to build something new.

STEPHEN
I’ll call you tomorrow. We’ll make a great team.

LIZ
Just like old times.

(As Stephen and Cathy go:)

CATHY
Stephen.

STEPHEN
I didn’t push.

(Lucas enters.)

LUCAS
He has a job for you?

LIZ
Which I said yes to...a little too quickly.

(She sits at a table, Lucas follows.)

LUCAS
Well, you said you were ready.

LIZ
I am. I’m ready, and the kids are doing great!
(then:)
It’s just—today’s the day Josh would’ve come home. If he had deployed with his original unit. He’d be
home by now. He wouldn’t have been anywhere near that forward base. If I hadn’t made him stay—if we
hadn’t had a second kid—then he’d be here today.

LUCAS
You can’t think like that. You don’t know what would have happened. No one does.

LIZ
We get one life, and we let the rest go.

LUCAS
Hey. Move to Brooklyn.

LIZ
You guys are very sweet—

LUCAS
I miss you.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 125


! !

LIZ
You see us three times a week.

LUCAS
There’s half a dozen of us now, since we adopted Huck—

LIZ
—you cannot name a child Huckleberry—

LUCAS
—I miss you and me.

LIZ
There’s always you and me.

LUCAS
I was always a little bit in love with you, you know?

LIZ
Go away.

LUCAS
No. Since college. I mean, if we’re talking might-have-beens and if-onlys.

LIZ
But we’re not, anymore.
(stands)
I need coffee. Hold the table?

(Lucas nods. Liz hurries off, passing the Busker


as she goes.

MUSIC CHANGES: Beth’s theme.

Worlds change.

Lights.

Kate enters, and hurries over to Lucas.)

KATE
Lucas! Is Beth here yet?

LUCAS
No. Why?

KATE
No reason. Just thought she might want to chat with the New York City Teacher of the Year.

LUCAS
You’re kidding—Kate, that’s amazing. You are a fucking great kindergarten teacher.

KATE
Right? I’ll grab some coffees—save the table. And don’t tell Beth my news.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 126


! !

LUCAS
You know I’m no good with secrets.

KATE
You spill, I kill you slowly. Americano?

LUCAS
Triple, please.

(Kate hurries off, as Beth enters opposite.)

BETH
Lucas! Sorry I’m late. No Kate yet?

LUCAS
She’s getting coffee. She—She—
(struggles, then:)
—I have to go help her.

BETH
I’ll go.

LUCAS
No. Stay. Relax. Listen to the music. God, that poor guy has been playing this park for five years.

BETH
Lucas, wait. I’ve got news. I’m running for City Council. I just filed today.

LUCAS
You’re what?

BETH
Life is short. It’s time to start over again. Don’t tell Kate.

LUCAS
(half beat)
Aaaugh!

(Lucas goes. A cluster of people have stopped


to listen to the Busker.

Beth listens, then fishes in her purse for a bill.


She walks over to drop it in his case...)

BUSKER
ONCE EVERY DAY
YOUR LIFE STARTS AGAIN

THREE NEW YORKERS


NO ONE CAN SAY
JUST HOW OR JUST WHEN

BUSKER + DRUMMER + NEW YORKERS


SOMEHOW THE WORLD TURNS INSIDE OUT AND THEN...
AND THEN...

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 127


! !

BUSKER + DRUMMER + NEW YORKERS (CONT’D)


WHAT IF –

(...and the crowd clears and Josh stands there,


in desert camo and khaki t-shirt, duffel over his
shoulder. He sees Beth.)

JOSH
Hi.

BETH
Hi.
(looks away. he's still looking. so:)
Bye.

JOSH
Um...hi. I’m really, really bad at this kind of thing, and this is going to sound like a line, but I feel like I
know you.

BETH
Yeah? Hm. You're in the, what, the Army?

JOSH
I was, until today.

BETH
You've been overseas?

JOSH
My third tour.

BETH
So the likelihood of you knowing me, especially given that I don't know you, seems small.

JOSH
I told you it would sound like a line.

BETH
And you were right.

JOSH
Listen, this isn't going very well, but I'd really like to buy you a drink or a cup of coffee or a bunch of
flowers...and I know I shouldn't be so forward, but I just came back from a year and a half in a war zone
and I’ve learned not to put anything off 'til later.

BETH
You're totally using war guilt to get a date with me.

JOSH
That might not be how I'd put it, but I totally am. Is it effective, do you think?

BETH
It is, a little.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 128


! !

JOSH
I’m Josh.

BETH
Beth.

(Kate and Lucas have returned with drinks, but


they’ve stopped a distance to observe.)

JOSH
(small beat)
So—could we—

BETH
Oh, you mean now?

JOSH
Is that all right?

BETH
Well my friends are—

(She looks over at them. They pretend to be


invisible. She looks back to Josh.)

BETH
—very understanding. I’ll just get my bag.
(does so, sings)
YOU STOP AND SAY HEY TO A STRANGER—
AND WHERE WILL IT LEAD? WHO CAN KNOW?
BUT YOU LEARN HOW TO LOVE THE NOT-KNOWING
SO HERE I GO!
HERE I GO!
HERE I GO!

BETH + NEW YORKERS


YOU CHOOSE AND THEN EVERYTHING CHANGES,
TAKE A BREATH AND THEN FLY OFF THE CLIFF,
AND YOU KNOW THAT THERE’S NO TURNING BACK...
NO TURNING BACK!
NO TURNING BACK...
AND YOU WONDER WHAT IF!?
WHAT IF!?

THE END.

IF/THEN • 3/26/14 129