Ghost Calls: A Play Without Living People

Ben Arzate

Curtains open.

On the stage there is a skeleton lit by a single white light sitting at a desk with a phone. It wears a headset. The phone rings three times. The sound of the call being answered followed by silence. The light changes color. A click indicating the call has been hung up.

Through the whole play each call is preceded by three rings. The calls are silence, music, breathing, industrial sounds, harsh buzzing, sounds of typing, footsteps. Each time the call is answered, the light changes color.

The light changes back to white. After the three rings, a voice says “Hello?” three times. It tries to speak it a fourth time but is cut off by a click. The light cuts off with the click. There is the sound of a ring tone.

Curtains close.

Ben Arzate lives in Des Moines, IA. He is the author of the novels The Story of the Y and Elaine, the short story collection The Complete Idiot's Guide to Saying Goodbye, and the poetry collections dr. sodom and mrs. gomorrah and the sky is black and blue like a battered child. He is a regular contributor to Cultured Vultures and Babou 691. Find him online at