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Sure Thing is a short comic play by David Ives featuring a chance meeting of two characters, Betty and Bill, whose conversation is continually reset by the use of a ringing bell, starting over when one of them responds negatively to the other.
Sure Thing earned 3 emmy nominations in 2005.
The play begins with Bill approaching Betty in a café, asking "Is this chair taken?" To which she replies “Yes.” The bell rings and Bill repeats his question to which Betty says, “No, but I'm expecting somebody in a minute.” The bells rings again, and Bill poses his question again. This process continues until Bill is finally allowed to take a seat. The bell acts as a buffer against all topics of conversation that are potentially negative to building their relationship, allowing them to try another line. By the end of the play, their initial differences in opinion (i.e. literature, movie tastes, romance) have reversed to become perfect companions. Both of them finally agree to fall in love and cherish the other forever.
Ives takes away any words or beliefs that could be offensive, whether they be sexist remarks or political affiliations. As with Bill's line:
The director was Jason McConnell Buzas. The characters of Bill and Betty were played by Robert Stanton and Nancy Opel, respectively.
Sure Thing was part of Ives’ original six-play collection, All in the Timing, which received the Outer Critics Circle John Gassner Award for Playwriting.