Romantic Comedy
We celebrate New Year’s Day by offering resolutions for a better self. But what happens to those unresolved-resolutions on the last day of the year, with only 3 seconds left?

One brave woman demands an answer from Father Time, both getting much more than they ever expected.

Bonnie - Female, any age / race / ethnicity

Father Time - Male, any age / race / ethnicity

Cupid - Any gender / age / race / ethnicity
New Years Eve, resolutions, loss, new beginnings
(Las Vegas Little Theatre, NV - 2020)

“Witty dialogue, a touching premise, and an unexpected budding romance make this short play by John Mabey at hit with any audience.”
(Enid Cokinos)
“What a delightful and funny meditation on time. John Mabey's character of Father Time is so unexpected but also so perfect. Bonnie wants just a little more time and Father Time isn't able to give it to her, but what he offers instead is surprising and a great fit. This would be a great play for any 10-minute festival.”
(Adam Richter)
“Funny thing about time, you can't rewind it. It's a one-way trip, even for Father Time. And when you have three seconds to fulfill the New Year's resolution you've been putting off for 364 days, 23 hours, 59 minutes, and 57 seconds... desperate times... (see what I did there?)

Mabey's determined mortal negotiator and surprisingly bouncy fanciful being are delightful together. Mythological narratives rely on their characters' humanity. Maybe has imbued his with quotidian complexity and deeply relatable personas, goals and desires. They make the most of these three seconds and you'll enjoy all ten minutes of them!”
(Scott Sickles)
“Mabey takes the "ticking clock" technique to new heights in this fun New Year's Eve rom-com. When battlelines are drawn between Father Time and a disgruntled young woman attorney, tensions mount. But a magical pause button makes time stand still and gives them both a new chance to embrace change and the possibilities of ringing in a whole new and better year, I would love to see this production!”
(Vivian Lermond)
“A romantic comedy for New Year's Eve and New Year's Day celebrations.

There's plenty of good-natured humor in having one of the main characters being Father Time. And there's a sweet sense of redemption as both characters open up to what they need out of life. And with John Mabey's fine writing, audiences will cheer as they recognize what is happening with the characters in "Three Seconds to Midnight."

This play is a lot of fun, and ends with a line that will leave smiles on everyone's faces. It did mine.”
(Steven G. Martin)
“I deeply enjoy any story that pulls the curtain back on supernatural beings or mythological figures, and Mabey does a brilliant job with the role of Father Time in this short play. The emotional life between the two central characters in incredibly rich-- I would LOVE to see this play staged! Wonderful work!”
(Emily McClain)
“What a fun world John Mabey has constructed in THREE SECONDS TO MIDNIGHT! A two hander that may be a first, Father Time is confronted by a lawyer with a request. Three seconds to midnight. Is it possible to give the lawyer her wish? It looks like not -- until an opportunity arises. Mabey writes assuredly and takes us on a fun ride with some extra twists.”
(D. Lee Miller)
“This two hander pits old Father Time against a disillusioned attorney who's having trouble letting go of her past. Bonnie has summoned him to sort out her problems with only three seconds of the old year to go. An impossible task? But John Mabey's warmhearted drama suggests new beginnings instead of endings, and audiences will love the way things turn out in this unlikely meeting of two lost souls.”
(Dominica Plummer)
“When Father Time meets his match, there's nothing that can't happen in three seconds. The imagination of this play is so much fun, and John Mabey brings out the hopes and fancies so well. Take the time -- pun intended -- to savor this moment and think about what you'd do with the moment and what you'd become.”
(Philip Middleton Williams)
“Time stops with three minutes to midnight and Father Time is summoned to answer to the fact that last year's New Year's Resolutions didn't come true, where it turns out that being Father Time is a way harder job than it seems. A really sweet, interesting take on our perpetual struggle with time, regret, and hope, where living in the moment is never quite as simple as it sounds.”
(Toby Malone)

“First of all this title is wonderful. Second, boy does a lot of good stuff happen when time is paused. Loved the flawed Father Time with all of his (NYE) yearnings and the fact that Bonnie finds her authentic calling from their meeting. In addition, the dialogue is so natural and the plot unfolds beautifully. Great read!”
(Raven Petretti-Stamper)

“New Year’s Eve countdown is a time filled with hope and promises. Many of those promises are easily broken. But in John Mabey’s absolutely delightful rom-com, a burned out lawyer may be able to fulfill a resolution with seconds to spare with help from a surprising source. The characters are engaging, the dialogue witty and fast-paced. Read this. And if you have the chance to see it, do so. It will be time well spent."
(Morey Norkin)
Theatre Unmasked, NYC - 2021
Las Vegas Little Theatre, NV - 2020

Tucker New Year's Eve Festival, GA - 2021

Linden Grove Theatre Company, TX - 2022

Bismarck State College, ND - 2022

American Stage Theatre Company, FL - 2023

Ensemble Theatre Of Chattanooga, TN - 2023
Live Arts Theatre Company - Tucker New Year's Eve Festival
Live Arts Theatre Company - Tucker New Year's Eve Festival

Ensemble Theatre Of Chattanooga

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