Monday, September 16, 2013
An improv troupe of mine heard about an opportunity to perform at a sort of resort type place in the suburbs that would have a show while people dined at their restaurant. I wrote this semi-complete short play/improv scenario for it but we didn't end up applying for the job. I like it so here it is:
Rock Island Short Play
Sharky and Annie
Everyone stands on stage, except for Stephanie, as if they are in the green room after the show that they have just performed. We talk negatively about the audience’s reactions and positively about our brilliance.
If anyone in the audience dares to speak up, one of us will shush the others as if he heard a suspicious noise, take a beat, and then one of us will retort with something like “oh it must have been my imagination” or “it must have been a bunch of sad and helpless babies sitting in their own poopie!” or “oh, I guess I didn’t hear anything. I definitely didn’t hear a rat that was begging to be stomped to death!”
At this point, Steph runs in and says she is feeling sick. She ate(whatever the Rock Island Restaurant had for their special or what the most popular dish for that night was) and her stomach is upset. She begins to throw up. Slowly the throw up turns into her intestines and she empties her body’s organs on stage. She is dead.
The remaining ensemble cry genuine tears. Clayton asks the audience for a suggestion of a word to describe the life of a virtuous woman. He then improvises a song on the guitar based on the suggestion and Stephanie’s REAL life. While he sings, the rest of the cast holds up political pictures of things that make them angry as if to say our world doesn’t have to be like this.
Lights up. It is fifteen years later and Prescott stands looking into a mirror (the audience). He’s naked and his body has been ravaged by time. He says one word (the suggestion from the audience earlier). He puts on his clothes and is a priest. The other members of the ensemble enter (except Stephanie because she is dead) and they are all really old looking except Sharky and Annie who wear shining blazers. They wear things that remind them of Stephanie and they talk about the audience’s reactions to the show that happened “fifteen years ago” this time though it is out of nostalgia for their lost friend and the audience’s blunders are seen in the same vein of a cat thinking a vacuum cleaner is a living being.
Prescott quiets everyone and starts the ceremony. He signals Sharky and Annie who give a witty exchange and then they produce a baby. Molly explodes with emotions and goes to grab the baby. Everyone freezes and time stops. Clayton asks for a suggestion of how you would stop a mother who is determined to save her baby. He and Molly then act out the suggestion with gruesomely accurate mime.
Prescott begins the incantation during which Sharky and Annie give one liners and Clayton finds them hilarious. After his speech, Prescott signals Sharky and Annie who give a witty exchange, each grabs one of the baby’s arm, and pull the baby apart. Stephanie emerges from inside. She is radiant and covered in newlife goo. Everyone is ecstatic except Molly who is genuinely devastated.
Stephanie looks over and says something like “Did someone feed her the (whatever the restaurant’s special was or was the most popular dish for that night)!?”
(Lights fade out while the audience is elated)