.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Three score and ten or more

Monday, September 12, 2005

Theatre Workshops

I have stated above that I am an actor, director and puppeteer (formally retired). One doesn’t outgrow this stuff so one of my primary activities (in league with my wife, who as noted elswhere is smarter than me) is to travel around and do workshops in Puppetry, Improvisational theatre, what we used to call Creative Dramatics etc. On one recent gig we worked with about thirty middle school students at a Charter School for about five hours a day for ten days and generated eleven puppet shows (five to twenty minutes each) with original scripts and all original puppets. One of the most exhausting things any seventy year old has ever done but it was great fun and I was proud of those kids.

More recently we completed two two week workshops (called Conservatories for what reason it pleases - - - -) at http://www.newblueparrot.com" The New Blue Parrot Childrens Theatre in Washougal, WA.

My wife worked with the young-uns ( aged four to eight or so) while I worked with the older folks (aged ten to fourteen) . The first two weeks we worked on physical discipline, preparation for acting and each group did a performance at the end. The small ones did a quite wonderful improvised children’s play with a witch, a prince, a princess, a dragon and all the appropriate fairy story characters, while the older ones did a traditionally scripted children’s play and a reader’s theatre performance of Shel Silverstein poetry.

What I really opened this subject for was the second group which, involved itself with Theatre sports games and did an improvised play. I liked their play enough that I plan to post the script.. This was created improvisationally by two ten year old boys, a twelve year old girl, a thirteen year old girl, and two fourteen year olds who were about to approach their freshman years in high school. As they prepared this, four of the six were also rehearsing for a New Blue Parrot Children’s Theatre all age production of Bye Bye Birdie, as well as a conservatory training session in musical theatre performance (mostly opening and closing numbers for musicals, and duets) so they were busy young folks. I was pleased with the maturity both of the script and the performance and thought I would share their work with you.





DADDY’S HOME AT LAST.

Created through improvisation by Grace Schrater, Emily Jones, Stephanie Bivins, Jocelyn Andrews, Shawn Bradley, and Justin Cameron under the direction of Richard B. Johnson
CAST (In order of appearance)

VANESSA: (Andrea’s best friend) Grace Schrater

ANDREA: (A high school girl whose father has just returned home after a lengthy stay in an oncology center.) Emily Jones

ANDREW: (Andrea’s younger brother) Shawn Bradly

STEPHEN: (Andrew’s best friend Justin Cameron

LISA RAYMOND: (Mother of Andrea, Andrew and Jessica Stephanie Bivins

JENNIFER: (Older sister to Andrea and Andrew, First Clarinet in the school band and
Woodwinds section leader. Jocelyn Andrews

SCENE: THE LOBBY OF THE HIGH SCHOOL AUDITORIUM

ENTER UR ANDREA AND VANESSA FOLLOWED BY ANDREW

VANESSA: You should have seen his face when I told him that.. . .

ANDREA: He deserved it (giggles) any guy who would try that line.

VANESSA: It is so neat to see you acting like yourself. You have been so out of it lately.

ANDREA: It is great to feel so good. You should see my dad, he’s. . . .

ANDREW: Andrea! Mom said you should bring me and stay with. . . .

ANDREA: She didn’t say I had to stand right next to you all night.

VANESSA: You have your own friends don’t you?

STEPHEN: (ENTERING FROM AUDITORIUM) Hi Andrea! Oh hi! Andrew. (HIGH FIVE). Why weren’t you at ball practice?

ANDREW: My dad came home from the hospital. I got to see him and hug him and everything. Man you should see. . . .. .

ANDREA: You kids are making so much noise. Why don’t you go in there?
(POINTS TO AUDITORIUM DOOR)

ANDREW AND STEPHEN EXIT DL INTO AUDITORIUM

VANESSA: How is your dad? Is he feeling good?

ANDREA: Oh he’s wonderful, he’s so much better, and we just talked and talked about everything from books to Barbies. We even talked about cars.

VANESSA: He can’t give you a car, you’re not old enough. (GRINS) Did he bring you anything?

ANDREA: He couldn’t bring me anything. He was way too sick to be thinking about presents….. Oh! Oh! There’s mom by the door. I better find Andrew.

MOTHER: Andrea! I’ve got to talk to you. (PAUSE, X TO ANDREA) It’s your father. He passed away just awhile ago.

ANDREA: No! I just talked to him. NO! (RUNS OUT UR FOLLOWED BY VANESSA)

ANDREW (ENTERS LEFT) Where’s Andrea going? (REALIZES HIS MOM IS THERE) Mom? Why are you here? I thought you were going to stay with dad.


MOTHER: (PUTTING HER ARM AROUND ANDREW) Your father has passed away.


ANDREW: What does that mean?


MOTHER: Your father died.


ANDREW: Died? How could he die? He just came home.

MOTHER; (KNEELS BESIDE HIM) The doctors did everything they could, but nothing helped. He just …..closed his eyes and died.

STEPHEN: (RUNNING IN AND TAKING ANDREW BY THE ARM.) Hey Andrew, come on and sit down. Everybody’s - - - -

ANDREW: My dad just died! Leave me alone!

STEPHEN: But- - (BACKS UP TWO STEPS. THEN TURNS AND SILENTLY EXITS INTO THE AUDITORIUM)


JENNIFER: (ENTERS LEFT) Mom, Andrew, Hey you guys, you have got to get in and sit down. Almost all the seats are full, and I have to get up on stage. The band is going to enter. Where’s Andrea? I thought she was coming?

MOTHER: (MOVING TO HER) Jennifer! Come here. I have to talk to you. It’s your dad. He passed away just a little while ago.

JENNIFER: No! You’re lying. He can’t be dead. You told me that I was one of the officers in the band and that I should come here and help set things up. ;It’s your responsibility, you said. You promised me that I could see daddy when the concert was over. I didn’t get to talk to him for more than five minutes after he came home. I didn’t even really get to hug him. You promised. You promised. You lied to me. I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! (SHE RUNS OFF LEFT INTO THE AUDITORIUM).


ANDREA AND VANESSA ENTER UP RIGHT


ANDREA: Mom, I’m going to go stay with Vanessa tonight. I can’t come home. I just can’t-----

VANESSA: It’s all right isn’t it. My mom won’t mind.


MOTHER: Not yet. We’ve got to wait for Jennifer.
ANDREA: You aren’t going to tell Jennifer now, are you? Not before her big concert. You’ve already ruined my day, do you have to ruin her big day too?

MOTHER: I’ve already told her, we’ve just got to get her home now

ANDREA: We don’t have to get HER home. SHE’S got HER own CAR. But, You just have to spoil everything for everybody don’t you.


MOTHER: Don’t you think MY DAY has been spoiled too. Do you think your daddy just waited till the best time to spoil everybody’s day before he died.? How selfish can you be??

ANDREA: I’m going outside to wait for Vanessa’s mom. I just can’t stand this anymore.

MOTHER: (LIKE A MOTHER) Andreaaa!!

ANDREA AND VANESSA EXIT UR


ANDREW: (WHO HAS CROSSED DOWN RIGHT DURING THE CONVERSATION) Mom!


JENNIFER (ENTERS LEFT CARRYING HER CLARINET CASE)

MOTHER: (TURNING TO FACE HER) Jennifer!

JENNIFER: (NOSE TO NOSE WITH HER MOTHER) Get out of the way Mom. I’m going to spend the night with some friends who- really- - care.

ANDREW: What about me??

MOTHER (IGNORING ANDREW) You don’t think I really care??

JENNIFER: No I do not. Will you please move? So I can leave. Maybe you can go in and tell Mr. Jenkins where I went. You should have seen his face when I just packed up my clarinet and left.

MOTHER: You didn’t explain?

JENNIFER: No I didn’t . How many people do you want to know how you lied to me.
(CROSSES IN FRONT OF HER MOTHER AND STARTS TO THE DOOR)

ANDREW But what about me???

MOTHER: (TURNS JENNIFER AROUND AS SHE PASSES) Come along home. Don’t you want to say goodbye to your daddy?

JENNIFER: How can I say goodbye to him.? He’s dead! He went away forever while I was setting up chairs for the band concert.

JENNIFER ATTEMPTS TO EXIT, RUNNING INTO ANDREA AND VANESSA WHO ARE RETURNING.

JENNIFER: Get out of my way. (BUMPS HER SISTER INTENTIONALLY) Why are you always in the way.

ANDREA: (BUMPS HER BACK) Who’s in whose way?

JENNIFER: You are in the way ----Roadblock.

ANDREA : Witch!!!!

JENNIFER: It takes one to know one!!! EXITS.

VANESSA:(CROSSING INTO THE AUDITORIUM) I’ve got to go find my mother. Excuse me Mrs. Raymond (to mother).

ANDREW: But what about me??? Do I get to go home?

MOTHER: (CROSSING TO HIM AND KNEELING TO EMBRACE HIM) Of course you get to go home, silly. Mommy loves you.

ANDREA (FURIOUS) How come you hug him, but you don’t hug me? Don’t you think I need a hug?

JENNIFER: (COMES BACK IN WITHOUT HER CLARINET) Mom!

MOTHER (TURNS TO FACE HER)

JENNIFER: (THROW ARMS AROUND HER MOTHER’S NECK AND IS HUGGED IN RETURN) I’m sorry mom. I just want to come home and say goodbye to daddy.

ANDREA: You hug him and you hug her, but nobody hugs old ugly Andrea. He’s always been your favorite, and now she’s all lovey dovey.

VANESSA (ENTERS FROM AUDITORIUM) I couldn’t find mom.

ANDREA: (X TO VANESSA) I don’t care. I’ve got to get out of here!! (TURNS TO MOTHER) I hate you all, (EXITS UP RIGHT WITH VANESSA, ALMOST RUNNING OVER HER MOTHER AND SISTER)

MOTHER: Let’s all go home. (SHE PUTS HER ARM AROUND JENNIFER, WHO PUTS HER ARM AROUND ANDREW AND THEY HEAD FOR THE DOOR.)

STEPHEN: (ENTERS LEFT) Andrew!!

ANDREW, MOM AND JENNIFER ALL TURN AND LOOK AT STEPHEN FOR JUST A MOMENT, THEN EXIT, LEAVING STEPHEN ALONE ON THE STAGE. HE STANDS THERE MOTIONLESS FOR TWO OR THREE SECONDS THEN SADLY TURNS AND EXITS INTO THE AUDITORIUM



END

Copyright C Richard B. Johnson ,July 2005

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home