Tag Archives: script

The Play’s the Thing (Complete with Music!)

I’ve decided to write a play specifically designed for off-off-Broadway. I wanted a theme everybody could relate to–something familiar yet somewhat of a challenge. Then the muse hit me–I tried to duck, but she still caught me on the chin.

I realized that no matter what you do, a significant portion of your time will be spent in meetings. It may be called a class, a board, a tiger team, a training session, church, basic training, or whatever–it’s still a meeting. Fortunately, Office Space and The Office have already laid the groundwork. I want to take it one step further and write it as a musical. Imagine——

The stage curtains are closed. The house lights dim and the orchestra begins the overture. [For those of you not musically inclined, overtures are a melodic mashup of the music used throughout the production. Today, we call it recycling.]

SCENE 1: The curtains open to show a conference table with chairs all along the upstage side (a concession to the acoustics in off-off-Broadway facilities). A spotlight is focused on a door, stage right. A man in a suit [the Boss] enters with an armload of papers and breaks into the opening number. “It’s My Meeting So I’m in Control” He dances toward the head of the table, leaving a random portion of the papers in front of each chair, reaches the front empty handed, looks at the various stacks of paper, decides one is slightly taller, dances back to that spot, takes the extras from that stack, dances back to the front of the meeting room and crescendos with the final line, a redux of the first line of “I’m in control.” The spotlight disappears, leaving the stage dark.

SCENE 2: The spotlight, collimated very tightly fades up on a man [the Nerd] with a short sleeved white shirt, out-of-style skinny black necktie, pocket protector, and taped glasses immediately begins singing the second number, “Oh, What I’d Do for a Doughnut!” When he finishes, the stage briefly goes black.

SCENE 3: The lights come up illuminating the table but leaves it dark upstage (behind). The conference table now has people sitting in all but the last chair. The Nerd comes through the door, ignores the looks of derision, grabs a powdered sugar doughnut, leaving a trail of white on people’s clothing. When he sits, the white powder mounds like a snow bank in front of him [special effects, but inexpensive].

The Boss bows and with an exaggerated sweeping gesture points toward the unlit back of the stage. A stern women [Stern Woman] in a business suit emerges from the shadows. As she walks toward the head of the table, with a big smile she begins to sing, “Death by PowerPoint.” The last line, a Capella, is “And My Laser Pointer!”

I don’t have room for everything. Suffice to say, the rest of the play leads to the grand finale with the Stern Woman between the Boss and the Nerd performs a dance number on the conference table surrounded by the entire cast dancing together and singing “Meetings Are Better than Work!

Now, if I can just find a patron.

 

 

Scene 1: Act 1…….ACTION!

Clint, if you're offended, stop by so I can apologize over dinner. Nothing fancy--but nothing with a dirce-through, either.

Clint, if you’re offended by being associated with my screenplay, stop by so I can apologize over dinner. Nothing fancy–but nothing with a drive-through, either.

Mature man with greying hair enters from stage left, running. Reaches mid stage. Looks at audience with expression of bewilderment, as though he’s forgotten what he was going to do. Scratches head and exits, stage right.

Mature man returns from stage right with a long sheet of paper anchored to a clipboard—turns to audience.

MM: I’m trying to juggle all of the realities of life, but as fast as I cross things off my list, other things are added.

Mature man turns and exits stage left, frantically writing on list.

Mature man enters stage right, still writing on list. Stops center stage and looks at audience with puzzled expression, knowing he just exited stage left; continues to walk and exits left.

Mature man enters stage left with list, and at center stage turns to audience.

MM: I think that maybe, just maybe I’m finally making progress!

Identical mature man (Identical) enters stage right, passes behind mature man, and exits stage left without being noticed by mature man.

Mature man remains center stage with list. Identicals enter both right and left and pass behind mature man. Mature man turns to right, too late to see one identical, then with comic rapidity turns left, with same result; mature man turns to audience looking concerned and slightly upset.

MM: When I was younger, I could do this. Now, not so much!

Two identicals (four total) pass from each side behind the man. Mature man turns and tries to see what’s happening, but misses. As he is looking behind him, two more identicals pass left to right and right to left in front of him. Mature man becomes increasingly frustrated, although he does not seem to know why.

All identicals enter stage, and mature man spins about at first missing each (looking left when right approaches, etc.) but then spins about rapidly, accounting for them all.

MM: What the bloody hell is going on?

Identicals (speaking together): Don’t ask us. You’re the one in charge.

END SCENE

CUT!

Okay, print it!

Oh, wait. That’s not a movie. That’s been my life lately.

And, how has your life been?