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Email author Jeannette Jaquish at link below.
CAST:Optimum: 2 girls, 2 boys, 4 women or older girls, 2 men or older boys, 2 men or women.
(All parts except Eyegore may be played by females playing females. All parts except Petunia may be played by males playing males.)
The ages and sexes are the author’s preference. Multi-age cast works best, but certainly the play can be performed by a same age group in the range of 9 to 16.
Alexis (or Alex), appearing to be age 8 to 15, book smart and snobby, but naive. Has some important lines explaining medical concepts, and a tricky chase scene. Wears a preppy school outfit.
Dr. Frankenstreudel, female (or male). Seemingly a reasonable dedicated scientist, but her egotistical, obsessed, madness flares easily. Many characterizations will work: sophisticated and intense, wild haired brainiac, or high tech nerd. Wears a lab coat. Takes a tumble in chase scene.
Eyegore, burly male. Horribly scarred by his many surgeries, his current brain has the personality and fashion sense of Edith Bunker or Julia Wild, ditsy, scolding, and obsessed with cleanliness and proper behavior. Wears a frumpy house dress and lady’s make-up over Frankensteinian monster features and scars. He is not a drag queen. He is a fastidious housewife. Easy lines.
Misty, female or male. Her name is short for “mistake”, Misty is a mess of various animal and human parts all being attacked by her own immune system. Constantly gagging, coughing and convulsing on the floor, Misty’s aggressive whining hides her desperation for medicine which drives her to betrayal. But later, conscience stricken, she rises to heroism. She wears a dog nose, rabbit ears, ragged clothes over bulked up parts, leggings with animal hair poking out the holes, and bandages stained with blood and pus. Only one scene with major lines.
Petunia, female, age 9 to 17. Punkish, sarcastic and emotional. Protective of her little brother, Ned. After months in a cage, her clothes are in rags. Tricky lines and actions in the graveyard scene.
Ned (male) or Neddy (female), smaller and younger than other kids. A little fireball like his big sister, Ned is also perceptive, seeing the simple solution, that the big kids miss. Wears rags and is barefoot (because he kicks Alexis). His lines are simple, but his cues are hard to recognize. Is lifted by his belt or pants' waistband.
Winston (male) or Winifred (female), same age range as other kids. Winston’s practical point of view and low key bravery contrasts with Petunia’s emotional outbursts. He is a Boy Scoutish character, in fact, a ragged scout suit would be a good costume. Has tricky lines and actions, but fewer than Petunia. Falls on his behind when rug is pulled out from under him.
Old Man or Lady Wellard, old person if possible. Old Man Wellard is a zombie with his codger values intact. He has a creaky voice, wears a decomposed burial suit and decaying face makeup. He pulls a rope helping Petunia to climb a ladder up to the platform that he performs from. Startling cameo in last scene. Few lines but they’re all good.
Zombies: Mr. Dry Bones, Mrs. Death-Breath and Mrs. Rattlewalk, decaying, hungry zombies. No lines except groaning -- perfect for the actors’ parents and also puts them backstage during other scenes to do props and scenery set-up. Besides gnawing, drooling, grabbing and stumbling, each zombie has specific actions and cues which are very important to make the graveyard scene coherent and not a confusing, bumbling mess. In a pinch, Dr. VC, Eyegore, or Misty can throw on burial rags and a wig and double role as a zombie, as none of them are in the graveyard scene. Note: Zombies in grave and Winston and Petunia either should all be barefoot or all wear shoes because they will be stepping on each other’s feet.
Straight-A student, Alexis, applies for a job in a science lab. Dr. Frankenstreudel's companions, a gender confused Frankenstein monster, Eyegore, and a sickly lab rat creature, Misty, should arouse her suspicions, but until she is invited onto the operating table, she is clueless. Barely squeaking (fibbing and clobbering) out an escape, she soon stumbles onto three prisoners in the basement, Ned, Petunia and Winston, who have got the cage grumpies bad.
In the pantry, the quartet find the doc's gruesome jars of hands, lips and organs, and begin to piece together the truth. The doctor unexpectantly enters and the kids escape detection with a hilarious imitation of body parts. Misty makes a startling reappearance, and teases the children with their part of the puzzle, and offers to lead them to freedom.
Dr. Frankenstreudel and Eyegore have one last pounce, but Ned's quick wits allow Petunia and Winston to escape -- if falling into an empty grave in a cemetary full of zombies can be called an escape. Old Man Wellard, a zombie whose codger attitude, if not his body, is intact, offers them one of the grossest rescues imaginable.
Time is running out, as Winston and Petunia scout the lab and plan their attack, which fails, again by betrayal. Every possible escape brings hope, but fails: a zombie attack on the doctor; damaging the lab equipment; appealing to Eyegore's maternal instincts; even an apparent freak electrocution of the doc. As Eyegore lifts the lever re-starting the deadly experiment, the most unexpected, yet logical, twist of events brings the story to a poignant, happy ending, .....with a ridiculous twist to end with a chuckle.
And without realizing it, the audience will have learned about the immune system, transplant rejection and electrical circuits.
This script has great lines for everyone and lots of action, suspense and unexpected twists.
SCENE 1: THE LABORATORY
(In front of curtain. Alexis runs on putting on jacket and cap.)
ALEXIS: Mom! I’m going to go apply for a job!
MOM’S VOICE: A job! Oh, honey, you’re too young!
ALEXIS: It’s just a few hours after school helping in a science lab! It’ll be fun!
MOM’S VOICE: Well.... did you do your homework?
ALEXIS: Of course!!
MOM’S VOICE: Oh.... OK! Be home for dinner!
ALEXIS: I will! Bye! (EXITS other side)
(SETTING: Dr. Frankenstreudel's Lab: Front door Exit upstage left, Hall Exit downstage left, and Kitchen Exit downstage right. Table with microscope downstage mid-left, bloody bucket stage left of table, newest creature downstage right laying with head pointing stage left and feet stage right, operating table upstage centerish with walking space behind it.
Dr. F looks through microscope. Misty lurks under operating table.)
(DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL pulls out microscope slide and looks at it confused, then with dawning horror grabs other slides and inspects them.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (sweetly, sing-song, but simmering with fury) Eyegore? What did you do to my cellular matrix sample microscope slides???
EYEGORE’S VOICE: I washed them! They were filthy, but my new lemony Sunburst dish detergent sparkled them clean!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Aaaaargh! Eyegore, you idiot! Keep your meddling hands off of my lab equipment!!
ALEXIS: KNOCK! KNOCK!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (frantic) Eyegore! Stay in the kitchen! Misty go downstairs!
(MISTY just squirms farther back stage. DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL straightens her lab coat, puts on a smile, and opens the door. ALEXIS looks in apprehensively.)
ALEXIS: (looking around at the weird lab) Hi. My name is Alexis. I, uh, saw your ad for the job... Smart young lab assistant eager to learn? Orphans encouraged to apply... I'm not an orphan but.. if this is a bad time....
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (grabbing ALEXIS’ sleeve and pulling her in and turning her around for a very hands on inspection. Alexis faces stage left.) Aaaah, yes! Healthy, strong, and young. The eyes speak of intelligence. Teeth: no decay, well cleansed, .... ears, very sanitary. And sensitive? (Blows).
ALEXIS: (jumps from blow in ear) Yipe!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Excellent! (Clap/brushes off her hands, then hands on hips.) You are good with the math, I hope??
ALEXIS: (proudly) Oh, yes! I get A’s on all my tests!
(EYEGORE ENTERS from downstage right, dusting and straightening, unseen by ALEXIS. Progresses to upstage center.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Tests, schmests! Practical knowledge is what is important. But where is my protocol?
ALEXIS: (unsure, blankly) Uhhh.... I don’t know. Did it fall into that bucket?.. (starts left cross toward bucket to look inside it.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (grabs her back by her collar) Let me introduce myself! I am Dr. Von Chimera, (Ki-MARE-uh) and this is my humble laboratory. (snaps fingers for EYEGORE) Please to give your hat and coat to Eyegore.
(EYEGORE thrusts his hands forward from behind, past both sides of Alexis’ head.)
ALEXIS: Eeeeeek !!!
EYEGORE: (clumsily lifting jacket and cap off her) Such a sweet child. Would you like some cinnamon toast and prune juice?
ALEXIS: (amazed at the sweet talk from the hideous face) Uh, no thank-you.........(trying to decide if he is male or female) … ma’am?
EYEGORE: Goodness! This button is about to fall off. I hope I have some thread in this color...hmmm, evening lavender? morning violet?. (Takes down sewing kit stage left and sews button)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (turns ALEXIS’ face away from EYEGORE putting arm around her shoulder, and walks her towards the right) Eyegore is on his second brain. His first brain was the brain of our postman, but, (releasing ALEXIS) Aaach! he drove me crazy always moving my instruments and papers, here and there, all around the lab. I couldn’t find a thing! He just couldn’t get out of the delivery habit.
ALEXIS: I see.... But this is his second brain?…..
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (pulling ALEXIS to upstage of creature, DR. VC on right side) Enough chit-chat! Now, we will see if all those tests with the A’s mean you know anything useful. (sweeps sheet off of creature) My newest creation! So beautiful! So powerful! Heart, lungs, glands -- every part a perfect choice. Her head will tower above the rest!
ALEXIS: Is she a love mate for Eyegore?
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (snort-laughs ) Love mate! Excuse me (wiping nose)... No, Eyegore needs a lap poodle, not a love mate. I won’t say Eyegore is one of my failures, for he does keep the lab tidy, but he lacks....(looking at him, pondering) consistency. This being is a focused approach. Dr. Von Chimera learns from her mistakes.
MISTY: cough cough gasp Heeelp meeee! Heeeelp meeee!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Eyegore! Take Misty out to her.... kennel!
EYEGORE: Is that mangey creature in the house? (grabs broom and chases MISTY out) Out! Out! Disinfectant and hot water! (EXITS, returning with mop and bucket, mops vigorously)
ALEXIS: Is that your... pet? Is it a dog... or a cat.... or something?
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (hiding her anger at Misty) Yes.
ALEXIS: It seemed... sick.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (accusingly) You aren’t one of those “animals have the same rights as humans” activists, are you?
ALEXIS: (defensively) Oh, no. I believe that some animal experimentation is necessary... for good causes.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (has her composure back, tries to smooth over the situation, pats ALEXIS’ head) You just don’t want unnecessary mistreatment.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Misty is a little under the weather, but we are seeing to her medical needs. Eyegore just doesn’t like animals in the house. (pause) You have compassion. That is good. Do you like babies?
ALEXIS: Babies???? Why, sure. Does this job involve babies???
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Oh no. That’s just a personality question. (pushing ALEXIS from behind to look at creature, DR. VC’s face on her shoulder) So, do you think this new creature is attractive -- would you like to look like her?
ALEXIS: (uncomfortable with the question) Well, um, she’s an improvement on Eyegore. But , she doesn’t seem to be finished.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: No. (darkly, twisting ALEXIS hair around her finger) But soon everything I need will be in place. (upbeat again, steps stage left of ALEXIS) My creature needs to be infused with hemoglobin (HEE-mo-glo-bin), which is?????
ALEXIS: Red blood cells!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (retrieving package from table) Good, good! The instructions on this package of hemoglobin concentrate say to mix 1 part hemoglobin with 4 parts water. If I use 8 quarts of water, how much hemoglobin concentrate will I need?
(Eyegore finishes mopping, leans mop against table and resumes dusting.)
ALEXIS: (holding up 1 finger and 4 fingers) Hmmm, one part hemoglobin to 4 parts water. The water is 8 quarts. 8 quarts divided by 4 parts is 2 quarts per part. I’ll count them up (wiggling each of the 4 fingers as she counts) 2, 4, 6, 8 quarts. Yes! So the 1 part of hemoglobin is 2 quarts also!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Very good mathematical conceptualization!!
ALEXIS: (embarrassed but loving the compliment) Aaaaah, gee. I always do my math homework.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: And it shows. (she realizes Alexis can be manipulated with compliments) Now, smart cookie, what makes red blood cells red?
EYEGORE: (blurting) Blood stains are just dreadful to get out of clothing!!! (lifting bucket) Oh, the hours I spend in cold water scrubbings!!! (carrying bucket from stage right to between ALEXIS and DR. VC.) Just look at these wretched bloody garments that I’m soaking. (lifts bloody dripping clothing from bucket)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Eyegore! I think I hear your soufflé falling!
EYEGORE: (frantically sets bucket down stage right of ALEXIS, EXITS stage right) Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear, dear, dear!!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (turns ALEXIS’ head away from bucket) Smart girl like you needn’t concern herself with dirty laundry. I see grand scientific breakthroughs in your future! (Looking above audience, stepping forward, ego-mania taking hold) I see you breaking the barriers of accepted possibility! I see the world terrified and trembling, helpless against the power I will unleash, oops, um, (returning to ALEXIS) ....YOU will unleash. Um, when you, um......invent a new….. um… vitamin shake!!
ALEXIS: Wow! When do we get started??
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Aaach!, my child. We are at the mercy of nature for our electricity. My laboratory is not hooked up to the city power grid.
ALEXIS: Is that the reason there is a “condemned” sign on the front door?
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: One of the reasons. (turns, stepping downstage, brooding) Imbecilic city council. Pandering to those nostalgic yokels. (exaggerated character voices) “My little Fluffy is missing” “My little boy cries every night for his puppy” “My cattle need their intestines” “My twins aren’t identical any more.”
ALEXIS: (tugging on FRANKENSTREUDEL's elbow during twins line) Dr. Frankenstreudel? So how do you get electricity?
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (startled out of her brooding) What? Oh! Good question. Your logical progression is exceptional, Alexis! What phenomenon of nature manifests itself as a tremendous jolt of static electricity?
ALEXIS: (ponders a quick moment) Lightning??!!! Wow!!! You use lightning for electricity??!!!
(EYEGORE ENTERS from right sobbing)
EYEGORE: Boo-hoo-hoo! Boo-hoo-hoo!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (exasperated) What is it now, Eyegore!? Did your soufflé fall?
EYEGORE: My embossed silverware collection is ruined! (thrusts bent spoons under ALEXIS’ nose) Those dreadful little wretches bent up my best spoons prying the bars on their cages! (sobs on ALEXIS’ shoulder.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (steps behind ALEXIS and whaps EYEGORE back of his head) Enough of your domestic crises, Eyegore! (EYEGORE stumbles past ALEXIS, turning back, pouting.) (R to L = DR. F, ALEXIS, EYEGORE.) Dry your tears. Your mascara is smearing. Let me introduce our new lab assistant, Alexis. (Big wink to EYEGORE.)
ALEXIS: Then I’m hired?? This is great! Can I start right away?
(During next line, DR. F walks clockwise around operating table to its upstage center side and EYEGORE moves to stage left of operating table. ALEXIS should remain downstage right of operating table.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Why of course! But before you begin, why not take a little break? Lie down over here on this couch, next to this tray of knives. These straps are nice and snuggly.
EYEGORE: (patting table) Tuck the baby in.
(ALEXIS looks at the operating table, at the creature’s empty skull, at the knives, and to the faces of DR. F and EYEGORE.)
ALEXIS: Oh my gosh! I just remembered that I forgot to do my homework.
(ALEXIS runs to front door but it is locked. Although nearly hysterical, she struggles to speak casually as she struggles with the door knob. DR. F advances from ALEXIS'S upstage side, while EYEGORE curves to downstage of ALEXIS. They stalk her, slowly, ready to pounce, moving closer when she looks away. DR. F will reach the wall upstage of the door and EYEGORE will reach the wall downstage of the door and both will advance toward ALEXIS.)
ALEXIS: (looking back and forth between them ) Oh dear, the door is locked. Maybe you could open it for me. Please??? I’ll just be gone 20 minutes. Just a few fractions. Easy as pie. Then I’ll be right back.
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (swinging keys, in a hypnotic voice which affects both ALEXIS and EYEGORE) Oh, no, Alexis. A good student like you always does their homework as soon as they get home. That’s why I chose YOUR brain. (finger reaches out) It has character as well as intelligence.
(Action takes place during ALEXIS’ lines.)
Just as DR. F’s finger is about to touch ALEXIS, ALEXIS snaps out of her hypnotic trance, turns and backs into room with DR F following in her footsteps, finger still leading. ALEXIS backs into operating table, falling onto it, DR F pounces, but ALEXIS rolls off to upstage floor, barely escaping DR F who smacks onto operating table and pounces onto ALEXIS on floor. After falling on floor, ALEXIS jumps up and tries to run but DR F grabs her foot. EYEGORE snaps out of his hypnotic state when DR. F smacks into operating table and hikes his skirts and runs to block the exit at the other side of room. ALEXIS and DR F are standing, with DR F tugging on the hopping ALEXIS’s foot, DR F’s grip slips and she falls on her behind and ALEXIS starts to run across the room but sees EYEGORE over there and stops suddenly, turns, sees DR F getting up, shoves her back down and climbs/hops over the operating table but stumbles and falls on the floor downstage of operating table. DR F gets up and follows ALEXIS over the table, falls next to her and, without getting to her feet grabs ALEXIS'S clothes or arm or leg. ALEXIS tries again to run towards the EYEGORE side of the room but can’t with DR F hanging on. ALEXIS spins causing DR F to lose her grip and smacks herself falling on the floor again. ALEXIS tries to zigzag dodge around EYEGORE, but in her attempted dash around him, EYEGORE grabs her arm and she ends up running around him spinning him until he is so dizzy he falls on his behind and let’s go at the moment that the release sends her stumbling towards the rising DR F, again knocking her down. ALEXIS dives under the work table trying to crawl downstage. DR F grabs her foot and moves it to simulate its kicking. ALEXIS finishes her line as her face reaches the downstage side of the table. EYEGORE recovers and goes to lean over stage right side of table to pat her on the head on his line.)
ALEXIS: (during chase) Character?? Intelligence???? Me??? Oh, that’s a laugh! Ha ha ha. Did I really fool you with that act? Ha ha ha! That’s how I get by. Put a smart look on my face, but what’s in my head? Oatmeal! I haven’t a clue! I’m dumb and worthless.... and a social misfit!!! I chew on my scabs and pick my boogers -- you don’t want that! -- and I eat ‘em! I’m a totally gross, drooling idiot!!!!
EYEGORE: (reaching down to pat her head) Poor little woogums. Your mama obviously didn’t give you enough love.
(ALEXIS is struggling out the downstage side of the table and turning right with DR. F still tugging on her “kicking” foot.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: (grunting) Your apprehension is understandable, Alexis. But you must realize the great, breathtaking glory that you will be taking part in. Your head will tower above the rest! Ouch!!!
(DR. F “kicks” ALEXIS’s foot into her own face and releases it, holds head moaning. ALEXIS crawls over to creature’s display bed and grabs it to pull herself up)
ALEXIS: (staring in dawning horror at the creature’s empty skull, remembering what DR. F has just said) Tower above the rest?! (turns to scream in horror at DR F) I said, “She doesn’t look complete,” and you said, “SOON EVERYTHING I NEED WILL BE IN PLACE!”
EYEGORE: (pulling ALEXIS’s arm) There, there, little twitter bird. Come sit on my lap. Play patty-cake?
(DR. F begins to rise, still painfully holding head.)
ALEXIS: (running left across downstage, bumping DR. F and pulling EYEGORE onto DR. F.) Not with MY brain!
(ALEXIS EXITS, stage right leaving DR. F and EYEGORE in a tangle.)
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: I knew that rotten kid was smart.
EYEGORE: Ohhh, I broke a fingernail!
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Get off me, Eyegore! Go after her!
EYEGORE (standing brushing off clothes, turns back to doctor): Is there dirt on my caboose?
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Eyegore!!! She’s tracking mud everywhere!!
EYEGORE: Eeeeeek!! (EXITING after her) Stop, you little ruffian! Don’t step on the oriental rugs!! Where were you born? In a barn???
DR. FRANKENSTREUDEL: Trapped like a rat. (EXITS stage left.)
End of Scene 1
(In earlier scenes, ALEXIS discovers DR. F just wants to transplant her brain, not hire her. She escapes EYEGORE in the maze of hallways and winds up here.)
SCENE 4: DUNGEON
(ALEXIS finds PETUNIA, NED and WINSTON in cages.)
ALEXIS: (stepping downstage right of cages) What are you hollering about? Be quiet!
PETUNIA: Who are you??
ALEXIS: Who are YOU? Wait. Don’t you all go to my school??
NED: Yeah, I know you. You’re Alexis. You won the school spelling bee. I’m Ned, this is my sister Petunia and that’s Winston.
ALEXIS: (who cares?) Whatever. Yeah, I remember you all. You’re in that class for kids who don’t do their homework. And, let me guess. You all flunked the doctor’s job examination.
PETUNIA: Rub our noses in it why don’t you?
(Lines skipped……………………They swap more insults and caged kids beg for release.)
ALEXIS: Oh! (laughs) Look at this!
W, P & N: What???
ALEXIS: (laughing) These are sliding bolts. You could have opened them yourselves just by tipping your cages. Like this!
(ALEXIS tips over cages towards stage right, starting with NED’s. The bolts slide and the doors pop open. ALEXIS finishes and steps downstage left laughing as the kids crawl out and painfully unbend. NED crosses to her, grabs her shirt and starts kicking her in the shins.)
ALEXIS: Ow! Ow! Why are you kicking me??
(ALEXIS backs away U-turning towards downstage right, passing in front of cages and laughing kids.)
NED: (kicking) That’s for being a big jerk.
ALEXIS: But I rescued you!
NED: (still kicking) So? You’re a big rescue jerk! You’re a 911 nightmare!!
(Lines skipped……………………Some funny stuff establishing that Petunia and Alexis don’t like each other, they head off through hallways hunting for exit and discussing what the doc is up to.)
SCENE 5: THE PANTRY
ALEXIS: What is this room?
WINSTON: And what’s in those jars??
PETUNIA: (peering back the way they came, and glancing over her shoulder at jars) Just just looks like a pantry with jars of fruits and such.
WINSTON, ALEXIS & NED: (seeing what is in jars) GASP!!!
WINSTON: If this is the pantry, don’t accept any dinner invitations.
PETUNIA: (turns and screams) Body parts!!!
(Lines skipped…………………… They examine the contents of the jars, react .)
ALEXIS: But body parts can’t survive just sitting in jars. Even in alcohol, the cells still die.
PETUNIA: (opening jar and sniffing) These are in water.
NED: (tugging on her arm holding jar, making it splash) Petunia, I’m thirsty.
(Lines skipped……………………Alexis explains more about the care of parts before transplanting and wonders why these parts don’t rot. The kids notice a strange device shining colored light on the jars.)
NED: Maybe it’s the light. (pointing to plasma ray)
ALEXIS, PETUNIA and WINSTON: The light???
(BIG KIDS go to Plasma Ray Gun)
PETUNIA: (reading panel on plasma ray) Acme Plasma Ray Generator. Revives and rejuvenates organic matter. 4 D-cell batteries required.
(Lines skipped……………………The kids point the plasma ray out the window. The phone rings and the kids hide by pretending to be body parts. Dr. FRANKENSTREUDEL enters, and answers phone promising to send a nanny to pick up and care for a newborn baby. Looks at body parts but does not recognize kids. Takes phone as she leaves. The kids argue about whose fault it was they didn’t see the phone. Alexis puzzles over how the doc can use the body parts in transplants and explains to Petunia who thinks she is just showing off.)
ALEXIS: Well, see, that’s the point. Your immune system attacks bad stuff like germs, but also good stuff like a transplanted heart or liver.
WINSTON: But people GET transplanted hearts and livers.
ALEXIS: Yes, but the person getting the transplant has to take medicine that weakens their immune system -- so it won’t attack the transplant, but then, unfortunately, it also won’t attack germs.
MISTY: (revealing itself) Yeah being sick all the time is a bummer.
ALEXIS: You’re that ...animal thing, Misty!
MISTY: Yeah, Misty. Short for Mistake. I was the Doctor’s first experiment. Bloodhound nose, goat stomach, rabbit ears, ape muscles, human brain; I’m the best of the best. Right????
(to ALEXIS) Too bad you didn’t work for Dr. Bonker Scary then. You could have told her about transplant rejection. None of my parts get along; my runny nose, nauseous stomach, muscle spasms and brain seizures are an embarrassment to her. She grudgingly allows me just enough immune suppressant drugs to keep me alive, but sick all the time. cough cough, heave
MISTY: Thing is right! But Dr. V.C’s next creature should have all the bugs worked out. The doc is installing a more “flexible” immune system, from a YOUNG donor. (face to face with Ned)
PETUNIA: (grabbing NED) From NED!
NED: Maybe my immune system is parts I don’t need? Like my toenails?
MISTY: Do you need your bones? The good doctor has to CRACK them open to get your marrow. That’s where white blood cells are made.
(Lines skipped…………………… Misty says she will show them the way out .)
MISTY: (leading them Stage Right) Over here... through this secret passage..
(MISTY leads them through the audience area, referring to the audience in her descriptions.) Now down this hallway......past this row of hideous gargoyles......ewww, they give me the creeps…
Ughhh! This place has been a mess since the doctor dissected the cleaning lady ........
Up this step. .... Don’t step in that puddle.... I don’t know when the drip from that cupboard is going to stop. Pheww! What a smell!
The floor is a little sticky – you don’t want to know what happened here.
Walk this way... (KIDS imitate MISTY’s way of walking.)
Down here, now turn left.....scoot around here.....Quickly! Quickly! Now through that door!
(Lines skipped…………………… Misty betrays kids by bringing them back to DR F so Misty can get more medicine.)
(DR. F has caught ALEXIS, PETUNIA and WINSTON have just escaped from EYEGORE who still clutches NED.)
ALEXIS: Aaaaaahh!! She’s got me....Vulcan death grip....(clawing at DR.F’s coat, grabs keys)....Keys!...Catch the keys! .(throws) Get out!! (collapses)
WINSTON: (catches keys, pulls PETUNIA) Got ‘em! We’ll be back!!
NED: Petunia! Run!
(WINSTON jerks PETUNIA thru Stage Left Curtain EXIT.)
(Lines skipped……………………DR F has captured ALEXIS and NED. PETUNIA AND WINSTON find their way out of the building, but not by cooperating.)
SCENE 7: GRAVEYARD
(Scene begins with VOICES ONLY, from behind CLOSED CURTAIN, night sounds)
PETUNIA: Why do we have to walk through HERE? The front side of the laboratory building is a nice safe parking lot.
WINSTON: Because the key opened the BACK door. Do you want to go back inside and ask the doc if the key fits any other doors??? Besides, the shortest way to town is through here.
PETUNIA: But it’s so creepy. What could be worse than walking through a graveyard at night?
PETUNIA and WINSTON (as they collide and fall) Hey! Aaaaaaah! Oooof!
(CURTAIN OPENS: WINSTON and PETUNIA have fallen in bottom of empty grave.)
WINSTON: Ooof, get off me. I can’t breathe. spit cough You fell right on top of me. Where are we?
PETUNIA: Down. Way down. In a hole. (tries to climb)
WINSTON: An empty grave!! (tries to climb)
(Lines skipped……………………They blame each other for their predicament.)
PETUNIA: (stomping tantrum) I don’t want to sit here until day for someone to find us!!!
WINSTON: (looking up) Oh, I think you do.
(Petunia looks up as back light reveals zombie standing at STAGE LEFT top of grave.)
PETUNIA: Scream! ( Backs into Winston against right side wall of grave)
WINSTON: (scared out of his wits) You.. you’re old man Wellard! You d-d-d-died 6 years ago!
OLD MAN WELLARD: Yep. It’s good to stretch my legs. (His leg almost comes off) Ooops, better not stretch ‘em too much. Hey ! You’re the spitting image of ol’ Josiah Johnson. You must be his grandson! (stepping to right side, extending hand) Here, let me help you out.
PETUNIA: (pulls WINSTON in front of her as a shield, swinging around to left side of grave) No! No! No!
WINSTON: B-b-b-ut, you’re the undead!
OLD MAN WELLARD: (scratching an ear loose) Listen kids, just because I’m the undead don’t mean I ain’t got feelings. I went to school with your granddad and I ain’t gonna eat you, but they might. (points)
(ZOMBIE HANDS push through the grave walls, groping for the kids who scream and dodge.)
(Lines skipped…………………… Zombies reach thru “dirt” of grave walls to grab at kids. Desperate evasions in a small space.)
WINSTON: (pulling on Petunia) Old Man Wellard! Do you have a rope?
OLD MAN WELLARD: Better. I’ve got guts.
(OLD MAN WELLARD rips open his shirt, slices his stomach open with a fingernail, and starts hauling out his intestine. KIDS watch frozen in horror, until he drops the guts towards them. WINSTON jumps back letting go of PETUNIA)
PETUNIA: (dropping seat to ground, to escape guts)
Ohhh! Yuchh!! I’m not touching those decaying old zombie intestines!!
PETUNIA frantically crawls through and around WINSTON’s legs, nearly tripping him.)
WINSTON: (stumbling over her) Would you rather be INSIDE one of these zombie’s intestines??
(Lines skipped……………………The kids evade and fight zombies but can’t get out of hole.)
PETUNIA: Well they stink to high heaven! Get us out!
OLD MAN WELLARD: (firmly, still keeping guts) They may be mindless, flesh eating zombies, but they are still your elders!
[This is the moment when Winston comprehends that they must be polite for Wellard to help them. He immediately stops fighting and starts evasive spinning and dancing.)
WINSTON: (confused) Elders??? Oh, I get it……. Petunia?! Let’s be a little more polite, huh? (dancing, spinning, deflecting)) Excuse me, sir. Nice weather. Shame we have to leave.
PETUNIA: (still fighting zombies) Are you nuts??
(Lines skipped……………………Winston must simultaneously avoid zombies and prevent Petunia from insulting them further.)
(MR. DRY BONES gets strangle hold on WINSTON)
WINSTON: Good evening, sir, we certainly enjoyed the company. Oh dear, I do believe your fingers are tangled around my throat. Excuse my clumsiness. (releases PETUNIA to peel DRY BONES’ fingers from his throat)
(Lines skipped…………………… More polite evasive dancing with zombies)
PETUNIA: ( curtseying:) Why I’d love to! (grabbing his wrists as he attacks, waltzing) You dance divinely Mr. Dry Bones! So light on your crumbling feet! Poetry in motion! (spins off DRY BONES who crashes in corner.)
(MRS. DEATH BREATH grabs Petunia’s hair from behind and tries to eat it. )
PETUNIA: How considerate, Mrs. Death Breath! You want to style my hair! And set it with saliva mousse!
(Lines skipped…………………… As Petunia is being eaten alive she almost escapes, but insults zombies on her way out, angering Old Man Wellard who lets her fall in again.)
WINSTON: Petunia! Hang on! ( WINSTON grabs guts and pulls her back out.)
(Grave zombies turn very unhappy and munch audience quietly.)
OLD MAN WELLARD: (wagging finger) Let that be a lesson to you, little girl. Good manners are appropriate for every occasion.
PETUNIA: Yes sir.
WINSTON: Are you hurt, Petunia?
PETUNIA: (looking over her arms and body) Um... I don’t know. I’m sore.. but I’m not bleeding.
WINSTON: With all that biting? You’re not bleeding?
PETUNIA: No. They didn’t break the skin. But they left a lot of teeth imbedded all over me. Yecch!
WINSTON: I guess zombies aren’t much for dental care.
(Lines skipped…………………… The light from the plasma ray stops and Old Man Wellard dies again. Petunia and Winston realize the doc has turned the ray gun back around to shine on the body parts. They debate how to get back to town. )
PETUNIA: Lightning!! Run! (starts running but Winston grabs her back)
WINSTON: Stop! Weather report!
WINSTON: Dr. Frankenstreudel made an appointment for tomorrow after she checked the WEATHER REPORT!! She wasn’t looking for good weather TOMORROW! She saw that there would be a lightning storm TONIGHT!!!
PETUNIA: Lightning??? … Electricity!!! She has electricity!! She can bring her creature to life!
WINSTON: Using the brain of Alexis!
PETUNIA: And the immune system of Ned!
(Lines skipped……………………They figure out the doc is planning to use the immune system from the newborn baby in her new creature and that she is doing the transplants tonight. They have no time to go back to town. They use their keys to sneak back into the lab.)
OPERATION Scene Set-up (To kill time while changing set. Voices from behind closed curtain.)
DR. F: Eyegore! Tighten those children’s restraints…. Not around their necks, you idiot! I don’t want them dead yet!!
ALEXIS: Let us go you big galoot!
NED: Get your hands off of me! Kick him, Alexis!
ALEXIS: Bite him, Ned!
EYEGORE: Ow! Stop kicking! Ow! Stop biting! Oh! I wish I had time to teach you children some etiquette before your dissection. Such cheekiness!
MISTY: Give me my medicine! I feel so siiiick.... (repeat endlessly with variations)
OLD MAN WELLARD: Hey watch out! You’re walking on my intestines.
DR. F: Yuckk! Eyegore! Mop up this slimy mess on the floor. I almost broke my neck!
EYEGORE: Is that zombie in the house again? Out! Out! No walking corpses in the house!
OLD MAN WELLARD: Let me just pick up my teeth and I’ll be leaving. Just wait until you’re dead. Then you’ll be sorry you treated me like this!
(Lightning storm & music up as curtain opens)
SCENE 8: THE OPERATION
(Laboratory. ALEXIS and NED are restrained on upstage tilted tables facing front, perhaps leaning against upstage wall. They wear metal caps with electrical wires clipped on and are marked with dotted lines where they will be cut: Alexis around forehead, Ned down arms and legs. Lightning and thunder out window as scene begins. DR. F is making adjustments on control panel of machine Stage Right Upstage and checking a clipboard list. EYEGORE polishes scalpels Stage Left. Plasma ray shines on creature downstage Right. A shovel leans downstage Left.)
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: Aaah. That jolt was a good one! The mega-capacitor is nearly charged. (teasing) Don’t you find that fascinating, Alexis? Charging up a capacitor with lightning? Then releasing that power through a circuit linking (pointing) your brain, this child’s bone marrow, and my precious new creature’s body, to synchronize your polarities before performing the transplants?
ALEXIS: It’s not fascinating! It’s sick! And it’ll never work! You’ll burn us all to toast!
NED: You’re a stupid meaney!!
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: Oh, it will work. You’ll be more receptive to learning when you are in your new body.
(Lines skipped……………………PETUNIA & WINSTON sneak into lab and hide downstage. They scope out the area and plan their strategy. The doc makes adjustments to her equipment and checks the level of charge. It is almost full.)
ALEXIS and NED: NO! NO! NO!
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: Eyegore! I’ve forgotten my goggles. Fetch them from my study. (faces away from kids.)
EYEGORE: I’ll get the ear plugs as well. These noisy children are not very considerate of our ear drums.
PETUNIA: Eyegore’s gone! And the doc isn’t looking! This is our chance!
( PETUNIA runs and grabs the shovel, as WINSTON tiptoes to ALEXIS and NED and tries to unlock them. PETUNIA sneaks up behind DR. F and raises the shovel high..)
MISTY: (without enthusiasm) Woof.
(DR. F spins around lunging, grabbing the shovel with one hand and PETUNIA’s shoulder in the Vulcan death grip with the other. PETUNIA stumbles back, melting helplessly. DR. F drags her to Downstage Left to cuffs on wall or table. WINSTON struggles to unlock ALEXIS.)
ALEXIS: You came back! You came back!
WINSTON: Of course! Hold still!
NED: Hey! Little kids first!!
WINSTON: (trying NED’s lock) The keys don’t work!!!
PETUNIA: (weakly) Destroy the equipment..... ( faints)
(WINSTON spins plasma ray out window and runs to panel near window and starts pulling wires and knobs out. DR. F stuffs PETUNIA’s hands into cuffs and tries to rise but PETUNIA is clutching her lab coat. EYEGORE ENTERS, throws up goggles in horror.)
EYEGORE: Is that CLAY on your feet????!!!
(Lines skipped……………………PETUNIA and WINSTON are chained up. They talk about Misty betrayal.)
ALEXIS: Since she’s betrayed us twice, I’d have to agree with that.
NED: No! Misty can’t help doing bad. The doctor gave her bad parts that make her sick.
WINSTON: That’s all we are to you! Parts!
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: (looking at damaged equipment) Curse you rotten children. (turns to face them, standing in front of window) Now I can’t unscramble satellite TV.
(Old Man Wellard lunges through window grabbing Dr. F pulling her to window sill. Kids look startled, then happy.)
KIDS: Eeeek! (pause , realization) Hurray!!
OLD MAN WELLARD: Hey is this one o’ them new fangled, fast food, drive through windows? (munches on DR F’s head or shoulder)
(Lines skipped……………………WELLARD makes more wisecracks. DR. F escapes.)
OLD MAN WELLARD: (falling out) Aaaack!! Here we die again....
EYEGORE: (ENTERS, looks out window) Ewwww! What a mess. I don’t suppose the recycle truck will accept that. (looking at floor) Are those teeth???? (gets broom from Stage Right and sweeps)
(Lines skipped……………………The kids beg Eyegore to help them by trying to conjure up the memories of his housewife brain. Eyegore is very confused but obeys Doc’s command to start the operation. Doc throws the switch, lights flicker and much screaming but, strangely, the doc gets electrocuted instead of the kids.)
NED: But what happened??
ALEXIS: Look! The electrical cable that WAS clipped to me is NOW clipped to Misty’s dog chain. The electricity went through the chain, through Misty, through that water on the floor, through the doctor and back into the machine!!
EYEGORE: Oh. I can fix that. (walks over and re-clips wire from dog chain back to Alexis’s cap )
WINSTON: Eyegore! Dr. Frankenstreudel’s dead. There’s no use starting the experiment without her to finish it.
PETUNIA: You’d just be wasting electricity!!
EYEGORE: (with hand on master switch, ready to lift it, torn both ways) I must ....continue....the....work..
(Lines skipped……………………Eyegore is about to throw the switch again when the doc suddenly sits up, terrifying everyone. She grabs the switch but turns it off; the electrical jolt has reset her brain and she sees things clearly. She frees the kids.)
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: Eyegore! Order us some paint! In a cheery color! And new curtains! We’re turning this dump into a science theme park!
EYEGORE: Oh goody!! And linoleum with posies??
DR FRANKENSTREUDEL: Yes! Lots of it! (turns sad) So much harm I’ve caused. Controlled life cannot adapt; it cannot create; it cannot carry on. It is death in motion. Oh, the lives I’ve destroyed just to make this miserable creature. (kneels next to Misty) Misty?…. Misty?!? Are you all right?? (feels MISTY’s pulse) She’s dying!!!
(KIDS rush to MISTY’s side, kneeling upstage of her, NED cradles her head. DR. F rises, steps back struck with guilt. Eyegore stands opposite of DR F for balance.)
ALEXIS: Misty used her own body to carry the electricity away from us!
PETUNIA: She sacrificed her life for us!
WINSTON: How noble.
(Lines skipped…………………… The doc wants to save Misty by transplanting new creature’s brain into her but Misty refuses, preferring to die, which she does with a bit of theatrics.)
NED: So what was the moral of this story?
ALEXIS: That you should always do your math homework!
PETUNIA: Right! So weird doctors will want to scoop out your brain to make smart monsters.
WINSTON: That you should always keep up the fight even when you don’t know how!
PETUNIA: Right! So you can march into open graves and get eaten by zombies.
EYEGORE: May be the moral is that we can’t hope for happiness in this veil of tears and will only find it in Heaven.
OLD MAN WELLARD (flopping in the window): I’ll let you know if I ever get there! (flops out.)
(Lines skipped……………………Discussion of different heavens for each of Misty’s body parts.)
DR. V C: Children! The moral is to let compassion guide your pursuit of science and technology.
ALL KIDS: What? Huh?
MISTY: Give me a break! Obviously the moral is to save your best stuff for the last scene.
EVERYONE: (nodding) Yeah.
MISTY: Close the curtain, already!
(CURTAIN CLOSES/ OPENS FOR BOWS)
* * *To see a PERUSAL SCRIPT, please contact Jeannette Jaquish
at (260) 484-5946, between 7am and 10pm, Eastern Standard Time, USA,
or at http://www.theaterfunscripts.com/details.html.
PROP AND SET PIECE LISTTwo operating tables, with fold up legs like those 4x8 ft.office tables. Paint silver or cover with aluminum foil, drip some red paint on for real effect. Both must lean against wall with legs folded up, and one must stand normally like a table.
Cuffs and straps on operating tables and somewhere stage right (wall, table, floor)
Tray of knives on small medical table
Dog’s water bowl
Dog chain and collar
Sewing basket with needle and thread
Feather duster (Eyegore can wear a carpenters belt full of cleaning and beauty stuff)
Bent handle spoons
Large bucket dripping with red paint (blood) with bloody clothes inside
Table with scientific apparatus including microscope, loose slides
Packet or jar of “Hemoglobin Concentrate” Take a box of cherry Jello and using white-out, and red and black markers, change "JELLO" to "HEMO".
Creature: mannequin head and body in lightweight display table/bed, bench high
One or two plasma rays: spacey ray guns with flashlights inside with colored bulb or gel,
A good mount is the floor stand from a stand up fan.
Instrument panels on or against wall. Needs at least one large lever. Use junk appliance knobs, switches and dials and shampoo bottle lids.
Lightweight scenery for dungeon and graveyard: refrigerator boxes make good fold-up scenery lengths.
Three cages for kids, hinged front doors --If you are really on a budget and don't mind being a bit Monty Pythonesque give them laundry baskets with holes in the sides to put over their heads, or refrigerator metal wire shelves to hold in front of themselves, and they just pretend they are in cages.
Pantry shelves of body parts in jars, specifically eyeballs, ears, intestines, teeth, fingers and lungs. Get those long skinny balloon animal balloons, blow them up and deflate them, color with markers to make intestines. You can use carved potatoes or fruit or clay floating in jars of colored water for organs.
Phone on portable stand, with weather report page.
Phone ringer FX gadget
Open Grave: Platform about 4 feet high, at rear of grave
Ladder to platform, covered with brown blanket.
Create gravehole walls with 3 scenery panels with platform at rear, hang brown blankets to be dirt, with slits for zombies to crawl through.
Intestines: soft thick cotton rope inside a long, skinny sleeve of pinkish fabric, 8 to 12 feet long, dyed pinkish/brown and dripped with a little red paint. Too much paint makes it too stiff.
Two metal caps for Alexis and Ned : the bowl shaped reflectors on clamp lamps work well.
Four to six long electrical wires with alligator clips. Connections: Equipment to Alexis’ cap, Alexis cap to Ned’s cap, Ned’s feet back to machine, machine to creature’s head, creature’s feet to machine.
Keys with clip or rounded hook
- Witty Energetic Scripts - Free & Low Cost!
All Types, All Ages -- All Great!
-Harry Potter and the Obnoxious Voice ~ The sssPOOF!
-The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
-The Frog Prince and the Princess Brat, including a Jr. version
-Slipperzzzz! The Torrid Tale of Cobb and the 12 Dancing Princesses
-Alice in Wonderland
-Who Framed Lucky the Leprechaun?
-Don't Look in the Lake!
-It’s a GOOD Life, by Jerome Bixby, scifi award winner
-The Spoiled Baloney Man
-Hansel and Gretel and the Creepy Woods
-A Christmas Carol . . . . . and Dozens More plus all of the above and Links!