Strange Time at the Science Fair

A funny educational play about science projects by Zephyr & Tom Jaquish ©2010

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TECHNICAL INFORMATION

SET: A Science Fair

Four science projects displays (three real, one fake: "Can I Slow Down or Speed Up Time? ") are spaced across the stage, the displays facing the audience. A nervous child stands next to each project. A bored hired photographer lounges nearby, fiddling with his or her camera waiting to photograph the winners.

Use three real science projects plus a fake time control project.
Work out the questions and answers earlier and make them realistic and interesting with a funny line here and there.
The best way to work out the questions is for a scientifically minded adult or teen to ask a child questions about their science project while someone else records or writes down the conversation, then modify that to write the dialogue. Or send the information to me, the author of this script, and I will write up lines for you.
It is also best for the kids to be talking about their own projects. You can even do it without a script for this section.

The Fake Time Control Science Project consists of the display board like the other projects, but also has equipment on a separate downstage table. The equipment is a good pendulum with at least an 18 inch string and a heavy metal ball to swing, something that looks like an antenna (optional), and a device to make a steady high, medium or low pitch sound that can last steadily for at least 30 seconds. Many cheap electronic keyboards have tones that continue as long as the key is pressed. You could use one of these for the sound FX if it is hidden. The tone changes are important because they prompt the actors to speed up or slow down.

This script includes pages to print and past onto a display board for the Time Control Project.

Time Change FX: During slow motion, do walking and running with legs bent down more than usual. This will give the strength and stability necessary to make slow steps without losing balance.
During fast motion, speak in high chipmunk voices with lots of movement and gesturing.
Actors must listen to the tone and Nick's lines to know when to change to another speed.


CAST
Dr. Bergers - The Science Fair Judge. A take charge, precise, friendly older guy or lady, good with kids.
Penelope or Penderton Pumpernickle - Happy and excited.
Dentin or Dwendolyn W. Ferdley the 2nd - Nerdy, conceited and spoiled. Speaks in superior way.
Wally or Wanda Woods - A lazy big kid who always finds a way to get out of doing work.
Nick or Nikkie Maxwell - A messy-looking, smart, short inventor.
Photographer - Hired to shoot flash photos of the winners being awarded their ribbons. Should wear a vest or pockets that look full of lenses & film and uses a large camera. Bored, fiddles with camera when not shooting. Shoot real photos. You'll enjoy them later.

--------------------
SET: A Science Fair
Four science projects displays (three real, one fake: "Can I Slow Down or Speed Up Time? ") are spaced across the stage. The displays facing the audience. A nervous child stands next to each project in this order: Penelope, Dentin, Wally, Nick. A bored hired photographer lounges nearby, fiddling with his or her camera waiting to photograph the winners.


DR BERGERS - Good evening and welcome to the 53rd Annual ______________ County Science Fair.
I am Dr. Howard M. Bergers, and I am the host and the judge for this event. These are our finalists and I'll be asking them questions about their projects and awarding prizes.

(Dr. Bergers will approach each child and announce the title of the project, and ask the child their name and questions about the project, and the child answers.

Use three real science projects plus a fake time control project.
Work out the questions and answers earlier and make them realistic and interesting with a funny line here and there.
The best way to work out the questions is for a scientifically minded adult or teen to ask a child questions about their science project while someone else records or writes down the conversation, then modify that to write the dialogue.
It is also best for the kids to be talking about their own projects. You can even do it without a script for this section.
While each entrant is interviewed, the other entrants listen nervously. )


(Write your three science project interviews something like it is in the script here, or call me with a description of the projects you have and I will email you lines for free. )

DR BERGERS - Our first project is project is titled "Which is Better for Seeing Things in a Microscope? Bottom Light or Side Light? "Please tell me your name and what you did.

PENELOPE - My name is Penelope Pumpernickle I ... I... uh... uh...my dad helped me put a camera on my microscope....

DR BERGERS - Yes. I see two similar rows of photos of magnified objects. Can you explain what you did?

PENELOPE - I took photos of a variety of objects. This row is the objects under bottom light and this row is the objects under side light.

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LINES SKIPPED
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DR BERGERS - Thank you Penelope Pepperdine for entering the Science Fair.

PENELOPE - Pumpernickle!

DR BERGERS - Our next project is titled "Are Cats Left Brained or Right Brained?" Please tell us your name and what you did.

DENTIN - My name is Dentin W. Ferdly, the 2nd, and I held up different objects to cats to see which paw they would use to reach for it.

DR BERGERS - Doesn't that test whether they are left-pawed or right-pawed?

DENTIN - (very sure of himself) As you should know, Dr. Berger, the left brain controls the right paw and the right brain controls the left paw.


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LINES SKIPPED
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DENTIN - Third Place???

(Dr Berger throws his arm around Dentin's shoulder and grins at the camera as Dentin fusses.)

PHOTOGRAPHER: Say "Technicality"!

DENTIN: Lawsuit! (FLASH!)

DR BERGERS - And now on to our next project...

DENTIN - (pointing to first project) You gave First Prize to that kindergarten level project? Her father helped her! No one helps me!

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LINES SKIPPED
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DR BERGERS - Now this looks credible. "Do Ants Produce Acid When Antagonized?" Tell me your name and what you did.

WALLY (reciting) - My name is Wally Brickhouser and I tested if ants produce acid when antagonized.

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LINES SKIPPED
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DR BERGERS - To test for the acid or base level?

WALLY - Uh, yeah.

DR BERGERS - And then...?

WALLY - Second, I stomped on some ants. Chuckle. That was the best part. Chuckle. And I put the indicator paper on top of the ants, or what was left of the ants. Chuckle. And I looked to see if it had changed color from them spraying their stingy spray at me. As if they could reach me - Huh! I'm way too tall.

DR BERGERS - And what was the result?

WALLY - I didn't get stung.

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LINES SKIPPED
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WALLY - Dartmouth College? Is that a hard school? Did you say FOUR YEARS ????

PHOTOGRAPHER - Say "Unforeseen"!

WALLY - I can't say big words. (FLASH!)

DR. BERGER - And now to our next project. (looks over Nick's.)


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LINES SKIPPED
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DR. BERGER - Am I reading this right? Is this project titled "Can I Slow Down or Speed Up Time?"

NICK - Yes! My name is Nick Maxwell and I built a machine that controls the speed of time!


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LINES SKIPPED
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DR. BERGER - To the pendulum?

NICK - Yep.

DR. BERGER - Let me get this straight. Your machine creates an electric field that changes the speed of oscillation of atoms. You send that signal through this antenna through the air to this pendulum, and change its speed.

NICK - Yes.

DR. BERGER - I have to see this. OK, I'll start the pendulum and you run your machine.


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LINES SKIPPED
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SLOW DOWN... DENTIN - Oh, noooo. It was just the jaaaanitor.

PENELOPE Well, he loooked like Albert Eiiiinsteiiiin...


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LINES SKIPPED
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NICK (turn tone off) - OK, I'm changing it back to normal speed.

(Background people in normal speed.)

DR BERGERS - Nothing happened. The period of the pendulum swing remained constant.


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LINES SKIPPED
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NICK - It should be working. I built it right.

DR BERGERS - (losing patience) Look! This device violates all the laws of physics. How can you say it works?

NICK - Just let me try it again.

DR BERGERS - ( frustrated) I don't have the time. I can see you put a lot of work into it but it can't possibly work.

NICK - Once more? Please?


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LINES SKIPPED
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SPEED UP ...
PENELOPE (marching over) - Oh, look at the boring stuff that kid put on his poster.

WALLY (going over) - Ha ha! It's all numbers and stuff. Ha Ha. You can't win without clipart.

DENTIN - Did you see my photos of cats? (running to his) Come and look!

PENELOPE - (zipping over) I love cats! Oh! They are so cute! (will say "oooh!" or "darling" to each photo)

WALLY (shaking finger) - My mom says "No More Cats!"


------
LINES SKIPPED
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DR BERGERS - Come on! These award ceremonies are boring enough! (points to audience) Look, people are leaving!

NICK - Please please please! I know it will work!


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LINES SKIPPED
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(SLOW SPEED)

WALLY - Loooook! They're giiiiving ouuuut freeeee doooonuuuts!

PENELOPE - Dooonuuuts!
(ALL slowly run to side, shoving and pulling each other to be first.)

WALLY - I saaaw themm fiiirst! (falls) Dooon't traaample meeee!

(KIDS trip over or step over WALLY.)


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LINES SKIPPED
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NICK - Three points off!??

DR BERGERS - Out of nine possible. But for your effort, we're giving you a Participant Ribbon.

NICK - Aw...

DR BERGERS - (to Photographer) Ahem!

PHOTOGRAPHER - We don't shoot photos of the losers.

DR BERGERS - We take everybody's photo.

PHOTOGRAPHER - Oh, all right. OK, kid, say, "Self Esteem"!

NICK - (sniff) It worked at home! (FLASH!)


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LINES SKIPPED
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NICK - Now I'll slow it down.. (tone down)

(Background SLOWS DOWN.)
WALLY - Haaa Haaa Haaa Haaa

NICK - I guess it doesn't work. I'm a failure. (as he steps toward others, he becomes affected and slows down also.)

DR BERGERS - (bursting in the door SLOWLY) I heard thaaat, Waaaaally youuu cheeeater!!! Give meee thaaat bluuuue ribbonnn.

(DR. BERGER tries to grab the ribbon from WALLY. They tussle back and forth with the ribbon.
A slow motion fight ensues. PHOTOGRAPHER snaps pictures and eventually crashes and falls unconscious.
PENELOPE punches DR. BERGER and he falls down letting WALLY pull the ribbon away but WALLY trips and drops the ribbon and NICK bends over to pick it up.)


WALLY (crawling after him) - Give me back my bluuuue ribbon!

(WALLY and PENELOPE try to grab NICK or the ribbon. DENTIN protects his science project.
NICK tries to run past DR. BERGER on the ground but DR. BERGER reaches out and trips him.)



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LINES SKIPPED
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(DR. BERGER chases WALLY off stage, leaving PENELOPE AND DENTIN lying onstage. )

DR BERGER - Giive meeee thaaat ribbbon, you cheeeaterr!
(EXITS)

(NICK slowly stands. He goes and turns off machine. Tone off. NORMAL SPEED. )

NICK - (sigh) Darn. Stupid machine! I guess I'll have to go to clown college like my mother. (EXITS)
BOWS - Actors come out to bow, alternating high speed and slow motion.

* * *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.



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