THESE Works are all Plays!!!

This issue of Musea is a look at excerpts of my original plays. First up are 5 major size plays. That's followed by 5 Playlets. Followed by 4 that are hard to categorize. For each play there is both a summary and then a sample or slice.  Theater groups -what are you waiting for? Be the first to PLAY these WORKS!!!



1. THE WANDERING STUDENTS ( A Five Act Play) Two nymphs, Elfie and Nymph-Nymph, bewitch 2 college students, Peter and Hanz, who are studying castle lore, It is a homage to Shakespeare's comedies.

Setting: A magical woods. Each scene shifts the action deeper and deeper into the woods. All the while a castle in the background is gradually getting closer and closer. The last act is at the castle's front door. All lines are rhymed couplets except for those speeches by the students before they get involved with the magical nymphs.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)

Act One Scene 1:

PETER: The castle from a distance looked floating in mid air

with the moat underneath reflecting the sky.

As I approached the illusion persisted

until I was confused as to what was real.

Topping this hill from that narrow dirt path

It rose up ahead like a giant approaching.

Yet before I could exclaim at all its grandeur

the leaves of the bushes to my right began to tremble.

And as quickly as they began they stopped all movement.

'What have we here, some woodland creatures?'

Two women giggled though no one  was there.

I stopped to listen and turned my head,

and turned it another way to hear more clearly.

Nothing but wind coming in puffs.

How silly I was to think I heard voices.

(He sits down to have his lunch. Nymph-Nympth and Elfie pop up behind the bushes).

ELFIE: N N look, the creature's still there

NYMPH-NYMPH: I think it's a human though I cannot be sure.

I've only seen one but he was similar.

Elfie: Is he pretty?

NN: In a rough hairy way

ELFIE: Are we attracted?

NN: Perhaps, I can't say.

I think I'll keep him, but before that's settled

We'll play some tricks and test his mettle.

ELFIE: Oh how glorious to hear such words

You know how fond I am of mirth!

NN: We'll test him with LOVE. That's the best trick

And see what he does in the thick of it....


2. WILLIAM TELL (THE PLAY) . A group of players are acting out Shiller's, William Tell. But is it staged or real when he shoots that arrow? A drama that tests reality.  EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) The Prologue:

Cast of Schiller's "William Tell" are on stage mulling around just before their curtain comes up. The Author/Player walks on stage and the cast applauds. He bows and quiets them down. Lights on the cast dim. Spotlight on Author/Player.



I am a player. I play this plays author,

who wrote this piece with a part by Pirandello

and William Tell's playwright, Germany's Schiller

who both though not living, live on in their work.

Celebrated playwrights - talented men,

All 3 of us gifted now ... and back then.


We together present a play in a play,

or should the word 3 times be said:

Audience here's a play's, play's, play,

And the audience not audience but players instead.

"I think therefore I am', no pretending for me

And the players on stage - not staged but REAL! ...


(He does the ending dramatically and slowly. Then sweeps his hand across the cast. Lights come up and the action of the play starts.)


3. DAEDALUS. Daedalus and son, Icarus, built the maze for the Minotaur monster. Their job done, they request leave. But King Minos refuses. He wants the gifted Daedalus to continue to serve him with inventions. Now Daedalus must use his inventiveness to allow him and his son to escape. In one scene Daedalus watching the sky, thinks to himself:  " It seems that only the Moon can escape /Flying o'r the sea like a discus with wings." Daedalus has the intellect and skill for invention, but fate is against him in this tragedy.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) The Bishop, as spy for the king, questions Daedalus about what is going on in his secret workshop.



Now I know that you want to please the king

With something that'll top even the maze

But there's danger to you and your very lives

If rumors continue to conjure up fear.

This flock will turn rabble and shear you and your boy.

Save yourself and tell me the truth.

I'll NOT tell the king, your secret is safe.

But what is it for the tar, feathers,

String, wood, metal, and wax?



How things grow! A seed of silliness

Leads to an oak of speculation.

I'm not a warlock. I'm an open book.

The feathers and tar are for a mechanical bird

That, when kissed by dawn, awakes and whistles.

The string and wood is for an armless lute

That, when wound by a hidden key,

Plays as if strummed by a passing breeze.

The metal - for a bird cage for the mechanical bird

And wax and gears for mechanics and oil.

This and no more.


4. MEDUSA.  Two Greek Gods, Athena and Poseidon are in a power struggle; with Medusa the red-haired beauty,  and other mortals, as  pawns in their contest.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)  Prologue: The narrator is sitting on some rocks , stage right. Behind him is the royal throne room of Poseidon, the god of the sea. Beside him are assorted soldiers, nymphs, etc. The room is grand and elaborate.



When the gods act heathen, fate goes astray

Rancor and tumult turn Heaven and Earth.

Mortals suffer and pray for guidance

Hoping to make sense of senseless warfare.

All the known worlds rock with thunder!

Look across this watery landscape.

See the tall and proud pacing god?

He is the king of all we survey.

He is Poseidon, king of the sea.

A messenger has come with a tale of sorrow...


5. SWANELLA AND THE DOLL. (Ballet and Play).  Based loosely on the story of Coppelia, the classic Ballet with libretto by Saint-Leon and Charles Nuitter, in turn based on two stories by T. A. Hoffman, "The Sandman", and "The Doll". But my version is a light comedy and romance of pure fun and mix up.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) ACT ONE, Scene 1. The Doctor and his latest creation, are in his workshop.


Ah Coppelia - let's take a look.

You, my dear, may have started out

a mechanical doll, a robot girl,

an automaton, like the others;

but now, if I may - crow just a little,

you are the ultimate, the doll of dolls,

the height of electrical and mechanical perfection!...



6.MANNIKIN AND MINIKIN (Romance). Two Porcelain figurines on a mantel sport with one another in this romantic play; a rewriting of a play by  Alfred Kreymborg.  Will the two porcelain lovers ever kiss again? A play for the lovers in all of us ...

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)

On a shelf or mantel in an old fashioned parlor with  patterned wallpaper behind it, stand 2 aristocratic bisque porcelain figures, a boy in cerise and a girl in blue. They were modeled as a Dutch boy and girl bent at the hip, hands akimbo, and lips touching in a kiss. But the scene opens with both of them facing away from each other. Behind and between them an ancient ticking mantle clock. The director may gradually allow them to move - first a little then more and more animated throughout.


SHE. (In a whisper) Manikin!

HE.  (Coughs from dust) What?

SHE. Is she on the other side of the door yet?

HE. I can't see for sure. I'm turned the other way.

SHE. What a meddlesome busybody. She's always moving around in that  bouncey way. The only thing near to nice on her are those porcelain nails. And that wavey smock - dreadful! ... What can you see?

HE. The same inventory - the brown leather armchair and automan, the tiger skin with its black bounded canines, the yellow, green and purple book spines, and the portrait of milord in his top hat.

SHE. Over here its the rattan rocker with a tear, puffs of steam over a samovar,the  quiet piano they bang on and squeak over, and the portrait of milady in her much too busy, lacey gown.

HE. (coughs)

SHE. Why is she always dusting? (Coughs)  If she'd only stay away some morning -

He. That's what I pray in my dreams! She and her spiney broom.

SHE. Her daily broom! Daily! Daily!

HE. If she didn't sweep -

SHE. Every corner, cranny and crevice -

HE. Then the dust wouldn't rise up like a hive of gnats -

SHE. Wouldn't crawl, rise, fly, sting! -

He. And cover us all over -

SHE. Like a powdery spider web - ugh!

HE. Dust storms have covered all our lives.

SHE. You, on your manly red cloak

HE. You, on your robin egg gown...


7. RED (Children's Play). The Queen has had enough of the Throne Room's old threadbare red carpet. Time for a new one, but it has to be just the EXACT shade of red. How does the rug maker satisfy the Queen?

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) Setting: Carpet Guild's Workshop.


QUEEN to CARPET MASTER (pointing to a diagram)

I want it thick and plenty plush

With the expensive-est dyes and royal-ly lush.

Search the kingdom and all through the land

For the deepest hues of deepest red.

And I want a border - thread of gold,

Not too blaring but whimsically bold.

And take this other out of my sight

I don't want to see it, it's a frightful blight!

Burn it to ashes ...


... to ashes we'll rend


And make sure the fire is fire down wind! (she exits).


8. JOB (Religious Play). In the style of the mystery plays of the middle ages.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) Job has just passed his first trial from Satan.



In this dark hour

I trust God's power

to right the wrong

till justice be done


And Satan saw that

Job didn't waver,

So again he approached God

To discuss it further...


9. INTERROGATION.  A person answers questions from offstage interrogators.

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)


NARRATOR: the light was harsh / on its sole object / a painter in a hardback/  stiff metal chair./ Somewhere in the dark / sat the questionnaires./  Folded hands and/ mechanical voices /

INTERROGATORS : You are here / of your own free will?"



10. LARRY'S SUGAR PILLS ( Three Actor Play). Larry, the owner of Larry's Sugar Pills defends the curing claims of his 'medicine' that is nothing but sugar, "We had a sugar coating but I'm the first to say / That seemed redundant, and got in the way..."

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!) Larry has just finished a lengthy argument for the health benefits of sugar pills.


Judge and Lawyer stare and are stunned.

They've listened to Larry. Has he won?

The judge comes alive. His gavel is raised.

"Order in the court". He hammers then says ...


11 and 12. These are two TOMMY shorts. Of all the characters of fiction I have created, perhaps my favorite is Tommy. He plays many roles - all of them badly. Hopefully this intro will give you an idea:  "Q. What's your full name? A. Tommy Tom-Tom Thomas  Q. Is that abbreviated? A. Yes ... a couple of times."  Now for two Tommy scripts - enjoy!

11. OPEN THE DOOR (a Tommy Comedy). The King has a rebel in his midst!

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!). Grave and august King enters with minions in utmost decorum and pomp.


Dear Lord Wenslaus, your humble servant Blaustagd is at the door and sues for peace. He puts his arms into your hands. Will you receive him?


This is good. Let it be written that we accept. Open the door!

2nd VOICE of many down the line:

Open the door!

3rd VOICE (offstage)

Open the door!

4th VOICE (offstage)

I don't wanna

5th VOICE (offstage)

I don't wanna ... 


12. CORPORATE TOMMY (a Tommy Comedy). My Last Name Is Not Banana!

Setting: Large corporation employment office and reception room. Secretary calls in the next applicant. This is one tough interview!

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)

SECRETARY: Mr. Lamarr will see you now. (The young applicant, walks into his office):

INTERVIEWER, (Tommy):  Sit down. (He takes off glasses and begins.) I see that you've written on your application that your last name is Banana. Now that's a strange surname. Is it Italian?


I: Now don't be ashamed of your heritage. We at Heddy, Heddy, and Lamarr  are proud of our ethnic background. Why take me for example. I couldn't be prouder of my family tree - excepting Uncle Harvey on the left side, but we don't talk about THAT bad apple...

A: No sir. My name is not Banana.

I: But it's written here. I have the proof in my hand. Look (he shows her the sheet)

A: But I didn't write that.

I: We at Heddy, Heddy, and Lamarr, have a dim view of people coming to us with their applications filled out by somebody else. Would you be willing to take a lie detector test if that's required?

A: I DID fill out my own application. But that's not it.

I: You mean to say you're turning in someone elses resume and claiming it's your own? How then can I believe any of this information written here?

A: I filled out the application I was given exactly as required. Then I turned it in to your secretary out in the waiting room. She must have gotten mine mixed up with this one. (She taps the sheet he's holding)

I: Well then where's Miss Banana? It's her turn to be interviewed. She's the one on my schedule. You shouldn't barge in on someone elses time. Assertiveness is a positive trait but only in degrees Miss, Miss, whatever your name is.... (and it only gets worse for the poor young girl).


13. A MIDSUMMER'S NIGHT DREAM (Dialogue to set up a ballet based on the play).

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)

(This evening of dance mixes parts of Shakespeare's play, Mendelssohn's incidental music for the play,  some original added dialogue of mine, and a ballet. It starts with a quick first act to entice the audience, then a long ballet portion that reenacts the story, with great dancing, wonderful fairy costumes, breathtaking sets, and moonlight cascading over all the enchanted forest. This excerpt is from the Duke after the 'night's dream' is over:  DUKE:  "Everyone / Take the hand / of the one / that you love."


14. Real Acting (a Farce) Depressed cook, Erwin, plans his own suicide, but he sets it up so someone else does the shooting... then changes his mind, but can't call it off!

EXCERPT PLEASE  (curtains! lights!)

ERWIN (Soliloquy) 

Oh woe is me. I'm 23

I've seen the world and its seen me.

I'm tired, worn, worked, and stressed,

Yelled at, blamed, hurt, and compressed:

And now those 2 want ME to play

dead to win one woman's love

to show off timid manliness.

Well it'd serve them right if I said, "Yes",

and took out blanks - bullets in.

And ended this weary world of woe....


And for an ending to our "All Works and All Plays" issue, I quote the last lines from "The Wandering Students"

We leave you then with our last couplet rhyme.

If you choose to applaud .... NOW IS THE TIME!


Musea is: 

Tom Hendricks

4000 Hawthorne #5

Dallas Texas 75219



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