“A Midnight Dreary”

sheeplaughs   January 29, 2016   Comments Off on “A Midnight Dreary”

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“A Midnight Dreary”

by Frederick Passmore

Synposis: A highly entertaining 18-minute two-man play that is easy to do… with no dialog to learn! All the action is performed to a fully-produced CD with the narration, music and sound effects. Perfect for Fall Festivals or Halloween Alternative events, but can be done any time. A man is spending a stormy night at home by himself. When he thinks that an escaped convict is lurking outside, he forgets the Bible lesson on fear he was studying, and panics. A comedy of terrors results, as circumstances conspire to bring him to the brink of a nervous breakdown. After turning back to the scriptures for comfort, he discovers that our imagined fears and reality are often two very different things.

soundtrack_key_banner(Soundtrack key: NO LINES TO LEARN, the Skit Trax supply the narration, background music and sound effects.)

In its script form, this is a play with no lines to memorize! You’ll have an easier time recruiting cast members when they hear there are no lines to learn. All of the narration, music and sound effects come on a CD, ready to play!

Length of play: 18 minutes.
Number of cast: 3 – one main character, one lesser, and one walk-on
Category: Comedic
Price of script PDF & Skit Trax: Instant downloadAdd to Cart: $14.99
Price of script PDF & Physical CD: Add to Cart: $19.99 plus shipping

YOU MAY ALSO ORDER THE SCRIPT AND SOUNDTRACK AT THE BOTTOM OF THIS PAGE.

Characters: Derek Crane, and The Stranger. You may also have a “mystery person” to carry the radio on the stage at the beginning and off at the end.

Setting: Living room. Needed items: easy chair or small sofa. End table with lamp and telephone. TV (optional.) A door is needed somewhere in the back or off to the side either already there or constructed as part of the set. Important action happens centered around the door.

Props: Umbrella, a bag of cheese puffs, a few other kinds of snacks, a can of soda, TV remote, Bible, phone, sheet, a tire iron, a tabletop radio, and if possible an old-fashioned radio that the audience is supposed to be hearing all this on.

Costumes: Raincoat for the Stranger. Optional for mystery person, a hooded cloak or robe. Or they may be dressed as an angel if desired.

Performance notes: Although most of the actions you will perform go along with the narration, there are some segments where the scenes are carried by the actions performed with the music and sound effects. The actor must learn what is to be done to the music by reading the action directions and doing it during the playing sounds. If the direction says “Actions during the next part of the narrative,” you do them while the narration is heard. But when it simply says “Actions:” you do them to the music and effects that are playing at that point up until the next section of narration.

“A Midnight Dreary” Story Breakdown
(A general description of the script; not all details or scenes are here, but it gives you an overall picture of what happens in broad terms.)

The “Mystery Person” brings in a radio and puts it on a table, and tunes through some channels, then finds the one the story is on. He (or she) leaves and the spotlight stays on the radio, which the audience is listening to as the show begins. The first narrator comes on, known as “The Unseen Storyteller,” who welcomes the listeners to the “Mind’s Eye Theater” and introduces the situation and character, setting the scene and spooky mood with his words. The sounds of a building storm and background music add to the feeling of increasing apprehension.

The main character, Derek Crane -a young 4th grade schoolteacher- comes in with an umbrella and a bag of snacks from the store. As he unpacks the bags and places the junk food packages on the coffee table, the narrator continues to tell about his back story, which details his tendency to let his vivid imagination run away with him, as well as his problem with fear. The phone rings, and it is his wife, who is away visiting her sick mother. She wants to make sure he is not only okay during the bad weather predicted, but is eating healthy while she is away.

script_preview_graphicPreview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: a_midnight_dreary_preview_01

listen

Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below.

After reassuring her through some nimble verbal gymnastics, Derek hangs up and settles in for a quiet evening of Bible study to prepare for his Sunday School class, then relaxing in front of the TV with his junk food. At this point, the Unseen Storyteller concludes his introduction and we hear Derek’s internal monolog as the narrative. As he stretches out on the couch to read his Bible, he starts to become sleepy and drifts off. When awakened some time later by a crash of thunder, he realizes much of the evening has gone. Deciding that it’s too late to study, being nearly midnight, he decides to see what is on the TV. Stuffing himself with junk food, he settles on a channel showing a scary movie, and we hear dialog from the original 1968 film “Night of the Living Dead.”  As it gets too scary to watch alone, he decides to listen to some soft music on the radio. But, there is a weather report that warns of worsening thunderstorms. This is followed by a news report informing residents of the area of the escape of notorious mass murderer Horace “The Breather” Morris from the nearby prison. These reports greatly alarm our hero, who begins to hurry around the room to secure it against intrusion. As he does this, the radio beings to play an old-time horror program called “Attack of the Giant Chicken Lungs.” Quickly shutting it off, he begins pacing in fear.

script_preview_graphicPreview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: a_midnight_dreary_preview_02

listen

Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below.

He hurriedly turns off the radio and tries to relax, until he begins to hear the sound of heavy breathing! Frightened, he walks around the room listening, trying to determine the source of the sound, til at last he goes to the door and puts his ear against it. Suddenly there is a loud pounding at the door and he falls backwards!  Panicking, he decides to call for help, but in the middle of the call the phone goes dead with a loud crack of thunder. Chastising himself for his out-of-control fearfulness, he determines to overcome it and see who is at the door.  When he unlocks it and opens it, he looks out into the storm with trepidation, but he sees no-one. As he shrugs and turns back around, SUDDENLY (in a move designed to make the audience scream) a man in a raincoat, holding a tire iron, lunges into view and against the door frame with a bang!

Derek reacts to protect himself as the man raises the tire iron, and they struggle as the dramatic music brings the scene to thrilling life. Finally he manages to shove the intruder back out the door long enough to shut and bolt it. His thoughts are racing and he is questioning in his mind where help from the Lord is at when he really needs it. As if in answer, he sees the Bible, which he abandoned for TV earlier, on the table. Gathering his wits, he sits down slowly as he realizes that the help he needed was right where he left it. Opening the Word of God, he finds the very scriptures he was using for his forgotten Sunday School lesson, all about fear. As the soundtrack plays moving music, we hear the verses read and a spirit of peace envelops him.

Lifting his eyes, he prays for forgiveness for forgetting the things he was going to teach others, and for letting his mind be filled with things that stole his peace. After this new-found confidence in the Lord, he goes back to the door and unlocks it.  Encouraging himself in the Lord, he begins to see his panic attack as something to laugh about, and he begins to make fun of himself and his earlier fear by throwing the sheet over his head and  dancing around the room like a comedic ghost, running out of the room as if he is a spook that is really nothing to fear. During the moment he is out, the door opens and the man we saw earlier steps in cautiously. He calls out, saying that his car broke down with a flat tire in the storm, and he just needed to come in to use the phone! Just then Derek, still goofing around in the sheet and oblivious to this guest, comes back in, frightening the poor man, who passes out on the floor!

script_preview_graphicPreview a PDF page of the script that contains the scene above by clicking here: A_Midnight_Dreary_sample_03

Hearing the sound, Derek discovers the man on the floor, and almost does him in with his own tire iron before he stops and decides to show mercy. After bringing him around, he discovers the truth about why he was seeking shelter and help, and Derek realizes that his fear and suspicion could have caused him to hurt an innocent person in need of assistance. Trying to make it up to him, Derek does everything he can to help, and one can see the start of a friendship as they walk off stage. The play ends as the Unseen Storyteller comes back on as the narrator, wrapping things up and concluding with some words to remember.

listen

Preview the section of the soundtrack that is heard during the scene above by clicking on the player below. 

Okay, if you liked the story breakdown, read the script sample pages and enjoyed the Skit Trax previews, buy the complete script and soundtrack here! 

buy_mp3Instant Download: Get the script PDF (to print out) and audio tracks (to burn to your own CD) here. Instant downloadAdd to Cart: $14.99

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Get the physical CD mailed to you by ordering here. You will be taken to a page where you can print out the script PDF as well as an email containing the script PDF.  Physical CD: Add to Cart: $19.99 plus shipping

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Our plays range from 20 minutes all the way up to 80 minutes. They are written to engage the viewer, make them think, to impact the emotions, and present the Gospel in such a way that they perceive it as meeting the needs of their life. The aim is to bless the believer, and give the person that has never made a decision for Christ a desire to invite Him into their life.

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