View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Monday, March 20, 2006

Robin Hood: opening scenes

The following are the opening scenes of a working draft of my version of Robin Hood ( a junior/senior high production).


Cast (In order of appearance)

Will Scarlett
Crier
Guy of Gisborne, Sheriff of Nottingham
Lackey
Soldier 1
Soldier 2
Soldier 3
Robin of Locksley - Robin Hood
Hunter
Alan a Dale
Much, the Baker’s son
Rich Woman
Servant 1
Servant 2
Little John
Old Man/King Richard
Soldier 4
Old Woman
Maid Marian

The stage is bare. The background should include some trees, and green, suggesting a forest.

(Enter Will Scarlet)

Will Scarlet: Welcome ladies and gentlemen to our evening’s entertainment.
Tonight we present the legend of Robin Hood, who did more to
redistribute wealth than the Internal Revenue Service.

Our story is set during the reign of King Richard the Lionhearted.

(Crier holds up Applause Card. Urges audience to Cheer.)

Good King Richard was in the Holy Land taking part in the first Crusade.
He had left his brother John in charge.

Prince John was an evil, greedy man who wanted only wealth and power.

(Crier holds up card calling for Boos. Urges audience to boo. He then
takes out a scroll and reads.)

Crier: Hear ye, hear ye! Prince John decrees that henceforth Buckingham
Palace be known as John Palace. And that all castle towers be renamed
John Towers. And the name of The Royal Throne will now be The Royal
John.

Will Scarlet: Prince John named his servants to positions throughout the realm.
One of those men was the Sheriff of Nottingham.

(The Sheriff and Lackey enter. Crier holds up the Boo Card. Sheriff glares at the Crier,
who exits. Then the Sheriff looks at the audience. He shakes his fist.)

Sheriff: Lackey, the Good Book.

Lackey: You want a Bible?

Sheriff: No, you idiot. The other book.

(Lackey rushes off. Returns with a large book labeled TAX CODE and
gives it to the Sheriff. The Sheriff flips through it.

Sheriff: Ha! (Looks at audience) There is a tax on free speech! Each boo will cost
you. (Looks at Will Scarlet) And watch what you say. (He and Lackey
leave.)

Will Scarlet: (Sticks out tongue) Yes, it was a dark time in England – and not
because they hadn’t discovered electricity yet.

The land was overrun with vile men with filthy mouths.

(Enter three soldiers with bows.)

Soldier 1: Colorful language.

Soldier 2: Foul language.

Soldier 3: French words.

(All three laugh, elbow each other.)

Will Scarlet: It was at this time a hero arose. Robin Hood. (Exits)

(Robin enters, carrying a bow.)

Soldier 1: Hey, peasant.

(Hunter comes out.)

Hunter: Did someone say pheasant?

Soldier 1: I said peasant.

Hunter. Oh. Never mind. (exits)

Soldier1: Where was I?

Soldier 2: You called him a peasant.

Soldier 1: Right. Peasant. Do you have a license to carry that weapon?

Robin: I didn’t know you needed one.

Soldier 2: Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

Soldier 3: Hey. What happens if we don’t know the law?

Soldier 2: We are the law.

Soldier 3: I thought I was a soldier.

Soldier 2: I don’t mean literally we are laws. I was using figurative language. You
know, like if I said you were a rock head. I don’t mean literally that your
head is made of rocks.

Soldier 1: His head is pretty hard.

Soldier 3: Yeah. When I was a kid I used to run into walls just for fun.

Will Scarlet: (Loudly) Gentlemen.

(The soldiers look around confused.)

Will Scarlet: I mean you three soldiers.

Soldier 3: (To the other soldiers) I told you I was a soldier.

Will Scarlett: Get on with the story.

Soldier 1: Where was I?

Soldier 2: I think you’re in Sherwood Forest.

Will Scarlett: (Firmly) You were talking to Robin.

Soldier 1: Who? (Looks at Robin) This peasant?

Hunter comes out.

Hunter: Did someone say pheasant?

Soldiers 1, 2, 3, Robin and Will Scarlet loudly, all together: PEASANT.

Hunter: No need to be insulting. (He leaves).

Soldier 1: Now I remember. (To Robin) Do you know how to use that bow?

Robin: Yes.

Soldier 3: How about a little contest. If you can outshoot us, maybe we won’t
arrest you.

Robin: All right. What do we shoot at?

(Soldier 1 jumps off the stage and pulls out a target. He takes out his
sword and points it at a member of the audience.)

Soldier 1: Move that target down the aisle, peasant. … Good.

Soldier 2: (To Robin) Now watch some fine shooting.

(All three shoot.)

Soldiers: (Together), Left of center. Good shot. Mine’s better, etc.

(Robin takes aim. Fires. All three soldiers follow shot.)

Soldier 3: Dead center.

Soldier 1: (To volunteer from the audience) Move it further way. (Moves it all
the way to the end of the aisle). That’s far enough.

All three soldiers shoot.

Soldiers: (Together), Right of center. Good shot. Mine’s better, etc.

(Robin takes aim. Fires. All three soldiers follow shot.)

Soldier 3: Dead center again.

Soldier 2: All right. See that deer in the bushes just beyond the target?

Soldier1: What deer?

(Soldier 3 hands him a telescope.)

Soldier 1: Oh. Right. I see something.

Soldier 2. Let’s aim for that.

(All three fire. Say things like Short. Too wide. Missed.)

(Robin takes aim. All three follow the shot. One with telescope uses it.)

(Loud scream.)

Soldier 3: (Nervously) That sounds like….

(The Sheriff and Lackey come running down the aisle. The Sheriff has an arrow
sticking out of his hat. He is carrying a roll of toilet paper. They all look at it and
he quickly gives it to Lackey.)

Sheriff: Who did it? Who fired that arrow?

(All three soldiers point to Robin.)

Robin: I’m sorry. I thought I was aiming for a deer.

Sheriff: Shooting at a deer? In the King's forest? That’s against the law. So is
shooting at a sheriff.

Lackey: (Holding the toilet paper) Especially when he is … performing some
official business.

Sheriff: (To Lackey) Quiet you fool. (To the soldiers) Seize him!

Soldier 1: Seize?

Soldier 2: It’s what you do when you have a cold.

Soldier 3: But I didn’t bring a handkerchief.

Soldier 1: You can borrow one of mine.

Soldier 2: I once saw an actor who could seize the alphabet.

(All the while, Robin is sneaking away. The Sheriff is getting angrier and angrier.
He finally explodes. )

Sheriff: I said SEIZE, not SNEEZE. Grab Him you idiots!

(Soldiers look around. They grab Lackey.)

Sheriff: Not him. The Peasant.

(The hunter returns. Before he can say anything, the cast on the stage
and several back stage who poke out their heads all say: HE SAID
PEASANT. Hunter leaves.)

Soldier 3: Who do we grab?

Sheriff: That’s what I get for hiring relatives. (Storms out. Lackey follows.)

Soldier 2: Wow, Uncle Guy is really mad.

Soldier 1: That’s what we get for working for a relative.

(They start to leave.)

Soldier 2: Maybe we should start our own business.

Soldier 3: Yeah. Like a landscaping business.

Soldier 1: I’ve always wanted to start a pig roasting business. We could call it
Hog Heaven.
.
(They leave.)

Scarlet: And so Robin fled to the forest, to live as an outlaw. At first, he simply
hunted and scrounged as best he could. But he soon discovered that
Sherwood Forest was full of outcasts like himself. He gathered some
followers.

(Enter Robin, Alan a Dale and Much, the miller’s son.)

Alan: Hunting for food is fine, but there are some things we need to buy.

Much: Like ale.

Alan: Yes. And clothes. And flour. We need money.

Much: I don't see why we shouldn't just rob people like some of the
other outlaws in Sherwood Forest. We won't harm anyone.

Robin: No. Some might fight back, and then we'd have to hurt them.

Much: Or we might get hurt.

Robin: That too, But the main point is it’s wrong to steal.

Alan: We could just call it borrowing?

Robin: No. We will not become like the sheriff.Alan: Wait a minute. The sheriff and his
supporters rob from the poor and the good, right?

Much: Yes. They stole my father's mill.Alan: They stole my family farm.

Robin: They stole my family's lands.

Much: And they stole my good Sabres hat.

Alan: So let's just rob from them and their friends.

Robin: Yes … you have a great idea there. But let's change it a little. Let's rob the robbers, then
make sure it gets back to the good people the Sheriff robbed in the first place.

Much: Huh?

Robin: Rob from the rich and give to the poor.

Much: Oh. (suddenly grins) Hey, I'm poor.

(They exit.)

To be continued ...

2 Comments:

Blogger tom said...

lee...off to a good start. would love to see the production......good luck.

3:29 PM  
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