Show Archive‎ > ‎2008‎ > ‎Scripts‎ > ‎

Misplaced Prop

From Last Year:

Some sort of setting; everything should look fairly normal, except the briefcase from earlier is sitting somewhere the audience can see it. Two actors are standing there; they begin a mundane little routine that doesn’t appear to be going anywhere.

Actor 1: Got a light?

Actor 2: Here. (he helps Actor 1 out)

A Third Actor walks in, opens his mouth to say a line, and stumbles over the briefcase. He stares at it for a bit.

Actor 3: What the… What’s this doing here?

A pause.

Actor 1: (prompting) Can I have a light too… Can I…

Actor 3: I know my lines, Pete, you don’t have to tell me. What’s this… (looks at the briefcase) suitcase doing in the middle of the stage?

Another pause

Actor 1: (turns away from the scene, placing hands on head) Oh… my… god.

Actor 2: This was going to be the best sketch in the revue!

Actor 1 notices the audience and waves sheepishly, then turns to watch in case things are salvaged.

Actor 3: (pointing) I tripped on this thing! Whose idea was that?

Actor 1: (following his finger) I don't... Wasn’t that from the last sketch? (he turns to the audience for confirmation)

Actor 2: Fuck the briefcase! This was the best sketch in the revue, my chance to shine, and now it’s ruined!

A Fourth Actor (Steve) in some sort of suit enters with flashing lights and fanfare on the word "ruined"

STEVE: (dramatically) Did somebody call for a parking inspector?

Actor 2: Not yet, Steve!

STEVE: What? Well... sorry, sorry... (tries to disappear from stage as discreetly as possible)

Actors 2 and 3 seem to notice the audience and try to be a little less loud

Actor 3: I... well... do something! (he tries to head towards the back of the stage while whistling and calling for the prop crew, quietly.)

Actor 2: (stage whisper) What now?

Actor 1: Follow my lead. (He produces some balls and begins juggling for the audience or performing other tricks)

Actor 2: Er... (unable to match Actor 1, he starts twirling a pen or performing some other minor trick, looking a bit out of place.)

Meanwhile, some crew members come on. Actor 2 gives up, gestures at the audience to enjoy Actor 1 and leaves to talk with them swiftly

Crew 1: Aren't you guys doing a thing right now?

Actor 3: There’s a prop here.

Crew 2: And... this is a revue.

Actor 3: A prop that’s not supposed to be here!

Actor 2: And now the best sketch in the whole revue is ruined!

Lights and fanfare again. Steve leans in to see if it's for real this time.

Steve: (quizzically) Did somebody call for—

CREW 1 & 2: Piss off, Steve!

STEVE: Whatever. (leaves)

Actor 3: What are we going to do now?

Crew 2: (folding his arms) Oh, sure, one little problem and you blame the crew.

Actor 2: Well, so-rry! I forgot we were only doing the best sketch in the revue! Why didn’t you move the briefcase?

Crew 1: We didn’t get time! The voiceover was too short!

Crew 2: Yeah, we were pulling the door backstage and suddenly the voiceover is done and you guys are coming on!

Actor 2: Oh, for… VOICE!


Actor 1 starts in surprise and drops his balls or whatever else he has, scrambling to retrieve it

Actor 2: Apparently you’re the reason the best sketch in the revue is ruined!

Fanfare, and Steve leans in wordlessly.

EVERYONE: Piss off, Steve!

Steve leans right back out

Crew 1: Anyway, you didn’t give us enough time!

Actor 3: And now the audience doesn’t get to see the best sketch in the revue!

VOICEOVER: Get stuffed. I read what I’m given.

Actor 3: Oh, sure, pass the blame, that’s original.

VOICEOVER: Well it’s not like you couldn’t have watched where you were going, you tool.

Actor 2: Oh, burn!

Crew 2: It WAS a good burn. (CREW 1 nods in agreement.)


Actor 3: For the last time, it’s not my fault, alright? The crew left it there!

Crew 1: (pointing up) And you read your lines too quickly!

VOICEOVER: And you tripped over it in the first place!

Actor 2: And now people aren’t going to know what a great actor I am!

Actor 1: (sighs) This has gone on... guys, can we stop just standing here whining about how the sketch is ruined and--

He is interrupted by fanfare. Steve strides out in a very angry way.

Steve: I swear to GOD this better be my cue...

VOICEOVER: (clearly being vindictive) Piss off, Steve.

Steve: (snaps) Oh, COME ON! Will you guys stop playing the music, for Christ’s sake?

BAND MEMBER: Look mate, they say our cue, we play the fanfare, that’s how it goes!

Steve: I don’t care! You’re only supposed to play it when I’m supposed to come on! Pay attention!

BAND MEMBER: Well, maybe if the director gave us the SCRIPT...

As expected, The Director storms on, carrying a clipboard and wearing a headset, followed by the Assistant Director. There’s an “uh oh” moment as everyone freezes and realizes how much trouble they’re in

Director: (calmly) Ask them what they think they’re doing.

A. Director: What do you think you’re doing?

Actor 3: I… the briefcase… and….

Crew 1: The voiceover…

Director: Tch! Tell them I don't care what they DID, I care that they're standing around on stage arguing like this is a lame excuse for an extended wanky postmodernism gag! You've ruined--

The fanfare starts. Steve cries out in anger and heads backstage, to reappear later where the band is. The director calmly turns and points a warning finger at the band, which stops mid-fanfare.

Director: Just ask them what we’re going to do now.

A. Director: What are we going to do now?

Actor 2: Well…

Actor 1: We should just move on.

Director: (thinking aloud) We could pretend the sketch went on as planned…

A. Director: (mimicking him for the benefit of those beneath him) We could pretend the sketch went on as planned…

Actor 2: We could skip ahead.

Crew 1: We could move the briefcase.

BAND MEMBER: We could-- (Steve, having re-appeared in their area and stormed up behind the musician, interrupts with a slap to the back of the head.) Ow!

Steve: We're cool over here now! (rushes back)

There’s a short pause as everyone looks up expecting the voiceover to continue this train of thought.

VOICEOVER: I could… Shut up?

Director: Excellent! Tell them to proceed to the punchline.

A. Director: Okay, proceed to—

Actor 3: We heard. (waves at the audience) Sorry, revue goes on now!

One crew member grabs the briefcase and flees while the other helps Actors 1 and 2 knock some chairs over. Actor 3 reaches behind a prop and produces a toaster and a top hat, passing the hat to Actor 1, who puts it on and stands where he originally was beside Actor 2, who finishes moving furniture around and assumes a ridiculous pose where he was standing before. Steve picks up another silly-looking prop and wears/carries it.

Everyone gets into position, then it goes dark. A spotlight shines down on the group. Actor 3 points to Actor 1 and says:

Actor 3: That’s what she said!

Music sting! Fade to black.