. all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2013
. refer to www.church-skits.com
THE UGLY CABINET – written by Tanis Harms
(developed by Gabe A., Seth D., Alex F., Hannah, F.,
Holly F., Alicia G., Stephanie R., Hanna V., David V.)
PREMISE: Three modern children are transported
. back in time to the 1950s, where they
. get to know kids of a different era who
. help them see another style of living.
TOPIC: family values, finding a balance in life
SCRIPTURE: 1 Cor.1:30, 15:57, Col.3:14, 1 Peter 3:3,
NOTES: for CAST, SET, PROPS
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. how you receive this & package description
(Carrying her purse with all her precious treasures,
AVERY enters and looks around with disgust,
then quickly dials out on her cellphone.)
AVERY Marcy! You are not going to believe this!...
. My parents went and bought a really LAME house.
. I mean, TOTALLY LAME! It’s disgusting.
. The furniture is like, totally, from a tacky
. museum, or something... Of COURSE they’re going
. to redo everything. I mean, they just better!
. They promised me all brand new furniture
. for my bedroom... (listening to friend)
. What do you mean you have to go help your mom?
. Can’t you tell her you’re busy?...
. Okay fine. We can keep texting. Bye.
. (hangs up and immediately texts out)
. “Miss you already.” (laughs) “L-O-L.”
(Not getting a reply, she decides to look around, afraid
to touch anything. Seeing the cabinet with the curtain,
she approaches to peek inside, then pauses to text.)
AVERY (texts) “I repeat - tackiest furniture ever!”
(Carrying her precious laptop, DIANA swoops in with
a comment, giving AVERY a scare.)
DIANA Quick! Where’s an outlet?!
AVERY You scared me! 2
DIANA My power is dying!
AVERY You mean you’re lifeline.
DIANA You should talk. You could never live without
. your cellphone.
(AVERY goes back to the cabinet and opens the curtain.)
DIANA What is THAT?
AVERY You mean, you don’t know?
DIANA Of course I KNOW. I can see that it is a –
. curtained-off – structurally built-in cabinet.
AVERY An ugly cabinet - and it’s gotta go.
. I just thought maybe I’d find some forgotten
. treasure inside.
DIANA Right, because THAT happens every day.
AVERY Well, I’m bored. (looks at cellphone and texts)
. “Getting really bored here, where is everyone?”
. (to DIANA) So what’s taking so long?
DIANA Mom and Dad are still arguing.
AVERY Of course! What is it this time?
DIANA The moving truck is going to be late.
. They’re supposed to take the old furniture out
. and move our new furniture in.
AVERY THAT’S a relief! I was beginning to think
. I’d be stuck with old, ugly furniture.
DIANA It’s ALL about you.
AVERY Of course it is! Whatever happens to ME
. is ALWAYS about me, because I am always –
. where ever I am – so - I’m ALWAYS involved!
DIANA (sighing) Sadly, that makes sense.
AVERY So where’s Matthew?
DIANA He found a basketball hoop.
AVERY Of course! (looks at laptop) You’re
. seriously not going to do homework right now?
DIANA If I can find an outlet near a table.
AVERY You are so lame! (texts) “So bored,
. actually watching my LAME sister.”
DIANA “Lame” defines a person who is not in the know.
. or is incapacitated in some way. Clearly,
. I am the quintessential being of a person
. who has it all going on. A few years from now,
. when I’m CEO or president of some corporate
. office, you’ll then be calling me
. “successful” or “brilliant” or - “the bomb!”
AVERY Whatever! (texts) “Sis now pouring on
. the extra lame-o.”
(Disgusted, DIANA continues to look around for an outlet,
while AVERY gets down to look into the cabinet.)
AVERY Weird. There’s no back to this thing.
. (texts) “Strange and ugly things here.”
DIANA I could just move the table.
(A basketball can be heard bouncing, closer and closer.)
DIANA Ah, I hear Matt coming. Now there won’t be
. any peace and quiet for sure.
AVERY Hey, let’s hide on him!
(AVERY motions to the cabinet. DIANA agrees, remembers
to take her laptop, then heads for the cabinet. As the
GIRLS begin to climb in, MATT comes in bouncing the ball,
just in time to see the GIRLS disappear. VOICES of their
parents are heard arguing off stage.)
D VOICE I told you, they are coming in an hour.
M VOICE Why didn’t you schedule this properly?
. It should’ve been done early this morning!
D VOICE I did! Dear!
(MATT rolls his eyes, grabs his basketball and runs
for the cabinet.)
MATT Hey! Wait for me!
(MATT crawls into the cabinet with the GIRLS squealing.)
M VOICE So what are we supposed to do for supper?
D VOICE We’ll order in, like we planned.
M VOICE But the truck will be here soon.
D VOICE This is ridiculous. As always!
(As MATT sadly closes the curtain behind him,
the voices of DAD and MOM stop.)
(LIGHTS brighten when MATT, DIANA and AVERY crawl out.)
MATT Do you think they’re finished arguing yet?
DIANA Maybe they went to get supper – you know –
. BEFORE the moving trucks get here.
AVERY They just better get sushi! (gets cellphone)
. I hope Marcy’s done already.
(AVERY sits down as MATT bounces his basketball and
DIANA puts her laptop onto the table. Distraught,
AVERY walks around looking for a spot to get coverage.)
DIANA MATT! Do you have to do that right now?
. I want to- Wait a minute, the outlets –
. they’re all two-prong.
(Curious, MATT stops dribbling.)
MATT What’s two-prong?
DIANA Dad said this house had been re-wired.
. “Everything is the latest and greatest.”
. Well, now what am I going to do? I have to
. research data on the economic crisis
. before I can even write my paper.
(MATT sits down, puts the basketball on the table
and begins to bounce his head on the ball.)
AVERY I don’t believe it! My cellphone isn’t getting
. any coverage now. I mean, at all.
DIANA Maybe if you went upstairs? 5
AVERY I HATE this house. Mom and Dad should have
. consulted with me first.
(AVERY is about to leave when HENRY, MEREDITH, SAMANTHA,
NANCY, HENRY JUNIOR ]carrying a briefcase], and LINDSAY
walk in. ALL stop short when they see each other.)
HENRY Excuse me?
AVERY Excuse me! You’re in our house.
HENRY Excuse me, this is our house.
DIANA I don’t understand. You don’t remember
. selling this house to our dad? Thomas Morgan?
MEREDITH We would never sell our house! We LOVE
. our house! (aside to HENRY) You didn’t go
. and sell our house, now, did you, Henry - dear?
HENRY (thinking maybe it’s a joke) Are you children
. trying to pull some kind of fast one on us?
MATT We’re just sitting here, waiting for
. our supper.
HENRY (to MEREDITH) Did you invite someone over
. for supper and maybe forgot about it?
MEREDITH Nooo. Children? Are these friends of yours?
(ALL FOUR 50s KIDS shake their heads. MEREDITH begins
to mutter nervously.)
MEREDITH Oh. Ah. (thinking) Hmm.
DIANA Look, you can speak with our parents.
. They should be coming any minute now
. with our pizza –
AVERY Except, it better be sushi!
JUNIOR What is - sushi?
AVERY WHAT IS SUSHI? What do you mean what is sushi?
JUNIOR I cannot simplify that question any further. 6
. Is sushi a new trend on the stock market?
(JUNIOR speaks while he puts his briefcase onto the table
to pull out notebook and pen, remaining poised to write.)
HENRY Henry Junior, I’ve told you before, you’re
. far too young to care about what goes on
. in the stock market!
DIANA Sushi is a Japanese dish, which contains
. cold rice and bits of vegetables and
. raw seafood – garnished with vinegar and
. always accompanied with wasabi. So, no!
. It’s not something found on the stock market.
. But the iPhone continues to do well.
(JUNIOR does not move, confused by the sushi definition,
until the last statement. Now JUNIOR writes it down
with keen interest, then looks up curiously.)
MATT You guys can figure this out.
. I’m going to shoot hoops.
MEREDITH Oh dear, you mustn’t play with guns. That’s
. far too dangerous! Someone could get hurt.
MATT It’s basketball? You know – hoops!
. What is wrong with you people?
HENRY You children do not have the best of manners,
. do you?
NANCY AND you have very strange clothes.
MEREDITH Nancy, that isn’t very gracious or ladylike
. at all. Perhaps they cannot afford nicer
AVERY Excuse me?! WE have strange clothes?!
. (puts up hand) Don’t even start. Don’t even–
. I’ll have you know, I only wear the latest
. trends. You’re the ones committing the
. fashion faux pas!
SAMANTHA Are you all from New York? 7
(As SAMANTHA folds her arms suspiciously, LINDSAY sees
this, then copies her. MATT comes right back in.)
MATT What’s with the car? It’s like, antique,
. or something.
JUNIOR If you are insinuating that our car is old,
. I’ll have you know my father just purchased it.
(MEREDITH begins to hum and fidget with her fingers.)
MATT Well, it looks old.
HENRY It is brand-spanking-new – young man -
. straight from the factory.
MATT Really? So what’s your other vehicle?
HENRY Most families around here only have one car.
MATT So no SUV?
HENRY Is that some sort of new curse word?!
MEREDITH Dear, why don’t we step aside and – and
. discuss things.
AVERY Oh! A yelling match is about to start.
SAMANTHA Our parents don’t yell.
(MODERN KIDS balk, then observe the parents talking.)
HENRY These kids are lying about something.
MEREDITH Do you think they were abandoned?
. What are we going to do with them?
. We certainly cannot send them to the streets.
HENRY I’ll contact the police. Meanwhile,
. we’ll just keep them safe and calm –
. like nothing is wrong – until they find
. the parents or figure out what has happened.
(MEREDITH nods her agreement. Meanwhile,
DIANA, AVERY and MATT look at each other
with confusion and possible concern.
DIANA gives AVERY and MATT a quick word of advice.)
DIANA (aside to AVERY and MATT)
. For now, until we figure things out, just
. go with the flow. Act - like nothing’s wrong.
(DIANA, AVERY and MATT quickly straighten up with smiles
while HENRY and MEREDITH approach them.)
HENRY Children! Ah, what are your names?
DIANA (carefully) I’m Diana. That’s Avery,
. and Matthew. What are yours?
(MEREDITH points out each child as she says their name.)
MEREDITH Well, this is Samantha, Nancy, Henry Junior
. and Lindsay.
HENRY We’re Mister and Misses
(Seeing DIANA, AVERY and MATT’s expressions,
MEREDITH smiles apologetically.)
MEREDITH We’re thinking of changing it to just
. Mr. and Mrs. Wolf. But for now,
. you can just call us Mr. and Mrs. W.
AVERY THANK - YOU!
(HENRY beckons MATT to step aside with him.)
HENRY Well, Matthew-
MATT Matt. I prefer Matt, it’s way cooler.
(HENRY pulls MATT aside hoping for a straight answer.)
HENRY Matt, do you – (quieter) do you –
. really have parents?
MATT (quietly) Of course we have parents.
. They should be back very soon now – with food.
MEREDITH Well, yes, I’m sure – that your parents –
. would never abandon such beautiful children.
HENRY That’s right. Why wouldn’t your parents
. be coming back for you. So for now, we will
. just make the best of things. Okay?
MATT So there WILL be supper?
MEREDITH It’s a little early for supper. But -
. (aside to HENRY) Maybe they haven’t had
. anything to eat in a while. (back to KIDS)
. So if you children are that hungry, I will
. go get supper ready, then.
NANCY (twirling her hair) Do you need help, Mom?
LINDSAY (copying) Do you need help, Mom?
(MODERN KIDS balk at this offer.)
MEREDITH Thank you for the offer, darlings, but please
. stay right here and keep our visitors company.
(MEREDITH quickly exits stage left. ALL stand around
awkwardly looking at each other.)
HENRY Maybe you kids have homework to do?
HENRY Then I would suggest that you get right to it.
DIANA I can’t, you don’t have three-prong outlets.
HENRY That is the strangest excuse I have ever heard.
. Now, get to your homework. (looking around)
. All of you! Ah- I have a phone call to make.
(50s KIDS dash off to get their books.)
(As HENRY exits to the kitchen area. MATT, AVERY
and DIANA quickly huddle to discuss their plans.)
MATT Neat? Ohhh, this is so messed up.
AVERY (to DIANA) What should we do?
DIANA Just keep pretending. Here, sit with me.
MATT But they’re calling the police on us.
DIANA That’s okay. We’ve done nothing wrong... 10
. I think. But regardless, hopefully
. Mom and Dad get here soon,
. and this will all get sorted out.
AVERY I’ve never wanted to see Mom and Dad so badly.
. Should we be afraid of these people?
DIANA They’re weird, but they don’t appear to be
. dangerous. Just don’t say or do anything
. that might upset them.
. (whispering) Here they come now.
(50s KIDS enter and sit down at the table with homework.
HENRY now enters with a newspaper and sits down to read,
glancing up at the kids every so often.)
MATT So why isn’t your dad at work?
SAMANTHA It’s Saturday.
LINDSAY It’s Saturday.
JUNIOR (studying laptop) What a strange briefcase.
DIANA Have you’ve never seen a laptop before?
JUNIOR Is it some sort of briefcase that turns into
. a little desk for your lap?
(DIANA becomes distracted as HENRY enters and sits down
to read a newspaper.)
DIANA You still get hardcopy?! We switched
. over to electronic news ages ago.
. (walks over to examine the front page)
. Don’t you care about the eco-system?
. Do you people at least recycle?
. (takes closer look at newspaper, reading...)
. “McDonalds – the NEW fast food concept
. gains popularity...”
. (looks up) McDonalds isn’t new.
. (sees date) Wait a minute!
(DIANA suddenly rips the newspaper from HENRY’S hands.)
HENRY I beg your pardon?
DIANA September 24th – 19 - 55 ? ! 1955?! 11
(MEREDITH rushes in to see what the commotion is.)
DIANA 1955?! 1955?! It can’t be, but
. it says 1955...
MEREDITH Oh, honey, dear, you must - calm yourself.
. Before – you hurt yourself.
DIANA How can I calm myself when it’s – 1955?!
. No wonder.
MATT Cool! You mean, we time-travelled?
AVERY Not cool! How are we going to get back?
MEREDITH Get back to where, dear?
DIANA Get back to 2012.
JUNIOR Time travel is a fictitious concept.
SAMANTHA (quietly comments to her siblings)
. Maybe they escaped from an insane asylum.
DIANA We are NOT insane. We – okay – I admit –
. it does SOUND a little insane.
MATT Look, we went into that cabinet over there,
. and when we came out, we were here.
DIANA So we just have to go back into the
. cabinet. That should take us back.
MATT Awesome! It’s been real, folks. See ya.
AVERY I’m so relieved. I haven’t been able
. to text for over an hour. I’m completely
. lost without my peeps.
(During conversation, MATT climbs in, then DIANA, then
AVERY. As they do, the 50s FAMILY stands to the side
to watch with great skepticism. They are all motionless
except for NANCY who twirls her hair around a finger.
LINDSAY notices, then copies her. After a few moments,
AVERY, DIANA and MATT climb back out and are exasperated
when they see the FAMILY still there – watching.)
AVERY It didn’t work!
DIANA Maybe it’s just a bad dream then?
(MATT pinches DIANA who winces big.)
(MEREDITH rushes over to scold MATT.)
MEREDITH No-no – no - no reason to do that, dear.
. Mustn’t ever pinch a girl.
HENRY (to MATT) Say you’re sorry, young man.
MATT What? But I was just –
HENRY Apologize to your sister.
DIANA He was just making sure I was awake.
HENRY Odd as that sounds, there is no excuse
. for such behavior. Now, apologize.
. We will have no violence in this house.
MATT (smirking) I’m sorry, Diana.
DIANA (mocking) I forgive you, Matthew.
HENRY Good. Now doesn’t that feel much better?
MEREDITH Perhaps we’ll all feel better after
. eating something. Supper is ready.
(MEREDITH hms as she turns around and leads the way
to exit stage left. 50s FAMILY all follows.
SAMANTHA notices that the MODERN KIDS are stumped.)
SAMANTHA Aren’t you coming?
AVERY You all eat together?
SAMANTHA Yes, in the kitchen, like a normal family.
(SAMANTHA leaves as MODERN KIDS go to follow.
As they are exiting, DIANA comments.)
DIANA There is nothing normal about this family.
MATT How are we ever going to get back? 13
AVERY I miss all my modern-comforts already!
. How can I go another day without –
. my hair-straightener! My complete wardrobe,
. all my shoes, makeup, iPad,
. my WI virtual workout program! (as exiting)
(LIGHTS dim as ALL exit stage left.)
(LIGHTS come back up as EVERYONE comes back in
from stage left, MATT first, patting his stomach.)
MATT That was like eating at Grandma’s.
. I’m stuffed.
AVERY I wanted sushi!
HENRY Thank you, my wonderful Meredith dear,
. for yet another wonderful meal.
(HENRY throws a kiss MEREDITH’S way. She catches
“the kiss” with a smile. DIANA and AVERY look at
each other and grimace.)
MEREDITH Thank you, everyone, for helping to clean up.
. (sings something and gets out some stitch work)
MATT So does she cook like that often?
MATT Weird. But awesome.
(MATT picks up the basketball and starts to bounce it.
MEREDITH begins to wring her hands with worry.)
MEREDITH Oh! No-no - no basketball in the house,
. please. Something could break-
. Someone could get hurt.
MATT But I’m really good at dribbling, see?
(MATT keeps on, unsure if MEREDITH really meant
what she just said. As MEREDITH mutters,
HENRY steps in, sitting up more and leans forward,
sincere in his lecture.)
HENRY Now, listen here, Matt, you need 14
. to respect those around you. Okay?
. A family should always strive together
. to live in harmony. If everyone tries,
. then everyone can enjoy.
(MATT takes out an electronic game and starts to play.
50s FAMILY becomes very fascinated by this until
MATT hits it a few times and shrugs.)
MATT Ahhh, batteries are dead.
AVERY My cellphone has games too. But, I won’t show
. you ‘cause my batteries are running low.
MATT (taking out batteries) So, do you have any
. double-A batteries kicking around? Or maybe
. a recharger?
HENRY You kids sure do have an imagination.
(JUNIOR goes to DIANA’S laptop and opens it up.)
JUNIOR Huh! Nifty. It sort of looks like
. a typewriter. Where do you put the paper in?
DIANA Careful with that. (quickly becomes teacher)
. And, you have to connect it to a printer.
. This is just the computer, screen and keyboard.
. See, you can plug it in, or once it’s
. recharged, you can run it off the battery.
. As you type, the letters appear over here.
. You can go back and edit, then you save it
. for when you want to print it out.
. Or you can send it somewhere by email.
MEREDITH Dare I ask what “email” is?
(AVERY pulls out her cellphone and opens it up to show.)
AVERY It’s like texting. You type a message,
. send it, then the person you sent it to –
. gets it. Then they send a message back to you.
JUNIOR Like a telegraph? Where are the wires?
DIANA It’s wireless.
AVERY That way you can keep talking with all 15
. your friends – all day if you want –
. no matter where you are. So you don’t
. even have to see them – but it’s like
. they’re right there with you.
MEREDITH Aw darling, do you only have imaginary friends?
NANCY Do you need a friend? It sounds like you
. need a friend.
AVERY I have friends. I have over 200 friends
. just on facebook.
NANCY Is that like a pen pal club?
AVERY Yes! It actually is.
DIANA Facebook is a popular free social networking
. website that allows registered users to create
. profiles, upload photos, videos, send messages-
NANCY (to AVERY) Well, I’ll still be your friend.
. If you want. I could fix your hair-
AVERY You’re not touching my hair!
. And if I had my tunes and headphones,
. I’d totally tune you out.
HENRY Oooo-kay! It’s nice to pretend that you can
. do all of that. There must be a very fancy
. toy store somewhere.
DIANA These are NOT toys.
MATT Well, except for this.
(MATT holds up his electronic game and NANCY reaches it.
MATT pulls it away.)
MATT Hey! Dude! (puts game back into pocket)
NANCY Are you calling me a farmer?
. (begins twirling her hair nervously)
. Do I LOOK like farmer?
LINDSAY (copying) Do I look like a farmer?
MATT You girls gotta chill.
JUNIOR It’s like you’re all from another planet, 16
. like that one science fiction movie that
. just came out.
MATT Oh, you’re into sci fi? I suppose you
. like Star Wars.
DIANA (to MATT) That movie only came out in the 70s.
MATT So where’s your DVD collection? Maybe
. we can watch a movie. Where’s your DVD?
. (looking around) Do you even have a TV?
SAMANTHA (growling) Of course we do! (pleading now)
. Mom, Dad, can we watch some television?
NANCY Please? “The Dodge Musical Hour”
. is on right now.
AVERY You have to ask permission?
NANCY The ladies on the show wear such glamorous
. evening gowns, and the men look so spiffy.
AVERY (laughing) Spiffy?
MEREDITH I don’t see why not, dear. We can certainly
. use a little break from this conversation.
(LINDSAY rushes over to the TV and turns it on.)
MATT That’s the TV? You don’t have a remote?
HENRY How far away do you want it?
(MATT looks at DIANA for some knowledge to be imparted,
but instead she shrugs.)
MATT How long does it take?
HENRY It has to warm up, like every television set.
. This one warms up pretty quickly, actually.
. Probably in... just a few more... seconds...
(HENRY can continue to improvise this like the
television is taking a long, long time to come on.)
HENRY (continues) Aaaannnnd - theeerre –there it is.
. (show comes on)
MATT Wow! 17
HENRY I know! Fast, isn’t it?
DIANA Ohhh, Lawrence Welk. Grandma always talked
. about this show.
JUNIOR Impossible, this is a brand new show.
MATT Your color is off.
DIANA Matt, most people only had black and white
. in the 50s and 60s.
MATT Oooh. Well, do you at least get a sports
SAMANTHA (eagerly) What’s that?
LINDSAY What’s that?
MATT ESPN - BTV – stations that only show sports,
. like football, baseball, basketball –
SAMANTHA I like basketball.
HENRY I don’t know what you’re saying. We only have
. 3 television stations.
AVERY As in channels? Only 3 channels? So –
. no shopping channel?
MEREDITH (looking at HENRY) Wow! These children!
. How much more can they make up?
MATT This is so boring. Someone wanna go
. shoot hoops. Ah, play some one on one?
. Play some basketball?
MEREDITH Oh, dear, you shouldn’t be playing basketball
. with boys. You might get hurt.
MATT It’s a noncontact sport.
(MEREDITH mutters “oh dear oh dear oh dear”...)
HENRY Junior, don’t you want to play basketball
. with Matt?
JUNIOR You know I don’t like basketball, Dad.
. Besides, I’m going to go read now.
(JUNIOR settles down with a big book.)
MATT So Samantha, how ‘bout it?
(SAMANTHA looks at MEREDITH with pleading eyes.)
MATT What’s the big deal?
NANCY It’s not very ladylike.
MATT Tons of girls play basketball.
AVERY They do have some very fashionable sportswear.
NANCY Fashionable sportswear?
LINDSAY Fashionable sportswear?
AVERY Well, they will someday.
(MEREDITH still mutters, so SAMANTHA looks to HENRY.)
HENRY (to SAMANTHA) Just be careful.
(SAMANTHA jumps with a little growl, while MATT gets
MATT You do know how to play, don’t you?
SAMANTHA (coolly) A little.
MATT Whatever. At least these will be easy wins.
. I LIKES to win!
SAMANTHA So do I.
(MATT backs out of the door to eye SAMANTHA.)
MATT No, I mean, I like to ALWAYS win.
SAMANTHA (growling stance) So do I!
(MATT and SAMANTHA exit. NANCY points at the TV.
NANCY So graceful. And see, isn’t that evening dress
. absolutely marvelous?
AVERY It’s okay. At least, it’s classic.
NANCY So classic.
LINDSAY Soooo classic.
(AVERY looks at LINDSAY and rolls her eyes. Bored and
hopeful, AVERY sneaks out her cellphone to look at it.)
NANCY Oh, did you get a letter from your imaginary
(AVERY tries to swallow her extreme frustration,
and slowly puts her cellphone back into her purse.)
AVERY I’m just trying to be nice here.
NANCY I’M trying to be nice.
LINDSAY I’m trying to be nice.
(AVERY puts her cellphone into her purse, exasperated,
then stares at LINSDAY who smiles shyly at her.)
MEREDITH Girls, please, try be nice!
AVERY (quietly) I am.
LINDSAY (quietly) I am.
AVERY (to LINDSAY) Why are you copying me?
NANCY Oh, she only copies the people she likes
. and looks up to.
AVERY But – so annoying.
HENRY Okay! (catches himself and continues calmly)
. Why don’t you girls all go outside
. for some fresh air. Outside – now.
NANCY But – I want to – watch - awww!
(NANCY and LINDSAY get up to leave. AVERY sees 20
HENRY’S serious nod to get going, so she reluctantly
joins the girls. DIANA gets up, but she looks over
at JUNIOR and approaches him instead.)
DIANA What are you studying?
JUNIOR Economic ramifications of hoarding versus
. over-spending in juxtaposition to
. government control.
DIANA So very pertinent! It’s a fine balance
. between over-legislation and deregulation.
. But accountability is obviously required
. or there would be complete anarchy.
JUNIOR Say, we are two peas in a pod,
. aren’t we?
DIANA Naw aw! (backs off, wide-eyed)
(NANCY rushes in with LINDSAY and AVERY following.
NANCY holds part of her dress out to show MEREDITH.)
NANCY My dress! My favorite daytime dress!
MEREDITH Honey, it’s not the end of the world!
. It’s just a bit of dirt.
NANCY But – my clothes. It could leave a stain.
HENRY They’re just clothes, Nancy.
(NANCY and AVERY both gasp. LINDSAY quickly adds in
AVERY If you want certain people to like you,
. you HAVE to be in fashion.
HENRY Now what sort of logic is that? Do you want
. people to like your clothes, or to like you?
AVERY Both. Clothes reflect who you are?
MEREDITH (in wonderment) So who are you?
AVERY I’m – a – person who – likes clothes.
JUNIOR (without looking up) So profound.
MEREDITH I would hope that all you girls would 21
. strive for something a little more
DIANA Like intelligence.
JUNIOR Well, there won’t be any girl as smart as I am.
DIANA What? Is that a challenge?
(SAMANTHA bursts through the door with the basketball.
MATT follows angrily behind.)
SAMANTHA (gloating song) I won a game!
(MATT grabs the basketball away from SAMANTHA,
DIANA (amused) So what’s your problem, Matt?
SAMANTHA I think he’s just angry that a girl beat him.
AVERY Psh! That’s happened before. He just can’t
. stand losing. Ever! It doesn’t matter
. which game, or who he’s playing.
HENRY Well, part of being a good sportsman
. is knowing how to lose graciously.
MATT Part of being a good sportsman is winning!
(SAMANTHA wonders why MATT would bother saying this.)
SAMANTHA Who in the world likes to lose?
(MEREDITH in her mutterings thinks of a diversion.)
MEREDITH I say, it’s time for everyone to start getting
. ready for bed. We all have church tomorrow
. morning. Bright and early.
AVERY Oh, we don’t go to church.
HENRY Well in this house, everyone will go to church.
MATT (surprised) You don’t have to work?
HENRY Sunday is a day of rest.
(MEREDITH begins to fret over the details.)
MEREDITH The only question remains – where will
. they all sleep? I’ll go upstairs and start
. organizing the rooms. Henry, I’ll need you
. to help me move some furniture.
HENRY I’m right behind you. Kids, why don’t you
. help your mother organize your rooms.
(MEREDITH and HENRY exit stage left, with JUNIOR, NANCY,
SAMANTHA and LINDSAY all following. Once they are gone,
DIANA, AVERY and MATT all turn to each other.)
DIANA We’ve got to get out of here.
MATT They are all driving me nuts.
AVERY My style is definitely being cramped.
DIANA Wow! It’s been a while since we’ve all
. been in agreement.
MATT So what’s the plan?
DIANA First, let’s see how much money we all have.
. If there’s enough, we could stay at a hotel,
. or something.
AVERY There’s no way we have that much.
DIANA This is the 1950s. Things didn’t cost
. that much back then.
(While AVERY looks through her purse, MATT pulls out
his wallet, and DIANA finds a five dollar bill in
a pocket. JUNIOR walks in at this point.)
DIANA I only have a five.
JUNIOR You can all come up now - you have FIVE
. dollars? Five whole dollars?
MATT Chill, man.
DIANA Sh. We don’t want your parents to know.
JUNIOR Know what? That you’re rich? Have you been
. robbing banks?
AVERY It’s only 5 dollars. Let’s see, I have – 40.
JUNIOR 40 dollars?!
DIANA Sh! Be quiet.
MATT I have... 165. But I was going to use this
. to buy new sneakers!
(DIANA collects the money to count.)
JUNIOR You can buy a good pair of sneakers for three
. dollars at the Five and Dime. If you don’t hold
. up banks, where do you get that kind of money?
AVERY Our parents give it to us.
JUNIOR What kind of chores do you do? I get 25 cents
. for mowing the lawn.
MATT Is that 25 cents for each blade of grass?
JUNIOR Seriously, I’d love to get a real job right now
. and make that kind of money! Dad says
. I’m far too young.
MATT I know some kids who work.
JUNIOR See! I need to start working and saving now
. so I can earn a million dollars before I die.
DIANA A million isn’t THAT much money.
JUNIOR What are talking about? So tell me –
. how do you get your money then?
AVERY Like I said - from our parents.
(SAMANTHA walks in and listens to the conversation.)
JUNIOR You mean like a Saturday’s allowance?
. So they spoil you.
AVERY We don’t get allowance. Whenever we
. want money, we just ask for it.
JUNIOR So you’re REALLY spoiled.
SAMANTHA Wait, so who does all the chores and work
. around your house?
MATT Our parents. 24
SAMANTHA You don’t help them out at all?
AVERY Why should we? It’s their house.
SAMANTHA But you live there too. And don’t your parents
. get really tired? I’d think, if they were
. really tired, they’d be cranky a lot.
AVERY I guess that would only add to their
DIANA Anyway, we have 210 dollars combined.
. That could last us a while.
JUNIOR To do what?
DIANA We can’t stay here. I know, I’d be mad
. if some strange kids wound up living with us.
AVERY Taking up our space, and using our things.
SAMANTHA But – my parents really want to help you.
JUNIOR Seriously, what else do you plan on doing?
. Going out and getting a job?
AVERY Ew! I don’t want to have to work.
DIANA Well, this would only last us a while if we
. were super careful. (looking at AVERY)
. And I mean, buying bargain basement fashions!
(AVERY balks at this idea.)
AVERY You’ve got to be kidding me!
JUNIOR (eyes the money) Ah, did that money come from
. some board game? It looks counterfeit.
DIANA (shows the bills to JUNIOR up close)
. How can you call these counterfeit?
JUNIOR For one thing, there’s a bit of color on them.
. And the dates are – 2002, and 2006, and...
SAMANTHA So, you really – you really are – from the –
JUNIOR Don’t even say it. There is no way! 25
. And these are fake. No one is going to
. accept these – at any establishment.
AVERY (grabbing the bills away) We’ll just see
. about that, won’t we.
DIANA (realizing) Ah – he’s right. Everyone will
. just think this is funny money.
MATT So we’re stuck here?
AVERY (searching her purse) Hey! Wait!
. (holds up a card) What about our credit cards?
. (to JUNIOR) Does this town have a bank machine?
AVERY Guess not.
DIANA Forget it. Looks like we’re really stuck here.
. And by here – I mean – 1955. Doesn’t really
. matter where we are, we’re a long way from
. Mom and Dad. And they are never coming.
(MODERN KIDS are hit heavy with this thought.)
AVERY At least we have each other.
MATT Yeah. At least we’re not alone.
(AVERY puts her hands on MATT and DIANA’S backs.)
SAMANTHA So you’re going to stay, right?
DIANA It’s not like we have a choice.
(MODERN KIDS nod, then follow SAMANTHA and JUNIOR out
stage left. LIGHTS DIM.)
(When LIGHTS come up, 50s FAMILY and MODERN KIDS
all enter from stage right, HENRY now with a suit jacket,
MATT without his bandana.)
MEREDITH Who’s going to help me get dinner ready?
DIANA I’ll help.
JUNIOR Me too.
HENRY Let me hang up my suit jacket first! 26
(MEREDITH blows HENRY a kiss. HENRY acts like the kiss
hits him in the cheek and he almost falls over.)
AVERY Yeah, I’m sure that never gets old.
(MEREDITH, DIANA, JUNIOR and then HENRY exit stage left.
MATT quickly finds and puts on his sweatband.)
NANCY At least we convinced Matt to take off
. his bandana for church.
AVERY Matt should totally get rid of the headband
. altogether. It’s just wrong.
NANCY I totally agree.
LINDSAY I totally agree.
MATT I only wear it so sweat doesn’t pour down
. into my eyes and blind me.
AVERY But why wear it when you’re NOT playing
. sports? Does it make you feel macho?
NANCY Does it make you fit in with the athletes?
MATT YOU only wear stuff to fit in with the
NANCY We can still be in style, AND be good friends.
AVERY Totally. We’re totally BFF’s.
LINDSAY We’re totally – (looks stumped)
AVERY BFF means “best friends forever.” Get it?
MEREDITH (entering and singing out) Dinner is ready!
(ALL exit stage left as the LIGHTS dim.)
(LIGHTS come up as ALL enter. MATT holds stomach again.
JUNIOR brings an encyclopedia to the table to study.)
MATT Thank you, Mrs. W. Another awesome meal.
. I wish you could teach my mom how to cook.
(MEREDITH speaks to HENRY to the side.)
MEREDITH Oh, it’s so heart wrenching. They still think
. they have parents.
HENRY We’ll just continue to be there for them,
. as long as they need us.
MEREDITH Yes, yes we will.
HENRY Say! It’s a lovely day for a walk. Wanna go?
MEREDITH I would love to.
HENRY Kids, your mother and I are going for a walk.
AVERY To where?
HENRY Just – for a walk.
AVERY Huh! Well, have fun with that. But, I guess
. you really WILL have fun with that.
MEREDITH (to HENRY) I just can’t help but wonder what
. these poor children have all gone through.
(MEREDITH and HENRY exit stage right.)
MATT (to SAMANTHA) I challenge you to a game.
SAMANTAH Challenge accepted!
MATT The game is on then!
(SAMANTHA growls and follows MATT out stage right.
AVERY looks at NANCY and LINDSAY.)
NANCY What are we going to do?
AVERY Why don’t we – dress up Lindsay? Since
. she wants to be a fashionista so badly.
NANCY Sounds like a blast!
LINDSAY (unsure) Sounds like a blast.
AVERY Let’s go, Lindsay.
(NANCY, AVERY and LINDSAY exit stage left.
DIANA sits down at the table and stares at JUNIOR
to get his attention.)
DIANA I see your little sister is slowly
. falling into the stylized trappings
. of the world, which will only reinforce
. a social deprivation of inner development
. as the fashion metamorphosis takes hold.
JUNIOR “Metamorphosis” is an abrupt change to one’s
. biological nature, rarely seen in humans.
. It would require a much greater power than
. oneself to incorporate a brand new persona.
DIANA Unless hypnotized. Although, that’s more
. the power of suggestion and only successful
. if the subject is willing.
JUNIOR But did you know that there’s a systematical
. process where groups or individuals can use
. unethically manipulative methods of persuasion.
DIANA Brainwashing? Yes! Similar to the catatonic
. state of mind, when an emotional syndrome
. develops after metabolic disturbances.
JUNIOR Based on the studies of Karl Ludwig Kahlbaum.
DIANA What is your source of information?
JUNIOR What else? Newspapers and books.
. (motions to the encyclopedia in his hands)
. And we have a complete set of encyclopedias.
DIANA Is that like the Wikipedia?
DIANA Found on the internet accessed through-What was
. I thinking! Well, in the future, most everyone
. will have personal computers like this.
JUNIOR Well, right now, we access information
. from books, like this.
DIANA But did you know that man will one day
. walk on the moon?
JUNIOR (thinking) Interesting. Because I know that
. reaction engines discharge a fast moving jet
. fluid to generate thrust by jet propulsion.
DIANA (silence, then resignedly) I did not know that.
. (trying to think of another challenge)
. Do you know anything about subterranean energy
. and nutrient fluxes?
JUNIOR (sighing regretfully) No.
DIANA Neither do I.
JUNIOR So - we can both admit that we don’t –
. know - everything?
DIANA Yes. But can we determine who knows the most?
JUNIOR I KNOW that would be very difficult to
. determine with complete accuracy.
DIANA I concur. I believe that we are both smart.
JUNIOR So we don’t HAVE to spend all our time
. proving it?
DIANA Exactly. We could spend some of the time
. doing – I don’t know – normal things –
. that other people do?...
JUNIOR (finally) I will have to look into that.
(DIANA and JUNIOR both scramble to look into this -
both reaching for the encyclopedia.)
DIANA (has deep realization) We ARE the same.
. (after staring at each other for a while)
. It’s like looking in a mirror.
. (keep staring, then both freak out)
. (gasping) Ew!
(DIANA stands up and waves her hands back and forth,
like trying to shake something off. As she begins
to calm down, MEREDITH and HENRY enter.)
HENRY We’re back. Did you miss us?
MEREDITH Oh, Henry, the walk was short - but sweet.
HENRY (to JUNIOR) Oh, we passed by the Wilsons.
. Bobby mentioned wanting to play chess.
JUNIOR I’ll talk to him at school tomorrow.
(MEREDITH and HENRY settle down on the sofa as SAMANTHA
and MATT come in, panting.)
SAMANTHA Those were good games.
MATT Yeah – you’re definitely improving.
. You know, you are really good.
SAMANTHA You mean, for a girl?
MATT No, I mean, you’re really good.
MEREDITH It’s just so unladylike. (then mutters)
SAMANTHA Mom, I like basketball, okay?
MATT (shrugging) I don’t know. There are lots
. of female athletes who are still – lady–like.
(NANCY, AVERY and LINDSAY enter from stage left.
LINDSAY looks like a little clone of Nancy, which
includes her wearing a scarf.)
NANCY What do you think?
MEREDITH My, aren’t you all dolled up and snazzy.
HENRY But, she’s a little young to be dressing
. like that, don’t you think?
NANCY It’s just dress up.
LINDSAY It’s just dress up.
AVERY But you know, if you just stopped trying
. to copy people and be yourself –
DIANA Ha! Like you?
MEREDITH Well, I completely agree that you should
. always try to be yourself.
DIANA As Dr. Phil would say about the 31
. copy-catting, “How’s that working for you?”
(MEREDITH rushes over to a bewildered DIANA.)
MEREDITH Oh! Who in the world is Dr. Phil? Are you
. seeing a doctor for something? Are you
. all right? Can I do anything for you?
DIANA (laughing) No, I’m fine. Dr. Phil – is –
. is just a – famous – doctor – who says stuff.
JUNIOR So he’s written books?
DIANA (sighs, mutters and plays with her fingers)
. Yes-yes, but you won’t find them here.
HENRY (to DIANA, chuckling) She’s starting to sound
. just like you, dear.
DIANA Anyway, we were in the process of
. encouraging Lindsay to be herself.
MEREDITH Of course. ESPECIALLY around family!
. We love YOU, darling – just for who you are.
AVERY Yeah, I agree. If some people don’t like you
. for who you are, there’ll be people who LOVE
. you for who you are. So why not be yourself?
LINDSAY Why NOT be yourself? I mean I SHOULD be myself!
. The skirt and shirt are okay, but this scarf
. has to go. It’s so totally not me!
. (removes the scarf)
AVERY See? You are awesome! Just the way you are.
. (looking around) And I actually kind of,
. really like all of you, you know?
. You’ve all taught us so much.
JUNIOR (very thoughtfully) You have all taught us
. a few things, too.
(ALL look around and nod in agreement.)
DIANA You’re a very nice family.
MATT (very sadly) Yeah, this is great.
HENRY Hey, what’s with the gloomy faces?
AVERY I really miss home. It’s hard to believe that
. the only way to get home has been closed off.
(DIANA sadly nods and looks at the cabinet. A thought
DIANA Wait a minute. When we tried going back into
. the cabinet, we didn’t CLOSE the curtains.
MATT You’re right! The first time,
. I got in last and I closed the curtains.
DIANA You want to give that a try?
AVERY It couldn’t hurt.
(MODERN KIDS stop and look at the family.)
DIANA Well, if this really works, I have to say,
. I will really miss you all.
AVERY (to NANCY) I finally found a REAL bff –
. and now – I’ll probably never see you again.
MATT (to SAMANTHA) Good luck with your basketball.
. Don’t ever give up!
SAMANTHA I won’t.
HENRY You’re all really great kids. With really –
. swell imaginations.
MEREDITH Oh, and I – just – well I think – that I –
. I’m just going to cry. I love you kids
. so much. But - go – do – whatever it is
. that you have to. Maybe one day, you do not
. have to live in such a pretend world.
(They ALL hug each other, then the MODERN kids start
for the cabinet. LINDSAY sees AVERY’S purse.)
LINDSAY Oh! Don’t forget your purse! And –
. this gizmo-cellphone-thing!
(LINDSAY brings the purse and cellphone over to AVERY.)
AVERY Oh, right. I pretty much forgot all about
. that stuff.
(As DIANA starts to follow AVERY into the cabinet, 33
JUNIOR looks away and sees the laptop.)
JUNIOR Wait – if you’re really going anywhere –
. you might need – this!
(JUNIOR grabs the laptop and hands it to DIANA.)
DIANA It’s called a laptop.
JUNIOR I know. I still don’t really understand
. what it is yet.
DIANA Someday you will.
(SAMANTHA hands MATT the basketball.)
SAMANTHA Here you go, Hound Dog.
MATT Thanks, Tiger.
(SAMANTHA growls playfully. AVERY, DIANA, then MATT
climb into the cabinet and MATT closes the drapes.
The 50s FAMILY stands by, waiting, just like before.
As NANCY twirls her hair, LINDSAY is about to copy,
but then does something different. Finally HENRY
gets down to peek behind the curtain and gets up slowly.)
HENRY They’re – actually gone.
MEREDITH Oh, I’m so sad and happy all at the same time.
SAMANTHA See! They weren’t crazy after all.
JUNIOR NOBODY would believe this.
HENRY And that is why we will never speak of this,
. to anyone.
MEREDITH And to think I wanted you take out this
. ugly cabinet.
(FAMILY stands silently, thinking. Finally...)
HENRY Well, come on everyone, let’s help your mother
. make some supper.
(50s FAMILY, already sighing with fond memories,
exit stage left. HENRY pats MEREDITH on the back
tenderly. LIGHTS dim slightly.)
(Eventually MATT, DIANA and AVERY crawl out and
slowly look around quietly, listening.)
AVERY I think it worked.
(MATT, DIANA and AVERY suddenly group hug with great
excitement, then pull away with an awkward
“we’ve never done that before.”)
MATT Oh! What if we went to a different year?
(They listen again, then hear MOM and DAD’S VOICES
outside, still arguing.)
M VOICE You’re finally back?!
(Relieved, KIDS go into a jubilant group hug again.)
D VOICE You thought I would abandon you?
M VOICE We’re still waiting for that moving truck!
. And you got Chinese?!
(KIDS step out of the hug listening to PARENTS.)
D VOICE THAT was the closest takeout place.
M VOICE Avery is NOT going to be happy.
(MATT and DIANA both look at AVERY, expecting a
AVERY (matter-of-factly) I’m fine with it.
MATT Come on, let’s go help Mom and Dad.
(DIANA, AVERY and MATT put their precious items down
and rush excitedly to exit right.)