.         all rights belong to Tanis Harms, © 2013
.            refer to

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.
STYLE:       drama/comedy/fantasy
TOPIC:       family values, finding a balance in life
SCRIPTURE:   1 Cor.1:30, 15:57, Col.3:14, 1 Peter 3:3,

.            $20.00 USD to receive a DIRECTOR’S PACKAGE
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.
.                                                       3
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.)
.                                                       4
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.

AVERY     Awkwaaarrrd!

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.)

JUNIOR    iPhoooonnne?

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?

(MATT exits.)

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
.         clothes.

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.)
.                                                       8
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
.         Wolfeschlegelsteinhausenbergerdorf.

(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.


(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?
.                                                      9
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?

AVERY     No.

DIANA     Yes!

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.)

HENRY     Neat!  

(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     Suuurrrre.

(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

HENRY     Yes.

(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.)
.                                                      12
AVERY     It didn’t work!

DIANA     Maybe it’s just a bad dream then?

(MATT pinches DIANA who winces big.)

DIANA     Ow!

(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?

SAMANTHA  Everyday!

LINDSAY   Everyday!

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      Fine.

(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
.         station?

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?
.                                                      18
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
his basketball.)

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!


(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?
.                                                      19
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
.         friends?

(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     Interesting.

LINDSAY   Interesting.

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
her gasp.)

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
.         fulfilling.

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,
who growls.)

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.)
.                                                      22
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.
.                                                      23
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
.         stress-level.

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...
.         Nnnoooohhhhh...

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?

JUNIOR    ...DAD!!!

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.

NANCY     Ew!


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
.         fashionistas!

AVERY     Maybe.

LINDSAY   Maybe.

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.)
.                                                      27
(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!
.                                                      28
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?

JUNIOR    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.
.                                                      29
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?
.                                                      30
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?
.                                                      32
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
strikes her.)

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.)
.                                                      34
(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.)