How to tell a story

How to tell a story

Friday, September 27, 2013

A favorite early short play (1975)

The Stiff
a farce in one act
by Charles Deemer

THE CAST (4M, 2W):
President John Jones, the leader of the people
Mrs. Eunice Jones, his wife
Chi Chi, his mistress
Neck, the mortician
Charles, his assistant
Dr. Alberts, the doctor

Any time

A back room in the Public Hall in a foreign country.

Upstage center is a table on which is a casket. A window, upstage left, looks out upon the square. Entrance into the room is stage right. Modest furnishings: this is the room in which the corpses of public figures are kept before being put on display to the people.

(AT RISE: DR. ALBERTS has his back to the audience, inspecting a body in the casket. Waiting expectantly are MRS. JONES, NECK and CHARLES. Mrs. Jones, who is in mourning, is dressed in black. She holds a black lace handkerchief over her sobs. The doctor turns and moves away from the casket.)

NECK: Well, doctor?
DR. ALBERTS: Your suspicions are correct. I find the organ to be tumescent.

(Mrs. Jones breaks into tears.) the rest at.....