Contention at the Convention by Sheila Steele
Characteristics of the Four Political Parties - CANDIDATES &SUPPORTERS:
RICH AND FAMOUS PARTY: .
*MARGERINE MONGO - candidate: . Blonde, slinky type with prominent
mole near her mouth (a Marilyn Monroe type), wearing furs, jewelry;
and clothing to emphasize on her trademark of BRIGHT RED. Needs to be
in 40's age range.
Platform : Red shoes for everyone, even the poor. She is raising
funds to give free red shoes to street people, and to send red shoes
to Africa and the Middle East as a contribution to foreign relations.
Her personal mantra: "OH PEACHY!"
House Cast/ Supporters can come dressed: Men wear white shirts &red
ties; ladies red shawls &dripping with jewels, plus everyone in '
red corporate sneakers' (painted with markers or ??). Party
placards to be jeweled and sparkly. Those not purchasing tickets
ahead may be given sparkly red headbands, or placards.
Identifying song lyric: -sung by her supporters
"Money makes the world go 'round."
BUCKY- Margerine's manager: A heavyset (preferable a John Candy
type) young man (early 20s).. He wears a towel around his neck and he
has Margerine do stretches and jumping jacks when there are breaks,
and he tries to join in. He fauns all over her, following her with a
brush and powder puff to keep her looking her very best. He tries
hard to be appreciated. Bucky got hired by Margerine on the advice of
Dr. Mortimer. Why you might ask?-you'll see .
*FLEUR de LEASE - candidate identified by her green hair, wearing long
flowered skirt, beads, sandals (Hippie-style). She disagrees with all
candidates on all issues, but not in a loud or angry way—she always
takes a deep breath before speaking. She is especially offended by
Ritter's attack on environmentalists with green hair. She also has
a mysterious connection to Bucky.
Platform: Everyone to grow Veggies, walk everywhere, and not use
polluting vehicles. Particularly adamant about saving the snails and
Personal Mantra: humming "ohmm-mmmm"
House Cast/Supporters dress like Hippies with jeans &sandals, maybe
green sprayed hair; peace sign or tie-died T-shirts headbands; face
paint peace sign or flowers; carrying flowers or celery. Latecomers
get peace-sign headbands or placards to hold.
Identifying lyrics: "Green grass grows all round, all around
Green grass grows all around"
ROBINETTE: Fleur's manager.. She wants Fleur to be more hard-nosed
and vocal, so is always giving a "sock it to em' pep talk, dancing
around Fleur and slapping her on the back like a boxer's
coach-kind of a masculine she-male. Robinette carries Perrier
water for Fleur at all times- foisting it in front of her. Robinette
is suspicious of everyone.
THE RETROACTIVE PARTY:
*WILLIE BYGONE a retired cowboy who alternates usage of 'No
Doze' pills and jellybeans. He's in a wheelchair (which will be
explained 'why' during the play) wears cowboy hat and vest; plays
with a squirt gun and passes out jelly beans to everyone. He is fond
of accusing everything of being a 'commie plot'.
Platform: halt progress; return to the good Old West days and style
of living. No motorized vehicles!
Personal Mantra: ""It's a commie Plot!" and/or "Just say
NO to technological progress"
House Cast/Supporters: come dressed as cowboy/girls. Latecomers get
jelly-bean headbands/ squirt guns or placards.
Identifying sign: tune singing "Home, home on the range" and an
occasional 'snore' sound.
MOMMY: Willie's wife and manager.. A mild-mannered gray-haired
character who is always reminding Willie to take his pills. She
carries a bag of 'NO DOZE" pills and is very doting on her
husband. She tells him to just say NO to anything new and writes his
speeches for him. She wears rubber gloves and an obvious hairnet. She
pushes the wheelchair. Mommy is barely able to disguise her dislike
for Fleur &Margerine. Distrusts Dr. Post, feeling he is incompetent
and vain, and that she can take better care of Willie.
*RUDOLPH RITTER, whose military stance and black outfit easily
identifies him. Bulldog armband. Should have slick-down hair and a
'twiddle-able' moustache. He fancies himself as the dictator of
Terra 12, and thinks he has a solution to the population problem with
his platform. He used to run a Bulldog Youth group baseball team, and
sees this early training as positive brainwashing.
Platform: Military training for everyone, and to quarantine
Personal Mantra: "We will, we will, stomp you" as in the song by
Queen. "We will Rock you"
House Cast/ Supporters of BULLDOGMATIC party wear fatigues, boots,
black or dark blue armbands with a bulldog insignia. They could have
tiny plastic bats with
"Best Hitter Ritter for President"
Identifying sign: Stamp foot 2x (count 1,2) clap (3), then
salute-clicking heels on the salute (4).
GOGGLES: Ritter's manager/bodyguard.
He has squinty eyes and wears goggles (swim goggles). He is extremely
stiff-lipped and defensive; dedicated to the military cause. High
boots a must, an optional horsewhip, and listening device (earphones
Note: candidate leaders do the identifying sign and audience
supporters echo it—done whenever leader enters room or decides to
CAMPAIGN MANAGERS WEAR BADGES saying: "Campaign manager
for:_______________" and the party affiliation below that.
optional:They mingle in the crowd prior to the play starting and
during the intermission/dance/refreshment breaks with campaign fund
buckets to "collect campaign funds" but this opportunity will be
for the organization hosting the party to raise the charitable
donations they need (announced in the invitation that this would be
done). It also gets the audience involved in supporting their
candidate as fun/serious participation!
ALSO, THE MANAGERS—SUSPECTS AS WELL—WILL DEMONSTRATE THEIR
'ILLWILL' AGAINST THE OPPOSING CANDIDATES, BEING SUPER PROTECTIVE
OF THEIR OWN.
ROBERTO BARKERO: Master of Ceremonies
suave, smooth-talker, wears dark clothes, has dark hair. (prefer
Spanish accent) Bow-tie a must; plus hand-held mike. His vanity
only rivals that of Dr. Post
DEE PRESSST: Journalist (accentuate the presssssst)
Hat with "PRESS" tag dangling from it. This character needs to
be somewhat passive/aggressive, moody but well-spoken, as she will
have to take charge during the question period. Carries iphone/ or
She seeks a private conversation with Otto. Watch for a relationship
between Otto and Dee.
OTTO FOCUS: VIDEO/Cameraman
this character could be a real videoman, taping the event, while
also being part of the event. Note: his alcoholic condition. He is
found to share a vodka with Goggles &Ritter.
Dr. MORTIMER POST
Mature in age, cocky, arrogant, more interested in his looks than his
patients—so he is priming for the camera a lot. It will be
discovered that he and Margerine Mongo are covering up a SECRET about
Police Inspector GOLOSHES: stereotypic (Columbo or Sherlock) with
inspector hat, magnifying glass and handlebar mustache. Scottish
accent preferred. Good public speaking, repartee and questioning
technique. There are no lines to memorize other than reading the
ACCUSATIONS and ad-libbing. He will be sitting in the audience,
during the show, seen to be taking notes.
Security Guards/Plainsclothesmen (at least two)
all wearing dark glasses &raincoats
Mongo's dancers &Fleur's flower children (for simple
embellishment to candidate presentations)
HOUSE CAST OF 12: 3 for each party (preferred, usually cast members
note: The hand-out program should have similar character descriptions
for audience to refer to.
Contention at the Convention stageplay opening scene, Act I
ACT I : SPEAKING ON THE ISSUES
MC (Roberto Barkero) : (TV cameraman zooms in) Buenos Noches (or
Tarde if afternoon matinee) Good evening folks. I'm Roberto
Barkero, your host.(roll the 'r' in Roberto)
Aqui estamos—-Here we are at the Milti-party National Convention
to pick your leader who will be the next president of TERRA
*Managers are at the table with House Cast where audience supporters
sit, rousing them: shouting their candidate's name &security guards
, looking annoyed will motion with arms up for quiet)
MC: "Let's meet the candidates now, and have them address
important issues of TAXES, EDUCATION, TRANSPORTATION
and..(option: insert a silly issue)
(Note: after each campaign manager enters with candidate, they go to
their table and lead the supporters in actions mentioned below)
MC: "We'll introduce the candidates now, beginning with the
Greenik party representative: FLEUR de LEASE!" ( she gives the
(Robinette motions for audience supporters to do a loud 'OM and
sing: "Green Grass grows all around" option:. and Robinette
as Campaign manager throws flowers in Fleur's path-or can have
Flower Children do this)
MC: "Now enters MARGERINE MONGO of the Rich &Famous Party!"
(she says, "Oh, Peachy!" and blows exaggerated kisses. Her
supporters stand and send back exaggerated kisses to her. (optional:
Campaign manager throws fake dollar bills to audience and supporters
roll red carpet her pathway to the stage area)
MC: "Here comes WILLIE BYGONE from the Retroactive Party "
(supporters shake cans of jellybeans (optional: and make a
'snore' sound,) and sing "Home, Home on the Range"
Campaign manager "Mommy" wheels him out in wheelchair, as he looks
like he just woke up, shouting "It's a commie Plot!"
Mommy also encourages supporters to sing Home Home on the range
MC: "Finishing our line-up is RUDOLPH RITTER, leader of the
BULLDOGMATIC Party. (he enters with a salute, clicking heels and
goose-steps in, carrying a plastic bat (hitter)?
Goggles follows, with motioning supporters to sing: "We will, we
will stomp you," and do: stamp, stamp clap 3x and salute him
"And now Journalist, Ms. Dee PRESST (roll 'r' again) will
address the candidates on the issues."
(Journalist now takes over, throwing the issues to each candidate)
DEE: Ms. Lease, on the issue of education, please.
FLEUR: Om-mmmmmmmmmmmm (supporters, echo) Absolutely free education
for everyone until the age of 30. How paid for you may ask? We all
trade labour! The professors teach, and we recycle their garbage or
whatever skills we can trade-off.
(cheers from her supporters)
DEE: And you, Mr. Ritter? How do you stand on education?
RUDOLPH: (his stamp stamp clap salute is echoed by supporters.)
'Vell.Military Academy for everyvun! Absolute discipline with
itchy wool underwear! Und. revive the Bulldog Baseball Youth Group
as part of the training."
DEE: your turn Mr. Bygone. Mr. Bygone YO! Mr. Bygone?! (he is
dozing, and campaign manager gives him a NO DOZE pill during this
beckoning, and whispers the question being asked)
WILLIE: oh All I know is that too much structured education is a
commie plot , brainwashing must stop! Jellybeans, anyone?? (
optional: supporters in audience shake their jellybean cans- to be
provided on their tables)
DEE: HummAnd now, you, Ms. MONGO. Your views on education?
MARGERINE: My party doesn't think formal education is that
important. Just have a good agent.(supporters say "I,2,3"Oh
Peachy!" and sing "Money makes the world go round" ) Then,
Dearies. Shouldn't that be MONGO MAKES THE WORLD GO ROUND??? (so
audience repeats what she says)
Actions to observe: MC: (states the action, and actors respond)
HERE GOOGLES WHISPERS TO RUDOLPH, AND IT'S NOTICED THAT
ROBINETTE SNEERS AT THEM BOTH.
MARGERINE JUST COOS (like Marilyn Monroe would) AT THE AUDIENCE.
AND MOMMY MAKES OBVIOUS GESTURE GIVING WILLIE A PILL, WILLIE IS
LIT UP WITH HIS PILL TAKING EFFECT, BEING UP ONE MINUTE, THEN DOZY THE
DEE: (now delving into a slight depression) . Err mind if I
have whatever it is you're taking? I need a little 'zip'.
.. (Mommy, somewhat reluctant, but does give Dee a No Doze pill)
Well, now Mr. Bygone, you get first shot at this next question, as you
really look alive and well now! What about the transportation issue?
WILLIE: Did you say 'first shot?' (bangs his pretend gun &
excited and lively due to pill really taking effect) Yes, yes, very
important, very important. No motorized vehicles ! Horses used to be
good enough, when I was cowboy. Yes! We could even have stagecoaches
again that reminds me of a movie I was in once.back in '85, or
was that '62?? (his manager wife MOMMY giggles embarrassingly and
says, "That's nice, dear")
DEE: Fleur de LEASE, your view on transportation?
FLEUR: A good pair of walking boots should be sufficient. Just allow
enough time in the morning to get in your meditation, yoga and
affirmations before you have to go anywhere. As for major distances,
like across oceans, we'll just have to stay home and quit wasting
fuel on luxury cruises and flights (she gets anxiously engaged and
sends a darted look at MONGO.) I say, stay home, eat Veggies!!.
(supporters repeat: "Stay home, eat veggies".
MARGERINE: Am I next? I'd like to address that FLEUR de
LEASEWhat's wrong with limousine service and cruises? Now
wouldn't that be peachy? (audience supporters echo "PEACHY !")
Walking is so difficult in red heels, dearie. They're our party
trademark for the ladies, and the men's red corporate sneakers are
so expensive and posh, they wouldn't do for long-distance
DEE: Ok. Settle down Thank you both. Now from you Mr. Ritter?
RUDOLPH RITTER: Ve vill have no improvement as long as some
resources are in ze hands of weak nations and incompetent leaders. We
must take over zese resources and used them to expand our armada of
tanks, ships, planes, motorcycles, skateboards.and maybe even a
cruise ship for Ms. Mongo. (he bows and twiddles his moustache at
ACTION: MC: ( option of preludes by stating the obvious, reading
all, then actors do/mime the action) as follows
APPROPRIATE INTERPLAY WITH MANAGERS AND CANDIDATES WITH TV
CAMERMAN BEGINNING TO BE A NUISANCE—-
ANNOYING MM'S MANAGER, ESPECIALLY.
FLEUR'S MANAGER, ROBINETTE, IS TELLING HER TO BE MORE VOCAL AND
RITTER CONTINUES TO FLIRT WITH MONGO
MC: Disculpe, por favor—Excuse me, folks, we need to get back to
DEE. Yes, thank you Roberto .Mr. Ritter the issue of TAXES?
RUDOLPH: My people must sacrifice toward the goal of a perfect state.
We must raise more military industrial complex funds, we must expand
our boundaries for our population! And, people with GREEN HAIR should
be quarantined or.even deported because they do not support a
(supporters, stamp, stamp, clap : We will , we will stomp you)
FLEUR: Well, Mr. Rudolph the Red Nosed Ritter.whatever! You've
got my green hair on end. Taxes for expansion of military? Hm
that's anti-peace. We need more taxes for the care of our
environment. You like to breathe clean air, and eat good food, surely
Mr. Ritter??? And as for you and your goggle-faced, tight-lipped
lapdog. Do you ever eat VEGGIES????
ACTION: MC: OH-OH, here we go again..!
RUDOLPLH AND GOGGLES BOTH ATTEMPT TO ATTACK FLEUR AND ROBINETTE,
WHO USE WATER SPRAY AND THROW CELERY AT THEM ,
WHILE RUDOLPH &GOOGLES USE THEIR PLASTIC BATS TO DEFRAY THE
WATER SPRAY REACHES WILLIE WHO PERKS UP AGAIN.
WILLIE: (reacting to the 'wake up by water spray) What? What?
It's a commie plot, I tell you. Just say NO. Hey, where are my
MARGERINE: What evah is going on? I think we are talking about
taxes, you senile lone ranger. (Mommy &Willie react, offended)
Anyway, it's time for ME to express my opinion, and I think it's
No more taxes on luxuries! We need to pamper ourselves for awhile.
I'm even willing to have a concert to raise money for the poor
people who don't have red shoes, just like mine. There! Luxuries
for everyone. Tax Free Ok, hit it kids
(3 kids enter singing "Money makes the World go round", world go
round, world go round..but saying MONGO instead of money)
optional: A CURRENT POLITICAL ISSUE COULD BE ADDED HERE FOR EACH
CANDIDATE TO RESPOND TO..
Then, the play goes into Act II where the secrets and intrigue
creates quite a contention at the convention!