Sweet Justice @ Sugar High by Greg Alan Minster

This Play is the copyright of the Author and must NOT be Performed without the Author's PRIOR consent


Scene 1

A ‘directors’ stool sits toward the back, center of the stage. Students AMELIA, SANDRA, ARLISS, and CARL are onstage. They wait for the school play director, MISS FIELDS, to arrive. MISS FIELDS will inform the group which play they will be performing for the next school play. All four students hold cell phones.

AMELIA: Fellow actors! Last chance! We speak now, or forever hold our peace!

ARLISS: The choice? To be, or not to have been!

SANDRA: Time waits for no one.

CARL: Only one life to live...

SANDRA: Fear not... Fear not, but yawn.


ARLISS: For Miss Fields will arrive soon, demand our attention...

SANDRA: Before proclaiming... ‘You’re seniors. Your final performance. Step up! Frost the cake of your Sugar High School drama careers’!

CARL: Miss Fields will declare her chosen play--judiciously selected from five or six choices.

AMELIA: Plays that cycle over and over again.

SANDRA: Mushy plays. Repeated at every high school, in every repetitive city, in every repetitious state.

AMELIA: Over and over, year after year...


CARL: (yawning) Whatever her choice, we’ll already know the story.

SANDRA: (yawning) Our audiences will already know the story.

ARLISS: Repeating lines with us, applauding the tiresome ending the minute they see the play posters hitting our parents’ front lawns.

SANDRA: We’ll recognize the worn out script copies. Each with erased names...

AMELIA: Our own names in smeared pencil lead...

CARL: Sprinkled with reddish erasure crumbs...

ARLISS: Scraped, worn, paper...

SANDRA: Reminding us...

SANDRA, AMELIA, CARL, ARLISS: That we’d done that play before! Yawn!

CARL: The list.

SANDRA: High School Musical...

ARLISS: The Wiz...

AMELIA: Grease...

CARL: Alice in Wonderland...

AMELIA: Alice? I still have my white rabbit costume.

ARLISS: The Wiz? My flying monkey soars again.

ARLISS crouches down, flaps his arms, and hops around.

ARLISS: I terrified the little kids.

CARL: Terrified? They giggled.

SANDRA: Arliss, you’ve always been a straw man. Be the Scarecrow this time.

ARLISS: Sandra, may a flying house land on your wicked witch hat.

CARL: My Tin Man returns.

AMELIA: Carl, find your heart this time.

SANDRA: Our characters will be compared to our previous performances.

CARL: High School Musical? They’ll say, ‘Carl still dances like a fumbled football.’

AMELIA: Alice? Why ‘Amelia’s become less rabbity.’

SANDRA: Laughter before punchlines. Handkerchiefs jerked out--long before tears are due.

AMELIA: We’re sunk by sameness!

CARL: Doomed by dullness!

ARLISS: Ruined by redundancy!

AMELIA: Mauled by monotony!

SANDRA: Frost our cake?

CARL: ...with oatmeal

AMELIA: Hey, a spooky story popped up on my smart phone this morning.

SANDRA: Spooky?

AMELIA: That years ago horrible double murder.

CARL: I seem to remember...

AMELIA: At the Schmidt mansion, when we were little kids.

ARLISS: Our town cannot let go of it.

CARL: It shocked sweet, rosy, Sugarton to its crystals.

ARLISS: Two murders, in an old, haunted, mansion...

SANDRA: ...that we sneak into every Halloween.

AMELIA: Careful! The victims? Miss Field’s rich aunts, the Schmidt twins.


CARL: Oops! Sorry Miss Fields. Your grief...

MISS FIELDS: Oh please kids. Time heals wounds. Sadly, no rest for the souls of my poor aunts—Ruby, and Roberta. Their anguished cries for justice still dangle in the winds of sadness.

AMELIA: The crime, never solved?

MISS FIELDS sits on the stool.

MISS FIELDS: Not by the police department, but I know who did it.


MISS FIELDS: No question, Milford Churchill.
CARL: Milford Churchill? A perfect name for a sneaky bad guy.
MISS FIELDS: A vicious, petulant, and very prickly man—Churchill worked as a traveling play director. Hired to direct a performance featuring the Sugarton Players, a group of local, citizen actors. My aunts, who often underwrote the cost of such performances, paid him.

CARL: Your aunts paid their murderer?

ARLISS: Heart-rending!

MISS FIELDS: Identical twins in their mid-fifties. From the money side of the family, my aunts donated generously to the community. They especially loved the theater.

ARLISS: My aunts only give me socks at Christmas time.

MISS FIELDS: Ironically, the script for that performance? Its world premiere. A punch-less tear jerker titled Buddy. A pathetic plot about an unsolved, small town murder. Churchill wrote it himself.

CARL: A murderer, writes a play about a murder?

AMELIA: Irony, further souring the agony of grief.

MISS FIELDS: I pray for Milford Churchill meeting justice. The town, and the spirits of my two aunts agonize in unrequited limbo.

ARLISS: You sound devastated.

MISS FIELDS: I blame myself.

SANDRA: Your fault?

MISS FIELDS: Churchill’s frothing, foaming, hatred toward my aunts-more vicious with each rehearsal.

AMELIA: You and your aunts were Buddy cast members?

MISS FIELDS: A college student, I’d come home for spring break. The cast featured four main characters. I played an extra.

AMELIA: Oh. Oh. I sense disaster...

MISS FIELDS: My aunts matched their incredible generosity with insatiable needs for attention. They insisted on staring in the plays that they underwrote.

SANDRA: Your aunts forced themselves into lead roles.

MISS FIELDS: The theater marquee, burns bright into my memory. Shimmering, dazzling like the Dairy Queen sign.

MISS FIELDS: (holding a hand up, as though reading a sign)
‘The World Premiere of Buddy!’
‘Starring Ruby and Roberta!’

SANDRA: Did your aunts overrule Churchill?

MISS FIELDS: Every instruction he gave.

ARLISS: A toxic combination!

CARL: Worse than chewing a peanut butter cup mixed with Gummy Bears!

MISS FIELDS: (lifts the stool, and stomps her feet) Churchill threw chairs, and stomped his feet. He prayed, screaming like a wounded elephant for my aunts to vanish. Handfuls of Skittles could not calm him down.

ARLISS: Skittles?

SANDRA: Skittles? Skittles couldn’t have been around back then. We invented them.

CARL: Skittles came with the planet.

MISS FIELDS: Churchill gobbled Skittles by the handful. Tearing open bags, and pouring them down his throat. He’d drop to his belly, and slither after any drops. Skittles usually calmed him down.

SANDRA: Skittles always work. He must have been really angry.

MISS FIELDS: Angry beyond Skittles.

ARLISS: Frightening!

CARL: When did the murder take place?

MISS FIELDS: Buddy, by that time a much anticipated sellout, opened the following night. We’d just finished dress rehearsal. The cast, excited and anxious, went home. (pause) But Churchill had other plans.

ARLISS: He didn’t.

MISS FIELDS: He did. Following my aunts to their mansion.

SANDRA: A killer, stalking his prey.

MISS FIELDS: I’m certain that Churchill tried convincing my aunts to give up their roles. He’d fill their characters with extras.

AMELIA: He lost the argument.

MISS FIELDS: Lost it. His bad temper exploded.

ARLISS: Like the burst from Starburst.

SANDRA: Which color?

MISS FIELDS: Mortifying, terrifying... Deadly!

SANDRA, AMELIA, CARL, ARLISS (drawing back, as though frightened) Oh, oh...


ARLISS: Hello, Officer Smith.

OFFICER SMITH: The Schmidt murders? Turned Sugarton into Sour Ville. In those days with the city police department, I arrived first to the murder scene.

MISS FIELDS begins weeping.

OFFICER SMITH: May I continue, Miss Fields?

MISS FIELDS: Oh please, continue. I’ll be OK.

OFFIER SMITH: (OFFIER SMITH puts an arm on MISS FIELDS shoulders.)
The bodies lay in the parlor, stacked on top of each other.

MISS FIELDS: My aunts—close to the end.

OFFIER SMITH: Ruby, strangled, Roberta, clubbed.

MISS FIELDS: (gasping with grief) Don’t mind me.

OFFICER SMITH: Both ladies dressed to the nines in very nineties fashions.

ARLISS: Nines in the nineties. Makes sense to me.

SANDRA: But it wasn’t the nineties anymore.

MISS FIELDS: My aunts, hip-but with limits.

OFFICER SMITH: No evidence of theft of robbery or family feud.

CARL: Baffling.

OFFICER SMITH: Baffling, perplexing, flummoxing...

MISS FIELDS: (choking up) The play canceled. The Sugarton Players, disbanded- not performing since.

ARLISS: And the town’s favorite citizens, gone forever...

MISS FIELDS: My only surviving family. Plucked from life.

OFFICER SMITH: A murderer with no motive, roamed free. Terror and grief suffocated the gasping breath of Sugarton.

MISS FIELDS: Suddenly, I noticed Churchill’s disappearance. No farewell. Into thin air. I notified the police.

OFFICER SMITH: We quickly tracked the suspect down. His alibi? At the time of the murders, he was in Saltville, hired there to direct another play.

AMELIA: Saltville? One hundred miles from here.

OFFICER SMITH: A Saltville grocery store receipt proved his innocence.

MISS FIELDS: A perfect crime.

OFFICER SMITH: He explained his flight. Buddy, he claimed, promised to be theatrical calamity. He couldn’t bear the impending mess up on the stage.

CARL: He abandoned his own play?

OFFICER SMITH: He declared that directing the performance would destroy his career.

MISS FIELDS: Churchill murdered my aunts.

OFFICER SMITH: No evidence.

MISS FIELDS: I will not rest until that man meets justice. Neither will the good citizens of Sugarton.

OFFICER SMITH: I understand, Miss Fields.

MISS FIELDS: Sadly, regardless of its quality, Buddy, never had its world premiere. Sugarton remains suspended in eternal twin tunnels of gloom--missing my two aunts, and still craving that adjourned night at the theater.

OFFICER SMITH: Your next play-Grease? The Wiz? I’ll watch for the signs on your parents’ front lawns.

MISS FIELDS: Thanks for stopping by, Officer Smith.


AMELIA: Officer Smith does not mention something.


AMELIA: (looking at her cellphone) A link on the internet.

CARL: Links-our generation’s cookie jar.

ARLISS: The link says what?

AMELIA: A legend: Reveal the killer of the Schmidt sisters, and the Schmidt mansion burns to the ground!

SANDRA: Spooky.

ARLISS: Real spooky.

CARL: Verdict, by the searing flames of justice.

MISS FIELDS: Enough! Put away the smart phones.

ARLISS: That’s like parking my mind.

MISS FIELDS: What nasty dilemma. You’ve transferred thinking to hand held machines. Now, down to business.

SANDRA: We’re ready Miss Fields.

MISS FIELDS: You’re seniors. Your final performance. Step up. Frost the cake of your Sugar High School drama careers! For our next play...

AMELIA: Stir up the oatmeal...

MISS FIELDS: We’ll perform High School Musical.

CARL: Oh great. I get to sing and dance with thirty five freshmen who can’t sing and dance.

AMELIA: You’ll fit right in, Carl.

SANDRA: Miss Fields, we plead, we beg. We’ve covered all the standard productions.

ARLISS: We’re desperate to be different. Something new.

MISS FIELDS: Nonsense! Audiences love shows like High School Musical. They’re ‘bankables’. Risk something different? Invite the nightmare of empty seats.

ARLISS: Can’t we frost our cake, syrup our pancakes, jelly our toast, and thrill the community with something new?

...all in deep thought.

SANDRA: ‘Bankables’, take a hike! A brainstorm! Chips for cookies, filling for sweet-rolls. I propose a play that Sugarton already eagerly anticipates, and waits desperately to see!

AMELIA: I get it! Brilliant idea. Many still have their tickets!

MISS FIELDS: Offensive. Morbid. Salt on our still gaping wounds.

CARL: It beats melting witches every other year.

ARLISS: Beyond greasy hair.

AMELIA: I can finally sell my rabbit costume on Craig’s List!

SANDRA: Not only a local bankable play, but a world premiere bankable play!

AMELIA: Attention good citizens of Sugarton! Exciting news! A world premiere, fifteen years in the making. Ladies and gentlemen, we bring you...




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