The Princess and the Pea by Kathy Macovichuk


This Play is the copyright of the Author and may not be performed, copied or sold without the Author's prior consent

Scene: A darkened stage that contains a castle's room with many
boxes piled all around. There is a pedestal in the center of the stage
that has a sealed, glass container on it that contains a satin pillow.
On the pillow is a pea. Offstage you can hear a woman's voice.

TOUR GUIDE: And that, ladies and gentlemen, was the last we heard of
King Eggbert, the Cracked. And we're walking we're walking
you in the back, please keep up (the Tour Guide enters from stage
left, walking towards the pedestal). And as the last part of our tour,
we come to the most important display in the kingdom's museum. Many
of you will look into this display and think "What the? Is that a
pea? What on earth is a ordinary green pea doing here, sitting on a
satin pillow, under bullet-proof glass, in the middle of a respected
museum, run by the most successful and admired kingdom in all the
world?" (The Tour Guide pauses, and smiles.) This, ladies and
gentlemen, is no ordinary pea. This is a Magic Pea and was an
important key in finding the most very true friend of the royal
family. (The Tour Guide looks around the room.) You look as though you
don't believe me. Well, listen closely to the story that's about
to unfold and you can judge for yourself. Once upon a time, in a
beautiful kingdom, it was moving day for a newly crowned King and his
family. (Tour Guide exits the stage, taking the pedestal and glass box
with her. Voices can be heard arguing offstage. King Stanley enters
carrying several large books. Queen Helen follows carrying a large
plant in a pot.)

KING STANLEY: No, no, no, no, no Helen! We're turning that back
room that's off the courtyard into a library where I can put all my
books. It's the sunniest place in this castle, which makes it
perfect for reading.

QUEEN HELEN: But Stanley, that's why it would make such a great
conservatory. It was a rough ride over here for my poor plants. They
need a bright, warm spot to recover. They're barely hanging on by
their tiny, little roots.

(The movers enter, carrying boxes and various other items including a
couple of thrones. They might take boxes off stage and then bring them
back on the other side of the stage to make it look like there's a
lot getting moved around. They continue to enter and exit during this
scene. Prince Roderick enters carrying suitcases.)

KING STANLEY: But it's a nice, big room and I have a lot of books.
There are books on how to run a country, how to keep taxes to a
minimum, how to keep dragons from becoming a nuisance, even books
about what to do when your wife doesn't agree with you.

QUEEN HELEN: But it's important that I take care of my plants. I
have raised each one of them from a tiny seed, watched each grow tall,
or round, or colourful, or spiky whatever they were meant to be,
each one of them beautiful in their own way. But they take up a lot of
space as well, so I'm going to need that back room.

(They continue to argue back and forth until Prince Roderick steps
forward and, standing between the King and Queen, separates them.)

PRINCE RODERICK: Oh, will you two just let it go? You've been
arguing about this all morning and it doesn't sound like you're
any closer to a decision. All right then, we'll have to settle this
in the time-honoured tradition Rock, Parchment, Dragon. Now
remember Dragon burns Parchment, Parchment covers Rock and Rock stuns
Dragon. Now, are you ready. (King Stanley and Queen Helen stand facing
each other with one of their hands out, in a fist.)

KING STANLEY/QUEEN HELEN: Ready!

KING STANLEY/QUEEN HELEN/PRINCE RODERICK: Rock, Parchment, Dragon
GO! (King Stanley and Queen Helen's fists rise and fall with each
word and on the word GO King Stanley chooses Parchment and Queen Helen
chooses Dragon.)

QUEEN HELEN: Yes! I win!

KING STANLEY: Oh, fiddle faddle! I guess I'll have to find another
room. (Shakes Queen Helen's hand.) Well played my dear. You're
very skilled at this.

QUEEN HELEN: You know Stanley, I heard somewhere that talking to
plants helps them grow so if you were willing to read to my plants now
and then, I would be very happy to share my conservatory with some of
your books.

KING STANLEY: Oh that's an excellent idea. I do love to read out
loud. I wonder which book I should choose first. Oh, I know Jack
and the Beanstalk I bet they're going to love that one! (King
Stanley exits, rubbing his hands gleefully.)

PRINCE RODERICK: That was a very nice thing to do, mom. (He puts one
arm around Queen Helen and gives her a half hug.) And dad's right,
you are very skilled at that game. I can't remember the last time
you lost.

QUEEN HELEN: Oh balderdash! I'm not skilled at anything. Your
father always picks Parchment. But I'm so excited to set up my new
conservatory. I'm going to grow some roses and tulips and my
favourite, snapdragons (she makes the hand symbol for Dragon and
laughs).

(Prince Roderick moves away from Queen Helen with a sigh and looks a
little unhappy. He sits on a pile of boxes. At this point, the movers
take a break from carrying the boxes so that mother and son can have a
quiet moment together.)

QUEEN HELEN: What's the matter Roderick? You don't look very
happy. You didn't forget any of your belongings at the old castle,
did you?

PRINCE RODERICK: No mother, everything was packed up and brought
over. I just wish we didn't have to move. I miss my friends and this
castle just seems so big and empty. I don't know if I can ever be
happy again.

QUEEN HELEN: (Sits with Prince Roderick and gives him a big hug.) Oh
my dear, sweet boy. You know we had to move because of your father's
job. He just became the King, and that kind of a promotion meant we
had to move into the royal castle. Besides that old place was much too
small, it only had a 120 rooms. That moat could barely hold six
crocodiles. That really isn't much of a home security system.

PRINCE RODERICK: Yeah, I know. It's just hard moving away from
everything I've known.

INSERT NEW HORIZONS SONG HERE.

PRINCE RODERICK: Thanks mom, I feel much better.

QUEEN HELEN: I know that once you've made a new friend, things will
seem so much better and you'll be very happy here.

PRINCE RODERICK: But I don't know how to make a new friend. All my
old friends have been around so long, I can't remember when I first
met them. Where did I meet them? What did I say? What did they say?
Was there a sharing of a toy involved? Cookies? It's all a blank.

QUEEN HELEN: Gee, I don't think I'm going to be much help. I
can't remember either. Your father's always been my best friend.
When one of us has to move, the other consistently comes along without
fail. Oh, maybe he can help. Out of all those books of his, maybe
there's one about how to make a friend. (She turns to call for King
Stanley, starting very sweetly.) Stanley, oh Stanley! (A little less
sweetly.) Stanley? (And then like a loud foghorn.) STANLEY!!

KING STANLEY: (Bursting onto the stage) Yes, my dear, you called?

QUEEN HELEN: Roderick needs your help with a little problem.

KING STANLEY: Glad to be of service, my boy. Tell your old dad about
your problem. (Sits with Prince Roderick on the boxes.)

PRINCE RODERICK: I've been feeling a little down lately because
I've had to leave all my friends behind when we moved to this new
castle.

KING STANLEY: I'm sorry to hear that Roderick. How can I help?

PRINCE RODERICK: I need to make a new friend and I'm not sure how
to do this. I was wondering if you had a book about how to make
friends.

KING STANLEY: Hmmmmm, you know, I seem to recall that I might have
that very thing. And I think it even might be in here. (He walks over
to one of the boxes and starts digging through it.) Let's see now,
what have we got. Oh, here are files on that catapult project that
will need to go to the Defense Minister. And here's my other
slipper. That will come in handy at bedtime. Oh, and the Magic Pea.
You know Roderick, this Magic Pea has been in our family for
generations. You just have to give it a shake while you're asking it
a question, turn it over and it will give you a magical message.
It's never wrong. (Gives it a shake). Oh Magic Pea, will my
mother-in-law's next visit will be a pleasant one? (Looks at the
Magic Pea.) "Don't count on it." Well, nothing new there.
(Tosses it back in the box.) Ah hah! Here it is, "How to Make a New
Friend."

PRINCE RODERICK: What does it say?

KING STANLEY: Let's see, step one make a list of all the
qualities that you think a good friend would have. Oh, I know like
a good sense of humour. (Movers bring on an easel with paper and a
marker.)

PRINCE RODERICK: Yes, that's a good one. I think a friend should
have a good sense of humour because I like telling jokes such as
Knock, knock(to audience)

QUEEN HELEN (with audience): Who's there?

PRINCE RODERICK: Yah.

QUEEN HELEN (with audience): Yah who?

PRINCE RODERICK: Oh come on, you can do better than that! Everybody
now YA-HOO!! (Everyone has a good laugh.)

KING STANLEY: All right then, sense of humour is the first on the
list. (King Stanley writes this on easel.) Maybe we can get some help
in finding out what else we should be looking for in a friend. (House
lights can come up as the actors ask the audience what would make a
good friend. There will be four things on the list so actors can veto
or steer answers in the correct direction. The Answers are: sense of
humour, sharing, friendly and a good listener.)

PRINCE RODERICK: Wow, all of you were very helpful in sharing your
ideas, some of them were kind of funny. If I can't find a friend in
this show, maybe you guys can be my friends. Okay father, what else
does this book say about how to make a friend?

KING STANLEY: Step two get introduced to several people that you
haven't met before and see if any of them have what it takes to be
your new friend.

PRINCE RODERICK: How do I meet someone new? (Everyone begins to pace
around the stage, thinking of a solution, stopping when a solution is
presented.)

QUEEN HELEN: How about the park?

PRINCE RODERICK: It's raining. I don't think anyone would be at
the park right now.

KING STANLEY: How about your school?

PRINCE RODERICK: I don't start my new classes until next week. That
would be a good place to look but I'd really like to have a friend
right now.

QUEEN HELEN: Why don't we put an ad in the Medieval Times?? We
should be able to get a response right away and the newspaper gets
delivered throughout the whole kingdom.

PRINCE RODERICK: Do you think that would work?

KING STANLEY: It's worth a try. I think it's a splendid idea
Helen. I'll start writing the ad this very minute and send it by
royal courier to the newspaper.

QUEEN HELEN: Wait a minute. I wanted to write the ad. It was my idea
in the first place.

KING STANLEY: But my dear, I have more experience in putting words to
paper. You've heard all those speeches that I've written and had
to give.

QUEEN HELEN: (rolling her eyes) Yes, and we'd like to keep the ad
down to 25 words or less. We don't want people falling asleep in the
middle of reading it. (King Stanley and Queen Helen begin to argue but
Prince Roderick once again steps between them.)

PRINCE RODERICK: Enough! Seeing that you can't agree on this, you
know what to do. (King Stanley and Queen Helen stand facing each other
with one of their hands out, in a fist.)

KING STANLEY/QUEEN HELEN: Ready!

KING STANLEY/QUEEN HELEN/PRINCE RODERICK: Rock, Parchment, Dragon
GO! (On the word GO King Stanley chooses Parchment and Queen Helen
chooses Rock.)

KING STANELY: Yes! Parchment covers rock!

QUEEN HELEN: Oh, fiddle faddle! Alright, I guess we'd better find
you some paper and a pen. (She starts to looks through the boxes.
Prince Roderick comes close to Queen Helen.)

PRINCE RODERICK: (stage whisper) You know that dad always chooses
Parchment, why did you choose rock? You didn't have to lose.

QUEEN HELEN: (stage whisper) I like to let your father win now and
then. It makes him happy. Ah, here's some paper and a pen. (She
pulls it out of a box.)

KING STANLEY: You know Helen, I might not be able to put this ad
together all by myself. You're very creative with words. Would you
be interested in helping me?

QUEEN HELEN: Oh boy, would I! This is going to be fun. (Queen Helen
and King Stanley run offstage giggling.)

PRINCE RODERICK: (Shaking his head, looking at the audience) Parents!
(He follows King Stanley and Queen Helen offstage.)

[end of extract]


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