What is this Thing that is called Love? by Linda Suda

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

As the opera begins, a group of aliens arrive at the school. Their leader, Gleeock, approaches the narrator (or singer/teacher).

GLEEOCK: Please, I wish to be introduced. I am called Gleeock.
NARRATOR: Hello Gleeock. (Pause) My name is _______________. You must forgive me for staring, but that is the most magnificent make-up job I’ve ever seen.
H’AGOG: No, no big Mama (Dude); we have been down with all that you are laying out!
MAWG: My associate is attempting to explain that we are here on a mission of the utmost importance.

MAWG: He means to say that on our planet of Sheelope, technology has reached such a level that we want for nothing. Everything we could ever wish for has been achieved.
GLEEOCK: Forgive Teevog: He has done his research and has in turn become enamored with the language and music of “Love”.
NARRATOR: Wait just a minute! Are you telling me that you are visitors from another planet?
GLEEOCK: Indeed ________________. As Mawg has already stated, we have chosen Earth as the source of our study.
H’AGOG: Yeah, like when we heard the dudes and dudesses of this place dig emotion big time, we like hit the road!

MAWG: You’ll have to excuse my friend, H’agog. She’s been diligently studying English colloquial phrases, and I’m afraid she’s gone a bit overboard.
GLEEOCK: For a very long time, something has been missing from our life on Sheelope. It seemed to become more evident as our technology advanced.
MAWG: The more technologically advanced we became, the more our people grew apart. We found we no longer had to depend upon each other.

MAWG: Meaning “something that might make our lives complete.”
NARRATOR: I think I understand. I believe that you may be looking for something that will bring your people back together on a different level.
GLEEOCK: Can you help us? Do you know of such a remedy?
NARRATOR: Perhaps what you are seeking is love.
ALL: Love?
TEEVOG: Cos’ è questo amore? È magico? What is this love? Is it magic?
NARRATOR: Some say that it is. However, love is something that we people of the Earth treasure more highly than anything else.
H’AGOG: Heavy-duty! Lay it about us!
NARRATOR: It would be very difficult to explain such a concept in words. It just so happens that we are going to perform an opera tonight based on such a subject called, WHAT IS THIS THING THAT IS CALLED LOVE?’ Why don’t you watch the opera and let us introduce you to the many kinds of love that exist in our world.

SONG: ”What is this Thing that is called Love?” IOLANTHE – OPENING – Entire Cast


“Puppies” enter the stage.
NARRATOR: The people of the Earth experience many forms of love. I’m afraid we take for granted the whole idea of love and how it makes life so wonderful. Each musical number in this opera is centered around one particular form of love.
TEEVOG: If this is true, why do I see humans wearing animal masks and make-up?
NARRATOR: Oh, we must be ready for our pet love song. The only difference being that we will see love of pets from the dog’s point of view.

TEVOG: This has peaked my interest. Please continue!


GONDOLIER ONE: Buongiorno and good day to you, signora!
NARRATOR: Buongiorno to you, Gondolieri. And what is the cause for your most jubilant mood this evening?
GONDOLIER TWO: It is not unusual for my friend to be in a happy mood, for we Gondoliers love our work.
NARRATOR: I had totally forgotten that someone can “love” his or her work.
GONDOLIER THREE: Sí, sí, Signora. For us it is a pleasure to rise before the sun every morning and work endless hours by the sweat of our brow: the sun, she beats relentlessly day after day.
NEW RECRUIT: Wait a minute, hold on. Nobody can love his or her work that much! What do you do for fun? Relaxation?
PHYSICIAN: I must say that as a doctor I don’t have much leisure time but when you love what you do time flies.
GONDOLIER FOUR: Yes, that is our feeling exactly. We strengthen our bodies for the long, difficult days of carrying our passengers back and forth and back and. . .
NEW RECRUIT: Ok, Ok, I get the picture. I’m beginning to think that I don’t fit into your idea of what a Gondolier is supposed to be.
TEACHER: I do love teaching the children but sometimes I feel like they don’t appreciate how hard I must work to get them excited about the learning process! I worry that I am not empowering them for their futures.
GONDOLIER FIVE: Nonsense! Signora, I guarantee the first time you experience your first voyage through the canals and listen to an aria from your favorite opera you would realize. . .
GONDOLIER TWO: Of course. Is there anything else worth singing?
GONDOLIER THREE: We’re wasting time; on with the training session!

SONG-“ My Love for my Patients is Boundless”


Script Finder

Male Roles:

Female Roles:

Browse Library

About Stageplays

Stageplays offers you the largest collection of Plays & Musicals in the world.

Based in the UK and the USA, we’ve been serving the online theatre community since the last century. We’re primarily a family-run business and several of us also work in professional theatre.

But we’re all passionate about theatre and we all work hard to share that passion with you and the world’s online community.

Subscribe to our theatre newsletter

We'll email you regular details of new plays and half-price special offers on a broad range of theatre titles.


We can deliver any play in print to any country in the world - and we ship from both the US and the UK.

© 2010 - 2024 Stageplays, Inc.