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31 Plays in 31 Days, #26 - "Don't Panic"

This is a massively underdeveloped scene for an idea for a new play I had. I've always thought it would be funny to write something where an actor had to play a dead body that was basically onstage the entire time, with funny stuff happening to it. I guess I like the central conceit of Weekend at Bernie's too much.

This scene is totally not funny enough. But I need to write something for today and I'm feeling kind of stuck. So I banged this out even though I don't know what needs to be in it yet. More and funnier jokes, that's for sure.

Day #26 - "Don’t Panic"
For The Body
by Phoebe Roberts

CLEO, a con artist
DAISY, another con artist
CHARLES, their partner, deceased

New York, New York, 1922

(CLEO and DAISY stand over the body of CHARLES, slumped in a heap on the carpet.)

CLEO: Well. One thing is certain.


CLEO: Charles is definitely, definitely dead.



CLEO: Don’t panic.

DAISY: Understood.

CLEO: I am quite serious.

DAISY: I know.

CLEO: It is imperative that we do not panic.

DAISY: Mm. So… we’re not panicking. What are we doing?

CLEO: Hadn’t got that far, I’m afraid.

DAISY: This does come as something of a shock. How do you think it happened?

CLEO: God only knows. It’s Charles. It could have been anything.

DAISY: True. Charles did struggle with… anything. But what are we going to do? Can’t pull off the con without him.

CLEO: I’m aware of that.

DAISY: It’s not like I can marry the old lady. I mean, the daughter’s the pretty one…

CLEO: Obviously, Daisy! Why else do you think we put up with his nonsense!? Ugh, help me, get him off the floor. If somebody sees him, we’re finished.

(They hoist up the body. Enter the butler, HOLLINGSWORTH.)

HOLLINGSWORTH: Oh, good afternoon, ladies and gentleman. Is… everything all right?

CLEO: Oh, Hollingsworth! Yes, we’re quite all right. Charles here just… had a bit too much to drink.

HOLLINGSWORTH: It’s… two in the afternoon.

DAISY: You know how he is.


CLEO: We’ll see him to bed.

DAISY: And… there’s no need to tell Ms. Adelaide. It would only upset her.

HOLLINGSWORTH: Hm. Hasn’t troubled him yet.


CLEO: Daisy, dear… I think I know what we need to do.

DAISY: What’s that?

CLEO: Get used to lifting with your legs..

(They drags the body off with them.)


( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Aug. 27th, 2015 01:37 pm (UTC)
Ah, weekend at Bernie's :D

I thought this was funny! When I initially read your description, though, I thought the play was going to be about an actor having to play a dead body, but the action pausing every now and again for the actor of said body to give snide comments directly to the audience, like, "She always drags me by the ankles. It's ruining my shirts," and so on.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

About Me

My name is Phoebe. I'm Boston area theater professional and English professor focused in writing, acting, directing, and modeling. I'm known for having lots of interests, lots of opinions about those interests, and a very high estimation of the value thereof. This blog is for talking about whatever's on my mind, from my daily life to my activities to musing on any number of abstract topics. Thanks for taking the time to read.

My productions:

Upcoming Productions:

MRS. HAWKING part 2 and 3

at the Watch City Steampunk Festival 2016

presented by The Chameleon's Dish

Vivat Regina
by Phoebe Roberts

at 2PM


Base Instruments
by Phoebe Roberts

at 6PM

Saturday, May 13th 2017
at 274 Moody Street, Waltham, MA

Other Achievements:

"The Tailor at Loring's End" screenplay
Quarter Finalist in the Final Draft Big Break Screenwriting Competition 2013

"Adonis" screenplay
Top Ten Percent in the Bluecat Screenwriting Contest 2015

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April 2017

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