Do you have the perfect actor to play the villain? The hero? Is your audience ready to cheer and boo? Then a melodrama is the perfect addition to your theatre season.
Clotheslined at Gumption Gulch
Hard times have come on Gumption Gulch and Grandma Gertie Parker is forced to open a clothes-washing service to earn extra money. Even Sheriff Gideon Gumption is “moonlighting” (though the term has him totally baffled) at the stagecoach office and a local lunch spot. Grandma Gertie’s old nemesis has sent her two boys, Luther and Ulysses Bragg, to town to put Gertie’s laundry service out of business as payback for an old feud. Add in a possum-farming brother and sister couple (Elrod has a serious case of “the anxieties”), a blacksmith who dreams of being a comedian, a crazy wandering minstrel who sings what he overhears (and has his own secret), and the confusing love interest between the Sheriff and Gertie’s granddaughter Chrysanthemum, and you have the makings for a hilarious story. The wisdom of “Daddy Cadwaller” at the end will leave the audience laughing and pondering. Read more.
Last Chance Inn, Calamity Gulch
Ma and Pa Culpepper are in danger of losing their livelihood - the Last Chance Inn - to Horace Prickley, a representative from the loan offices of Gimme, Gimme & Gimme. In need of a son or son-in-law, the Culpeppers scheme to adopt and marry off pretty (but clumsy) orphan-turned-waitress, Patience Sweetwater. The intended groom is the newly-appointed Sheriff Virgil St. Vigil, who makes the rounds with his deputy and trusted side-kick, Princess Prettyfoot. Prickley learns of the Culpeppers' plot and enlists the aid of the beautiful Sahara Hartburn to "distract" the Sheriff from Patience. This whimsical, fast-paced melodrama offers sight gags, puns and an array of comedic supporting characters, including the sharp-tongued Ivory Keyes at the piano; the elbow-bending Happy Bartender; the Culpeppers' frumpy daughter, Chastity; the woeful Widder Black; and three tipsy Temperance Ladies. As much fun for the actors as the audience. Read more.
Mastermime (Or Don’t Mime if I Do)
Tomorrow is opening night at The Grand Old Theatre and Mastermime, a notorious criminal who distracts audiences with entrancing mime routines and then disappears with their valuables, has defaced the theatre marquee and is terrorizing the stagehands. Will hard-boiled detective Stanton Ovation and his earnest sidekick Deputy Hammet Upp capture this mute but expressive villain before he steals self-absorbed celebrity actress Ima Starr’s diamonds? Or is there more to this case than it seems? Ima’s talkative assistant Roberta, who was a forensic scientist before entering the glamorous world of show biz, offers tips to the investigators while Ima’s super-fan Shirley Ujest, who watches a lot of TV with the sound off, translates for the mime. The mystery unfolds, punctuated with theatrical cell phone ringtones, love-at-first sight encounters, and a dramatic mime battle! This show is an over-the-top mystery melodrama that celebrates the fascinating art of pantomime. Appropriate for teen to adult performers. Read more.
Don't have time for a melodrama? Why not do one in under 60 seconds?!
Book by Bryan Starchman Music by Stephen Murray Lyrics by Bryan Starchman and Stephen Murray
Cast: Widely flexible cast 10 – 40, plus drama teacher
Just Another High School Musical
A group of high school actors, abandoned by their drama teacher for good reason, have to fend for themselves opening night in front of a live audience. Their first song, “We Apologize in Advance,” shows just how unprepared they are! The student assistant director and the stage manager find a box of scripts which they pass out to the cast, and try to throw something together. What follows is a rollicking show full of physical comedy, gags, and satirical re-writings from Shakespeare (“Life Is Like a Snow Globe”) to Louisa May Alcott (“Dress Them Up in Drag”).Even melodrama gets a nod with a boisterous, under-a-minute-long song. But it doesn’t help. In desperation they sing the song “Intermission” with the lyrics, “This means our show is more than halfway done. Maybe Act Two will be better than Act One.” In Act Two (“Back Down to Business”), the actors put their own spin on Dickens (“A Christmas Carol Rap”) and Thornton Wilder (“Our Town, This Town”). Finally, they perform their “Gratuitous Number.” Will it be enough to rescue this disaster before their teacher returns—if he ever does? A final number, “A Spotlight Big Enough for All,” closes the show on a comically uplifting note!
Listen to the song here.
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