The Tempest

Can you imagine having your own dukedom?  Relaxing in your castle and read your mint-condition comic books while your people take care of that whole “governing thing.”  Until your back-stabbing younger brother kicks you out and strands you on a deserted island. So, you plot revenge with your slaves:  Ariel (ex-mermaid) and Caliban (energy drink junkie).  You get even with your brother by getting your daughter married to the prince and trying out neat new tricks from your Harry Houdini, Jr. Magic Set.  And you get to be a stand in for Shakespeare himself, if one believes Cliff’s Notes, Wikipedia, and highly-respected sources of high school student research.

Running time: approximately 11 minutes

Cast size: 4 Males, 2 Females, 2 M/F

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CHARACTERS

PROSPERO (M) a magician down on his luck and stranded on a deserted island.

ARIEL (F) a sprite down on her luck and stranded on a deserted island.  But it’s worse.  She’s Prospero’s slave.

CALIBAN (F/M) a monster down on his luck and stranded on a deserted island.  But it’s worse. He’s an energy drink junky.

MIRANDA (F) Prospero’s daughter who’s never seen a man before, so her standards are pretty low.

ANTONIO (M) pampered son of King Alonso.  He pretty much meets Miranda’s standards.

FERDINAND (M) dukedom-stealing younger brother of Prospero.

KING ALONSO (M) helped Ferdinand steal Prospero’s dukedom.

TRINCULO (F/M) jester who exists only as a plot-forwarding device.

 

SAMPLE PAGES: 

(Lights up. PROSPERO is looking off into the distance.  He calls for MIRANDA.)

PROSPERO:  Miranda, come here.  There is something you must see.

MIRANDA:  (Enters.)  What is it, father?  (She looks off to where PROSPERO is looking and gasps.  She turns her head.)  I cannot look.

PROSPERO:  (Turns her head back to where he is looking.)  But you must look, my daughter.

MIRANDA:  But it’s so horrible!  Those innocent people!

PROSPERO:  These are no innocents.  They are the men responsible for usurping my dukedom and stranding us on this deserted island.

MIRANDA:  But, father, the devastation, the screaming, the wailing.  Oh the humanity!

PROSPERO:  Thus it is, my daughter, whenever a flight is cancelled.  But this is my doing.  Their flight has been rerouted to this very island.

MIRANDA:  What are you going to do?

PROSPERO:  Let’s just say they are going to experience the mother of all layovers.

MIRANDA:  Oh, father!

PROSPERO:  Worry not, my daughter.  They will survive and be the better for it.  (A scream is heard off stage.  PROSPERO and MIRANDA shake their heads sadly.)  Alas, the same cannot be said for their luggage.  Now go, prepare for our guests.  (MIRANDA exits.)  Ariel!

ARIEL:  (Suddenly appears.)  Yes, master.

PROSPERO:  Good work at the airport.

ARIEL:  It was nothing, master.  The NSA system is sooo easy to hack into.  All I had to do was –

PROSPERO:  Yeah, yeah, yeah.  Look, I’ve got a few more jobs for you to do.

ARIEL:  But you said that you would give me my freedom if –

PROSPERO:  I know what I said.  As I recall, the terms of your service were rather open-ended.  Any kisses of true love, yet?

ARIEL:  (To audience.)  Whenever you sign a contract to be converted from a mermaid to a spritely lass, read the fine print.  (To PROSPERO.) What else do you want me to do, oh master?

PROSPERO:  First, go torment that double-dealing, dukedom-stealing, grape-peeling younger brother of mine.  Then go torment that back-stabbing, territory-grabbing, secret-blabbing king of mine.  Then go torment that joke-telling, wine-smelling, jingle-belling jester.  Finally, wake up Caliban. Have him scare up a couple of dozen hot wings for me.  Oh, yeah.  Torment him, too.

ARIEL:  Yes, my master.

PROSPERO:  And do it all while . . . you’re invisible!

ARIEL:  (Sighs.)  Yes, master.  (As she exits.)  I knew I should have taken the sea-witch’s deal.

ANTONIO:  (Enters.)  Excuse me, sir.  I seem to be lost.  I’m looking for (Looks at ticket.) Gate AAHYWE.

PROSPERO:  Yep.  You’re in the right place.

ANTONIO:  AAHYWE?

PROSPERO:  Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter.  The gate of despair.  The gate to the fiery depths of hell!

ANTONIO:  Newark?  . . .