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Adapted by Jess Rudolph


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TALK

adapted by Jess Rudolph


This is a puppet play. The (normally) animate characters can be played by more complex puppets while the (normally) inanimate characters can be small props on sticks that are wiggled whenever they speak. Most of the scenery can be painted canvas backdrops that are scrolled through to the next scene.
CAST (more complex puppets):

Farmer


Fisher

Weaver


Guard

King


Dog
TALKING PROPS (simple puppets):

Yam


Tree

Branch


Stone

Trap


Cloth

Shield


Moat (off stage)

Throne


SETTINGS:

Scene 1: Garden

Scene 2: Forest

Scene 3: Castle Exterior / Gate Bridge Over Moat

Scene 4: Castle Interior / Throne Room


SCENE 1:

Garden with YAM, TREE, TREE BRANCH, STONE, and cow prop already in place.



(FARMER with DOG enters stage.)


FARMER

Well, boy, looks like it’s finally time to start harvesting. Let’s see, radishes, onions, carrots… What do you say, boy?

(pauses and laughs)

Heh, you never had much of an opinion on crops or much of an opinion on anything.

(turns back to garden)

Ah, yes, the yams.


(FARMER reaches for YAM.)
YAM

Well, at last you’re here. You never weeded me but now you come around with your digging stick. Go away and leave me alone!


(FARMER spins around and looks at the cow.)
FARMER

Cow… did you say something?


DOG

It wasn’t the cow who spoke to you. It was the yam. The yam says leave him alone.


(FARMER yelps as HE looks at DOG. FARMER backs into TREE and grabs BRANCH.)
FARMER

Stay back!


(HE snaps BRANCH off TREE. FARMER holds BRANCH in front of HIM like a weapon.)
TREE

Owww! Hey, put that branch down!


(FARMER yelps again and backs away from TREE with BRANCH. FARMER almost backs into DOG, notices, yelps, and stops between them.)
BRANCH

Hey, mister, the tree said put me down so put me down! Do it softly, I might add!


(FARMER holds out BRANCH farther away and slowly puts BRANCH down on STONE.)
STONE

Hey, take that thing off me!


(FARMER screams and runs off stage.)



SCENE 2:

Forest with FISHER and TRAP.


(FARMER runs in and nearly hits FISHER.)


FISHER

Whoa there, farmer. What’s the hurry?


FARMER

The yam said, “Leave me alone!” Then the dog said, “Listen to what the yam says!” Then I grabbed a branch off a tree to protect myself, the tree said, “Put that branch down!” Then the branch said, “Do is softly!” Then the stone said, “Take that thing off me!”


FISHER

Is that all? Is that so frightening?


TRAP

Well, did he take it off the stone?


FISHER

Wah!
(FISHER throws TRAP and HE and FARMER run. WEAVER with CLOTH enters stage and is nearly hit by FARMER and FISHER.)


WEAVER

Where are you going in such a rush?


FARMER

My yam said, “Leave me alone!” The dog said, “Listen to what the yam says!” The tree said, “Put that branch down!” The branch said, “Do is softly!” And the stone said, “Take that thing off me!”


FISHER

And then, the fish trap said, “Did he take it off the stone?”


WEAVER

That’s nothing to get excited about. No reason at all.


CLOTH

Oh, yes it is. If it happened to you, you’d run too!


WAVER

Wah!
(WEAVER throws CLOTH and HE, FARMER, and FISHER run off.)





SCENE 3:

Castle exterior. GUARD with SHIELD stands in front of a gate as if on a bridge over a moat.


(FARMER, FISHER, and WEAVER run up to GUARD.)


GUARD

Halt! Why fore do you come storming these castle walls?


FISHER

We need safety!


WEAVER

We need sanctuary!


FARMER

Forgot that, we just need someplace safe to hide!


(A silent pause as EVERYONE looks at FARMER.)
GUARD

Calm down, tell me what the cause is for all this commotion?


FARMER

My yam talked at me, and it said “Leave me alone!” And my dog said, “Listen to your yam!” And when I broke off a branch the tree said, “Put that branch down!” And the branch said, “Do it softly!” And the stone said, “Take that thing off me!”


FISHER

And my trap said, “Did he?”


WEAVER

And my bundle of cloth said, “You’d run too!”


GUARD

(laughing)

Such nonsense. Grown men believing these things could talk and running throw the town in terror.
SHIELD

I agree with the cloth. Wouldn’t you too run if you were in their position?


GUARD

Wah!
(GUARD throws SHIELD which disappears below the stage.)


SHIELD

(off stage)

Oh how nice. Give a little friendly piece of advice and you throw me into the muddy old moat.
(The SHIELD’S last words are followed by “glub-glub” sounds as IT sinks.)
GUARD

Okay maybe there is something to your concerns after all.


MOAT

(off stage)

Hey, you up there! Will quit throwing your rusted old junk into me?
WEAVER

Was that…


GUARD

…the moat…


(ALL FOUR scream and run off.)



SCENE 4:

Castle interior with KING sitting on THRONE.


(FARMER, FISHER, WEAVER, and GUARD, run in.)


GUARD

Sire!
WEAVER

Your majesty!
FISHER

Your majesty!


FARMER

Your majesty!


KING

(bellowing)

What is the meaning of this intrusion?
FARMER

I went out to my garden to dig yams ... Then everything began to talk! My yam said, “Leave me alone!” My dog said, “Pay attention to your yam!” The tree said, “Put that branch down!” The branch said, “Do it softly?” And the stone said, “Take it off me!”


FISHER

And my fish trap said, “Well, did he take it off?”


WEAVER

And my cloth said, “You’d run too!”


GUARD

And my shield said the same! And then the moat said not to throw stuff into it!


KING

(standing up away from THRONE)

Now this is really a wild story. Such fantasy, such impossibility. You had all best be gone from my presence and back to your homes before I order you all into the dungeons for disturbing the peace of our fair land!
FARMER

But… your majesty!


FISHER

(grabbing farmer)

Let’s go, quickly! I don’t want to find out what’s talking in the dungeons!
(FARMER, FISHER, WEAVER, and GUARD all exit out the way they came.)
KING

Honestly, the imaginations of some common folk. Such nonsense like that upsets the kingdom.


THRONE

Fantastic, isn’t it? Imagine, a talking yam!


END


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