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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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Vignettes of the Deaf Character and Other Plays
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[QUEEN BEE exits behind the first flat. BLUE J gestures, “What about a director?”]

MIGHTY MOUSE: Okay, you be the director.

[BLUE J gestures, “No, no, not me. I just want to act. I don’t want to tell people what to do. Why don’t you be the director?”]

MIGHTY MOUSE: No, no, you be the director and tell people what to do.
BIG CHEESE: Hey, wait a minute; I wanna be the director.

[BLUE J ignores BIG CHEESE and gestures to MIGHTY MOUSE, “Uh-uh, you.”]

BIG CHEESE: What about me-me-me?
BLUE J: You.

[An index-finger swordfight ensues until BLUE J “stabs” MIGHTY MOUSE.]

MIGHTY MOUSE: (Acts out a melodramatic death.) AHHHH!! UGH!! OH-OH-OH . . .

[BIG CHEESE really believes this and tries to comfort/resuscitate MIGHTY MOUSE].

BIG CHEESE: Oh, Mighty Mouse is hurt! Are you okay?
MIGHTY MOUSE: Get off of me. I was playing, you see? All right, Blue J, you win. I’ll be the director. Why don’t you go find us some props?
BLUE J: Huh? What’s that?
MIGHTY MOUSE: P-R-O-P-S. Things that actors can use while acting. Suppose you need to act out someone jumping rope. You would need to have rope.

[A piece of rope comes flying out from “down below” (the upstage left flat) and smacks MIGHTY MOUSE in the face].

BLUE J: Aha! So, what do I look for?
MIGHTY MOUSE: Just go find some everyday stuff.

[BLUE J exits behind the second flat; QUEEN BEE enters from behind the first flat with a clothesline and poles. MIGHTY MOUSE appreciates her discovery. He shows her that the poles need some kind of support. QUEEN BEE goes off searching for something].

BIG CHEESE: Something’s missing.
BIG CHEESE: We need a writer—you know, a storyteller, to help create the story. No story, no play.
MIGHTY MOUSE: Oh, now you wanna “play.” (Uses the sign PLAY as in “drama” and teasingly transform it to “playing-around.”)
BIG CHEESE: Well, you know what I mean . . . .
MIGHTY MOUSE: Why don’t you think of a story? Maybe a story with some animals in it.

[QUEEN BEE enters with a tire. Her posture and movement resembles a turtle].

BIG CHEESE: Hey, what about a turtle story? I loooovve turtles.
MIGHTY MOUSE: (Not very excited.) Turtles? (Pause.) Yeah, whatever.

[BLUE J, having crossed over backstage from behind the second flat, comes up behind the first flat loaded down with costumes. He has a comical appearance. When he “arrives,” he fumbles all of the props and costumes onto MIGHTY MOUSE and BIG CHEESE. They help BLUE J set all of this stuff down.]

MIGHTY MOUSE: I’m going to help the others.

[MIGHTY MOUSE gestures to someone “down below,” behind the first flat, to throw something. At the same time BIG CHEESE taps her on the right shoulder. MIGHTY MOUSE turns and a tablecloth smacks BIG CHEESE in the face. BIG CHEESE has been following MIGHTY MOUSE everywhere, wanting to ask her a hundred questions. MIGHTY MOUSE scolds the person “down below.” BIG CHEESE taps MIGHTY MOUSE on the left shoulder and a second tablecloth comes flying up and slaps BIG CHEESE in the face. MIGHTY MOUSE exits “down below.”]

BIG CHEESE: (Pacing.) Turtles, turtles . . . turtles. Let’s see . . . gotta come up with a story about turtles. Aw man, my mind is a blank. (Runs to QUEEN BEE.) Do you know— (QUEEN BEE shoves a clothesline pole in his hand and gets BIG CHEESE to help her. This is her way of telling him to “shut up and work.”)
BIG CHEESE: (Sees a break.) Do you know any stories about turtles?
QUEEN BEE: Let’s see, . . . “The Tortoise and the H-A-R-E.” (Fingerspells sloppily so that her R resembles an I.)
BIG CHEESE: The turtle and the hair? I don’t know that one.
QUEEN BEE: H-A-R-E. Like rabbit. Not hair.
BIG CHEESE: Oh. I knew that. Your spelling is funny. (Pause.) So tell me how the rest of it goes.

[QUEEN BEE quietly fills BIG CHEESE in on the story while SWEET CORN and MIGHTY MOUSE enter from “down below” with more costumes and props.]

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