The Contest

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6 characters, 3M, 3F. Approximately 10 minutes running time. Funny short play that teaches a lesson about being stubborn and fighting with your siblings or friends.

Two brothers are always arguing. If one says the sky is blue, the other swears it is green. Both have had enough and decide to have a contest. The first one to speak will lose. Will there be a real winner, or will both lose?

This is a great short play for students who want to play over-the-top characters! The characters include: a traveling hair stylist; a door-to-door makeup salesperson; a fashion designer; and a famous shoe designer.

This script includes discussion questions and director’s notes on casting and set design.

Debra A. Cole is a celebrated humanities teacher, youth theatre director, and children’s playwright with degrees in journalism, art history, and elementary education. She understands the needs of young performers and their directors and creates pieces that encourage engaging discussion, creative thought, and quirky playfulness. Her goal is that young performers discover the power and delight that theatre brings to actors and audiences alike.

Visit her website:
www.debraacole-playwright.com

Excerpt from the play:

CHARACTERS

NOLAN — (M) oldest brother, very stubborn
DANIEL — (M) youngest brother, very stubborn
VIDA SASSOON— (F) traveling hair stylist
MARY FAYE— (F) door-to-door makeup saleswoman
ALEXNADRIA MCKING— (F) fabulous, local dress designer
JIMMY SHOO — (M) shoe designer

(The action takes place fairytale times in a small cottage.)

(Lights come up in a small cottage with two twin beds spread far apart. There is a table with two chairs in-between the beds. A mirror hangs on the back wall. Nolan is in one chair, and Daniel is in the other one. Both have their arms crossed.)

SCENE 1

NOLAN
(sternly) I’m telling you – Prince Henry is the best ruler we’ve had in our lifetimes.

DANIEL
(arguing) No way. Prince Rudy was so much better.

NOLAN
But Prince Henry supports the small farmers like us, brother.

DANIEL
You are crazy, brother.

NOLAN
You are so stubborn!

DANIEL
Me? Stubborn? You are the most stubborn out of the two of us.

NOLAN
I am the more agreeable of the two of us. Do you remember me agreeing to take out the garbage yesterday?

DANIEL
Are you kidding? I took out the garbage yesterday.

NOLAN
Ha! What a joke. You haven’t taken the trash out in weeks.

DANIEL
Oh, brother, how wrong you are.

NOLAN
My guess is whatever I say, you will disagree. It’s been like that since we were kids.

DANIEL
That’s because Mom loved me best.

NOLAN
Now I know you are crazy. She loved me best.

DANIEL
How about a little contest?

NOLAN
Oh, I love a good contest. What is it?

DANIEL
Since all we do is argue when we speak to on another, let’s see who can go without speaking the longest.

NOLAN
Easy. I’ll win.

DANIEL
Ha! Not true. I will certainly win.

NOLAN
THIS is EXACTLY why we need a contest.

DANIEL
So, when do we start? I have to go into town, so should we start now?

NOLAN
So, you think you can get through a trip to town without talking?

DANIEL
Absolutely. My guess is that you can’t stay silent just staying here in the house.

NOLAN
DEAL!
(Both Nolan and Daniel shakes hands and shut their mouths dramatically.)

SCENE 2:
(Lights come back up in the cottage. Nolan is sitting reading a newspaper, trying not to talk. Suddenly there is a knock on the door. Nolan rises to open the door to find Vida Sassoon. She is dressed as a medieval, eccentric woman with hairdressing tools around her in an elaborate belt and wears a sachet around her upper torso.)
VIDA
Oh, hello, sir.

(no response from Nolan)

Here’s where you say, “Hello, Madam.”

(Nolan shakes his head.)

VIDA (cont.)
No? Mute? Oh, you poor thing. Let me introduce myself. My name is Vida Sassoon, and I am a the most FABULOUS hairdresser in all the kingdom. Well, I’m trying to be. I’m going house to house to look for willing… let’s say participants. AND since you can’t talk… you are going to be my first client.

(Nolan shakes head like crazy.)

No? Oh, you’ll love it when I’m done. THIS IS EXCITING!

(Vida pushes Nolan into a chair, stands in front of him, and starts to work her magic. She waves her arms around in a dramatic fashion. She then pulls a very girly wig out of her sachet and secretly puts it on Nolan. Once ready, she moves aside to reveal Nolan.)

Look at you! You look AMAZING! I am so GOOD!

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