Funny Play Script-A History of Messy Rooms

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12 characters; 4M, 5F, 2Either; Flexible casting; 11 pages in length. Approximately 10 minutes running time. An historical comedy about bed-making written by Wade Bradford.

A History of Messy Rooms is a humorous short play for kids about the great battle stretching over centuries. It is the battle between parents and children that begins with the age-old question, “Why do I have to make my bed?” It has been the same story for generations—children have always had chores to do to help the household run smoothly—and they’ve always complained about doing them! A mother takes her child on a humorous journey through the centuries to see how bed-making has evolved throughout history. Using examples of household tasks that might have been performed in colonial America, during the Middle Ages, by Vikings, and even back to prehistoric times! This clever examination of chore lore eventually reveals the answer to the age-old question. (Hint: Mothers have always had a ready response!)

Wade Bradford was born and raised in the often wet and sometimes windy state of Washington. At the age of 19, Wade fell in love with a girl who lived out-of-state, so he moved to the often sunny and sometimes shaky state of California. He earned a Masters in Literature from CSUN. Wade currently teaches English at Moorpark College. In 2011, his first picture book, Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? (edited by Red Fox Literary agent Abigail Samoun) was published by Tricycle Press/Random House. In a starred review, Publishers Weekly said of the book: “This book deserves a place on the shelves next to the Magic School Bus series.” Wade’s second picture book, Around the World in a Bathtub, is now available through Charlesbridge Publishing. His latest books are Papa Bear’s Page Fright and There’s a Dinosaur on the 13th Floor. In addition to writing picture books and novels, Wade has written over 35 plays, including CSI: Neverland, Promedy, and Tomorrow’s Wish. Oh, and the girl he fell in love with?  She and Wade have been married for over 23 years!

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Jamie
Mom
1950’s Girl
1910 Boy
CowGirl
1700’s Kid
1600’s Kid
Medieval Kid
Viking Girl
Roman Boy
Egyptian Girl
Cave Boy

Setting: A boy’s bedroom. The story will begin in modern times. Through the magic of theater, we will be going back through the ages.

About the Original Story: The children’s book, Why Do I Have to Make My Bed? Or, a History of Messy Rooms was published in February 2011 by Random House/Tricycle Press. It is written by Wade Bradford and illustrated by Johanna van der Sterre. The book is currently available at bookstores, libraries, and online retail stores.

Jamie
Mom, I put the dishes in the dish washer. Just like you asked. I’m going outside to play.

Mom
Jamie, have you finished your chores?

Jamie
Most of them.

Mom
Most of them?

Jamie
I already told you.

Mom
You put the dishes in the dish washer?

Jamie
Yes, and it was exhausting. Can I go outside a play now?

Mom
Did you clean your room?

Jamie
I cleaned it last Saturday!

Mom
You are supposed to clean it every Saturday. Please do it now, Jamie. It won’t take long. Then when all of your chores are out of the way, you can have the rest of the weekend to enjoy yourself.

Jamie
All right.

Mom
That’s my boy.

The Mom walks away. Jamie walks to his room, where other actors pretend to be toys scattered all over his floor. His bed (which might just be a pile of blankets and pillows) is very messy.

Jamie
Oh no. My room is a mess! Mom, this is going to take forever!

Mom
Then you better get started.

Jamie
Fine. First, I better pick up my Army Men. March, two three four.

(Two or three kids playing the role of army men stand up and march away.)

Army Men
Hup, two, three, four!

Jamie
And now my toy dinosaur collection. You guys better climb back on the shelf, back to where you belong.

(Two or three kids playing the role of dinosaurs growl like as they crawl to their proper places.)

Jamie
Oh, and I almost forgot. My robot monkey action figures. Time to go back to you box.

(Two or three kids act like robot monkeys and climb into a cardboard box.)

Jamie
Hey, that didn’t take too long. Mom! I cleaned my room!

Mom
Well, now. It looks much better. (She notices his bed.) Uh-oh.

Jamie
What?

Mom
You forgot to make your bed.

Jamie
Oh, Mom! Why do I have to make my bed? I already did the dishes. I picked up my army men, my dinosaurs, and my robot monkey action figures. So why do I have to make my bed? It’s just going to get messed up again?

Mom
Hmm… That reminds me of a story about your grandmother when she was a little girl.

Jamie
Grandma used to be a little kid? Like me?

Mom
Of course. Why wouldn’t she?

Jamie
I just figured she started out old. Like you.

Mom
No, we were all little kids once. See down the hallway? That black and white picture hanging on the wall? That’s your grandmother when she was your age.

(A little girl from the 1950’s sits still as if she is in a photograph.)

Jamie
When was this?

Mom
It’s from the 1950’s

Jamie
Wow. She looks grumpy.

Mom
Oh yes, on that day, I bet she was as grumpy as a groundhog because her mother said, “Make your bed.”

1950’s Girl
But I already washed and dried the dishes. I dusted my rock n roll records. I even picked up my slinky, my Hula Hoops, and my roller skates.

 

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