Catch the Waves is an intergalactic comedy sure to be a hit with sci-fi fans! A crew of space explorers are on a mission to save Earth when they are forced to crash land on the planet Kapzastria. There, the local inhabitants share their resources and unique skills to help the travelers complete their mission and find their sense of humor. With the help of a Greek chorus of Ancients speaking in verse and the Earthlings, (Terra and Firma), making regular appearances in hologram, every actor in this far out space adventure is a star!
Patti Veconi is a Brooklyn-based music and drama teacher, director of youth theater, dramaturg and playwright. Though her niche is writing in the adolescent voice, her plays for adults have also been produced in theater festivals around the country. Patti holds a BFA in music theater from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree in educational theatre from New York University. Patti is published with Eldridge, Heuer and Heartland in the U.S. and with Lazy Bee Scripts in the UK.
Excerpt from the play:
CAST OF CHARACTERS
THE ANCIENTS – Any comfortable number of actors who speak in chorus.
CAPTAIN – Has complete confidence in his/her crew…pretty much.
NAVIGATOR – Has an excellent sense of direction.
CATCHER 1 – A bit bumbling. Works closely with Catcher 2.
CATCHER 2 – Also a bit bumbling. Works closely with Catcher 1.
FETCHER – Ready for any assignment. Knows a bit about psychology.
NUMBER 2 – The Captain’s first mate.
GIZMO – A quirky genius with a breathtakingly enigmatic vocabulary.
COMMUNICATOR – Loves to communicate and appreciates others’ skills at it.
LIEUTENANT – Keeps tabs on what’s happening in engineering.
YIREL – Leader of the Kapzastrian Counsel.
XENOPHI – Reporter skilled in the use of “mindlock” to communicate.
WERDAN – Kapzastrian counselor.
DYRED – Kapzastrian counselor.
THAANN – Kapzastrian counselor.
YANNYR – Kapzastrian counselor.
TERRA – Appears in hologram with news from Mother Earth.
FIRMA – Appears in hologram with Terra. Wears the latest hairstyles.
TIME: The future.
SETTING: Scenes take place on both the Neo-Ventura space ship and the planet Kapzastria. There should be at least two exits, though three is better: upstage right, upstage left and aisle. The Earthlings appear in hologram. While this can be achieved in any number of ways, the original production used a light strobe effect when those actors entered.
(Front of stage. Music plays as The ANCIENTS enter. They form a tableaux until the music ends.)
Deep in outer space,
a crew of intrepid travelers,
tasked with the responsibility
of saving their own, far away planet,
struggle for survival
among the harsh elements
of fragile planetary systems.
They search the stars
to catch the waves.
(BLACKOUT – END OF SCENE)
(Bridge of the Neo-Ventura spaceship. The CREW of the Neo-Ventura are shown in tableaux. They begin speaking at LIGHTS UP. NUMBER 2 walks around the bridge, inspecting.)
Navigator, are we on course?
Yes, Captain. According to my calculations, we should reach our target waves in less than one Earth day.
(CATCHERS 1 and 2 are struggling with the billowgrab, a curious instrument with lots of colors, knobs, gadgetry, etc. It is pointed at NUMBER 2 as he/she passes them.)
Hey, watch where you point that gizmo of Doctor Gizmo’s!
Crew, is the wave-catcher instrument ready?
(CATCHER 1 takes the billowgrab from CATCHER 2 as they both approach the CAPTAIN.)
CATCHER 1:[together with CATCHER 2] Yes, Captain.
CATCHER 2:[together with CATCHER 1] Unclear, Captain.
What was that?
(CATCHER 2 takes it back from CATCHER 1.)
CATCHER 1:[together with CATCHER 2] Unclear, Captain.
CATCHER 2:[together with CATCHER 1] Yes, Captain.
Well, which is it? Is the instrument ready or not?
We think so, Captain.
But we can’t be sure.
Fetcher, bring Doctor Gizmo to the bridge.
(FETCHER exits. NUMBER 2 takes the instrument from CATCHER 2 and looks it over, curiously.)
We need to know if this contraption is going to work.
(Nervously apologizing.) It’s just that Dr. Gizmo had to patch it together with the supplies already on board.
We haven’t used it yet and, and, and…
(CATCHER 2 looks to CATCHER 1 for support.)
And there is no precedence for this assignment.
And there is no precedence for this assignment!
I don’t want excuses. This is a matter of life or death for our planet.
(NUMBER 2 thrusts the instrument back into the hands of CATCHER 1.)
You heard the captain. Whatever tests you need to run, just get on with it. Our very existence depends on catching these waves.
(GIZMO enters, followed by FETCHER. GIZMO is very disheveled. His hair is sticking out on end and he wears a white lab coat with a tool belt dripping in “futuristic-science-ish-gadgety” stuff. He is holding one of these contraptions and muttering to himself. As he speaks, ALL look at him with awe…or total confusion.)
(Holding up the gadget as he speaks.) If I take this quadri-nepti-hepti-liptigon volumizer… (Plucking another gadget from his tool belt and holding it up next to the first.) and just carefully adjust the alignment of the sub-quantum-atom-plishtagraph with it…(Fitting the two pieces together somehow.) then the vario-transma-zaptor should…should…well it should…grrrr… (Looking in confusion at the gadgets.) It should…(Looking up and speaking out to the audience, oblivious to the crew on the ship.) I don’t understand. All of my calculations are perfect. I’ve run the theoreticals thoroughly through…(Pausing, struck by an idea.) Unless? Unless? That’s it! The murphy’s-law-receptors are misaligned! Genius!
(GIZMO begins to run offstage.)
Doctor Gizmo! I called you to the bridge for answers, not nonsense.
Captain. My work mustn’t be interrupted. The sensitivity of our –
As your captain, I can interrupt anything I want to on the Neo-Ventura.
(FETCHER and LIEUTENANT quickly begin to gossip about the CAPTAIN yelling.)
You two, quit talking! (To GIZMO.) See? I just interrupted them.