4 characters. 7 pages long. Approximately 5-8 minutes running time. A Greco-Roman radio play by playwright, Scot Walker.

Hera’s Birthday Surprise is a tale of Hera, Greek Goddess of Marriage and Queen of Olympus. It’s her birthday and her husband Zeus has hidden her gift inside a large wooden crate.  With the help of Ceres (and a few sticks of dynamite), she’ll get her gift opened but her temper may get the best of all of them!

This lively radio play mixes Greek and Roman Gods, and gives students lots of opportunities to experiment with creating their own sound effects. If performed live in front of an audience, students can create sound effects that happen off-stage to heighten the action and make for a melodramatic short play!

Scot Walker is a retired middle school teacher of English who’s been writing stories, poetry and plays for over half a century. His passion is to involve students with fine scripts and he longs for your questions and input about his plays.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

RADIO ANNOUNCER: M or F, any age.
Mercury: M, the messenger of the gods—fast on his feet.
Hera: F, the queen of the gods. Fast with her mouth!
Ceres: F, the cereal goddess—mother nature

SETTING

Somewhere on Mt. Olympus

RADIO ANNOUNCER
Mercury is dropping a package for Hera, let’s listen in. . . .

MERCURY
Look out below!

(Sound of a piano crate banging against a palace floor)

HERA
What the—

MERCURY
I’m sorry, Hera, I can’t hear very well right now. I’ve been fighting with Zeus and Vulcan all day about your birthday present and with all that shouting, Vulcan wounded our ears

HERA
And I care because?

MERCURY
(shouting) I can barely hear you! . . . Vulcan made your husband a hearing aid, but he ignored me and now my hearing is worse off than my winged sandals—shot to Hades!

HERA
And I care because?

MERCURY
Your messenger boy—ME—can barely see where he’s flying—

HERA
Is that why you just dropped a house on Mount Olympus?

MERCURY
It’s not a house, it’s your birthday present—and it’s from Zeus, not me.

HERA
Birthday present? Hold on while I get a crowbar and—

MERCURY
(Sotto voce) The queen of the gods, with a crowbar in her hands and mad as a hatter—I’m not hanging around for that.

(Sound of winged feet hurrying off)

HERA
It’s as big as a piano crate—could it be?

(Sound of Hera tearing into the crate with her crowbar and bare hands)

HERA
What kind of fool do you think I am, Zeus, playing tricks on me on my birthday! Another box inside this one. Very funny. Very funny, indeed!

(Sound of Hera whacking the box with a crow bar)

What the…? Come on, Zeus, a box inside a box inside another box? Very funny and this one’s steel. What have you and that doggone Vulcan been up to? I know you’ve spent hours in his workshop but I thought it was just another of your philandering excuses to go off and play some hanky-panky with another of your earthling girlfriends, but this? This is just mean, Zeus! (beat) Downright mean!

(Sound of her boiling in rage)

What’s this, you’ve spray painted the entire box with a hundred thousand Hera’s? I know how precious my name is to you, husband, but a hundred thousand times? One would be sufficient.

(Sound of Hera kicking the steel box and then a loud scream as the pain settles into her toes)

Okay Zeusy boy, you know my name, show me what you’ve got!

(More banging and clanging sounds)

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