Jump

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7 characters; 6M, 1F; Flexible casting; 13 pages in length. Approximately 15 minutes running time. An adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s fable written by Marino-Moana Begman.

Jump is a fact-filled and fun adaption of a Hans Christian Andersen fable. With the annual jumping tournament coming up, the disciplined competitors have been training hard to put everything on the line and win. Traditionally an all-male event, Ruby Rabbit has dreams to be the first female entrant. Will Ruby Rabbit get to compete? If so, will she win it and be the first female winner? Or will Farrell Flea, last year’s runner up, win it? What about a newcomer to the competition, like Grover Grasshopper? Whoever it is will have to show both mental and physical toughness to win this competition!

Marino-Moana Begman is forty-six and lives in the Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Jump is her first children’s play and her proudest piece of writing to date. She’s currently a student at North Tec, studying Creative Writing. She loves reading, writing and traveling. Her three adult children; Jacqualine, Rainan, and Shylee and ten-year-old daughter, Mackenzie, provide the foundation of her story, script and dialogue ideas and she sees them as her life’s greatest achievement.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

Ruby Rabbit –               female, witty, intelligent trickster who is the under-estimated underdog

Farrell Flea –              male, last year’s second placer and this year’s favourite. Even he believes he will easily win.

Grover Grasshopper – male, a first-time competitor who wants everyone to accept him.

Leroy Leapfrog –         male, disqualified last year but super confident that he will win it this year.

Carlos Cricket –          male, last year’s winner. A lively, chattery and intelligent character and commentator of this year’s tournament.

Calvin Kangaroo –      male, an Australian character in line with the type of animal he is. He is a previous winner. A big, intimidating, arrogant, jock-type character. Joint commentator for this year’s tournament.

The crowd –                  Non-speaking

CAMERAMAN –                Non-speaking

TIME:  [Modern, midday/early afternoon]

SETTING:  A country setting where the animals will have space in natural habitat to train. The sports ground/arena is where the locals gather awaiting the annual jumping event.

PROPS:
2x binoculars
2x microphone headpieces
1x handheld microphone
1x table for commentators
1x mock video camera
4x competition bibs of different colours
Crowd cheering soundtrack (if required)

SCENE ONE

(RUBY RABBIT burrows out from her rabbit hole to see Farrell flea who is jumping up and down on the spot).

RUBY RABBIT  
Hey, Farrell, what ya doin’?

FARRELL FLEA  
What does it look like? I’m jumpin’!

RUBY RABBIT  
Yeah, but what ya jumpin’ for?

FARRELL FLEA  
Haven’t you heard? The jumping tournament is next week, and I’m gonna win it this year!

RUBY RABBIT  
Wait, did you compete last year?

FARRELL FLEA  
Are you kidding me? I came second, Ruby!

RUBY RABBIT  
Oh, sorry! All I remember is Carlos Cricket won it last year.

FARRELL FLEA  
Well, not this year! I’m winning it this year!

RUBY RABBIT  
(melodically) That’s not what I hear.

FARRELL FLEA  
What? What did you hear?

RUBY RABBIT  
Oh, nothing! Keep on jumping, Farrell.

(RUBY RABBIT, hops, jumps and leaps away)

SCENE TWO

(RUBY RABBIT, stumbles upon GROVER GRASSHOPPER who is hopping left to right)

RUBY RABBIT
Hey, Grover, what ya doin’?

GROVER GRASSHOPPER 
It looks pretty obvious, doesn’t it?

RUBY RABBIT
Ahhh, it looks like you’re jumping.

GROVER GRASSHOPPER
No, Ruby, I am hopping.

RUBY RABBIT
Looks like jumping to me!

GROVER GRASSHOPPER
Well, it isn’t, and I will finally prove that hopping beats jumping.

RUBY RABBIT
Oh yeah? How ya gonna do that?

GROVER GRASSHOPPER
In the tournament next week.

RUBY RABBIT 
But, isn’t this your first year?

GROVER GRASSHOPPER 
Yes, but…

RUBY RABBIT

(interrupting Grover) I thought first years never win it!

GROVER GRASSHOPPER 
Well this year, a first-timer will! Me!

RUBY RABBIT
(melodically) That’s not what I hear.

GROVER GRASSHOPPER
Wait, what have you heard?

RUBY RABBIT 
Oh, nothing. Keep on hopping, Grover.

(RUBY RABBIT, hops, jumps and leaps away)

SCENE THREE
(LEROY LEAPFROG is very focused and concentrating on leaping in a circle. RUBY RABBIT, hops, jumps and leaps right into LEROY)

LEROY LEAPFROG
(Agitated and frustrated). Ruuuu-bbbb-yyyy, watch out!

RUBY RABBIT
Oh sorry, Leroy. I didn’t mean to…hey, what ya doin’?

LEROY LEAPFROG   
I don’t have time for your questions today Ruby. Can’t you see I’m busy?

RUBY RABBIT
Just looks like you’re going around in circles, if you ask me.

LEROY LEAPFROG   
Well, nobody is asking you, are they, Ruby?

RUBY RABBIT
No, they’re not. But if you think you’re gonna win the tournament next week, you’re wrong, coz (melodically) that’s not what I hear.

LEROY LEAPFROG 
Yeah, well you heard wrong, coz I AM going to win it!

RUBY RABBIT 
Ok Leroy, well, you keep leaping then.

(RUBY RABBIT, hops, jumps and leaps away)

SCENE FOUR

(The day of the tournament has arrived. The crowd is bustling as they wait for the athletes to enter the arena. The commentators are making small talk to entertain them as they wait)

CARLOS CRICKET
This is the event of the year, folks, and as last year’s winner, I know the training is rigorous and hard. I wonder who will win it this year, Ca

CALVIN KANGAROO
Well, as a former winner myself, I know the athletes must be focused and disciplined. Do we know who has entered this year Carlos?

CARLOS CRICKET   
Good idea Calvin, let’s look at the line-up. We have Farrell flea, last year’s runner up. (Carlos chuckles). I just took him in the end  – just!

CALVIN KANGAROO 
Yeah, that was great last year, had everyone on the edge of their seats!

CARLOS CRICKET   
And did you know Calvin, that the average flea is able to jump 220 times their own body length and around 30,000 times in a row?

CALVIN KANGAROO
Wow, now that’s stamina! Makes your win last year even more impressive then, doesn’t it, Carlos?

CARLOS CRICKET 
(proudly) Thank you, Calvin, it was a close one.

CALVIN KANGAROO 
And the rest of the competitors, Carlos?

CARLOS CRICKET
Oh yes, sorry! We have a first-year competitor this year with Grover Grasshopper. He might be someone to watch out for.

CALVIN KANGAROO
That’s true but unlikely for a first-year, I reckon.

CARLOS CRICKET   
Well, hold that thought, Calvin, because did you know that grasshoppers can jump twenty times their own bodyweight?

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