4 characters. 4M; 8 pages in length. Approximately 5-10 minutes running time. A science fair comedy for teens by playwright, Elizabeth Rapoza.

Transmorpher is a comedy about a science fair project gone wrong! Four boys struggle to regain their grasp on reality after the Permomutational Morphohelmet created by one of the boys for the science fair, has unintended effects. As each boy wears the helmet, they are transformed, in their minds at least, into someone else. Will Jack be able to think up a way to fix his friends in time or will they remain trapped as the dancing, prune-eating, kite-flying lunatics they’ve become? This hilarious comedy for teens takes science to a whole new level!

Elizabeth Rapoza first began writing plays for and with children over 30 years ago. All of Liz Rapoza’s plays are kid and audience tested, some many times over. Her youth play, “Perstephanie Goes Underground” won the Boston Public Schools Short Play Development Award. Her adult radio comedy “The Amazing Adventures of Pajamazon” was a winner in Mae West Fest of Seattle’s search for the Ultimate Female Protagonist. Her plays have also been performed at such venues as SlamBoston and the Factory Theater Boston. In addition, Liz is also a professional actor, dancer, musician, vocalist, puppeteer/puppet constructor and costumer. She has taught college theater courses since 2003. Liz currently teaches at Cape Cod Community College and the Zeiterion Theater, New Bedford, Ma.

Excerpt from the play:

CAST OF CHARACTERS

JACK: (m) Science Fair Contestant
LYLE: (m) Jack’s brother
TRENT: (m) Their cousin
HANK: (m) Their friend and neighbor

SETS AND COSTUMES:
The actors are playing young people like themselves and may therefore dress accordingly. The set is in a home and can be any room in which there is a table for Jack to work on his project, and an area for the other boys to hang out. This can be living room, dining room, den, etc. Props include: a helmet with knobs, dials, and wires to make it look like a virtual reality device that has been rigged together by a child from an old bicycle or motor cycle helmet. There can also be a variety of tools on the table. The other boys can have personal electronic game devices, books or a board game.

(JACK stands behind a table tinkering with a helmet. He is busy attaching, wires, knobs, etc.)

(LYLE is sprawled on the floor or in a chair reading a book or playing a game)

JACK
Hey Squirt, run down cellar and get me that screwdriver with the yellow handle.

LYLE
We learned in history class today that they outlawed slavery after the Civil War.

JACK
Yeah…so…what’s that supposed to mean.

LYLE
It means get your own screwdriver.

(JACK grunts, gives LYLE a dirty look, and exits to cellar)

(LYLE goes to table to look at helmet. TRENT enters)

TRENT
Wow! What’s that? Some kind of virtual reality thing?

LYLE
Who knows? Some stupid project my brother is making for the science fair.

TRENT
What does it do?

LYLE
Probably nothing. Jack thinks he’s some kind of scientist inventor, but he has a hard time using the microwave, let alone…

JACK
(Re-entering) I heard that! I do not have a hard time using the microwave! Just because I burned the popcorn a couple of times…

LYLE
A couple of times?! Every time!

TRENT
(Interceding to distract them from arguing) Hey Jack, what is this thing? (Reaches for helmet)

JACK
(Stops him) Don’t touch it! It’s my permomutational morpho-helmet. I’m going to win the $500 first prize at the science fair with that helmet.

TRENT
Cool. And when you win, you can take us all to Seven Banners amusement park.

HANK
(Entering) You’re going to Seven Banners! Can I come too? I wanna come! Hang on, I’ll run home and ask my mom. (He begins to run offstage)

LYLE
(Stopping HANK) Whoa! Hold on. Nobody said anybody was going to Seven Banners. Nobody has any money. And no stupid morpho-helmet is going to win any contests.

HANK
Morpho-helmet? (Indicates helmet) You mean that thing over there? What does it do?

TRENT
Yeah Jack. What does it do? You still haven’t told us.

LYLE
That’s because it doesn’t do anything and he’s stalling so he has time to make something up.

JACK
That’s where you’re wrong little bro. It does plenty. But I don’t need to tell you what it does. I can show you. (Goes to helmet and works on it) Just as soon as I finish tightening a few loose screws.

TRENT
So you admit you have few screws loose.

(TRENT, LYLE and HANK laugh)

JACK
(Glaring at them) Very funny. Ha ha. You won’t be laughing much longer. (Finished with his adjustments, he holds the helmet up) Now…who will be my first volunteer?

TRENT
Nope.

JACK
Not me.

HANK
Uh uh. No way.

JACK
Come on! Seriously? It won’t hurt you.

LYLE
Says you. I don’t want my brain looking like your popcorn – all burnt and crispy.

HANK
I’ll try it but only if you tell me what it does first.

JACK
Well…we put the helmet on you, (he puts the helmet on HANK) Then we turn this knob, (he turns a knob) and now you picture a scene…any scene, and next thing you know, the Permomutational Morphohelmet will transport you to that time and place.

TRENT
Uh yeah…sure. Are you trying to tell me it teleports you somewhere?

JACK
Well…it doesn’t transport your body, just your mind.

HANK
Cool! Like virtual reality! Okay. Let’s do it.

(JACK puts the helmet on HANK. He turns some knobs. The helmet makes strange whining noises. HANK shakes & twitches)

TRENT
Take it off him! You’re frying his brain!

(JACK quickly removes the helmet. HANK continues twitching)

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