The Unfortunate Teller

Join Now Button

2 characters. Ten minutes running time. Hilarious scene between a fake fortune teller and a customer.

When a fortune teller is late getting back to her office, she asks her friend to stand in for her. Panicked, the friend muddles her way through a bizarre series of predictions for the customers. Students will have a blast with the witty dialogue and twists and turns of this scene for teens.

About the Playwright

Jeff Dunne is a playwright living near Baltimore, but his plays have been produced across the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. Both his full-length plays and shorter one-act scripts have won numerous festivals and competitions with professional and amateur theaters, and several works have been either written for or adapted to film. Jeff’s focus in writing is to encourage people to see life from new perspectives, to open their minds to alternate interpretations and possibilities with respect to things that they might otherwise take for granted. When not writing, Jeff enjoys acting (not nearly enough) and chocolate (far too much), and runs a Not-For-Profit organization that works to improve our world through a better understanding of the nature of self and consciousness. He is also a researcher in physics, engineering, and data science at the Johns Hopkins University.

Excerpt from the scene

CHARACTERS

FRIEND-A friend of a fortune teller who is currently unavailable. Smart, quick-thinking, but not very familiar with the fortune-telling business.

CUSTOMER-A simple, one might even say gullible, person looking for a reading.

Note: While the characters can be of either gender, it works best with the Friend being male.

(Scene takes place in a simple fortune teller’s stall or shop. There is a table with chairs on either side, and some kind of furniture in which stuff could be stowed. The fortune teller’s FRIEND is on the phone with her.)

FRIEND
No. No, I don’t… (Pause…) Sure I have seen yo– (Pause…) Yes, but that doesn’t me– (Pause…) Look, I’m just not comfortable (Pause…) I know it’s your livelihood, but… (Pause…) Fine. Where’s the deck? (Pause…) Hold on. (Friend looks around, but can’t find it.) It’s not there. (Pause…) No, it’s not. I looked. (Pause…) Okay, hold on again. (Friend looks in a new place, and finds a deck.) Yeah, I found it… (Looks at deck, and noticed there is something weird.) Is this a professional deck? (Pause…) Your kids? You had your kids make a deck of tarot cards? How do your kids even know… (Pause…) You can’t just make a new-

(Friend freezes as CUSTOMER enters.)

CUSTOMER
I’m looking for Madam Tourmalaine?

FRIEND
(Into the phone, hushed and desperate…)
A customer just walked in. (Brief pause…) No. (Brief pause…) No I– (Brief pause…) I won’t–(Brief pause…) They won’t–(Brief pause…) Fine.

(Hanging up, and turning to Customer…)

Hello.

CUSTOMER
Where’s Madam Tourmalaine?

FRIEND
(In an overly dramatic voice, and regardless of Friend’s gender…)
I’m Madam Tourmalaine.

CUSTOMER
You’re Madam-

FRIEND
Oh, oh! The spirits are speaking! They are speaking to me! They are saying that you don’t believe that I am Madam Tourmalaine!

CUSTOMER
Well, I-

FRIEND
I am sensing that you have come here to have your fortune told!

CUSTOMER
(Not expecting this…)
Yes. How did you know?

FRIEND
(Looks at Customer with a “Seriously? This is a mystery to you?” expression.)
It’s a gift. Here. Sit, sit. Take off your aura and make yourself comfortable.

(Customer looks confused at how to do that, and hesitates. Friend makes strange aura-dispersing gestures, and guides Customer to sit. Friend sits opposite.)

Now I must tell you something, and it is very important. Are you listening?

CUSTOMER
Yes?

FRIEND
A reading costs twenty dollars. And it must be paid in advance.

CUSTOMER
In advance? Why’s that?

FRIEND
Oh! Oh! Oh oh oh! The spirits do not wish to be questioned! They wish to be paid in advance!

CUSTOMER
Uh, okay. Here. (Hands over a twenty.)

FRIEND
(Takes the money, and then looks again at the tarot deck, a touch of angst visible.)
Alrighty roo, then. Er… Ahhh, the spirits are restless. Here. (Takes cards out of box.) Here we are. Now… uh… pick a card. Any card.

CUSTOMER
Is this really how this works?

FRIEND
This is how they tell fortunes in… India.

CUSTOMER
I didn’t know Tarot cards came from India.

FRIEND
Oh yes. Now pick a card.
(Customer picks a card.)

And what is the card that has chosen you?

CUSTOMER
It looks like the eight of…penguins. Is that-

FRIEND
A very auspicious starting card, the eight of penguins. It indicates… great misfortune, followed by… a lot of swimming. Are you an athlete?

CUSTOMER
Well, I like to stay in shape.

FRIEND
By swimming?

CUSTOMER
Raquetball.

FRIEND
In a pool?

CUSTOMER
Nooo.

FRIEND
At a gym?

CUSTOMER
Yes, as a matter of fa-

FRIEND
A gym with a pool?

CUSTOMER
Well, n-

FRIEND
I sense that it is a gym that has a water fountain.

CUSTOMER
As a matter of fact-

FRIEND
And do you float off the ground when you are there?

CUSTOMER
No!

FRIEND
Well that explains the penguins. (Lays some cards out on the table, and starts to turn them over.) Alright, let’s see what your future holds. Six of kittens… Four of… wontons?

Play, Licensing and Copyright Information
Join our Facebook Sharing Group
Read Our Reviews
Member of…
Member of ASCD
Member of National After School Association

Why Subscribe?

DN Why Subscribe to Drama NotebookInside Drama Notebook, you will find a huge collection of well-organized lesson plans, scripts for kids, drama activities, 50 drama games on video and more! Join today and dramatically reduce your planning time while delivering fresh, innovative drama lessons to your students! If you are new to teaching drama, this site will be a Godsend! You will immediately feel confident about teaching drama like an expert. The site guides you step-by-step and provides you with materials that you can use right away with your students.

If you have been teaching for years, Drama Notebook will inspire you with a fresh new approach and innovative ideas!

The site is packed with original, innovative lessons and activities that you will not find anywhere else—and new materials are added monthly.

DN Explore Button
DN Join Now Button