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Characters: King Christopher (recorded voice only), Prince Richard, Prince Robert, Sir Gavin (knight), Ida (matron), Morinda (evil “queen”), Gwendolyn (evil lady-in-waiting), Delivery Man
(The king is recording his thoughts in his journal.)
KING CHRISTOPHER: King’s journal, 12th day of September,
in the Year of our Lord, 1451. It has now been
five weeks since I first left King’s Manor. Being away for
so long has been more difficult than I anticipated, but
I have been able to spend much time in the Scriptures.
This has been a great comfort to me in my despair over
the foolishness of my sons. Psalm 112:1 says, “
the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in
his commands. His children will be mighty in the land.”
That is my earnest prayer.
(As the lights come up, the scene begins with RICHARD seated at the breakfast table in the Great Hall. IDA enters carrying breakfast items—cereal bowls, spoons, cloth napkins, a jug of milk, and a large bowl of porridge with a ladle.)
IDA: Richard. Where’s your brother?
(Immediately, ROBERT enters the room wrapped in a blanket.)
PRINCE ROBERT: (gloomy) I’m here.
(After ROBERT sits down, IDA goes about preparing the PRINCES’ breakfast.)
IDA: (noticing ROBERT’S attire, she “rolls her eyes”) And how did the princes sleep last night? Probably got cold.
PRINCE RICHARD: (as he starts to eat his porridge) No, I slept fine.
PRINCE ROBERT: (gloomy) What?
IDA: What’s wrong? Why aren’t you eating your porridge? Are you sick? (as she feels his forehead)
PRINCE ROBERT: No, I’m not sick.
IDA: Oh . . . I think I know what the problem is. (as she steps out of the room and grabs ROBERT’S teddy bear) Is THIS what you’re looking for?
PRINCE RICHARD: (teasing) Aww . . . it’s Woobie Bear!
PRINCE ROBERT: (immediately perks up) Where’d you find him?!
IDA: In the courtyard where you left him. Honestly, I’m getting tired of picking up after you boys. Now hurry up and eat your porridge before it gets cold.
(IDA returns to the kitchen.)
PRINCE RICHARD: You big baby!
PRINCE ROBERT: I’m rubber, you’re glue. Whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you!
PRINCE RICHARD: Does not!
PRINCE ROBERT: Does too!
PRINCE RICHARD: Does not!
PRINCE ROBERT: Does too!
PRINCE RICHARD: Does not!
(IDA enters holding a box.)
IDA: Boys! Now stop it!
PRINCE ROBERT: (softly, to RICHARD) Does too.
PRINCE RICHARD: (noticing the box) What do you have there?
IDA: I don’t know. A strange-looking man delivered it this morning. (as she gives it to RICHARD) He just handed it to me and then left in a hurry.
PRINCE RICHARD: (Never seeing a cardboard box before, he looks it over carefully, then shakes it.) Hmm . . . very strange.
IDA: I don’t like it. I think you should show it to Sir Gavin. (IDA returns to the kitchen.)
PRINCE ROBERT: Sounds like there’s something inside. Can you open it?
(RICHARD opens the box and pulls out two fancy water guns. Although puzzled at first, the PRINCES quickly figure out what they are and begin to play with them. Then the sound of a truck pulling up to the castle [sfx] is heard. The DELIVERY MAN emerges from backstage and proceeds to the castle door. He rings the castle doorbell [sfx] and then IDA appears at the door to greet him.)
IDA: May I help you?
DELIVERY MAN: Hey . . . you still have that package I gave you this morning?
IDA: Uh . . . yes. Please come in.
(IDA enters the Great Hall and introduces their guest, the DELIVERY MAN.)
IDA: Uh . . . sires, that strange-looking man I told you about has returned.
DELIVERY MAN: (looking at his clipboard) What’s the name of this place?
PRINCE RICHARD: King’s Manor.
DELIVERY MAN: Oh . . . my bad. My GPS is giving me fits today! I’ll need those back, then. (as he retrieves the toys). Sorry, man. (pulls a coupon from his shirt pocket and hands it to IDA) For your trouble, here’s a 10% off coupon. Next time you ship something, just go to our website, type in the code, and you’ll be good to go. (as he notices the surroundings) Hey . . . this place is cool. Love the costumes. You guys got that medieval thing goin’ on. (looks at his watch) Well . . . gotta go. (to IDA) It’s okay . . . I’ll find my way out. Later, dudes!
(DELIVERY MAN exits.)
IDA: Well! Don’t ask me what that was all about! What’s a . . . ”dude,” anyway??
(As the DELIVERY MAN leaves the castle and exits backstage, MORINDA and GWENDOLYN enter from the rear of the auditorium and proceed toward the castle door.)
PRINCE ROBERT: (to RICHARD) Hey, Richard . . . we GOTTA get us some of those!
PRINCE RICHARD: I know . . . I wonder where he got ’em?
(The sound of a truck starting and pulling away [sfx] is heard. Then the PRINCES exit the room as IDA begins cleaning up the breakfast table. After a few moments, the castle doorbell [sfx] rings. MORINDA and GWENDOLYN are standing at the castle door.)
IDA: Now what. Probably the strange-looking man again.
(She puts down the breakfast things, then leaves the room to go answer the door.)
(IDA emerges from the front door of the castle.)
IDA: May I help you?
MORINDA: (pretending to be in awe) Is this the castle of . . . King Christopher the Great? (turns to audience and makes a “scowl”)
IDA: (a little suspicious) Yes, of course it is. And who might you be?
MORINDA: I am Linda, Queen of the Paganites, and I have traveled many days to see the king. What I heard in my own country about his wisdom and achievements was so remarkable that I had to see for myself whether they were true or not. And that is why I have come.
IDA: My lady, I have never heard of your country.
MORINDA: Well, of course, you haven’t! We are such a small people and so very far away. Are you surprised that your king’s fame has spread such a great distance?
IDA: Well . . . no, of course not. King Christopher is a wonderful king, but . . .
MORINDA: (impatient, cuts her off) My lady . . . you can imagine our relief to have finally arrived at this fair place after so long and difficult a trip. We are very tired. May we please come inside?
IDA: (not sure what to think) Uh . . . well . . . I must speak to my lords, first.
MORINDA: (frustrated but trying to keep composure) Yes, of course. You must be cautious, I know. Go right ahead . . . we’ll just wait here until you come back.
(IDA leaves to speak to the PRINCES.)
GWENDOLYN: What if they don’t let us in, my Queen? What will we do then?
MORINDA: Don’t worry, dear Gwendolyn. The matron of the castle may be overly cautious, but I’ve heard that the princes are quite naive. They are certainly no match for someone as cunning as I. No . . . we won’t have any trouble with them. You just watch.
(The PRINCES emerge from the front door of the castle. ROBERT stands in front of RICHARD with his teddy bear clearly visible.)
MORINDA: (under her breath, to GWENDOLYN) See what I mean?
GWENDOLYN: (under her breath, to MORINDA) You’re kidding . . . these are the princes?
(RICHARD reaches around ROBERT and grabs the teddy bear. ROBERT holds on and a momentary struggle ensues. Then RICHARD wins and tosses it back into the castle.)
PRINCE RICHARD: (embarrassed) Uh . . . welcome to King’s Manor. And which one of you is Veranda, Queen of the Cabinets?
MORINDA: (steps toward the PRINCES, a little annoyed) I . . . am Linda, Queen of the Paganites.
PRINCE RICHARD: (embarrassed) Oh . . . sorry.
MORINDA: And which one of you is King Christopher the Great? I have heard so much about King’s Manor and Your Highness, that I wanted to see for myself your wisdom and grandeur (bows to pay homage).
PRINCE RICHARD: Oh, well no . . . we’re just princes. I’m Richard and he’s Robert.
PRINCE ROBERT: Yeah . . . King Christopher is our father. But, he’s not here. Sorry.
MORINDA: That’s okay . . . we’ll just wait for him.
PRINCE ROBERT: No . . . you see . . . he’s on vacation, and we don’t know when he’s coming back.
PRINCE RICHARD: It could be a while.
MORINDA: (pretends great disappointment) Well, Gwendolyn . . . it looks like we may have traveled all this way for nothing.
GWENDOLYN: (plays along dramatically) Yes, my queen. What a heartbreaking disappointment.
PRINCE RICHARD: (sympathetic) Oh . . . but, I’m sure WE can answer all your questions!
PRINCE ROBERT: Yes, of course, please come in! You’re welcome to stay for as long as you like!
MORINDA: Oh, your Majesties . . . you are too kind!
(MORINDA and GWENDOLYN enter the castle, following the PRINCES into the Great Hall. MORINDA, having lived in the castle as a little girl, is mesmerized. IDA stands in the doorway listening to their conversation.)
MORINDA: My, my . . . this IS a grand place!
PRINCE RICHARD: Yes, the castle was built by my grandfather, King Addison the Brave. They say that this was his favorite room.
MORINDA: (distracted) Yes . . . it certainly was.
(SIR GAVIN enters from the side of the auditorium and proceeds to the castle.)
PRINCE ROBERT: Wait . . . what did you say?
MORINDA: (tongue-tied) Uh . . .
(“Wide-eyed” at what MORINDA just said, GWENDOLYN tries to “rescue” her.)
GWENDOLYN: Oh . . . uh . . . what she meant to say was that she can IMAGINE that this was his favorite room. (to MORINDA) Isn’t that what you meant?
MORINDA: Well . . . yes, of course . . . I mean . . . who wouldn’t like this room? It’s beautiful!
(SIR GAVIN arrives at the castle door and rings the doorbell [sfx]. IDA exits to answer the door.)
MORINDA: (changes the subject) So, tell me . . . was your father an only child?
PRINCE ROBERT: Well, not exactly. He had a stepsister, named Morinda. But we don’t like to talk about her.
MORINDA: (trying to stay calm) Oh, really? And, uh . . . why is that?
PRINCE ROBERT: Because she was bad.
MORINDA: Bad? How so?
PRINCE RICHARD: Well . . . they say she didn’t like it when our father, King Christopher, inherited the throne instead of her. In fact, she was so angry that she became wicked and had to be banished from the kingdom forever.
MORINDA: Banished forever, huh? That’s a long time.
(IDA enters the room.)
IDA: (head bows) My lords, Sir Gavin is here.
PRINCE RICHARD: Thanks, Ida. You can invite him in.
MORINDA: (nervous, thinks quickly to block IDA from leaving) Uh, my lady . . . who is this . . . Sir Gavin?
PRINCE ROBERT: (cuts IDA off) He’s our father’s most trusted knight. He comes to the castle every day to train us in the skills of knighthood!
MORINDA: (making it up as she goes) Well, then . . . we certainly don’t want to get in the way of anything. You go right ahead with your plans. Gwendolyn and I will just look around for a while . . . if that’s alright with you, of course.
PRINCE RICHARD: Oh, sure . . . make yourselves comfortable!
MORINDA: (as she and GWENDOLYN are exiting the Great Hall by a different way) Thank you. (slight pause) Oh, and I was just thinking that . . . um . . . you needn’t mention anything about us to Sir Gavin. I’m sure we’ll meet him soon enough.
PRINCE RICHARD: Well . . . okay, if that’s what you want.
MORINDA: Yes . . . I think that would be best.
(MORINDA and GWENDOLYN exit the room.)
IDA: I don’t know if I like her, Sires. (as she leaves to get SIR GAVIN) If you ask me, I think trouble is brewing. Trouble with a capital “T”!
PRINCE ROBERT: Oh, I think it’s neat that a queen from a faraway land came to see us.
PRINCE RICHARD: So do I!
(SIR GAVIN enters the Great Hall with something important on his mind.)
SIR GAVIN: (serious) Good morning, boys . . . I mean . . . Sires.
PRINCE ROBERT: Hey, Gavin. What do you call a warrior who’s lost his voice?
SIR GAVIN: (annoyed by the distraction of a joke) I don’t know.
PRINCE ROBERT: Silent Knight! Get it? Silent . . . Knight. (laughs briefly, then stops when no one else laughs with him) I really . . . uh . . . like that one.
PRINCE RICHARD: (to ROBERT) Told you he wouldn’t think it was funny.
SIR GAVIN: Sires . . . I need you to listen. This is important. Did your father ever speak to you about his stepsister?
PRINCE ROBERT: You mean Morinda? Yeah, but it was a long time ago.
SIR GAVIN: Well, she’s now known as “The Evil Queen Morinda.” And it’s possible she may be coming this way. Someone reported seeing her near Rainbow Bridge.
PRINCE ROBERT: But, she wouldn’t come here . . . would she? I mean . . . she’s not allowed in King’s Manor.
PRINCE RICHARD: . . . or anywhere in the kingdom.
SIR GAVIN: I don’t know . . . but she’s certainly bold enough to try.
PRINCE RICHARD: (determined) Well, if she does . . . no worries. We’ll just sick Flame on her.
PRINCE ROBERT: Yeah! That’s a great idea, Rich! We’ll throw her in the dragon chamber!
SIR GAVIN: (interrupts) The reason I’m telling you this is so you’ll keep watch. In the battle between good and evil, it’s not always clear, at first, who’s on your side. So we have to be careful, stay alert, and stand strong for the truth!
PRINCE RICHARD: Well, you don’t have to worry about us! There’s no way “The Evil Queen Morinda” is getting in here! Isn’t that right, Robbie?!
PRINCE ROBERT: That’s right! Not. A. Chance!
SIR GAVIN: I hope you’re right, because if she was ever allowed to get control of this place . . . well . . . let’s just say it wouldn’t be pretty!
PRINCE ROBERT: Hey, Rich . . . maybe we should practice our sword fighting!
PRINCE RICHARD: You took the words right out of my mouth! C’mon . . . let’s go!
(The PRINCES run out of the room.)
SIR GAVIN: (frustrated) Sometimes I wonder if they’ll ever grow up!