The Props Master

Slack is just as his name describes him: a slacker. But when he's handed community service, he decides to go up to a local community theatre and try his hand out with the back stage work. Little does he know, he is handed the task of being their props master for their latest show. From there wild hijinks explode which include a feud with the director, love interests, and a war with an evil mafia family.

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4. The great Vase chase

INT – HELPING HAND THEATRE

TREVOR:

I am Mercutio. Hear me roar!

SHAWN:

Is this really the best option we got?

VAL:

How good of an actor are you?

TREVOR:

I’m the best damn actor since Brando, ma’am. Anything to live out my dream as performing The Bard’s Mercutio.

(VAL and SHAWN look at each other)

VAL:

Give him the role.

SHAWN:

Fine. But if he fucking blows it, it’s on our prop masters head.

TREVOR:

Are you the director?

SHAWN:

I am, actually. Yes.

TREVOR:

Wonderful. Because I would like to tell you I’m dropping the binge drinking portion out of my performance. I’ll binge drink on my own time thank you very much.

SHAWN:

Excuse me?

TREVOR:

Do you want a Mercutio or not?

SHAWN:

I won’t tolerate actors telling me how to run my own show.

TREVOR:

And I won’t stand for this aggression against England’s finest playwright.

SHAWN:

Did the commoners not drink? Do you not think they would find Mercutio’s drunken fits humorous?

TREVOR:

Did Mercutio not speak poetry? Not some drunken mishmash of slurs and rum laced nagging?

SHAWN:

I can easily replace you.

TREVOR:

I can easily snap your neck.

SHAWN:

I know that.

(Pause)

HUNG:

What am I observing here?

TREVOR:

Get the fuck out of here Hung. You’re out of your territory.

(HUNG walks away)

SHAWN:

Mercutio drinks.

TREVOR:

I say he doesn’t.

SHAWN:

We’ll see about that.

(SHAWN walks away)

SLACK:

What the fuck was that all about, man?

TREVOR:

I was standing my ground. Fighting for what was right. Justice and peace among the written words of William.

(The front door is heard opening)

SHAWN:

Is Lula here yet?

(An older woman, in her forties, walks in)

LULA:

Sorry, I’m late. But yes, I am here.

SHAWN:

Finally. Our Lady Capulet has arrived.

TREVOR:

That’s Lady Capulet?

SLACK:

Lula Pond, yep.

TREVOR:

Jesus. With a name like that, she can make your balls shrink before even looking at her.

LULA:

Why hello handsome. I haven’t seen you around here before.

(LULA walks over to TREVOR)

TREVOR:

Lady Capulet, I’m young and untouched. Please don’t phase me with your filmy eyeballs.

(TREVOR walks away. LULA looks at SLACK who just shrugs and continues walking)

SHAWN:

Okay everyone. As you have all heard, we’ve had a minor step back. Our Mercutio, Roger, is in the hospital.

(The cast grumbles)

SHAWN:

But! Our props master was lucky enough to have gotten us an understudy. Please meet our new Mercutio, Trevor Armstrong.

(The cast slowly claps in dim delight. SLACK leans over to TREVOR)

SLACK:

You see, man? The theatre world is very welcoming.

TREVOR:

Thank you, thank you. Now before we get started with our hard ass director, I just want you all to know that you shouldn’t be intimidated by superior acting talents. It only means I’m doing better than every single one of you.

HUNG:

Even me?

TREVOR:

Especially you, Hung.

SHAWN:

Thanks for that riveting welcome, Trevor. We’re about to rehearse the Queen Mab scene. Get ready.

(VAL calls for SLACK)

VAL:

Slack! You’re needed down in the basement.

SLACK:

Coming, Val.

(SLACK skips down the stairs)

VAL:

There you are. Have you had a chance to look at your budget for the prop list?

SLACK:

Um, no. I didn’t know we had a budget.

VAL:

Well we do. We have exactly four hundred dollars to spend for props.

SLACK:

Sweet. I’m pretty sure I can scrounge some stuff up with that type of dough.

VAL:

Have you started looking yet?

SLACK:

Not really but-

VAL:

You better start looking. Now!

SLACK:

Right. I’ll go look for some props right now even.

VAL:

Good. And Slack…

SLACK:

Yeah?

VAL:

Not a penny over budget, do you hear me?

SLACK:

I hear you loud and clear.

 

INT – PAWN STORE

(SLACK is browsing through some knick-knacks)

SLACK:

Thanks for coming to help me sort through this stuff, guys. It really means a lot to me that you’re skipping out on rehearsal for the good of the props.

(He turns around to see MARK and KAYLA standing behind him)

MARK:

It’s no problem, I guess. Although I would like to memorize my lines…

KAYLA:

We’ll have plenty of time, Romeo. Slack needs some help is all.

MARK:

Yeah, and a ride back to the theatre after this.

SLACK:

Exactly! Thanks for giving me the lift over here guys. You two are just the bee’s knees.

MARK:

What props are we exactly looking for, Slack?

SLACK:

Anything off of the list.

MARK:

So you aren’t looking for anything in particular?

SLACK:

Technically I’m looking for everything, man.

KAYLA:

Mark, let’s try looking over there for some items off of the list for Slack. We’ll be right back.

SLACK:

No prob.

(KAYLA and MARK walk off. SLACK whistles to himself as he walks over to a wall holding a bunch of crafts. One of them catches SLACK’s eye. It’s a gold vase)

LANDER:

You see something you like?

SLACK:

Huh?

(SLACK turns around to see the store owner behind him)

LANDER:

I see you eyeing my wall of crafts. Anything in particular you’re looking for?

SLACK:

Oh, not really man.

LANDER:

I don’t know. I think I see a little twinkle in your eye. Something has to be tickling your fancy.

SLACK:

Mmm. Well to be honest, that vase right there is quite a dandy.

LANDER:

You mean the gold one right there?

SLACK:

Exactly, man. It’s beautiful. And it’s exactly what I need.

LANDER:

What do you need a gold vase for?

SLACK:

Oh, well you see, I’m the props master for the latest show over at A Helping Hand community theatre.

LANDER:

You mean that little theatre over by the cemetery?

SLACK:

Yep.

LANDER:

I go there all the time. You folks put on wonderful shows.

SLACK:

Thanks, man.

LANDER:

So you need a gold vase for the play?

SLACK:

As a set piece mostly. Yeah.

LANDER:

Well you’re in luck. This particular vase right here is on sale.

SLACK:

Awesome! How much?

LANDER:

Twenty dollars. But for you, I’ll make it fifteen. Anything to help the local theatre out.

(LANDER grabs the vase and hands it over to SLACK)

SLACK:

Gee, thanks! I’ll go get my friend Mark so he can pay for this. Thanks, man.

LANDER:

You can call me Lander.

SLACK:

I’m Slack, the props master.

LANDER:

Well Mr. Props Master, I can’t wait to see my little vase up on stage. Don’t disappoint me.

SLACK:

I’m sure we won’t. Thanks again. Hey Mark! Get over here and pay this fine dude!

(SLACK walks off as LANDER laughs to himself)

 

INT – WAREHOUSE

(We hear the sounds of punches. One final thwack fills the air and a body hits the ground. He’s tied to a chair)

WESLEY:

Please, I told you all that I know.

MARGINO:

I don’t think you have, Wesley. You should know it’s a mortal sin to steal from Herbert Margino.

WESLEY:

Please, Mr. Margino…I told you everything.

MARGINO:

I highly doubt that.

(MARGINO takes out a gun and fires it at the ground, the bullet nearly hitting WESLEY)

 WESLEY:

Please! Have mercy!

MARGINO:

Where’s my fucking vase, Wesley!?

WESLEY:

I pawned it at a knick-knack store!

(He starts to cry)

WESLEY:

I’m sorry, Mr. Margino. I just really needed the money and-

MARGINO:

You pawned the Margino family vase? At what fucking store?

WESLEY:

The one on West Cleveland Boulevard. Please. I have three kids. 

MARGINO:

So do I.

(MARGINO shoots WESLEY three times)

MARGINO:

And now they’re inside you.

(Silence. MARGINO looks at a few of his henchman who are waiting in the shadows)

MARGINO:

Was that a good zinger?

(The henchmen all grumble)

MARGINO:

Come on, give me a straight answer. I don’t want to sound like a complete fucking fruitcake before sending a man to hell. I’m supposed to be the most feared mob leader in Ohio here.

BROCK:

It was a little silly, Mr. Margino.

MARGINO:

Dammit. Remind me to polish up on my one liners.

(The men start to exit)

MARGINO:

And find me my fucking vase!

 

INT – THEATRE BASEMENT

(SLACK checks a clipboard as LULA comes out of the dressing room wearing a long flowing robe)

LULA:

Hello, Slack.

SLACK:

Lula Capulet. Hello.

LULA:

Admiring something special?

SLACK:

No. I was just thinking I should check with Val and see if we should turn up the heat.

LULA:

Now why worry about a little mundane thing such as that?

SLACK:

I have two reasons telling me to do that right now, Lula.

LULA:

Oh, Slack! What a beautiful vase.

SLACK:

Why thank you. It’s for the play.

LULA:

I’m sure Shawn will love it.

SLACK:

Yeah, I’m sure the dude will like it. I mean, it’s for the Capulet household and if Lady Capulet herself likes it then we’re right as rain.

LULA:

I would think so.

SHAWN (From upstairs):

Lula, get up here! Time to rehearse your scene!

LULA:

Coming, Shawn. Keep doing your thing, Slack.

(LULA exits)

SLACK:

Right.

(VAL and TRUMAN come down the stairs)

TRUMAN:

There’s no way we can cater a cast this size!

VAL:

We’re going to have to try. Oh, hello Slack.

SLACK:

Val. Business looking gentleman.

VAL:

Slack, this is Truman Van Cabretti. Truman, this is Slack…our props master.

TRUMAN:

Pleasure to meet you.

SLACK:

Same. If you excuse me, I gotta go drop a Lincoln log.

(SLACK walks to the men’s restroom)

TRUMAN:

Seriously? He’s our props master?

VAL:

He’s the best we can find on short notice.

TRUMAN:

Did you even attempt searching for anyone with real theatre credentials? This guy looks like a bum.

VAL:

He’s doing just fine. Look at the fine vase he brought in for the Capulet scenes.

(VAL holds up the vase)

TRUMAN:

Jesus! How much did this cost?

VAL:

Not much at all. He said he found it at a bargain store.

TRUMAN:

This looks authentic.

VAL:

Well it’s not. Why would real gold be sitting in a cheap bargain store?

TRUMAN:

You got me.

VAL:

Trust him. It’s fool’s gold.

(TRUMAN takes the vase and stares hardily at it)

TRUMAN:

Like I was saying, we need to find a way to stretch the budget or else we’re going to fall under. There’s no way we’re going to survive after this show.

VAL:

I’ll see what I can do.

TRUMAN:

You better act fast. We don’t have much time.

VAL:

Right. Let me go check some of the files I have in the back. Maybe there’s a few expenses we can cut. I’ll be right back.  

TRUMAN:

I’ll be here.

(VAL heads into the back as TRUMAN continues to eye the vase. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out his smart phone. He ignites the magnifying glass app and inspects the vase)

TRUMAN:

Hm. I wonder…

 

INT – PAWN SHOP

(A clerk is thrown against the wall of knick-knacks. BROCK searches through the trash for former receipts)

MARGINO:

It’s a gold fucking vase. Are you telling me you sold it?

CLERK:

I don’t see it on the wall. That’s where it always stood. If it’s not here, then somebody bought it.

MARGINO:

Then who’d you sell it to?

CLERK:

I don’t know. I just came in. I work night shifts!

MARGINO:

Don’t give me that fucking shit. Do you know who the fuck I am?

CLERK:

Check the trash. There should be a receipt in there telling you who bought the vase.

BROCK:

Found it! Sold for fifteen dollars to somebody from A Helping Hand Theatre.

MARGINO:

Fifteen dollars? That fucking thing is worth millions.

BROCK:

A Helping Hand Theatre? I know where that place is. It’s that little rinky dink school house down by the cemetery.

MARGINO:

Then you’re taking me to it. Chop, chop.

(MARGINO takes out his gun and shoots the clerk in the chest)

MARGINO:

We’re going to get that heirloom back one way or another.

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