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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3. We need an Understudy

INT – SLACK’s APARTMENT

(Fade from the previous scene to TREVOR flipping through the script)

TREVOR:

Fuck.

SLACK:

I know, man! It’s a lot of shit.

TREVOR:

So they made you the fucking props master?

SLACK:

Yeah! I mean, it’s great that I got a part back stage and all but I didn’t want this kind of responsibility dude. I have to spend my own money and shit.

TREVOR:

Money you barely have.

SLACK:

It’s like they’re using me.

TREVOR:

The leeches!

SLACK:

Plus I feel like everyone there practically hates me. Shawn, the director, kept eye raping me man. He just didn’t like my presence.

TREVOR:

They don’t like outsiders, Slack. That’s what the inner circle of Thespians hate: New Blood.

SLACK:

Maybe that explains why half the cast looked dead.

TREVOR:

What kind of fucking show is this anyway?

SLACK:

We’re performing Shawn’s vision of “Romeo and Juliet.”

TREVOR:

Don’t tell me he’s going to fuck up Shakespeare! Nobody fucks up The Bard.

SLACK:

You like Shakespeare? I didn’t know that.

TREVOR:

It’s what I thirst for. I’m a very complicated man.

(TREVOR flips through some more pages)

TREVOR:

Why is Juliet topless in the balcony scene!?

SLACK:

I don’t know.

TREVOR:

I mean, I’m not complaining but it’s just fucking odd.

SLACK:

Our Juliet is pretty hot though.

TREVOR:

Is she?

SLACK:

Oh, she’s a ten man.

TREVOR:

Look at this scene! Mercutio is stabbed by The Bolt. Who the fuck is The Bolt?

SLACK:

It’s technically Tybalt but Shawn changed it.

TREVOR:

What are we? Fucking animals? We deserve justice to our native Shakespeare. The Bolt sounds fucking Russian!

SLACK:

To be fair, Tybalt is played by a guy named Ivan so-

TREVOR:

Did you know one of my life long dreams was to be Mercutio?

SLACK:

I thought you hated theatre?

TREVOR:

I do. Just not Shakespeare. He’s mint.

SLACK:

Too bad Roger is playing Mercutio.

TREVOR:

Are they at least going with the angle that he’s bipolar? I always loved that angle!

SLACK:

Just read page twenty-three dude.

(TREVOR flips to the page)

TREVOR:

Mercutio the binge drinker!?

SLACK:

Apparently Queen Mab will be played by a stiff Vodka.

TREVOR:

More fucking Russians! Keep it faithful.

SLACK:

This is going to be stressful, man.

TREVOR:

Lightsabers, Greek masks, a gold vase…wait. What the fuck does he want a gold vase for?

SLACK:

He wants it as a set piece for the Capulet household.

TREVOR:

Surely you’re not going to buy a real fucking gold vase.

SLACK:

Nah. I’ll search some cheap nick-knack stores.

TREVOR:

I think we’re looking at the death of perfect literature.

SLACK:

Any bad script can be pulled off by good actors.

TREVOR:

How good are they?

SLACK:

I don’t know. I watching them tomorrow.

 

INT – A HELPING HAND THEATRE

MARK:

Friar Lawrence!

(DICK squints at his script)

DICK:

Wait, I lost my place. Shawn I really do think I’ll need my glasses. I can’t see without them.

 SHAWN:

Cut! Look Dick, it’s the future. You can’t wear your glasses because you’ll be wearing Steampunk goggles the whole time. Got it?

MARK:

What if he wears his glasses underneath the goggles?

SHAWN:

Mark? Your idea? Go fuck it. Let’s go back to the top of the scene.

(SLACK enters)

SLACK:

Sorry I’m late. Traffic was terrible.

SHAWN:

Oh great. You’re here. We’re currently rehearsing so why don’t you go downstairs and do prop stuff?

SLACK:

Um, okay.

(SLACK goes downstairs. ROGER and KAYLA are sitting on sofa mingling. SLACK sits opposite of them in a chair)

 SLACK:

Hey, your director boss dude. Is he always this big of a jerk?

ROGER:

He’s a little hot under the collar sometimes but what can you do?

SLACK:

I see. Well he can try not screaming at everyone, you know?

ROGER:

Every director has a different approach to directing.

SLACK:

Right.

KAYLA:

So, Slack. How long have you been in theatre?

SLACK:

A while, you know? I’ve done it far and long.

KAYLA:

Me too. I’m going to college for my arts degree. I’m hoping to succeed with theatre as my future.

SLACK:

Oh, I bet you will. You got the looks and the voice. Plus I’m sure you got talent.

KAYLA:

Thanks?

SLACK:

You’re welcome.

(HUNG exits the men’s dressing room)

 HUNG:

Guys, I’m worried.

ROGER:

What is it Hung?

HUNG:

I don’t know if I’ll memorize all my lines.

KAYLA:

I’m sure you will. Look at me! I have thousands of words to remember!

SLACK:

Don’t worry, man. You’re gonna be a great Benny Volio.

HUNG:

Thanks Mr. Props Master.

SLACK:

Please, call me Slack. I hate being called mister. And just because I’m the props master doesn’t mean I’m above you all.

HUNG:

But it’s true. The audience never understands how much hard work the crew puts into a show. You’re a major part of the final production.

SLACK:

Okay, you can stop kissing my ass Hung. My anus is puckering.

ROGER:

Want me to help you with your lines, Hung?

HUNG:

Sure. Slack, can you read for Mark since he’s upstairs?

SLACK:

Sure.

(ROGER gets into character)

ROGER:

A plague on both your houses!

SLACK:

You’re really good, dude.

KAYLA:

Shh. Roger’s a method actor.

SLACK:

Method actor? So?

ROGER:

A plague on both your houses!

SLACK:

I’m just giving the guy a compliment.

(SLACK puts his feet up on the glass table. His feet scoots the table over a couple of feet)

ROGER:

A plague…on both…your houses…

 (ROGER falls forward, not knowing SLACK accidently scooted a table in front of him)

KAYLA:

Oh my God!

(ROGER falls through the glass table, shattering it)

ROGER:

Ahhh!

HUNG:

Oh no!

SLACK:

Holy fuck! I’m so sorry, man. You okay?

(SHAWN rushes down the stairs)

 SHAWN:

What the hell was that?

SLACK:

Like, there’s been an accident! Clean up on aisle three, dude.

KAYLA:

Shawn, it was a complete accident.

SHAWN:

Holy shit! Roger, are you okay?

(ROGER groans)

HUNG:

Somebody call 911!

SLACK:

I got it.

(SLACK gets up and grabs the phone)

KAYLA:

Shawn, like I said, it was a complete and utter fluke.

SHAWN:

Roger. Mercutio. Speak to me.

ROGER:

Mommy?

SHAWN:

Fuck!

SLACK:

Hello, 911? It’s Slack. Yeah, hello Frank. There’s been a huge accident at A Helping Hand community theatre. We need an ambulance ASAP. Right. Um, what’s this places address?

 

INT – THEATRE’s BASEMENT

(HUNG sweeps up the broken glass as everyone sits around the mess. The ambulance has just left with ROGER)

MARK:

Multiple glass shards penetrating his body, eh?

SLACK:

At least he’s alive, man.

DICK:

What are we going to do? Did you cast an understudy?

SHAWN:

I never cast understudies! That’s silly.

KAYLA:

Well we need a new actor for Mercutio now.

SHAWN:

I’ll find one. It’s only the first week of rehearsals. I’m sure we’ll find a great replacement for Roger.

(VAL comes down the stairs)

VAL:

I’m afraid not. This is a busy show season. All the good actors were taken. We’re straining the bottom of the barrel.

SHAWN:

Shit.

HUNG:

What do we do now?

(Pause)

SLACK:

You know. I think I might know someone.

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