- Missouri Columnist
As a Teaching Artist, I swear half my class prep time is looking for scripts I can use for classroom work. These are scripts I can use for reading in class, some short scene studies, or for teaching a technical aspect. With Halloween right around the corner, I love using suspenseful or horror themes in the Fall. In an effort to spare a few others from endless searching, here are three scripts to consider for using in the classroom this Halloween.
It Was a Dark and Stormy Night by Tim Kelly
This play is set in Ye Olde Wayside Inn. This is a dark comedy that has characters, 8 female and 5 male characters. The characters are quite eccentric everything from Hepzibah and Arabelia Saltmarsh who live at the Inn. To their Uncle Silas, who so happens to be the oldest living lunatic in the state of Massachusetts. I particularly like the ghost of a soldier who deserted Washington at Valley Forge. As a Winner of the Robert J. Pickering Award for Playwriting Excellence, this script is worth the read.
The Cask of Amontillado adapted by Robert Mason from Edgar Allan Poe
I always thought this short story deserved a little more credit. This is the story of the resentful Montresor who holds a horrible grudge against Fortunato. With this piece being only 10- 15 minutes in length and having two characters, this would be a fabulous script for short study scenes. It can be done alone or as a part of the full-length play An Evening with Edgar Allan Poe, a collection of six of Poe's short pieces adapted as a play. These are all adapted by Robert Mason and can be found on playscripts.com.
My Sister in This House by Wendy Kesselman
This creepy piece was based on the true crime of two sisters Christine and Lea Papin who brutally murdered their employer and her daughter in Le Mans, France, in 1933. This was one of my favorite scripts that I learned about in college. My Sister in This House was the Winner of the Playbill Playwriting Award and the 1980-1981 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. This script has been produced at the Actors Theatre of Louisville and at NYC's Second Stage. With four female characters, It would be a great piece for scenework.
Photo: Jennifer Losi (Isabelle), Casey Kramer (Madame Danzard) My Sister in this House at Deaf West