The Curse of the Prom
The Curse of the Prom – Script
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The Curse of the Prom

A group of misfit, trouble-making high school students find themselves in hot water for yet another school prank.

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The Curse of the Prom

A group of misfit, trouble-making high school students find themselves in hot water for yet another school prank. The school has declared that the senior prom that was scheduled to be held outside the school has been canceled.


Author:    Anthony Giodano

Synopsis:

       A group of misfit, trouble-making high school students find themselves in hot water for yet another school prank. The school has declared that the senior prom that was scheduled to be held outside the school has been canceled. In order for there to be any prom at all, the misfits must decorate the school gym, for generations the site of the school’s proms, in time to host the dance.
       When seniors Alex, Butch, James, and Karen arrive early to school to check on their previous night’s work, they discover that Marlo, a suspected principal’s spy, is dead under the feature decoration, a sphinx.
       While the police immediately label it an accident, the four seniors begin to suspect that, in fact, it was murder. The only possible suspects seem to be among themselves.
       The play takes a shift when Marlo, the dead senior, appears as a ghost (dressed exactly like when she died except now she is in all white as are all the ghosts as a means of easily identifying them from the living) and realizes that the gym is crowded with other ghosts all of who have died in some mysterious way in that very room over the years.
       Though the ghosts can influence the living in only limited ways (noises or the like), they do not have the ability to speak to the living.
       Marlo, finding out from the other ghosts that the reason she is still in the gym is that the mystery of her death has not been solved, is determined to discover the cause of her death.
       These two parallel plots, the living trying to find out if one of their own is a murderer and the ghosts trying to solve the mystery of their individual deaths, provide a look into high school life through the years. 
       Aided by the computer hacking skills of Alex, the living systematically go through the possible motives of the seniors while testing the forensic evidence found at the scene.
       Meanwhile, Marlo and the assorted ghosts, some of whom have a distant connection to this incident, attempt to solve the mystery of their deaths so that they can be freed from the confines of the high school gym.
       Eventually, the mystery of Marlo’s death is solved and the guilty party is punished.

The Curse of the Prom

The Curse Of The Prom

By

Anthony Giordano THE CURSE OF THE PROM



 Copyright 1999 

by Anthony Giordano 

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that THE CURSE OF THE PROM is subject to a royalty.  It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, the British Commonwealth, including Canada, and all other countries of the Copyright Union.  All rights, including professional, amateur, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, and the rights of translation into foreign language are strictly reserved. 

The amateur live stage performance rights to THE CURSE OF THE PROM are controlled exclusively by Drama Source and royalty arrangements and licenses must be secured well in advance of presentation.  PLEASE NOTE that amateur royalty fees are set upon application in accordance with your producing circumstances.  When applying for a royalty quotation and license please give us the number of performances intended and dates of production.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source Co., 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445, unless other arrangements are made. 

Royalty of the required amount must be paid whether the play is presented for charity or gain, and whether or not admission is charged.  For all other rights than those stipulated above, apply to Drama Source Company, 1588 E. 361 N. St. Anthony, Idaho 83445.

Copying from this book in whole or in part is strictly forbidden by law, and the right of performance is not transferable.

Whenever the play is produced, the following notice must appear on all programs, printing and advertising for the play, “Produced by special arrangement with Drama Source Co.”

Due authorship credit must be given on all programs, printing and advertising for the play.

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No one shall make changes in this play for the purpose of production without written permission.

Publication of this play does not imply availability for performance.    Both amateurs and professionals considering a production are strongly advised in their own interests to apply to Drama Source Company for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

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The Curse Of The Prom

Scene 1

The Set:  A school auditorium/gym that is being decorated for a prom. This is the “old” gym that had been used as a combination gym and auditorium. We see a stage at the right end and there are windows on the back wall that allow light in but are too high to see through from gym floor. This is the first time this room has been used in years.

Curtain goes up: In the dark we hear a loud whistle. As the lights come up we see one student on the stage and MISS JOHNSON, a gym teacher in her sixties, who is a bit eccentric and appears to be partially deaf, she is out of shape but moves quickly…

The students is ALEX, a computer hack.

The stage is decorated with a large pyramid that is going to be suspended from the ceiling for the theme of the prom—The Enchanted Nile– It will be suspended from the rope that had been  used for climbing in gym class. We see the rope hanging from above with the one end tied off stage. The rope is cut. A small piece is still attached to the top of the pyramid. This pyramid is made of “scrim” material. The students’ original plan was that the pyramid would be filled with balloons which would be dropped at eleven p.m.. Once the balloons were released from the ceiling , the pyramid would  descend to cover the sphinx that is to be the center piece of the floor decorations. A light inside the scrim will allow the sphinx to be seen. This becomes the center piece of the dance floor.

There is an overturned ladder in front of it and assorted brooms, tables, decorations, fake palm trees, etc. are  lying around the room. There is a throne for the prom queen at the back

MISS JOHNSON

(Blowing whistle) OK, everybody listen up. We’ve got exactly twelve hours to get this place in shape for the prom and I aim to be finished on time with the most romantic display that Hillsdale has seen since…..(waxing nostalgic)since the class of ‘44 did Enchanted Paris—with real punch flowing from the top of a giant Eiffel Tower—and dainty paper napkins with French sayings printed on them— and who could forget the food the home ec class prepared—little sandwiches made out of colored bread—I wore a pink taffeta dress that was the exact color of the egg salad sandwiches–that was romance my boy, that was romance—why,  back then….

ALEX

Excuse me, Miss Johnson, I would love to hear all about it for the hundredth time, but I think we should get to work.

MISS JOHNSON

What? Speak up boy. How can a person understand what you’re saying if you don’t speak up? (She slaps him on the back.) Go ahead boy, talk!

ALEX

(Shouting) I think we should get started. It’s 8:37

MISS JOHNSON

Well, where’s the rest of the committee?  I thought I told them to be here by 8:30 and it’s 8:30 now.

ALEX

It’s 8:38 and I think they’re late.

(Enter BUTCH dribbling a basketball, wearing a leather jacket)

MISS JOHNSON

Young man, put that ball down. We have work to do.

(Butch dribbles the ball in front of her and she takes it away with a flourish.)

MISS JOHNSON

Let’s hope your decorating is better than your ball handling—it’s got to  be better than your grade in gym. Coach Henson tells me you’re in danger of not graduating?

BUTCH

Let’s just say that I like to play it close to the edge.

MISS JOHNSON

Let’s just say that your might get a big fat push over that edge if you don’t turn in that paper you owe the coach.

Now, let’s get to work. It’ll be in my office listening to everything that goes on so watch it.

When the others show up, let them know that I marked them late…by the way, I’ll be here all day…all the gym classes are reporting to the auditorium for a health film: “You and Head Lice.”

(She exits)

BUTCH

Is it illegal to kill teachers? I mean we kill roaches, don’t we?

ALEX

I think they’re a higher life form, but I’m not sure.

BUTCH

Say, Alex, old buddy, why don’t you just slip into the school’s computer for me and kind of massage my second marking period grades a bit?

ALEX

Oh, no. the last time I did that my parents locked up my modem for a month. Nothing doing. I almost died. Do you know what it’s like to sit at a computer and not be able to communicate with anyone?

BUTCH

What’s a modem?

ALEX

Come into the 21st century!

BUTCH

Oh, but this won’t be like the last time. Didn’t you change all the kids schedules so we all had lunch for three periods?

ALEX

Yeah, I thought Mr. Hamilton would never notice. Who knew he ever left the principal’s office?

BUTCH

Come on. Just one little change.

ALEX

No dice.

(Enter KAREN)

KAREN

Don’t listen to him Alex. Whatever it is, don’t listen to him.

BUTCH

Well, if it isn’t Miss Runner-up. Too bad the Prom Queen ballots weren’t computerized or you would have been the one asking Alex for help.

KAREN

Not a chance. I play it fair and square.

BUTCH

Rough and tumble is more like it. Rumor has it that you had it out with Marlo after school yesterday.

KAREN

What I had to say to Marlo yesterday was between her and me.

BUTCH

And the entire second floor from what I hear. Do the words: “I’ll see you dead before I’m one of your attendants at the prom!” ring a bell?

KAREN

Not exactly. But pretty close. She made me so made. I know she somehow cheated in that election. Only, I can’t prove it. I wanted her to know that I had her number. Anyway, I would think that you would be happy to see her get some grief….she certainly gave you enough.

BUTCH

What’s that crack suppose to mean?

KAREN

Everyone in school knows that you’ve been chasing her for the last four years only she wouldn’t give you a tumble.

BUTCH

For your information, we did have a date this summer. I decided that she wasn’t my type after all.

KAREN

Oh, does she have a brain? Anyway, that was yesterday. We’d better get started decorating this  awful place. How long has this place been locked up?

ALEX

At least fifteen years, that’s when the new gym and auditorium were built and this was closed. It was suppose to be turned into something else, but that never seemed to happen.

BUTCH

I hear this was the combination, gym and auditorium from the original building in the 1920’s. I think that’s why they wanted us to get involved with this scheme. They want us to fall victim to the curse.

ALEX

You don’t believe in that nonsense, do you?

KAREN

You can’t believe that proms held in this gym were cursed?

(Enter JAMES  from the back, knocking over some pails, tripping,  and making a racket as he enters. The others can’t see him. They jump and scream at the loud noise.)

JAMES

(lying on the ground)

Did I get marked late?

BUTCH

(acting nonchalant) Is Shakespeare boring?

JAMES

That’s three times this week! Now I’ve got central.

BUTCH

You know, there was a time when the “old James” wouldn’t have cared about being late for a month.

JAMES

What do you mean the “old James”?

BUTCH

You know, the James I knew freshman, sophomore and junior year. The guy who drew that not so flattering mural of the principal on the movie screen at Parent’s Night freshman year. 

The guy who sophomore year switched the Planned Parenthood guest speaker’s film to Nation Geographic visits the Vatican? 

The guy who junior year….

JAMES

Oh, that “old James.” Well, he’s gone. The “new James” is keeping his nose clean and praying he gets into Harvard

KAREN

Harvard? What happened to leaving right after the  graduation ceremony for the art life of New York City?

BUTCH

I thought it was Paris you were going to?

JAMES

New York City, Paris…a kid’s dream. I’ve decided to become a doctor. I’ve applied for the pre-med. program at Harvard. I think I have a good shot at it if they kind of forget some of my little jokes the first three years here.

BUTCH

And last week?

JAMES

Oh, a minor slip . Anyway, my recommendations from the faculty were in a month ago, so last week doesn’t count.

KAREN

I hope you get in James. I never understood you wanting to starve as an artist. I say go for the bucks. Now, let’s get started.

BUTCH

Who took the pyramid down?

JAMES

I thought you guys must have.

KAREN

Alex, put that book down, you were here first. What’s the story with the pyramid? Why is it down?

ALEX

I don’t know. It was that way when I came in.

(nter MISS JOHNSON blowing her whistle)

MISS JOHNSON

Hup, two, three four. Attention!

Well, doesn’t look like we got much work done, does it?

One, two, three, four, where are the other three?

ALEX

I’m sure Marlo has a good explanation, Miss Johnson

BUTCH

Jane just stepped out to her locker to get some tape.

MISS JOHNSON

And what about Daisy Johnson?

ALEX, BUTCH, KAREN

Who?

MISS JOHNSON

(louder) Daisy Johnson? Are all young people deaf?

BUTCH

I don’t think Mr. Hamilton assigned any Daisy Jones to this committee?

MISS JOHNSON

Mr. Hamilton signed you derelicts up for this job because you are the reason the class can’t have their prom in a restaurant. The things that this class has pulled—I wouldn’t have a prom at all…and I guess that’s what Mr. Hamilton thinks will happen…that you guys won’t be able to get this done in time for any kind of a dance tonight, let alone a prom, and that no one will show up even if you do.

As for Miss Daisy Jones.

She signed up (Miss Johnson shows them the sign up sheet and pronounces the word slowly ) vol..un..teered. That’s a new word for you Butch. It means someone who does something that is good for the school willingly.

Think about it. It’s a radical new concept.

Still, even volunteers shouldn’t be late.

I’ll just go make sure she’s not hiding out someplace. (She blows whistle) Carry on!

(Miss Johnson exits)

KAREN

Any of you ever heard of Daisy Jones?

BUTCH

Not me. And I thought I knew every girl in the school.

KAREN

Not the “good” girls.

BUTCH

Very funny.

And why wasn’t she here after school yesterday when we were struggling to get the pyramid hung. Not that it seems to have done us any good to put it up.

JAMES

Say, Alex, what’s with the nice words for the prom queen?

ALEX

I know you guys don’t like her. But she’s not so bad. Sorry, Karen, but that’s how I feel.  Here attitude is just a defense mechanism.

BUTCH

Please spare us the psychology stuff. You’re talking to three people who spent more time in the school psychologist’s office than the school psychologist.

ALEX

Perhaps, if you gave the psychologist half a chance he might have been able to help you.

BUTCH

What kind of crack is that? So, you little nerd with a clipboard, you think I’m crazy?

KAREN (stepping between them)

Let’s all count to ten.

ALEX

See what I mean? You think you can just bully your way through life.

BUTCH

Move out of the way Karen.

ALEX

Life isn’t always that simple. You can’t always fix things yourself.

JAMES

Lighten up Alex.

ALEX

No, we have to learn to face things. We’re graduating from high school in two weeks. If we can’t even talk like civilized humans how can we ever manage to survive in the real world.

BUTCH

So, now I’m not human. Get out of the way Karen! Now!

(Enter DAISY JONES.  She is South American with a heavy accent. She’s wearing a cleaning lady type outfit, with a bandanna on her head, wearing bright colored rubber gloves and carrying a mop and pail. She peers  into the gym from the door.)

DAISY

Ola! Yo soy Daisy Jones!

Excuse please. I espeak English now.

Such a beautiful gym, no?

BUTCH, JAMES, ALEX, KAREN

No

DAISY

Yes, she is beautiful. It will be wonderful for the prom, no?

BUTCH, JAMES, ALEX, KAREN

No.

DAISY

Yes, we–(She says with a flourish)–The Prom Committee—will make it so, no?

BUTCH, JAMES, ALEX, KAREN

NO!

DAISY

Yes, espeakin English is hard, decorating is not.

BUTCH

Pardon me if I seem a bit uncivilized, but are you for real?

KAREN

Butch! Hi, I’m Karen and you’re Daisy Jones?

DAISY

Si

JAMES

Yo soy James. Might as well practice Spanish. I may have Spanish patients some day.

BUTCH

You’re right, Alex.  We all do need psychological help.

DAISY

You must forgive me for being late. I had to find where they keep the mop.

(Enter BOB, James’ brother, in a wheelchair. He is energetic and upbeat.)

BOB

I should have known nothing would get done.

JAMES

What are you doing here?

BOB

Just thought I’d wheel in and check on you guys and not a moment too soon.

BUTCH

What’s up Bob?

BOB

Not much from the look of this place. Say is this a new member of the bad guys of Hillsdale High?

DAISY

Hi! I’m Daisy.

BOB

Hi. How did you get mixed up with this crew? Are you an ax murderer or an environmental terrorist?

DAISY

No, I’m a volunteer!

BOB

No! Someone actually signed up to help? You haven’t been in the country very long have you?

DAISY

Yes, two wonderful weeks.

BOB

Two whole weeks and you still volunteered! Have you any idea what kind of people are you working with?

DAISY

Nice clean cut American boys and girls.

(The following is done on a dark stage with a single spot light on the person being described. Done like a line up, actors facing sideways)

BOB

You think so? 

(Spot on Butch)

Well, meet Butch. Last month he paid a surprise visit to the driver ed class. Unfortunately for Mr. Henderson he was on his new Honda motorcycle a the time.

(Spot on James)

Meet James, my older brother, the black sheep of the family, being ever thoughtful he sent the principal a gift for his birthday last week. Unfortunately the principal was at a board of education meeting at the time it arrived and it was six live chickens.

(Spot on Alex)

You heard, no doubt of the sudden unexplained tearing down of the Berlin Wall? Rumor has it that Alex as only a third grader slipped into the Kremlin road maintenance computer and simply put in a work order for its removal.

(Spot on Karen)

And last, but not least, we have Karen who volunteered to head the senior prom fund raising committee. Traditionally we have had candy sales…she thought a gambling casino night would be better and was $6000 in the black when the police arrived…she was forced to donate the money to Gambler’s Anonymous.

 (Lights up)

They, my new friend, are the reason the real prom was canceled and they have to come up with a decorated gym by tonight and hope that people show up to a spontaneous prom.

DAISY

In my country they are saints. What about Marlo? I she one of the bad guys of Hillsdale High?

BOB

No, she just wants to make sure that as queen of the prom she has a nice palace.

Just what country are you from?

DAISY

(Being evasive) Isn’t that a beautiful palm tree? You like it no?

BOB

Well…..

JAMES

Hey, you’d better get back to class.

BOB

Big brothers can be such a drag!

Are you going to the prom tonight?

DAISY

Yes, it is my dream since coming from my country. Only, I have to come as you say like a deer.

BOB

I think you mean stag.

I sure wish I could see what this place looks like when it’s all done.

DAISY

You are not coming? Is not the whole school invited?

BOB

No, only seniors can come or people who are invited by seniors.

DAISY

Oh, too bad.

(We hear a bell)

JAMES

Bob, that was the late bell for period three.

BOB

Ok, Ok, Catch you guys later.

(He starts out)

DIASY

Oh, I think of something. (Bob turns back towards her) This is America, no.

BOB

Yes.

DAISY

In America it is possible for a girl to ask a boy to dance?

BOB

Yes

DAISY

Oh 

(Bob starts to leave again.)

People don’t think such a girl is speedy?

BOB

(Bob turns back towards her again) I think you mean fast. No. It’s done all the time.

DAISY

Oh, (she turns her back to him. He starts to leave for the third time.)

Then you will go with me.

BOB

(With his back still to her)

I’d like that.

JAMES

Bob, it’s gonna be goofy. These cheap decorations, a prom in a gym, who wants to go to that kind of prom?

BOB

You’re going aren’t you?

JAMES

Yeah, but only because I’m forced to be on the committee. I wouldn’t be going otherwise. I swear.

BOB

Look, I know what you’re trying to do, James and I appreciate it.

JAMES

What are you talking about? I’m not trying to do anything. All I’m saying is that it’s gonna be a waste of time. Look, when I get home we’ll rent an Eddie Murphy movie…you love him.

BOB

Yes, but I don’t want to take him to the prom. Bob, you’ve got to let go. For the last nine months, ever since the accident and I became a prisoner to this chair, you been smothering me.  You’re trying to avoid my knowing that I’ll may never walk again.

JAMES

Don’t say that. There are new medical techniques all the time. Someday someone will figure it out and you’ll be fine.

BOB

Yeah, I think that too…Someday I will walk again….but today I’m in the chair and today I want to live not just sit.

JAMES

You  got it all wrong. I just think it’s going to  be goofy. That’s all.

BOB

Well, big brother, I’m coming, if you’ll give me a ride?

JAMES

Yeah, sure.

DAISY

I will meet you here. I have to come early to set up the refreshments. I am also on the  program committee and the music committee and the clean up committee.

I hope the American boys and girls like arroz con pollo.

BOB

They love it. When we think prom, we think arroz con pollo.

See you at nine?

DAISY

I’ll be here with ringers on.

BOB

I think that’s bells on, but I get the idea.

Hey Butch it’s good to see you looking better. You looked pretty bad when they carried you our of the nurse’s office yesterday.

Everything OK?

BUTCH

Yeah, yeah, sure. Just a bug I probably got. I ate the school lunch yesterday…enough said?

BOB

Enough said. Well, I’ve got to wheel. See you guys tonight.

KAREN

Bye Bob.

(For no apparent reason the pails that James knocked over make noise again. They all jump.)

BUTCH

What was that? This place has ghosts!

KAREN

Probably just a rat.

BUTCH

I hate rats more than ghosts!

ALEX

Hey Bob, if you see Miss Johnson on you way, run her over for me.

BOB

Will do

(Enter Miss Johnson)

BOB

Speak of the devil…I’m out of here!

(very loud) Good Morning, Miss Johnson!

(Bob exits)

MISS JOHNSON

Nice boy, speaks up. I love that in kids.

What have you people accomplished since I left. Nothing?

You haven’t even gotten that pyramid up yet.

And where are Jane and Marlo?

BUTCH

Jane had to go and get more masking tape from shop class. She’ll be right back.

ALEX

Marlo had a meeting with the debate club. Why don’t you come and take a closer look at the pyramid. You’re going to love this idea we had. James is going to make a paper mache sphinx that will be the center piece of the dance floor. This pyramid will be raised to the ceiling and filled with  balloons. At eleven o’clock the balloons will be released and the pyramid will descend to cover the sphinx. But here’s the catch, there’s a battery operated light inside and when we turn that light on the pyramid becomes transparent and you can see inside. Watch.

(Alex switches on the light and the inside of the pyramid is visible, exposing the dead body of Marlo)

ALEX

It’s Marlo! Quick get this off her.

MISS JOHNSON

She’s dead.

BUTCH

The curse of the prom strikes again.

(blackout)

Scene 2

 Lights up, but now we see the ghosts of the past. They dress in all white.  Marlo is lying over a dummy dressed exactly the same as Marlo was in Scene 1. Now Marlo’s outfit is all white.  She gets off the dummy appearing to be coming out of her body and wanders around bewildered.

MARLO

If I’m lying there….I remember being on the ladder….then the fall….I must be dead. The curse of the prom!

(We see lightening flashes, hear thunder crack and then loud piercing screams from offstage. Enter BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE (he can enter on a Harley Davidson if budget allows!)   

BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE

Cut that out Johnny. Sorry about that, Johnny was on the lighting crew when he went. Still can’t stop doing the special effects stuff. 

MARLO

Butch? What’s going on here?

BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE (He turns)

No, I’m Jack. Class of 1956,  Butch’s great uncle. It’s just that when you die you stop aging.

MARLO

You’re dead too?

BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE

Yes, geez for a good looking chick, you’re kind of slow.

HAZEL (speaking from above the stage)

Hold on there Jack. I’ll be right down.

MARLO

Who’s that?

BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE

That’s Hazel, Class of 1932,  Likes to think she runs the place. Use to be on the AV Squad, but to tell the truth I don’t think there was AV in her day, if you get my drift.

HAZEL

Good Afternoon. If I had known you were coming, I would have been ready earlier.

Now, here’s a badge for you to wear (she puts a name tag on Marlo). I’ll introduce you to everyone. We didn’t think you’d be coming, thought you’d go straight up. Sorry to hear you were murdered.

MARLO

Murdered!

(Thunder and lightening again)

HAZEL

Cut it out Johnny. 

Yes,  at least we think so, as far as we can figure out. We are all here in kind of a holding pattern until we find out why we died. There is some unfinished business, usually a murder. 

MARLO

So the curse of the prom is true?

BUTCH’S GREAT UNCLE

No, there is no such thing as the curse of the prom!

GLEE CLUB

(The Glee Club makes an elongated sound. Similar to wind sound.)

MARLO

Cut that out Johnny!

HAZEL

That’s not Johnny. It’s the glee club, Class of 1922

(We see the scrim that was in front of the glee club lighted and hear them sing parts of the Whffenpoof song with words slightly changed…)

GLEE CLUB

To the tables down at Mory’s,

To the place where Louis dwel

The Curse of the Prom

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