Home Town Summer
Home Town Summer – Script
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Home Town Summer

Intergenerational play set in a backyard shows the essence of small-town life in Oklahoma. Full-length.

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Home Town Summer

A man returns to his home town after years away.


Author:    Vicki Bartholomew

Synopsis:

     This slice-of-life play takes place present day in a small town in Oklahoma.
      R.J. Whitman brings his family to live in his boyhood hometown after years of living abroad. While R.J. reunites with his large extended family and old high school friends, his children struggle to make new friends. 
      His son has an especially difficult time because he has never learned to play baseball like the other hometown boys. The older daughter is not welcomed by the teenaged hometown girls because she inadvertently snatches someone else’s boyfriend. His youngest daughter is the only one who learns to get along with her new cousins and enjoy small-town life.
      And R.J. is so busy reminiscing that his wife Diane must find her niche in this small country town with little help from her husband. Humor and love hold the Whitmans together as they make a new home.

Home Town Summer

HOMETOWN SUMMER

by

Vicki Bartholomew

Hometown Summer


Copyright ©2004 by Vicki Bartholomew

All Rights Reserved

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that HOMETOWN SUMMER 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 HOMETOWN SUMMER 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, dates of production, your seating capacity and the admission fee.  Royalties are payable one week before the opening performance of the play to Drama Source, 1588 E. 361 N., St. Anthony, Idaho 83445. 

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, 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.”

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

No one shall commit or authorize any act or omission by which the copyright or the rights to copyright of this play may be impaired.

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 for written permission before starting rehearsals, advertising, or booking a theatre.

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CAST for HOMETOWN SUMMER

R.J. WHITMAN

DIANE WHITMAN

KELSEY WHITMAN

ROBBIE WHITMAN

TASHA WHITMAN

GRANDPA DOUG WHITMAN

GREAT-AUNT VALERIE WHITMAN

COUSIN LAURA WHITMAN

MALORIE WHITMAN

GRANT EVANS

COOKIE EVANS

HAILEY EVANS

KENNY TAYLOR

AMY

BURGLAR (Double cast Kenny)

CAST NOTES

DIANE WHITMAN: the mother

R.J.WHITMAN: the father, happy, nostalgic, energetic

KELSEY: the teenage daughter, 15-16

ROBBIE: the son, unhappy, didn’t want to move, 13-14

TASHA: the youngest child, 8

GRANDPA DOUG WHITMAN: the grandfather

GREAT-AUNT VALERIE: R.J.’s aunt, Doug’s sister-in-law, 

       distinctive managing voice

LAURA: R.J.’s cousin-in-law. Valerie’s daughter-in-law      

MALORIE: Laura’s daughter, always dresses up, bossy, 10-11

KENNY: the teenage hunk hired to work in the yard, 16-17

GRANT EVANS: R.J.’s old high school football buddy

COOKIE EVANS: Grant’s wife who knew R.J. in high school

HAILEY EVANS: Grant and Cookie’s daughter, same age as 

     Robbie, 13-14

AMY: same age as Kelsey, 15-16, on the drill team

BURGLAR: may be doublecast as Kenny

BATON TWIRLER: optional in July 4th scene


CAST BY AGE

SENIORS

  Grandpa

  Valerie

PARENTS

  Diane 

  R.J.

  Cookie

  Grant

  Laura         

TEENS

  Kelsey

  Kenny

  Amy

  Robbie

  Hailey

CHILDREN

  Tasha 

  Malorie


THE SET

     There is one set of a backyard.  The back of the house 

and part of a wooden fence are visible.  There is a climbing 

structure with a platform.  There are at least three exits: 

the backdoor into the house, the garage door, and a gate to 

the alley.  

     The backyard goes through a transition during the play 

from torn up to fixed up.  Suggestions for torn up yard: old 

unmatched lawn furniture tipped over or broken, dead 

branches, trash, picnic bench or boards against wall. 

     Suggestions for new yard: colorful new lawn chair set,  

cart with flowering potted plants, hanging wind tunnel, new 

tire swing hanging from climbing structure, plastic lawn 

animal, potted shrubs or flowers, fountain or statue.

     Special effects: fireworks, fireflies, ting of 

watermelon seeds spit into a pail, campfire.  For info on 

how to build a campfire contact Dramatics, March 1996. ACT I  Scene 1


(The play takes place in a small town in Oklahoma, USA.  The backyard looks abandoned.  It has trash scattered around and old metal lawn chairs turned upside down.  Tasha, Robbie, Kelsey, Diane, and R.J. look around the backyard as the lights come up.)

RJ:  (Satisfied.)  Aaah!  Nothing’s changed.

TASHA:  (Tasha runs from one side of yard to other.)  Daddy, look how big this yard is.  It’s big enough for a dog.  It’s big enough for TWO dogs!

DIANE:  Taasha . . . 

TASHA:  Daddy said I could have a dog when we moved back to 

the States.

DIANE:  R.J.?

RJ:  (He ignores Diane.)  You’re right; this is a big yard.  I’d almost forgotten how big Uncle Richard’s place was.

TASHA:  I like it!  We’ve got our own alley.

KELSEY:  (Kelsey looks out over the audience.)  Hey, Dad, didn’t you say you used to climb trees in an orchard in back of Uncle Richard’s house?

DIANE:  (Points.)  They must have cut them down to make room for that duplex.

RJ:  There’s still room to grow corn.  Did I ever tell you that my brother and I used to play hide’n’seek in Uncle Richard’s corn field?

KELSEY:  About a hundred times.

DIANE:  (Softly with a smile.)  Shh.

TASHA:  Will you hide in the corn stalks with me, Daddy?

RJ:  Sure, pumpkin.  

DIANE:  Why don’t you three go pick out your bedrooms?

TASHA:  (Tasha runs offstage.)  I get the green one!

(Robbie and Kelsey exit to house.)

RJ:  This brings back so many memories.  I wish you could have known Uncle Richard. 

DIANE:  I met him.  Remember?  When we came for Christmas five years ago.

RJ:  I mean when he was younger.  He took my brother Russ and me fishing and hunting and taught us so much about the farm.  He was the best.

DIANE:  You’re happy to be back, aren’t you?  Not even a tiny bit sad to give up travelling the world?

RJ:  This is the greatest place on earth!  The kids are going to love being back home.  (RJ moves away.)

DIANE:  (Diane whispers to audience.)  Right.  The kids are going to love being back home.  Except they’ve never lived here.  At least Tasha can play with the animals at her grandpa’s farm.  And the kids will adjust.  They always do.  

(Ponders.)  But what about me?  I hardly know these people.  Wonder how they’ll like a stranger living in the old family home.  Hope they don’t expect me to milk any cows.

RJ:  This is so great!  Nothing’s changed!

DIANE:  Lord, I think we’re going to need some help here.

ROBBIE:  (Appears at door.)  Dad, the moving truck is here!

(Diane and R.J. exit.)

          (BRIEF BLACKOUT.  LIGHTS UP.)

          

(Kelsey, Robbie, and Tasha are sitting on the climbing structure.)

TASHA:  How much longer do we have to stay out of the way?

KELSEY:  They’ve only been unloading for an hour, Tasha.  It’s going to take all day.

TASHA:  Geez, all day!  I’m bored.

KELSEY:  Enjoy it while you can.  Tomorrow we’ll be unpacking all day.

TASHA:  I like unpacking.  I like crawling in the boxes.  

ROBBIE:  Yeah, you get to play, and we have to work.

KELSEY:  Leave her alone, Robbie.  Just because you’re unhappy, you don’t have to take it out on her.

TASHA:  I wish we could explore.  (She goes over to fence and looks through a knothole.  She sighs and sits against the gate.)

ROBBIE:  You weren’t happy either, Kelsey.  You cried when we got on the plane.

KELSEY:  Sure.  I was sad to leave Miranda and Holly, but it’s not like the end of the world.  We move all the time.  And this time we may stay put.

ROBBIE:  Don’t count on it.  Dad might think a small town bank is boring. 

KELSEY:  Maybe, but he’s really big on this nostalgia bit.

TASHA:  What’s nostalgiabit?  It sounds like something Russian.  We’re not going to move to Russia are we?

KELSEY:  No.

TASHA:  Good.  I like it here.  

KELSEY:  I do, too.  I can hardly wait to make new friends and go to a real American high school with football games and cheerleaders and a marching band.   

ROBBIE:  Big deal.

KELSEY:  And I can be on the volleyball team.

ROBBIE:  I think Dad’s brainwashed you.

KELSEY:  And dances.  Just think; a whole school of American boys.  

ROBBIE:  You’re sick.

KELSEY:  Just wait, Robbie Whitman.  All the girls are going to be after you.

ROBBIE:  Geesch!  (Robbie exits.)

KELSEY:  (Kelsey follows Robbie.)

VALERIE:  (Great-Aunt Valerie tries to open the gate.)  Move away from the gate, little girl.

(Tasha jumps open and stares at Great-Aunt Valerie as she enters.)

VALERIE:  (Continuing.)   Hello, you must be Natasha. . . You’re not very big, are you? . . . What’s the matter, young lady, the cat got your tongue? . . . Well, speak up.  You do speak English, don’t you?  I wouldn’t be surprised if you didn’t after living in all those heathen places.  Well . . . Your mother didn’t raise you to be rude, did she?   

TASHA:  No, but I’m not supposed to talk to strangers.

VALERIE:  Strangers!  I’ll have you know I changed your father’s diapers , little girl.  I’m your Great Aunt Valerie.  Didn’t your father ever tell you about me? 

TASHA:  Yes, he told me you were Uncle Fred’s boss.

VALERIE:  Did he now?  And what else did he tell you?

TASHA:  That you make the best pecan pie in the world.

VALERIE:  That’s more like it.

TASHA:  And that you have a cat collection.  We sent you a big brass cat from Egypt and a Chinese cat from Singapore.  May I see your cats?

VALERIE:  You’re a spunky little thing once you get started, aren’t you?  Yes, you may see my cat collection. 

TASHA:  Can we go see it now?  I’m bored.

VALERIE:  Real spunky.  You must get it from your mother’s side of the family.  I’ll show you my cats later.  Right now I’ve come to help your mother.    I’m very good at organizing.

TASHA:  (Tasha talks as Valerie moves towards the house.)  But Mommy doesn’t need any help.  She’s moved hundreds of times.  That’s why I have to stay in the backyard.  (After Valerie is gone.)  Geez, I never get to have any fun.

          (BLACKOUT.)

ACT I Scene 2

(The family is cleaning up the backyard when Grandpa arrives with Malorie.  They remove trash bags, old lawn furniture, etc.  Bring in new lawn chairs.)  

GRANDPA:  That’s what I like to see; the family that works together stays together.

TASHA:  Grandpa!  (Tasha hugs Grandpa.)

DIANE:  Hello, Malorie.

MALORIE:  Good afternoon, Aunt Diane.  Good afternoon, Uncle R.J.

RJ:  How are you doing, Mal?

MALORIE:  I’m very well, Uncle R.J.  And you?

RJ:  Fine.  Here, sit in this chair, Dad.  

TASHA:  Do you want to help us, Malorie?  We’re cleaning up the playground.

MALORIE:  No, thank you.  I don’t want to get my dress dirty.

TASHA:  Is it new?

MALORIE:  No.

TASHA:  Are you going somewhere? 

MALORIE:  No, I came to visit you.

TASHA:  Heck!  You didn’t have to wear a dress to see me.

DIANE:  Natasha!

TASHA:  Sorry. . .  Do you want to see my doll house?  That’s all right, isn’t it, Mom?

(Tasha and Malorie exit.)

DIANE:  Yes.  Would you like some lemonade, Grandpa Doug?  

(Diane exits.)

GRANDPA:  You’ve got quite a project here, Son.  I kind of let the place go after Richard passed away.  

RJ:  Don’t worry about it, Dad.  Once we get it cleaned up, it’ll be great.  Some new lawn furniture.  A barbeque.

(Robbie and then Kelsey exit.)

GRANDPA:  Tasha tells me you’re gonna plant corn for hide’n’seek.

RJ:  That’s right.  Do you think it’s too late for watermelon?

GRANDPA:  The garden is pretty messed up, Son.  Don’t you think you’re taking on a lot, what with your new job and all? 

RJ:  The kids will help.

GRANDPA:  What kids is that?  

RJ:  (R.J. looks around.)  Hey, where’d my work crew go?

GRANDPA:  One thing that never changes is kids don’t want to do chores.  If you’re in a hurry to enjoy this back yard, you’d better hire somebody to help you fix it up.

RJ:  You’re right, Pop.  Isn’t that what you were doing that time you hired Grant Evans to load hay and Mr. Evans hired me to load hay? 

GRANDPA:  Yep.  We both got good help that summer.  

RJ:  And we got money to chase Patty Sue Wagnall.

DIANE:  (DIANE enters carrying lemonade.)  Who is Patty Sue Wagnall?

RJ:  Just this girl Grant and I both tried to date back in high school.

GRANDPA:  They wasted their money on chocolates and flowers.  Acted like a couple of idiots.

GRANT: (Enters.)  Do I hear my name being taken in vain?

RJ:  Grant!  You son-of-a-gun.  Man, it’s been a long time!

GRANT:  And this pretty lady must be Diane.  I’m Grant Evans.  I don’t suppose R.J. has ever mentioned me?

DIANE:  Oh, a few times.  Let’s see.  There was one story about stealing watermelon.

GRANT:  Only the ripe ones.

DIANE:  And another story about the time the emergency brakes failed and your pickup went in the lake.

GRANT:  Actually it was just a little pond.  And it was my brother’s truck.  My brother has no sense of humor.

 

DIANE:  Oh, yes, and the time you cut off a girl named Cookie’s hair. 

GRANT:  No, we set Cookie’s hair afire in chemistry class.  She had to have it cut off at the beauty shop.  

DIANE:  Oh, no!  I bet she hated you two.

GRANDPA:  Not Grant.  

RJ:  Cookie was crazy about him.

GRANDPA:  We all thought she was going to get herself killed before he caught on.  He’s a mite slow.

GRANT:  Hey!

RJ:  I’ll never forget the time he dared her to jump off Carson Bridge.  It’s a thirty-foot drop, but the water is only two feet deep most of the time.  

DIANE:  No!

GRANDPA:  Yes!  I was there when she jumped.  It turned my hair white.

RJ:  Grant was only joking, showing off for Patty Sue.  It made Cookie mad, so she jumped.

DIANE:  Was she hurt?

GRANT:  Her jacket got caught, and she was dangling there, screaming, madder than a wet hen.

RJ:  He jokes about it now, but his hair stood on end.  Totally panicked.  And after we got her up on the bridge, Dad hauled off and socked him.

DIANE:  You didn’t?

RJ:  Laid Grant out flat.  I didn’t know Dad had it in him.

GRANDPA:  Course I did.  Silly fool nearly killed the girl.   

DIANE:  Is this is a true story? 

GRANT:  Yep.  Cookie was kissing me when I came to, and I “”saw the light””.  I married “”the girl””.

DIANE:  I think you guys are putting me on.

RJ:  It’s true, and Cookie is still crazy about him.  Some things never change.

DIANE:  I don’t know.  (Diane raises her eyebrows skeptically and R.J. crosses his heart.)

RJ:  I swear.

          (BLACKOUT.)

ACT I Scene 3

(Kenny is working in the yard.  Laura and Diane are sitting in the backyard.  Malorie is standing near them.)  

LAURA:  Cousin R.J. is sure tickled to be back.

DIANE:  Yeah, tickled pink.

LAURA:  None of us were surprised to see him come back. He’s a real hometown boy.  Everyone thought he’d never leave in the first place.

DIANE:  Really?

LAURA:  Of course, we all thought he’d marry Patty Sue Wagnall.

DIANE:  (Matter of factly.)  Did you?

MALORIE:  Who is Patty Sue Wagnall, Mother?

LAURA:  Oh, I’m sorry.  Didn’t R.J. tell you about Patty Sue?  Maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned her.

DIANE:  That’s all right.  R.J. has told me about her.

MALORIE:  Nobody’s told me.

DIANE:  Malorie, wouldn’t you like to go in and see if Tasha would like to play?

MALORIE:  No, thank you.  I like listening to grownups.

LAURA:  Malorie, go and play with your cousin so that Diane and I can talk.

(Malorie exits reluctantly.)

DIANE:  She’s very mature for her age.  I wish I could get Tasha to wear a dress sometimes.

LAURA:  I was like Tasha when I was little.  My mom had trouble getting me to put on a clean pair of shorts, much less a dress.

DIANE:  You’ve succeeded with Malorie.

LAURA:  Oh, I can’t take the credit for the dresses.  They’re from my mother-in-law.  Valerie even makes quite a few of them.  

DIANE:  Yes, I seen some of her work.  Aunt Valerie is good.

LAURA:  I used to sew, but it seems pointless when Valerie likes to make things for the kids.  She’s so much better at it.

DIANE:  I wish I could sew.  I’m thinking of buying curtains in Tasha’s room, but so far I haven’t find any I like.

LAURA:  If you pick out the material, I could make them.

DIANE:  Come see her room.

(Laura and Diane exit.  Kenny continues to work.) 

KELSEY:  (Kelsey carrying a tennis racquet enters from the alley.  She notices Kenny.)  Hi!

KENNY:  Hey!

KELSEY:  I’m Kelsey.

KENNY:  I’m Kenny.

KELSEY:  I live here.

KENNY:  (Repeats.)  You live here.  (Understands.)  Oh!  You live here.  Your dad hired me to fix up the backyard.

KELSEY:  So, I’ll see you around.  (Kelsey exits backward and then waves before turning to complete her exit.)

KENNY:  Bye!  (He watches Kelsey exit.)

(Carrying a racquet, Robbie enters from the alley and approaches Kenny.  Robbie looks where Kenny is staring but doesn’t see anything.)

ROBBIE:  What are you looking at?

KENNY:  Nothing. I was just stretchin’.

ROBBIE:  Dad said to help you after I had my tennis lesson.  What would you like me to do?

KENNY:  Can you help me with this?

ROBBIE:  Sure.  I’ll go change.

(Kenny works again, but he notices as Kelsey enters.  Kelsey puts on sunglasses and reads the book she brought out until they make eye contact when she looks up.) 

KELSEY:  That was nice of you, to be interested in Robbie.  This move has been hard on him, giving up his best friend.

KENNY:  What about you?  Did you have a special friend?

KELSEY:  I had two, Holly and Miranda.  We did everything together.  I miss them.

KENNY:  Do you want to go for a coke or something after I get off work.?

KELSEY:  Sounds like fun.

KENNY:  Great!  I’d better get working or your dad will fire me.

KELSEY:  ‘Kay.  See you later.

(Same exit:  Kelsey exits backward and then waves before turning to complete her exit.  Kenny watches Kelsey leave before he moves again.)   

          (BLACKOUT.)

ACT I Scene 4

(Kenny and R.J. are working in the backyard when a dejected Robbie enters from the alley.  The family is coming back from a fishing trip.)

ROBBIE:  Hi, we’re home.

RJ:  Did you have fun?

ROBBIE:  Yeah, sure, fine.

KENNY:  How was the fishing?

ROBBIE:  Okay. 

 (A dejected Robbie exits slowly.)

RJ:  What’s wrong with him? 

RJ:   (Continued.)  Hi, Kels?  How was the fishing?

KELSEY:  (Enters.)  It was great!  I caught a bass.

KENNY:  Did you have to throw it back?

KELSEY:  Very funny.  I’ll have you know, it was the biggest fish anyone caught.  I wish you could have come.  It was fun.  

KENNY:  You like fishing?

KELSEY:  Except for putting the worm on the hook.

KENNY:  You used worms?

KELSEY:  Grandpa says it’s the best bait.

RJ:  Yeah, we used to use worms when I was a kid.

KELSEY:  I thought you said grasshoppers.

RJ:  Those, too.

TASHA:  (Tasha enters.)  Daddy!  Daddy!  Come see the fish I caught!

RJ:  You caught a fish?

TASHA:  I caught nine fishes.

RJ:  Nine fish?

TASHA:  Yep.  Most of them were catfish.  They call them that because they’ve got whiskers.

RJ:  Do they really?

TASHA:  Grandpa!  Tell Daddy I really did catch NINE FISH!

GRANDPA:  (Grandpa enters and sits down.)  Whew!  I’m not as young as I used to be.

RJ:  It sounds like they had fun.

GRANDPA:  It was a pretty nice day.  Peaceful with a little breeze over the water.  I fell asleep once or twice.  

RJ:  Just like I remember it.

GRANDPA:  The kids were so excited when they caught a fish.  It’s too bad Robbie didn’t catch one.  It’s kind of hard on a boy when all the girls catch more than you do.

RJ:  Maybe I’ll take him alone one of these days.

GRANDPA:  You could, but I don’t know if his heart’s really in it.  One thing I’ve learned over the years is that kids don’t always want to do what their parents want them to do.  (To Tasha)  Sure wish your Grandma could have seen you 

today, pumpkin.

TASHA:  Why, Grandpa?

GRANDPA:  Your grandma could catch more fish than anybody. She would have liked to take you fishin’, sittin’ under a shade tree and waitin’ quiet. . .   

RJ:  I remember how she would fish for hours.

GRANDPA:  She was quite a fisherman.  (Grandpa exits.)    

TASHA:  Why did Grandpa have tears in his eyes?

RJ:  He still misses Grandma, honey.

TASHA:  Do you miss her, Daddy?

RJ:  Of course I do.  Whenever something interesting happened, I used to think, “”I’ve got to write Mama about that.””  Then I’d remember she wasn’t here anymore.  But Grandpa remembers every time he sees her rocking chair or 

walks in the kitchen and she’s not there.

TASHA:  Do you miss her when we go to Grandpa’s house?

RJ:  A little.  It makes me sad, and happy.

TASHA:  Cause you have good memories?

RJ: 

Home Town Summer

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