Follow This Blog By E-mail!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

FREE EXCERPT--- "Rainbow and the Goofball" by Bobby Keniston

Made for me by Claire Hamlin (Note:  Theater is a Sport is in no way affiliated with HBO or Game of Thrones)

Hello, ladies and gentlemen.  My name is Bobby Keniston, and I would like to welcome you to Theater is a Sport, a blog about all things theater.

As those of you who are regular readers know, I have many plays published for the youth and high school market.  I have one play called Rainbow and the Goofball, which I wrote about three years ago, and produced for Foxcroft Academy.  It is a fairytale I invented about the world's first archaeologist, and the jester who loves her.  I happened to think it was a great kid's show, and it got a terrific response when it was produced by FA.  Kids loved it! 

So you can imagine how disappointing it is that this is pretty much the only youth play I have in my drawer that has not been able to find a publisher.  It has received excellent comments from everyone I have submitted it to, but I'm told that there just isn't room for it in their catalogues.  I am still waiting to hear from one company about it. 

Again, it is a show I'm very poud of, so I thought I would share the first part of the play with you here in this post.  It is protected by copyright, so, yeah, don't be thinking you could get away with anything...

In any case, if you enjoy reading this excerpt, drop me a line at  I would be happy to work anything out to have you read the rest of it, or if you would want to produce it, we could work something out. 

Note:  if I hear from the last publisher in the affirmative, I will remove this post immediately. 

Okay, so enjoy PART I of Rainbow and the Gooball.  If you're all really good and leave nice comments, maybe I'll post the rest of it some time.  Let me know what you think in the comments (and, if you don't like it, that's fine, but don't be mean about it, please... anonymous mean comments are just kind of ridiculous in a world that's too good at being unkind). 


RAINBOW,  a young lady.  She likes to wear overalls and dig in the dirt to find old artifacts.  She is sweet, kind, and very smart.  She is also the only person who laughs at the Goofball's jokes. 

BENNY, the “Goofball”.  He wants to be a jester, but really has only one fan.  An orphan, he was practically raised by Old Lady Thorpe.  Rainbow is his only true friend, and he is in love with her, and delights in making her laugh.

OLD LADY THORPE, the oldest lady in the village of Anterra.  She knows everybody's business, and makes no apologies for it.  She narrates the story.  She has a deep fondness for the Goofball, and gives him a great deal of guidance and support.

RAYMOND, an elder, is Rainbow's dad.  He is supportive of all she does, but often takes a backseat to what his wife thinks.  But not always.

CLARABOW, Rainbow's mom, an elder.  She loves her daughter Rainbow very much, but seems to think most of Rainbow's problems would be solved if she wore a dress once in a while and cared more about her appearance.

EDWINA, Rainbow's cousin.  She is more concerned with clothes and finding a boyfriend than anything else.  She can't understand why Rainbow would spend so much time digging in the dirt.

PRINCE SHALLOW, a young man, the Prince of Anterra.  He pronounces his name “Shay-loo”.  He is, however, like his name, very shallow, and also very dishonest.  He likes to take all the credit for himself, and never shares. 

ROSEMARIE, middle-aged.  She is the Royal Babysitter/Guard for the Prince.  It is her job to keep him in line, and she is getting very tired of his attitude.  Does not appreciate having to take care of a grown man as though he were a child. 

THE FASHIONISTA GODFATHER, ageless, though appears more young than old.  He wears the best clothes, and speaks in a thick, comedic French accent.  He appears to Rainbow to help her dress, but is also there to help her believe in herself. 

4 males, 5 females.


     “Rainbow and the Goofball” had its world premiere at Center
     Theatre in Dover-Foxcroft, ME, as part of Foxcroft Academy's
     evening of one-act plays, in November, 2010, and subsequently
     toured to SeDoMoCha Middle School and Guilford Primary School
     The production was directed by the author with the following

     RAINBOW   Darian Holmes
     BENNY     John Levenseller
     OLD LADY THORPE   Alissa Violet Toner

     EDWINA   Stefanie Loring

     CLARABOW   Savanna Hobbs

     RAYMOND    Patrick Tagget

     PRINCE SHALLOW  Sam Phillips

     ROSEMARIE    Sarah Hobbs

     FASHIONISTA GODFATHER   Andrew Marshall


SETTING:  Just outside the Town Square in the Village of Anterra.  It is a nice rural village.  There may be a few trees and shrubbery about to signify the rural aspect of the area.  Stage Right, we see the outline of the front door leading into Old Lady Thorpe's house.

AT RISE:  There is a rocking chair downstage right.  OLD LADY THORPE, sporting a cane she really doesn't need, comes out of the door stage right, as if going outside to just sit down.  She hums to herself.  When she sits down, she rocks a moment, and then notices the audience.

(noticing the audience, startled)
     Oh sweet gravy!  (regains composure)  You startled me!   Haven't     you all been told it's not nice to sneak up on an old   lady?      Now, now, it ain't that I'm not happy to see you.  I surely am.    And you've got to get up pretty early in the morning to scare Old Lady Thorpe! I'm Old Lady Thorpe, that's    what I'm      called, 'cause I'm the oldest lady in the Village of Anterra.   Have you all been to Anterra before? (waits for   audience   response)  Didn't think you looked familiar. I'm always pleased as a plum pit to meet new folks.  I've lived in Anterra    my whole life, and I know you'll like it here.  It's peaceful, quiet, and full of lovely people.  The      Prince is a bit of   nitwit, but nothing's ever perfect.  (beat. She looks at the     audience)  You folks are lucky you met me.  I ain't tootin' my   own bugle or anything, but I know everything there is to know about everybody in Anterra.  That's my job now.  My business is      minding everybody's business, and if    you don't like it, well, it's none of your business.  There's always stories to tell, and someone's gotta tell 'em. I reckon that it's best I tell 'em,      you see, because I don't lie.  Any of you folks out there lie?      (she waits for audience reaction... if they     say “no”...)  I      don't believe you!  Everyone lies sometimes, like, “Oh, Bertha,      that hat looks good on you,” or things like that.  'Cept      me.  Now, I'm not saying I'm better than anyone, it's just that   I    can't lie.  I'm allergic to it. Makes me sneeze.  Watch,      I'll show you.  (giving an example) “I'm a beautiful young      lady...”       (she sneezes a really big sneeze) ACHOOOOO!  See?  Or      how about:     “I love to eat my brussel sprouts...”  (sneezes again)  ACHOO!       (beat)  Bless me! Now, when I tell the truth, I'm right as a    rain cloud.  Look: I'm an old lady who loves to eat candy.  (beat)  See?  No     sneezing. So you can trust me when I tell    you a story, that it's a true story. And I tell you what, I love    stories.  My favorite story in the village of Anterra is about      Rainbow and the Goofball, because I play a part in that one     myself.  But you've probably all heard the story of Rainbow
and the Goofball,haven't you?  (waits for audience response) No?     You mean to tell me you've never heard the story of Rainbow and     the Goofball? (waits for response)  What, you all been living in    the back end    of a cave?  I thought everybody knew that story!      Well, now, this is a treat! It all happened      here in the village
of Anterra.  Now let's see... anyone know a good way to start a      story?  (waits for audience response...)  Oh right, that's a good way: Once upon a time in the village of Anterra, there was    a young lady named Rainbow.  She was different from a lot of    girls.  She liked to wear big overalls and dig in the dirt,      looking for things.  But you don't need to hear all this from      me...look over yonder... (she points left)  Here she comes now.

(The lights fade on Old Lady Thorpe, as RAINBOW enters from stage left.  She is wearing big overalls and boots.  She has a shovel and a pail, and a cloth containing artifacts that she has found.  She scoots down center stage, and mimes digging.  EDWINA, who is dressed in a very pretty outfit, is right behind her.  She looks bored and disgusted.) 

     Rainbow, this isn't what I had in mind when I said we could
     hang out today. 

     I'm sorry.  You're not having fun?

     What on earth is so fun about digging in the dirt and finding
     gross old things?  I thought maybe we would go to the shops in
     the village.  I hear there's a new place where they put color
     on your fingernails... isn't that a scream?

     Why does anyone want color on their fingernails?

     Because it looks pretty!


     Some people prefer color to dirt!  I don't know what to do with you  sometimes.  If you weren't my cousin, I doubt I would even bother.

     I'm sorry, Edwina.  Hey, I bet if you tried digging in the
     dirt next to me that you would like it!  If you would just
     try, you'd see how interesting it is!

     I like to stay clean, thanks.  I'm not interested in making my
     hands all yucky.  Who'd want to hold them if they were yucky?

(indicating an artifact)
     But just look at what I've discovered already!  These are all
     artifacts from a culture that lived long before we were even
     here.  These give us a clue as to what their lives might
     have been like!  Isn't that exciting?

     Oh, how do I put this so I don't hurt your feelings?  I don't
     want to say that this is all very boring.  Let's see.  Oh,
     I know!  It's just that I don't find any of this interesting
     in the least bit.  Not even a little. Not even a tiny, tiny,

     Well, I guess if that's the nicest way you can say it...

     I knew you'd understand.  Let's go to the shops!

     If you want to go to the shops without me...

     Okay, see ya!  (she starts off left, but then stops)  Oh, no!
     The Goofball is coming this way!

     He is?

     Just perfect!  (beat)  I hate how he always talks to you...
     and the way he looks at you is absolutely disgraceful!  As if
     you would ever want to be seen with him!

     He's my friend.

     How could he be your friend?  He's a Goofball!

     He's funny.  And besides, there's more to him than that.  He's
     very nice.

     Well I don't know about that, and I don't want to know.  Eeew.

(At this point, BENNY comes on from stage left.  He is wearing a jester's outfit, complete with a jester's hat.  He carries a small bag of props that he uses for his “act.”  He is very excited to see Rainbow)
     Rainbow!  There you are!  I wasn't looking for you, but, sweet
     biscuits, am I happy to see you!  (he starts to cross to her,
     excited, but trips and falls.)

     Good one, Goofball!  Have a nice trip?

(Rainbow rushes to Benny and helps him up.  He smiles at her.)

     Benny!  Are you all right?

     Yuppers!  I don't think I broke anything.  Maybe a few bruises,
     but mostly on my dignity...

     I don't think you've had any dignity for a long time, Goofball.

     Edwina, don't be rude.

     That's okay, Rainbow, she's right... I donated my dignity to

(Rainbow laughs, and Benny joins her.  Edwina rolls her eyes)

     I'm going to the shops.  I've had enough dirt and silliness for      one day.  (starts to exit)

     Have fun at the shops.  I hope you find a new outfit.  I think
     I've seen you wear that one before.

(Edwina spins around, horrified)

     Bite your tongue!  You have not!

     I COULD bite my tongue, but I don't see how that will change the
     fact that you wore the exact same outfit at the village carnival
     two and a half months ago.

     I never wear the same outfit twice in public!

(playing along)
     I think Benny's right.  I do remember seeing you in that dress
     before, and I'm pretty sure it was at the carnival.

     Oh no!  I better get home and change!  I can't go to the shops
     in a second-worn dress!  (she rushes off left, upset)

(Benny and Rainbow wait until she is fully gone and then burst out

     I suppose we shouldn't tease her like that.  Did you see the
     look on her face?

     I sure did.  (he mimes Edwina's horrified face, and her storming
     off.  Rainbow laughs)

     Sometimes she deserves it.  She can be so mean. I'm sorry she
     calls you goofball.

     That's okay.  Everybody does.  Except you.  At least they
     notice me, I guess.

     I know, Benny, but I worry that too many people are laughing at
     you and not with you.  You don't deserve that. 
     You're right.  I guess I just want to make people laugh so
     much, that sometimes I even make myself the joke.

     Did you do your act in town today?

     Sure did! 

     How'd it go?  Did you get any money or gifts?

     Well, a few people threw rocks at me.  Does that count?

     Oh no!

     It's okay.  I've got a hard head.  (he knocks on his head) 
     Besides, I make you laugh.  At least I have one fan.  (he
     smiles at her)

     You know what I think?  I think you're ahead of your time.  In
     years to come, people will realize how groundbreaking you were.
     You can take comfort in the fact that it's never easy being
     ahead of your time.

     Thanks.  As long as I make you laugh, that's good enough for
     me.  (he looks at her for a moment in silence.  Then, changing
     the subject:)  So, did you find any new arty-facts today?

     Yes, I did!  Let me show you!  (she crosses to her cloth, and
     retrieves one of her artifacts and brings it over to Benny) 
     I found this today.  (she points to something on the artifact) It looks like someone carved a little picture on here. I think     this is most likely was the head of some kind of weapon
     for hunting, or maybe even a farming tool... I'm not sure,
     but that's my hypothesis.  You know what a hypothesis is, right?

(not sure)
     Uh, I think so.
(telling him)

     Part of a triangle?

     No, I meant that a hypothesis is a guess.  Well, not just
     any guess, but a guess that has facts supporting it.  See,
     because of the shape of this artifact, I can guess that it
     was made either for hunting or farming.  Get it?

     I sure do!  Thanks for explaining it to me. 

     You're welcome.  I just wish I could explain more.  (she
     replaces her artifact in the cloth)  It's so amazing to find
     things from so long ago!  I like to imagine what it must have
     been like to live then.  How they found their food, made their
     clothes.  How hard they must have worked to survive. Don't
     you think it's fun to think like that?

     I had never really thought about it.  But listening to the
     way you describe it makes me wonder about it too.  (beat)  Do
     you think people told jokes back then?

     I bet they did! 

     I wonder what was considered funny.

     I bet people like you, people who have told jokes and stories
     have been around since the beginning of it all!  People have
     always needed to laugh and be entertained.  Human beings can't
     work all the time.  (she gets back down on the ground to do
     some more digging)  You want to help me dig?

(Benny hunkers down and puts his hands inside his prop bag)

     Gee, Rainbow, I would love to help you dig, but... (he pulls
     his hands out of his prop bag... his hands now have two
     big rubber thumbs covering his own thumbs)  I'm all thumbs!
(Rainbow laughs and Benny joins her.  He takes the thumbs off and puts them back in the bag, and sits next to her to help her dig)

     That's a good one, Benny.  All thumbs!  That's great!  (beat)
     I was thinking about your act the other day, and I have an
     idea... I don't want to tell you what to do or anything...

     I would love to hear any suggestions you have!

     Well, I was thinking that when you finish telling a joke or
     doing a bit, that you could have a little catchphrase to spice
     it up, really take it home.

     Like what?

     Well, I was thinking something like--- ba-dum-bum-ching. 


     I know, that's probably silly...

     No, no, silly is good.  That's my motto.  Let's try it out.
     (thinks for a second)  Okay, here goes:  What's the difference
     between Edwina and a tailor's dummy?

     I don't know.  What?

     A tailor's dummy doesn't just think about clothes all the time!
     Ba-dum-bum-ching!  (Rainbow laughs)  Hey, it works!

(They laugh some more.  Old Lady Thorpe comes out from stage right.)

     Oh, I thought I heard laughin' out here.  It's good of you,
     Rainbow to laugh at the poor boy's jokes.  He even gets me to
     laugh, if he catches me unawares. 
     Well, Miss Thorpe, I think Benny is very funny. 

     But looks aren't everything!

(Old Lady Thorpe laughs, but Rainbow doesn't)

     I don't like it when you make fun of yourself. 

     You don't?

     No.  It's okay to laugh at yourself, but don't put yourself
     down.  Okay?

     Okay, I won’t.  I promise.

     Good.  (she smiles at him)

     When you're finished helping Rainbow, come on inside, Benny. 
     I need you to run some errands for me.

     Sure thing.

(Old Lady Thorpe goes back inside stage right)

     It's very kind of you to help out Miss Thorpe so much. 

     She practically raised me.  She's the closest thing to a mom
     I've got, even if I do have to call her Old Lady Thorpe like
     everyone else.  She took me in, gave me shelter, let me eat all
     the brussel sprouts she didn't want.  If it hadn't been for her,
     I would have grown up without any kind of a home.

     I wish my folks were supportive of what I do.  You see, I
     have this dream of taking all these artifacts I've found, and
     displaying them all in a big building, so that people can come
     in a get a good idea of what life must have been like in the
     past!  It would be like having my very own museum!  And I would
     show people around and explain what everything was for!

     That's a great idea!

     I'm glad you think so.  When I told my parents about it, my
     dad didn't say anything, and my mom told me I would have to
     wear a pretty dress if I wanted people to listen to me about
     my artifacts.

     I think you look pretty enough already.  (realizes what he
     has said)  I mean... well, it's just that I think you don't
     need to worry about what you're wearing to be pretty.  (again)
     I mean, the thing is...

     Thank you, Benny.  (she takes his hand)  You're a really good

     And you're my favorite Rainbow.  I always find a pot of gold
     whenever I see you. 

(They look at each other, both a little bashful.  The voice of CLARABOW from offstage startles them, and they release hands.)

(offstage left)
     Rainbow!  Where are you, girl?

(CLARABOW and RAYMOND enter from stage left.  They are Rainbow's parents.  Clarabow is a very determined woman, and sometimes a little pushy, but she does love her daughter very much and wants what she believes is best for her.  Raymond is very quiet.  He doesn't talk much, but he is kind and strong.)

     Oh, there you are.  Digging in the dirt again, I see.  (notices
     Benny)  Hello, Goofball. 

     His name is Benny, mom.
(to Rainbow)
     That's all right.  (to Clarabow)  It's a pleasure to see you
     today, ma'am. (to Raymond)  Sir, I hope that you are feeling

(nods to Benny)
     You don't have to call me, sir, Benny.  That's what they called
     my father.  Call me Ray.

     Thank you.

     And how is Old Lady Thorpe doing?

     She's doing well.  I'll tell her you were asking.

     Do that.  Ain't never met someone couldn't tell a lie before.
     (chuckles)  Leads to some of the craziest truths I ever heard.

     Sure does.  (laughs)  Speaking of which, there's some things
     she needed my help with.  If you'll excuse me.  Thanks for
     showing me your artifacts, Rainbow. 

     You're welcome. 

(Benny exits stage right into the outline of Thorpe's house.)

     Do you have to come this far out of the village to dig, my
     dear?  I have been looking all over for you. 

     I'm sorry.  What is it? 

     You're father and I have been talking...

     Don't make this out like it was my idea.

     Raymond!  We agreed this was best.

     You agreed, Clara.  I just shrugged my shoulders.

     Then why don't you stay silent now, and let me handle this,
     dear? (Raymond shrugs and gives his daughter a look of apology)
     Rainbow, I have decided that it's high time to for you to stop
     playing in the dirt.


     I'm not playing in the dirt, mom.  I'm working.  I'm discovering
     things that explain how people were living their lives centuries     ago. 

     Yes, dear, and I'm not putting down your interests.  But what
     exactly do you intend to achieve from all of it?  It would be
     one thing if you could somehow use any of this for any
     good purpose...

     It does have a good purpose!  By learning how societies have
     grown and progressed over the years, we can continue to grow
     and progress ourselves. 

     Listen, my little cabbage, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings.
     I am happy you have interests, and I'm very proud of you for
     being so smart.  Just like me.  (RAYMOND snorts, Clara moves on)
     But there comes a time when we have to put away some of our
     goals and ambitions.  Don't you think, sweetie, that it might
     be time for you to admit that this is a hobby? 


     An important hobby, yes, and a hobby that gives you a great
     amount of pleasure, but still a hobby.  I'm not asking you
     to give it up completely.  But just limit your time in the dirt.
     Put on a dress.  Meet a man.  You're getting to be at the
     marrying age...
     She's in no rush to be married, Clarabow.

     Of course you would say that, dear.  (to Rainbow)  Let someone
     see you outside of the dirt.  Then, once you're married, maybe you can still find time to look for your little doo-dads from      history, if your husband doesn't mind you doing it.

     Mother, I'm not looking to get married or give up what I love.

     I told you she wasn't looking to get married.

     Rainbow, right now you can't seem to understand, but one day you     will.  One day you'll think to yourself, “where have my dreams   gotten me?”  You'll  look at the other women your age who are   married and have children, and you'll think, “what do I have?”      And you'll just see all of dirt you've been digging through.

     Now Clarabow, you just stop it.  There isn't one thing wrong
     with our little girl following her interests and having dreams.
     She's got plenty of time.

     I'm just trying to help her.

     It's okay.  I understand, mom. 

     So why don't you call it a day, and head on into the village
     with us?

     Remember, pumpkin, you don't have to if you don't want to.

     You two go on ahead.  I'll meet you there in a few minutes. 

     Good girl. 

(Clarabow exits stage left.  Raymond hesitates, looking at his daughter, wanting to say something.)
     Rainbow, I...

     Come along, Raymond.

(Raymond sighs.  He looks at his daughter a moment, not knowing what to say.  He pats her head to try to comfort her, then exits.  Rainbow is alone.  She looks sadly at the artifacts she has discovered.  She tries not to cry.  Benny enters from out of the house.)

     Oh, did your parents leave?

     Yes.  They went into the village.  I'm supposed to meet them

     Hey, that's where I'm headed!  I can escort... (notices how
     sad Rainbow looks)  What happened?  Are you all right?

     I'm okay.  I'm sorry, I have to go.  (she starts to leave)

     Rainbow, wait!  What about your artifacts?

     You can keep them. 

(Benny jogs up to her)

     Whoa, whoa, whoa.  (Rainbow stops and looks at him)  What have
     you done with my friend Rainbow?  (she doesn't laugh)      Seriously, what's going on?  You found some really great stuff
     today.  Why aren't you taking it?

     Because it doesn't matter. 

     Sure it does.  You're the best artifact-er-er I know!

     Please, Benny.  You keep them.  So they'll at least mean
something to someone. 

     I don't like seeing you so sad.  (beat)  Okay.  How 'bout this?
     I'll hold on to them until you want them, because I know when
     you feel better you're definitely going to want them.  Deal?

(with a slight smile)

     Well, that's better.  There's a little smile at least. 


     Hey, if you need to talk or anything, I'm here, all right?  I
     don't always have to be a goofball.  I can be a good listener

     I know Benny.  I know.  (she exits stage left)

(Benny watches her go, sad that his friend is so sad.  He goes to where she left her shovel and the cloth she had wrapped her artifacts in.  He picks them up gently and puts them into his bag of props.  He walks off.)


OKAY, THANKS FOLKS.  If you enjoyed this, let me know, drop me a line or leave a comment.  If you didn't, that's fine, but don't bother bring me down.  If you're interested in reading more, go ahead and ask me at  If you would like to read more of my stuff, check out,,, and, and search for my name, Bobby Keniston. 

Until next time, please remember--- Theater is a Sport.  Bye bye for now.

No comments:

Post a Comment