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Thursday, September 5, 2013


Cover of my Script, from Brooklyn Publishers
Here's a free scene from my play Betty Lou Twinkle's Tabloid Scandal.  This play is available from Brooklyn Publishers, and can be ordered by CLICKING HERE. 

This is a scene for two actresses.  One, is Betty Lou, our heroine, a teenage girl who wants to be normal.  The other is Darlene, her mother, a VERY overbearing stage mother, who has pushed Betty Lou into show business ever since she was a contestant on "Divas in Diapers".  This is a very satirical piece, and a whole lot of fun!  Have fun reading it, and feel free to use it for audition or classwork purposes, just make sure you tell everyone the name of the play, and the author (yours truly, Bobby Keniston). 


SETTING: Backstage of the reality show, "America’s Future One-Hit Wonders."

AT RISE: BETTY LOU TWINKLE, 15 is looking into a mirror. She doesn’t like her outfit, mainly because it doesn’t cover as much of her as she would like. She is a pretty, sweet girl, who has been pushed around by her mother all of her life. She takes her midriff-bearing shirt and pulls it down, trying to stretch it past her belly button, and finally succeeds. When she is satisfied with this, she takes a seat in front of the mirror, looks around, and then takes a photograph from her pocket and looks at it.
BETTY LOU: Oh, Catboy, I wish you were here right now. In a world like this, you’re the only normal person I know. And you’re part cat. What does that say about society?

Suddenly, DARLENE ROSEPETTLE enters. She is a force of nature. She carries a small suitcase that contains assorted makeup.
DARLENE: Who are you talking to?

BETTY LOU, startled, quickly stashes the photo in her pocket.
BETTY LOU: Hi mom!

DARLENE: Are you hiding something from me?

BETTY LOU: Of course not. I was just talking to myself in the mirror, trying to psyche myself up for tonight.

DARLENE: (After inspecting her a moment.) And just where is your belly button?

BETTY LOU: (Trying to joke.) Same place as everybody’s!

DARLENE: I see. You’re startin’ in early with the sass today. Why are you hiding your navel?

BETTY LOU: I’m not…

DARLENE: What do I always say?


DARLENE: What do I always say?

BETTY LOU: (Sighing.) "A teenage girl’s belly button on display, helps make her a star in every way."

DARLENE: That’s right! You know how important tonight is! Once you win "America’s Future One-Hit Wonders," you can wear a sweater for all I care. (Beat.) Well, maybe for a day or two, and not in public. But if we’re going to win this competition tonight, we’ve got to give them some skin, sugar.

BETTY LOU: But it makes me uncomfortable!

DARLENE: You want to discuss discomfort? Try being in labor for four and a half hours!

BETTY LOU: I know, but…

DARLENE: No buts! Look, my little peachy-bear, we’ve made it through thirteen weeks of the show, we’re in the top two, and tonight, we are one step closer to our dream of being the most famous singer in the world!

BETTY LOU: But that’s not my dream.

DARLENE: Of course it is! I happen to remember a little girl who told me she wanted to be the biggest star who ever lived!

BETTY LOU: I was only four! And you had just asked me if I wanted to be the biggest star who ever lived.

DARLENE: Don’t you dare pretend that you haven’t wanted this, Miss Betty Lou Twinkle!

BETTY LOU: That’s not even my real name.

DARLENE: We’ve been using that name ever since you were a contestant on "Divas in Diapers"! I don’t have to tell you that people won’t want to listen to music by someone named Elizabeth Korsinski-Brattwurst. Why do you think I changed my last name to Rosepettle after your daddy did the world a favor and croaked?

BETTY LOU: But mom, I don’t want this anymore. I don’t want to be in front of the camera, I don’t want to pretend I’m happy when I’m not, I don’t want a fake name. I just want to be me. I want to have a normal life. I want to hang out with Ca… (Beat.) I want to play soccer.

There is a long pause.
DARLENE: I should wash your mouth out with soap!


DARLENE: You get to sing and flaunt your goods in front of millions of viewers, and you’d rather be out on some field kicking a ball around? I have worked long and hard for your career…

BETTY LOU: I know, I know. But don’t you care what I want? Doesn’t the fact that I’m your daughter mean anything?

DARLENE: Sweetie-britches, I know it’s hard for you to understand, but I’m your agent first, and your mother second. Now let’s fix your make-up, okay?


DARLENE: That’s my little twinkly star!

DARLENE opens the suitcase which has tons of make-up. BETTY LOU sits down, and DARLENE starts applying make-up to her.
BETTY LOU: Mom? Can I ask you something?

DARLENE: Of course.

BETTY LOU: Will you still love me if I don’t win the competition tonight?

DARLENE: What a thing to say?! I know you’re going to win tonight!

BETTY LOU: Yeah, but… what if I don’t? Will you still love me?

DARLENE: Now, Betty Lou, I am shocked that you even have to ask! I am your Mother! I love you no matter what!

BETTY LOU: I’m happy to hear you say that. Thank you.

DARLENE: It’s just that I love you even more when you win things. (BETTY LOU reacts.) Look, you can’t fault me for that. It’s human nature. People like winners. I’m allowed to be human, right?

BETTY LOU: (Tired.) Yeah.

DARLENE: That’s a good girl. Now, remember when you perform tonight, I want you to flirt with the judges.

BETTY LOU: Come on.

DARLENE: Now, none of that, missy. What have I told you since you were eight?

BETTY LOU: (By rote.) "Flirting’s never been a sin, especially when you want to win."

DARLENE: That’s right! Especially make eyes at that Tyler Ramone, maybe even sit in his lap.

BETTY LOU: I am not sitting in Tyler’s lap!

DARLENE: And just why not? He used to be one of the biggest rock star heartthrobs in the world!

BETTY LOU: 3 years ago! A lifetime in this industry! Now he looks like a long-haired piece of leather, and smells like wet cigarette butts.

DARLENE: That may be so, but he likes you. You need to take advantage of that.

BETTY LOU: He’s a creeper.

DARLENE: Honestly, Betty Lou, I’m not asking you to marry him! Or even take him to the prom! Just give him a smile and a wink or two.

BETTY LOU: Fine. But I’m not going to touch him.

DARLENE: I ask you to do one thing, one thing! Is it really so much to ask that you win this competition, so you can buy me a big house and provide for me in my autumn years? I have sacrificed my life for you, I flushed my own dreams down the toilet! Is it so much to ask that you sit in a has-been poseur’s lap?

She finishes with the make-up and storms a few steps away, sulking.
BETTY LOU: Are you saying that you’re sorry you had me?

DARLENE: (Turning to face her.) No! I’m just saying that after all I’ve given up, it shouldn’t be such a chore to let me live vicariously through you. That is the natural order of things, you know. (She turns away, in tears, her voice breaking on the following: .) I… just…just…wanted you to have…ev…everything…I… I… NEVER HAD! (She begins "sobbing" and turns away from her daughter.) Like your own bikini calendar and reality show!

BETTY LOU watches her mother’s display of "emotion" for a moment, then crosses to her and puts a hand on her back.
BETTY LOU: Don’t cry, mom. It will make your mascara run. (Beat.) I mean it, stop crying. (Beat.) I’ll do what it takes to win tonight, all right?

Immediately, DARLENE spins around with a big smile on her face.
DARLENE: Now that’s my little deep-fried pickle! Now, you’ve got the new song I wrote for you memorized, right? It’s a guaranteed winner!

BETTY LOU: Actually, since you’ve brought it up, I wanted to talk to you about changing some of the lyrics.

DARLENE: (Immediately suspicious.) Oh?

BETTY LOU: Now don’t get upset. I’m doing what you asked me, so I think you can at least consider doing something for me.

DARLENE: (Barely concealed seething behind a smile.) And what lyrics are you having trouble with, dear?

BETTY LOU: Well, mom… it’s not that the song is bad… I just don’t think it sets a very good example for girls my age.

DARLENE: Why would you say that?

BETTY LOU: Well, for example… (Reciting.) "Come on baby, let me show my love is real, my mamma won’t mind if you cop a feel." I just don’t feel comfortable projecting that kind of image.

DARLENE: It’s a dance song! Besides, if you cut that line, the title doesn’t make sense! If a song is called "My Mamma Won’t Mind if You Cop a Feel" you’ve got to have that phrase in the lyrics somewhere, or people won’t be able to follow. And, that’s a perfect part in the song for you to give Tyler a little wink!

BETTY LOU: I don’t want to be a bad role model…

DARLENE: Sugar-bean, good role models don’t sell records. What do I always tell you?

BETTY LOU: I know, but…

DARLENE: What do I always tell you?

BETTY LOU: (Reciting.) "A good girl’s career will hit a slump, unless she learns to shake her rump."

DARLENE: Very good, my precious plum! Now that that nonsense is out of the way, I better scoot. The camera crew needs to do the pre-interview before you sing! I’ll be right out in the front row, holdin’ up my sign!


DARLENE: Remember… eyes and teeth, eyes and teeth!

BETTY LOU: Yeah, I know.

DARLENE: Kisses! (She puckers and makes a few kissing noises in the air, then exits.)

BETTY LOU turns around to the mirror. She looks very weary and sad. Suddenly, she puts on a big smile. She is startled by how phony, yet real it looks. She goes back to looking sad, then immediately smiles again. She sighs, and returns to looking weary. She takes the photo of Catboy out of her pocket, strokes it lovingly, then replaces it in her pocket and looks in the mirror.
BETTY LOU: All right, Betty Lou. Time to go twinkle.

Blackout. End of scene.

All right!  Thanks for reading, and, if you work on it, I hope you have fun!  Just remember to give me credit, and, if you want to put the play on, you can order it through Brooklyn Publishers by CLICKING HERE!

Until next time, have fun playing, and remember:  theater is a sport! 

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