Slappy Birthday by Matt Bessette




Assertive-yet-introverted Sarah Wilson just wants to let her thirteenth birthday come and go without incident. Therefore, it is much to her dismay when she realizes her parents have organized a surprise party for her and invited several of her classmates. This effort to encourage friendship with kids her age fails miserably, however, as a delayed flight prevents her parents from getting back home in time. As her classmates arrive—whether invited or not—and start preparing for the festivities, they realize what’s happened . . . moments too late. With her parents out of the picture, temporary control falls to Sarah’s manipulative older brother Tucker, who gladly accepts the chance to assert his dominance over the younger kids in the most outlandish ways possible. With both slapstick and sophistication, Slappy Birthday is sure to charm and delight an audience of any age. Comedy. Run-time: ~40 minutes  

Cast of Characters


7 girls / 1 boy / 1 woman / 1 man
  • SARAH WILSON (early teens)—Levelheaded and intelligent girl who prefers spending time to herself rather than with her classmates

  • TUCKER WILSON (late teens)—Well-read, verbose, and manipulative soon-to-be high school senior who gleefully assumes control of the party when his parents are delayed

  • NICOLE WILSON (7)—The youngest Wilson sibling who is excited about the prospect of a surprise birthday party and blissfully ignorant when it starts taking odd turns

  • ABIGAIL MATHEWSON (early teens)—A natural leader who arrives expecting a party but, despite the turn of events, discovers she is not ill-equipped to handle the situation in which she finds herself

  • ROGER McCALL (early teens)—A quiet young man still recovering from certain extraordinary events he witnessed last summer, shunned by his peers for his past as a bully

  • OLIVIA HARPER (early teens)—The “most popular girl in school” who was astonished upon discovering she wasn’t invited to the party, but of course shows up anyway

  • PAIGE FISCHER (early teens)—Olivia’s sidekick who is wiser and more sensible yet much less assertive and almost socially dependent on her

  • KATIE MARTINEZ (early teens)—Olivia’s long-lasting rival who is loath to discover her appearance at the party

  • MOLLY GOODALL (early teens)—A curious and quiet young lady who is new in town, and eventually learns more than she asked for

  • MAIL CARRIER (mid 30s)—A silly and simple woman who makes her appearances and misunderstandings at the most inopportune moments


The front lawn of the Wilson residence (present-day August)


Production History
The original performance of Slappy Birthday was produced by its author as part of the third annual week-long Lebanon Summer Theatre Camp in Lebanon, CT, of which he is the founder and director. The production took place on Friday, August 18th, 2017 at the Albert B. Vertefeuille Auditorium in Lyman Memorial High School.

Also available from this Playwright

ISBN #1-60513-278-0; JAC #2017-0006


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