JAC Publishing & Promotions


The Trunk by Jon Potter

ISBN #1-60153-122-9
JAC #2011-0027

The Cast

  • ELLIE: A cheerful eighth-grader, slightly built, a Middle-School student, and aspiring actress. She is dressed in an oversized sweatshirt and jeans. She is best friends with Barbara, whom she has known for a long time.

  • BARBARA: Barbara is in the same grade as Ellie. She is of a little larger build. She often defers to others, but is occasionally rebellious.

  • CANDY: Candy is also a Middle School student. She is stage-struck, and has had several years of lessons as a dance student in a local studio. Recently, she had a walk-on role in a high-school production of ‘Romeo and Juliet,’ and has talked of little else since. Occasionally she affects a slightly superior air and a faintly British accent.

  • SAM: A classmate of the girls, Sam is a major clown, and interested in acting. He’s pretty good, but has a short attention span.

  • DOUGGIE: Sam’s friend and close buddy. He and Sam are always seen together, and get into trouble a lot together, though nothing very serious. He loves to joke around.

  • SHE: An authoritative adult female voice, off. (The Director.)


A group of students has gathered to begin rehearsal for a play. On stage is a large golden trunk. After some initial clowning around, the students get curious about the trunk, and eventually open it. They find a doll, and some props and costumes. The boys go for the military costumes and the sword, but when Barbara, one of the girls, dons a tiara, everyone suddenly falls under her spell and must obey. Eventually the two boys revolt and try to form a military dictatorship. They are bought off using stage-money by Ellie, who then uses candy-bars as bribes to get her way. The old and the new ruling girls form an alliance, and force the rest of the cast into the trunk. Then Barbara forces her friend Ellie into the trunk at sword-point, and claims to be the ruler. At that moment all the actors explode, each demanding to be the ruler. They carry Barbara off. The action is suddenly terminated by the voice of the director, and the actors replace their costumes in the trunk.


The Setting

A local stage in an empty theatre. 7:00pm.


Jonathan PotterAbout This Playwright

Jonathan Potter was born in Bridgeport, CT, and grew up in New England. Aside from childhood productions of folk and fairy-tales in cooperation with neighborhood children, his first contact with theatre was in high school, where he acted in Shakespeare and Chekhov. He continued working as an actor in college, and briefly joined an independent group for summer stock. After graduate school at Harvard and a summer at the Stratford Institute he began teaching and directing at a variety of small secondary schools, ran a traveling Commedia del’ Arte troupe, and eventually ended up in Maine, where he resides today. Along the way he began writing scripts for his students, community groups, and University players. Many of these have been performed locally, and several regionally. One was produced in New York City. Nine of his plays have been published.


Don't miss Jon Potter's book LOL: Commedia Dell'Arte - Ten Scenarios for Adventurous Actors, his short plays The Test, The Most Awesome Sleep-Over in the History of the World, or his collection 5 Plays for High School Students

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The Trunk by Jon Potter

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