in Striped Pajamas
by Tommy F. Scott
- JETTY TUNE: 80s; has the look of a faded actress. Bright red
hair (courtesy of her stylist) or wig, brightly colored layers of
flowing clothing, bangles and bead and way too much make-up for her age.
She is full of life, sprightly and endearing in her scatter-brained way.
- CLYDA BOOSE: 70s. Saucy and strong, Clyda is a force of
nature. Like her sister Clara, she can be tough or tender but unlike
Clara, she tries to keep at least one foot firmly planted on the ground.
- CLARA BOOSE: 70s. Giddy and fun but prone to speak her mind,
Clara doesn’t mind going out on a limb and taking chances since she
knows Clyda is always there to reel her in.
- ZACK CHANDLER: 10-13. a typically energetic ten year old boy,
Zack copes rather well as the only male in a house with his mom and
basically four grandmothers. While petted by the residents, it is
obvious he respects his mom and listens to her; especially after a
- MAVIS CHANDLER: Late 30s. Resident manager of the home. Mavis
is warm and down to earth, rather bookish, but fully aware of her
responsibilities to her son and the retirement home. She has heard
excuses from her son and her residents too often to swallow them whole.
- DELIVERY MAN: Any age. A tired workman, too busy for
- CARL GAFFNEY: 30s. A handsome and endearing “average Joe.”
There is nothing at all odd about him other than the fact that he has
been dead for fifty years without knowing it.
- HATTIE PATO: 70s. Hattie is a retired Jamaican fortuneteller
and full of love and life. She takes her beliefs seriously but not
herself. When not “working” she is charming and friendly. When involved
with her spirits she is overly animated. (Her last name is pronounced
- BENJAMIN FRANKLIN (Voice Over): Ben Franklin; Hattie’s spirit
- VERA GAFFNEY (Voice Over): Carl’s deceased wife.
The ladies of Silver Belles Ladies Home for
the Aged are a fun but odd lot. There is Jetty whose life revolves around
her daily trips with baked good to the local funeral parlor, Hattie, who
enjoys her retirement from her Palm Reading business by making Sunday hats
from soda can pull tabs and chatting with her spirit guide (Benjamin
Franklin), and sisters Clara and Clyda, who fight over dominos and sip
"glitter tea" (straight Scotch in a tea cup.) The ladies are presided over
by the house matron Mavis; a woman who works hard taking care of the place
and her energetic young son Zack. The arrival of a wardrobe (a bequest from
a late resident) throws a wrench into everything when the gang discover that
it has a resident: a ghost in striped pajamas who has no idea why he is
there or how to leave. Soon it becomes apparent that it is up to this group
to break a curse and send the ghost on his happy way but with this band of
screwballs it may not be that easy.
The sitting room of the Silver Belles Ladies
Home for the Aged, Tree Sap, Mississippi. Various chairs, small tables and
settees are scattered about the room… the general gathering spot for this
small retirement home. The room is a bit cluttered with “stuff”...books,
magazines, a tennis racket by the door… but everything has its place.
For over thirty years, Tommy F. Scott has taught, written,
performed and directed for educational, community and professional theatres
in both the United States and Holland. A former educator and president of
the Tennessee Theatre Association, Scott brings to his plays decades of
practical experience in producing work for theatres large and small. He
shows an awareness of the need for fresh and exciting work, and yet the all
too frequent necessity of simple yet effective staging. His published works
also include poetry and numerous “how-to” articles on the theatre.
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