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Martin, Bryce (American playwright, journalist, freelance writer of fiction and nonfiction, May 5, 1943-____), “Court,”

a 16-minute fantasy-drama in English, set in a courtroom, on a working weekday morning or afternoon, 2002,

2m (+ optional extra m);

 •  © 2002 by Bryce Martin;  •  in Bryce Martin’s Court (Spring Hill, Tennessee, U.S.A.: The Author, 2002);  •  script/rights available from Bryce Martin, 1863 Portview Drive, Spring Hill, Tennessee 37174, U.S.A., telephone (home) 615-302-2611, e-mail havilahus@yahoo.com.  •  Cited by Bryce Martin, via ftp, February 16, 2003; Martin says,

  §  Dramatis Personae Judge (m), middle-aged to older, presiding, interrogating agent; Vagrant (m), age undefined, but may be from medieval time; Bailiff (optional m), presence.

  §  Synopsis The courtroom Judge asks the Vagrant a question. Seemingly, the Judge does not know the Vagrant by actual name and refers to him as ‘Mr. King.’ Prior to this, the Vagrant may have said he was ‘a king,’ and the Judge has taken this to mean it is, perhaps, his name: King. The Judge proceeds to question and prod the Vagrant in a kindly manner as to his situation and condition and to counsel him as to the charges against him. The Vagrant speaks in a Shakespearean vocabulary, leaning toward coarse and vulgar. (Note: The language is crude but has no forbidden words.) The Vagrant makes a case that he is not whom the Judge might think him to be. Finally, the Judge, fed-up with trying to communicate, tells the Vagrant he is not going to jail, issuing an order to the bailiff to remove the Vagrant from the courtroom. The Judge’s order implies it is routine in such cases and is nothing special. The Vagrant’s protestations imply otherwise.

  §  Comment “The play has just one scene without scenery or costume changes. The costume for the Vagrant is open to interpretation: the clothing could be threadbare or, if not, at least untidy and, importantly, outdated in fashion. The Vagrant should appear unkempt but, in a manner of speaking, look as if he would ‘clean up well.’  •  ‘Court,’ available for premiere, appears on Bryce Martin’s Website at http://www.geocities.com/havilahus/index.htm.  •  A production company might want to include a series of short plays along this area as one show.

  §  Themes buckram, courtroom gloom, judge-judged relationship, milliner’s excess, rogue’s hands, search for Diana, vagrancy.


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Page mounted February 16, 2003, and updated March 6, 2003, by the Webmaster.

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Small-Cast One-Act Guide Online


the more-extensive print volumes

1/2/3/4 for the Show: A Guide to Small-Cast One-Act Plays, Vols. 1 and 2

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