I’ve written and directed a fair share of dinner theater plays that have raised tens of thousands of dollars for non profits. (Not sure why!! They’re silly!!) The ‘dinner and a show’ format is a TON of hard work to pull off. You need lots of committed people too. But the pay off can be huge not only in raising funds, but in getting the word out to your community about your local (or international!) not-for-profit.
I like to incorporate A LOT of ‘delusional humor’ (as my husband calls it) into these ‘mystery’ plays. So today I’m going to share a snippet from a silly dinner theater play I wrote several years ago. This was probably one of the most successful ones because of a reoccurring character known as Officer Wiggum. Wiggum, who was played by a brilliant and hilarious youth pastor friend, is a loud, brash and totally clueless security officer (we stuffed his shirt to make him look overweight). The the previous year, the character had kidnapped a police officer out of jealousy. This particular play was his time for a comeback, a chance to redeem himself, a chance for the audience to fall in love with him again.
Keep in mind while you read, (so you don’t get lost) this is a multi-media stage play where we incorporated lots of video, music, special effects as well as live stage acting. So it reads like a movie script & a stage play script.
Also included are a couple of the videos that were created from the script.
Anyway, here’s the piece. Hope you enjoy!! (And if you’re interested in more info about it, contact me!)
*Act 1, Scene 2
ROLL VIDEO 2: WIGGUM’S INVITATION & SPORTS TRAINING
SONG 3: “The Greatest Love Of All” by Whitney Houston
TEXT ON SCREEN:
Minot, North Dakota
6 months ago
Shots during the NARRATOR VOICEOVER: Shot of Wiggum “serving time” playing with children/orphans. Wiggum crying with Kleenex. Shot of Wiggum trying to race a child, but the child wins & Wiggum falls over from exhaustion. Shot of Wiggum reading a book. Shot of Wiggum going to church. Shot of Wiggum lifting a hot dog to his mouth to eat. Shot of Wiggum pigging out in a park.
After 300 hours of serving community service for the kidnapping of secret agent Andrew Hanson on the Hawaiian island of Molokai, Officer Wiggum moved north to regroup and set his moral compass straight. Spending time in the great outdoors helped Wiggum to refocus on what was truly important in life. Yet something was still not right; the trouble was he could not figure out what… the trouble was. One day an invitation of a lifetime reached Wiggum. Unbeknownst to Wiggum, this invitation would soon change his life… forever.
OUTSIDE WIGGUM’S HOME:
Shot of Wiggum opening up a mailbox with one hand, and eating a hamburger with another. He pulls out his mail, and upon seeing a letter from “Jasper, TX,” tosses all the other mail aside and opens the envelope which has an invitation for Wiggum inside.
Sound of needle being pulled off a record, abruptly stop SONG 3, while doing a quick pull-in shot of text on the invitation:
You are cordially invited to celebrate our
20th year high school reunion
With the Class of 1986
Liberty High School
February 12, 2006
ECU of Wiggum’s surprise in slow motion.
Noooooooo! (slow motion)
SONG 4: “Betrayal & Desolation” from Braveheart Soundtrack
Slow motion shot of Wiggum’s hamburger slipping out of his hand and falling to the ground.
(Crashing noise, bell ring, or just find a good beat in the song to synchronize when the hamburger hits the ground.)
Slo-mo shot of Wiggum running back to the house. This is a time-progression shot with Wiggum stopping several times to catch is breath. Text such as “15 minutes later… 30 minutes later…” appears on screen between Wiggum’s stops.
Shot of a tired and sweaty Wiggum picking up the phone and dialing his friend.
Yes, uh… Sergeant Lambchop? Wiggum here…. Now I never thought I’d live to see the day when I would call on you for help. But I liked your drive for success, and I also like lamb chops. Now being an international crime fighter has always meant that I work alone. I’m like a loan wolf. As you know I’ve always got everything on lockdown and under control. But over the past 20 years my personal life has steadily gone downhill. It’s what I had to sacrifice to defend the innocent and uphold the law. You could say that I’ve been like a superhero to the world. But listen. I need a huge favor from you (takes a bite of food). I’ve been in an introspective “work in progress” mood these days… Changing my focus on a few things… You know. And well, I think it’s time the man of steel took you up on your offer. (Possible audio of “If you would like to leave a message… press 1”) Yeah… just give me a call.
Sargent Lambchop bursts through the door.
(eating a donut)
Lambchop? What are you doing here so soon?
Lambchop tackles Wiggum & grabs whatever he’s eating.
FADE OUT & END SONG 4
OUTSIDE IN A PARKING LOT
“SPORTS TRAINING MONTAGE”
SONG 5: “Eye of the Tiger”
We can play with the editing of this whole sequence. No dialogue, just music, with Wiggum & Lambchop acting out everything. Here are scene ideas for the “SPORTS TRAINING MONTAGE”:
- Sergeant Lambchop blowing his whistle over & over throughout sequence.
- Wiggum trying to do pushups over & over throughout sequence. Possibly Sgt. sitting on Wiggum’s back & then Wiggum stops & pulls out some food to eat while he’s on the ground. Sgt. takes food away & reprimands.
- Wiggum painfully running after a carrot tied to a string that Sergeant Lambchop is holding in front of him (as the Sgt. Runs backwards or is in a truck). Wiggum stops running only to pull out some food from his pocket to begin eating. Sgt. Lambchop grabs the food out of Wiggum’s hand and reprimands.
- Wiggum chasing a chicken (show this over & over again throughout the sequence).
- Karate kid “crane” kick.
- Jump roping Wiggum.
- Wiggum attempting to wrestle Lambchop. Lambchop wins.
- Sergeant Lambchop showing Wiggum the correct things to eat. Perhaps show Wiggum being quizzed as he writes his 4 food groups (“Hamburgers, Cup cakes, Mountain Dew, ClaimJumpers”) on a white board. Lambchop getting mad & another shot later showing his 4 food groups. Wiggum asking what a banana is & Lambchop showing him.
- If we can get into a gym… Punching bags, weights, etc.
***Show Progression of Wiggum’s physic throughout montage.***
FADE SONG 5
Sport’s Training Video Final:
Officer Wiggum’s & Sergent Lambchop’s Commercial:
<<*Taken from “Wiggum and the Class of 1986″ mystery dinner theater play by Michelle Spore.>>