Friday, October 9, 2009

The Prehistoric Follies: cheer for your favorite extinct reptile--and learn some interesting dinosaur facts along the way!--in this clever play about

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TIME: The age of the dinosaurs.

SETTING: A valley.


STAN: I can't wait for the Follies! We haven't had a show in an Ice Age!

AL: It does sound like fun.

TERRI: If I don't win, I'm going to become extinct, I just know it!

TIFFANY: Don't be so dramatic, Terri. It's just a talent show.

TERRI: Maybe it's just a talent show to you, Tiffany, but for me, it's a chance to show the prehistoric world what it means to be a pterodactyl.

TIFFANY: What does it mean to be a pterodactyl?

TERRI: Are you kidding? I'm the only flying dinosaur. I'm probably the beginning of all birds!

TIFFANY: Well, don't get too carried away. We may all come from birds.

AL: Gee, I thought we all came from lizards.

TIFFANY: That theory's still up in the air.

TERRI: Like me!

STAN: What about Archaeopteryx? She can fly, can't she?

TERRI: What, old "primitive wing"? She just claws her way up trees and glides down. She's not a real flyer, like me.

STAN: Can we please worry about the important stuff, like what we're going to do for the Follies? Come on, Al, let's work on our acts.

AL: I can't think of anything. My brain's really tiny, you know.

STAN: That doesn't mean you don't have talent. What are you going to do, Terri?

TERRI: I shall do an aerial ballet depicting the upheaval of the earth.

STAN: How about you, Tiffany?

TIFFANY: I'm going to twirl three hoops on my horns. Triceratops means "three-horned face," you know.

STAN: Well, Stegosaurus means "roof lizard."

TERRI: "Roof lizard"? You don't look like a roof.

STAN: But the plates on my back look like roof tiles. In fact, Stegosaurus can mean "plate lizard," too. Does Pterodactyl mean anything?

TERRI: Besides "terrific dancer"?

STAN (Drily): Yes, besides that.

TERRI: Pterodactyl means "wing-finger." (Wiggles her fingers) See?

TIFFANY: What about you, Al?

AL: I think Apatosaurus means "headless lizard." (Sighs) That's me, all right.

TIFFANY: Aww, come on, Al, don't talk yourself down!

TERRI: Yeah, we think you're great, Al!

AL: But what can I do for the Follies? I don't have any talents that I know of.

STAN: You could sing a song.

AL: I'm not very musical. I think it has something to do with my big flat teeth.

TERRI: They're great teeth for grinding all those plants you eat.

AL: Yeah, and if I lose one, another grows in. It really helps me keep on my diet. But continuous tooth replacement isn't what you'd call a talent.

STAN: I'm sure you could make some kind of noise, though. (There is a sudden loud roar. Dinosaurs freeze in horror.)

TIFFANY: That sounds like T. Rex!

STAN: You don't think he wants to be in the show, do you?

TERRI: He'll take over, the way he always does. (T. REX enters, stomping and growling. The others recoil.)

REX: Woooo-hoooo! My name means "king of the tyrant lizards," and you'd better believe it! I want to be in this show, and I'll eat anybody who says I can't!

TIFFANY: But, Rex, I thought you didn't like the Follies. You said only mammals would be interested.

REX: Mammals don't count! All they do is eat eggs. I want to be in the show!

STAN: Do you have any talent? Besides eating, I mean.

REX: Of course! And I'll eat anybody who says I don't. Just wait and see! (He roars again and exits.)

TERRI: This is terrible! He'll ruin everything. If he wins, he'll eat everybody. If he loses, he'll eat everybody.

STAN: We have to find some way to keep him from making a picnic out of us.

AL: I wish my brain weren't so tiny!

TIFFANY: What about your other brain? You've got a spare, don't you? I thought all you big guys had an extra brain.

AL (Suddenly): You know, Tiffany, you're right! I'd forgotten about that. I hardly ever use it. It's in charge of my rear end.

TERRI: Well, now's the time to use it! Two brains are bound to be better than one.

STAN: It's worth a try! Come on! (They exit. Curtain)


TIME: The next day.

SETTING: The same.

AT RISE: All the dinosaurs have gathered for the big show. They are carrying different-colored flags and ribbons. TERRI'S FANS have orange, STAN'S FANS have yellow, TIFFANY'S FANS have green, and AL'S FANS have blue. ANNOUNCERASAURUS enters. All cheer and clap.

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Welcome, everyone! I'm your friendly Announcerasaurus from TV station KDIN. Well, today's the day! Is everyone ready for the big contest?

DINOSAURS (Ad lib): Yay! We're ready! Let's go! (Etc.)

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: O.K., here are the rules. You can perform any sort of talent you like--singing, dancing, whatever you do best! (Another round of cheers from the crowd.) O.K., friends and fossils, I see each contestant has his or her own cheering section. Let's get started. Our first contestant is Terri Pterodactyl. She will perform an original ballet. (TERRI dances. When she finishes, her fans wave orange flags and ribbons and cheer.)

TERRI'S FANS: Pterodactyl, fly, fly, fly!

Best flying reptile in the sky!

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Next, we have Stan Stegosaurus, who will recite a poem written especially for this contest.

STAN: Roses are red, violets are blue, Earthquakes heave and volcanoes spew!

I am a fearsome dinosaur, Listen to my mighty roar!

(STAN roars. His fans cheer and wave yellow flags and ribbons.)

STAN'S FANS: Look out! Stand back!

Stegosaurus will attack!

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: And now, Tiffany Triceratops will spin hoops on her horns. (TIFFANY spins her hoops. Her fans cheer and wave green flags and ribbons.)

TIFFANY'S FANS: Three big horns and four big feet!

Triceratops cannot be beat!

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Thank you. And next we have--(He is interrupted by REX, who enters growling and waving his own red flag and ribbons.)

REX: I'm next! (He does his own cheer.)

Gimme a T, gimme an R, gimme an E X--REX!

Eat 'em up, chew 'em up, Rex, Rex, Rex!

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Yes, of course, Mister Rex, if you want to go next.

REX: This is a little dance I like to do around suppertime. (He stomps around, menacing the others.) O.K., that's enough. I'm the winner.

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: But there's one more contestant.

REX: Who?


REX (Laughing meanly): That big dummy! Go ahead and let him do his so-called talent.

AL (Nervously; to TERRI): I don't think I can do this.

TERRI: Yes, you can! Just use your brains--both of them!

AL (Clearing his throat): I'm going to sing a song.

REX: Ah, a little before-dinner music.

AL (Singing to the tune of "I'm a Little Teapot"):

I'm Apatosaurus, big and long, I don't remember the words to this song,

But I'm going to sing it anyway, On this lovely Jurassic day.

(AL'S FANS cheer and wave blue flags and ribbons. All dinosaurs except REX cheer.)

DINOSAURS (In unison): Apatosaurus, he's the best, Bigger, larger than the rest!

REX (Scoffing): You call that singing?

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Al seems to be the favorite, Mister Rex. I'll have to declare him the winner.

REX: What? You know this means I'll have to eat all of you!

AL: Wait a minute. I really think Rex was the best. Let him have the prize.

TERRI: Al, what are you doing? You won!

AL (To TERRI): I have an idea.

TERRI (Surprised): You do?

AL: Remember: Two brains are better than one!

TERRI: I hope you know what you're doing.

AL (To ANNOUNCERASAURUS): Thank you very much, but I must decline the honor.

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Very well, then, we'll have to give the prize to T. Rex.

REX: Yay! Ha, ha, ha, I've won! I told you I'd win! Eat 'em up, chew 'em up, Rex, Rex, Rex! So what's my prize? Where is it? Is it edible?

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Mister Tyrannosaurus Rex, your first prize is an all-expenses-paid trip to the beautiful La Brea Tar Pits!

REX: All right! When do I go?

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Right away, if you like.

REX: So long, losers! (He exits.)

STAN: The La Brea Tar Pits? Hey, I had a relative who got stuck there once.

TIFFANY: Me, too. And they never came back. (All look at AL with admiration.)

STAN: Good thinking, Al!

TERRI: I have a feeling Rex won't be back for a long time!

TIFFANY: Hurray for Al!

DINOSAURS (In unison): Apatosaurus, he's the best, Bigger, smarter than the rest! (MESSAGEASAURUS enters and hands a special bulletin to ANNOUNCERASAURUS.)

ANNOUNCERASAURUS: Whoops! This just in from the weather department: Meteor showers today. May be heavy at times. Everybody run for cover! (Dinosaurs cover their heads and run off. Curtain)



The Prehistoric Follies

CHARACTERS: 3 male; 2 female; male or female for Announcerasaurus; males and females as needed for the fans.

PLAYING TIME: 10 minutes

COSTUMES: Dinosaur costumes.

PROPERTIES: Microphone for Announcerasaurus; hula hoops for Tiffany; orange, yellow, green, and blue flags and ribbons for the crowd; red flag and ribbon for T. Rex; special bulletin for Messageasaurus.

SETTING: A valley in the Age of the Dinosaurs.

LIGHTING AND SOUND: No special effects.

Source Citation:Tesh, Jane. "The Prehistoric Follies: cheer for your favorite extinct reptile--and learn some interesting dinosaur facts along the way!--in this clever play about an Ice Age talent show...." Plays 64.5 (March 2005): 59(5). General OneFile. Gale. Alachua County Library District. 9 Oct. 2009

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