Stuff! A Curious Collection
A 2014 American Alliance for Theatre and Education Unpublished Play Reading Project winner!
Commissioned by Adventure Stage Chicago for their Trailblazers program for secondary school students working with professional mentors, STUFF! was given a workshop production in 2013.
I’ve rewritten this script recently for a larger cast and am really liking it that way, but a cast as small as 6 is still possible, with adjustments. I’d be willing to work with your company on either version as I’m looking for a second production or other development opportunities. For more information or a copy of the script, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message on the Contact form.
All may be representative of whatever variations of human being are locally available.
M.C., m or f, an offstage voice belonging to whoever apparently runs things from afar. Upbeat and welcoming.
STUFF, m or f , non-speaking leader of a band of non-speaking characters who wear white half-masks, and are dressed identically in black jumpsuits or other comfortable, neutral outfits emblazoned with the logo “Stuff.” STUFF and his or her cohorts are stuff personified – of no significance except when paired with human creativity. Stuff calls to us, teases us, tickles us, troubles us, inspires us – and, in so doing, realizes its own potential.
ADDITIONAL STUFFS, m or f:
EXTRA STUFF, m or f – as many extras as desired: LOST STUFF, FOUND STUFF, STORED STUFF, MISSING STUFF, USELESS STUFF, AMAZING STUFF, FORGOTTEN STUFF, REMEMBERED STUFF and so on.
SOME ONE, m or f, upper teens, a bookworm who loves to read and write stories.
ANY ONE, f, early teens, an artist who loves to play dress-up and finds costume pieces for others as indicated.
EACH ONE, m or f, a drummer who loves to play with sound and helps to create sound effects on-stage as indicated.
EVERY ONE, f, upper teens, born to dance.
OTHER ONE, m or f, the youngest and shyest of the ONES, grieving for a beloved pet.
THE STORY CHARACTERS, m or f:
NOTE: For a smaller cast, ADDITIONAL STUFFS may be combined or eliminated entirely, leaving only STUFF. With minor reassignment of lines, the ONES may be doublecast as the STORY CHARACTERS, as follows:
SOME ONE plays TRAVEL AGENT, LION, LARRY (with CURLY and MOE as PUPPETS)
EVERY ONE plays TOUR GUIDE and WHALE
PLACE: Anywhere. Here.
TIME: Any time. Now.
RUNNING TIME: about 50 minutes
SYNOPSIS: STUFF: A CURIOUS COLLECTION is a fantasia that explores the power of stuff to inspire story creation, and the power of story to heal spirits and build community. Five young people who have lost their zest for life, for a variety of genuine and recognizable reasons, are called into an imagined world where the mimed characters representing stuff use discarded objects to induce them to share the stories that have frozen each of them in an unhappy state, and then, with increasing gusto, combine their real-life bits and pieces into a gloriously silly – and healing — story soup. Having arrived alone, the five young people depart together, taking their story with them, but leaving the other stuff behind to await its next opportunity to become animated and useful.