Ten Minute Plays & Shopping Sheriff

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A one-act play is a short play, often with one, two, or three characters only, that introduces a conflict, builds to a crisis, and resolves itself in a limited space and time. It might have one scene that takes up the whole play, or any number of short scenes.

The ten-minute play, a more recent sub-genre of the one-act, is very popular, especially for new actors and new writers.

Check out this ten minute play about mall copping antics by a GCAA creative writer:

Shopping Sheriff

Characters

Joey, fresh out of college, he just finished training and it’s his first day as a mall cop at Mall of America
Dan, he is Steve’s boss, chief of security, has a thick mustache and is big and buff
Jerry, skinny guy, close Steve’s age, awkward, slacker, kind of slow

Setting: Dan’s office, ten minutes before the mall opens at 8am

Light shines through the blinds in the office. The                                                                                                     Segways are charging in the hall. Joey sits in a                                                                                                 chair facing Dan, who is sitting on the other                                                                                                          side of his cluttered desk.

DAN

First day on the job huh? Nervous kid?

JOEY

Yeah a little, I just-

DAN interrupts Joey by hitting his hand on the  desk.

DAN

Well don’t be! I have been chief of security at the Mall of America for 13 years. I train all of my officers to be alert and ready at all times. Think fast!

Dan picks up a rubber band ball from his desk                                                                                                                 and chucks it at Joey. Joey fumbles but catches                                                                                                                 the ball.

DAN

Eh, good enough. Jerry will keep an eye on you from a distance, so don’t mess it up.

JERRY very loudly enters the office.

JERRY

That’s right…..I’m gonna watch you like a sloth

JOEY

I think you mean you’re gonna watch me like a hawk…

JERRY

Cool it smart socks, I know what I meant.

DAN shakes his head nervously.

DAN

Just get to work!

JERRY heads off on his Segway. He turns                                                                                                                                 his head towards Joey, and does an “I’m                                                                                                                                 watching you” motion. JERRY crashes                                                                                                                                 into a wall; then Joey heads off on his                                                                                                                                 own Segway.

Mall walkways. The sun is out, and shoppers are entering the mall.

JOEY whispers words of encouragement                                                                                                                             to himself.

JOEY

I got this, I won’t disappoint Dan. Sure, this is huge, but I can handle it.

A big family walks toward JOEY.

HEAD OF THE FAMILY

Hi, me and my family just traveled 13 hours to come to this mall!

The HEAD OF THE FAMILY                                                                                                                                                 takes a long pause.

JOEY

Um…..cool.

HEAD OF THE FAMILY

We’ve never been here before, we just had some questions.

HEAD OF THE FAMILY

Oh, sure! What do you need to know?

THE FAMILY starts rapidly firing questions at JOEY. 

THE FAMILY

Are there baby changing stations? Is there an area for kids to play? How many stores are in this mall? How many restaurants in there in the mall? Is there an arcade? Does it get really crazy during Black Friday?

JOEY has his jaw dropped. He takes a                                                                                                                               deep breath to collect himself when he                                                                                                                                 realizes THE FAMILY is still waiting for                                                                                                                                 an answer.

JOEY

Yes. Yes. Over 520 stores. 50 restaurants. Yes. And I don’t know today’s my first day. I would assume it’s crazy though.

HEAD OF THE FAMILY

This is your first day? How did you know the answer to all of those questions?

JOEY

I did my homework on this mall

HEAD OF THE FAMILY

Well have a great first day.

THE FAMILY walks away as the HEAD OF                                                                                                                                 FAMILY waves goodbye to JOEY.

JOEY

Thanks!

JERRY rolls up to JOEY’s side.

JERRY

I saw what you did back there, smooth. But I’m still watching over you, maggot.

JERRY stealthily rolls away backwards.
JOEY  mumbles to himself. 

JOEY

Whatever Jerry.

JOEY’s walkie talkie starts buzzing;                                                                                                                                 DAN is on the other end.

DAN

Joey it’s Dan, are you there?

 

JOEY

Yeah, I’m here. What’s up?

 

DAN

We have a code red at the kids play area!

JOEY

Code Red… that’s…….What’s a code red again?

DAN sighs

DAN

Looks like somebody needs to reread their officer handbook. Anyway some moms are fighting, you need to handle it.

JOEY

Ok, I’ll be right there.

JOEY hangs up the walkie talkie and                                                                                                                                 heads to the play area.

SETTING
Kids play area

JOEY rolls over to the play area and                                                                                                                                 stares in confusion. He confronts the                                                                                                                                 moms.

JOEY

Whoah! What’s going on here?

MOM 1

This dimwit said I raised my kids wrong.

MOM 2

Well her kid pushed my kid and dang near broke her arm!

MOM 1

Well your kid is ugly.

MOM 2

And your kid is stupid.

JOEY

Ladies you need to calm down, and talk this out.

JERRY rolls over to JOEY.

JERRY

Isn’t that a problem here?

JOEY

Jerry! Glad to see you, can you help me out here?

JERRY

I’m just here to catch you failing.

MOM 1 lands a punch in MOM                                                                                                                                               2’s nose.

JOEY

STOP!

Everyone freezes where they are and                                                                                                                                 listens.

JOEY

This is unacceptable! You two are mothers, what kind of examples are you setting for these kids. Now they think it’s ok to go around arguing, and punching people in the face.

MOM 1

You’re right, I shouldn’t have punched you in the face.

MOM 2

That’s alright.

MOM 2 leans in for a hug, and whispers                                                                                                                 in MOM 1’s ear.

MOM 2

But if you lay your hands on me again I will end you.

JOEY

Well Jerry looks like it ended well.

JERRY

Whatever you say Joey….. whatever you say.

JERRY

JERRY slowly rolls away backwards.

SETTING
Food court 8:30pm

A flash mob has broken out, and JOEY watches                                                                                                                 in awe. People are pelvic thrusting to the song                                                                                                                 “Super Freak,” and mothers are asking JOEY to                                                                                                                 shut it down.

The walkie talkie starts to buzz, and JOEY                                                                                                                 answers it.

DAN

Joey there’s a flash mob in the food court. I’m getting all types of complaints about it. I need you to shut it down now!

JOEY

Yeah I’m actually on it right now.

DAN

Good now handle it!

JOEY heads to the source of the music and shuts                                                                                                                 it off. The mobbers walk over to JOEY angrily.

HEAD OF FLASH MOB

Hey! What do you think you’re doing?

JOEY

You can’t have a flash mob in here without taking it up with the head of security.

HEAD OF FLASH MOB

Well that takes the  flash out of the mob doesn’t it?

JOEY

Sorry, I don’t make the rules. Plus we’ve gotten a lot of complaints from parents. They think your dance and song choice are appropriate.

HEAD OF FLASH MOB

Whatever man.

The mobbers walk away.

SETTING
Mall walkway, 10 minutes until closing time.

An elderly woman approaches JOEY.

ELDERLY WOMAN

What time does the mall close?

JOEY

Ten minutes ma’am.

ELDERLY WOMAN

What?

JOEY

Ten minutes.

The ELDERLY WOMAN starts to shout.

ELDERLY WOMAN

WHAT! SORRY I DON’T HAVE MY HEARING AID IN!

JOEY raises both of his hands openly to express                                                                                                                 the number ten.

ELDERLY WOMAN

Ten minutes?

JOEY shakes his head to indicate yes.

SETTING
DAN’S office, 20 minutes after closing time.

JERRY and JOEY sits across from DAN’S  in his office.

DAN

So Jerry, did you catch Joey messing up?

JERRY

Well no, but

DAN

Well nothing. Joey you did great!

JOEY

Thanks Dan.

DAN

So…between you and me. Just how weird was the flash mob?

JERRY

Flash mob! There was a freak show today and I missed it?

JOEY

Yeah, they stood on the tables and started pelvic thrusting to “Super Freak.”

JERRY

Aw man wish I could have seen that.

DAN laughs while slapping his knee.

DAN

Well, you did good kid. And Jerry,

JERRY leans in hopeful for a compliment.

JERRY

Yeah Dan?

DAN

Be more like Joey.

Fade out.                                                            

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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