The Workspace for Farmington Children's Summer Theater


First Day Handout first day handout09.doc

Final Draft 1.2 Distributed Friday 7.24.09

Robin Hoode: An Urban Legend

The descriptions here are the ideas they came about while planning and writing the play. Some of the ideas have been used, some not. The most important thing is for the actors to look at their characters and think about what they can bring to those characters to make them unique, interesting, and connected to the story.

Characters

Robin Hoode – the mysterious hero to runways and the overlooked; ridiculously good at Rock Band/Guitar Hero

Katie Greene – the girl who discovers a world beneath the streets

Scarlett Williams – Robin’s best friend who never holds her tongue

L.J. – Laura Johnson, Robin’s ‘muscle,’ funny and super nice, used to wrestle for school (katie recognizes her, my older brother wrestled you at states last year)

Tucker – the most spiritual of the group who does the most to help take care of the sick and feeds everyone

Marshall Marion – the object of Robin’s affection, despite his wealth; adopted son of the Mayor, cousin to Deputy Mayor Prince

Molly Marion – Marshall’s sister -- they were adopted when their parents, missionary friends of Mayor Richards, died in a plane crash

Mrs. Henshaw – Marshall and Molly’s ‘nanny’

The Merriment – the name of Robin’s band – they tag the symbol everywhere they can; Katie is the one who makes them realize it is just vandalism – that there are other ways to get the message out

Mouse -- an eavesdropper who sells newspapers in Govt. Center and listens to every conversation possible
Tags – an artist who leads The Merriment when they make art on the subway
Knapsack – a packrat who keeps everything found in the streets - Twin
Snackpack – a horder who keeps everything edible -- Twin
Shingles – always trying to make the hideout better
Thumbs – communication expert

Mayor Leona Richards – a good and kind mayor whose work to end global poverty has pulled her away from the city for too long

Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince – a corrupt and unpleasant woman who is hoping to get her cousin, Leona, removed from office while absent; not particularly clever

Police Commissioner Nottingham – cares more about her self image and the image of the city than the actual repercussions of her actions; not a bad person, but a very mixed up system of priorities; very clever and certainly a match for Robin

Detective Connolly – working the Robin Hood case
Detective Greene -- working the Robin Hood case – not convinced it is that big a deal, but following orders; good police, Katie’s dad/mom – single – doing best they can

Officer Putz
Officer Hammer – two less than friendly officers, and also not particularly bright

Ms. Sherwood – Ms. Prince’s assistant

Mr. O’Brien -- Store Owner sympathetic to Robin Hoode
Jenny Tate -- Struggling Single Mom sympathetic to Robin Hoode
Nicky Tate -- Eldest Tate
Jimmy Tate -- Middle Tate
Charlie Tate -- Youngest Tate
Barbara O’Connor -- Jenny’s mother who doesn’t care for Robin Hoode, believes stealing is stealing

London Banks, News Anchor

Grayson Castle, News Reporter

Hot Dog Vendor

Customer

Kid 1

Kid 2

Old Woman (Eunice)

Old Man (Seamus)

Snobby Teenager

Scene 1.1: The Park Subway Station Entrance – News Conference

People are milling about the park, going about their business, as a press conference is being set upstage right outside the entrance to the subway News is buzzing through cellphones, food vendors/customers, gangs of kids, coming and going, all talking about the latest news of pickpocketing and bags of money being left on doorsteps. MOUSE can be seen giving out copies of papers and moving about. Listening in and taking notes.

HOT DOG VENDOR: I saw the whole thing yesterday morning. These two fancy schmancy downtown lawyers were complaining about the price of my brats!

CUSTOMER: Who do they think they are?

HOT DOG VENDOR: The nerve of them, right? Like they have anything to complain about with their Blackberries and their Lexuses. And then – right from under their noses – BANG! WOOSH! – their briefcases are gone.

CUSTOMER: Woah, woah, woah. Lemme get this straight. Their briefcases just disappeared?

HOT DOG VENDOR: BANG! WHOOSH! But the strangest thing was this green flash.

Two KIDS cross.

KID 1: Like this green flash out of nowhere and O’Doyle’s mp3 player was gone!

KID 2: No way!

KID 1: Yeah, he’s bragging about how great it is and how crappy everyone elses’ is and just like that (snaps fingers) gone

Pass an OLD COUPLE sitting on a park bench.

OLD WOMAN (EUNICE): I’m not as young as I used to be, but you can dress me in cabbage and call me cole slaw if there wasn’t a little green leprechaun come bouncing along and take that rude young man’s motor scooter right out from under his bum!

OLD MAN (SEAMUS): Sounds like a bunch of hooey.

OLD WOMAN: It wasn’t hooey, Seamus. It was those leprechauns again.

LONDON BANKS: I’m here live in The Common, awaiting an appearance by Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince and a very special announcement from her office concerning a controversial new effort to revitalize downtown. As soon as we hear anything, we’ll be sharing them with you, our viewers, at home. Until then, reporting live from The Common, I’m London Banks, WCVB.

SURPRISED TEENAGER: (Crosses sending a text message) $200! My mom found it in the glove compartment of our car. Can you believe it? Now we can make rent!

JIMMY TATE crosses talking to NICKY TATE

JIMMY: I just bought a brand new MP3 player at the thrift store.

NICKY : I know!

JIMMY: I didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford one!

NICKY: I know!

JIMMY: How cool is that?

NICKY: I know!

GRAYSON CASTLE: Since filling in for her sister, Mayor Leona Richards who is currently working with relief workers in war-torn regions of Africa, Deputy Mayor Prince has been ambitious with her own agenda, calling for a city that quote “Belongs to the people who really matter: the taxpayers, and not the leeches and vermin who pollute our curbsides and park benches” endquote. Sources tell me we can expect an announcement regarding the city’s subway system. We’ll bring it to you live in just a few moments. Until then, I’m Grayson Castle, WBZ.

SNOBBY TEENAGER: (Talking on cellphone, purse dangling) Mom, I’m going to be late! I can’t help it! Because I can’t, gawd! (As she crosses, kicks the hat of a SIDWALK PERFOMER, sending money flying.) Ow! I think I just sprained my ankle you idiot! That’s right! I’m talking to you! I should have you arrested! Officers! Officers!

OFFICERS HAMMER & PUTZ enter.

HAMMER: What seems to be the problem, miss?

SNOBBY TEENAGER: This … this . . ugly, nasty homeless person tripped me deliberately with her case!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: I’m not homeless, I just do this to help make my rent.

PUTZ: (Full of false bravado a.k.a. acting all tough) Now that’s enough outta you. Why don’t you pack up and move before we take you downtown for a little conversation? Huh?

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: What a minute. I wasn’t doing anything –

HAMMER: (Moving next to PUTZ) Maybe you didn’t hear us the first time, lady. Scram!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: (Gathering up her things) Fine, fine. This is what’s wrong with this city. (She huddles over her instrument as she scuttles away.)

SNOBBY TEENAGER: (Fake crying) Oh officers, it was awful! Just awful!

PUTZ: Don’t you worry about that anymore, Miss.

HAMMER: We the fine members of the Special Detail to the Deputy Mayor are here to serve you proudly. (They salute her and she smiles and salutes back. While she is saluting back, THUMBS, who has been lurking, opens her purse and snatches her wallet. KATIE, walks up alongside her mom, DETECTIVE GREENE, and sees the crime committed.)

KATIE: (Pointing excitedly) Mom, did you see that?

DETECTIVE GREENE: Not now, Katie, I’m busy. I’m supposed to be watching after the Deputy Mayor. There’s been a lot of street crime here lately – pickpockets and vandalism and we don’t want anything happening during this big press conference.

KATIE: But Mom, I just saw--

GREENE: No “buts.” Now stand over there and when this is all over I’ll drop you off at Shelley’s until I get out of work at 11.

DETECTIVE CONNOLLY: (Approaching) Hey, Greene. The Deputy Mayor just got here. Hey, Katie.

KATIE: 11? Are you serious? You haven’t been home all week. And Aunt Shelley’s house smells like old meatloaf.

GREENE: Katie.

KATIE: Fine.

CONNOLLY: Don’t worry, Katie. I’ll make sure your Mom gets home as soon as she can.

KATIE: Whatever.

CONNOLLY: What’s got her all riled up?

GREENE: I’d rather not talk about it.

MS. SHERWOOD: Right this way, Ms. Deputy Mayor, Ma’am. We have the teleprompters ready.

DEPUTY MAYOR JOANNA PRINCE: Oh Ms. Sherwood, can’t we please do away with all that ‘Deputy’ nonsense? We both know my dear sister isn’t coming home anytime soon.

MS. SHERWOOD: Miss, according to Chapter 43, section 28, article 30 of the city’s charter, city officials must be identified by official title in full, until that title is changed by writ and proclamation of the city council or --

PRINCE: Enough, enough. I get it.

POLICE COMMISSIONER NOTTINGHAM: Ms. Mayor

MS. SHERWOOD: (Correcting. PRINCE casts her a quick glare) Ms. Deputy Mayor

NOTTINGHAM: Excuse me. Ms. Deputy Mayor, we have officers in position all around the station and the park. Officers Hammer and Putz

PUTZ: (Correcting the pronunciation) That’s uh, P00tz.

NOTTINGHAM: (Mispronouncing “Putz” again while HAMMER gives PUTZ a whap and asks “What are you doing?” PUTZ relplies, “What? What?”) Putz here dealt with a minor incident with a vagrant causing a young woman some panic, but nothing my team couldn’t handle.

HAMMER: Just doing our duty, Ma’am.

PUTZ: Right on.

(HAMMER turns to PUTZ)

HAMMER: Right on?

PUTZ: What?

NOTTINGHAM: There’s no reason to believe there will be any disruptions whatsoever during your speech.

PRINCE: Thank you very much, Commissioner, officers. It is so helpful to know someone is looking out for the best interests of our fair city as much as I am. I am thrilled that vagrant is being dealt with. (Aside to MS. SHERWOOD) Check with the precinct downtown and make sure there’s been an arrest. Then call Judge Burns and make certain she’s on the bench at the hearing. I want the book thrown at them.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss.

PRINCE: Then go find your Deputy Mayor a bottled water or something.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss. Where would you like the children to stand?

PRINCE: Children?

SHERWOOD: Molly and Marshall? Your niece and nephew?

PRINCE: Oh right, yes. Have them stand behind me. Good for a photo opportunity. Remind the people it is for the children and all that. Remind them how they have been utterly abandoned by my dear sister.

SHERWOOD: Yes Miss.

MOLLY and MARSHALL enter with MRS. HENSHAW.

MOLLY: Mrs. Henshaw, I’m hungry.

MRS. HENSHAW: I told that Sherwood at hundred times we needed time to stop and eat. But would she listen? No. Not for a minute. She’s going to have hungry kids on her hands, I told her.

MARSHALL: Rabbit, we’ll get something to eat after Auntie Jo’s press conference. Okay?

MRS HENSHAW: And hungry kids are whiny kids…

MOLLY: Can we call mom later?

MARSHALL: Not today. Remember? She sent us an e-mail and said she’d be on the road for the next couple of days and wouldn’t have cell reception.

MOLLY: Oh yeah.

MRS. HENSHAW: And whiny kids make for terrible television. But let’s see that Sherwood deal with this, what do you say, Molly girl?

MOLLY: Yes, Mrs. Henshaw.

MARSHALL: Hey, it’ll be okay. I’ll have the driver take us over to the North End. You want a whoopee pie from Mike’s?

MOLLY: (Nods vigorously)

MARSHALL: Cool. We’ll do that after then.

MRS. HENSHAW: Ms. Sherwood, these two are very hungry, practically on the brink of collapse. I didn’t have time to pack them a snack, so I’m just going to take them to that hot dog --

SHERWOOD: Molly, Marshall, stand here please. I have to go fetch your Aunt a water.

MRS. HENSHAW: Well did you see that? Not a word. Not a “Thank you, children, for being such good sports,” or a “Thank you, Mrs. Henshaw, for looking after these dears,” or even a “It is so nice to see you again.” The people your aunt keeps around these days. If I weren’t more of a lady . . .

MOLLY: (Waving) Hi, auntie!

PRINCE: (Approaching the microphone, not even acknowledging her niece and nephew) Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, citizens of our fair city, I come today to herald in the next era of greatness for our historic home. For too long, our citizens have walked the streets in anxiety, worry, discomfort, surrounded by filth, vandalism, graffiti, poverty and crime. And while I have been entrusted with your care for only as long as my devoted sister remains far from home, tending to the problems of other continents, I intend to make the most of my time in office. Beginning immediately, I am enacting the Clean Our Curbs program, a strategic effort that will return our home to its rightful owners: the taxpayers. Graffitti, panhandling, and grime in our city limits will be a thing of the past. It begins here today with this subway station below our feet, too long an eyesore. Rather than a new coat of paint, I call for its complete eradication and a new station built closer to the offices and high rises considered homes away from home for our businessmen and women. My office will be providing the press with more specifics in the morning, but for now, I am happy to answer a few questions. (Hands go up. Calls on BANKS.) Yes?

BANKS: London Banks, WCVB, is it true that you have hired interior decorators to renovate the Mayor’s office at City Hall?

PRINCE: I’m afraid our Mayor has let things fall into quite a state of disrepair during her term. It needs some tidying up. (Calling on CASTLE) Yes?

CASTLE: Grayson Castle, WBZ, could you comment upon the recent outbreak of pickpocketing, petty theft, and vandalism in and around the downtown area?

PRINCE: I assure you that any crime, no matter how petty or insignificant it may seem, will be subject to the fullest extent of the law. Isn’t that right Commissioner?

COMMISSIONER: (Coming to mic) That’s correct. In fact, I’ve created a special unit, headed by Detectives Greene and Connolly to investigate those very crimes. We won’t rest until the responsible parties are brought to justice. Swift and hard. (Pounds fist into hand.)

CASTLE: And what about these rumors circulating of a green-clad gang running about the streets?

COMMISSIONER: Rumors. Nothing to it. Little green men. Ha! Too much time on the Internet. Too much time on the YouTubes or whatever they’re called.

BANKS: And these symbols and pieces of artwork appearing on city buildings and office buildings throughout downtown? Some of them signed by an artist, or group of artists calling themselves The Merriment?

COMMISSIONER: Vandalism! You know, that really roasts my toast. These thugs calling themselves artists! In my day, you wanted to make art, you took a painting class at the rec center. You wanted to see it, you hit the MFA on discount Wednesdays! And I’ll tell you something else –

PRINCE: (Cutting off) Thank you for that Commissioner. We are all indebted to the tireless efforts of our police force. Now, I’ve time for one more question. (Calls on ROBIN, thinking she’s a reporter.) Yes?

ROBIN HOODE: Is it true that you want every mom and pop corner store closed and every family that collects food stamps thrown out of your precious downtown and moved into the slums?

PRINCE: Excuse me?

ROBIN: And is it true you are trying to have sidewalk performers and street musicians permanently banned from The Common unless you hire them personally?

PRINCE: When would I have the time to --- ?

ROBIN: And isn’t it true that you are trying to have Mayor Richards removed from office so that you can take over permanently?

PRINCE: Now that is quite an accusation! Where did you hear a thing like that?

ROBIN: A little birdy told me. Girls?

(The banner announcing Clean Our Curbs is covered up with a new banner featuring the tags of The Merriment and a phrase mocking the mayor’s new plan. Two members of The Merriment have put up the new banner. Tech note: we’ll figure out the exact method during production)

PRINCE: Commissioner! Officers! Stop them!

COMMISSIONER: You heard the Mayor! Go! Go!

HAMMER: Right away, Commissioner!

PUTZ: We’re on it!

(Chaos ensues as THE OFFICERS chase after the two members of THE MERRIMENT. ROBIN manages to slip around to the backside of PRINCE and grab her purse. KATIE sees her.)

KATIE: Mom! Mom!

GREENE: Not now, Katie!

KATIE: They’re getting away!

GREENE: Katie, I said later!

(KATIE sees ROBIN slip into the subway entrance and gives chase.)

KATIE: Oh no you don’t.

CONNOLLY: Greene, those two idiots Hammer and Putz are gonna get someone hurt.

PUTZ: (Hollering out from the crowd, arms wrapped around a suspect) It’s Putz! Putz!

CONNOLLY: Help me get control here.

GREENE: Everyone! Everyone, please calm down! We’ll have this all under control in a moment (Gets bowled over by the members of THE MERRIMENT running past. Gets back on her feet.) Connolly, go after them! Katie, I’ll be right back. Katie! Katie? KATIE!

(Lights fade.)

Scene 1.2 The Subway Tunnels – The Passageway

ROBIN crosses, moving through the stage -- approaches piece of gate – slides through a gap – and keeps moving. KATIE follows behind. Looks around. Figures out where ROBIN must’ve gone and continues through.

ROBIN crosses upstage right to downstage left and out through the bag of the house. KATIE gives chase but LJ appears from stage left.

LJ: Woah, woah, woah! Where do you think you’re going?

KATIE: That girl stole the mayor’s purse and I’m going to get it back!

LJ: Don’t you mean, Deputy mayor?

KATIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Deputy mayor. C’mon, she’s getting away!

LJ: That’s her thing. She’s like that.

KATIE: You know her? Wait. Of course you know her. Why else would be down here?

LJ: You’re quick. I like that.

KATIE: You’re annoying and in my way. I don’t like that.

LJ: Touche. Tell you what. How about a challenge?

KATIE: Are you kidding me? I’ve got something important to do!

LJ: Maybe. But I can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going that way so long as I’m standing here.

KATIE: Oh really?

LJ: Three-time state wrestling champ in my weight class.

KATIE: Big deal.

LJ: Try me.
(The two square off, but LJ breaks into laughter.)

KATIE: What’s so funny?

LJ: You got chutzpah. I like that. See, you’re lucky. I’m here to make sure people like you don’t go finding girls like her. Like I said before, it all comes down to a challenge.

KATIE: What is it?

LJ: Three puzzles. You get them wrong, you’re outta here courtesy these two hands and your shirt collar. But, get them right and I’ll be your tour guide on The Merriment Experience: it’s more than just a tour – it’s a way of life.

KATIE: Deal. Hit me.

LJ: What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?

KATIE: Seriously? That’s the Riddle of the Sphinx. Man. Man crawls when he’s a baby, walks on two feet during middle age, and then uses a cane when he’s old.

LJ: Sounds like someone stayed awake during social studies.

KATIE: Next.

LJ: Names of breakfast cereals. Back and forth until someone repeats or can’t come up with one.

KATIE: (Matter of factly) Breakfast cereals. That’s the big challenge.

LJ: Cereal is delicious. It’s one of my food groups.

KATIE: (Sighs)

(The two go back and forth with names of cereals, simple and generic at first, then silly and ridiculous – real in their world – until LJ makes a mistake and repeats one already said. It must all happen fast – bang-bang-bang)

KATIE: Gotcha!

LJ: I love me some Mega Choco Sugar Bombtastics. Worth losing to profess that love.

KATIE: Two down.

LJ: One to go. Game of questions. We only speak in questions. First non-question loses. Ready?

KATIE: Will I ever be ready?

LJ: Not likely.

KATIE: (smiles) I win.

LJ: What? What are you talking about?

KATIE: You asked me a question. I answered with a question. And then you said –

LJ: (smiles) “Not likely.” (Laughs.) You got me! “Not likely!” (Laughs again) You are ironic. I like that. C’mon, I can’t wait to introduce you to Robin. What’s your name?

KATIE: Katie.

LJ: I’m LJ.

KATIE: Elljay? Is that um…asian..uh..middle eastern or…

LJ: Lillian Joan – doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opponents on the wrestling mat.

KATIE: Nothing says intimidation like a pair of initials.

LJ: You are plucky. I like that.


1.3 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office


SHERWOOD: Ms. Deputy Mayor, the Commissioner and Special Task Force to see you, Miss.

PRINCE: I want to know who is responsible for making a mockery of my big announcement!

COMMISSIONER: We’re working on it, Ms. Deputy Mayor. There’s reason to believe this might be related to the pranks on the steps of City Hall.”

PRINCE: You think?

COMMISSIONER: Yes Ma’am.

PRINCE: (Glares and then) I was being sarcastic!

GREENE: (Aside to CONNOLLY) What happened to the steps?

CONNOLLY: (Aside to GREENE) A couple of days ago, someone left fifty crates of rotten bananas on the steps of city hall with a note saying “Don’t Slip Up – Your Friends, The Merriment”

GREENE: How didn’t I know about that?

CONNOLLY: I think you were in a parent-teacher meeting for Katie when it came over the radio.

COMMISSIONER: Don’t worry, Ma’am. I’ve got the best police in the city working this case.

GREEN: Detectives Greene and Connolly --

HAMMER AND PUTZ enter

HAMMER: Sorry we’re late, chief. Putz here couldn’t find a place to park the cruiser.

PUTZ: I found us a space right in front across the street.

HAMMER: But all these bums started yelling at us about it being a landmark or something, some Freedom Trail or something.

PUTZ: So I says, “Hey pal, we’re police, we can park wherever we want. You got a problem with that, you take it up with the Mayor’s Office.”

SHERWOOD: Ms. Deputy Mayor, The President of the Historical Society on line one for you. And she’s not happy.

PRINCE: All of you out! And I expect to see our jails full by morning!

COMMISSIONER: You heard her, idiots, let’s go!

1.4 The Subway – The Passageway

KATIE: How far is it?

LJ: Just around the next corner.

KATIE: Good. This place is giving me the creeps.

TAGS: Hey, cut a girl some slack. I’m doing the best I can. Rome wasn’t painted in a day, y’know!

LJ: Katie, Tags – Tags, Katie.

TAGS: She know the shake?

LJ: She hasn’t met Robin yet.

TAGS: New girl. Cool.

KATIE: What’s with all the spraypaint?

TAGS: I’m making a new piece here. This stretch is so dark. I thought I’d lighten it up a little.

KATIE: Wait a minute. You can’t paint the walls of the subway.

TAGS: Why not?

KATIE: Because it’s not yours. That’s city property.

TAGS: But it’s ugly.

KATIE: So? Just because it’s ugly doesn’t give you the right to go and vandalize it.

TAGS: Hey, what I do isn’t vandalism. It’s art. Most of it anyway. I make every piece I put up beautiful.

KATIE: I don’t care how nice it looks – you can’t just go around painting on other people’s stuff.

TAGS: Can you honestly say you’d rather look at some banged up ol’ fence around a construction yard than a beatuful landscape of the city at sunset in yellows and reds?

KATIE: Well, no.

TAGS: Or a swirl of blue and green ocean on the side of a abandoned warehouse instead of rust and boards?

KATIE: Maybe not.

TAGS: Me neither. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m making things nicer to look at.

KATIE: Always?

TAGS: Yeah. Always. Well, except when I’m making a political statement.

KATIE: What kind of political statement?

TAGS: This kind (turns around revealing the logo of the Merriment on her back)

KATIE: I’ve seen those all over downtown! That’s you?

TAGS: Me and a few other members of The Merriment. Yeah.

KATIE: See – that’s just illegal! It’s making a mess.

TAGS: It’s the only way we can get people’s attention.

KATIE: Well yeah, but it’s attention that says, “Hi, we break the law and don’t care.” I mean, I don’t even know who The Merriment are. And I read the paper everyday, check the news sites, and watch the evening newscasts. If I don’t know who you are, no one does.

1.5 The Police Station

GREENE: The Merriment.

CONNOLLY: Right.

GREENE: Who are they?

CONNOLLY: According to a couple of my informants downtown and in the neighborhoods: Kids.

GREENE: Kids? You mean like a bunch of high school punks?

CONNOLLY: A few maybe, but according to these guys most of them are younger. Runaways, kids who fell out of the foster care system, kids who moved into town out of nowhere that we don’t know anything about.

GREENE: You trust our sources?

CONNOLLY: Does Big Papi have a weird looking beard?

GREENE: So how the heck does a group that big, doing that much high profile stuff, keep quiet? I can’t keep Katie quiet long enough to make it through an episode of – oh my gosh! Katie! (She dials her sister) Shelley, is Katie there? No? I know, I know I said I’d drop her off. I’ll try her cell. Please pick up, please pick up. Katie. Katie, it’s mom. I’m so sorry baby. I forgot to take you to Shelley’s. Things just got crazy and I lost track of you and. Just call me as soon as you get this message. I love you.

1.6 The Subway - The Passageway


LJ: Don’t worry about Tags. She just believes very strongly about everything she does. We all do, down here. It’s what keeps us going. Well that and this one here. (Approaching TUCKER who is tending to THUMBS, putting her ankle in a splint.) Hey Tucker!

TUCKER: LJ! Am I glad to see you. I’m going to need you to help Thumbs back to The Hoode.

KATIE: What’s The Hoode?

TUCKER: Ah, who do we have here?

LJ: Oh yeah, Tucker and Thumbs, this is Katie. Tucker is our, well, what do you do exactly Tucker.

TUCKER: A simple question worthy of a simple answer: I help people. It’s very nice to meet you, Katie. Peace. Shalom. (Extends a handshake)

KATIE: You too. (shakes hands trepidatiously)

LJ: Thumbs here is our communications guru and spends most of her time getting fixed up by Tucker.

THUMBS: It’s not my fault the city leaves so much stuff hanging around down here for me to crash into.

LJ: She sets us up with internet, cell phones, TV, whatever we need.

KATIE: More stealing? Are you kidding me? That’s all you people are! A bunch of thieves and criminals!

TUCKER: Before making accusations, remember what Gandhi said, “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s wisdom”

THUMBS: Who you calling a thief? I get everything fair and square! We tap into free wireless from stores and city parks around town. And we stream TV off the net and use free online phone software to make calls.

TUCKER: Now Thumbs, let’s not get too defensive. As _ once said

KATIE: So where do you get all of your gear?

THUMBS: Electronic recycling centers. Do you know how much stuff that actually works gets thrown away. I just had to ride the T out to Dorchester, talk to the right people and viola. Hard wired awesome on the cheap. And legal.

KATIE: Yeah, well..

TUCKER: I think it would be best for everyone to just take a minute and calm down. Thumbs, finish wrapping your ankle. And next time look where you’re jumping. And Katie, maybe it would be helpful to hear us out before you start judging. We just might surprise you. As Gandhi once said, “Honest differences are often a sign of healthy progress.”

LJ: And as Robin once said, “Be back by eight or starve.” We’ll catch up with you two later.

1.7 The Police Station

CONNOLLY: I’m starving. Can’t we take a break. Get something to eat?

GREENE: (Looking at a laptop) Not yet. I want to go through this unedited video the news channels just sent over. See if we can get a positive i.d. on our heckler. I got a feeling if we can figure out who that is, we might have our ringleader.

CONNOLLY: Good thinking.

GREENE: (Checking her phone) I haven’t heard from Katie yet.

CONNOLLY: Isn’t she at your sister’s?

GREENE: I was supposed to take her over there, but I lost track of her during the whole press conference debacle. And then I remembered like an hour later or something horrible

CONNOLLY: Ouch. What is it like to be the worst parent in the world?

GREENE: Not funny.

CONNOLLY: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. You raised her right. She’s probably just avoiding Shelley’s because it smells like meatloaf.

GREENE: I hope so.

CONNOLLY: Meanwhile, back at Det. Connolly’s desk, thai food was ordered. Or do you want Mexican from Anna’s again?

GREENE: (Not looking up) Bean and cheese. Extra salsa. No guac.

CONNOLLY: Three nights in a row. If you played for the Bruins that’d be a hat trick.

GREENE: You know the rule. No sports talk when I’m working. Or when I worried.

CONNOLLY: Even when you hit

GREENE & CONNOLLY: (Unison) A homerun.

1.8 The Subway -- The Passageway

KATIE: Where are we? It feels like we’ve been walking forever.

LJ: You have no sense of time. I like that. Hey, Knapsack! (extend secret handshake greeting)

KNAPSACK: What’s up, LJ? You’re not gonna believe what I found behind the Galleria today. They were just gonna throw out all of this sweet stuff -- woah. Who’s this?

LJ: Knapsack, Katie, Katie, Knapsack. You need anything, she’s your girl.

KATIE: You got sweatshirt in there? I’m freezing.

KNAPSACK: (Starts tossing stuff out of the bags left and right.) She know the shake yet?

LJ: Nah. She hasn’t even met Robin yet.

KNAPSACK: (Laughing) Oh man. Wooo. Good luck.

KATIE: What do you mean?

KNAPSACK: Robin, man, when she likes you. You are all set, y’know? She’ll move Heaven, Earth, heck, Fenway Park, to help you. But if she doesn’t like you . . .

LJ: Hey, Knapsack, cool it. You’re freaking her out.

KNAPSACK: Wooh man. Explosions. Like, “Boom.” There was this one kid, Nate, showed up thinking he was all that and a bag of chips. He was this big kid, right. Huge. Walks up to Robin. She gives him the look. We know it’s on like Donkey Kong, right? And when she was done with him. He could fit in my pocket.

KATIE: She beat him up? (Knapsack laughs)

KNAPSACK No, man, with words. Words. She made him feel thisssss big.

KATIE: What happened to him?

KNAPSACK: Eaten by rats. No big. Hey LJ, I gotta roll. They’re closing another music shop downtown and I’m gonna see if they’re throwing out anything good. Or at least not going to miss anything—

LJ: “Hold on, you know Robin’s rules.”

KNAPSACK: Chill, chill, I know, I know. It’s cool. It’s cool. I’ll catch you two later. Got a date with a dumpster. (Exits and yells from off stage) Yo, Katie. Heads! (Tosses a sweatshirt to KATIE from off stage.)

1.9 The Police Station

PUTZ: Is this gonna take long? I’ve got a date.

HAMMER: Since when?

PUTZ: Since lunch. Roasted peanut girl. She said come back to her stand at half past seven.

HAMMER: No she didn’t! She said half past NEVER.

PUTZ: Why would she say that?

GREENE: Katie, it’s Mom again. Call me as soon as you get this message. (hangs up) All right people. Here’s our suspect: female, appx. 15 years old, Robin Hoode. has been bounced around the foster care system for the last eight years. No known relatives. Disappeared during a transfer from one home to another about a year ago. Missing persons hasn’t been able to turn up anything. She has a pretty decent juvie rap sheet – nothing major, petty shoplifting, disturbing the piece – but there’s a lot of it. Got into some trouble in school for running an underground newspaper that set the administration on its ear.

CONNOLLY: Now, we have at least one witness saying they saw her make a beeline for the subway.

GREENE: Which could put her anywhere in the city.

HAMMER: Well that shouldn’t be too hard to find.

PUTZ: I’m not going to make my date am I?

1.10 The Subway – The Hoode

KATIE: My legs are killing me.

LJ: You exaggerate. I like that.

KATIE: Seriously though, how much –

LJ: And here we are. Welcome to The Hoode.

KATIE: Wow.

LJ: (Calling out.) Hey Robin! Robin?

ROBIN: (Jumps out from behind them to a high point in the lair.) What do I always say, LJ?

LJ: You’ve got my back.

ROBIN: I sure have. Especially for the last half-hour or so.

LJ: Awww, really? Half-an-hour? I thought I was getting better.

ROBIN: Yes, young paduwan, you are improving. But I am still the master. You dropped this by the way. (Hands LJ a wallet.)

LJ: (Looking at the wallet) Argh. How do you DO that?

ROBIN: Hey. I’m Robin.

KATIE: Katie.

ROBIN: I know, just like I know why you are here.

KATIE: I want the Deputy Mayor’s purse back.

ROBIN: I thought ‘d say that.

KATIE: Look, I saw you take it. Just give it back to me and I’ll leave.

ROBIN: That’s not why you are here, kid.

KATIE: Don’t call me, kid.

ROBIN: You are here to get your mom’s attention. Make her notice you. Listen to you. Right?

KATIE: …

ROBIN: And kid, you’ve come to the right place. We are here to make people listen. To make people notice. That’s what The Merriment is all about.

{Here, ROBIN establishes what the Merriment is all about, doing a round of call and responses to be developed by the actors during camp.}

KATIE: Then why are you hiding out underground instead of living with the rest of the human race?

ROBIN: Have you seen what’s been happening to the city? People can’t pay their rent, kids can’t eat, parents can’t find work, no one can go to the doctor’s, and somehow our Deputy Mayor thinks the solution is pushing more and more people out of town. We go up there and we might as well be putting on muzzles.

SHINGLES: Hey Robin, I’ve been waiting for you forever.

ROBIN: Sorry, Shingles, what do you need?

SHINGLES: What color do you think for the lounge? I got a gallon of … sour apple… and a gallon .. of what’s this.. sunset pink.

ROBIN: I’m seeing checkerboards.

SHINGLES: Consider it done. Oh and be careful in the bathroom, I just re-did the toilet and it likes to flush when you are sitting on it. And not in a good way.

KATIE: Deputy Mayor Prince is just trying to clean things up a little.

ROBIN: Kid, that’s like saying Hurricane Katrina was just a really big thunderstorm.

KATIE: (Aside to LJ) Why does she keep calling me kid?

LJ: It’s her thing.

KATIE: It’s kinda annoying.

LJ: (Shrugs)

ROBIN: The point is this: When Mayor Richards was here, things were pretty okay. Not great. But pretty okay. And someday she’s coming back. And when she does we’ll be there.

KATIE: If you aren’t all in juvie.

ROBIN: We won’t be. We haven’t done anything wrong.

KATIE: What are you talking about? You are stealing!

SCARLET: You call it stealing; we call it surviving.

LJ: Easy, Scarlet.

SCARLET: (To KATIE) You come down here and start telling us the way it should be? Look at your hands.

KATIE: What?

LJ: Don’t mind Scarlet. She just gets surly in the afternoon. Hasn’t had her nap.

SCARLET: (Ignoring the comment.) Look at your hands.

KATIE: (Looking at them nonchalantly.) What about them?

SCARLET: No, really look. (She takes KATIES hands and holds them up.) Soft, smooth. No scars. No calluses.

KATIE: So?

SCARLET: You haven’t had to work a day in your life. You’ve had everything handed to you. Well that ain’t how the system works, honey.

KATIE: Don’t act like you know me. You don’t know anything about me.

SCARLET: Tell me I’m wrong.

KATIE: . . .

SCARLET: I said, “Tell me I’m wrong.”

ROBIN: Okay, Scarlet. That’s enough.

SCARLET: Oh I’m just getting started.

ROBIN: I said, “Let it go.”

SCARLET: Fine. I’m watching you, Baby Fingers.

ROBIN: Come with me. I want to show you something.

KATIE: But I’m exhausted. I don’t even have enough energy to argue with you.

ROBIN: Awww, c’mon, you can do it, kid. You need something to eat first?

KATIE: I’m starving.

LJ: Hey, Snackpack, Katie’s hungry!

SNACKPACK: Comin’ at ya! (Slings a donut bag at her. Katie catches it and opens it.)

KATIE: Glazed. My favorite. How’d you know?

SNACKPACK: I can read minds.

KATIE: Really?

SNACKPACK: Nope. (Before KATIE takes a bite) Nuke it first. Day olds are better that way.

KATIE: Day olds?

ROBIN: Snackpack hangs out behind coffee shops and waits for them to toss out the day’s leftovers. They’re usually stale, but totally good other than that.

SNACKPACK: The trick is finding out which places mix their throwaways. Nothing worse than finding out that the soft filling isn’t jelly.

KATIE: Gross.

LJ: Yeah.

KATIE: So is that all you guys eat down here? Donuts and muffins?

LJ: Are you kidding?

ROBIN: Snackpack knows every place in the city where you can get free-food-to-go.

KATIE: Take-out?

SNACKPACK: No, food-to-go, stuff I can grab clean, quick and bring back here. Stuff that doesn’t need cooking or cleaning up.

SHINGLES: But we’ve got a few microwaves just the same.

KATIE: So you all just eat a ton of junk food.

SNACKPACK: No way – I get loads of fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market on the weekend – bruised, overripe, weird shaped – they can’t sell it and they know I want it. It pays to be cute and persistent.

LJ: And helpful.

ROBIN: The Deputy Mayor wants the Market out of town – she thinks it smells bad and makes her lawyers and stock brokers gag. Can’t have anything healthy clogging up her pretty little streets. So, the Market folks help us out. And we help them out by keeping that old bag occupied with something else to think about.”

KATIE: All those pranks. They’ve been you guys haven’t they?

SNACKPACK: Where else do you think that many banana peels could come from?

KATIE: So is that what you do? Toilet papering the police station so people can keep selling fish behind Fanueil Hall?

ROBIN: We do more than that. Come on, I need to show you something.

1.11 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office

SHERWOOD: Detectives Greene and Connolly to see you and the Commissioner, Ma’am.

GREENE: (On the phone) Katie. It’s mom again. I really need you to call me baby and let me know you are okay.

PRINCE: Well about time.

COMMISSIONER: Yes, detectives. This isn’t the sort of timetable we like to work on in our department. I prefer --

PRINCE: (Cutting the COMMISSIONER off) Tell me about this group of terrorists

GREENE: Oh, Ms Deputy Mayor, we wouldn’t go that far.

PRINCE: I would. This group of terrorists—

CONNOLLY: The Merriment, Ms. Deputy Mayor.

PRINCE: These merry terrorists – what is that they want?

CONNOLLY: Well we are still trying to figure that out, Ma’am

PRINCE: Then what are you doing here wasting my time?

GREENE: Well, Ma’am, we’ve got reason to believe that this group is made up of children.

PRINCE: Children?!?

GREENE: Yes, Ma’am.

COMMISSIONER: Greene! Connolly! I told you to come to the Deputy Mayor with results. Not crazy rumors about an afterschool prank club!

CONNONLLY: It’s mostly adolescents we think but certainly could be some younger members as well.

PRINCE: Just great. My city is being held hostage by a bunch of little brats in need of a good spanking.

COMMISSIONER You can rest assured, Ms Deputy Mayor, that we will give those kids the sort of discipline their parents failed to deliver. Courtesy our fair city’s men and women in blue.

PRINCE: Save it for when you are sucking up for something you really need, Commssioner.

1.12 – Downtown Neighborhood

The Backstreets of Downtown

(ROBIN is guiding KATIE through the streets, leaving paper bags full of money and other helpful items on door steps, under mailboxes, inside garbage cans, etc. Slipping these things while people sit and talk, moving subversively. Hiding in plain sight.)

ROBIN: See it’s not just the market that’s in danger. It’s all of the little stores downtown and on the corners that aren’t part of big chains. It’s all of the street vendors and musicians. The Deputy Mayor wants them gone. All of them. And that’s the only life they have. Some of those places have been there as long as our great-grandparents. Even longer. History, Katie. History and culture and all of these amazing people who just don’t make all that much money are going away. Just because Her Royal Annoyance doesn’t want to have to look at anyone not wearing this year’s finest from Bloomingdale’s.

KATIE: I didn’t think of it that way.

ROBIN: It’s okay. Most people don’t. And if she closes the stations at the park, gets rid of them, we are going to be in seriously trouble. Park and Tremont are the only two stations with gates

KATIE: It doesn’t change the fact that you are stealing.

ROBIN: I know. We have a code, though. We only steal from the rich and even then, only those people who use their wealth to make other people feel smaller, less important, worthless. There are a lot of rich people doing a lot of good in the world. We aren’t gunning for them. We need their help more than anything.

KATIE: So where does everything you steal go, exactly?

ROBIN: The cash goes right to the people who need it most. And then we pawn off any merchandise or donate it to charity thrift stores. This month we helped twenty families make their rent and even helped a restaurant pay for its health inspection.

KATIE: You don’t keep anything for yourselves? There’s gotta be something – mp3 players, phones, even, I don’t know, hairbrushes and bubble gum.

ROBIN: Anything you see in The Hoode is either junk that Shingles and Thumbs found or something we bought with the loose change we manage to collect

KATIE: Nickels and pennies on the ground.

ROBIN: When you know where to look, it can really add up. But our biggest money maker? Video game tournaments.

KATIE: I had no idea you could make money doing that.

ROBIN: Sure you can. Not a lot at once, but enough. And we’ve got a big enough crew, loads of time to practice, we hit every tournament in MetroWest. And tomorrow, tomorrow is going to be huge.

KATIE: What’s tomorrow?

ROBIN: City Hall Plaza, $1000 grand prize – straight from Mayor’s Office, Rock Legend tournament. We plan on winning.

KATIE: Not exactly a long term business plan, though. It seems to me that you are taking the easy way out.

ROBIN: How do you figure that?

KATIE: You’ve got crazy amounts of talent down there. From the sounds of it, you could sell ice cream at the North Pole. And if what you say is true, then you’d have the backing of everyone around you. You could make this legit.

ROBIN: Can’t. As soon as we go above ground any more than we have, Child Services will be all over us and poof. Just like that. We are no longer. I’m not going to do that to my crew. No way.

KATIE: Well you can’t just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Eventually something’s gotta give.

ROBIN: When the Mayor gets back. We’ll stop when we know things will get better rather than worse.

KATIE: But you don’t know when that could be. Nobody does.

ROBIN: Until then, we’ve got a Rock Legend tourney to win. And I’ve got some more stuff to deliver. It’s gonna take a climb. You afraid of heights?

KATIE: Ridiculously afraid.

ROBIN: Then wait for me inside the T stop. I’ll be back in a minute. I just hope the fire escape ladders are down. Otherwise this will be a lot of work.

1.13 City Hall -- The Mayor’s Office

MOLLY: Marshall, I want to go get ice cream.

MARSHALL: Not right now, I gotta talk to Auntie. And I need you to keep Mrs. Henshaw occupied in the other room.

MOLLY: I will. But Marshall, you promised.

MARSHALL: I know, and I will but I gotta talk to Auntie. And then I’ll get you the biggest triple-decker extra-super-huge crazy large banana split brownie milkshake sundae you’ve ever seen.

MOLLY: But I don’t like bananas

MARSHALL: Aunt Jo, can I talk to you about something.

SHERWOOD: It will have to wait until later, Marshall. Your aunt is busy.

MARSHALL: It’ll only take a second. I really want to compete in the tournament tomorrow.

SHERWOOD: Absolutely not.

MARSHALL: Why?

PRINCE: Because the mayor’s office is sponsoring that foolish tournament and if, heaven forbid, you actually win that ridiculous thing, it would look like favortism and the last thing I need right now is the media getting on my back for letting my nephew win some stupid video game contest!

MARSHALL: But Aunt Jo, I really could just win.

PRINCE: Oh Marshall, don’t live with your head in the clouds. There are going to be obsese, smelly, social outcasts playing that haven’t showered in weeks and need to put down their deep-fried turkey legs to pick up a controller that live in front of those machines as if their very lives depended upon getting to the next level of Crazy Fight Attack Guitar WhatsitWhatever. You don’t stand a chance.

MARSHALL: Then let me lose. I just want to play—

PRINCE: Fine! Go! Whatever! Marshall, there really are many, many other more important things happening right now that need my constant attention. So if you are done with your silly little questions, I have to get back to work. And take your sister out for ice cream. She’s been texting my assistant all day begging me to take her. Doesn’t she know what ice cream does to your figure? Ask my assistant for five dollars. That should cover it, shouldn’t?”

SHERWOOD: Actually, no –

PRINCE: Then they’ll just have to learn to be frugal won’t they? Now, go away. I’m busy.

MOLLY: What did Auntie say?

MARSHALL: I’m playing.

MOLLY: Then why aren’t you smiling?

MARSHALL: I miss Mom.

1.14 The Subway – The T Station

(KATIE, waiting for ROBIN goes does down the stairs and takes out her phone.)

KATIE: Robin’s not back yet. I wonder what time – oh no – Mom. I forget to check my messages.

GREENE: “Katie? Where are you? Are you safe? I’ve been worried sick.”

KATIE: I’m fine, Mom. I’m fine.”

GREENE: “Where are you? I’m coming to get you.”

KATIE: “I’m not telling.”

GREENE: “You know I can have this number traced.”

KATIE: “Mom, you told me that only works fast on TV.”

GREENE: “Katie, I just want you to come home.”

KATIE: “I’m just calling to let you know I’m safe. I’m with people I trust and I think you’d trust them too if you me them.”

GREENE: “Your signal is terrible.”

KATIE: “It’s because I’m in the subway.”

GREENE: “In the subway!? At this hour? What are you doing there.”

KATIE: “The people I’m with live here.”

GREENE: “Katie, I forbid you to live with homeless people.”

KATIE: “They aren’t homeless they are --- well – it’s difficult to explain.”

GREENE: “Katie, I am your mother and as your mother I’m asking – no, I’m telling you – that you need to come home right now.”

KATIE: “Tomorrow.”

GREENE: “Tonight, Katie.”

KATIE: “Tomorrow. After the video game tournament. I’m going with my new friends here. Robin is going to play and so are a bunch of people in her crew.”

GREENE: “Her crew? Like a gang!?”

KATIE: “It’s not like that Mom. It’s more like a club, no more like, like a town. Yeah. They’re called The Merriment and – mom I probably shouldn’t be telling you any more. I gotta go.”

GREENE: “Wait, wait Katie! Which station are you in? Katie? redials – gets her voice mail* Katie, Katie, I’m trying so hard to trust you but this is such dangerous territory, kiddo. I will be there tomorrow. But please, please whatever you do: make good choices. Please.” (She hangs up and then it clicks.) “The Merriment? She said The Merriment.” (Immediately keys into her cell phone and calls her partner. ) Connolly, it’s me. Meet me at the Deputy Mayor’s office in ten minutes. (Listens) No, I don’t care how good the cream puffs are. (Listens) No, I don’t care that you’ve been in line for an hour. It’ll still be there tomorrow. Now listen to me . . .”


1.15 THE HOODE

SCARLET: Before we spend all night practicing, are we sure we’re playing for cash and not a lifetime supply of Necco wafers?

ROBIN: Relax, Scarlet. It will be fine.

KATIE: Robin’s right.

ROBIN: Of course I am. (Catching herself.) I mean, uh, continue.

KATIE: It takes a lot of people to change something like that with so much publicity. It isn’t how city hall works.

SCARLET: Oh it totally is. She can get whatever she wants. She says charge them more taxes, they get taxed. She says charge them more rent, they get charged more rent. She says arrest them, they get arrested.

KATIE: Now wait a minute, my mom’s a det—

SHINGLES: A what?

KATIE: I said, uh, my Mom’s a detective.

KNAPSACK: What?!

SNACKPACK: Oh great! There goes the neighborhood!

SCARLET: LJ, what were you thinking?

LJ: She told me she ran away from home and she seemed cool. I didn’t know her mom was a cop.

THUMBS: Get her out of here, now!

KATIE: No. Wait. I can explain

SCARLET: Robin, she’s already ratted us out to her mom.

ROBIN: How do you know?

SCARLET: I heard her talking on her phone.

ROBIN: Down here?

SCARLET: No in the Dorchester.. T-stop.

ROBIN: You went above ground without my permission?

SCARLET: I was following her because I don’t trust her. And it looks like I was right. She’s probably here to bust us!

TUCKER: Katie. Is that why you are here?

KATIE: No. Look, I saw Robin grab the Deputy Mayor’s purse at the big press conference today. Yeah. I went after her to catch her and prove to my mom that I’m not a little kid anymore. But then I met LJ and Knapsack and . . all of you. I like it here. I want to stay. If you’ll let me.”

TAGS: Prove it.

KATIE: What?

SCARLET: Yeah. Prove it. Tomorrow at the tournament, I’ll pick a target for you. You bring us back some cash we can share with Mrs. McKenzie to keep her store open on Milk St. and you stay. You come up empty-handed. You are out. And I personally devote my life to making your life miserable. Deal, Robin? (ROBIN pauses. Looks at both of them.)

ROBIN: Deal. Pinky swear on it. (The two do.) Now, we all need to eat, practice, and get to bed early. Tomorrow is going to be big.



ACT II

2.1 City Hall Plaza – The Video Game Tournament

(People everywhere, sounds of games, kids winning. Eventually the crowd moves to make room for two competing Rock Legend teams – one headed by Robin and The Merriment, the other, it turns out, by Marshall Marion.)

PRINCE: I’d like to take this break in the action to thank everyone for coming and supporting the Clean Our Curbs Video Game Tournament. The money raised today will go directly to my special project to get the riff-raff and street scum out of our fair city as quickly as possible and make this a better home for the people who truly matter most: our taxpayers. (Gentle, polite, applause) Now to add a little incentive for some of our players today, we’ve added a new prize incentive. The winner of our tournament, in addition to the cash prize of two-thousand dollars, will be awarded an afternoon with my nephew Marshall.

MARSHALL: What?!

MOLLY: Marshall, does that mean you have to go on a date with a girl if she beats everybody else?

MARSHALL: Hush!

MRS. HENSHAW: What your mother wouldn’t do if she new about this. I’ll tell you what she’d do. She’d go up one side of that woman and down the other, that’s what she’d do.

PRINCE: It can be for a slice of pizza, a quick game of one-on-one, or even a movie in the new crown jewel of movie theaters: the forty-screen multiplex at The Common here in the heart of our fair city.”

MOLLY: Marshall, doesn’t that sound like a date?

MARSHALL: Shush! Aunt
_ never said anything about this.

PRINCE: So may the best player win!”

MARSHALL: Aunt Jo, can I talk to you for a minute?

SCARLET: Robin, did you hear that?

ROBIN: I do believe I was standing here. LJ? Can you confirm that?

LJ: You were in fact standing right there.

SCARLET: So if you win the tournament, we get the money AND you get a date with Marshall Marion!”

ROBIN: I KNOW I was standing right here. Okay, folks, let’s get warmed up.” (But her pause and look at Marshall let’s us know she’s very much excited about the prospect.)

PRINCE: Marshall, I really don’t have time for this. We’re trying to catch this terrorist.

MARSHALL: But what’s this date thing? I didn’t agree to that!

PRINCE: Oh yes, that. Well, since you insisted on playing, I thought I should insist on having it help my public relations. A day with the mayor’s adopted son in the name of a better city for our taxpayers. What a glorious concept.

MARSHALL: So you are using me to make you look better.

PRINCE: When you put it that way, my dear nephew, you make it sound so mean.

(GREENE comes over to KATIE)

GREENE: Katie! I’ve been worried sick” She reaches for an embrace, but Katie pushes away.

KATIE: Afterward mom, Robin’s about to play. And it looks like she’s up against Marshall Marion”

GREENE: Katie, I – (She gives up when she realizes Katie isn’t paying attention.)

MARSHALL: Hey.

ROBIN: Hey.

MARSHALL: I’m good you know

ROBIN: I’m better.

MARSHALL: May the best player win, then.

ROBIN: I will.

(They prepare to play. )

HAMMER: You know, Putz. I used to be pretty good at these things back in the day.

PUTZ: (Not paying attention to HAMMER, lost in his own world, pantomiming playing Rock Legend himself.)

HAMMER: Whenever I came into the arcade the attendants would get on the PA and announce “It’s Hammer Time.”

PUTZ: (Still focused on Rock Legend.)

HAMMER: I’d run my hands through my mullet a couple of times to get loosened up, toss a couple of quarters into Death Alley Bonanza, and the girls, man, they’d just line up.

PUTZ: (Still focused on Rock Legend)

HAMMER: Hey, are you even listening?

PUTZ: Up—Up—Down—Down—Left-Right—Left-Right-B-A-Select—Start

HAMMER whaps Putz on the back of the head
PUTZ: What?

CONNOLLY: Ms. Deputy Mayor, that’s our target.

PRINCE: Where? I want to see this scumbag.

CONNOLLY: There, getting ready to play on the center monitor right now.

PRINCE: That’s my nephew, you idiots!

GREENE: Not him, Ma’am. The other player. The girl.

COMMISSIONER: You really think that girl, that little thing, has been causing all of our problems?

GREENE: We have it on good authority that she’s not only an incredible video game player, but she’s the leader of The Merriment.

COMMISSIONER: And whose authority is this?

GREENE: My daughter’s.

PRINCE: Oh you have to be kidding me!

COMMISSIONER: We brought in an extra detail all because of a thirteen year old’s ridiculous imagination?

PRINCE: I know it sounds like a stretch Ms. Mayor, but I believe her. She may drive me crazy, but she’s never lied to me. Yet.

PRINCE: Well then what are you waiting for? Go. Swarm. Swarm. Whatever it is you do.

CONNOLLY: Let’s see the game through. Maybe we can do this nice and quietly.

(They play. The two bands going at it with the “video game” band playing behind them. I Fought the Law as done by Social Distortion plays. But ROBIN prevails)

ROBIN: Looks like pizza is on you.

MARSHALL: Hey this was only one round – you’ve gotta win the whole thing for that sort of payoff.”

PRINCE: And the winner of this round . . . (smiles) me.

CONNOLLY: Move in!

(The officers swarm and capture her during The Merriment’s celebration of ROBIN’S win. The Members of The Merriment try to run off and scramble.

KATIE: Mom! How could you do this?

GREENE: Katie, I had no choice. Robin has been commiting acts of vandalism and disturbing the peace

PRINCE: And terrorism!

CONNOLLY: Ms. Deputy Mayor, please!

KATIE: Mom, I can’t believe you’d do this! Why didn’t you tell me you were just using me to get to Robin!

GREENE: Katie! That’s not true. Don’t run away!

PRINCE: And what do you have to say for yourself?

ROBIN: So, when’s my date with your nephew?

COMMISSIONER: Get her out of here!


2.2 The Neighborhood Corner Store.

CASTLE: While few details have come forward this afternoon, the Deputy Mayor’s office did issue a statement saying they feel one hundred percent confident police officers have captured the ringleader of the gang of thugs and criminals terrorizing the streets of downtown. We know only that the suspected mastermind is a minor and is allegedly behind the helm of large group of runaways known in local circles as The Merriment. More at 11. Until then, I’m Grayson Castle, WBZ.

MR. O’BRIEN: That will be $24.30.

JENNY TATE: Oh no. I’m a dollar short.

MR. O’BRIEN: That’s okay. Get it to me when you can, Jenny. Seems we’re all coming up a little short right lately. Especially that poor Hoode girl.

JENNY: Oh I know. Isn’t it just awful?

CHARLIE TATE: Momma, is it true that Robin’s going to jail?

JENNY TATE: I don’t know honey. I don’t know what is going to happen.

JIMMY TATE: I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. She’s going to juvie until she’s eighteen and then the cop’s will make up with some reason to keep her longer.

JENNY: Now, Jimmy, we … we don’t know that.

NICKY TATE: Yeah we do. We can’t trust ‘em, Mum.

CHARLIE: Is Nicky right? We can’t trust the police?

MR. O’BRIEN: Of course we can trust the police.

JENNY: Nicky, stop. You are getting your brother all upset.

NICKY: I’m just speaking the truth.

JENNY: Well speak it somewhere were your brother can’t hear you. Oh I just feel so bad for her. She must be so scared, so alone. I just can’t believe that would humiliated her in public like that.

BARBARA O’CONNOR: She brought it on herself, that one.

JENNY: Mother, how could you say that? Robin and those girls have been helping put food on our table for weeks.

BARBARA: She stole, Jennifer. She stole. I don’t care how you want to justify it, or how much you, me, the kids, benefited from it. It’s a fact. She broke the law. This was bound to happen.

CHARLIE: Gramma, do you think Robin’s going to jail, too?

BARBARA: As much as it may hurt me to say this about someone who has been so good to our neighborhood, sweetheart, I think she will. And I think she should.

JIMMY: So even though the city is being completely unfair.

BARBARA: Unfair, yes. But, illegal? No. The Deputy Mayor has every right to do what she is doing.

NICKY: Sounds to me like you don’t want Mayor Richards back, Gramma.

BARBARA: What we want and what we may have are often two very different things, Nicholas. And if we don’t play by the rules we are given, well then, what makes us any different than the rats living in our cellar or the skunks going through our garbage?

MR. O’BRIEN: Barbara O’Connor, you are still as sour as the first day I met you.

BARBARA: And Mr. O’Brien, you are twice as foolish.

2.3 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office

PRINCE: Well now Miss… Hoode, is it? I suppose you think are very clever, don’t you? Your little schemes and your little pranks and your little army of misfits – and where did you end up? Right here. In the lion’s den. (Laughs.) Consider yourself lucky. The police wanted to take you right in for questioning, but I persuaded them to let you keep me company here so you can tell me all about this little underground village of yours. Oh? How do I know about it? You can thank that obnoxious Miss Greene the next time you see her. You see, she called her mommy and her mommy told me everything she knew. Now, of course, that wasn’t very much. But it was enough. And from what my police officers have learned in the last couple of days, I don’t think it will take us very long to find your hideaway and put an end to your nasty little slumber party. In the meantime, you can wait here for an officer to escort you to social services and oh, won’t it be delightful to track down your parents.

ROBIN: They’re dead.

PRINCE: Well, then that should make things easier, hmm?

2.4 The Subway – The Hoode

SCARLET: I knew we couldn’t trust her! I knew it!

LJ: Something’s not right though.

TUCKER: I agree with LJ. There is something amiss.

LJ: But the bigger deal is getting Robin back. How are we going to get her out of jail?

TUCKER: An excellent question.

SNACKPACK: Robin shouldn’t have doubted you, Scarlet.

SCARLET: I know, right?

KNAPSACK: She had me fooled. I thought she was pretty cool.

THUMBS: Me too.

LJ: She is cool, guys. At least, I think she is.

SCARLET: Just goes to show. You can’t trust anybody these days.

KATIE: (Appearing) Not even your mom.

SHINGLES: Get her!

LJ: Woah woah woah! Everybody just hold up. Katie. What happened? Where have you been?

KATIE: Running. All over the city. Trying to get my head around everything.

SCARLET: What have you got to get your head around? You sold Robin out! You sold US out!

(Choruses of shouts erupt at KATIE)

LJ: Everybody relax! Katie. Try again. What happened.

KATIE: My mom. You guys know I talked to her. I didn’t know she was on the Deputy Mayor’s side in all of this. I didn’t mean to, but I set Robin up.

SNACKPACK: You sure did. And it’s time for us to return the favor.

(Choruses begin again.)

TUCKER: Now wait. Katie came back here knowing how we would feel. And yet she’s here.

KNAPSACK: And she’s probably got a whole army of cops with her!

TUCKER: Well they haven’t come through the front door yet if they are. So let us give her a chance to explain.

KATIE: Thanks Tucker. Look, there isn’t much more to explain than I’ve said. But I want to help you guys.

LJ: With what?

KATIE: Breaking Robin out.

SCARLET: Oh no. You’re not going to sucker us into that. We’ll all end up in there if we trust you.

KATIE: Do any of you know how the jail actually works?

TAGS: Man, I’ve been in the police stations all over this city.

KATIE: But have you ever been in one from the other side? Without being busted first? I have. I know where they’ll keep her. I know when they’ll move her. I know what they pay attention to and what they don’t. Let me help.

SCARLET: Why should we trust you now?

TUCKER: Yes haven’t you violated a basic bond of friendship?

KATIE: Scarlet’s right, you probably shouldn’t trust me. But do you really have a choice?

(All look at one another.)

KATIE: So let’s get started. Oh, and Scarlet, I bumped into this snobby woman saying horrible things about people living on welfare. She uh..gave me this. (Tosses Scarlet a purse.) Now, the best time to try something is when they are changing shifts. Lots of people coming and going, the way I figure it…

2.5 City Hall -- The Mayor’s Office

(Robin pacing around.)

ROBIN: Okay, Robin. Think, think, think. There’s a way out of here. I’m a lot of floors up, so the windows are bad. Door is locked from the outside. This shouldn’t be that hard. Well. I guess it really should be.

(Door opens. ROBIN tenses. MARSHALL enters.)

MARSHALL: (Whispering.) Quick! Come here!

ROBIN: What?

MARSHALL: Shhh! Do you want out of here?

ROBIN: Seriously. You are taking time to ask me that.

MARSHALL: Shhh! Officer Putz is out here asleep. Do you want to wake him up? I know I don’t. C’mon. (extends a hand)

ROBIN: (Shrugs.) Who am I to argue? Guess this wasn’t so hard after all.

2.6 The Subway – The Hoode

KATIE: Okay, so LJ, if you stand watch here, then we can use you to help give Tags a ten-fingers up and over that wall there. Now, if we can get that catapult built –

ROBIN: A catapult? How on earth are any of you guys going to build a catapult?

KNAPSACK: Robin! You’re back!

SCARLET: And you’ve got company.

ROBIN: Guys, this is Marshall. Marshall, this is everyone else.

SCARLET: You two need to stop doing this. (Pointing at LJ and Robin.) It’ll be the death of us.

PRINCE: Well not the death. That’s a little extreme, I think, for a bunch of pickpockets and truants.

PRINCE: Well, not the death. That’s a little extreme, I think, for a bunch of pickpockets and truants. Gentlemen?

(Police, arriving with PRINCE, take hold of the kids while PRINCE herself grabs ROBIN and MARSHALL. Mild chaos ensues, including an irate MRS. HENSHAW insisting upon MARSHALL’S release when she steps on the scene. KATIE manages to slip away from the madness, but continues to watch anxiously from a safe distance. SHERWOOD enters leading MAYOR RICHARDS.)

SHERWOOD: Here they are! AHEM! (All silence and unhand kids except for PRINCE, still distracted by HENSHAW, who is still fighting her for MARSHALL.) Presenting Mayor Leona Richards!

RICHARDS: (Approaching the tussle) Just WHAT is going on here? (PRINCE lets go, HENSHAW puts her hands on his shoulders protectively)

PRINCE: Leona! Uh… Sis! Uhm… I mean… Mrs. Richards! That is- I mean, MAYOR Richards… uhm-

RICHARDS: Did you know, Jo, that on the return trip from Africa, there is very little reception or opportunity for cell phone use? Seventy-eight messages, Jo. I came home to seventy-eight messages on my phone regarding some group of teenage delinquents causing mayhem that you apparently could not handle? And now, as soon as I set foot in my fair city, I’m met with the sight of you strong-arming my son?

PRINCE: But, but, but Leona, I can explain-

RICHARDS: Well, SOMEBODY better start explaining.

MOUSE: It’s nice to see you, Ms. Mayor.

RICHARDS: Mouse. Thank you for your help.

MOUSE: (Holding up his cellphone; he has been keeping the Mayor in the know) Just doing my civic duty, Ma’am.

RICHARDS: A shame more people aren’t as concerned with the public welfare as yourself.

PRINCE: (Pointing an accusing finger at THE MERRIMENT .) It was them! It was all them; THEY’RE responsible for all this… this… this MESS. And THIS one! (Pointing at ROBIN) This girl here is the little ringleader. She’s a monster! A menace! She needs to be locked up! She-

KATIE: NO! (She rushes in to stand between ROBIN and MAYOR.) Wait, Ms. Mayor, that’s not the whole story. You can’t listen to her, Robin is-

GREENE: Katie! (Rushing to her daughter, CONNOLLY in tow) Oh, Katie, I’m so sorry. I never should have-

KATIE: Mom, I-

PRINCE: Do you MIND? We’re in the middle of something important, here!

MAYOR: That’s ENOUGH! I demand to know the meaning of all this. Now… Katie, is it? Tell me, Katie: are these children villains or not?

KATIE: (Thinking carefully and choosing her words) No, Ms. Mayor. They’re not. I mean… yeah, they… they’ve broken some rules, and that’s wrong. But they’re not bad kids. They don’t just run around committing senseless crimes. They’re trying to make things better. They’re just trying to help out the people of the city the Deputy Mayor has hurt. So… they may have done some things they shouldn’t, but they’re all just trying to do what’s right, and not just… (she turns to look pointedly at PRINCE) …what’s best for themselves.

MAYOR: (Now also gazing intently at PRINCE) I see.

PRINCE: (Realizing all are looking at her) Wait a minute… you’re not just going to take everything some… pubescent brats and street urchins say as truth, are you?

MAYOR: Of course not, Jo. I think you’d better come with me. We’ll call in testimonies from a few more parties on the matter. Perhaps some… character references. Mrs. Henshaw? Perhaps we could start with you?

HENSHAW: I’d be delighted, Ms. Mayor. (Passing PRINCE with a gleefully smug look.)

PRINCE: Hey! Th-that’s not fair, I… Sherwood! Sherwood, get my lawyer on the phone! NOW, I said!

(SHERWOOD gives PRINCE a ‘hmph!’ before turning to MAYOR)

SHERWOOD: I’ll make some coffee, Ms. Mayor. Sounds like we might be in for a long night.

MAYOR: Thank you, Nancy.

(Police begin to escort PRINCE offstage after MAYOR, though PRINCE protests. MERRIMENT, KATIE, GREENE, and CONNOLLY left on stage.)

ROBIN: Wow, Katie. You really had our backs.

KATIE: You know, there still might be… consequences. I mean, now the Mayor will know you’re not totally in the wrong, but… you’ve still got some marks on your records.

ROBIN: That’s okay. The Mayor’s back now… maybe it’s time we started cleaning up our own acts now that we’re not always cleaning up after the Deputy.

TUCKER: I think you’re right, Robin. After all, as Mr. T once said: I pity the fool.

GREENE: Katie… can I finally tell you how sorry I am?

KATIE: It’s okay, Mom. You had a job to do. You had to stick up for what you thought was right. I get it now.


LJ: You get things. I like that.

ROBIN: You raised a pretty cool kid here. I guess not all cops are crooked.

GREENE: And I guess not all people who in the subway are homeless.

ROBIN: Huh?

GREENE: Nevermind. You know, Robin, Katie’s got a birthday coming up, and we were going to go to the Cape. Sort of a family trip. Maybe you’d like to come with us?

ROBIN: Would I?

CONNOLLY: Alright, alright… it’s great to hear you’ve got some fun plans ahead, but right now, I’m planning on finally getting some dinner. Let’s go, all! Grub’s on me! (Kids cheer and head off stage)

CONNOLLY: Well… maybe Greene will… split it with me? (Hopeful look at GREENE, who laughs.)

KATIE: Mom?

GREENE: Yes Katie?

KATIE: With the Mayor back, will you be able to be home more?

GREENE: Yes, honey. I will. I’m putting in for some vacation time tomorrow.

KATIE: Does this mean I don’t have to stay at Aunt Shelly’s anymore?

GREENE: (Leading her offstage) We’ll see, Katie…

KATIE: Or at least buy her some air freshener or something…

2.7 The Common

(Reprise of scene one. Exact same choreography, with the addition of Katie and Robin.)

HOT DOG VENDOR: I saw the whole thing yesterday morning. The mural covers the whole wall, and it really does look like the beach at sunset.

CUSTOMER: I’ve heard it’s beautiful. I’m heading over after work to check it out myself.

HOT DOG VENDOR: Yeah, I used to have a little talent with a brush myself. I might have been really big, but I couldn’t ignore my true calling in life. Brats are my true passion.

KID 1: You should sign up! It’s a really cool class, and first aid training is really useful.

KID 2: I think I might. Who’s the teacher again?

KID 1: His name is Tucker Guild. I’ve learned tons from him…

OLD WOMAN: You see? Those leprechauns are everywhere now, I told you they weren’t just a bunch of hooey!

OLD MAN: And I thought you were just a crazy old bat! But they’re everywhere, Eunice! What should we do?

OLD WOMAN: Now, now, keep your trousers on, Seamus, they’re very nice leprechauns, they’re keeping the peace…

CHARLIE on cell phone: I don’t know how, but the food pantry is fuller than ever. This new girl working there just keeps bringing in more and more stuff! It’s amazing it all fits in there, but there’s this other new girl who always finds a place for everything…

JIMMY TATE: Can you believe it? There’s a new captain of the girl’s wrestling team at school!

NICKY: I know.

JIMMY: She’s really good. I saw her practicing in the gym. She’s kind of cute.

NICKY: I know.

JIMMY: I mean, she’s REALLY good. Really REALLY good.

NICKY: I KNOW!

KATIE: …And make sure you’re home before dinner. Mom’s getting out early tonight and she promised she’d make tacos.

ROBIN: There’s a lot of rules to get used to.

KATIE: Yeah, but they’re there for a reason. I mean, do you like cold, soggy tacos?

ROBIN: Good point.

MARSHALL: Robin, there you are. Come on, we’re going to miss the previews!

ROBIN: So?

MARSHALL: Hey, I like the previews…

Lots of people cross the stage then, many in green sweatshirts. Then all clear, leaving only PUTZ, now a sidewalk performer playing recorder very badly. SNOBBY TEENAGER approaches talking on her phone.)

SNOBBY TEENAGER: Mom, I already told you once! I’m going to be late! I can’t help it! Because I can’t, gawd! (Nearly trips on PUTZ but stops short. Looks at him. He smiles. She rolls her eyes and walks away. HAMMER then approaches, vending pretzels or some such thing. PUTZ finally ceases to play and looks pathetically at HAMMER, who offers him a pretzel. PUTZ takes it and bites in. Lights fade as LONDON and GRAYSON enter. LONDON and GRAYSON are reporting from opposite sides of the stage. Following stories are reported. Freeze-frames for each story.)

2.8 The Common -- The News

LONDON: It has been a hectic few weeks for the city since Mayor Leona Richards’ return. In a dramatic first action, Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince has been removed from office indefinitely. Richards released statement:

MAYOR: “I’m horrified by the selfish choices of the few and how negatively those choices have affected the city in my absence, but we’re beginning the process of making it right.”

GRAYSON: Former Deputy Mayor Prince, is not the lone casualty in Mayor Richards new war on corruption. According to sources in the department, several members of police force have been encouraged to resign, including Commissioner Nottingham.

LONDON: Members of the youth vigilante group The Merriment, finding themselves owing money for damages in excess of the cash prize won in a recent video game tournament, were surprised today.

GRAYSON: Local residents have rallied around the organization and contributed to their legal defense fund.

JENNY TATE: This money was raised as a way of saying thank you to The Merriment. But it is really a very small gesture when we consider all The Merriment have done for our community.

LONDON: Any remaining fines or money owed the city is being paid through community service. The kids of The Merriment seem happy to oblige, many going above and beyond their sentence.

GRAYSON: The main branch of the public library introduced a new mural from Angela “Tags” Gomez. Another has been announced for Copley Square.

LONDON: Gina “Thumbs” Fletcher has programmed new computers for Mayor’s office/assistants and has begun a series of afterschool tutoring programs for students in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Jamaica Plain.

GRAYSON: Kiley “Shingles” Robertson has been working with professional designers to renovate youth homeless shelters in the area.

LONDON: Tucker Guild is now offering free youth yoga classes daily in The Common. This joins Lillian “LJ” Stone’s children’s wrestling program in the new “A Fitter Commonwealth for All” initiative from the Mayor’s office.

GRAYSON: While the Mitchell twins, Sheila “Snackpack” Mitchell and Hope “Knapsack” Mitchell, have spent hours teaching emergency preparedness to elementary school students.

LONDON: And Eric “Mouse” Finnegan continues to use his knowledge of the city as a special consultant to the Mayor.

GRAYSON: Detective Margaret Greene, earning a lot of press after her recent announcement of plans to adopt the former leader of the vigilante group, Robin Hoode. Greene had this to say about the ironic turn of events.

GREENE: It is all about opportunity and faith. When we believe in the inherent goodness of people and give them the chance to exercise it, there’s no limit to what even the youngest of us can do.

LONDON: Overall, change seems to be sweeping our fair city.

GRAYSON: And so far, all seems for the better.

LONDON: Reporting from The Common, I’m London Banks

GRAYSON: I’m Grayson Castle.

BOTH: Goodnight.

(Blackout.)

Revision of Scene 1.1 7/22/09

Scene 1.1: The Park Subway Station Entrance – News Conference

People are milling about the park, going about their business, as a press conference is being set upstage right outside the entrance to the subway News is buzzing through cellphones, food vendors/customers, gangs of kids, coming and going, all talking about the latest news of pickpocketing and bags of money being left on doorsteps. MOUSE can be seen giving out copies of papers and moving about. Listening in and taking notes.

HOT DOG VENDOR: I saw the whole thing yesterday morning. These two fancy schmancy downtown lawyers were complaining about the price of my brats! The nerve of them, right? Like they have anything to complain about with their Blackberries and their Lexuses. And then – right from under their noses – BANG! WOOSH! – their briefcases just disappear.

CUSTOMER: Disappear?

HOT DOG VENDOR: BANG! WHOOSH! But the strangest thing was this green flash.

Two KIDS cross.

KID 1: Like this green flash out of nowhere and O’Doyle’s mp3 player was gone!

KID 2: No way!

KID 1: Yeah, he’s bragging about how great it is and how crappy everyone elses’ is and just like that (snaps fingers) gone

Pass an OLD COUPLE sitting on a park bench.

OLD WOMAN (EUNICE): I’m not as young as I used to be, but you can dress me in cabbage and call me cole slaw if there wasn’t a little green leprechaun come bouncing along and take that rude young man’s motor scooter right out from under his bum!

OLD MAN (SEAMUS): Sounds like a bunch of hooey.

OLD WOMAN: It wasn’t hooey, Seamus. It was those leprechauns again.

LONDON BANKS: I’m here live in The Common, awaiting an appearance by Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince and a very special announcement from her office concerning a controversial new effort to revitalize downtown. As soon as we hear anything, we’ll be sharing them with you, our viewers, at home. Until then, reporting live from The Common, I’m London Banks, WCVB.

SURPRISED TEENAGER: (Crosses sending a text message) $200! My mom found it in the glove compartment of our car. Can you believe it? Now we can make rent!

NICKY TATE crosses talking to JIMMY TATE

NICKY: I just bought a brand new MP3 player at the thrift store.

JIMMY : I know!

NICKY: I didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford one!

JIMMY: I know!

NICKY: How cool is that?

JIMMY: I know!

GRAYSON CASTLE: Since filling in for her sister, Mayor Leona Richards who is currently working with relief workers in war-torn regions of Africa, Deputy Mayor Prince has been ambitious with her own agenda, calling for a city that quote “Belongs to the people who really matter: the taxpayers, and not the leeches and vermin who pollute our curbsides and park benches” endquote. Sources tell me we can expect an announcement regarding the city’s subway system. We’ll bring it to you live in just a few moments. Until then, I’m Grayson Castle, WBZ.

SNOBBY TEENAGER: (Talking on cellphone, purse dangling) Mom, I’m going to be late! I can’t help it! Because I can’t, gawd! (As she crosses, kicks the hat of a SIDWALK PERFOMER, sending money flying.) Ow! I think I just sprained my ankle you idiot! That’s right! I’m talking to you! I should have you arrested! Officers! Officers!

OFFICERS HAMMER & PUTZ enter.

HAMMER: What seems to be the problem, miss?

SNOBBY TEENAGER: This … this . . ugly, nasty homeless person tripped me deliberately with her case!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: I’m not homeless, I just do this to help make my rent.

PUTZ: (Full of false bravado a.k.a. acting all tough) Now that’s enough outta you. Why don’t you pack up and move before we take you downtown for a little conversation? Huh?

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: What a minute. I wasn’t doing anything –

HAMMER: (Moving next to PUTZ) Maybe you didn’t hear us the first time, lady. Scram!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: (Gathering up her things) Fine, fine. This is what’s wrong with this city. (She huddles over her instrument as she scuttles away.)

SNOBBY TEENAGER: (Fake crying) Oh officers, it was awful! Just awful!

PUTZ: Don’t you worry about that anymore, Miss.

HAMMER: We the fine members of the Special Detail to the Deputy Mayor are here to serve you proudly. (They salute her and she smiles and salutes back. While she is saluting back, THUMBS, who has been lurking, opens her purse and snatches her wallet. KATIE, walks up alongside her mom, DETECTIVE GREENE, and sees the crime committed.)

KATIE: (Pointing excitedly) Mom, did you see that?

DETECTIVE GREENE: Not now, Katie, I’m busy. I’m supposed to be watching after the Deputy Mayor. There’s been a lot of street crime here lately – pickpockets and vandalism and we don’t want anything happening during this big press conference.

KATIE: But Mom, I just saw--

GREENE: No “buts.” Now stand over there and when this is all over I’ll drop you off at Shelley’s until I get out of work at 11.

DETECTIVE CONNOLLY: (Approaching) Hey, Greene. The Deputy Mayor just got here. Hey, Katie.

KATIE: 11? Are you serious? You haven’t been home all week. And Aunt Shelley’s house smells like old meatloaf.

GREENE: Katie.

KATIE: Fine.

CONNOLLY: Don’t worry, Katie. I’ll make sure your Mom gets home as soon as she can.

KATIE: Whatever.

CONNOLLY: What’s got her all riled up?

GREENE: I’d rather not talk about it.

MS. SHERWOOD: Right this way, Ms. Deputy Mayor, Ma’am. We have the teleprompters ready.

DEPUTY MAYOR JOANNA PRINCE: Oh Ms. Sherwood, can’t we please do away with all that ‘Deputy’ nonsense? We both know my dear sister isn’t coming home anytime soon.

MS. SHERWOOD: Miss, according to Chapter 43, section 28, article 30 of the city’s charter, city officials must be identified by official title in full, until that title is changed by writ and proclamation of the city council or --

PRINCE: Enough, enough. I get it.

POLICE COMMISSIONER NOTTINGHAM: Ms. Mayor

MS. SHERWOOD: (Correcting. PRINCE casts her a quick glare) Ms. Deputy Mayor

NOTTINGHAM: Excuse me. Ms. Deputy Mayor, we have officers in position all around the station and the park. Officers Hammer and Putz

PUTZ: (Correcting the pronunciation) That’s uh, P00tz.

NOTTINGHAM: (Mispronouncing “Putz” again while HAMMER gives PUTZ a whap and asks “What are you doing?” PUTZ relplies, “What? What?”) Putz here dealt with a minor incident with a vagrant causing a young woman some panic, but nothing my team couldn’t handle.

HAMMER: Just doing our duty, Ma’am.

PUTZ: Right on.

(HAMMER turns to PUTZ)

HAMMER: Right on?

PUTZ: What?

NOTTINGHAM: There’s no reason to believe there will be any disruptions whatsoever during your speech.

PRINCE: Thank you very much, Commissioner, officers. It is so helpful to know someone is looking out for the best interests of our fair city as much as I am. I am thrilled that vagrant is being dealt with. (Aside to MS. SHERWOOD) Check with the precinct downtown and make sure there’s been an arrest. Then call Judge Burns and make certain she’s on the bench at the hearing. I want the book thrown at them.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss.

PRINCE: Then go find your Deputy Mayor a bottled water or something.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss. Where would you like the children to stand?

PRINCE: Children?

SHERWOOD: Molly and Marshall? Your niece and nephew?

PRINCE: Oh right, yes. Have them stand behind me. Good for a photo opportunity. Remind the people it is for the children and all that. Remind them how they have been utterly abandoned by my dear sister.

SHERWOOD: Yes Miss.

MOLLY and MARSHALL enter with MRS. HENSHAW.

MOLLY: Mrs. Henshaw, I’m hungry.

MRS. HENSHAW: I told that Sherwood at hundred times we needed time to stop and eat. But would she listen? No. Not for a minute. She’s going to have hungry kids on her hands, I told her.

MARSHALL: Rabbit, we’ll get something to eat after Auntie Jo’s press conference. Okay?

MRS HENSHAW: And hungry kids are whiny kids…

MOLLY: Can we call mom later?

MARSHALL: Not today. Remember? She sent us an e-mail and said she’d be on the road for the next couple of days and wouldn’t have cell reception.

MOLLY: Oh yeah.

MRS. HENSHAW: And whiny kids make for terrible television. But let’s see that Sherwood deal with this, what do you say, Molly girl?

MOLLY: Yes, Mrs. Henshaw.

MARSHALL: Hey, it’ll be okay. I’ll have the driver take us over to the North End. You want a whoopee pie from Mike’s?

MOLLY: (Nods vigorously)

MARSHALL: Cool. We’ll do that after then.

MRS. HENSHAW: Ms. Sherwood, these two are very hungry, practically on the brink of collapse. I didn’t have time to pack them a snack, so I’m just going to take them to that hot dog --

SHERWOOD: Molly, Marshall, stand here please. I have to go fetch your Aunt a water.

MRS. HENSHAW: Well did you see that? Not a word. Not a “Thank you, children, for being such good sports,” or a “Thank you, Mrs. Henshaw, for looking after these dears,” or even a “It is so nice to see you again.” The people your aunt keeps around these days. If I weren’t more of a lady . . .

MOLLY: (Waving) Hi, auntie!

PRINCE: (Approaching the microphone, not even acknowledging her niece and nephew) Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, citizens of our fair city, I come today to herald in the next era of greatness for our historic home. For too long, our citizens have walked the streets in anxiety, worry, discomfort, surrounded by filth, vandalism, graffiti, poverty and crime. And while I have been entrusted with your care for only as long as my devoted sister remains far from home, tending to the problems of other continents, I intend to make the most of my time in office. Beginning immediately, I am enacting the Clean Our Curbs program, a strategic effort that will return our home to its rightful owners: the taxpayers. Graffitti, panhandling, and grime in our city limits will be a thing of the past. It begins here today with this subway station below our feet, too long an eyesore. Rather than a new coat of paint, I call for its complete eradication and a new station built closer to the offices and high rises considered homes away from home for our businessmen and women. My office will be providing the press with more specifics in the morning, but for now, I am happy to answer a few questions. (Hands go up. Calls on BANKS.) Yes?

BANKS: London Banks, WCVB, is it true that you have hired interior decorators to renovate the Mayor’s office at City Hall?

PRINCE: I’m afraid our Mayor has let things fall into quite a state of disrepair during her term. It needs some tidying up. (Calling on CASTLE) Yes?

CASTLE: Grayson Castle, WBZ, could you comment upon the recent outbreak of pickpocketing, petty theft, and vandalism in and around the downtown area?

PRINCE: I assure you that any crime, no matter how petty or insignificant it may seem, will be subject to the fullest extent of the law. Isn’t that right Commissioner?

COMMISSIONER: (Coming to mic) That’s correct. In fact, I’ve created a special unit, headed by Detectives Greene and Connolly to investigate those very crimes. We won’t rest until the responsible parties are brought to justice. Swift and hard. (Pounds fist into hand.)

CASTLE: And what about these rumors circulating of a green-clad gang running about the streets?

COMMISSIONER: Rumors. Nothing to it. Little green men. Ha! Too much time on the Internet. Too much time on the YouTubes or whatever they’re called.

BANKS: And these symbols and pieces of artwork appearing on city buildings and office buildings throughout downtown? Some of them signed by an artist, or group of artists calling themselves The Merriment?

COMMISSIONER: Vandalism! You know, that really roasts my toast. These thugs calling themselves artists! In my day, you wanted to make art, you took a painting class at the rec center. You wanted to see it, you hit the MFA on discount Wednesdays! And I’ll tell you something else –

PRINCE: (Cutting off) Thank you for that Commissioner. We are all indebted to the tireless efforts of our police force. Now, I’ve time for one more question. (Calls on ROBIN, thinking she’s a reporter.) Yes?

ROBIN HOODE: Is it true that you want every mom and pop corner store closed and every family that collects food stamps thrown out of your precious downtown and moved into the slums?

PRINCE: Excuse me?

ROBIN: And is it true you are trying to have sidewalk performers and street musicians permanently banned from The Common unless you hire them personally?

PRINCE: When would I have the time to --- ?

ROBIN: And isn’t it true that you are trying to have Mayor Richards removed from office so that you can take over permanently?

PRINCE: Now that is quite an accusation! Where did you hear a thing like that?

ROBIN: A little birdy told me. Girls?

(The banner announcing Clean Our Curbs is covered up with a new banner featuring the tags of The Merriment and a phrase mocking the mayor’s new plan. Two members of The Merriment have put up the new banner. Tech note: we’ll figure out the exact method during production)

PRINCE: Commissioner! Officers! Stop them!

COMMISSIONER: You heard the Mayor! Go! Go!

HAMMER: Right away, Commissioner!

PUTZ: We’re on it!

(Chaos ensues as THE OFFICERS chase after the two members of THE MERRIMENT. ROBIN manages to slip around to the backside of PRINCE and grab her purse. KATIE sees her.)

KATIE: Mom! Mom!

GREENE: Not now, Katie!

KATIE: They’re getting away!

GREENE: Katie, I said later!

(KATIE sees ROBIN slip into the subway entrance and gives chase.)

KATIE: Oh no you don’t.

CONNOLLY: Greene, those two idiots Hammer and Putz are gonna get someone hurt.

PUTZ: (Hollering out from the crowd, arms wrapped around a suspect) It’s Putz! Putz!

CONNOLLY: Help me get control here.

GREENE: Everyone! Everyone, please calm down! We’ll have this all under control in a moment (Gets bowled over by the members of THE MERRIMENT running past. Gets back on her feet.) Connolly, go after them! Katie, I’ll be right back. Katie! Katie? KATIE!

(Lights fade.)


1st Distribution Draft: July 15th, 2009

Robin Hoode: An Urban Adventure

The descriptions here are the ideas they came about while planning and writing the play. Some of the ideas have been used, some not. The most important thing is for the actors to look at their characters and think about what they can bring to those characters to make them unique, interesting, and connected to the story.

Characters

  • = still need to find a place in the script

Robin Hoode – the mysterious hero to runways and the overlooked; ridiculously good at Rock Band/Guitar Hero

Katie Greene – the girl who discovers a world beneath the streets

Scarlett Williams – Robin’s best friend who never holds her tongue

L.J. – Laura Johnson, Robin’s ‘muscle,’ funny and super nice, used to wrestle for school (katie recognizes her, my older brother wrestled you at states last year)

Tucker – the most spiritual of the group who does the most to help take care of the sick and feeds everyone

Marshall Marion – the object of Robin’s affection, despite his wealth; adopted son of the Mayor, cousin to Deputy Mayor Prince

Molly Marion – Marshall’s sister -- they were adopted when their parents, missionary friends of Mayor Richards, died in a plane crash

Mrs. Henshaw – Marshall and Molly’s ‘nanny’

The Merriment – the name of Robin’s band – they tag the symbol everywhere they can; Katie is the one who makes them realize it is just vandalism – that there are other ways to get the message out

  • Mouse -- an eavesdropper who sells newspapers in Govt. Center and listens to every conversation possible
Tags – an artist who leads The Merriment when they make art on the subway
Knapsack – a packrat who keeps everything found in the streets - Twin
Snackpack – a horder who keeps everything edible -- Twin
Shingles – always trying to make the hideout better
Thumbs – communication expert


  • Mayor Leona Richards – a good and kind mayor whose work to end global poverty has pulled her away from the city for too long

Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince – a corrupt and unpleasant woman who is hoping to get her cousin, Leona, removed from office while absent; not particularly clever

Police Commissioner Nottingham – cares more about her self image and the image of the city than the actual repercussions of her actions; not a bad person, but a very mixed up system of priorities; very clever and certainly a match for Robin

Detective Connolly – working the Robin Hood case
Detective Greene -- working the Robin Hood case – not convinced it is that big a deal, but following orders; good police, Katie’s dad/mom – single – doing best they can

Officer Putz
Officer Trigger – two less than friendly officers, and also not particularly bright

Ms. Sherwood – Ms. Prince’s assistant

Mr. O’Brien -- Store Owner sympathetic to Robin Hoode
Jenny Tate -- Struggling Single Mom sympathetic to Robin Hoode
Nicky Tate -- Eldest Tate
Jimmy Tate -- Middle Tate
Chelsea Tate -- Youngest Tate
Barbara O’Connor -- Jenny’s mother who doesn’t care for Robin Hoode, believes stealing is stealing

  • Gordon Grant, DHS Worker who just wants to do what’s right for everyone, but has to follow the law no matter what

London Banks, News Anchor

Grayson Castle, News Reporter

Hot Dog Vendor

Customer

Kid 1

Kid 2

Old Woman

Old Man

Snobby Teenager

Scene 1.1: The Park Subway Station Entrance – News Conference


People are milling about the park, going about their business, as a press conference is being set upstage right outside the entrance to the subway News is buzzing through cellphones, food vendors/customers, gangs of kids, coming and going, all talking about the latest news of pickpocketing and bags of money being left on doorsteps. MOUSE can be seen giving out copies of papers and moving about. Listening in and taking notes.

HOT DOG VENDOR: I saw the whole thing yesterday morning. These two fancy schmancy downtown lawyers were complaining about the price of my brats! The nerve of them, right? Like they have anything to complain about with their Blackberries and their Lexuses. And then – right from under their noses – BANG! WOOSH! – their briefcases just disappear.

CUSTOMER: Disappear?

HOT DOG VENDOR: BANG! WHOOSH! But the strangest thing was this green flash.

Two KIDS cross.

KID 1: Like this green flash out of nowhere and O’Doyle’s mp3 player was gone!

KID 2: No way!

KID 1: Yeah, he’s bragging about how great it is and how crappy everyone elses’ is and just like that (snaps fingers) gone

Pass an OLD COUPLE sitting on a park bench.

OLD WOMAN: I’m not as young as I used to be, but you can dress me in cabbage and call me cole slaw if there wasn’t a little green leprechaun come bouncing along and take that rude young man’s motor scooter right out from under his bum!

OLD MAN: Sounds like a bunch of hooey.

OLD WOMAN: It wasn’t hooey, Seamus. It was those leprechauns again.

LONDON BANKS: I’m here live in The Common, awaiting an appearance by Deputy Mayor Joanna Prince and a very special announcement from her office concerning a controversial new effort to revitalize downtown. As soon as we hear anything, we’ll be sharing them with you our viewers at home. Until then, reporting live from The Common, I’m London Banks, WCVB.

GIRL crosses sending a text message: $200! My dad found it in the glove compartment of our car. Can you believe it? Now we can make rent!

ELDER TATE crosses talking to YOUNGER TATE: I just bought a brand new MP3 player at the thrift store. I know! I didn’t think I’d ever be able to afford one! How cool is that?

GRAYSON CASTLE: Since filling in for her sister, Mayor Leona Richards who is currently working with relief workers in war-torn regions of Africa, Deputy Mayor Prince has been ambitious with her own agenda, calling for a city that quote “Belongs to the people who really matter: the taxpayers, and not the leeches and vermin who pollute our curbsides and park benches” endquote. Sources tell me we can expect an announcement regarding the city’s subway system. We’ll bring it to you live in just a few moments. Until then, I’m Grayson Castle, WBZ.

SNOBBY TEENAGER talking on cellphone, purse dangling: Mom, I’m going to be late! I can’t help it! Because I can’t, gawd! (As she crosses, kicks the hat of a SIDWALK PERFOMER, sending money flying.) Ow! I think I just sprained my ankle you idiot! That’s right! I’m talking to you! I should have you arrested! Officers! Officers!

OFFICERS HAMMER & PUTZ

HAMMER: What seems to be the problem, miss?

SNOBBY TEENAGER: This … this . . ugly, nasty homeless person tripped me deliberately with her case!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: I’m not homeless, I just do this to help make my rent.

PUTZ: (Full of false bravado a.k.a. acting all tough) Now that’s enough outta you. Why don’t you pack up and move before we take you downtown for a little conversation. Huh?

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: What a minute. I wasn’t doing anything –

HAMMER: (Moving next to KLUTZ) Maybe you didn’t hear us the first time, lady. Scram!

SIDEWALK PERFORMER: (Gathering up her things) Fine, fine. This is what’s wrong with this city. (She huddles over her instrument as she scuttles away.)

SNOBBY TEENAGER: (Fake crying) Oh officers, it was awful! Just awful!

PUTZ: Don’t you worry about that anymore, Miss.

HAMMER: We the fine members of the Special Detail to the Deputy Mayor are here to serve you proudly. (They salute here and she smiles and salutes back. While she is saluting back, THUMBS, who has been lurking, opens her purse and snatches her wallet. KATIE, walks up alongside her mom, DETECTIVE GREENE, and sees the crime committed.)

KATIE: (Pointing excitedly) Mom, did you see that?

DETECTIVE GREENE: Not now, Katie, I’m busy. I’m supposed to be watching after the Deputy Mayor. There’s been a lot of street crime here lately – pickpockets and vandalism and we don’t want anything happening during this big press conference.

KATIE: But Mom, I just saw--

GREENE: No “buts.” Now stand over there and when this is all over I’ll drop you off at Shelley’s until I get out of work at 11.

DETECTIVE CONNOLLY: (Approaching) Hey, Greene. The Deputy Mayor just got here. Hey, Katie.

KATIE: 11? Are you serious? You haven’t been home all week. And Aunt Shelley’s house smells like old meatloaf.

GREENE: Katie.

KATIE: Fine.

CONNOLLY: Don’t worry, Katie. I’ll make sure your Mom gets home as soon as she can.

KATIE: Whatever.

CONNOLLY: What’s got her all riled up?

GREENE: I’d rather not talk about it.

MS. SHERWOOD: Right this way, Ms. Deputy Mayor, Ma’am. We have the teleprompters ready.

DEPUTY MAYOR JOANNA PRINCE: Oh Ms. Sherwood, can’t we please do away with all that ‘Deputy’ nonsense? We both know my dear sister isn’t coming home anytime soon.

MS. SHERWOOD: Miss, according to Chapter 43, section 28, article 30 of the city’s charter, city officials must be identified by official title in full, until that title is changed by writ and proclamation of the city council or --

PRINCE: Enough, enough. I get it.

POLICE COMMISSIONER NOTTINGHAM: Ms. Mayor

MS. SHERWOOD: (Correcting. PRINCE casts her a quick glare) Ms. Deputy Mayor

NOTTINGHAM: Excuse me. Ms. Deputy Mayor, we have officers in position all around the station and the park. We had a minor incident with a vagrant causing a young woman some panic, but nothing my team couldn’t handle. There’s no reason to believe there will be any disruptions whatsoever during your speech.

PRINCE: Thank you very much, Commissioner. It is so helpful to know someone is looking out for the best interests of our fair city as much as I am. I am thrilled that vagrant is being dealt with. (Aside to MS. SHERWOOD) Check with the precinct downtown and make sure there’s been an arrest. Then call Judge Burns and make she’s on the bench at the hearing. I want the book thrown at them.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss.

PRINCE: Then go find your Deputy Mayor a bottled water or something.

SHERWOOD: Yes, Miss. Where would you like the children to stand?

PRINCE: Children?

SHERWOOD: Molly and Marshall? Your niece and nephew?

PRINCE: Oh right, yes. Have them stand behind me. Good for a photo opportunity. Remind the people it is for the children and all that. Remind them how they have been utterly abandoned by my dear sister.

SHERWOOD: Yes Miss.

MOLLY and MARSHALL enter with MRS. HENSHAW.

MOLLY: Mrs. Henshaw, I’m hungry.

MRS. HENSHAW: I told that Sherwood at hundred times we needed time to stop and eat. But would she listen? No. Not for a minute. She’s going to have hungry kids on her hands, I told her. and whiny children make for terrible elevi

MARSHALL: Rabbit, we’ll get something to eat after Auntie Jo’s press conference. Okay?

MRS HENSHAW: And hungry kids are whiny kids…

MOLLY: Can we call mom later?

MARSHALL: Not today. Remember? She sent us an e-mail and said she’d be on the road for the next couple of days and wouldn’t have cell reception.

MOLLY: Oh yeah.

MRS. HENSHAW: And whiny kids make for terrible television. But let’s see that Sherwood deal with this, what do you say, Molly girl?

MOLLY: Yes, Mrs. Henshaw.

MARSHALL: Hey, it’ll be okay. I’ll have the driver take us over to the North End. You want a whoopee pie from Mike’s?

MOLLY: (Nods vigorously)

MARSHALL: Cool. We’ll do that after then.

MRS. HENSHAW: Ms. Sherwood, these two are very hungry, practically on the brink of collapse. I didn’t have time to pack them a snack, so I’m just going to take them to that hot dog --

SHERWOOD: Molly, Marshall, stand here please. I have to go fetch your Aunt a water.

MRS. HENSHAW: Well did you see that. Not a word. Not a thank you, children, for being such good sports, or a thank you Mrs. Henshaw for looking after these dears, or even a it is so nice to see you again. The people your aunt keeps around these days. If I weren’t more of a lady . . .

MOLLY: (Waving) Hi, auntie!

PRINCE: (Approaching the microphone, not even acknowledging her niece and nephew) Ladies and gentlemen, members of the press, citizens of our fair city, I come today to herald in the next era of greatness for our historic home. For too long, our citizens have walked the streets in anxiety, worry, discomfort, surrounded by filth, vandalism, graffiti, poverty and crime. And while I have been entrusted with your care for only as long as my devoted sister remains far from home, tending to the problems of other continents, I intend to make the most of my time in office. Beginning immediately, I am enacting the Clean Our Curbs program, a strategic effort that will return our home to its rightful owners: the taxpayers. Graffitti, panhandling, and grime in our city limits will be a thing of the past. It begins here today with this subway station below our feet, too long an eyesore. Rather than a new coat of paint, I call for its complete eradication and a new station built closer to the offices and high rises considered homes away from home for our businessmen and women. My office will be providing the press with more specifics in the morning, but for now, I am happy to answer a few questions. (Hands go up. Calls on BANKS.) Yes?

BANKS: London Banks, WCVB, is it true that you have hired interior decorators to renovate the Mayor’s office at City Hall?

PRINCE: I’m afraid our Mayor has let things fall into quite a state of disrepair during her term. It needs some tidying up. (Calling on CASTLE) Yes?

CASTLE: Grayson Castle, WBZ, could on the recent outbreak of pickpocketing other petty thefts and vandalism in and around the downtown area?

PRINCE: I assure you that any crime, no matter how petty or insignificant it may seem, will be subject to the fullest extent of the law. Isn’t that right Commissioner?

COMMISSIONER: (Coming to mic) That’s correct. In fact, I’ve created a special unit, headed by Detectives Greene and Connolly to investigate those very crimes. We won’t rest until the responsible parties are brought to justice. Swift and hard. (Pound fist into hand.)

CASTLE: And what about these rumors circulating of a green-clad gang running about the streets?

COMMISSIONER: Rumors. Nothing to it. Little green men. Ha! Too much time on the Internet. Too much time on the YouTubes or whatever they’re called.

BANKS: And these symbols and pieces of artwork appearing on city buildings and office buildings throughout downtown? Some of the signed by an artist, or group of artists calling themselves The Merriment?

COMMISSIONER: Vandalism! You know, that really roasts my toast. These thugs calling themselves artists! In my day, you wanted to make art, you took a painting class at the rec center. You wanted to see it, you hit the MFA on discount Wednesdays! And I’ll tell you something else –

PRINCE: (Cutting off) Thank you for that Commissioner. We are all indebted to the tireless efforts of our police force. Now, I’ve time for one more question. (Calls on ROBIN, thinking she’s a reporter.) Yes?

ROBIN HOODE: Is it true that you want every mom and pop corner store closed and every family that collects food stamps thrown out of your precious downtown and moved into the slums on the outskirts of town?

PRINCE: Excuse me?

ROBIN: And is it true you are trying to have sidewalk performers and street musicians permanently banned from The Common unless you hire them personally?

ROBIN: And isn’t it true that you are trying to have Mayor Richards removed from office so that you can take over permanently?

PRINCE: Now that is quite an accusation! Where did you hear a thing like that?

ROBIN: A little birdy told me. Girls?

(The banner announcing Clean Our Curbs is covered up with a new banner featuring the tags of The Merriment and a phrase mocking the mayor’s new plan. Two members of The Merriment have put up the new banner. Tech note: we’ll figure out the exact method during production)

PRINCE: Commissioner! Officers! Stop them!

COMMISSIONER: You heard the Mayor! Go! Go!

HAMMER: Right away, Commissioner!

PUTZ: We’re on it!

(Chaos ensues as THE OFFICERS chase after the two members of THE MERRIMENT. ROBIN manages to slip around to the backside of PRINCE and grab her purse. KATIE sees her.)

KATIE: Mom! Mom!

GREENE: Not now, Katie!

KATIE: They’re getting away!

GREENE: Katie, I said later!

(KATIE sees ROBIN slip into the subway entrance and gives chase.)

KATIE: Oh no you don’t.

CONNOLLY: Greene, those two idiots Hammer and Putz are gonna get someone hurt. Help me get control here.

GREENE: Everyone! Everyone, please calm down! We’ll have this all under control in a moment (Gets bowled over by the members of THE MERRIMENT running past. Gets back on her feet.) Connolly, go after them! Katie, I’ll be right back. Katie! Katie? KATIE!

(Lights fade.)

Scene 1.2 The Subway Tunnels – The Passageway


ROBIN crosses, moving through the stage -- approaches piece of gate – slides through a gap – and keeps moving. KATIE follows behind. Looks around. Figures out where ROBIN must’ve gone and continues through.

ROBIN crosses upstage right to downstage left and out through the bag of the house. KATIE gives chase but LJ appears from stage left.

LJ: Woah, woah, woah! Where do you think you’re going?

KATIE: That girl stole the mayor’s purse and I’m going to get it back!

LJ: Don’t you mean, Deputy mayor?

KATIE: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Deputy mayor. C’mon, she’s getting away!

LJ: That’s her thing. She’s like that.

KATIE: You know her? Wait. Of course you know her. Why else would be down here?

LJ: You’re quick. I like that.

KATIE: You’re annoying and in my way. I don’t like that.

LJ: Touche. Tell you what. How about a challenge?

KATIE: Are you kidding me? I’ve got something important to do!

LJ: Maybe. But I can pretty much guarantee you aren’t going that way so long as I’m standing here.

KATIE: Oh really?

LJ: Three-time state wrestling champ in my weight class.

KATIE: Big deal.

LJ: Try me.
(The two square off, but LJ breaks into laughter.)

KATIE: What’s so funny?

LJ: You got chutzpah. I like that. See, you’re lucky. I’m here to make sure people like you don’t go finding girls like her. Like I said before, it all comes down to a challenge.

KATIE: What is it?

LJ: Three puzzles. You get them wrong, you’re outta here courtesy these two hands and your shirt collar. But, get them right and I’ll be your tour guide on The Merriment Experience: it’s more than just a tour – it’s a way of life.

KATIE: Deal. Hit me.

LJ: What walks on four legs in the morning, two in the afternoon, and three in the evening?

KATIE: Seriously? That’s the Riddle of the Sphinx. Man. Man crawls when he’s a baby, walks on two feet during middle age, and then uses a cane when he’s old.

LJ: Sounds like someone stayed awake during social studies.

KATIE: Next.

LJ: Names of breakfast cereals. Back and forth until someone repeats or can’t come up with one.

KATIE: Breakfast cereals. That’s the big challenge.

LJ: Cereal is delicious. It’s one of my food groups.

KATIE: (Sighs)

(The two go back and forth with names of cereals, simple and generic at first, then silly and ridiculous – real in their world – until LJ makes a mistake and repeats one already said. It must all happen fast – bang-bang-bang)

KATIE: Gotcha!

LJ: I love me some Mega Choco Sugar Bombtastics. Worth losing to profess that love.

KATIE: Two down.

LJ: One to go. Game of questions. We only speak in questions. First non-question loses. Ready?

KATIE: Will I ever be ready?

LJ: Not likely.

KATIE: (smiles) I win.

LJ: What? What are you talking about?

KATIE: You asked me a question. I answered with a question. And then you said –

LJ: (smiles) “Not likely.” (Laughs.) You got me! “Not likely!” (Laughs again) You are ironic. I like that. C’mon, I can’t wait to introduce you to Robin. What’s your name?

KATIE: Katie.

LJ: I’m LJ.

KATIE: Elljay? Is that um…asian..uh..middle eastern or…

LJ: Lillian Joan – doesn’t exactly strike fear into the hearts of opponents on the wrestling mat.

KATIE: Nothing says intimidation like a pair of initials.

LJ: You are plucky. I like that.

1.3 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office

SHERWOOD: Ms. Deputy Mayor, the Commissioner and Special Task Force to see you, Miss.

PRINCE: I want to know who is responsible for making a mockery of my big announcement!

COMMISSIONER: We’re working on it, Ms. Deputy Mayor. There’s reason to believe this might be related to the pranks on the steps of City Hall.”

PRINCE: You think?

COMMISSIONER: Yes Ma’am.

PRINCE: (Glares and then) I was being sarcastic!

GREENE: (Aside to CONNOLLY) What happened to the steps?

CONNOLLY: (Aside to GREENE) A couple of days ago, someone left fifty crates of rotten bananas on the steps of city hall with a note saying “Don’t Slip Up – Your Friends, The Merriment”

GREENE: How didn’t I know about that?

CONNOLLY: I think you were in a parent-teacher meeting for Katie when it came over the radio.

COMMISSIONER: Don’t worry, Ma’am. I’ve got the best police in the city working this case.

GREEN: Detectives Greene and Connolly --

HAMMER AND PUTZ

HAMMER: Sorry we’re late, chief. Putz here couldn’t find a place to park the cruiser.

PUTZ: I found us a space right in front across the street.

HAMMER: But all these bums started yelling at us about it being a landmark or something, some Freedom Trail or something.

PUTZ: So I says, “Hey pal, we’re police, we can park wherever we want. You got a problem with that, you take it up with Mayor’s Office.”

SHERWOOD: Ms. Deputy Mayor, The President of the Historical Society on line one for you. And she’s not happy.

PRINCE: All of you out! And I expect to see our jails full by morning!

COMMISSIONER: You heard her, idiots, let’s go!

1.4 The Subway – The Passageway

KATIE: How far is it?

LJ: Just around the next corner.

KATIE: Good. This place is giving me the creeps.

TAGS: Hey, cut a girl some slack. I’m doing the best I can. Rome wasn’t painted in a day, y’know!

LJ: Katie, Tags – Tags, Katie.

TAGS: She know the shake?

LJ: She hasn’t met Robin yet.

TAGS: New girl. Cool.

KATIE: What’s with all the spraypaint?

TAGS: I’m making a new piece here. This stretch is so dark. I thought I’d lighten it up a little.

KATIE: Wait a minute. You can’t paint the walls of the subway.

TAGS: Why not?

KATIE: Because it’s not yours. That’s city property.

TAGS: But it’s ugly.

KATIE: So? Just because it’s ugly doesn’t give you the right to go and vandalize it.

TAGS: Hey, what I do isn’t vandalism. It’s art. Most of it anyway. I make every piece I put up beautiful.

KATIE: I don’t care how nice it looks – you can’t just go around painting on other people’s stuff.

TAGS: Can you honestly say you’d rather look at some banged up ol’ fence around a construction yard than a beatuful landscape of the city at sunset in yellows and reds?

KATIE: Well, no.

TAGS: Or a swirl of blue and green ocean on the side of a abandoned warehouse instead of rust and boards?

KATIE: Maybe not.

TAGS: Me neither. I’m not hurting anyone. I’m making things nicer to look at.

KATIE: Always?

TAGS: Yeah. Always. Well, except when I’m making a political statement.

KATIE: What kind of political statement?

TAGS: This kind (turns around revealing the logo of the Merriment on her back)

KATIE: I’ve seen those all over downtown! That’s you?

TAGS: Me and a few other members of The Merriment. Yeah.

KATIE: See – that’s just illegal! Its making a mess.

TAGS: It’s the only way we can get people’s attention.

KATIE: Well yeah, but it’s attention that says, “Hi, we break the law and don’t care.” I mean, I don’t even know who The Merriment are. And I read the paper everyday, check the news sites, and watch the evening newscasts. If I don’t know who you are, no one does.

1.5 The Police Station

GREENE: The Merriment.

CONNOLLY: Right.

GREENE: Who are they?

CONNOLLY: According to a couple of my informants downtown and in the neighborhoods: Kids.

GREENE: Kids? You mean like a bunch of high school punks?

CONNOLLY: A few maybe, but according to these guys most of them are younger. Runaways, kids who fell out of the foster care system, kids who moved into town out of nowhere that we don’t know anything about.

GREENE: You trust our sources?

CONNOLLY: Does Big Papi have a weird looking beard?

GREENE: So how the heck has a group that big, doing that much high profile stuff, kept quiet? I can’t keep Katie quiet long enough to make it through an episode of – oh my gosh! Katie! (She dials her sister) Shelley, is Katie there? No? I know, I know I said I’d drop her off. I’ll try her cell. Please pick up, please pick up. Katie. Katie, it’s mom. I’m so sorry baby. I forgot to take you to Shelley’s. Things just got crazy and I lost track of you and. Just call me as soon as you get this message. I love you.

1.6 The Subway - The Passageway

LJ: Don’t worry about Tags. She just believes very strongly about everything she does. We all do, down here. It’s what keeps us going. Well that and this one here. (Approaching TUCKER who is tending to THUMBS, putting her ankle in a splint.) Hey Tucker!

TUCKER: LJ! Am I glad to see you. I’m going to need you to help Thumbs back to The Hoode.

KATIE: What’s The Hoode?

TUCKER: Ah, who do we have here?

LJ: Oh yeah, Tucker and Thumbs, this is Katie. Tucker is our, well, what do you do exactly Tucker.

TUCKER: I like to think I’m here help people make good decisions. And I’ve had first aid training at the Boys and Girls Club. It’s very nice to meet you, Katie. Peace. Shalom. (Extends a handshake)

KATIE: You too. (shakes hands trepidatiously)

LJ: Thumbs here is our communications guru and spends most of her time getting fixed up by Tucker.

THUMBS: It’s not my fault the city leaves so much stuff hanging around down here for me to crash into.

LJ: She sets us up with internet, cell phones, TV, whatever we need – and this is Tucker, she –

KATIE: More stealing? Are you kidding me? That’s all you people are! A bunch of thieves and criminals!

TUCKER: Now before we go making accusations, remember what Gandhi said, “It is unwise to be too sure of one’s wisdom”

THUMBS: Who you calling a thief? I get everything fair and square! We tap into free wireless from stores and city parks around town. And we stream TV off the net and use free online phone software to make calls.

TUCKER: Now Thumbs, let’s not get too defensive. As _ once said


KATIE: So where do you get all of your gear?

THUMBS: Electronic recycling centers. Do you know how much stuff that actually works gets thrown away. I just had to ride the T out to Dorchester, talk to the right people and viola. Hard wired awesome on the cheap. And legal.

KATIE: Yeah, well..

TUCKER: I think it would be best for everyone to just take a minute and calm down. Thumbs, finish wrapping your ankle. And next time look where you’re jumping. And Katie, maybe it would be helpful to hear us out before you start judging. We just might surprise you. As Gandhi once said, “Honest differences are often a sign of healthy progress.”

LJ: And as Robin once said, “Be back by eight or starve.” We’ll catch up with you two later.

1.7 The Police Station

CONNOLLY: I’m starving. Can’t we take a break. Get something to eat?

GREENE: (Looking at a laptop) Not yet. I want to go through this unedited video the news channels just sent over. See if we can get a positive i.d. on our heckler. I got a feeling if we can figure out who that is, we might have our ringleader.

CONNOLLY: Good thinking.

GREENE: (Checking her phone) I haven’t heard from Katie yet.

CONNOLLY: Isn’t she at your sister’s?

GREENE: I was supposed to take her over there, but I lost track of her during the whole press conference debacle. And then I remembered like an hour later or something horrible

CONNOLLY: Ouch. What is it like to be the worst parent in the world?

GREENE: Not funny.

CONNOLLY: I’m kidding, I’m kidding. You raised her right. She’s probably just avoiding Shelley’s because it smells like meatloaf.

GREENE: I hope so.

CONNOLLY: Meanwhile, back at Det. Connolly’s desk, thai food was ordered. Or do you want Mexican from Anna’s again?

GREENE: (Not looking up) Bean and cheese. Extra salsa. No guac.

CONNOLLY: Three nights in a row. If you played for the Bruins that’d be a hat trick.

GREENE: You know the rule. No sports talk when I’m working. Or when I worried.

CONNOLLY: Even when you hit

GREENE & CONNOLLY: (Unison) A homerun.

1.8 The Subway -- The Passageway

KATIE: Where are we? It feels like we’ve been walking forever.

LJ: You have no sense of time. I like that. Hey, Knapsack” (extend secret handshake greeting)

KNAPSACK: (What’s up, LJ? You’re not gonna believe what I found behind the Galleria today. They were just gonna throw out all of this sweet stuff -- woah. Who’s this?

LJ: Knapsack, Katie, Katie, Knapsack. You need anything, she’s your girl.

KATIE: You got sweatshirt in there? I’m freezing.”

KNAPSACK: *Starts tossing stuff out of the bags left and right. “She know the shake yet?

LJ: Nah. She hasn’t even met Robin yet. (Knapsack laughs) “Oh man. Wooh. Good luck.”

KATIE: “What do you mean?”

KNAPSACK: “Robin, man, when she likes you. You are all set, y’know? She’ll move Heaven, Earth, heck, Fenway Park, to help you. But if she doesn’t like you . . .”

LJ: “Hey, Knapsack, cool it. You’re freaking her out.”

KNAPSACK: “Wooh man. Explosions. Like, ‘Boom.’ There was this one kid, Nate, showed up thinking he was all that and a bag of chips. He was this big kid, right. Huge. Walks up to Robin. She gives him the look. We know it’s on like Donkey Kong, right? And when she was done with him. He could fit in my pocket.”

KATIE: “She beat him up?” (Knapsack laughs)

KNAPSACK “No, man, with words. Words. She made him feel thisssss big.”

KATIE: “What happened to him.”

KNAPSACK: “Eaten by rats. No big. Hey LJ, I gotta roll. They’re closing another music shop downtown and I’m gonna see if they’re throwing out anything good. Or at least not going to miss anything—“

LJ: “Hold on, you know Robin’s rules.”

KATIE: “Chill, chill, I know, I know. It’s cool. It’s cool. I’ll catch you two later. Got a date with a dumpster.” (exits and yells from off stage” “Yo, Katie. Heads!” (tosses a sweatshirt to her from off stage)

1.9 The Police Station

PUTZ: Is this gonna take long? I’ve got a date.

HAMMER: Since when?

PUTZ: Since lunch. Roasted peanut girl. She said come back to her stand at half past seven.

HAMMER: No she didn’t! She said half past NEVER.

PUTZ: Why would she say that?

GREENE: Katie, it’s Mom again. Call me as soon as you get this message. (hangs up) All right people. Here’s our suspect: female, appx. 15 years old, Robin Hoode. has been bounced around the foster care system for the last eight years. No known relatives. Disappeared during a transfer from one home to another about a year ago. Missing persons hasn’t been able to turn up anything. She has a pretty decent juvie rap sheet – nothing major, petty shoplifting, disturbing the piece – but there’s a lot of it. Got into some trouble in school for running an underground newspaper that set the administration on its ear.

CONNOLLY: Now, we have at least one witness saying they saw her make a beeline for the subway.

GREENE: Which could put her anywhere in the city.

HAMMER: Well that shouldn’t be too hard to find.

PUTZ: I’m not going to make my date am I?

1.10 The Subway – The Hoode

KATIE: My legs are killing me.

LJ: You exaggerate. I like that.

KATIE: Seriously though, how much –

LJ: And here we are. Welcome to The Hoode.

KATIE: Wow.

LJ: Robin? Where are you?

ROBIN: (jumps out from behind them to a high point in the lair.) What do I always say, LJ?

LJ: You’ve got my back.

ROBIN: And so I have again for oh, the last hour or so.

LJ: Awww, really? I thought I was getting better.

ROBIN: Yes, young paduwan, you are improving. But I am still the master.

Hey. I’m Robin.

KATIE: Katie.

ROBIN: I know, just like I know why you are here.

KATIE: I want the Deputy Mayor’s purse back.

ROBIN: I thought ‘d say that.

KATIE: Look, I saw you take it. Just give it back to me and I’ll leave.

ROBIN: That’s not why you are here, kid.

KATIE: Don’t call me, kid.

ROBIN: You are here to get your mom’s attention. Make her notice you. Listen to you. Right?

KATIE: …

ROBIN: And kid, you’ve come to the right place. We are here to make people listen. To make people notice. That’s what The Merriment is all about.

{Here, ROBIN establishes what the Merriment is all about, doing a round of call and responses to be developed by the actors during camp.}

KATIE: Then why are you hiding out underground instead of living with the rest of the human race?

ROBIN: Have you seen what’s been happening to the city? People can’t pay their rent, kids can’t eat, parents can’t find work, no one can go to the doctor’s, and somehow our Deputy Mayor thinks the solution is pushing more and more people out of town. We go up there and we might as well be putting on muzzles.

SHINGLES: Hey Robin, I’ve been waiting for you forever.

ROBIN: Sorry, Shingles, what do you need?

SHINGLES: What color do you think for the lounge? I got a gallon of … sour apple… and a gallon .. of what’s this.. sunset pink.

ROBIN: I’m seeing checkerboards.

SHINGLES: Consider it done. Oh and be careful in the bathroom, I just re-did the toilet and it likes to flush when you are sitting on it. And not in a good way.

KATIE: Deputy Mayor Prince just trying to clean things up a little.

ROBIN: Kid,that’s like saying Hurricane Katrina was just a really big thunderstorm.

KATIE: (Aside to LJ) Why does she keep calling me kid?

LJ: It’s her thing.

KATIE: It’s kinda annoying.

LJ: (Shrugs)

ROBIN: The point is this: When Mayor Richards was here, things were pretty okay. Not great. But pretty okay. And someday she’s coming back. And when she does we’ll be there.

KATIE: If you aren’t all in juvie.

ROBIN: We won’t be. We haven’t done anything wrong.

KATIE: What are you talking about? You are stealing!

ROBIN: Come with me. I want to show you something.

KATIE: But I’m exhausted. I don’t even have enough energy to argue with you.

ROBIN: Awww, c’mon, you can do it, kid. You need something to eat first?

KATIE: I’m starving.

LJ: Hey, Snackpack, Katie’s hungry!

SNACKPACK: “Comin’ at ya!” (Slings a donut bag at her. Katie catches it and opens it.)

KATIE: Glazed. My favorite. How’d you know?”

SNACKPACK: I can read minds.

KATIE: Really?”

SNACKPACK: Nope. (before KATIE takes a bite) Nuke it first. Day olds are better that way.”

KATIE: “Day olds?”

ROBIN: “Snackpack hangs out behind coffee shops and waits for them to toss out the day’s leftovers. They’re usually stale, but totally good other than that.”

SNACKPACK: “The trick is finding out which places mix their throw-aways. Nothing worse than finding out that the soft filling isn’t jelly.”

KATIE: “Gross.”

LJ: “Yeah.”

KATIE: “So is that all you guys eat down here? Donuts and muffins?”

LJ: “Are you kidding?”

ROBIN: Snackpack knows every place in the city where you can get free-food-to-go.”

KATIE: “Take-out?”

SNACKPACK: No, food-to-go, stuff I can grab clean, quick and bring back here. Stuff that doesn’t need cooking or cleaning up.”

SHINGLES: “But we’ve got a few microwaves just the same.”

KATIE: “So you all just eat a ton of junk food.”

SNACKPACK: “No way – I get loads of fruits and veggies from the farmer’s market on the weekend – bruised, overripe, weird shaped – they can’t sell it and they know I want it. It pays to be cute and persistent.”

LJ: “And helpful.”

ROBIN: The Deputy Mayor wants the Market out of town – she thinks it smells bad and makes her lawyers and stock brokers gag. Can’t have anything healthy clogging up her pretty little streets. So, the Market folks help us out. And we help them out by keeping that old bag occupied with something else to think about.”

KATIE: All those pranks. They’ve been you guys haven’t they?”

SNACKPACK: Where else do you think that many banana peels could come from?”

KATIE: So is that what you do? Toilet papering the police station so people can keep selling fish behind Fanueil Hall?”

LJ: We do more than that. Come on, I need to show you something.

1.11 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office

SHERWOOD: Detectives Greene and Connolly to see you and the Commissioner, Ma’am.

GREENE: Katie. It’s mom again. I really need you to call me baby and let me know you are okay.

PRINCE: Well about time.

COMMISSIONER: Yes, detectives. This isn’t the sort of timetable we like to work on in our department. I prefer

Tell me about this group of terrorists”

GREENE: Oh, Ms Deputy Mayor, we wouldn’t go that far.”

PRINCE: “I would. This group of terrorists—“

CONNOLLY: “The Merriment, Ms. Deputy Mayor.”


PRINCE: “These merry terrorists – what is that they want?”

CONNOLLY: “Well we are still trying to figure that out, Ma’am”

PRINCE: “Then what are you doing here wasting my time?”

GREENE: “Well, Ma’am, we’ve got reason to believe that this group is made up of children.”

PRINCE: “Children?!?”

GREENE: Yes, Ma’am.

COMMISSIONER: Greene! Connolly! I told you to come to the Deputy Mayor with results. Not crazy rumors about an afterschool prank club!

CONNONLLY: It’s mostly adolescents we think but certainly could be some younger members as well.

PRINCE: Just great. My city is being held hostage by a bunch of little brats in need of a good spanking.

COMMISSIONER You can rest assured, Ms Deputy Mayor, that we will give those kids the sort of discipline their parents failed to deliver. Courtesy our fair city’s men and women in blue.

PRINCE: Save it for when you are sucking up for something you really need, Commssioner.

1.12 – Downtown Neighborhood

The Backstreets of Downtown

(ROBIN is guiding KATIE through the streets, leaving paper bags full of money and other helpful items on door steps, under mailboxes, inside garbage cans, etc. Slipping these things while people sit and talk, moving subversively. Hiding in plain sight.)

ROBIN: See it’s not just the market that’s in danger. It’s all of the little stores downtown and on the corners that aren’t part of big chains. It’s all of the street vendors and musicians. The Deputy Mayor wants them gone. All of them. And that’s the only life they have. Some of those places have been there as long as our great-grandparents. Even longer. History, Katie. History and culture and all of these amazing people who just don’t make all that much money are going away. Just because Her Royal Annoyance doesn’t want to have to look at anyone not wearing this year’s finest from Bloomingdale’s.

KATIE: I didn’t think of it that way.

ROBIN: It’s okay. Most people don’t. And if she closes the stations at the park, gets rid of them, we are going to be in seriously trouble. Park and Tremont are the only two stations with gates

KATIE: It doesn’t change the fact that you are stealing.

ROBIN: I know. We have a code, though. We only steal from the rich and even then, only those people who use their wealth to make other people feel smaller, less important, worthless. There are a lot of rich people doing a lot of good in the world. We aren’t gunning for them. We need their help more than anything.

KATIE: So where does everything you steal go, exactly?

ROBIN: The cash goes right to the people who need it most. And then we pawn off any merchandise or donate it to charity thrift stores. This month we helped twenty families make their rent and even helped a restaurant pay for its health inspection.

KATIE: You don’t keep anything for yourselves? There’s gotta be something – mp3 players, phones, even, I don’t know, hairbrushes and bubble gum.

ROBIN: Anything you see in The Hoode is either junk that Shingles and Thumbs found or something we bought with the loose change we manage to collect

KATIE: Nickels and pennies on the ground.

ROBIN: When you know where to look, it can really add up. But our biggest money maker? Video game tournaments.

KATIE: I had no idea you could make money doing that.

ROBIN: Sure you can. Not a lot at once, but enough. And we’ve got a big enough crew, loads of time to practice, we hit every tournament in MetroWest. And tomorrow, tomorrow is going to be huge.

KATIE: What’s tomorrow?

ROBIN: City Hall Plaza, $1000 grand prize – straight from Mayor’s Office, Rock Legend tournament. We plan on winning.

KATIE: Not exactly a long term business plan, though. It seems to me that you are taking the easy way out.

ROBIN: How do you figure that?

KATIE: You’ve got crazy amounts of talent down there. From the sounds of it, you could sell ice cream at the North Pole. And if what you say is true, then you’d have the backing of everyone around you. You could make this legit.

ROBIN: Can’t. As soon as we go above ground any more than we have, Child Services will be all over us and poof. Just like that. We are no longer. I’m not going to do that to my crew. No way.

KATIE: Well you can’t just keep doing what you’ve been doing. Eventually something’s gotta give.

ROBIN: When the Mayor gets back. We’ll stop when we know things will get better rather than worse.

KATIE: But you don’t know when that could be. Nobody does.

ROBIN: Until then, we’ve got a Rock Legend tourney to win. And I’ve got some more stuff to deliver. It’s gonna take a climb. You afraid of heights?

KATIE: Ridiculously afraid.

ROBIN: Then wait for me inside the T stop. I’ll be back in a minute. I just hope the fire escape ladders are down. Otherwise this will be a lot of work.

1.13 City Hall -- The Mayor’s Office

MOLLY: Marshall, I want to go get ice cream.

MARSHALL: Not right now, I gotta talk to Auntie. And I need you to keep Mrs. Henshaw occupied in the other room.

MOLLY: I will. But Marshall, you promised.

MARSHALL: I know, and I will but I gotta talk to Auntie. And then I’ll get you the biggest triple-decker extra-super-huge crazy large banana split brownie milkshake sundae you’ve ever seen.

MOLLY: But I don’t like bananas

MARSHALL: Aunt Jo, can I talk to you about something.

SHERWOOD: It will have to wait until later, Marshall. Your aunt is busy.

MARSHALL: It’ll only take a second. I really want to compete in the tournament tomorrow.

SHERWOOD: Absolutely not.

MARSHALL: Why?

PRINCE: Because the mayor’s office is sponsoring that foolish tournament and if, heaven forbid, you actually win that ridiculous thing, it would look like favortism and the last thing I need right now is the media getting on my back for letting my nephew win some stupid video game contest!

MARSHALL: But Aunt Jo, I really could just win.

PRINCE: Oh Marshall, don’t live with your head in the clouds. There are going to be obsese, smelly, social outcasts playing that haven’t showered in weeks and need to put down their deep-fried turkey legs to pick up a controller that live in front of those machines as if their very lives depended upon getting to the next level of Crazy Fight Attack Guitar WhatsitWhatever. You don’t stand a chance.

MARSHALL: Then let me lose. I just want to play—

PRINCE: Fine! Go! Whatever! Marshall, there really are many, many other more important things happening right now that need my constant attention. So if you are done with your silly little questions, I have to get back to work. And take your sister out for ice cream. She’s been texting my assistant all day begging me to take her. Doesn’t she know what ice cream does to your figure? Ask my assistant for five dollars. That should cover it, shouldn’t?”

SHERWOOD: Actually, no –

PRINCE: Then they’ll just have to learn to be frugal won’t they? Now, go away. I’m busy.

MOLLY: What did Auntie say?

MARSHALL: I’m playing.

MOLLY: Then why aren’t you smiling?

MARSHALL: I miss Mom.

1.14 The Subway – The T Station

(KATIE, waiting for ROBIN goes does down the stairs and takes out her phone.)

KATIE: Robin’s not back yet. I wonder what time – oh no – Mom. I forget to check my messages.

GREENE: “Katie? Where are you? Are you safe? I’ve been worried sick.”

KATIE: I’m fine, Mom. I’m fine.”

GREENE: “Where are you? I’m coming to get you.”

KATIE: “I’m not telling.”

GREENE: “You know I can have this number traced.”

KATIE: “Mom, you told me that only works fast on TV.”

GREENE: “Katie, I just want you to come home.”

KATIE: “I’m just calling to let you know I’m safe. I’m with people I trust and I think you’d trust them too if you me them.”

GREENE: “Your signal is terrible.”

KATIE: “It’s because I’m in the subway.”

GREENE: “In the subway!? At this hour? What are you doing there.”

KATIE: “The people I’m with live here.”

GREENE: “Katie, I forbid you to live with homeless people.”

KATIE: “They aren’t homeless they are --- well – it’s difficult to explain.”

GREENE: “Katie, I am your mother and as your mother I’m asking – no, I’m telling you – that you need to come home right now.”

KATIE: “Tomorrow.”

GREENE: “Tonight, Katie.”

KATIE: “Tomorrow. After the video game tournament. I’m going with my new friends here. Robin is going to play and so are a bunch of people in her crew.”

GREENE: “Her crew? Like a gang!?”

KATIE: “It’s not like that Mom. It’s more like a club, no more like, like a town. Yeah. They’re called The Merriment and – mom I probably shouldn’t be telling you any more. I gotta go.”

GREENE: “Wait, wait Katie! Which station are you in? Katie? redials – gets her voice mail* Katie, Katie, I’m trying so hard to trust you but this is such dangerous territory, kiddo. I will be there tomorrow. But please, please whatever you do: make good choices. Please.” (She hangs up and then it clicks.) “The Merriment? She said The Merriment.” (Immediately keys into her cell phone and calls her partner. ) Connolly, it’s me. Meet me at the Deputy Mayor’s office in ten minutes. (Listens) No, I don’t care how good the cream puffs are. (Listens) No, I don’t care that you’ve been in line for an hour. It’ll still be there tomorrow. Now listen to me . . .”

1.15 THE HOODE

SCARLET: Before we spend all night practicing, we better make sure the Deputy Mayor didn’t take away the prize money and offer up packages of twinkies and baked beans instead.

ROBIN: Relax, Scarlet. It will be fine.

KATIE: Robin’s right.

ROBIN: Of course I am. I mean, continue.

KATIE: It takes a lot of people to change something like that with so much publicity. It isn’t how city hall works.

SCARLET: Oh it totally is. She can get whatever she wants. She says charge them more taxes, they get taxed. She says charge them more rent, they get charged more rent. She says arrest them, they get arrested.

KATIE: Now wait a minute, my mom’s a det—

SHINGLES: A what?

KATIE: I said, uh, my Mom’s a detective.

KNAPSACK: What?!

SNACKPACK: Oh great! There goes the neighborhood!

SCARLET: LJ, what were you thinking?

LJ: She told me she ran away from home and she seemed cool. I didn’t know her mom was a cop.

THUMBS: Get her out of here, now!

KATIE: No. Wait. I can explain

SCARLET: Robin, she’s already ratted us out to her mom.

ROBIN: How do you know?

SCARLET: I heard her talking on her phone.

ROBIN: Down here?

SCARLET: No in the Dorchester.. T-stop.

ROBIN: You went above ground without my permission?

SCARLET: I was following her because I don’t trust her. And it looks like I was right. She’s probably here to bust us!

TUCKER: Katie. Is that why you are here?

KATIE: No. Look, I saw Robin grab the Deputy Mayor’s purse at the big press conference today. Yeah. I went after her to catch her and prove to my mom that I’m not a little kid anymore. But then I met LJ and Knapsack and . . all of you. I like it here. I want to stay. If you’ll let me.”

TAGS: Prove it.

KATIE: What?

SCARLET: Yeah. Prove it. Tomorrow at the tournament, I’ll pick a target for you. You bring us back some cash we can share with Mrs. McKenzie to keep her store open on Milk St. and you stay. You come up empty-handed. You are out. And I personally devote my life to making your life miserable. Deal, Robin? (ROBIN pauses. Looks at both of them.)

ROBIN: Deal. Pinky swear on it. (The two do.) Now, we all need to eat, practice, and get to bed early. Tomorrow is going to be big.

ACT II


2.1 City Hall Plaza – The Video Game Tournament

(People everywhere, sounds of games, kids winning. Eventually the crowd moves to make room for two competing Rock Legend teams – one headed by Robin and The Merriment, the other, it turns out, by Marshall Marion.)

PRINCE: I’d like to take this break in the action to thank everyone for coming and supporting the Clean Our Curbs Video Game Tournament. The money raised today will go directly to my special project to get the riff-raff and street scum out of our fair city as quickly as possible and make this a better home for the people who truly matter most: our taxpayers. (Gentle, polite, applause) Now to add a little incentive for some of our players today, we’ve added a new prize incentive. The winner of our tournament, in addition to the cash prize of two-thousand dollars, will be awarded an afternoon with my nephew Marshall.

MARSHALL: What?!

MOLLY: Marshall, does that mean you have to go on a date with a girl if she beats everybody else?

MARSHALL: Hush!

MRS. HENSHAW: What your mother wouldn’t do if she new about this. I’ll tell you what she’d do. She’d go up one side of that woman and down the other, that’s what she’d do.

PRINCE: It can be for a slice of pizza, a quick game of one-on-one, or even a movie in the new crown jewel of movie theaters: the forty-screen multiplex at The Common here in the heart of our fair city.”

MOLLY: Marshall, doesn’t that sound like a date?

MARSHALL: Shush! Aunt
_ never said anything about this.

PRINCE: So may the best player win!”

MARSHALL: Aunt Jo, can I talk to you for a minute?

SCARLET: Robin, did you hear that?

ROBIN: I do believe I was standing here. LJ? Can you confirm that?

LJ: You were in fact standing right there.

SCARLET: So if you win the tournament, we get the money AND you get a date with Marshall Marion!”

ROBIN: I KNOW I was standing right here. Okay, folks, let’s get warmed up.” (But her pause and look at Marshall let’s us know she’s very much excited about the prospect.)

PRINCE: Marshall, I really don’t have time for this. We’re trying to catch this terrorist.

MARSHALL: But what’s this date thing? I didn’t agree to that!

PRINCE: Oh yes, that. Well, since you insisted on playing, I thought I should insist on having it help my public relations. A day with the mayor’s adopted son in the name of a better city for our taxpayers. What a glorious concept.

MARSHALL: So you are using me to make you look better.

PRINCE: When you put it that way, my dear nephew, you make it sound so mean.

(GREENE comes over to KATIE)

GREENE: Katie! I’ve been worried sick” She reaches for an embrace, but Katie pushes away.

KATIE: Afterward mom, Robin’s about to play. And it looks like she’s up against Marshall Marion”

GREENE: Katie, I – (She gives up when she realizes Katie isn’t paying attention.)

MARSHALL: Hey.

ROBIN: Hey.

MARSHALL: I’m good you know

ROBIN: I’m better.

MARSHALL: May the best player win, then.

ROBIN: I will.

(They prepare to play. )

CONNOLLY: Ms. Deputy Mayor, that’s our target.

PRINCE: Where? I want to see this scumbag.

CONNOLLY: There, getting ready to play on the center monitor right now.

PRINCE: That’s my nephew, you idiots!

GREENE: Not him, Ma’am. The other player. The girl.

COMMISSIONER: You really think that girl, that little thing, has been causing all of our problems?

GREENE: We have it on good authority that she’s not only an incredible video game player, but she’s the leader of The Merriment.

COMMISSIONER: And whose authority is this?

GREENE: My daughter’s.

PRINCE: Oh you have to be kidding me!

COMMISSIONER: We brought in an extra detail all because of a thirteen year old’s ridiculous imagination?

PRINCE: I know it sounds like a stretch Ms. Mayor, but I believe her. She may drive me crazy, but she’s never lied to me. Yet.

PRINCE: Well then what are you waiting for? Go. Swarm. Swarm. Whatever it is you do.

CONNOLLY: Let’s see the game through. Maybe we can do this nice and quietly.

(They play. The two bands going at it with the “video game” band playing behind them. I Fought the Law as done by Social Distortion plays. But ROBIN prevails)

ROBIN: Looks like pizza is on you.

MARSHALL: Hey this was only one round – you’ve gotta win the whole thing for that sort of payoff.”

PRINCE: And the winner of this round . . . (smiles) me.

CONNOLLY: Move in!

(The officers swarm and capture her during The Merriment’s celebration of ROBIN’S win. The Members of The Merriment try to run off and scramble.

KATIE: Mom! How could you do this?

GREENE: Katie, I had no choice. Robin has been commiting acts of vandalism and disturbing the peace

PRINCE: And terrorism!

CONNOLLY: Ms. Deputy Mayor, please!

KATIE: Mom, I can’t believe you’d do this! Why didn’t you tell me you were just using me to get to Robin!

GREENE: Katie! That’s not true. Don’t run away!

PRINCE: And what do you have to say for yourself?

ROBIN: So, when’s my date with your nephew?

COMMISSIONER: Get her out of here!

2.2 The Neighborhood Corner Store.

CASTLE: While few details have come forward this afternoon, the Deputy Mayor’s office did issue a statement saying they feel one hundred percent confident police officers have captured the ringleader of the gang of thugs and criminals terrorizing the streets of downtown. We know only that the suspected mastermind is a minor and is allegedly behind the helm of large group of runaways known in local circles as The Merriment. More at 11. Until then, I’m Grayson Castle, WBZ.

MR. O’BRIEN: That will be $24.30.

JENNY TATE: Oh no. I’m a dollar short.

MR. O’BRIEN: That’s okay. Get it to me when you can, Jenny. Seems we’re all coming up a little short right lately. Especially that poor Hoode girl.

JENNY: Oh I know. Isn’t it just awful?

CHELSEA TATE: Momma, is it true that Robin’s going to jail?

JENNY TATE: I don’t know honey. I don’t know what is going to happen.

JIMMY TATE: I’ll tell you what’s going to happen. She’s going to juvie until she’s eighteen and then the cop’s will make up with some reason to keep her longer.

JENNY: Now, Jimmy, we … we don’t know that.

NICKY TATE: Yeah we do. We can’t trust ‘em, Mum.

CHELSEA: Is Nicky right? We can’t trust the police?

MR. O’BRIEN: Of course we can trust the police.

JENNY: Nicky, stop. You are getting your sister all upset.

NICKY: I’m just speaking the truth.

JENNY: Well speak it somewhere were your sister can’t hear you. Oh I just feel so bad for her. She must be so scared, so alone. I just can’t believe that would humiliated her in public like that.

BARBARA O’CONNOR: She brought it on herself, that one.

JENNY: Mother, how could you say that? Robin and those girls have been helping put food on our table for weeks.

BARBARA: She stole, Jennifer. She stole. I don’t care how you want to justify it, or how much you, me, the kids, benefited from it. It’s a fact. She broke the law. This was bound to happen.

CHELSEA: Gramma, do you think Robin’s going to jail, too?

BARBARA: As much as it may hurt me to say this about someone who has been so good to our neighborhood, sweetheart, I think she will. And I think she should.

JIMMY: So even though the city is being completely unfair.

BARBARA: Unfair, yes. But, illegal? No. The Deputy Mayor has every right to do what she is doing.

NICKY: Sounds to me like you don’t want Mayor Richards back, Gramma.

BARBARA: What we want and what we may have are often two very different things, Nicholas. And if we don’t play by the rules we are given, well then, what makes us any different than the rats living in our cellar or the skunks going through our garbage?

MR. O’BRIEN: Barbara O’Connor, you are still as sour as the first day I met you.

BARBARA: And Mr. O’Brien, you are twice as foolish.

2.3 City Hall – The Mayor’s Office

PRINCE: Well now Miss… Hoode, is it? I suppose you think are very clever, don’t you? Your little schemes and your little pranks and your little army of misfits – and where did you end up? Right here. In the lion’s den. (Laughs.) Consider yourself lucky. The police wanted to take you right in for questioning, but I persuaded them to let you keep me company here so you can tell me all about this little underground village of yours. Oh? How do I know about it? You can thank that obnoxious Miss Greene the next time you see her. You see, she called her mommy and her mommy told me everything she knew. Now, of course, that wasn’t very much. But it was enough. And from what my police officers have learned in the last couple of days, I don’t think it will take us very long to find your hideaway and put an end to your nasty little slumber party. In the meantime, you can wait here for an officer to escort you to social services and oh, won’t it be delightful to track down your parents.

ROBIN: They’re dead.

PRINCE: Well, then that should make things easier, hmm?

2.3 The Subway – The Hoode

SCARLET: I knew we couldn’t trust her! I knew it!

LJ: Something’s not right though.

TUCKER: I agree with LJ. There is something amiss.

LJ: But the bigger deal is getting Robin back. How are we going to get her out of jail?

TUCKER: An excellent question.

SNACKPACK: Robin shouldn’t have doubted you, Scarlet.

SCARLET: I know, right?

KNAPSACK: She had me fooled. I thought she was pretty cool.

THUMBS: Me too.

LJ: She is cool, guys. At least, I think she is.

SCARLET: Just goes to show. You can’t trust anybody these days.

KATIE: (Appearing) Not even your mom.

SHINGLES: Get her!

LJ: Woah woah woah! Everybody just hold up. Katie. What happened? Where have you been?

KATIE: Running. All over the city. Trying to get my head around everything.

SCARLET: What have you got to get your head around? You sold Robin out! You sold US out!

(Choruses of shouts erupt at KATIE)

LJ: Everybody relax! Katie. Try again. What happened.

KATIE: My mom. You guys know I talked to her. I didn’t know she was on the Deputy Mayor’s side in all of this. I didn’t mean to, but I set Robin up.

SNACKPACK: You sure did. And it’s time for us to return the favor.

(Choruses begin again.)

TUCKER: Now wait. Katie came back here knowing how we would feel. And yet she’s here.

KNAPSACK: And she’s probably got a whole army of cops with her!

TUCKER: Well they haven’t come through the front door yet if they are. So let us give her a chance to explain.

KATIE: Thanks Tucker. Look, there isn’t much more to explain than I’ve said. But I want to help you guys.

LJ: With what?

KATIE: Breaking Robin out.

SCARLET: Oh no. You’re not going to sucker us into that. We’ll all end up in there if we trust you.

KATIE: Do any of you know how the jail actually works?

TAGS: Man, I’ve been in the police stations all over this city.

KATIE: But have you ever been in one from the other side? Without being busted first? I have. I know where they’ll keep her. I know when they’ll move her. I know what they pay attention to and what they don’t. Let me help.

LJ: Why should we trust you now?

TUCKER: Yes haven’t you violated a basic bond of friendship?

KATIE: Scarlet’s right, you probably shouldn’t trust me. But do you really have a choice?

(All look at one another.)

KATIE: So let’s get started. Oh, and Scarlet, I bumped into this snobby woman saying horrible things about people living on welfare. She uh..gave me this. (Tosses Scarlet a purse.) Now, the best time to try something is when they are changing shifts. Lots of people coming and going, the way I figure it…

2.4 City Hall -- The Mayor’s Office

(Robin pacing around.)

ROBIN: Okay, Robin. Think, think, think. There’s a way out of here. I’m a lot of floors up, so the windows are bad. Door is locked from the outside. This shouldn’t be that hard. Well. I guess it really should be.

(Door opens. ROBIN tenses. MARSHALL enters.)

MARSHALL: (Whispering.) Quick! Come here!

ROBIN: What?

MARSHALL: Shhh! Do you want out of here?

ROBIN: Seriously. You are taking time to ask me that.

MARSHALL: Shhh! Officer Putz is out here asleep. Do you want to wake him up? I know I don’t. C’mon. (extends a hand)

ROBIN: (Shrugs.) Who am I to argue? Guess this wasn’t so hard after all.

2.5 The Subway – The Hoode

KATIE: Okay, so LJ, if you stand watch here, then we can use you to help give Tags a ten-fingers up and over that wall there. Now, if we can get that catapult built –

ROBIN: A catapult? How on earth are any of you guys going to build a catapult?

KNAPSACK: Robin! You’re back!

SCARLET: And you’ve got company.

ROBIN: Guys, this is Marshall. Marshall, this is everyone else.

SCARLET: You two need to stop doing this. (Pointing at LJ and Robin.) It’ll be the death of us.

PRINCE: Well not the death. That’s a little extreme, I think, for a bunch of pickpockets and truants.

PRINCE arrives with police, they storm The Hoode. They round up the kids and while telling them their fate, MAYOR RICHARDS, MOLLY, and MRS. HENSHAW all arrive. The press as well. Everything resolves itself there.

We are leaving this last scene unwritten until we start our rehearsals and workshop. The cast and crew will work together to come up with a closing scene that really emphasizes the big points we think the play is trying to make.