I have added a new one-act play under the category of "non-murder mystery" in my list of scripts. In addition to The Snow Day Monologues, I have just completed Home Room of Doom.
Both of these script are aimed at younger audiences and actors around the High school age. I wanted to contribute to the material available for young actors that hopefully is interesting and fun and provides ideas in which they can relate. I recall performing "childrens theatre" in High School and thinking to myself the whole time, "Really?"
With this new script, I cast my imagination back to those days sitting in what was called "Home Room" (which was a class where we sat for about 15 minutes while the teacher took attendance and read announcements) - and I remembered one particular year, some of the students referred to it as "Home Room of Doom". We were convinced the teacher was a zombie. After taking attendance and announcements, the teacher would promptly open his new copy of Reader's Digest and fall asleep. (We were certain he wasn't actually sleeping but returning to non-existent state.)
Another motivation for this play was the fact that as a kid I was a major fan of horror movies. In reality, I was not one to hide behind the couch during the scary bits, I never totally committed to overall "horror" or "shock". The monsters didn't really scare me. Once I saw the "Creature from the Black Lagoon" or "Dracula's" fangs, it was pretty much over for me. A guy in a rubber suit? Really?
What really freaked my little mind out back then was what I didn't see. The unknown factor is what sent me behind the couch.
When recalling what films frightened me as a child, I always pointed to "To Kill A Mockingbird". Yes, that's what I said. There was a scene where Scout is returning home at night with her brother Jem and she is dressed in big clunky costume, (a ham I seem to remember), and they are walking through the woods. Someone jumps out to attack them - but you can't really see who it is or what is happening. Your imagination has to fill in the unknown.
"Blair Witch Project" also was unsettling for me because again, your imagination has to fill the details of all you do not see. There is no actual "Witch" in bad make up or a costume or CGI to pop up. The details are off screen.
I use this 'unknown' factor to run rampant in "Home Room Of Doom". The school may be under an ancient curse that turning students into mindless drones or perhaps the Zombie Apocalypse is underway. Everything that is creepy or scary is actually happening out in the hallway, just outside of the door to the classroom.
What is out in hall? The unknown. The students can only guess and of course, the audiences imagination will fill in something better than I can create. Or can it? (insert evil laughter here)
Play Dead on Google+