Short Comedy Collection
Includes SHEL SHOCKED and SIGNS OF TROUBLE.
Book/Item: SHEL'S SHORTS
Book Type: DPS
FEE: $75 per performance when produced together; $35 each when produced individually.
THE STORIES: Lauded poet, songwriter and author of children's books, the incomparable Shel Silverstein also wrote dozens of short plays, which are deeply infused with the same wicked sense of humor that made Silverstein famous.DREAMERS. Nick and Ritchie are plumbers trying to unclog a drain, but Ritchie's worried about a dream he had where he slept with another man. Nick tries to calm his fears. "It's symbolic," he tells Ritchie, just like the dreams Nick had of sleeping with his own mother and daughter. (2 men.) ALL COTTON. Jill is furious because the guaranteed not-to-shrink blouse she bought shrunk six sizes in the wash, and Rachel, the store clerk, won't give her a cash refund. But Jill, it seems, is a witch, and when she does not get satisfaction, she casts a spell on the store and everything in it. (2 women.) HARD HAT AREA. Pauley and Ed sit on a girder in a construction site. Pauley wears a hard hat, but Ed doesn't. While Ed eats his lunch, Pauley tries to convince him that he should take his destiny in his own hands and wear a hard hat so as not to be killed accidentally or he should kill himself but not just leave it to chance. (2 men.) ABANDON ALL HOPE. Al and Benny stand before a giant portal. A sign above the portal reads "Abandon all hope, ye who enter here." Benny is more than a little frightened, but Al has no intention of abandoning his hope, as the two debate the precise meaning of the sign. (2 men.) HANGNAIL. In a long monologue, a woman tries to remove a hangnail on one of her fingers. She has a variety of manicuring options, but each one has its benefits and perils. It's affecting her whole day, and she doesn't know what to do. (1 woman.) NO DOGS ALLOWED. Mr. and Mrs. Q are relaxing on a beach at an exclusive club, where a sign clearly states "No dogs allowed." Mr. Wills, the manager of the club, confronts Mrs. Q, asserting that Mr. Q is really a dog. Mrs. Q counters with various fantastical reasons to explain his hairy face, big black nose and habit of barking. (2 men, 1 woman.) NO SKRONKING. After reading a sign at the lunch counter that prohibits "skronking," Arnold becomes obsessed and relentlessly interrogates Bertha, a waitress, for its definition. The conversation goes in circles until Bertha suspects Arnold of having the dangerous potential of being a "skronker"…whatever that is. (1 man, 1 woman.) DO NOT FEED THE ANIMAL. Ann sits next to Vern on a park bench and notices his tiny box with a sign that reads "Do not feed the animal." She suddenly becomes irate while wondering what is so special about this mystery animal to deny her permission to feed it. As she stuffs a croissant in the box, she painfully finds out. (1 man, 1 woman.) CLICK. Valerie tries to relax by reading a magazine in the bathtub as Leonard irritatingly sits on the toilet seat playing Russian roulette. He tells her the bullet he put in the gun might be a blank. She tells him she switched his bullet with another that may be real. She insists that he finish his game. (1 man, 1 woman.) GONE TO TAKE A…B.J. is enraged when her employee, Arthur, leaves an explicit sign informing patrons that he has gone to take a…Well, B.J. can't even say the word—until Arthur pushes his boss to the limit. (1 man, 1 woman.) DUCK. Burt warns Morgan before entering a low doorway to "duck"—as the sign says. Little does Morgan know that there are actual ducks waiting to bite him on the other side. (2 men, 1 woman.) HAVE A NICE DAY. Ben, Al and Cyrus try to take the symbols for "Peace" and "Have a nice day" and combine them—believing that both of these ideas can coexist in one symbol. Trying to accomplish this leads to conflict and a lousy day. (3 men.) NO SOLICITING. Ed, a sign salesman with a sign for every occasion, tries to convince Nellie to purchase one. He suggests that Nellie and her husband select a sign for any number of occasions. Ed discovers that Nellie has a lot of issues regarding her husband, and he may not have all the signs she's looking for. (1 man, 1 woman.) GARBAGE BAGS. In this monologue, Sarah sits between monstrous stacks of garbage bags, grocery bags and cardboard boxes. As she recites her poem of refusing to take out the garbage, the bags move closer and closer, until she disappears. (1 woman.)