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I am so very happy

I just turned in, on time, one of the two final projects due today. As it happens, this particular project was to write a 10 minute play. So I’m going to post it here. Because it’s the best play ever,


Razor Cannon: A Cautionary Tale

Scene 1:
Fade into a dark, clear stage.
Voiceover: For years, the ninja has been exaggerated and twisted by Western media and pop culture sources. This is, of course, an affront to the true ninjas of the past and the present. In that spirit, we present to you
Dramatic pause
VO: Razor Cannon: A Cautionary Tale
At this, Eight or Ten people dressed up in the most overly stereotypical costumes costuming can come up with (black gi, etc.) run onstage and run about yelling. After a few moments of pandemonium, they all simultaneously stop, look at the audience for a beat, and run silently offstage.
Fade out.

Scene 2:
Fade in. There are three ninjas sitting around a low table, eating Chinese takeout food. Ninja 3 is reading a magazine.
Patrick: So Frank, how’s the family doing?
Frank: Pretty good. It’s getting harder to keep my job a secret; she’s stopped buying the ‘security guard’ ruse.
Patrick: What tipped her off?
Frank: She kept asking why I carried nunchuku instead of a pistol.
Patrick: So what’d you tell her instead?
Frank: I told her that I’m working at a secret research and development facility for the government. You know, million-dollar toilet stuff.
Patrick: Not bad for something you came up with on the fly.
Frank: Thanks. How’s your clan doing? Last I heard you had a few little Kopulskis to take care of yourself.
Patrick: They’re doing great; my oldest just enrolled in kindergarten this year.
Frank: Nice!
They both concentrate on eating for a while
Ninja 3: Hey, look at this: Light of the East just released their new model throwing stars! Check out the design: neutronium core for higher impact without slowing the angular momentum, Teflon coating for lower wind resistance… this baby’s got it all!
All crowd to look at the magazine
Frank: I must have this. I musthave this!
Fade out.

Scene 3:
Fade in. Frank is on the edge of the stage, not part of the action, narrating. There are two child ninjas on stage, one obviously with better ‘stuff’ than the other. The poor one is little Frank. The rich one spends the scene ninjing about, throwing stars with wild abandon. Little Frank spends much of his time being envious.
Frank: Ever since I was a child, I always envied the Lewinski clan for their traditional emphasis on the throwing star. The stars just seemed classier. But all my family could afford was a set of second-hand nunchuku
Little Frank looks disdainfully at the second-hand nunchuku he is holding
Frank: Over time, of course, I grew to master the nunchuku.
Little Frank starts swinging the nunchuku, at least somewhat skillfully.
Frank: But my true love was always with the throwing stars. And now I have the opportunity to realize my dream. I was going to save my money and buy a wall-mount plasma TV. But no! I will buy the Light of the East Razor Cannon model throwing star! And I will become their master!
Both children are somewhat unnerved at the ferocity with which Frank delivers this last.
Fade out

Scene 4:
Fade in. A department store. This is clearly a ninja department store, though, because there are laser tripwires, mines, and various other hazards strewn about. There is no visible movement, until Frank moves onstage from the left, followed by Patrick. Through the scene, they are navigating their way across the stage to the clearly markedShurikens-R-Us at the right.
Patrick: You sure you want to spend all that money? It’s just a shuriken, man.
Frank: Of course I’m sure! I’ve been waiting for this my entire life!
Patrick: But what about that TV? You knowhow nice it would be to watch football at ten million by 8 million pixels.
Frank: You will not weaken my resolve.
Patrick: You know that this is a brand new, top of the line model. Just wait a few years and the price’ll come way down.
Frank: And then I’d only be able to get second-hand models. I’m through with second-hand. Just this once in my life, I’m going all out. I’m going to–
Frank is currently walking on his hands, but not really paying attention to where he is putting them. He is noting the difficulty of making expressive gestures with your feet.
Patrick: Hey, watch that mine!
Frank: Thanks. This once in my life, I’m going to splurge, and there isn’t anybody who’s going to stop me.
Patrick: You haven’t ever even trained with shuriken, though!
Frank: I know. That was the grave deficiency of my childhood. I’m going to remedy it now.
Patrick: And you couldn’t do it with a cheaper model?
Frank: Not at all. To begin training for perfection when your weapon is less than perfect would be a grave waste of time and effort, because you would spent it familiarizing yourself with a thing you’re never going to use in the field.
They arrive at the store.
Patrick: Well, we’re here. You might as well get this over with.
They exit into the store. Fade out.

Scene 5:
Fade in. A training area with practice dummies, an expendable wall backing the dummies, and what appears to be the rear end of a locomotive. The rest of the locomotive is offstage. Patrick is coaching Frank in the use of his new toys.
Frank: Wow, this looks like a pretty nice training facility you’ve got.
Patrick: Yeah. It cost me a pretty penny, too. Though it was nothing in comparison-
Frank: I know, I know. You weep for my wallet.
Patrick: Ok, I’m going to start you off with darkness drills. You have to know where your opponent is at all times, so as not to rely on your physical senses.
Frank: Sounds pretty standard. Let’s go!
Patrick: Ok. Put one in the center of each of their chests.
He walks to a wall-mounted switch, flips it. All stage lights are extinguished. We hear two ‘fwip!’ noises, at which point the lights come back on. There is now half a shuriken buried in the center of each dummy’s chest.
Patrick: Not bad. Not bad at all. Now, I want you to cut their heads off. You get the light for this one.
Frank: Easy.
He throws two more shuriken; the head of each dummy falls.
Patrick: Ok. I think you’re ready for the challenge. I’m going to close all the doors, and start backing this locomotive into the room. You have to keep the train from crushing you without hurting yourself, or me. I’ll be standing in the cab.
Frank: I’ll be ready.
Patrick grins, then goes to another wall-mounted switch. The stage is now lit only by strobes. He crosses to the locomotive, gets in, starts backing it up. The train backs up amazingly slowly. It hits the backing wall, which falls with a crash.
Frank: This’ll be easy; I’ll just hit the brakes.
He throws, hits the brakes with a clang. The train is now backing up about twice as fast.
Frank: crap.
Patrick: Bad idea, Frank!
The train hits the nearest dummy and rolls over it with a loud crunching noise.
Frank: I know! I’ll shatter the engine ball bearings!
He throws, and we hear something shatter. The train is now moving only at its previous speed, but it is still definitely moving. Moreover, it is making ominous noises
Patrick: Not quite good enough, Frank.
The train hits the other dummy, making an even more horrible crunching than before.
Frank: I know, I know… Ah! I’ll take out the main pressure manifold!
Patrick: Frank! No!-
He throws. All lights go out immediately, and there is a sound of a huge explosion. End of scene.

Scene 6:
Fade in. Frank stands alone in center stage, lit by a single spotlight. There may be some small ambient glow in the background, but the spotlight is the main source of illumination.
Frank: Ladies and gentlemen, take an example from me. I lost all my hair and 35% of my skin in that explosion. I lost a good friend as well. But more than either of those, I lost my brand new, Light of the East, Razor Cannon shurikens.
Lights raise; we see that Frank is in a small padded room. There are no lasers. All that remains of his ninjaness is the gi, which has had the arms tied behind to make it into a ninja straightjacket.
Frank: Those shurikens were my life! I put so much into them, and now they’re gone! FOREVER!! I had the best shurikens ever, the GOOD shurikens, with NEUTRONIUM, and RAZORS, and they made me HAPPY! But now they’re GONE! There are NO MORE SHURIKENS!!
As Frank rants, we hear two voices superimposed over his yelling:
Female: Doctor, I think we need to up the dosage on his sedatives again.
Male: I agree. I completely agree.
As the scene fades to black, we hear Frank’s final plaintative yell: NO MORE SHURIKENS!!

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