March 13, 2010

Mountain Top

mount-olympus.jpgMy second script for Chicken Hat weekend. My prompts last night were Oscar Wilde, A Clown's Nose, and Olympus (the actual mountain, not the home of the gods) and I was writing for 2 men, plus a walk on by Kaylee Matuszak.

I had several false starts on this one, including a funny but ultimately unsustainable scene of 19th century authors downhill skiing, but finally focused on the parenthetical note about Olympus as my jump off point. It was, of course, my son, Simon, who threw that prompt in there. It is another of my more philosophical pieces returning to a common theme in my writing - the true believer meets the skeptic. Enjoy.

Don't read further if you don't want any spoilers.

Continue reading "Mountain Top" »

March 12, 2010

Sesame Street Blues

ernie_koekie.gifIt's time for another round of Chicken Hat plays, and so here is my original script for the day. The twist this time is that instead of writing one 10 minute show we are writing two 5 minute scenes, presumably 12 hours apart. I got one actor and a walk on and an optional off stage voice. I took that option.

I broke two cardinal rules in this script. Don't make your actors sing. Don't make your actors do impersonations. Yet, after the read through, I feel fairly confident this should be good.

My prompts were:

WHO: A Bitter Academic
WHAT: Harmonica
WHERE: Sesame Street
TIME: 11:00
WALK ON: Super Dave Anderson (area television meteorologist)

If you are coming tonight, don't read on unless you want spoilers.

Continue reading "Sesame Street Blues" »

November 17, 2008

A Man's World

I was looking for something else on my computer and stumbled upon this 4 year old script which, on second read, is pretty funny.

I wrote it for Out of the Hat, which is a 24 hour play project where the writers get prompts and have to write their scripts overnight. My prompts for this script were "A Condiment Taste-Tester," "Battle of the Sexes," and "A Radio Station." The opening line given to me was "Do I know you?" And I was writing for 1 man and 2 women. So here's A Man's World...

Continue reading "A Man's World" »

May 31, 2008

Manly Things

hunting_stand.jpgEven though my kids were in Ohio I have to wonder if they sent in prompts for my script that I wrote. My "who" was Napoleon Dynamite, an oft quoted movie in my family, and my "what" was a kumquat, which we think is one of the funniest named fruits ever. My "where" was a hunting stand and our common cameo was "Brian Matuszak," director of Rubber Chicken Productions.

The first few pages flowed fast for me but I kinda ran out of steam at the end, but I drew a great cast and I think they will sell it.

So, without further ado, I present "Manly Things"...

Continue reading "Manly Things" »

May 29, 2008


Mini-Jellybeans-Poster-C12134148.jpegIt's Out of the Hat time again, only now it's under new management, sorta, so it's called the Chicken Hat plays. At any rate, the rules are still the same and I have to produce a short play tonight and tomorrow night based on prompts.

My play I just finished for Friday night probably uses the prompts more literally than any play I've ever done.

Who: An Expensive Radio Consultant
What: A Hatful of Jellybeans
Where: A Dock

The different thing this time around is that each play on Friday will feature a cameo by Mayor Steve Anderson of Proctor.

Once again I return to a common theme of my plays. There's a true believer in conflict with a skeptic. I really should just call these the On the Couch Plays since I work out my own issues in them.

Continue reading "Ploink!" »

April 30, 2008

100 Questions or A Poem About a Tiger

For an assignment my kids were asked to write down 100 questions, so I decided to do the same. My own twist in the assignment was that the 100 questions had to make a comprehensible script. It's a script. I'll allow you, reader, to decide if it's comprehensible or not.

tyger.jpgZed: Who’s there?

Adam: Who do you think?

Zed: What took you so long? How is it out there?

Adam: How do you think it is out there in the gaping maw of the apocalypse or whatever it is?

Zed: How was it out there… today?

Adam: Do you think I could get a glass of something first?

Zed: What do you want?

Adam: Do we have any scotch left?

Zed: Don’t you remember using the last of it to clean Malden’s wounds?

Adam: That was the last of it?

Zed: You didn’t know that?

Adam: How is Malden, then?

Zed: Any guess why my hands are so dirty?

Adam: You buried him then?

Zed: How about some beer? Would you like a glass?

Adam: Is it clean?

Zed: Is anything here clean? So, how was your journey? How is it out there?

Adam: Do you remember snowglobes? You know how you would look at a snowglobe and everything looks so peaceful and then you turn it upside down and shake it until it’s all just a swirling chaos? Now can you imagine our whole world as a snowglobe in the hands of some cosmic kid? Does that paint a picture?

Continue reading "100 Questions or A Poem About a Tiger" »

April 22, 2008

Blogger X - A Drama

Blogger X - I like X! X makes me happy!

Commenter 1 - I give tacit support for your love of X, but somewhat less enthusiastic support than yours.

Commenter 2 - I point out certain deficits in X, but affirm Blogger X as having the right to hold that opinion.

Commenter 3 - I don't like X because of some childhood trauma.

Commenter 4 - I don't like X because of its negative impact on the environment, cultural morals, or because X is a cheap imitation of Z.

Commenter 5 - I affirm Z as being better. X sucks.

Commenter 6 - X sucks.

Commenter 7 - X sucks more than Z but Z sucks too.

Commenter 8 - X sucks and Blogger X sucks.

Commenter 9 - I defend Blogger X and cast aspersions upon Commenter 8.

Commenter 8 - Commenter 9 sucks.

Commenter 1 - I try to calm everyone down.

Commenter 8 - Commenter 1 is a self righteous prig.

Commenter 5 - I roll my eyes.

Admin - Stop it.

Commenter 8 - Admin sucks.

Commenter 7 - Yeah, what Commenter 8 said.

Admin - Ban.

Commenter 8 as Commenter 10 - You all suck. I launch into a diatribe against everybody.

Admin - Come on guys.

Commenter 1 - This used to be such a good blog.

Commenter 3 - This is all Blogger X's fault, really.

Blogger X - Meh?

November 10, 2007

Katie & Martin

luther13.jpgAs long as I'm posting plays, I thought I'd pull this one out of the attic. I wrote this one about 10 years ago. It was the final "paper" for a class on Martin Luther. I was reminded it of it recently when I was watching Luther, the 2003 film starring Joseph Fiennes. I think the love life of Katharina von Bora and Martin Luther would make a fun romantic comedy in the mold of Tracy and Hepburn. Tell me what you think.

Katie & Martin

Dramatis Personae

Conrad - chorus and narrator
Martin - reformer, theologian, monk
Katie - an escaped nun
Koppe - a merchant
Wolf - Koppe's nephew
Jerome - a young scholar
Amsdorf - a professor
Various Nuns and Townspeople

Scene 1

Conrad - This is a tale of love and marriage, made more remarkable because the two people in question are a monk and a nun. The monk is none other than Martin Luther. (gestures toward Martin) At the beginning of our story it has been five years since he posted his famous 95 theses on the eve of All Saints' Day in 1517 and almost a full year since he appeared before the Diet at Worms. (pronounced "vorms" with an "o" as in "gore")

Continue reading "Katie & Martin" »

Kiss Me? Please...

burundi_ants.jpgHere's my second Out of the Hat script for this go around. While I think it's a pretty funny script it's definitely one of my more philosophical scripts, but the prompts just sort of directed me that way. Can't help it, can I? I mean, if your prompts were an ant hill, a Dunkin' Donut, and Bruce Lee, wouldn't you get all philosophical too?

You wouldn't?

Maybe it's just me then...

Continue reading "Kiss Me? Please..." »

June 13, 2007

Out of the Hat


Continue reading "Out of the Hat" »

June 8, 2007

What Just Happened

copierroom.JPGWell, here's my second Out of the Hat installment for the weekend. My prompts for tonight were:

Who: The traveling TB patient
What: copier machine
Where: in a UPS truck

I sort of cheated in that my Who became my What and my What became my Where and my Where became my Who... but who cares?

I really like this script not because it's brilliant, but because it's brilliantly simple. It is definitely an actor's script. It should be easy to learn and quick to put up on its feet and good actors should have a ball with it.

Anybody who has done improv will recognize immediately that this is based on an old short form game called "emo replay" where you do a simple scene over several times with different emotional overlays. This is really no more than a scripted form of that.

Continue reading "What Just Happened" »

June 7, 2007

Home of the Brave

suspect.scarlet.jpgIt's Out of the Hat time again, so I'm writing a short play for tomorrow night and for Saturday night based on prompts drawn (where else?) out of a hat.

This time around for the 8 short plays each night, 2 of the writers will share the same prompts so the audience can see what different directions the set of prompts can take the writers. These were the prompts for Lauren Fleischman and me...

Who: Bruce Wayne
What: heart-shaped tattoo with the name “Bubba” in it
Where: a house where there’s been a murder

It's going to be performed Friday night at Renegade Comedy Theater, but you can read it here first!

Continue reading "Home of the Brave" »

June 3, 2007

Paul Live

paullivemic.jpgAbout 14 years ago some friends and I wrote, produced, and performed a play called "The Reduced Bible - from Genesis to Revelation in 60 minutes or less or your money back." A few years ago I rewrote a few parts of it and made them into self standing one acts. This week I rewrote Paul Live, in which all of the Epistles of Paul are reimagined as a radio call-in show, and it was performed at the church I in which I grew up in Wapakoneta, Ohio. Here's the whole thing for anyone who wants to read it.

It can also be found on

If you want to perform this piece, I remind my gentle readers that everything on this site is under a Creative Commons license.

Continue reading "Paul Live" »

January 13, 2007

The Funeral Lady

rhspic_funeral.jpgOut in the sanctuary sits the funeral lady in her fake fur coat and garish head scarf. She is old and I only see her at funerals. In the last three years I've been here she's been at almost every funeral I've presided over. She's not a member of the church. I've heard her name, but it has slipped from memory. She always lets me know how much the deceased meant to her and how she knew the whole family, but that's an act. She's just the funeral lady. Like a grim reaper with bad fashion sense I can trust her to show up on the scene.

I'm not sure what her motivation is. Maybe it's the food, as funerals are always at least decently catered affairs. Maybe it's the company. Maybe it's a way of showing respect to the dead, even the anonymous dead. Maybe it's just something for an old woman to do. Maybe she just likes the words of solace and hope associated with funerals. Maybe I'll never know.

I imagine her sitting at home with cats mewling as she drinks her instant coffee and scans the obituaries to plan her social agenda for the week. On her formica kitchen table are little porcelain salt and pepper shakers in the shape of a little boy and a little girl, chipped here and there revealing the white interior. On a corner shelf, among painted plates on display, is a picture of her in her younger years full of hope and plans for the future. She sits, lithe and young, on the hood of a car her skirt pulled over her knees. Next to her sits her husband-to-be back in the day when love and lust meant the same thing. Full of hormones they pause to pose for the camera, holding hands, placing their libidos in check for a brief instant as the shutter clicks and captures the image. Later there will be tears and shouting, but that moment of happiness and chemistry is captured for all time.

What does she think about as she sits in the pew? Does she worry about being found out as a funeral crasher? Does she concoct stories of how she knew the deceased spinning plausible lies in her head? Does she convince herself that she really knew these people that she mourns now? Or do these countless funerals stand in for her own loss? What is her own personal liturgy as she hears Amazing Grace sung for the ten thousandth time? What do the well worn words of the twenty third psalm mean to her as she recites them again and again?

She is a mystery. She is the funeral lady.

December 2, 2006

It’s Hummer Time!

h2-hummer-limousine.jpgThis script was written for the second night of Out of the Hat 7, June of 2006. It's not one of my stronger scripts, but it was fun to write nonetheless. In the performance I particularly like how the actors used a music stand for the partition between the front and back of the limo and would slide it up and down while the tech would bump up the ever present music when the partition was down. My prompts were:

Who: Cleopatra
What: Osama bin Laden’s Turban
Where: Back Seat of a Car
Common Line: “There’s a first time for everything.”
Cast: 2 Men, 2 Women

It’s Hummer Time!
by Lawrence Lee

June 10, 2006

Arnold – Chauffeur
Karen – Chauffeur in training
MP - Male Partier
FP - Female Partier
Cop – Offstage voice

[Loud party music blares. Lights up. Music fades down to the sound of loud music being muffled. The distinct sound of squeaking can be heard. Arnold and Karen are sitting in the front seat of a car. Karen’s arms are folded. Arnold is working on a crossword puzzle. The car is rocking.]

Karen: Does this happen often?

Arnold: Hmm? Oh, yes, sometimes the client asks us to go someplace, you know, romantic. I usually take them up here to the Coppertop parking lot. Lovely view.

Karen: I think you and I are the only ones appreciating the view.

Continue reading "It’s Hummer Time!" »

A Monotonous Succession of Jello Salads

27964398_f86a51f060_m.jpgThis is one of my favorite scripts I have written for Out of the Hat and probably one of my most personal. I have way too much experience with what Amy calls "the talk." This was written for Out of the Hat 7 in June of 2006 and my prompts were:

Who: The Devil
What: A Pineapple
Where: A Church
Common Line: “But, is it contagious?”
Cast: 2 Women

A Monotonous Succession of Jello Salads
Lawrence Lee

June 9, 2006

Amy – A young woman about to be ordained.
Emily – Amy’s sister, a rock singer.

Emily: Amy! Amy, what the hell are you doing here in the Sunday School room? They are lining up. Mom’s worried sick about you.

Amy: (sobbing, trying to push her tears away) I know, I know. I just… I’m not doing it, Emily. They can’t make me. I’m not going up there. (tries to compose herself)

Emily: Come again? Because I thought I just heard my little sister say that after years of school, hundreds of papers, thousands of dollars of loans, dozens of interviews, and numerous late night phone calls to her big sister, she’s not going through with ordination?

Amy: Yep, that’s pretty much it.

Continue reading "A Monotonous Succession of Jello Salads" »

December 1, 2006

Plastic Dreams

astroe.jpgIn Out of the Hat 3 I struck pay dirt. Plastic Dreams was not only a hilarious script, I drew amazing actors for the production. My prompts were:

Who: Barbie
What: Palm Pilot
Where: Hockey Game
Opening Line: "Goodnight everybody, and be kind."
Cast: 3 Men, 1 Woman

This show brought the house down when it was first performed and was performed again as a directing project at the College of St. Scholastica.

Plastic Dreams
by Lawrence Lee
June 5, 2004

BARBIE - a real live Barbie doll
KEN - a real live Ken doll
MARTY - friend of Ken's, regular joe
SAM - another friend of Ken's

MUSIC The closing strains of the Star Spangled Banner as if being played on a hockey rink organ.

LIGHTS up on KEN and MARTY standing at attention, hats off (if any), hands over hearts. KEN is rigidly at attention. MARTY less so.

BARBIE (from offstage, bubbly) Goodnight everybody, and be kind! And Budweiser wants everyone to get home safely so drink responsibly! (giggles) Bu-bye! Bu-bye!

KEN & MARTY (sit)

SAM (enters carrying beers and food) Did I miss it?

MARTY Oh yeah...

SAM Damn! How was it?

MARTY Let me put it this way, Ken you are one lucky S O B.

KEN Thanks, Marty! And, yes, I feel lucky. Lucky to live in such a great country. To know the fruits of freedom that so many men - and women - have fought for and laid down their lives. Yes, I am a lucky man.

Continue reading "Plastic Dreams" »

Go Your Own Way

Fleetwood%20Mac%2012-10-78.jpgThis is my second Out of the Hat script. I wasn't feeling in a very silly mood when I wrote this so this became the first Out of the Hat drama in the second night of the second Out of the Hat in December of 2003.

My prompts were:

Who: Mickey Mouse
What: Dark Swiss Chocolate
Where: Fleetwood Mac Concert
Cast: 2 Women

I'm very pleased with this script and it was performed again in December of 2005 in a series of student directed pieces at the College of St. Scholastica.

Go Your Own Way
by Lawrence Lee
December, 2003

Liz: Woman in her early forties, dressed stylishly, but not frumpy. Maybe artistically.
Beth: 15 year old, dressed somewhat retro, circa 1979, perhaps a bit provocatively.

(lights up, music up on Fleetwood Mac song, loud at first so that Liz has to shout her opening few lines, but fading as scene continues)

Liz: Amanda! Amanda Mae Barnes, where are you? (as if struggling through crowd) Ah, there you are! (grabs Liz's shoulder from behind, turns her around) How dare you go to this concert without my... (take) Oh, I'm sorry, I thought you were...

Beth: Somebody else, yeah, I got that... (turns back around, moving to music)

Liz: (not knowing what to do) Excuse me, but, I'm looking for my daughter.

Continue reading "Go Your Own Way" »

Campbell of the Mounties and the Maple Syrup Plot

craig-mountie.gifI decided after the good response my last two Out of the Hat scripts got I'd put my previous scripts up here just for fun.

This is my first Out of the Hat script and it was written for the second Out of the Hat in December of 2003. My prompts were:

Who: A Canadian Mountie
What: The Shrinking Machine from "Honey I Shrunk the Kids"
Where: Beach
Cast: 1 Man, 1 Woman

Well, this was my first attempt, and it shows. It was far too ambitious for a script people only had 1 day to work on, but it is still a fun read. Enjoy!

Campbell of the Mounties and the Maple Syrup Plot
by Lawrence Lee
December, 2003

Man - Tour Guide, Reginald Campbell, Arnold Schwarzenegger
Woman - Thief, Border Guard, Star Banner

Scene 1

(museum interior, a stand in the middle with a bottle with a black cloth draped over it)

Tour Guide: (enters from audience, to audience) And we're walking, we're walking, we're walking, stop. Here is the last exhibit on our tour of the Canadian Heritage Museum, eh. This is the last known bottle of John McIntosh's famous batch of 1954 maple syrup, known world wide for its extraordinary purity. It is rated by the Canadian Maple Syrup Board as being 100% pure which gives it certain special qualities. Please put on your protective glasses. (puts on glasses and uncovers case with one bottle of maple syrup) The syrup is of such unsurpassed quality that anyone looking at it unaided could actually be blinded. Canadian Maple Syrup scientists are still discerning its special properties. (recovers syrup) It's been a real pleasure to be your tour guide. Now, if you'll follow me, we'll finish the tour at the Canadian Heritage gift shop where you can purchase Bachman Turner Overdrive albums and autographed photos of William Shatner.

Continue reading "Campbell of the Mounties and the Maple Syrup Plot" »

November 4, 2006


bloodelffemale2.jpgEvery so often one writes a script that you know you will want to share with your great grand children some day. Something that will stand the test of time. Something that, when you finish it, you feel as if you actually transcended your own ability as an artist and have gone to another plane, another level.

This is not one of those scripts.

My prompts for today's script were:

Who: Victoria’s Secret Salesperson
What: A Dripping Faucet
Where: A Glass House
Opening Line: “Watch out!”

and I was writing for two women.

So naturally I wrote a script about World of Warcraft.

Part of this script was inspired by a game my daughter and I do in which we take a sentence or phrase and repeat it over and over with as many different interpretations as possible.

Continue reading "Again" »

November 3, 2006

Signs of Intelligent Life

vla1_grande.jpgI'm writing for Out of the Hat again, which is a 24 hour project where the writers draw out of a hat (literally) a who, what, where, and, this time around, an opening line and have to write an approximately 10 minute script overnight. My prompts for today's script?

Who: Oprah
What: Gummi Bears
Where: Elmo’s World
Opening Line: “Oh… I see.”

Oddly, three of these prompts were placed in the hats by my daughter. What are the odds?

So, lucky you, you can read my play before it's performed tonight. I remind gentle readers that all writings on this site are under a Creative Commons License.

Continue reading "Signs of Intelligent Life" »

October 8, 2006

An Autumn Tale

NFP-1-4%20Frosted%20Red%20Maple%20Leaf-John%20Bryan%20State%20Park-Oh.jpgA man lived side by side with his neighbor for years in harmony, though they spoke barely a word to each other. In consideration of each other, they always kept their lawns mowed and their hedges trimmed. Nods and smiles and waves were freely given to each other as they were working in their yards or going on their way to work.

The maple tree in his neighbor's yard was of particular joy to the man. Every fall it turned a stunning red for a few weeks before losing its leaves. Those days were brief, but were of unparalleled beauty while they lasted.

One year when the leaves fell the man found that, because of the storm the night before, nearly all of the crimson leaves from his neighbor's tree had fallen into his lawn. Grudgingly he spent the morning raking the leaves out of his yard. The more he raked, the more anger he felt toward his neighbor. When his neighbor returned from a fishing trip later that day the man spoke gruffly to him about the leaves from his tree. The neighbor, caught off guard by the man's harsh words, apologized and promised it would never happen again.

The following year, when fall was creeping in, the man came back from a long weekend at his cabin to find a stump in his neighbor's yard where the tree used to be.