Babes on Farms

08.01.201818 Min Read — In Scratch Theater

A rag-tag group of actors have to put on a show and save a farm, all in one short summer. Inspired by the Mickey and Judy films and Summer Stock. This play is an homage to the Mickey and Judy backyard musicals. There are multiple opportunities to play/write your own songs.

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place: New York City time: 1950s Characters: Victoria Bloom Producer Faye Tyler Cook Assistant Katie Owens Mickey Tessa This play is an homage to the Mickey and Judy backyard musicals. There are multiple opportunities to play/write your own songs. VICTORIA BLOOM is at an audition. She is in her best outfit with her hair freshly done. She belts out her audition song and ends big. She pauses, waiting for a response that could change her life. PRODUCER Next!

VICTORIA BLOOM is at an audition. She is in her best outfit with her hair freshly done. She belts out her audition song and ends big. She pauses, waiting for a response that could change her life. PRODUCER Next! Blackout. Lights up. Victoria enters the drugstore and takes a seat. The waitress, FAYE, spots her. Faye Hi, there. What can I get you? Victoria Oh hi. Is Jenny here? Faye Nope, she got a job and is now in rehearsals over on 43rd. Victoria Really? That’s great, except now I can’t complain to her about me not being able to get a job. Faye You can complain to me. I am Faye, after all. It’s my job to help you. Victoria I don’t know. I don’t want to bother you. Faye That’s fine, I have plenty of tables I could be- Victoria It’s just that I go out day after day and sing my heart out day after day, and I can never book a job. Faye You’re a singer? Victoria The best. Faye You’re pretty confident. Victoria Aren’t we all? You can’t face this kind of rejection without knowing in your heart of hearts that you’re the best. Faye I suppose that’s true. Victoria I’m not saying I should get a big lead on Broadway right away. I want to pay my dues, but no one will give me the chance. I also want to pay my rent, but pretty soon that is going to be impossible as well. Faye Where are you living? Victoria Over at Miss Porter’s House for Girls. It’s a wonderful establishment, but it just makes you realize how many actresses there really are. When you grow up in a small town with more trees than people, it seems like New York is going to be yours. There are a million other girls just like me and we’re all trying to get the same parts. I just don’t know what to do anymore. Faye Why don’t you figure it out over a nice cup of coffee and a good slice of pie. Victoria I’ve only got a dime. Faye So just the coffee, then. I’ll be right back with that. Victoria studies her dime when she hears TYLER directing the COOK behind the counter. Tyler No no no, that’s not how you do it. Cook I’ve been making eggs and toast and everything else you can imagine for forty years now. I think I know what I’m doing. Tyler Yes, congratulations, you’re old, but that’s not what I asked for. I said specifically, sunny side up with sausage, beans, tomato, and toast. This will be my only meal until I sing for my supper and I would like it to be a good one. Cook If you wanted a good meal, you shouldn’t have come here. Cook slops the food on a plate and pushes it across the counter. Tyler takes it and starts to eat. Faye walks by Victoria. Victoria Excuse me- Faye You change your mind about that pie? Victoria No, I’m still poor. Who’s that boy? The one at the counter. Faye Oh that’s Tyler. Thinks he’s a great director but really just likes to boss everyone around. Maybe if he had an actual show he could be useful but as such- meh. He also sings on the street corners, pays us all in pennies most nights. He’s a great tipper, though, so we put up with him. Faye continues her work as Victoria looks at her watch. She hears crying and approaches KATIE OWENS, sniffling behind her newspaper. Victoria Hey, why are you crying? Katie ignores her. Victoria (continued) Is there something upsetting in the newspaper? Was it your coffee? Please tell me it wasn’t your coffee since I just spent my last ten cents on a cup of my own. Katie I’m going home. Victoria And you don’t like home? Katie Home doesn’t have Broadway. Home has cows, pig feed, and chickens. Home doesn’t have the lights, the action, the excitement. Home has chores, tractors, and Tessa. Victoria Well, if you hate it so much, why are you going back? Katie Because no one will let me write. Victoria Oh, so you’re a writer. Katie The best. But no one’s hiring anyone right now. I came here to be an assistant, or a coffee girl, or an anything - I know I could work my way up from anything. But I can’t even get near Broadway, let alone work on it. Victoria You know, I’m having the same problem. Nobody wants what’s new, just what’s old and what they know will sell. They’re a bunch of cowards who wouldn’t know a real talent if it came up and hit them in the face. Katie I don’t think they’d hire someone who hit them in the face. Victoria I guess not. But how else would you show them how good you are? Katie I just need someone great to sing my songs. That’s all I want. That and some pie. Victoria I’ll go get us some. My tab is already impossible to pay, might as well add another five cents. Victoria goes to the counter and waits behind PRODUCER, who is raving to his ASSISTANT. Producer I’m telling you, Rollerman, there’s just nothing out there. Day after day we’ve been working on this show and it’s just awful. Never gets any better no matter what I do. I fired the director and hired a new one. I fired the writer and hired a new one. I fired the composers, the musicians, the actors, and the stage hands and hired all new ones. The show is still a big stinking flop! How am I supposed to put on the next big Broadway show if I’ve got no big Broadway show? Assistant is scribbling notes. Producer (CONTINUED) What are you writing down? Are you just writing what I’m saying? Stop it. Stop it. No, don’t write me saying stop it, just stop it. You know, I have a right mind to stop paying you $15 a week. Argh, let’s just go back. It’s useless talking to you. He bumps into Victoria. Producer (continued) Oh, sorry, sweetheart. Sometimes I can’t see what’s right in front of my nose. Carry on. Victoria is about to order her pie, when she gets an idea. She runs back to Katie. Victoria We wanna be in the next big Broadway show, right? Katie Right. Victoria So why not just put it on ourselves? Katie Because a Broadway show requires performers, money, and a Broadway theater. Do you know how much it costs to rent a Broadway theater? Victoria But what if we didn’t have to rent it? What if we created a great show and got other people to put it on Broadway? Katie How are we supposed to do that? No one will hire us. Victoria You can write songs and a script, right? Katie Of course. Victoria And I can sing, and look around, we’re surrounded by performers and musicians just begging for a job. Katie We need a star dancer, though. You can’t have a big Broadway show without a star dancer. Faye pirouettes by. Victoria Hey, hey you. Faye Oh I’m sorry, I forgot your coffee. I’ll be right back. Victoria No no no, what was that? What were you just doing? Are you a dancer? Faye The best. Victoria How would you like to be in the next big Broadway show? Faye Are you a producer? Victoria No, but we’re gonna put on a show so great that the producers are gonna come a-runnin’ to us. Faye So you’re a director too? Victoria Shoot. I can’t star and direct, I’m not Ben Affleck, amiright?! Faye Who? Victoria spots Tyler at the counter. Tyler This pie is horrible. Too much blueberry, not enough butter, and the ice cream is melty. I’ll have a second piece, please. Victoria Hey, bossypants. Tyler Excuse me? Victoria You’re a director, right? Tyler Yes, how’d you know? Did you see my beloved production of the Passion in my Iowa City church? It was a big hit there. Victoria No, I mostly saw you being really annoying with the cook. But then I asked and heard you were a director. Tyler One hundred percent. What do you need? Victoria We need you to direct. Not to boss us around, but actually direct us. We’re going to put on a new show that’ll bring in investors and producers and that will be so good that they will have absolutely no choice but to put it on Broadway. Tyler Will I get a share of the backend? Victoria What? No, this isn’t an international action franchise. You’ll get what we all get. Victoria gets up on a stool in the front. Victoria (continued) Kids, kids! Anyone who wants to be in the next big Broadway show, meet me- Realizes her problem. Victoria (continued) Oh no, we don’t have anywhere to meet. If we can’t rehearse, we can’t put on the show. Katie gets up. Katie Everybody meet tomorrow morning at Owens Farms. That’s where we’ll rehearse and that’s where we’ll show everyone what we’re made of. Victoria All right, everyone, you heard the girl. Owens Farms tomorrow morning, 6am sharp! Blackout. Lights up. We’re at Owens Farms. Katie surveys the actors, who are all gathering around next to the barn. Tyler Good turnout. Looks like we’ve got dancers, singers, actors. Faye Yeah, I can’t wait to choreograph this thing. Katie I’ve already got a bunch of great ideas. Victoria Oh, this is all so exciting. Victoria climbs up onto a tractor. Victoria (continued) All right, everyone. I’m Victoria Bloom and these are my friends, Tyler McFixin, Faye Falloway, and Katie Owens. We’ll be writing, directing, choreographing, and leading this show. Katie Wait, where are the musicians? I need at least one person to play with me, I can only do piano. MICKEY raises his hand and moves to the front. Mickey I’m a musician. I can play pretty much every instrument, but the drums and the trumpet are my favorites. Katie Perfect. Faye So wait- what’s this play about? Tyler Yeah, I can’t start directing until I have something to direct. Everyone looks at Katie. Katie Um. It’s about- Mickey We can’t hear you! Katie trades places with Victoria on the tractor. Katie It’s’s about uhhh.. The crowd grows restless. Katie (continued) It’s about a tiger! No, I mean, it’s about a zookeeper! No...It’s about a farmer! It’s about a farmer’s daughter, and she meets this great guy, but he’s a city boy, and he’s a reporter and they meet and it’s all about whether she’ll stay and take over the family farm or if she’ll go into the city with the boy and live there. Mickey Do you have a song yet? If you just have a melody, I can play along. Katie moves into the barn, followed by everyone. She sits at the piano. Katie This is a song I’ve been working on. It’s when the reporter and the farmer’s daughter talk about getting married, but before they’ve talked about where they’ll live. Victoria Why don’t we all sing along? That way we’ll all learn it. Katie One, two, one two three four- She plays a song, with everyone singing along. Tyler That’s fantastic. I can see it now. Victoria, the farm girl who has always been yearning for more, meets the big city boy, played by Mickey. They meet cute and get along, but then Victoria’s sisters, Faye and Katie, see their future threatened. Their dad is old and weak, and if they don’t have all three girls working then they’ll lose the farm. Will Victoria stay and keep her family intact, keep them from losing the farm, or will she run off to New York and live with the city boy? Hot diggity, this is gonna be one great show. Faye And I’ll be a dancer, who’s given up my own dreams for the sake of my family. That would make me extra mad if she tried to run off. And all our dancers and singers can play the farm animals and I can choreograph great routines to really bring this place to life. Mickey And I can get some of my musician friends to come here and be the band. I know some drummers, some guitar players, some really swell harmonica players- it’ll be amazing. Victoria Yeah, we’ll be able to work all day and all night on this show, rehearsing until we’re about to drop! Katie Actually...we’ll need to spend about half our time working. Victoria I know, we’ll be working around the clock. Katie No, I mean...this is a working farm. Which means that if we all want to sleep here and eat here, we’re all going to have to work here. Tyler What are you talking about? Do you own a shop or something? Katie Well, we have cows, chickens, pigs, and crops. We have to feed the animals, milk the cows, take the eggs from the chickens, farm the crops. Mickey How do you feed the pigs? Katie You have to take the slop to the trough. Faye The what to the what? Katie You need to pour a bucket of slop into those things next to the fence. You’ll need to get at least a quart of milk out of each cow every morning. And you’ll have to take at least six eggs from the chickens every day. You’ll also have to clean the coop, the barn, and the pig pen. Does anyone know how to drive a tractor? Mickey I can’t even drive a Ford. The crowds grows restless and doubtful. Faye Hey hey hey, quit complaining, everyone. I don’t wanna see those sour faces, I don’t wanna hear those boring complaints. We’ve got the chance to put on a great show. Who cares if we’re cleaning up muddy pigs, or sticking our hands in a dirty chicken coop, or milking a giant cow that wants none of it. We’ve got our shot right now. Mickey But we’re gonna look so bad. I can’t wear overalls and a straw hat, I just can’t. Tyler Yeah, I don’t want to give up my sharp three piece suits. I don’t wanna look like a farmer! Mickey All the other actors in the city are gonna be looking so much better than us. Faye Who cares what they’re wearing on Main Street or Saville Row? Katie Yeah, it’s what you wear from ear to ear and not from head to toe. Tyler All right, we’ll do it. But only if we can at least make some butter and cheese and grind some bread. I’m seriously hungry. Katie Do you know how to make bread, butter, and cheese? Tyler No? Katie Then no. Victoria All right, everyone. Dancers go with Faye, singers with me, and Katie will finish writing the show. Keep your chins up, folks, because I think this is gonna be pretty terrific. Let’s go! Blackout. Lights up. Katie is at the piano with Tyler and Mickey, writing, when her sister, Tessa, stomps in. Tessa Kaitlin Elizabeth Owens, why are there hoofers and songstresses all over my farm? Did you know that they’re milking the cows and making facial masks with the pig mud? What in this crazy World War II era world is going on? Katie We’re putting on a show.< Tessa This again? I don’t understand why you insist on being a songwriter when you’ve got family right here. We need you, Katie. Katie Well I need to write. I’m sorry I don’t love milking the cows, collecting the eggs, and slaughtering the pigs for bacon. It’s just not who I am. Tyler You guys have bacon? Where can I get in on that action? Mickey Tyler, we have to work on these songs, not dream about those delicious slices of the best smelling food in the world. Actually, maybe having some bacon isn’t such a bad idea. Tyler pops open the fridge. Tyler Is there any apple cider in here? I could really go for a cold cup. Tessa What? Who are you people? No free bacon. Katie, we grew up here. Being a farmer is absolutely who you are. Nobody can get milk from Betsy like you can. She just listens to you. Tyler Cows can hear us? Do you think she got offended today when I called her a stubborn old cow and said her spots were ugly? Mickey Do the cows ever talk back? I know that’s a silly question...but do they? Because it would be much easier to get the eggs if I could just ask the chickens for them. Tessa Ugh, actors. Kaitlin, I have only been able to make $15 dollars a week off that cow. If you came back we’d be making at least $30. Katie Really? Don’t you think you’re being a bit dramatic? You’re a great farmer. Why don’t you just hire someone? Tessa Because people cost money. Tyler You’re going to buy people?! Mickey That ain’t right. Tessa Why am I suddenly in a vaudeville routine?! Katie! Katie Look, Tessa. I know things have been hard around here. I haven’t exactly been living it up in New York. Believe me, if I were making anything I would send it home. But for now, you are on your own. But you need to hire someone. If you get a worker, you will get more done. If you get more done, you will make more money. Tessa Oh I’m sorry, I forgot about that time you studied agricultural economics at the school of j’enough! We can’t get a worker because we still need a new tractor. I can only borrow so much money from the bank. Which reminds me...If we don’t make enough in the next few months, or at least show that we can make enough, they’ll take the farm away. Tyler Is this because you plowed under your corn and built a baseball field? Tessa Why are you still standing here? Mickey takes out a glass jug of milk. Mickey Is this one percent? Katie Maybe we could invite the bank to come here and see our show. Maybe we can split the profit. We, the Farm Town Players, can take half to pay for everyone’s work, and the farm can take the other half. Tessa Who is going to come to see this show? We are in the middle of nowhere. Katie We’re only an hour away from the city. Tessa It might as well be a day for all the rich city folk. You know how they feel about us upstate people. We might as well be invisible. Tyler We could bus everyone in. Mickey Road trip! Tyler No, I’m serious. We can perform a number on a street corner and tell people all about our show. Then we can sell tickets for a bus ride and a show and get them all there. Look how many actors are here now. And think about what people will see. People who come to see this show will like the farm. They will see all the space to put on a show. They will see that the barn can fit all the actors. They will see that the farm can feed all the actors. Mickey Yeah, I see where you’re going. They will see that they do not have to pay the actors that much, because they will get their food and their drinks from here. And they will not have to pay much for the farm, because the actors will do the work to help out. Producers will be itching to get their hands on this place. Katie We would make more money off one show than we could in one month of Betsy and the rest of the animals. Tessa I don’t know. It sounds like a big risk. If this blows up in our faces, if nobody shows up and we’ve wasted our time, I’ll be left with no money and no way of hiring anyone, and thus I will lose the farm. Tyler This is going to be a hit because I am directing it. And Katie is writing the music. And because everyone who is in this show is just terrific and will be wonderful on stage. Mickey I know you don’t know us. And I know you don’t like us. But please. Let us stay and we will show you how great it is going to be. Tessa Hmm. I suppose, that maybe, perhaps, can stay. Katie, Mickey, and Tyler cheer. Tessa (continued) But you need to pack this barn with people and you need to put this show on fast. I can only support so many people in this place. Tyler Oh, thank you, Tessa, thank you so much. Mickey Yeah, you’re a real lifesaver. Tyler A real peach! Tessa All right, all right. I get it. I’m fabulous. What’s new. Katie Thanks, Tessa. I really appreciate it. And don’t worry, I’m going to make this family proud. Tessa You’d better, or else this family is over. Blackout. Lights up. Faye is backstage with her dancers when Tyler storms in. Tyler All right people. We have been working for three straight weeks and we barely have a show. Faye Actually, we just have this one number left. Tyler Well it might as well be fifty, Faye. Am I the only one who cares about this show? Faye How dare you, sir. I know you’ve been working really hard, but we’ve all been working really hard. These kids have been up until three a.m. every night just to get this choreography correct. Judy there is dancing on a broken toe, Daniel pulled every leg muscle, and Mary Beth broke both her shoulders but you don’t see them coming in here and complaining. No. They’re here, doing their job. I haven’t even seen you in the last three weeks. Tyler That is because I have been busy directing. Faye Oh really. Because all I’ve seen you do is hang out with cows and eat bacon. Tyler Those cows are my friends! Mickey busts in. Mickey Hey, what’s all the shouting for? Faye This joker thinks we haven’t been working just as hard as he has and he’s upset that we’re only nearly done and not completely done. Tyler Well I’m sorry your dainty feelings have been hurt, but we open in ten minutes! Faye And we will be ready. Mickey Faye, what dance are you working on right now? Faye Just the last number. I only have the first verse, though. Katie and Victoria run in. Katie We finished! We finished. Tyler You have the last song? Katie Almost. Tyler You just said you were finished. Katie We are, but the song’s not done. Tyler Do we not have the same definition of that word? Katie I’m done with my part, but now we need Mickey to help us. Mickey You want me to help you write? Katie You’re the only one who plays all these different instruments. You can add the finishing touches. As long as you don’t change anything I’ve written or add anything new. Mickey Okay. Looks at the sheet paper. Mickey (continued) This looks really terrific. How about if we did this...and this...and ooh, let’s add a couple notes here...this is really great. This is really going knock their socks off. We’ll have that producer’s card in no time. Tyler All right, Victoria. You really think you can sing this? Victoria Of course. Tyler And Faye, you can definitely dance this? Faye Um, duh. Tyler Katie and Mickey, you guys can play this? Katie Are you really asking me that? Mickey Yeah, Tyler. Stop wasting our time with useless questions. We’ve got a show to put on. They look out at the audience and spot the producer. Faye There he is! Wow. He looks exactly like you, Mickey. Mickey He should be so lucky. Tyler All right, kids. I know these past few weeks have been crazy. We’ve been milking cows, mucking up stalls, and trying not to get bitten by those darn chickens that I’m pretty sure hate me. But we’re here now, about to start the show. This is our one chance, the one shot to impress that producer and make ‘em see why they need us. Come on kids, let’s put on a show! The actors and musicians take their places as Tyler stands back. The overture begins and the curtain parts. Blackout. Lights up. We are backstage. The actors have just finished the penultimate scene. They run backstage as the crew adjusts the stage. Faye That was amazing. Just one more number and we’ve done it! Victoria I don’t think I can do it. Faye What say you? Victoria I can see the producer from the stage, and I just keep thinking about how important this is. How everything depends on my performance. Faye Remember back in that diner? You told me you were the best singer. Victoria But what if I’m not? What if I’m just really really good? Faye I’ll have none of that talk. The show has to finish and we’re not going to do it without you. Just sing it like we’re back in rehearsal. Who cares what the producer thinks? We just put on a show of our very own. Tyler Places, people! Places! Faye You got this, girl. They go onto the stage and Victoria freezes. Once the music begins, though, she relaxes and gives a rousing rendition of her song. The cast dances and their performance garners a standing ovation. They exit the stage. Katie We did it guys! Tessa Yeah, you actually pulled that off. There goes fifty bucks to farmer Fred. The Producer enters. Producer Who’s in charge of this place? Tyler I’m the director, sir. Producer Hmph. A little young to be a director, aren’t you? But then again, today seems to be all about youth. Quite a production you got here. And in a barn no less. How American. Tyler Thank you, sir. Producer You kids put this together all by yourselves? Tyler Katie did the music with some help from Mickey and Faye did the choreography.< Producer Hmm, interesting. Very interesting. You know, I’ve been looking for something fresh, something new. I’m not saying you’re it, but perhaps, maybe, possibly, I guess it could be you. Would you people be ready to perform this eight times a week on Broadway? Tyler Yes! Absolutely, sir. Producer Hmph. Tyler Gosh sir, that would be just terrific. Producer Hmph. Meet me at the St. James on Tuesday. Three p.m. sharp, if you want to start your show at seven. I’ll be selling a lot of tickets so you’d better be good. Hmph. Producer leaves. Katie Gee whiz. I can’t believe it. We’re going to Broadway. Faye Of course we did it, we’re all really great at what we do. But yeah, it is pretty cool. Tessa So when are you guys gonna give me my money? Victoria Let’s go celebrate. Tonight we can go crazy, but tomorrow we get back to work. Because come Tuesday, we’re going to put on the best show Broadway has ever seen! They cheer. Blackout. End of play.