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The Play’s the Thing

Two past winners illustrate the magic of make-believe

     Make a play! Bay Weekly challenged two aspiring young playwrights to show us how the Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival lights the fire of creativity.
    Holmes and Watson Make the Best Summer Ever is the result.
    Playwright Anna Gorenflo, who is also an actor and director, won the staging of four plays in the Festival. A 2014 graduate of Northern High School in Calvert, she begins Kent State University, majoring in Theater Arts, in the fall.
    Playwright Jeffrey Thompson, also an actor and stagehand, won a play staging in the 2011 and 2012 Festivals. A fellow 2014 Northern High School graduate, he begins a Bachelor of Fine Arts program in acting at the State University of New York, Fredonia this fall.
    You’ll have to see this play in your imagination; it was written for the page. To see six other kid-written scripts come to life, go to the Festival.

Holmes and Watson Make the Best Summer Ever

by Anna Gorenflo and Jeffrey Thompson

    Kid sits at his desk, frustrated. He has no idea what to do with his summer. There’s a knock at the door, and he goes to it. Sherlock Holmes and John Watson enter, Sherlock pushing past Kid.

    Kid: Hello?
    Sherlock Holmes: Watson, I told you not to disclose our location to anyone! (turning on Kid, towering over him) How did you find us?
    Kid: It was on Watson’s blog.

    Holmes: (turns to Watson) John, what have you done?
    John Watson: People read my blog in America? That’s rather refreshing. (to Kid, shaking his hand) I’m John Watson, and this is Sherlock Holmes. (to Holmes) Sherlock, it’s not as though anyone will care that we’re in a tiny town in Maryland.
    Holmes: Moriarty would care, John! And obviously, so does the Kid. (pulls out magnifying glass, observing Kid). What do you want? Please say it has something to do with murder. That would really brighten my spirits. This vacation has turned out to be terribly dull.
    Kid: (nervous) Well … it’s about the murder of what could be an awesome summer.
    Holmes: (leans away from Kid, turns to John) Watson, please explain.
    Watson: (sigh) I believe this Kid wants us to help him make his summer more exciting.

Holmes looks at Kid as though he’s stupid.

    Kid: I couldn’t find anything fun to do this summer, so I wanted to hire a detective. I read Watson’s blog all the time, and I read in his most recent entry that the best detective in the world just so happened to be in my neighborhood.
    Holmes: (to Watson) John, is this small child trying to flatter me? (to Kid) Boy, flattery will get you … everywhere. We’ll take the case. (starting to leave)
    Kid: (shocked) Really?!
    Watson: Sherlock, are you sure this is really worth our time?
    Holmes: (stopping just inside the door) So long as we are getting paid, John!
    Watson: We never get paid, Sherlock!

Sherlock stops abruptly, turning to Kid.

    Kid: (checking his pockets) I have three quarters and a Tootsie Roll Pop.
    Holmes: (debating) We’ll take it. Come Watson! (to Kid) You stay here.

They exit, and Kid sits back at his desk. Twenty minutes later, ­Sherlock and John enter with a stack of flyers. Kid jumps up from his desk.

    Kid: Hey, you’re back!
    Holmes: Quiet now, I’m deducing. Watson! Hand me the flyers! (John hands over the flyers, and Sherlock paces, tossing flyers away) This won’t take much time. You don’t have much of a tan, your glasses suggest excessive dorkiness, you have little to no muscle mass, so I’m going to guess you have no interest in sports camps. That eliminates 25 of our possible 27 options, leaving us with two flyers left. (holds the two flyers in front of himself)
    There’s photography camp. But considering your high prescription glasses, your eyesight is abysmal. Catching a good photo would be difficult for you without practice, so no photography camp, then. So our final option, which would probably suit someone like you much better, is the Twin Beach Players Kids Playwriting Festival.

Holmes hands the flyer to Kid, who examines it.

    Kid: What is the Kids Playwriting Festival?
    Holmes: (sarcastically) I don’t know if you’ve realized this yet, but the more you talk, the stupider everyone else in the room gets. (taking the flyer back) The Kids Playwriting Festival. Children from all over the state can write a play and turn it in for judging. Six plays are picked to be performed, and the six winners receive $100 in prize money. You have about 10 days until the deadline, so I suggest you work fast.
    Kid: (taking flyer back) That sounds awesome!
    Holmes: Thank you, I’ve solved the case. I’ll take my lollipop now, please.

Sherlock holds out his hand. Kid looks sheepish.

    Kid: I ate the lollipop. I also used the three quarters to buy another lollipop. And then I ate that, too.
    Holmes: (deep sigh) You’re on my list. (to Watson) Come, John! I believe I saw a candy store on the way here.
    Watson: I never wanted a lollipop, Sherlock.
    Holmes: Well, you do now!

They begin to leave.

    Kid: Wait! What am I supposed to write about?

    Holmes: Perhaps the tragic tale of a man who did all the work and didn’t get his promised lollipops. (leaves)
    Watson: Use your imagination. I’m sure you’ll think of something.
    Holmes: (offstage) Come, Watson! The lollipops are afoot!

Watson leaves. Kid sits back at his desk and picks up a pencil.

    Kid: Think, think … What to write about … (an idea comes to him) Elementary, my dear pencil!
    Holmes: (offstage, angry) I do believe that’s my line!
    Kid: (writing quickly) Holmes and Watson Make the Best Summer Ever! Scene 1 …