Thursday, March 19, 2009

Week Nine, Day 60- "Open Casket"

“Open Casket”
Written by Joe Janes
60 of 365

Neidecker, 40s
Leveck, 20s
Mrs. Gerner, 70s
Mrs. Wolf, 70s
Mrs. Marsh, 70s
Mr. Crosser, 70s

(Lights up on a funeral home. There is a casket downstage. It’s the kind with a split lid. One side is open. Sad organ music plays in the background. Mourners stand in a row looking solemn. Off to the side is Leveck, a young funeral director in training. Neidecker, the more experienced one enters.)

Sorry, I’m late. Did you have any trouble setting up for Mr. Johnson’s funeral?

Don’t worry. Everything’s fine.

(The mourners begin to approach the casket and walk by it one by one taking one last look at Mr. Johnson.)

This is so tragic.

(She looks in, looks puzzled, and moves on.)

MRS. WOLF (peeking in the casket)
Well, it is how I remembered him.

(She moves on.)

MRS. MARSH (peeking in)
He does look natural.

(She moves on.)

MR. CROSSER (peeking in)
Bastard’s a show off even in death!

(Neidecker and Leveck exchange confused looks. Neidecker checks out the coffin and rolls his eyes towards Leveck. He closes the lid and opens the other side. The mourners all approach again as Neidecker stands to the side.)

Oh, that’s better.

That’s more like it.

He looks so peaceful.

(As they talk, Mrs. Marsh tries to lift the lid on the lower half of Mr. Johnson to sneak another peak. Neidecker smacks her hand and wags his finger at her. Lights fade.)


idjar said...

Do stiffs have stiffies?

Joe Janes said...

I think it's more a case of a corpse with a really nice package.

GarinT said...

Dead gentlemen don't wear slacks? I have much to look forward to.

Joe Janes said...

Hmm, a corpse depantsed? Intriguing idea. However, I believe Mr. Johnson is wearing his Sunday best and it features a manly bulge.

mark krause said...

Mr. Johnson's johnson was showing good play on words, is that what type casting is about?

Joe Janes said...

Only well-endowed dead men with unfortunate last names need apply.

mark krause said...

i just noticed mr. johnson and his johnson were not listed under cast, pourquoi?

Joe Janes said...

Good question. In my mind, they are never seen. It's written for the stage. In most sketch revues, the coffin would not really be there, but would be pantomimed. Even if you were to have a coffin on hand, the lid should open with its back to the audience so as not to ruin the gag, again making a physical Mr. Johnson not needed.