Welcome

Welcome
John William Tuohy lives in Washington DC

Stage play JACK O’LANTERN, THE ALMOST PORCHLESS PUMPKIN.

 
A Halloween play for Children.




 By consent of the author, this play may be performed, at no charge, by educational institutions, neighborhood organizations and other not-for-profit-organizations.  


Characters
 The Farmer

The narrator

Jack O’Lantern: A small pumpkin/ male or female role

The Black Cat: A Cat, male or female role

The Halloween witch: A female

The hobgoblin: A dim-witted boogeyman

Young Lady: A girl going out for Halloween

Nameless Young child: A friend or sister/brother of the young lady’s

 
TIME
Present time, Halloween night

 
PROPERTY LIST
A broom, a car horn

 
SCENES
A pumpkin patch, a front porch

 
ACT ONE.

 
SCENE I.

 
Sign: Lara’s Farm and Livestock.

 
Jack is waiting in the pumpkin patch. The farmer walks on to the stage, and looks out over the audience, smiles.

 
Farmer
Well, hello, there. Welcome! I want to tell you something.


He leans forward, as if to tell a secret.


Farmer (Cont.)
You don’t have to be big to be brave.


Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 1
Now here’s a story
I want you all to know
It’s about a pumpkin named Jack
and this is here is how it goes.


Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 2
Now, as I recall it was typical New England autumn
Right near Halloween
When all the leaves had turned a beautiful
bright orange, yellow and green


Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 3
Jack grew up right here in the pumpkin patch
Where every fall, the pumpkins grew to be so big and tall !
But that wasn’t true about old Jack O’Lantern
Who wasn’t very big at t’ all.


Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 4
Every hollow’s eve When the children came to the patch
They’d take big ones
And they’d take round ones
And sometimes two that matched!


Jack looks on excitedly, hopefully, as the children pick their pumpkins


Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 5
When the pumpkin pick’n was over
And the sun was nearly down (Motion the sun going down on the far horizon)
There sat only Jack in the pumpkin patch
Wearing a big, old, sad, sad frown


Jack (Sadly)
No one wants me to light their night
cause I’m so small and
cause everyone thinks
that to be brave
a pumpkin should be big and tall
Boy, if I had my chance
I’d show em what I could do
I’d light up that night so bright
And I’d be brave about it too!


Farmer
Verse 6
Well just at that very second
I heard a car’s horn sound (Car horn sound)
And I saw two children bound


Two children/ actors bound into the pumpkin patch, yelling and jumping

 
Farmer (Cont.)
Right into the pumpkin patch
To see what could be found.


The children look around the patch




Farmer (Cont.)
Verse 7
With all the big pumpkins gone from the patch
There wasn’t much around
Cept away thar in the back
Over by the corn/ Where the cow feed was stacked
Stood a little ole pumpkin
And sure enough
it was our old friend Jack.


Jack is jumping up and down and waving


Young Lady
I’ll take em!


Farmer
Said one young lady


Young lady
He’s the cutest pumpkin that could ever be!
I’ll place him right there on our doorstep
For all my neighbors to see!
(Reaches into her purse)
How much will it be?


Farmer
Ah heck, ole Jack so small
I’m gonna give him to ya free


The children take Jack by his pumpkin hand and lead him away. They walk off stage. A Cars horn toots. The farmer’s waves goodbye. Exit the farmer

  

SCENE 2

 
The two children are dressed for Halloween. They have trick or treat bags.

 
Young Lady
We’re going out now
For our tricker treats
We’ll knock on every door
Up and down the entire street
To gather great bags of candy
That we’ll bring home to share
And we’ll eat all up with a single care
So do your job little pumpkin
And keep your jack O’Lantern light burning bright
On this dark, dark hallows eve night!

They exit

The wind howls


Jack
It sure is dark out here (BEAT) But I’m not afraid! (BEAT) Well, maybe just a little and that’s okay. Sometimes it’s smart to be scared

A noise, stage left.


Jack
What in the gosh darned heck was that?
SCENE 3

 
Jack cautiously walks over to stage left. The Black Cat enters from stage rightHe’s a curious cat. He walks up behind Jack and does exactly what Jack does without Jack ever knowing that the Cat is behind him.

 
Jack
Hhhmmmm


This is the signal that Jack is about to take one step backwards

 
They step backward one-step

 
They put their hands on their hips, stumped.

 
They take their hands off their hips

 
They look out on the center of the wings of stage left

 
The look left of the wings of stage left

 
They look right of the wings of stage left

 
Jack
Hhhmmmm

 
This is the signal that Jack is about to take one step backwards

 
They step backward one-step backwards

 
They put their hands on their hips, stumped.

 
Hands off hips

 
They look VERY QUICKLY to stage left

 
One hand to chin (In a pondering, thoughtful fashion)

 
Hands down at sides

 
They look VERY QUICKLY to stage right

 
Jack
Hhhmmmm

 
They start to STALK stage right on tiptoes.

 
They stop.

 
Jack
Hhhmmmm

 
This is the signal that Jack is about to take one step backwards

 
They step backward one-step

 
They put their hands on their hips, stumped.

 
They take their hands off their hips

 
They look out on the center of the wings of stage right

 
The look left of the wings of stage right

 
They look right of the wings of stage right

 
Jack
Hhhmmmm


This is the signal that Jack is about to take one step backwards

Jack takes one-step backwards. He steps on the Black Cats toes


Black Cat
Ouch!


He lifts his paw, holds it in his hand and bounces around in a full circle. He stops and looks at Jack. Jack looks at him.

 
BEAT


Black Cat
AAAAHHH


He runs away, stage left


Jack
AAAAHHH

He runs away center stage


They both hide.


Jack
Who...who...who are you?


Black Cat
Me? Why I’m a black cat...who...who...who are you?


Jack
Me? Why I’m a (He looks at himself) an orange colored pumpkin


The cautiously come out of hiding and walk towards each other. Eyes narrowed. They circle each other slowly. Eyes narrowed. They circle each other again. Jack starts to circle the cat again

 
Black Cat
Wait...I’m getting dizzy from going around like that


Jack
Yeah and my eyes hurt from going like this (He squints with narrowed eyes)


Black Cat
Were you scared when you saw me?



Jack
Me? Scared! Ha! (BEAT) Yeah I was pretty scared


Black Cat (Quickly)
Yeah me too.


Jack (Holding out his pumpkin hand)
My names jack


They shake


Jack (Cont.)
I’m here to light this porch with all my might, to make this Halloween night shine clear and bright


Black Cat
Wow. That’s a great job!


Jack
Yeah I know! But I almost didn’t get the job


Black Cat
Oh no!


Jack
Oh yes! Because I almost got left behind in the pumpkin patch!


Black Cat
Oh no!


Jack
Oh yes! I was an almost porchless pumpkin! People think that if your small you can’t be very brave and I’m going to light this night with all my might! (BEAT) Say, what brings you out here on this dark Halloween night, Black Cat?


Black Cat
Oh I work for the Halloween witch. I was on her crazy flying broom but I fell off and landed here and


Witch (Off stage voice)
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!


Black Cat
Uh oh! Better duck down pumpkin!


Jack
Why? What is it?


Black Cat
It’s the Halloween witch and her crazy broom that doesn’t work!


Jack
But why do we have to duck down?


Black Cat (Ducks and pulls Jack down as well)
You’ll see!

 



SCENE 4

 

The witch enters the stage riding her broom, but just barely holding on. The broom rides her wildly around the stage

 
Witch
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!

The witch zooms past the Black Cat and Jack


Jack
Whoa!


Black Cat
See! I told you that you had better duck!


Witch
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!


The witch drives off stage. There is a crashing noise. Jack and the Black Cat cautiously raise their heads.


Jack
She crashed! Is she alright?


Black Cat
Oh sure. She always crashes. That’s how she stops

The witch enters the stage. Her broom is not with her. Her witch hat is pulled down over her eyes.


Witch
Who turned the lights out!


The Black Cat stands and walks over to her


Black Cat
Here, here, let me help you


He helps her pull the witch hat up over her eyes


Black Cat
There you go


Witch
Why thank you Mister Cat.


Black Cat
You’re welcome


Jack rises from the ground


Witch
(Looking at the off stage broom)
I must get a new broom! That one will not do a single thing I tell it to! If you ever want to go for a rise (She winks) let me know

She looks around and sees Jack


Witch
Well, what have we here?


Black Cat
That’s Jack....Jack O’Lantern, he was an almost porchless pumpkin!


Witch
A pumpkin, heh?


Jack
Hi!


Witch
Well I’m a scary witch! Do I scare you?



Jack
Um...no, not really


Witch
Okay, I wasn’t ready. Wait a minute

(She turns around, back to the audience and then Turns back around suddenly wearing a dumb look)

How about now?


Jack
No


Black Cat
No


Witch
Okay, that doesn’t count because I wasn’t really ready to be scary. Hold on a minute alright?


Jack
Sure, not a problem


Witch
Okay! Ready?



Jack
Ready!


She turns her back to the audience, spins around wearing an even dumber look but with her hands in the air.

 
Witch
How’s this? Pretty scary huh?


Jack
Naw, not really


Black Cat
I’ve seen scarier


The witch puts her hands on her hips


Witch
Hhhmmmm


Jack
Maybe you just weren’t ready-ready. Why don’t you try it again


Witch
You think?


Jack
Sure


Black Cat
Yeah, give it another try


Witch
Okay...here goes


She closes her eyes and does that “I’m in character” thing that actors do. She opens her eyes. Jack and the Black Cat are smiling, nicely. They like her and want her to succeed.

 
Witch
Okay, here goes.


She makes a really, really dumb face, puts her hand sin the air and shakes them wildly

 
Witch
Booga Booga!


The witch is smiling

 


Witch
Huh? Wadda think? Pretty scary huh? (She points to jack) Come on admit it, you were scared. Come on! You can tell me, you were scared, weren’t you?

 
The smiles slowly (Very slowly) fall from Jack and the Cats faces. Their disappointed. The witch sense their disappointment and the smile falls from her face

 
With
Not scared?


Jack (Gives her the “so-so” sign with his hand)
Not so much

 
Desperate, the witch turns to the Black Cat

Black Cat (smiling apologetically)
Uuummmm.....I’m just a Halloween cat. What do I really know?


The witch drops her head. She’s sad.

 
Witch
I guess I’m not very good at being a scary witch.


Jack
Oh sure you are.


Witch
I didn’t scare you! (Turns to the Black Cat) Or you either. Maybe its time I turned in my broom

 
She slowly makes her way across the stage, head down, hands at her sides, defeated. Jack looks at the Black Cat and winks


Jack
Boy! I sure am glad she’s gone! That was one scary Halloween witch!


The witch stops in her tracks, her back to them



Black Cat
Where?


Jack rolls his eyes and points to the witch

 
Black Cat
Oh.....I mean Oh!....Wow! Yeah! That was one scary witch all right!


The witch throws back her head, slaps her hands together and rushes back over to them


Witch
I knew it! I knew I was scary! Which one scared you? Was it the first one? (She makes the first dumb face)


Jack
Ummm, that was a good one


Witch
Was it the second one? (She makes the second dumb face)


Black Cat
That one was good too.


Witch
It was the last one wasn’t it? (She puts her hands up in the air)
Booga Booga!


Jack (Hands on his checks ala “Home Alone”)
Whoa!



Black Cat
Oh my gosh!


Witch (Smiling completely satisfied)
Oh well, you know, what can I say, when you’re scary, your scary. (BEAT) You know what?


Jack
What?


Witch
You two have been so nice and here I am scaring you, I’d like to do something nice for the both of you.


She walks off stage and comes back with her broom.

 
Witch
Come on, hop on! I’ll take you for a spin!


Black Cat tried to walk away she grabs him and pulls him on the broom, then pulls Jack on to the broom


Black Cat
Really, you don’t have to go through any trouble for us!



Witch
Oh! no trouble...(She fiddles with imaginary switches on the broom) Now let’s see if I can remember how this works...um this goes here and this goes over here and uh...oh yes this goes here and…………..


They start to move, slowly.


Black Cat
Well this isn’t that bad at all is it?


Jack nods in agreement.

 
Witch
And now I say the secret magical words “Halloween broom lets go for a fly, high, high, high, up into the Halloween sky!”


The broom takes off at an enormous speed, they zip around the stage holding on for dear life itself.


Witch
Whoa!


Back Cat
Whoa!


Jack
Whoa!


Witch
Whoa! Broom, whoa!


Black Cat
Yeah! Whoa! Broom, whoa!

Jack falls off the broom


Jack
Whoa, whoa, whoa!


He lands gently on his pumpkin rear end. Still down, he looks up to the sky

(Stage front, left)

 
Jack
Goodbye Black Cat!


Black Cat
Goodbye, Jack O’Lantern. Light the night with all you’re might!


Jack
I will Black Cat, farewell!


The witch and the Black cat fly off stage. Jack stands and brushes himself off.

 



SCENE 5

 
Jack
Sure is quiet around here, on this Halloween night.


Sound effect: Howling wind.


Farmer
Well old mister wind howled something awful that night
And the sky was filled with a dark that took out all the light.


Jack (Closing his eyes)
I’m going to light this night
With all my might
Just like a pumpkin’s, supposed to do
And no matter what happens, I’m gonna see it through!


The hobgoblin enters and walks up to Jack. He stands next to Jack and close his eyes too. Jack finishes his line and opens his eyes. The Hobgoblin is a goof ball, he has a goofy-not to bright voice.

 
Hobgoblin (Eyes still closed)
Me too! Yep.


Jack (Frowning)
Who are you?


Hobgoblin (Frowning)
Me? I’m a hobgoblin! A yep.


Jack (leaning forward)
A what?


Hobgoblin (leaning forward)
A Hobgoblin. Yep. That’s me.


Jack (Leaning back)
What does a hobgoblin do?


Hobgoblin (Leaning back, eyes narrowed, nodding his head wisely)
I don’t know

Jack
Well, I’m sure that whatever it is a hobgoblin does, your very good at it.

Hobgoblin
(eyes narrowed, nodding his head wisely)
What a fine thing for you to say! Perhaps together we can find out exactly what it is a hobgoblin does!


Jack
I‘m sure we can do that!

Black Cat (Off stage voice, stage right)
Help! Help! Help!

 Hobgoblin
Oh my goodness! Who is that?


Jack
I don’t know lets go see!


They walk towards stage right


Jack
But let’s be careful! It is Halloween night after all!


Hobgoblin
Yes, your so right!



SCENE 6

 
They walk very slowly and very carefully towards the sound of the voice.

 
Black Cat (Off stage voice, stage right)
Help! Help! Help!


Jack
Why....I recognize that voice ...that’s my old friend....


He pulls back a curtain to reveal a ladder with the Black Cat stuck inside it

 
Jack
Why Black Cat! What you doing up there?


Black Cat
Why hello Jack O’Lantern! Boy it sure is swell to see you! I’m stuck in this tree! And I don’t know how to get down!


Jack
Well how did that happen, Black Cat?




Black Cat
I fell off the gosh darned witches broom....again! I wish she would learn to drive that things.


Witch (off stage voice, Stage left)
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!

The witch flies past the them at a great speed, her broom out of control.

 
Witch (off stage voice, Stage left)
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!


She disappears off stage.


Black Cat
How will I get down?


Jack
Gosh...I...I...I don’t know...hhhmmmm.


Black Cat
Hhhhhhmmmm.


The hobgoblin is looking up at the cat. The cat and Jack look at him.


 
Hobgoblin.
What? Oh....Hhhmmmm.


Jack.
I know!


Black Cat.
What!


Jack.
You could jump down to get out of the tree!


Black Cat.
No!! Look how far it is!

Jack.
Hhhmmmm


Black Cat.
Hhhhhhmmmm.


The hobgoblin is looking up at the cat. The cat and Jack look at him.

 
Hobgoblin.
What? Oh....Hhhmmmm.



Jack.
Oh! I know!


Black Cat.
Great! What?


Jack.
Well....no...never mind.


BEAT.


Black Cat.
I know! .....No....never mind....that won’t work either.


Jack.
Hhhmmmm.


Black Cat.
Hhhhhhmmmm.


The hobgoblin is looking up at the cat. The cat and Jack look at him.


Hobgoblin.
I know! I’ll climb up the tree and help you down!



Black Cat.
Can you do that?


Hobgoblin.
Why of course! I’m a hobgoblin!


Black Cat.
Is that what Hobgoblins do?


Hobgoblin (looking directly at the audience, eyes narrowed, nodding his head wisely)
I don’t know.


Jack
Well everyone in the whole wide world is good at something, so that’s what your good at!


The Hobgoblin climbs up a stair on the ladder and falls down, he gets up, climbs back up again and falls down again but gets back up and climbs up the ladder and gets the cat.

 
Jack
Hooray! Hooray for the hobgoblin.


Black Cat
Yeah! Hooray for the hobgoblin!


Hobgoblin
Hooray for Jack, the almost porchless pumpkin!


Jack
Why hooray for me?


Hobgoblin
Because I’m stuck up here and I thought that might inspire you to come up and get me!


Jack
Oh my goodness! Alright! Hold on! Here I come!


He climbs up the ladder


Hobgoblin.
Hooray for Jack, the almost porchless pumpkin!


Black Cat.
Hooray for Jack!


Jack.
I’m stuck!


Black Cat.
Well now what are we going to do?




SCENE 7

 
Witch (off stage voice, Stage left)
Whoa, Broom! Whoa!

 
The witch flies out of the wings and around the ladder.

 
Witch.
Look out!

 
She crashes into the tree but keeps going. She exits. Jack, the Hobgoblin and the Black Cat fall out of the tree.

 
Jack.
Whoa!


Black Cat.
Yikes


Hobgoblin.
Woooooo!


The stand up and brush themselves off


The wind howls off stage.

Black Cat.
Here comes a mighty wind!


The wind blows the Black cat and the Hobgoblin slightly to stage right.

 
Hobgoblin.
Come on Jack! Let’s go before the wind gets really bad!


Jack.
No! I can’t! I’m a porch pumpkin and I’m going to stay right here and light this Halloween night with all my might!


The winds gets louder and blows the Black Cat and the Hobgoblin across the stage.


Black Cat.
Okay Jack! We’ll see ya!

 
They get blown off stage right.





SCENE 8

The farmer enters, stands down stage. Jack fights against the wind

 
Farmer.

Exit Verse 7
Well that wind was strong
of that there is no doubt
and it blew it poor Jack left and right
and moved him all around.


Farmer (Cont.)
Exit Verse 8
But never!
Not once!
Did his light go out!
Just like he’d promised
He stood strong and stout.


Farmer (Cont.)
Exit Verse 9.
And when the wind stopped blowing
And the children came home for the night
(The children come home for the night)
It was because of jack’s pumpkin
That shone so large and bright



Farmer (Cont.)
Exit Verse 10.
And that’s the story of Jack O’Lantern
The almost porchless pumpkin
The bravest little pumpkin that ever was
Happy Halloween!

END OF PLAY