About the Playwright:
Nikos Vlachos was born in Chicago. He graduated from the University of Idaho majoring initially in Theater, but ultimately receiving his B.S. Degree in Premedical studies. In August 2002, like Chekov, he returned to his passion for the theater, not as an actor, but as a playwright. His full-length play, THE BED, won first prize in the American Theatre Co-op (ATC) Fall 2003 Contest for Original Full-Length Plays. His second work, A FROSTY MUG, a ten-minute comedy, was third place at the Paw Paw Village Players 7th One-Act Play Festival February 19-21, 2004. MENAGE A... won honorable mention at the 2004 DNA Play Festival, Idaho Repertory Theatre and the University of Idaho Department of Theatre and Film.
Christmas In Montana
By Nikos Vlachos
About the Play:
This is a hilarious one-act play for young actors that takes a light-hearted look at political correctness. Miss Rugamyer, a semi-retired school teacher from a Brooklyn, New York private school, travels to Big Timber, Montana to substitute teach at a one room school house. On her first day of class, it is twenty below zero outside, and only three students, Hank, Cynthia and Sweet Pea, all related, show up for school. Expecting to teach these country mice "the old school" ways of the world, Miss Rugamyer soon finds that the students, have a few things to teach her besides sibling rivalry. When Miss Rugamyer rehearses carols with them for an upcoming Christmas Holiday program, the students comically take issue with the carols that she plans to use. The play is suitable for all audiences and includes singing.
MISS RUGAMYER: A semi-retired schoolteacher from Brooklyn, New York who comes to Montana for eight weeks as a substitute teacher
HANK: Fourteen years old. An awkward lad who is still at about the fifth-grade level. Brother to Cynthia and Sweet Pea.
CYNTHIA: Twelve years of age but already at the eighth-grade level. She wears glasses.
SWEET PEA: A mischievous and precocious eight-year-old in the third grade.
Time: The Present
Place: One-room school house near Big Timber, Montana
From the Play:
MISS RUGAMYER: Thank you, class. You may be seated.
(HANK takes out a water pistol and squirts SWEET PEA with it.)
Stop that right now! Hank, I’m surprised at you. Why would you do that?
HANK: Sweet Pea started it. He shot a spitball at me.
SWEET PEA: Did not, Kook.
HANK: Did so, Runt.
MISS RUGAMYER: You kids are already trying my patience. I will not tolerate any weapons in my classroom.
HANK: It’s not a weapon, Ms Rugamyer, it’s a squirt gun.
MISS RUGAMYER: It looks like a real gun to me, and it shoots…and you can call me Miss Rugamyer.
HANK: Mzzz Merker-Chavez said some women don’t want you to know that they ain’t never been married, Mz…er…I mean Miss Rugamyer. And some who are married prefer to be called Mzzz too, I reckin ‘cause they don’t want you to know they is married.
MISS RUGAMYER: “Ain’t never been,” apart from “ain’t,” not being a word, is a double negative. You’re actually saying the opposite of what you mean to say. If you don’t say what you mean, you’ll never mean what you say. Now say the sentence again correctly, Hank.
HANK: Do I have ta?
HANK: Some women don’t want you to know that they have never been married.
MISS RUGAMYER: That’s better. I knew you could do it. Class, I prefer that you please address me as Miss Rugamyer. Now, I want anyone…by the way, how did you know I’ve never been married?
HANK: On a count a over hearing my dad say so at Susie’s Diner at breakfast this morning.
SWEET PEA: And our pop ain’t married now neither…I mean isn’t married at the moment either. (HANK and CYNTHIA giggle)
MISS RUGAMYER: Well, it’s comforting to know that my fifteen minutes of fame here in Big Timber, Montana, came this morning at Susie’s Diner. I want anyone who has brought any weapons to class to bring them up here to me. Now.
(HANK comes forth with the water pistol and a slingshot. SWEET PEA pulls out a thick straw.)
What is that?