The Woodsman’s Secret, Part 1 (Scarlet’s Fairytale Spin, Act 6)

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“Welcome, one and all,” says Will Scarlet, with a broad smile and a bow, “to Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre!”

“Every Saturday,” says Allyn-a-Dale, “Will and I and our friends from the story world of ‘The Outlaws of Avalon ’ trilogy—”

“Coming one of these days to a book retailer near you!”

“—Will take at random two of the suggestions gleaned from you, our gentle audience, and incorporate them into… well, the sort of tomfoolery Will calls entertainment.”

“So make yourselves comfortable,” says Will, “as we now present to you: ‘The Woodsman’s Secret, Part 1’!”

<<<>>>

[The curtain rises on the castle bedroom set reused from “Minstrel Mind Control”. It’s all there, just like the last time: Faux stone walls, ornate rug, canopied bed, and elegant wardrobe standing in the corner – and whose head should pop out from behind that wardrobe’s door but Will Scarlet!]

Will/Woodsman: Previously on our serial fairytale mash-up, Jack Snow and I snuck into the Beast’s castle via secret tunnel. Now we’re lying in ambush, waiting for him to come up to bed so my sword and I can have our way with him.

Allyn/Jack [voice muffled from inside the wardrobe ]: Just couldn’t resist phrasing that in the most suggestive way possible, could you?

Will/Woodsman [with an unrepentant grin ]: Nope! [ducks back into full concealment ]

[Not a moment later, the Beast-costumed Little John enters the stage, glowering at the audience to remind them all that, yes, he is most definitely the villain here. No sooner has he crossed to his bed than, with a cry of “a-HA!”, Will Scarlet leaps from the wardrobe – sporting, oddly, a hula skirt and go-go boots in addition to his usual Woodsman ensemble.]

Will/Woodsman [brandishing his blade ]: Vile beast, your doom is before you!

Little John/Beast [drawing back with a snarl ]: You! The man from the woods!

Will/Woodsman: Hence the catchy appellation “The Woodsman”.

Little John/Beast: You fired an arrow upon me.

Will/Woodsman: And I shall do worse to you now!

Little John/Beast: What are you wearing?

Will/Woodsman [glancing down at his strange getup ]: Um, yeah, I kinda got caught in some stuff in your wardrobe. No time to shake it off. The real question is, why do you own this stuff? It’s not even in your size!

Allyn/Jack [poking his head out of the wardrobe ]: That’s not the question. It’s why aren’t you slaying the Beast?

Little John/Beast [with a sound betwixt a gasp of shock and roar of rage ]: Jack Snow still lives?!

Will/Woodsman: Duh. You didn’t think I’d let you kill the chosen Santa Claus, did you, Antichristmas?

Little John/Beast [chuckling darkly ]: Quick to throw folks’ true identities around, aren’t you, Woodsman? And yet would I wager that young Jack Snow has no idea of your true name.

Allyn/Jack [uncertainly ]: Is it not “The Woodsman”?

Little John/Beast [with a look for Jack like, “kid, please” ]: Would you name your child “The Woodsman”?

Allyn/Jack: Fair point. [looks to Will ] Who are you, then – really?

Will/Woodsman: Er, uh, that’s not important now. Die, Beast!

Allyn/Jack: Wait. What are you hiding from me?

Little John/Beast [chuckling louder, and speaking in a mocking singsong ]: Row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream…

Will/Woodsman [sharply ]: Stop that.

Little John/Beast: …You may have fooled Snow – oh, what he doesn’t know! – but you’re not what you seem!

Will/Woodsman: Enough!

[Will lunges forward, sword lashing out, but with a swish of his cloak and a dark burst of smoke, the Little John Beast vanishes into thin air! …Or through a trap door in the stage, but let’s all suspend our disbelief. Will throws his sword down in wrath.]

Will/Woodsman: Gone! Our best chance to end him, lost! [wheels on Allyn ] Because of you!

Allyn/Jack [leaving the wardrobe and slamming the door behind him ]: Not me. You! You and your lies of omission! If you had told me your secret, the Beast could not have used it against us. Tell me now, Woodsman: Who are you?

Will/Woodsman [turning away, gaze on his stupid disco-era boots ]: The name’s Peter, all right?

Allyn/Jack: Peter who? Pan? Piper? Pumpkin-eater? Which one?

Will/Woodsman [with a sigh of defeat ]: All of them.

<<<>>>

“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.

“Thank you to audience members Steven Bourelle and Miranda McNeff,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘Row, Row, Row Your Boat’ and ‘hula skirts and go-go boots’.”

“If you enjoyed yourselves,” Will says, “(or if you didn’t, but you totally did, right?), don’t forget to leave suggestions for future productions in the comments! Words or phrases we’ve got to include, a prop to use, a prompt to run with… anything goes! Until next week, friends! Will and Allyn out!”

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