“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: ‘Chopped Liver Inspiration’!”
[The curtain rises on a bedroom set. Not the castle bedchamber set we usually see with the canopied bed and elegant wardrobe, but a modern affair draped with hoodies, hung with dreamcatchers, piled with books. On the colorfully quilted bed sits a girl in her upper teens, typing away at a laptop. Enter Allyn-a-Dale and Will Scarlet, stage left.]
Will/Hatter: Annabelle Iole Gray, I presume?
Annabelle [looking up, startled ]: Um, yes. That’d be me. And you are?
Will/Hatter [with a hat-sweeping bow ]: Artifice Cheshirecott, Mad Hatter, at your service. [gestures to Allyn ] And this is Jack Snow, chosen Santa Claus of Fairytale Forest.
Annabelle: Huh. I had no idea I had you in my head.
Allyn/Jack: We’re not in your head. We’re in your bedroom.
Annabelle [leaping back into her bed’s pile of pillows ]: Whaaat?!
[From behind the bed’s headboard, Sir Wilbur Lamb appears.]
Sir Wilbur: Sorry, author. I did tell them you might find it less disturbing were they to manifest in your mind rather than on your plane of reality, but—
Will/Hatter [cheerfully ]: But it’s all the same to me! All planes are my planes. So, where’s Lucianíel? It’s mainly him we’ve come to see.
Annabelle [grumpy ]: Doesn’t that just figure? Couple of cute strangers busting into my room uninvited only to say, “Yeah, hi, we don’t want you.” I’m changing my name to Chopped Liver.
Sir Wilbur: Real name, or pen name?
Will/Hatter: Aw, don’t take it personally, darling. It’s just we’re in need of some inspiration, and that’s pretty much Luc’s shtick.
Sir Wilbur: Well, Luc doesn’t appear to be around, at the moment.
Allyn/Jack [muttering ]: Probably refusing to lower himself to a bit part in a stage show of buffoons. I should have so much pride.
Annabelle: I could inspire you. What kind of ideas are you looking for?
Will/Hatter: I’m taking Jack, here, on a sightseeing tour on the way to his home in the North Pole. So far we’ve poked around a few corners of fantasy. What genre should we explore next?
Annabelle: List of genres, eh? That’s easy enough. To the Internet!
Allyn/Jack [addressing the audience as Annabelle returns to her laptop ]: Will & Allyn’s Interactive Theatre wishes to state on the record that neither we nor our affiliates hold to the belief that the Internet is a suitable substitute for a professional muse.
Annabelle: Here we go, there’s a bunch of them. Fables and folklore, horror and historical, mystery and— ooh, mythology! You guys should totally do mythology next! I’m halfway to a Greek myths expert; I could give you a ton of high points to hit.
Will/Hatter: Perfect! You’re coming with us.
Annabelle: I—what? How does that even—?
Sir Wilbur: They’ve already roped me in.
Annabelle [tossing closed laptop to the foot of the bed ]: Then never mind how. Count me in!
Will/Hatter: Up to four of us, now. We should really have an awesome group name. Peter Pan had his Lost Boys. Robin Hood had his Merry Men.
Annabelle: Jason had his Argonauts.
Will/Hatter [grinning ]: And now Jack Snow’s got his Genre-nauts. Lead on, Chopped Liver!
Annabelle: Yeah, no, that can’t continue.
Will/Hatter: I thought maybe not.
“Aaaand SCENE!” says Will.
“Thank you to audience members Miranda McNeff and Kelton de la Cruz,” says Allyn, “for providing us with the inspiration ‘the Internet’ and ‘buffoons’.”
“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! ‘Til next time, friends: Will and Allyn out!”