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An Excerpt from
Richard. Okay. It’s time you guys heard the whole story.
Sally. What whole story?
Richard. The truth about Murphy.
Tammy. Have you guys ever noticed that there’s something strange about Murphy’s house?
Sally. Yeah. It’s the only house out here in the whole prairie.
Ann. And its the only house around here with an out-house.
Tammy. Have you guys ever noticed the second floor door?
Sally. Sure. It’s got no steps.
Richard. Precisely. That’s how Murphy murdered his wife. He pushed her out that door, and she fell 12 feet to her death. Smashed in her head on the concrete below.
Sally. How do you know he murdered his wife?
Richard. Don’t be stupid. Everybody knows that.
Tammy. Rich, the murder happened before they moved here. Eight or ten years ago.
Richard. Oh, yeah. I forgot you guys are new in the neighborhood. When we first moved in, there was a big kid in the neighborhood named Bobby Bordiman. He told me.
Sally. Who’s Bobby Bordiman?
Richard. I told you, he was a big kid that used to live in the neighborhood.
Ann. Where did he live.
Richard. He lived on Kilpatrick. Across the street from McBreen, and a few doors south. He lived here when it happened.
Tammy. He said there was a big trial. It was in all the papers. Everybody knew all about it. Murphy first told the coppers that his wife opened the door by mistake and fell out. But a hand print was found around her neck.
Richard. He then admitted he had tried to strangle her, but she ran for the door and jumped out. His lawyer claimed he was not guilty by reason of insanity.
Tammy. And that’s what the jury found -- “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity.”
Richard. The judge sent him to a nut house, but as soon as he got there he convinced the shrinks that he was perfectly sane.
Tammy. He only spent about six months in the mental hospital, and then they let him go. When they did, he moved right back into his old house.
Richard. And he lived alone in that house ever since.
Tammy. With his vicious dog.
“Murphy’s House” is a two story yellow brick house, which sits alone in the vacant prairie at the edge of the woods. On the back side of the house, there is a door from the second floor, with no steps leading from it.
Neighborhood legend stipulates that “Old Man Murphy” murdered his wife some years ago, was acquitted of that murder in a court of law, and resumed residence in the house.
One Halloween a group of neighborhood kids plot and undertake “vigilante” action against “old man Murphy” to prove to him he can’t go about hurting others. There plan comes off without a hitch, until ....
Revised Cast List
(2 males. 6 females. Note: Females can be substituted for males, and vice versa)
CAST OF CHARACTERS
Don O’Malley An independent, argumentative sixth grader
Margie Longview O’Malley’s cousin and ally; also a six grader
Richard [Roxanne “Rocky”] Mann
An eighth grader and self-appointed leader
Tammy Jacobs A tough seventh grade girl; an ally of Mann
Sally Propst A not overly bright fourth grader
Ann Kulp Another very average fourth grader
Jacqueline Elizabeth "Murph” Murphy
Proprietor of neighborhood service station
Sgt. McCarthy A village female police officer
LOCATION OF THE PLAY
The play is situated in an unnamed village in Illinois. The village is in the early stages of development, and woods and prairie still abound.
Don’s Other Plays
Free previews of all of Don’s plays are available at his web site: http://www.osheasplays.com/
Don’s plays with other publishers can also be previewed as well as purchased at their websites:
Big Dog Plays http://www.bigdogplays.com/
Brooklyn Publishers https://www.brookpub.com/
Norman Maine Plays http://www.normanmaineplays.com/
Drama Source http://www.dramasource.com/
Pioneer Drama Service http://www.pioneerdrama.com
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