ONCE UPON A TIME





Cast Of Characters

In order of appearance

Rapunzel-a scared woman whose mother abandoned her for a bunch of lettuce. She was raised by an evil witch who kept her locked in a high tower and visited her by climbing up her hair.

Snow White-a happy, optimistic, and trusting woman who had a near brush with death, but is determined to forgive. Only when she sees apples does she break down and lose her cool, for she was poisoned by a bewitched apple and rescued only by love's first kiss.

Hansel and Gretel-brother and sister who, when lost in the woods, were lured by candy and a soft bed for the night, and just barely escaped a wicked witch by using their brains and kindness.





1.1.1 Once upon a time...



(Curtains are closed. A lone tree stands downstage left, while a rock sits downstage right. Sound of a wind blowing through the trees is heard. A woman in a hooded blue cloak slowly walks on downstage right. She is carrying a basket that holds red apples, gingerbread cookies and a few sprigs of lettuce. She looks around warily. Sound of twig snapping is heard. Woman jumps.)

WOMAN: Who's there? (Pause) Hello? (She slowly advances to downstage center. She looks at the audience, looks away, and then does a doubletake, and looks back as if seeing them for the first time. She physically appears relieved and removes her hood, revealing a strikingly beautiful face.) Oh, it's you. I was afraid that it was...that you were...(shudders) Oh, never mind. (In a low voice, almost to herself,) That was a long time ago. It couldn't possibly be. (Nervous laughter) I mean she couldn't still be...I've got to stop doing that to myself...You'd think I'm purposely scaring myself...That was such a very long time ago (Then seems to remember that the audience is still watching her.) Oh, sorry. Nevermind. (Shakes her head sorrowfully and with each movement a really really long honey colored braid of her hair waves back and forth until it is fully visible and lies against the back of her cloak.) Why am I in this part of the woods? (A dazed look crosses her face and she seems to go into a trance.) I'm here to pick lettuce. Rapunzel lettuce. Sweet, crisp Rapunzel lettuce. Worth so much to one mother. She loved it so much that she named her firstborn child after it. Me. Rapunzel. Rapunzel: named for the Rapunzel lettuce that was worth so much to my mother. Worth a child. Worth enough to my mother that she would give up a child for it. Her ONLY CHILD! She loved me as much as she loved a...a...LETTUCE! (Half Weeping, Half-yelling, she hurls her basket at the tree. Then she sits down on a large rock, and buries her head in her arms.)

(From offstage, a whistle is heard. A tall woman with short black hair and as pale complexion waltzes on downstage-left and catches sight of Rapunzel.)

2ND WOMAN: What's wrong? (She stops dancing and walks over towards Rapunzel. Then she sees the upset basket, it's contents scattered. One of the bright red apples catches her eye. She stops dead in her tracks, and a frightened expression comes over her face.) No, no, no. This can't happen. Oh god. No!

RAPUNZEL: I...just...lettuce...my mother...(Pauses, and then looks up with a puzzled expression on her tearstreaked face) What's the matter? Are you hungry? (Seeing that she is looking at the apple.) You can have one of those apples if you want. They aren't that bad...

2ND WOMAN (Screaming): No! You can't make me! I won't! You can't! You CAN'T make me! No! No! NO!

RAPUNZEL: Whoa, calm down! I'm sorry. I'm sorry. You don't have to. Sit down. (Pauses, and waits while the woman slowly calms down.) Come on, sit down! I'm not going to hurt you. (The woman, now sort of recovered from her fit, sits down cautiously.) Who are you?

2ND WOMAN: My name is Snow White.

RAPUNZEL: What's the matter? Why were you screaming like that?

SNOW WHITE (hesitantly): It's a long story..

RAPUNZEL: That's all right. I have time.

SNOW WHITE: Well, It's like this... I was living happily with my father, (my mother had died), and then he remarried. His new wife was vain and selfish, and she loathed me. Soon after he remarried, my father died. I was left in the care of my stepmother. She forced me to become a servant- in my own house! Then one day she became jealous of my beauty and ordered her huntsman to kill me. He couldn't bring himself to do that, so he helped me run away. I found a cottage where seven little dwarves lived and stayed with them for a while-until my stepmother found out that I wasn't dead. When she found this out, she disguised herself as an old peddler woman and tried to sell me some apples for apple pie. I wasn't sure if I should buy one, because I didn't want to waste money, but she convinced me to taste one.and how could I have known that she had poisoned one? So I took a bite and...and...all I could see was black...and...and...oh, it was horrible!

(She buries her face in Rapunzel's shoulder and weeps. Rather awkwardly, Rapunzel smoothes her hair and tries to comfort her.)

RAPUNZEL: Maybe you should face your fears and just try the apple. I didn't poison it, I promise.

(Snow White jumps up, wipes her face, and glares at Rapunzel.)

SNOW WHITE: I can't believe that you'd even suggest that! I guess I was wrong to tell you my problems.

(Still glaring at Rapunzel, Snow White tries to run offstage, but instead has to stop herself from bumping into two children, who are coming onstage, just in the nick of time.)

RAPUNZEL (wearily): Oh, great. I'm seeing things. So far today, I've run into a tree, a rock, and a girl who's afraid of apples. Now this. Wait, don't tell me. Let me guess. OK. You two are an enchanted prince and princess, doomed to walk this world forever in the form of small 13-year- old children. Right?

(The children stare at her, bewildered.)

LITTLE BOY: I'm Hansel and this is my sister, Gretel. Why would you think that we were a prince and princess?

RAPUNZEL (exasperated): Nevermind. So what are your problems?

(Snow White, who had paused on the very edge of the stage comes back to listen.)

GRETEL (in a very timid manner): It's a long story...

Rapunzel: Oh, brother! Here we go again.

THE END