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The Ghost In The Meadow

    by Joe Simonelli



"An old fashioned thriller written just for the stage... Simonelli has written an atmospheric piece that delivers plenty of chills with a liberal dose of tension breaking comic relief!
A real Halloween treat!"
(
Joe Franklin - Bloomberg Radio)

Synopsis

Thriller Drama Play Script: 'The Ghost In The Meadow' by Joe Simonelli

Based on the legend of “The Blue Boy of Gettysburg”, this play delves into the dark history of a Civil War era farm house in upstate New York.  

As the play opens, we find Sheila in the upper bedroom in an isolated wing of the house. Sheila, an artist from Manhattan, has decided to convert this space into a painting studio because it features an extra-large window (French doors) that lets in plenty of natural light. Her sister Kylie is a bit more sceptical and pragmatic about the house they have just purchased with the last of the money they received from an inheritance.

It is a stormy evening in early summer as a sudden lightening flash blacks out the stage. Sheila searches for her cell phone as her sister enters carrying a few battery operated lanterns. As they sit in darkness they discuss the motivation behind their move from Manhattan to the rural hamlet where they are now living.  This discussion includes Shelia’s estranged boyfriend Julian, a detective with the New York City police department as well as Shelia’s medical condition and her motivation for moving. The lights come back as Kylie exits to make some tea. As Sheila opens the window she notices a child running across the meadow outside their house.  On the far side of the meadow stands an old boarded up church.

As Sheila calls out to the boy she is suddenly startled and calls out to Kylie. As Kylie returns Sheila explains that she saw a child running across the meadow who then disappeared. A  sceptical Kylie tries to rationalise her sisters experience but suddenly there is another total blackout and a for a brief second a flash of lightening backstage reveals a woman in full Victorian garb in the window. Another flash and she is gone. Only Sheila has seen her. After a phone call from Julian who decides he is coming up for the weekend to help fix the dilapidated house the scene ends with both women deciding to search the house.

As scene two begins we find Sheila again alone on stage and starring out the window as Julian silently enters and startles her. More is revealed about the reasons for their estrangement. As for the house and that room in particular, there is a second doorway leading to an attic space that has inadvertently locked from the inside. As Kylie enters the three of them discuss the strange occurrences and it is decided that Julian will stay in Shelia’s bedroom while Shelia sleeps in the studio.  

As night falls Kylie and Julian exit downstairs to play some music on the old piano as Sheila begins to read then nods off to sleep. The music downstairs changes from the duet that Kylie and Julian were singing to an ominous funeral dirge. Time has passed and it is now 2 am. Sheila is awakened by the music as she goes to the open hallway door to investigate it suddenly slams shut. The door to the attic swings open revealing the Victorian lady. Shelia’s screams bring Kylie and Julian to the hallway door as the phantom withdraws and the attic door again slams shut.

As Julian and Kylie finally gain access it is decided that Julian will call in an expert psychic, Antoinette, to help investigate. In the next scene Antoinette arrives and Kylie, who has been doing some research in town, explains the backstory of the legend of the old church across the meadow. When the church served as an orphanage during the civil war a young boy would take refuge there. He fell from the window ledge to his death and ever since has been haunting the premises. Through Antoinette’s investigation they try a cleansing of the house in Act two. Apparently successful, a twist ending ends the play. 

Characters

(1m, 4f)

  • Kylie Roberts 30-45, pragmatic older sister
  • Sheila Roberts 30-45, Kylie’s younger sister, an artist
  • Julian Shaw - 40-50, Sheila's ex-boyfriend
  • Antoinette 50-60, psychic
  • Kathryne 25-30, the ghost
  • The 'Blue Boy' and ‘The Pastor’ are offstage voices


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