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Player King

    by Ryan Stevens


Comedy Play Script: 'Peter Pantelyne, Esq' by Stephen BeanWhen a modest community theatre begins a production of Hamlet, Weldon, a self-absorbed and pompous young actor, aspires to overcome the slight he receives in being cast as Horatio. He conspires with Olive, an amateur actor who was cast as understudy to Ophelia, to try and persuade their director, an over-the-top, eccentric, and blustery artiste, named Logan Messina, to promote them. Orsonio, the favourite son of the theatre and the actor cast as Hamlet, wonders if he's up to the challenge of playing Shakespeare's most famous part. Lorraine, cast to play Ophelia, finds herself unfulfilled in yet another Shakespearian female lead role. 

At the same time, Edisto the assistant director and Charlotte the assistant stage manager try to balance their budding romance with work responsibilities, Stratdorf and Walder, the two set designers try to avoid work responsibilities at all turns, and Lorraine's sister, the modern prose-speaking Valencia, enters to try and audition. 

Amid these myriad personal agendas, Orsonio pranks Olive by faking his death, and is persuaded by Weldon to keep the prank up and disguises himself, driving Olive into a frenzy. Messina gets fired by the theatre's investors for his outlandish ideas, leaving Edisto and Charlotte in charge of the production, to their chagrin. Stratdorf and Walder discover Weldon's scheme and try to persuade humourless Lorraine to help them, even including Valencia in the plot. They conspire to make Lorraine seem murderous and insane, in the hopes of terrifying Weldon into confessing. At the conclusion, everyone but Weldon hides in the stage and swarm Weldon, acting like ghosts, frightening a confession out of the villain.


100 mins approx


(5m, 7f, 1m/f)

Principals (4m, 6f, 1m/f)
  Lord Logan Messina – Director, early-to-mid-sixty’s (m)
  Lady Jane Colman -  Stage Manager, early-to-mid-sixty’s (f)
  Orsonio - Hamlet, late thirties, early forties (m)
  Weldon -  Horatio, late thirties, early forties (m)
  LorraineOphelia, early-to-mid-thirties (f)
  Olive - Ophelia’s understudy, mid-to-late-twenties (f)
  Edisto - Assistant Director, late twenties (m/f)
  Charlotte - Assistant Stage Manager, late twenties (f)
  Walder - Set Designer, late twenties, early-to-mid-thirties (f)
  Stratdorf - Set Designer, mid-to-late-twenties (m)
  Valencia - Lorraine’s sister, mid-twenties to early thirties (f)
Support (1m, 1f)
  Duchess of Northcomb - Emissary from the Northcomb Theatre, mid-forties to early fifties (f)
  Janus – Polonius, mid-forties to early fifties (m)

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